As the cannabis industry keeps pushing forward, more companies are moving to list their stock on a major U.S. exchange like the NYSE or NASDAQ.
On Friday, Canadian medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) debuted on the NYSE. Prior to that, Aphria's stock had been listed on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. and on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Listing on the NYSE is a major step for Aphria, opening the company to a larger pool of investors.
Aphria joins a relatively small club of public cannabis companies. Given the federal uncertainty that still surrounds cannabis in America and in most of the world, few cannabis companies choose the path of a public listing in order to raise funds and even fewer among them are pure-play marijuana stocks.
Listing Vs. Other Funding Sources
Cannabis companies are typically able to raise money from venture capital firms, or they can list their stock.
Listing a stock allows enables fundraising from a larger pool of investors. At the same time, a publicly traded stock can be volatile, and even more so in an emerging sector like cannabis.
Even though listing on a major exchange such as the NYSE and NASDAQ requires a company to comply with strict transparency and accountability rules, it also sends investors a sign that the company is serious about its business.
Related Link: Short Sellers Are Making Huge Profits In Cannabis Stocks
Benzinga has compiled a list of NYSE- and NASDAQ-listed cannabis companies, as well as a short description of the company's involvement in the sector. In the first part of the list, we focused on pure-play stocks: companies for which cannabis is their core business.
Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB)
Market Cap: $6.7 billion
Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis is considered one of the best stocks for full exposure to the cannabis industry. Aurora is one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. It operates eight licensed production facilities, with five sales licenses and operations in 18 countries. The company has a funded production capacity of over 500,000 kilograms. Aurora recently acquired MedReleaf in a $2.5-billion merger, the industry’s largest.
Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC)
Market Cap: $8.2 billion
Canopy Growth is the largest marijuana company in the world by market capitalization. It’s also one of the largest in terms of funded production capacity, with a figure of over 500,000 kg. The company is moving fast in expanding its licensed grow space. It started the year with around 800,000 square feet, but recently it has said it reached a licensed platform of 4.3 million feet. Overall, Canopy has a production platform of 5.6 million feet, of which now 75 percent is licensed.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc (NYSE: IIPR)
Market Cap: $407.20 million
Innovative Industrial Properties is the only publicly traded cannabis-focused Real Estate Investment Trust. The company manages a portfolio of real estate properties that it leases to medical cannabis companies in the U.S. Among its lessees are PharmaCann (New York and Massachusetts), The Pharm (Arizona), Holistic Industries (Maryland and Massachusetts), Green Peak (Michigan) and Vireo Health (Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania).
Pyxus International Inc (NYSE: PYX)
Market Cap: $257.3 million
Until recently, Pyxus International was known as Alliance One International and was involved in tobacco growing and packaging. Earlier this year, the company rebranded into Pyxus as it embraced cannabis. In January, Pyxus’s subsidiary Canadian Cultivated Products acquired 75 percent of Canada’s Island Garden and 80 percent of Goldleaf Pharm. Later, Canadian Cultivated Products was rebranded into FIGR Cannabis.
At the beginning of October, Goldleaf received a cultivation license from Health Canada. In addition, Canada’s Island Garden has received a license to sell marijuana and signed an agreement with the province of Prince Edward Island for 1,000 kilograms of cannabis products. Moreover, Pyxus International’s Korent subsidiary is involved in production of industrial hemp and hemp-derived CBD oil and liquid for e-cigarettes.
Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ: CRON)
Market Cap: $1.3 billion
In February, Cronos Group became the first pure-play cannabis stock to list on a major U.S. exchange. Based in Canada, Cronos is a vertically integrated cannabis company whose core business is medical marijuana, but it is also involved in the recreational space following the full legalization of weed in Canada earlier this month. Similar to its peers, Cronos has been ramping up its production capacity and expects to grow over 47,000 kilograms in early 2019. In addition, Cronos owns Peace Naturals and Original BC, which are licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana in Ontario and British Columbia, respectively.
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: GWPH)
Market Cap: $3.8 billion
Among pharmaceutical companies, UK-based GW Pharmaceutical is the closest to being a pure-play cannabis company.
GW is focused on developing cannabis-based drugs. Its Sativex drug, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, was the first-ever natural cannabis plant derivative to be approved by regulators in any country, receiving UK approval in 2010. Earlier this year, Epidiolex, for the treatment of epilepsy, became the first cannabis-derived drug to bag FDA approval.
Therapix Biosciences Ltd (NASDAQ: TRPX)
Market Cap: $19.7 million
Israel-based Therapix Biosciences is involved in developing a pipeline of drugs based on the FDA-approved cannabinoid Dronabinol, such as THX-110 for the treatment of Tourette syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea, THX-130 for mild cognitive impairments and THX-150 for the treatment of infectious diseases. Recently, Canadian marijuana producer FSD Pharma (OTC: FSDDF) announced that it would acquire Therapix Biosciences for $48 million in stock.
Tilray Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY)
Market Cap: $8.5 billion
In July 2018, Tilray became the first pure-play cannabis company to list on NASDAQ, and its stock quickly captured attention as it surged eightfold in just two months after the IPO.
The company was founded in 2013, and in 2016 it became the first medical marijuana producer in North America to receive the good manufacturing practices certification. Tilray’s production capacity currently lags behind giants like Aurora or Canopy Growth at around 15,000 kilograms. It has been investing in expansion and aims to have over 900,000 square feet of production capacity by the end of the year.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ZYNE)
Market Cap: $92.4 million
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric diseases. Among its product candidates is ZYN002 CBD for children and adolescents with Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges and is the most commonly known single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder. Other targeted conditions include developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and adult epilepsy.
Related Link: 3 Small Cannabis Companies To Keep An Eye On
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