The billion dollar line was crossed last week in part with $40 million ($29.8 million USD) raised by OrganiGram Holdings, Inc. The deal will allow for the build out and expansion of the company’s cultivation, extract and derivative facilities. In addition, Tetra Bio-Pharma, Inc. received $1 million in a private placement with Aphria Inc. to initiate clinical trials in PhytoPain Pharma.
Scott Greiper, president and founding partner of NYC-based Viridian, said that the $1 billion was mostly raised in North America, with minor amounts from other countries. He also stated that the Canadian market is a meaningful metric as to what the U.S. market could end up looking like in the future. Canada legalized medical marijuana years ago, but the program was slow to build, and the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jump-started efforts for the medical marijuana industry.
Trudeau is also expected to table legislation for recreationalcannabis use in 2017, sparking an investment boom.
“Publicly traded licensed producers are the largest deals in Canada,” said Greiper. “Another thing we’re seeing is underwriters there are buying deals and then selling it to their investor network. You don’t see this very often in the U.S.”
The two biggest deals for 2016 came with publicly traded GW Pharmaceuticals. The biotech company did two tranches of $250 million this year. Following behind GW, was the first NYSE-listed publicly traded cannabis company Innovative Industrial Properties or IIPR. IIPR is a real estate investment trust that will purchase facilities associated with growing cannabis.