Efforts in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine to allow adults over 21 to use cannabis passed, with similar votes looking at medical cannabis also successful in Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota also approved, and the new markets have driven investment and interest in producers north of the border.
Shares from several Canadians operations jumped with the results and, a week later, are still holding high.
Mettrum closed at $3.81 on Nov. 4, then up 18 per cent to a high of $4.90 on Nov. 10 after the election and is now trading at $6.80 a share on the TSX Venture. Canopy Growth Corp, the group that controls both Tweed and Bedrocan, is now trading for $13.45 on the TSX, up from $3.20 when it was first listed earlier this year. Similarly, Aphria rose to $6.30, Organigram at $3.84 and Aurora at $2.63, all-time highs for all companies.
After the election, president of licensed producer Tilray Brendan Kennedy said Canadian operations have a head-start advantage as new international markets open to legalized sales, opportunities the operations will likely jump at.
Based in Nanaimo, Tilray is still a private company, but is owned by Privateer Holdings in Seattle, a private equity firm investing in medical cannabis and also owns the cannabis information resource Leafly.
“There are huge opportunities for Canadian companies, because Canada has the most robust and tightly regulated medical cannabis framework in the world,” Kennedy said. “Both governments and companies around the world are looking to Canada to provide leadership and expertise in this industry.”
Aurora vice-president Cam Battley said that by having a federally controlled cannabis system, instead of a situation like America’s state-by-state approach, Canada has been able to create large-scale, commercial production techniques.
“We do have a lot of expertise, and we’ve learned, collectively as a sector, a lot of really important lessons about cultivation and consistent production,” says Battley. “I think that does give us some advantages and would bode well for partnerships when the time is right.”