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Unlike its southern neighbor, Canada legalized medical marijuana nationwide back in 2001. That means that the industry has evolved a lot more and is not plagued with restrictions across state lines, as is the case in the United States, where there are 28 states (and Washington, D.C.), where pot is allowed for medical use. Further, Canada introduced the Cannabis Act earlier this month and the bill to legalize recreational pot use is expected to pass by July of 2018.
While uncertainty prevails in the United States, investors could get a piece of the pot action by investing in Canadian stocks traded in the country in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. Most of these stocks can be labeled as penny stocks, so any investment may carry a significantly higher risk component. Here’s a look at some of those companies.
All figures are accurate as of January 2, 2018.
1. Canopy Growth Corp.
Market Cap: $4.987 billion
With its market cap closing in on $5 billion dollars, Canopy (OTC: TWMJF) is touted as Canada’s first unicorn in the pot market. While the company sells its produce under various brand names, the brand ‘Tweed’ has had the most recognition, thanks to its affiliation with rapper Snoop Dogg. The one-year return for the stock in the OTC market has been nearly 280%.
2. Aurora Cannabis
Market Cap: $4.391 billion
Aurora Cannabis (OTC: ACBFF) debuted on the Canadian venture stock exchange (TSX) in October 2016. In addition to producing dry cannabis, Aurora received a license to sell cannabis oil in January 2017. It has been around longer in the OTC market, returning 451% over a one-year period.
3. Aphria Inc.
Market Cap: $2.493 billion
The company calls itself one of the lowest cost producers of marijuana. Aphria (OTC: APHQF) produces dry cannabis as well as cannabis oil of varying qualities and strength. Earlier this month, the stock surged after the company announced that it had struck a deal to sell its products through the online site of Shoppers Drug Mart, a major Canadian pharmacy chain. Over the last year the stock has gained just short of 330%.
4. PharmaCan Capital/The Cronos Group
Market Cap: $1.222 billion
This company is in the business of investing in pot growers and companies in the marijuana business. PharmaCan’s (OTC: PRMCF) portfolio currently consists of six companies. It owns two of these companies completely – the rest it holds a minority stake in. Over the last year, the stock has risen over 404%.
5. Emerald Health Therapeutics
Market Cap: $563.767 million
Emerald Health Therapeutics (OTC: EMHTF) is also a producer of dry cannabis and cannabis oils for medical use based out of British Columbia. New Cannabis Ventures reports that the company raised CAD 10 million in equity from Dundee Capital. The stock has been on an upward trend with a nearly 473% return for the one-year period.
6. OrganiGram Holdings
Market Cap: $514.48 million
This company’s portfolio includes dry cannabis and cannabis oil, along with accessories like vaporizers that can be purchased on its website. Although it promises organic produce, OrganiPharma (OTC: OGRMF) issued a product recall in December 2016 because the products contained pesticides not approved for marijuana growing. The stock has a return of 68% for the one-year period.
Market Cap: $479.902 million
The company produces marijuana under the banner of its wholly-owned subsidiary 7Acres. Late last year, SupremePharma (OTC: SPRWF) announced a private placement financing deal worth CAD 55 million or close to $42 million USD to expand its Hybrid Greenhouse facility and other working capital requirements. The stock’s one-year return is almost 100%.
8. Emblem Corp.
Market Cap: $181.293 million
Emblem (OTC: EMMBF) is another newly-listed company on the Canadian exchange. A few days after listing, the company announced that it was sitting on a cash pile of CAD 27 million that it was looking to deploy in expansion. Soon after, it got a go-ahead from Health Canada to begin production of cannabis oil. However, over the last year, the stock has declined, falling nearly 43%.
9. THC BioMed International
Market Cap: $89.77 million
This is primarily a bio-tech company engaging in research and development on marijuana also dabbling in providing training and solutions to licensed growers. A big boost for THC BioMed (OTC: THCBF) came in December 2016, when it got the green light from the authorities to start shipping marijuana plants for licensed growers across the country. It suffered a setback after announcing in January 2017 that it needed to restate its financials. But the stock began recovering in mid-2017 on an improved outlook and nearly doubled in value in December alone after Health Canada said it was allowed to sell dried marijuana. The stock is up nearly 63% for the year.
10. iAnthus Capital
Market Cap: $87.925 million
This company has taken an interest in cannabis based businesses south of the border in four states across the United States. Last year iAnthus (OTC: ITHUF) announced its first complete cannabis related acquisition with the $4.3 million purchase of Colorado based Organix, a medical and recreational pot dispensary. Other investments also include financing and management deals with three other companies, totaling potentially eight licenses for marijuana businesses, nine dispensaries and four cultivation facilities. Over the past year, the stock has been trading with high volatility and is currently up nearly 36%.