Tweed Inc. is seeking a Canadian stock exchange listing after winning a federal license to grow medical marijuana at a former chocolate factory.
The company has already started growing plants at its site in a former Hershey Co. plant in Smiths Falls, Ontario, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Ottawa, after securing the license from the Canadian government today.
“This is a well-run business that makes a good quality product,” Tweed Chairman Bruce Linton said by phone. “We have met with the exchange and filed most of the necessary documents and continue to file documents with the intent of being cleared by them as soon as possible, which we would hope is this quarter.”
Canada is switching to commercial suppliers of medical marijuana this year in an effort to improve public safety. Previously, people had been allowed to grow the drug in their own homes. Health Canada has estimated the market could be worth C$1.3 billion ($1.2 billion) by 2024.
Tweed plans to get a listing on the TMX Group Ltd.’s TSX Venture Exchange by taking over a ticker owned by LW Capital Pool Inc., Linton said, a transaction outlined in a Jan. 2 letter of intent. Tweed will then sell shares in the new company to raise cash and the stock ticker may be changed to TWD, Linton said. POT and THC are already taken, he said.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. owns the POT ticker in Canada and mineral exploration company Thelon Capital Ltd. owns THC, an acronym for a chemical agent in marijuana.
The public listing by a marijuana producer is the first of its kind in Canada, Linton said. Shane Quinn, a spokesman for TMX Group, said in an e-mail he wasn’t aware of similar listed companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange or TSX Venture Exchange.
GMP Capital Inc., Canada’s second-biggest non-bank brokerage, is advising Tweed, Linton said. GMP spokesman Rocco Colella didn’t immediately return a message confirming that relationship.
The Canadian government’s backing of marijuana production means investors can count on more stable returns than in the U.S., where some states such as Colorado allow retail sales while federal rules make banking transactions difficult, Linton said.
“You run my type of business in the U.S. and you get bags of cash every day because you can’t use credit cards or couriers,” he said. “Even who you have as investment bankers gets complicated because it’s federally prohibited,” he said.
Patients with a prescription will be able to order the drug from companies such as Tweed.
Tweed will show some of its offerings on its website on Feb. 6, Linton said, tying it to the birthday of late reggae singer and marijuana advocate Bob Marley.
“Everything we are doing, we like to have two meanings,” Linton said.