Cannabis stocks: Tilray’s shares jump more than 30% in Nasdaq debut

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Canadian medical cannabis producer Tilray saw its stock surge 32% in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq, as investors signaled their bullish stance toward the marijuana industry in general and Tilray’s initial public offering (IPO) in particular.

The British Columbia-based company stock closed at $22.39 on Thursday, up $5.39 from its IPO price of $17.

The stock traded as high as $24 during the day.

Tilray trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol TLRY.

The company’s debut marked the first time a plant-touching business has gone public on a major U.S. exchange via an IPO.

Seattle private equity firm Privateer Holdings owns Tilray.

In a sign that investor interest would be strong, Tilray on Wednesday night increased the initial offering price of its stock to $17 from the firm’s previously stated range of $14-$16.

A company spokesman linked the increase to “demand from large U.S. and global institutional investors.”

The higher price boosted the IPO’s offering size from $144 million to $153 million.

Chris Barry, a partner at the Dorsey and Whitney law firm in Seattle, noted that major institutional investors, including century-old New York investment bank Cowen, were involved in Tilray’s IPO.

“You wouldn’t be able to do an offering of that size without institutional participation,” said Barry, who handles marijuana investment deals and mergers in the United States and Canada.

“The lesson is that the institutions will be there if you have a good business plan and your business is 100% legal in the jurisdiction you’re in.”

– Marijuana Business Daily and Associated Press