Canadian stock exchanges looking at US cannabis investment policies

Canadian marijuana executives and officials of two stock exchanges have been meeting about setting rules for investing in the U.S. cannabis sector.

According to the Canadian Press, attorneys representing publicly traded cannabis producers said “there is an unwritten rule” that companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange – the nation’s largest – and its junior Venture Exchange aren’t permitted to invest in the U.S. marijuana sector.

But the TMX Group – which owns both exchanges – is looking to formulate a specific policy for companies that want to wade into financial markets with different requirements than Canada’s, the Canadian Press reported.

The TMX Group wouldn’t confirm the meetings. But Vic Neufeld – CEO of Aphria, one of Canada’s largest federally licensed producers – told the news service he’s among the executives who’ve had discussions with the TMX Group.

“The exchange is in the process of trying to develop the policy,” Neufeld told the Canadian Press.

Meanwhile, a partner with the Bennett Jones law firm of Edmonton, Alberta, said the exchanges may face another issue: American companies in need of funding are looking to publicly trade in Canada at a time of political discord in the United States.

Bennett Jones’ Aaron Sonshine told the Canadian Press he’s heard upwards of 100 U.S. cannabis businesses are interested in trading in Canada.

The Ontario Securities Commission has heard about the situation, a spokeswoman told the news service, and is “actively engaging with the TSX.”