Canopy seeks to become first marijuana producer traded on New York Stock Exchange

, Canopy seeks to become first marijuana producer traded on New York Stock Exchange

Canada’s market leader in medical marijuana has applied to trade its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, a move that would make it the first cannabis-producing company to list on the world’s largest stock market.

Smiths Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth said in a news release it expects its shares to begin trading on the NYSE “before the end of May” under the symbol CGC.

Analysts say the clout that comes with a listing on the NYSE could help Canopy attract institutional capital – and will ultimately bring the medical marijuana industry within reach of more mainstream investors.

“Listing on the NYSE should significantly widen shareholder attention to Canopy,” Toronto-based Beacon Securities analyst Vahan Ajamian wrote in a research note.

Canopy will continue trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WEED.

The company had been pursuing a listing on the Nasdaq, but CEO Bruce Linton chose the NYSE because of the additional credibility it lends the company, according to Bloomberg.

Sean Stiefel, portfolio manager at Navy Capital in New York, said a lot of American hedge funds only invest in U.S.-listed stocks, so being on the NYSE opens more doors to institutional money.

Canopy’s planned NYSE listing and Aurora’s takeover of MedReleaf, also announced today, are signs that mainstream investors on Wall St. have woken up to medical marijuana as a legitimate opportunity, he said.

“Likewise, a lot of banks that have not invested in the medical marijuana sector will have no excuse when it’s on the New York Stock Exchange,” Steifel said.

If its application is approved, Canopy would become only the second “pure play” marijuana company to list on a top American stock market.

Cronos Group, one of Canada’s largest vertically integrated marijuana companies, listed on the Nasdaq in February under the symbol CRON.

Other cannabis-related stocks trade on the NYSE – Scotts Miracle-Gro, biotech firm 22nd Century Group and Innovative Industrial Properties – but they are not plant-touching marijuana companies.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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