Canadian marijuana stocks dumped by world’s largest sovereign fund

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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is excluding several Canadian companies because they produce recreational marijuana, which remains illegal in the Nordic country.

Fund manager Norges Bank Investment Management announced this week that Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth Corp, Cronos Group and Tilray Brands – all based in Canada – will be excluded from the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).

Canada is the only large country to have legalized adult-use cannabis, but Germany has pledged to follow suit and Uruguay regulated the drug in 2014.

The GPFG’s Council on Ethics recommended the Canadian companies be excluded from investment by the fund “due to production of cannabis for recreational use.”

The move by Norges Bank is the latest blow to the Canadian companies, which have seen their stock prices fall drastically in recent years as losses stretch into the billions of dollars.

Stock losses in the past 12 months total:

  • 78% for Aurora, which trades as ACB on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
  • 77% for Canopy, which trades as WEED on the TSE and CGC on Nasdaq.
  • 73% for Tilray, which trades as TLRY on the Nasdaq and TSE.
  • 48% for Cronos, which trades as CRON on the TSE and Nasdaq.

Norges bank also excluded tobacco producers and companies that “contribute to severe environmental damage.”

The fund has more than $1 trillion in assets.

It’s not the first time Norway has shied from cannabis stocks.

In 2019, the sovereign wealth fund said it “no longer would own stakes” in some cannabis companies.

Cannabis companies have slowly been added to some large funds in recent years.

A large Canadian pension manager unloaded some marijuana investments while raising its holdings in licensed producers, according to regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.