Canadian stock exchange operator tries to clear air on cannabis stance

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Canada’s cannabis industry and investors looking for clarity from TMX Group over its stance on MJ companies with U.S. assets will have to keep waiting.

TMX said in a news release Thursday it’s holding talks with Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators over the clearing of securities of issuers with marijuana-related activities in the United States. TMX operates the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange.

“This is a complex matter,” TMX said in the two-paragraph statement.

A cloud has been hanging over the industry since various news outlets reported that the Canadian Depository for Securities (CDS) – a clearinghouse owned by TMX – was mulling whether to refuse to settle trades involving a handful of MJ firms with U.S. holdings.

In its recent release, TMX said “there is no CDS ban” on such trades, “despite media reports.”

News outlets, however, reported a ban was being considered by CDS – not that one had been imposed.

TMX’s release didn’t address whether an outright ban is still on the table, nor did it offer a timeline for when clarity could be expected.

Meanwhile, industry officials are increasingly frustrated over the uncertainty.