Major Canadian pension fund loads up on cannabis stocks

One of Canada’s biggest pension managers increased its stake in Canopy Growth and took positions in three more Canadian cannabis companies recently, giving a vote of confidence to long-term investors in the booming industry.

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) – with 153 billion Canadian dollars ($130 billion) of net assets – disclosed it had purchased 2.5 million Aurora Cannabis shares as of the end of 2018, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 14.

The pension manager upped its stake in market leader Canopy, adding 60,300 shares to bring its total stake to 555,100 shares.

PSP also added Cronos Group and Aphria to its portfolio, picking up 431,900 shares and 553,800 shares, respectively.

Shares in the four companies were worth roughly CA$46 million ($35 million) at the end of 2018.

Today, they’re worth almost double that.

The pension fund manager also increased its holdings in Cronos stakeholder Altria Group to 97,192 shares.

At the same time, PSP lowered its exposure to global liquor titan Constellation Brands – owner of 37% of Canopy – to 27,636 shares, down 10,000 shares.

Another PSP-owned stock with cannabis exposure is Canadian e-commerce company Shopify, whose clients include Aurora, Canopy, Ontario Cannabis Store and BC Cannabis Stores.

  • Canopy Growth’s shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol CGC and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) as WEED.
  • Aurora trades as ACB on the NYSE and TSX.
  • Cronos is traded on the TSX and Nasdaq under the ticker symbol CRON.
  • Aphria trades as APHA on both the NYSE and TSX.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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