US marijuana company Green Thumb makes trading debut in Canada

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Green Thumb Industries Wednesday joined the growing list of U.S. cannabis firms to go public in Canada’s booming marijuana market, with investors giving the stock an initial thumbs-up.

The Chicago-based cannabis grower and dispensary operator debuted on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol GTII.

Its stock closed Wednesday at 8.95 Canadian dollars ($6.89), up 74 cents from the day’s opening price.

Increasingly, U.S. marijuana companies, including multistate operators iAnthus Capital and MedMen, are turning to Canada’s public markets to tap easier-to-access pools of capital.

Marijuana’s illegal status in the eyes of Uncle Sam has spurred U.S. companies to trek north of the border to list their shares.

Denver-based Dixie Brands CEO Chuck Smith said his edibles company expects to outline its plans within the next month to go public in Canada.

For Green Thumb, the company chose to pursue a reverse takeover of Vancouver, British Columbia-based shell company Bayswater Uranium.

The deal mimics the move of many other firms, including MedMen, and allows the firm to go public without launching an initial public offering of its shares.

In connection with the reverse takeover, Green Thumb raised approximately CA$87 million through a brokered and non-brokered private placement.

With more than 350 employees, Green Thumb operates seven cannabis manufacturing facilities and has licenses for 50 retail stores in seven states.