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. The club, however, remains relatively small.
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.
* Versión en Español: Empresas de Cannabis Con Acciones en las Bolsas NYSE y NASDAQ.
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.
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.
22nd Century Group, Inc. XXII
This plant biotechnology company is mostly known for its workings in the tobacco industry, more precisely for its efforts to make smoking less unhealthy by minimizing the levels of nicotine in the tobacco plant. The company developed its own proprietary, reduced-nicotine tobacco varieties ending up with a tobacco product that looks, smokes and tastes like a usual cigarette but contains 95% less nicotine.
22nd Century Group entered the cannabis space for the first time back in 2014 via a research collaboration with Anandia Labs, obtaining in that manner the U.S. right from Anandia to core patents covering the cannabinoid biosynthetic pathway in hemp/cannabis plants. Furthermore, the company got access to many new hemp-cannabis plant lines such as those with no THC, and those with higher levels of CBD or CBG, which are still part of its plant development pipeline. 22nd Century Group works on developing new hemp/cannabis plants with optimized and unique cannabinoid profiles and advantageous agronomic features.
The company said its most valuable current partnership covering the hemp/cannabis industry is with KeyGene, an AgBiotech company with a specialty in crop enhancement by molecular breeding.
Akerna Corp KERN
Akerna was launched on June 17, 2019, following the merger of cannabis-focused blank check company MTech Acquisition Corp and MJ Freeway, a provider of seed-to-sale regulatory compliance technology and Enterprise Resource Planning platform.
Akerna is the first cannabis compliance technology company to be traded on NASDAQ and is the first NASDAQ-listed cannabis company led by a woman. The company allows cannabis businesses to connect data points in their supply chain making it more transparent and accountable.
Amyris is a science and technology company that creates and manufactures sustainable ingredients for various markets, such as Clean Health & Beauty, and Flavors & Fragrances. Its connection to the cannabis industry is through the research and production of biosynthetic cannabinoids, including CBG.
(*Note – the company has inked a deal with the biotech startup Lavvan to research and develop synthetic cannabinoids in 2019. Last September, Lavvan sued the company for “wrongful use of Lavvan intellectual property in connection with their development, testing, and production of biosynthetic cannabinoids, including CBG.”)
Aphria Inc APHA
Delisted. Acquired by Tilray.
Canadian medical marijuana producer Aphria became the first pure-play cannabis company to trade on the NYSE. The stock debuted on the major exchange on Nov. 2, 2018.
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 was a major step for Aphria, opening the company to a larger pool of investors.
Applied DNA Sciences Inc. APDN
Applied DNA Sciences is a biotechnology company that provides molecular technologies that promote supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology. Last year, the company entered a $5 million agreement with a Canadian cannabis consultancy TheraCann International Benchmark to use the company’s “molecular tagging” technology in the cannabis industry. Last year, at an international cannabis conference in Panama, Applied DNA presented its new marijuana tracking technology.
Arena Pharmaceuticals ARNA
Arena Pharmaceuticals is a biotech company located in San Diego, which has one segment of its drug pipeline dedicated to cannabinoid-type therapeutics. Other parts of its drug pipeline are focused on non-cannabinoid drugs. The core of its cannabis biotech operations is the research and development of its investigational drug candidate called Olorinab (APD371). This is an oral full agonist of the cannabinoid receptor 2 that is being researched for the treatment of various symptoms, mainly concentrated on visceral pain connected with gastrointestinal illnesses.
Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB
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 CGC
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.
CannTrust Holdings Inc. CTST
On Feb. 25, CannTrust Holdings joined its peers on the New York Stock Exchange. CannTrust provides medical and recreational cannabis and cannabis products, operating a 450,000 square-foot facility in Pelham Ontario, which it plans to expand by another 390,000 square feet. CannTrust has a 60,000 square-foot packaging facility in Vaughan, Ontario. Outside of Canada, CannTrust works with Cannatrek Ltd in Australia and has a joint venture with STENOCARE in Denmark.
Cara Therapeutics CARA
Clinical-stage biotechnology company, Cara Therapeutics, is involved in the research and design of various chemical entities to help treat pain and itching, with most of them created to address opioid receptors. In previous years the company was examining the potential of CR-701, a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist for treating neuropathic pain and its ability to minimize hyperalgesia and allodynia.
cbdMD Inc YCBD
cbdMD offers a range of CBD products, such as tinctures, oil, gummies, topicals and pet products. Recently, the company has partnered with a number of athletes, such as retired UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and professional golfer Bubba Watson.
On May 1, cbdMD changed its name from Level Brands and the ticker from LEVB to YCBD following a vote from shareholders. It's the only CBD-focused U.S. company traded on a major exchange.
Coffee Holding Co., Inc. JVA
A family-run coffee business that has been operating since 1971, providing a plethora of coffee products across the U.S. and Canada, Coffee Holdings joined the cannabis industry this year. In October, the company signed binding agreements to attain a 49% ownership of The Jordre Well, LLC, a cannabidiol beverage company, run by founders of Cannuka, a popular CBD skin brand. Under the deal, The Jordre Well will help Coffee Holding in the creation and commercialization of CBD-infused line extensions for the current coffee brands in the company’s portfolio.
Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI)
Compass Diversified Holdings is an investment and holdings company, concentrated on North American middle-market enterprises. It is run by Compass Group Management LLC, which has more than 20 years of experience in the field. Its interest in the cannabis industry is seen through its holdings of Manitoba Harvest and Hemp Oil Canada.
Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. CRBP
Corbus Pharmaceuticals is a Phase 3 clinical-stage pharmaceutical company concentrated on the development of new drugs to help with inflammatory and fibrotic illnesses by targeting the endocannabinoid system. Its principal drug candidate is called Lenabasum, and it is an oral, cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist formed to help with chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes. The drug is also being tested for its potential in treating cystic fibrosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and some other illnesses. Furthermore, the company is working on creating a pipeline of drug candidates that address the endocannabinoid system.
Cronos Group Inc CRON
In February, Cronos Group became the first pure-play cannabis stock to list on a major U.S. exchange - Nasdaq. 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.
Eastside Distilling, Inc. EAST
Eastside Distilling, Inc. is a producer of award-winning craft spirits in Portland, Oregon, operating for 12 years. It is known for its specially designed product portfolio containing Burnside Bourbon, West End American Whiskey, Portland Potato Vodka, and Hue-Hue Coffee Rum, among others. It is linked to the cannabis space through its ownership of Outlandish Beverages LLC, which manufactures and sells CBD-infused non-alcohol beverages.
Evogene is a Rehovot, Israel–headquartered computational biology company. It's also listed on Isreal’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “EVGN.”
The company is involved in the creation of new products for life-science-based industries such as human health, agriculture and industrial applications. It has created a Computational Predictive Biology (CPB) platform, which enables computational design of microbes, small molecules and genes as key elements for life-science products. Its several subsidiaries rely on this platform for the development of various products, including medical cannabis (Canonic Ltd – subsidiary).
Flora Growth Corp. FLGC
Toronto, Ontario-based Flora Growth is an all—outdoor grower and producer of cannabis-derived products and brands. It relies on natural and cost-effective growing activities to produce cannabis derivatives for its hemp textiles, food and beverage, and cosmetics operations.
The company has an international focus with developed distribution in several countries across North America, South America, and Europe. To meet the demands of the global cannabis market, Flora is building EU-GMP compliant facilities, and is prioritizing sustainability across its operations.
FSD Pharma Inc. HUGE
FSD Pharma is a biotech pharmaceutical research and development company that works on a pipeline of FDA-approved synthetic compounds directed at affecting the endocannabinoid system to help with various disorders of the central nervous system and autoimmune illnesses of the GI tract, skin, and the musculoskeletal system. Its subsidiary, FV Pharma, is a licensed producer under Canada’s Cannabis Act regulations with the license to grow cannabis in its facility in Cobourg, Ontario.
Greenlane Holdings, Inc. GNLN
Greenlane went public on April 18. It's a Florida-based company that distributes over 140 brands of vaporizers and smoking accessories across the world through dispensaries, smoke shops, as well as through its e-commerce platforms.
The company doesn't provide any cannabis products, but it has major exposure to the industry and is betting big on its growth. Greenlane’s products are distributed across hundreds of licensed cannabis cultivators, processors and dispensaries.
GrowGeneration Corp. GRWG
GroGeneration Corp. is a Denver-based hydroponics innovator and a distributor of agricultural products that also serves U.S. cannabis companies. It runs retail hydroponic and organic specialty gardening retail stores, providing plant nutrition, advanced lighting technology, and farming soils, among others. GrowGeneration recently announced the completion of its acquisition of California-based GrowBiz, one of the largest hydroponic garden centers in the U.S.6
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC GWPH
Delisted. Acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals JAZZ
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.
HEXO Corp HEXO
Hexo is a Gatineau, Quebec-based adult-use cannabis company that focuses on innovative, smoke-free and traditional cannabis products. The company was previously known as Hydropothecary Corp, but changed its name to HEXO in August 2018 following the launch of the HEXO brand for the adult-use market (medical products retained the Hydropothecary brand).
In August 2018, HEXO and Molson Coors Brewing Co TAP’s Canadian division agreed to form a joint venture (later revealed as Truss) to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market. HEXO’s stock debuted on the NYSE American on Jan. 23.
IM Cannabis Corp IMCC
IM Cannabis or just IMC is a multi-country cannabis operator active across both the medical and adult-use cannabis categories. It operates in Israel (where are its headquarters), and also in Germany and Canada. In Europe, it works via its subsidiary Adjupharm GmbH, while also collaborating with many pan-European EU-GMP growers and distributors. In Canada, IMC operates through a licensed cannabis producer Trichome JWC Acquisition Corp. selling various cannabis products under the JWC and Wagners brands.
The company has been working on advancing the quality of its various strains, including the active ingredient within each one, and it provides intellectual property-related services to the medical cannabis industry.
At the end of March, it has announced Canadian expansion through the CA$85 million ($67.6 million) worth acquisition of MYM Nutraceuticals and its Licensed Producer subsidiary Highland Growth. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.
India Globalization Capital, Inc. IGC
India Globalization Capital is a Maryland-based company with two lines of operations – infrastructure, and cannabinoid-based products. Its cannabis-based products are designed to help with pain, seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, and various other ailments. The company offers patent-pending products that provide micro-doses of cannabinoids mixed with other natural components.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc IIPR
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).
Indaptus Therapeutics, Inc. INDP
Formerly Intec Pharma Ltd. NTEC, Indaptus is a biopharmaceutical company that works on creating a variety of therapeutics relying on its proprietary According Pill technology. Among, the company’s product pipeline candidates in clinical development are AP-cannabinoids. They are being examined for helping with various conditions such as cancer pain and opioid-sparing pain, by delivering one or both of the main cannabinoids naturally found in Cannabis sativa, CBD and THC.
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. MBII
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. provides bio-based pest management and plant health products for various markets, such as agriculture and water treatment. The company’s three active ingredients are legalized for use on cannabis crops in California.
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. NEPT
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. is a diversified wellness company. Through its 9354-7537 Quebec Inc., Neptune is licensed by Health Canada to process cannabis for the production of cannabis extracts and oils at its facility in Quebec. It is known for its proprietary recreational product line that includes High CBD Oil, High CBD Capsules, Classic Hashish, and Legacy Hashish.
NewAge is a Colorado-based omnichannel company that tries to motivate consumers to “live healthy.” It is the only one-stop shop of healthy beverages, with famous brands such as Nestea, Evian, Búcha Live Kombucha, Illy Coffee, and Volvic. Recently the company has announced that its Noni+CBD product has obtained sales approval by the Japanese Ministry of Health and the Japanese Narcotics Control Division. The company also offers a portfolio of hemp products, such as oils, body creams, and roll-on gels, which has reached Australia and New Zealand.
NIC Inc. EGOV
Delisted. Acquired by Tyler Technologies, Inc. TYL.
The Olathe, Kansas-based provider of digital government services, NIC Inc. has reached the cannabis space through the acquisition of Complia, a Denver-based technology platform for regulating cannabis and hemp industries.
OrganiGram Holdings Inc OGI
After announcing it had applied to list its stock on NASDAQ on April 26, it took slightly more than two weeks for the Canadian cannabis producer to get approved and another week for it to start trading on May 21.
OrganiGram produces indoor-grown medical and adult-use cannabis in Canada and has distribution across all 10 provinces. The company’s plants for recreational use have recently received organic certification from the Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. In anticipation of the legalization of edibles in Canada later this year, OrganiGram has invested $15 million into an automated production line for cannabis-infused chocolate that has a capacity of 4.0 million kilograms per year, which will be delivered this fall.
Pyxus International Inc PYX
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 the production of industrial hemp and hemp-derived CBD oil and liquid for e-cigarettes.
Sundial Growers Inc. SNDL
Alberta-based cannabis company, Sundial Growers is known for cultivating a specific range of cannabis strains. It has established cannabis brands to Heal, Help and Play, with Heal symbolizing cannabis products consumed as prescribed medical therapies, Help products that support overall health and wellbeing via CBD, and Play that includes products for empowering social and spiritual occasions. The company runs two locations in Alberta, but it has announced plans to expand to British Columbia by building a new facility.
Therapix Biosciences Ltd TRPX
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 FSDDF announced that it would acquire Therapix Biosciences for $48 million in stock.
Tilray Inc TLRY
In July 2018, Tilray listed on the 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 a 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.
Village Farms International, Inc. VFF
Village Farms International is a vertically integrated greenhouse grower and the only publicly traded greenhouse business in Canada. It manufactures and sells fresh produce from its large greenhouses located in Texas and British Columbia and its partner greenhouses in British Columbia, Mexico, and Ontario. The company is connected to the cannabis industry via its majority ownership position in Pure Sunfarms, a Canada-based cannabis growing operations. Furthermore, the company has plans to establish itself as a vertically integrated leader in the U.S hemp-derived CBD market, already having two joint ventures – Village Fields Hemp USA, LLC and Arkansas Valley Green and Gold Hemp LLC.
WM Holding Company, LLC MAPS
WM Holding Company is a cannabis tech company, most known for its Weedmaps brand – an online marketplace for cannabis consumers. Via this platform, the company offers its user all sorts of data on cannabis products, counting online ordering, brand listings, local stores, product discovery, and consumer education.
It also offers several cloud-based software as a service and data solutions to the cannabis industry, such as point of sale, logistics, wholesale, and ordering solutions. WM Holdings was founded in 2008, and since then it has helped push for some important legislative changes.
It reached the Nasdaq in June 2021, through its previously announced merger with a special purpose acquisition company Silver Spike Acquisition Corp SSPK.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc ZYNE
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.
Non-Cannabis Companies With Interests In The Space
AbbVie, Inc. ABBV
This biopharmaceutical company works on creating solutions to help treat various health conditions, from those life-threatening diseases to other chronic disorders. Its core focus is on four therapeutic fields – oncology, neurosciences, virology, and immunology. Its main connection to the cannabis industry lies in its drug, called Marinol, or Dronabinol, which is created of a synthetic form of marijuana. Marinol is used to help with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, and also to treat the loss of appetite in patients suffering from AIDS.
Altria Group, Inc. MO
Altria Group is known as one of the biggest manufacturers and advertisers of tobacco, cigarettes and similar products in the world. While it runs its operations across the world, its main headquarters are located in Virgina, outside of the city of Richmond. Its connection to the cannabis sector is through its considerable stake in a Canada-based pure-play cannabis stock Cronos Group Inc. CRON CRON.
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company SMG
This is a company that produces and sells consumer lawn, garden and pest control products, but some websites consider it a cannabis stock, only because its products can be used in the cannabis industry. In its 2019 Annual Report, the company also states under the ‘risks’ section that end user may buy their products to cultivate cannabis. “Our gardening products, including our hydroponic gardening products, are multi-purpose products designed and intended for growing a wide range of plants and are generally purchased from retailers by end-users who may grow any variety of plants, including cannabis.”
Psychemedics Corporation PMD
This is a provider of hair testing services for the detection of drugs of abuse, offering marijuana hair drug tests as well.
This article was last updated in April of 2020.
Image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga
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