Acreage Holdings, the American cannabis company valued at $2.8 billion, went public on the Canadian Stock Exchange on Thursday, Nov. 15, through a reverse takeover.
Acreage began trading at $19.75 (USD) under the ticker “ACRG.U” on the CNSX, and it ended its first 2 days of trading at $24.25.
Acreage, which operates over 40 dispensaries in the USA, has followed the lead of other billion-dollar American cannabis companies by going public in Canada after Canada legalized recreational cannabis because the legal environment is more welcoming than down south.
But that’s not to say that there are no cannabis companies listed on American stock exchanges- the Cronos Group is listed on the Nasdaq and Canopy Growth Corp. is listed on the NYSE.
Other large, American canna-businesses listed on the CSE include CuraLeaf, MedMen, and Green Thumb Industries.
Acreage’s listing coincided with MJBizCon in Las Vegas, one of the largest canna-business conferences in the world. During a presentation, Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy said that while he was happy to be going in public in Canada, he was “also saddened by the fact that I’m not ringing a bell in New York”, according to Investor’s Business Daily.
But, he was also hopeful for the future as he celebrated cannabis opponent Jeff Sessions’ resignation as US Attorney General, saying it was nice to see him looking for work.
Acreage counts a number of influential past politicians from both sides of the border on its board of directors, including former US speaker of the house John Boehner, former Massachusetts governor William Weld, and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
It’s worth noting that both Boehner and Mulroney supported the War on Drugs for years, and have only recently come around to cannabis.
As recently as 2009, Boehner was quoted as being “unalterably opposed” to cannabis legalization, and Brian Mulroney fought to have cannabis treated the same as heroin in the 90s.
For further reading on John Boehner’s anti-cannabis past and sudden turnaround on legalization, click here.
Cannabis activist Marc Emery was quick to notice the hypocrisy as he noted on Facebook: