Canada: Canopy Growth applies for first NYSE listing by a marijuana producer

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Canada’s biggest marijuana company has applied to become the first pot producer to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

Canopy Growth Corp., which already trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WEED, said Monday it expects its shares to begin trading in New York under the symbol CGC before the end of May.

Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton said earlier this year that he was one day away from filing to list on the Nasdaq Stock Market but pulled back to focus on closing a deal with alcohol giant Constellation Brands Inc. He said Monday that he chose the NYSE over the Nasdaq because of the additional credibility it lends his company.

“Ultimately one of them is on Wall Street and has a bit more history and cache, and the neighbors on it are pretty substantive companies,” Linton said in a phone interview from Boston, where he was meeting with U.S. institutional investors.

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level in the U.S., though Canopy doesn’t have any operations south of the border and is fully compliant with the laws in every country where it operates, Linton said. He added that he expects the NYSE listing to attract more U.S. institutional investors to his company.

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“One of the primary drivers of this listing is, as we are expanding globally, having U.S. institutional investors helps,” he said. “I think the investment community has to drop the pot jokes and talk about the investment grade opportunity.”

If Canopy’s application is approved by the NYSE, it will join Cronos Group Inc. as the second Canadian cannabis company to list south of the border. Cronos began trading on the Nasdaq in February. Representatives for the NYSE couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

“Listing on the NYSE should significantly widen shareholder attention to Canopy,” Beacon Securities analyst Vahan Ajamian said Monday in a note.

Canopy is the largest pot company in Canada by revenue and market value, worth more than $6 billion. The stock has more than tripled in the past 12 months.

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