Norway's $1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund will not invest directly or indirectly in four Canadian cannabis stocks because they produce recreational marijuana, which remains illegal within its borders.
Fund manager Norges Bank Investment Management announced that Canadian-based Aurora Cannabis ACB, Canopy Growth Corp CGC, Cronos Group CRON and Tilray TLRY will be excluded from the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).
The Norwegian GPFG's Council on Ethics recommended that the Canadian companies be excluded from investment by the fund because they are involved in the production of cannabis for recreational use.
"Cannabis is a narcotic substance that is illegal to produce and sell in Norway, and Norway has ratified the International Drug Control Conventions," according to a report from the Norwegian Ministry of Finance. "This expresses a fundamental value about which there is broad agreement in the population and which indicates that the production and sale of cannabis for recreational use should be included as a new criterion for the exclusion of companies from the [fund]."
The fund, according to Market Watch, does not hold shares directly in the companies, but they are in the benchmark index for the fund.
Blow To Canadian Cannabis
The move by Norges Bank is the latest blow to the Canadian companies, whose stock prices have tumbled in recent years and losses stretch into the billions of dollars, noted MJ BizDaily.
Not The First Time And Not Just Cannabis
It’s not the first time Norway has shied away from cannabis stocks, reported MJBiz. In 2019, the sovereign wealth fund said it “no longer would own stakes” in some cannabis companies though in recent years cannabis firms have slowly been added to some large funds.
Norges bank also excluded tobacco producers and companies that it says “contribute to severe environmental damage” such as power companies and a Korean metals and mining company.
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