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A favourite of do-it-yourself stock pickers, Canadian cannabis firms are trying to bolster their institutional investor base by boosting efforts to woo European funds as countries across the region approve marijuana for medical use.

For some time, companies including Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Tilray Inc. have been signing export deals with European governments, buying local companies and opening production facilities in the region.

This year, they have also stepped up pitching their businesses to European funds at conferences and road shows, betting their size and first-mover advantage will help replace fickle retail investors with more stable institutions.

Canada was one of the first countries to approve medical marijuana in 2001, and legal recreational sales will begin in October. Until now, Canadian firms have had little success in drawing institutional investors because of high valuations and lingering concerns about the future and legitimacy of the industry – particularly in the United…

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