Aurora Cannabis, one of the largest Canadian marijuana producers, is going public on the New York Stock Exchange. When Aurora’s shares start trading on Tuesday morning, it will join a select list of cannabis producers that are listing on US-based exchanges.
While US-based exchanges were initially reticent to list Canadian marijuana producers, companies like Tilray (which conducted an initial public offering on the NASDAQ in July), Cronos Group, and Canopy Growth all now list on US exchanges.
“We believe that the legalization in Canada offers a road map to invest in the companies that will form the basis of the legal cannabis industry in the coming years,” Jon Trauben, a managing partner at the cannabis-focused Altitude Investment Management, previously told Business Insider.
To get listed on a US exchange like the NYSE, cannabis producers have to prove they are not violating any federal laws by importing cannabis into the US, except under specific circumstances.
Aurora currently trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker ACB. The Edmonton-based cultivator, or licensed producer, grows cannabis for both the adult-use and medicinal market.
Aurora’s market capitalization has gained over 100% since the middle of August. On August 15, the beverage giant Constellation Brands announced it was upping its stake to $4 billion in Aurora’s rival, Canopy Growth.
As of last week, marijuana is legal in Canada. Legalization in Canada, however, didn’t have the impact most investors had hoped for. Stocks got slammed as traders dumped shares. Aurora sank over 12% on Monday in the leadup to Tuesday’s NYSE listing.
Coca-Cola is looking into producing CBD-infused beverages with Aurora
Neither company confirmed the rumors when contacted by Business Insider.
Analysts and investors, however, said they weren’t surprised to hear the rumors and told Business Insider that it would be a smart move on Coca-Cola’s part.
“We are seeing high profile companies, in addition to institutional investors, waking up to opportunities in the space,” Ben Kovler, the CEO of the publicly-traded Green Thumb Industries said
Challenges do remain for corporations in the cannabis industry. For one, banks are unwilling to lend money to companies that deal with marijuana, as the plant is considered an illegal, Schedule I drug by the US federal government.
“The challenge remains that until the U.S. government de-schedules cannabis, companies like Coca-Cola will be hamstrung to produce innovative cannabis products with American operators,” Kevin Murphy, the CEO of Acreage Holdings, which counts former politicians like John Boehner on its board, said.
Aurora is also hiring like crazy as Canada’s legal marijuana market opens. The company has a whopping 11 pages of job openings on its website. These positions are based across Canada and range from high-level executive positions to laboratory research positions and industrial cleaners.
For some cannabis companies, a listing on a US-based exchange is a golden ticket — but it won’t get easier for companies to list until the federal government changes its stance.
“Canada has this big finger that is wagging, that is pointing down to us in the US saying, ‘How come you can’t get your stuff together?” Adam Bierman, the CEO of the cannabis dispensary chain MedMen told Business Insider.