Cronos Group, a major Canadian cannabis holding company, has been approved to begin trading their shares on the Nasdaq stock market. While the company is already listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, it will be the first ever cannabis company to be listed on an American stock exchange.
Investors will be able to trade Cronos shares under the symbol ‘CRON’ as early as tomorrow (Feb. 27, 2018), according to a statement. The company will continue to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘MJN’.
Management says the Toronto-based company spent six months conducting preliminary work before applying for listing this year.
“It’s a huge milestone and validation of our model,"says Mike Gorenstein, who has been the CEO of Cronos Group since May of 2016. "We focus a lot on making sure we do everything the right way and we’re excited to be a part of advancing the industry forward."
The new listing could have a significant impact on American investors who were uneasy about investing abroad. While marijuana is still illegal federally in the U.S., the law does not prevent Americans from investing in foreign companies that are operating legally in their respective countries. Cronos is a fully licensed Canadian producer, serving only markets where cannabis is legal, and is not exempt from trading on U.S stock exchanges.
Growing facility in Israel
In partnership with an Israel-based kibbutz, Cronos will also be building a facility that will produce, manufacture and distribute medical cannabis locally and internationally.
The facilities are currently under construction and despite recent reports that Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu opposes cannabis companies' plans to export, Gorenstein is confident everything is on track.
Historically, Israel has been a global leader in marijuana research and development, which he says will be advantageous to Cronos.
“Having access to that is very important to us," Gorenstein says. "Also because of the climate, it is actually more cost effective to produce there than it would be in Canada. It also gives us another area we’re able to export from."
Launch of Cronos Australia
Cronos Australia is a 50/50 joint venture between Cronos Group and NewSouthern Capital, and will be the hub for the delivery of cannabis products in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
Rodney Cocks, the CEO and director of NewSouthern Capital, previously served as an infantry officer and was a senior member of the UK Government’s counter narcotics team at the British Embassy in Kabul. The group was responsible for targeting the opium and cannabis cultivation and trafficking crimes in Afghanistan.
“It just goes further to show that it’s a real industry and we provide products that help people,” Gorenstein says.
The Australian campus will be located on 120 acres of land and will initially include a 20,000 square-foot purpose-built facility that is expected to produce 2,000 kilograms of cannabis annually, with plans to expand significantly beyond the initial facility.
Cronos looking forward
While we see other medical cannabis companies facing mergers and acquisitions, Gorenstein says Cronos plans to stay independent and focus strictly on the medical market into the foreseeable future.
Gorenstein adds that the company will always consider opportunities that will help them meet company initiatives and serve their shareholders.
Cronos group currently has a market value of $1.4 billion.