As one who has followed the cannabis sector closely for over six years, I have seen lots of ups and downs for its publicly-traded stocks. Investors today have, in my view, the opportunity to own some companies that have bright futures, but that wasn’t so much the case even three years ago, when most retail traders were still focusing on companies that were just silly penny stocks. Because these greedy opportunists continue to try to exploit retail investors even now, despite the vast improvement in the sector, I want to share some history from the past few years with the hope that readers will learn that they should just ignore these fraudsters and wannabees.
When I transitioned my professional focus to the industry in the nascent days of the cannabis stock market, all of the stocks traded “over-the-counter”, meaning that they weren’t listed on a major exchange, like the NYSE or NASDAQ. Today, while these exchanges are off-limits to American companies that grow, process, sell or distribute the federally illegal substance, they have opened to similar Canadian companies as well as some ancillary companies that serve the industry. Most of the primary listings for U.S. and Canadian cannabis operators are in Canada, mainly on the TSX, TSX Venture or Canadian Securities Exchange but also the NEO Exchange. Almost all of these companies also maintain a listing in the U.S.
Trading exclusively on the OTC is a yellow flag, though there are several leading ancillary companies and CBD manufacturers that currently trade there while attempting to list on a higher exchange. While I track hundreds of companies, I focus my efforts most intensively on 28 companies that belong to my “Focus List”, and there are only 4 that trade exclusively on the OTC. 3 companies trade exclusively on the NYSE or NASDAQ, while the balance have primary listings in Canada or Australia.
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News