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Canadian Investments In The US

What Can Canadian Companies Expect if They Have Marijuana Stock Interest in the United States

Canadian companies who are on the forefront of the country’s medical and soon-to-be recreational marijuana business have some of the fastest growing stock interests in their home country. As well it should be – Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and the Canadian government last year announced plans to legalize cannabis for recreational use nationwide come July of 2018. 

However, some of these companies are publicly traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE). The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), has largely shied away from listing companies that have interests in the United States, however it does possess all Canadian equity trades via its clearing house the Canadian Deposit for Securities. 

This means that companies needing to raise money have raced to CSE to do so. Often these funds are being raised to fund U.S. opportunities. These companies are allowed to list on CSE so long as there is adequate disclosure. However, in the case that TMX decides to stop clearing trades, a viable alternative is necessary. And it’s one that CSE executive Richard Carlton is actively seeking. 

It’s Still Challenging for the US Funding and Investing for Marijuana Industry

In comparison to the United States, where funding and investing a marijuana company even in legalized states remains difficult, money is flooding into Canadian-listed stocks. However, a decision to take a tougher line on Canadian capital markets could spell disaster for the possible expansion of Canadian companies looking to invest in U.S. states where marijuana is legal. 

Indeed, many of the companies that investors have fallen in love with are currently increasing their footprint in the United States. If they do not already have interest in the United States, they are planning to do expand. However, there’s a catch. These companies are mandated by TMX to remain in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where they operate. 

Why Aphria Should be Concerned? 

Aphria, one of Canada’s rising investment stars, has reason to be concerned. As part of its investment strategy, it is planning on making a $25 million investment in Florida, where medical marijuana is legal, yet it remains illegal recreationally. In fact, 10 new companies that are cultivating marijuana in preparation for next year’s impending legalization. The entire industry has eyes on a possible large market: The United States. Where marijuana is still federally illegal, putting the stock exchange in a precarious position when it comes to listing marijuana companies that have interests in the United States. 

While TMX is currently allowing Aphria to remain listed, even with its plans for expansion in Florida, it has taken a harder approach for other companies. For example, Canadian Biotechnical Corporation left the TSX Venture Exchange after being told it could not pursue recreational marijuana interests in the United States. Conversely, Ottawa-based CannaRoyalty Corp has the bulk of its assets in the United States and is listed on the Canadian Securities exchange. 

The two rivals are taking different approaches when it comes to listing companies with U.S. interests. Not only is the CSE allowing for tiny, unlicensed companies to list, it is also allowing U.S. based corporations to trade, where they are barred from doing so domestically. 

Summary of the Current Status

While those with U.S. interests are looking to TSX to clarify its rules regarding companies listing on the exchange, some think that Canadian companies should avoid involvement and expansion into the U.S. entirely. They believe that institutional investors in the burgeoning market should feel confident that their investments are not funding illegal activities. 

While the federal government has yet to make a move against states where cannabis is legalized recreationally and medically, it is no secret that many in the Trump administration, including U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions, are taking a hard line on federal marijuana policy. Unlike modern day vapes , which are a sensitive topic as well but are not banned in both countries, marijuana is illegal on the federal level. This is certainly a cause for some concern for investors and regulators in the Canadian market. 

It’s no better in the United States, where investors looking to take advantage of the boom in Canada and the growth of marijuana stocks there. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency has been tracking U.S. investments in the Canadian marijuana industry. When inquired by Reuters about the DEA’s view of U.S. investments in Canadian marijuana, spokesman for the DEA Robert Payne said that the agency is “most interested in those types of activities.” 

Author

Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. 

Invest In MJ Editor Notes:

The article above was provided by Michael and are his opinions from his research. The views expressed above are not necessarily the opinions of Invest In MJ and we suggest you conduct your own research and speak to your financial advisor as to the accuracy of the information contained in the article.

We at Invest In MJ are aware that the United States government still has cannabis as an illegal drug and that does bring lots of question and concerns for investor as to the legality of investing in the cannabis sector.  At the state level, cannabis companies are opening up and setting up shop, many of them looking north to Canada for raising capital.  While the DEA may be interested in activities in the cannabis space, they have yet to stop investment in the space. 

Many companies in Canada and the United States have raised capital from all around the world in record numbers; we do not think that trend will change.  The fact that no regulator has stopped the progress of capital raises or companies from trading on the exchanges should be kept in mind.  While some companies may not having business interest or operations in the US, many are moving forwards with their plans to enter the US market in States where cannabis is legal medically or recreational.

Please consult your financial and legal advisor before making any investment decisions.

 

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The support for cannabis legalization by the public is stronger today than over the last few decades.  However, most non-cannabis users still believe the old stereotype about "stoners" — that marijuana smokers are apathetic, unsuccessful, flaky… and the list goes on.

But, contrary to the popular stereotype which is based mostly on miss-information or lack of research, there is a new study which suggests they are in fact among the most satisfied and successful among us.  

As it turns out, cannabis consumers are among the most well-adjusted and successful of American adults, based on results from BDS Analytics’ landmark cannabis consumer research study.

The study surveyed consumers (acceptors) and abstainers (rejecters) across a wide variety of mental, social and financial factors. The survey analysed extensive data from two US states that have voted to legalise the sale of cannabis -California and Colorado.

Among the findings, Cannabis Consumers are: 

Accomplished Personally and Professionally

  • Average annual household income among California Consumers is $93,800, compared to $72,800 for Acceptors and $75,900 for Rejecters.
  • The percentage of people holding master’s degrees among California Consumers is 20 percent, compared to 13 percent for Acceptors and 12 percent for Rejecters.
  • Full-time employment is enjoyed by 64 percent of Colorado Consumers, compared to 51 percent of Acceptors and 54 percent of Rejecters.

Satisfied with Life

  • Nearly five in 10 Colorado Consumers agree they are more satisfied with life today than they were a year ago, compared to about four in 10 among Acceptors and Rejecters.

Parents Raising Families

  • Cannabis Consumers are the most likely segment to be parents in California: 64 percent of Consumers are parents, compared to 60 percent of Acceptors and 55 percent of Rejecters.
  • In addition, Consumers in California are significantly more likely to have children ages 10 years or younger at home — 37 percent of Consumers compared to 23 percent of Acceptors and 11 percent of Rejecters

Active Socially and Creatively

  • Among Colorado Consumers, 36 percent agree they are very social people, compared to 21 percent for Acceptors and 28 percent for Rejecters.
  • Acceptors in Colorado were more likely to enjoy the fine arts and describe themselves as creative.

Enjoy the Outdoors

  • When compared to Rejecters, Consumers in both Colorado and California say they enjoy outdoor recreation at a higher rate — 50 percent for Colorado Consumers compared to 36 percent for Colorado Rejecters, and 57 percent for California Consumers compared to 26 percent for California Rejecters.

Nurturing and Volunteers

  • In California, 60 percent of Consumers agree that they are nurturing people, compared to 41 percent of Rejecters. Also, 38 percent of Consumers say they volunteer their time to help others, compared to 25 percent of Rejecters.

The following is a comment from Linda Gilbert, head of the consumer research division at BDS: “Cannabis consumers are far removed from the caricatures historically used to describe them”.

Public support for cannabis legalization is at an all-time high, the misconception and myths around cannabis users is clearly debunked from this study.  We are thankful that real insight and studies are now being done around cannabis. Over the years we expect this trend to continue and more light will be shed on the benefits of cannabis use.  This will hopefully shatter the misconceptions and false information typically cited by people who are anti-cannabis.  The tides are turning and the truth is being shared, that is a positive step forwards towards the legalization of cannabis.

See full report and details about BDS Analytics. June 6 2017

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During May 2017, Health Canada announced that they are making the process to become a licensed producer of marijuana in Canada easier and quicker.  We at Invest In MJ are excited to see this happen, we expect a lot of attraction to the industry as more applicants become licensed over the coming year.  

Why this is significant to an applicant who is in the final review stages?  Instead of waiting for approval to build out the facility, they can start building it out now which takes capital.  I suspect we will see many of these applicants looking to build out their facility in the coming months, that could mean them looking to raise capital for at financing options.  We at #IMJ will seek out these opportunities to work with many of the pre-license companies looking to become a ACMPR licensed producer.

Below is the notice from Health Canada's site...

Improving the Licensing of Production of Cannabis for Medical Purposes

From Health Canada, May 2017

Health Canada is introducing several improvements that aim to streamline the licensing of medical cannabis producers and enable increased production of cannabis. 

Licensed producers and applicants will need to continue to meet all of the requirements under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, including the security and inventory control measures that help prevent diversion, and the Good Production Practices that help to provide individuals with access to quality-controlled cannabis for medical purposes.

As announced previously, Health Canada has begun conducting random testing of cannabis products produced by licensed producers to provide added assurance to Canadians that they are receiving safe, quality-controlled product.

What is a licensed producer?

A licensed producer is the holder of a producer’s licence that is issued by Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations to produce quality-controlled cannabis under secure and sanitary conditions. They can be authorized to produce and sell dried and fresh cannabis, seeds and plants, and cannabis oil. As of May 24, 2017, there are 44 licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes. Over the past four years, licensed producers have established a strong record of compliance and are inspected regularly by Health Canada.

Licensed producers are authorized to sell to registered clients who have been authorized by their healthcare practitioner to use cannabis for medical purposes. Products are delivered to clients securely through the mail or by courier. More than 153,000 individuals are registered to purchase cannabis from licensed producers, while more than 4,000 individuals are registered with Health Canada to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes. On average, the number of registered clients has been growing by 10% a month. Sales of dried cannabis have been growing by 6% a month, and sales of cannabis oil have increased by 16% a month.

What is the current process to become a licensed producer?

All applications to become a licensed producer undergo a strict and thorough review. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. All key personnel must pass a stringent security clearance process. In addition, each application must demonstrate how the security and inventory control measures and Good Production Practices at the facility meet all the regulatory requirements. This compliance is verified by Health Canada inspectors.

How will the licensing approach change?

Health Canada has drawn on nearly four years of experience administering the medical cannabis regime to identify what works well, and what can be improved. The changes that are being put in place are measures to streamline licensing and enable increased production of cannabis for medical purposes. These measures will help ensure that Health Canada’s approach to licensing and oversight continues to be aligned with the regulations, the existing evidence of risks to public health and safety, and its approach to other regulated sectors.

Effective immediately, Health Canada is implementing the following measures:

  • Increasing the Department’s capacity to review and process applications
    • Health Canada is allocating more resources to streamline the processing of applications to produce cannabis for medical purposes. The majority of these additional resources will focus on applications at the review stage, during which Health Canada undertakes a detailed review of all aspects of the application and assesses its compliance with the requirements of the regulations. There are currently 187 applications at the review stage. Additional resources will also be applied to applications at the intake and screening stage.
    • In the past few weeks, Health Canada has dedicated additional resources to accelerate the processing of applications from individuals who are authorized by their healthcare practitioner to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical use.
  • Undertaking some stages of the review of the application concurrently;
    • The detailed review stage of processing applications will now happen at the same time as the personnel security screening process. Historically, the review stage did not begin until the security screening of key personnel is complete, which can lengthen the time to process the application.
  • Permitting licensed producers to manage production on the basis of their vault capacity;
    • Licensed producers will be permitted to increase cannabis production within their existing facility to the maximum they are authorized to store, based on the capacity and security level of their vault(s) or safe(s). This will allow licensed producers to better manage production as necessary to meet demand.
    • In addition, licensed producers will be able to store low-value cannabis waste products (e.g., leaves) in a secure area and will no longer need to keep these products in a secure vault or safe, thereby creating more room for storage of finished cannabis products and enabling increased production.
  • Authorizing longer validity periods for licences and security clearances in accordance with the regulations
    • New licences that are issued, and existing licences that are renewed for licensed producers with a good compliance record, may now be valid for the full three years allowed in the regulations. New or renewed security clearances for key personnel at licensed production facilities may also be valid for up to five years in accordance with regulations, subject to Health Canada receiving new information that could result in a security clearance being suspended.
  • Streamlining the review and approval of applications to modify or expand a production facility for licensed producers with a record of good compliance with the ACMPR;
    • Where a licensed producer has a good compliance record and the proposed modification or expansion is straightforward, materially similar to an existing room or facility, and falls within an existing security perimeter (e.g., fence), applications for a production site modification or expansion may be approved following a successful application review. The physical inspection of the site modification or expansion would then occur during the regular facility inspection rather than before approval.

Health Canada will continue to inspect all facilities before cultivation begins and before a licence to sell products to the public is issued. Henceforth, Health Canada will schedule this first inspection after it has determined an application meets the regulatory requirements and it has issued the licence to cultivate and once the producer is ready to initiate production in its facility. This approach will help provide successful applicants with a decision on their application as soon as possible while ensuring that all facilities are inspected as cultivation begins.

Licensed producers and applicants must continue to meet all of the requirements under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. These include security and inventory control measures that help prevent diversion, and the Good Production Practices that help provide individuals with access to quality-controlled cannabis for medical purposes. Since licensed production began in June 2013, licensed producers have established a solid record of compliance with the regulatory requirements and Health Canada will continue to ensure compliance through regular inspections.

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Ottawa to speed up approval process for pot producers

The federal government is getting ready to drastically speed up its licensing process to increase the numbers of companies that are authorized to produce marijuana for the recreational market that will open up in the first half of 2018, sources said.

A senior federal official said that in addition to tabling legislation to legalize marijuana on Thursday, the federal government will announce a push to authorize new producers of marijuana. At this point, there are 42 companies that have the necessary authorizations from Health Canada to produce marijuana for medical purposes across the country.

The official said the current holders of licences will have a head start once the market is opened up to recreational users, but added that the federal government will add staff and resources at Health Canada to speed up the approval process for new producers

A key concern is ensuring that the supply of marijuana will meet the demand for the drug once it is legalized by the unofficial deadline of July 1, 2018. As Ottawa works toward squeezing out illegal producers of marijuana, federal officials are worried that a shortage of cannabis would hurt their plans in the initial stages of legalization.

Another priority for the government will be to ensure that there is a broad variety of producers of marijuana serving the recreational market, and not just the existing network that includes many large-scale facilities.

“It’s obvious that the producers who are already licensed have an advantage going in. But there is also a clear desire on the government’s part to have a mix of big and small producers,” said the federal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the tabling of the legislation.

“There is a great deal of awareness to the needs of smaller producers in the government,” the official added.

Federal officials said the government will table its legislation on Thursday, but that a number of key issues will only be addressed in the rules and regulations that will be unveiled at a later date.

Ottawa will give itself broad powers to oversee the production of marijuana and to design rules on the marketing of the product, which are expected to be similar to the ones that govern Canada’s tobacco industry.

The federal government will leave the provinces and territories entirely in charge of overseeing the distribution and sale of marijuana, in line with Canada’s alcohol regime.

“We are going to let them make their own choices on the sales side,” the federal official said. “It’s going to be similar to the situation with alcohol. In Alberta, it’s in the hands of the private sector, whereas in Quebec and Ontario, it’s run by the state.”

After it is tabled in the House, the legislation to legalize marijuana will be studied in committee. At the same time, the provinces will be expected to develop their own plans to distribute and sell the product.

The federal government will also be working to develop an “interim system” by which marijuana would be available across Canada even if some provinces do not develop their own distribution mechanisms quickly enough. Sources said the project remains in development, although Canada Post could deliver recreational marijuana by mail, as it currently does with medical marijuana.

The federal legislation will be inspired in large part by a task force led by former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan, which proposed a complete legalization model in a well-received report last year.

The task force urged the government to allow Canadians to buy or carry 30 grams of marijuana for personal use, and to grow up to four plants at home. The task force also recommended a system that would feature storefront sales and mail-order distribution, and allow a wide range of producers to operate legally, including “craft” growers and the current producers of medical marijuana.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already endorsed one of its key recommendations: that marijuana should be legal for people who are of legal drinking age – 18 or 19 years old, depending on the province they live in.

Original Article: DANIEL LEBLANC, Ottawa — The Globe and Mail, Published Tuesday, Apr. 11, 2017 12:31PM EDT

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Liberals to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018

The Liberal government will announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018.

CBC News has learned that the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10 and will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force that was chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.

Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has been stickhandling the marijuana file for the government, briefed the Liberal caucus on the roll-out plan and the legislation during caucus meetings this weekend, according to a senior government official who spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity.

Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, briefed the Liberal caucus on new marijuana legislation, which leaves the provinces to decide how marijuana is distributed and sold, according to a senior government official. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Provinces to control sales

The federal government will be in charge of making sure the country's marijuana supply is safe and secure and Ottawa will license producers.

But the provinces will have the right to decide how the marijuana is distributed and sold. Provincial governments will also have the right to set price.

While Ottawa will set a minimum age of 18 to buy marijuana, the provinces will have the option of setting a higher age limit if they wish.

4 plants per household

As for Canadians who want to grow their own marijuana, they will be limited to four plants per household.

Legalizing marijuana was one of the more controversial promises Justin Trudeau made as he campaigned to become prime minister.

 

But in their platform the Liberals said it was necessary to "legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana" in order to keep drugs "out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals."

The Liberals had promised to introduce legislation by the Spring of 2017. Announcing the legislation the week of April 10 will allow the party to hit that deadline.

Raids raise questions

Trudeau referred again to that rough timetable a few weeks ago when he said the legislation would be introduced before the summer. But at the same time he also warned that it wasn't yet open season for the legal sale of marijuana.

"Until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply," Trudeau said in Esquimalt, B.C. on March 1.

That warning became more concrete a week later, when police in Toronto, Vancouver and other cities carried out raids on marijuana dispensaries and charged several people with possession and trafficking, including noted pot advocates Marc and Jodie Emery.

Trudeau's promise to legalize marijuana was seen as one of the reasons for the Liberals' strong showing among youth voters in the 2015 election. 

But at the NDP's leadership debate in Montreal Sunday, which was focused on youth issues, several of the candidates pointed to marijuana legislation as an example of a broken Liberal promise.

"I do not believe Justin Trudeau is going to bring in the legalization of marijuana and as proof that ... we are still seeing, particularly young, Canadians being criminalized by simple possession of marijuana," said B.C. MP Peter Julian.

Federal marijuana legislation to be introduced in spring 2017, Philpott says

Original Article By David Cochrane, CBC News Posted: Mar 26, 2017 9:00 PM ET

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