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Marijuana Producer Tweed Stock Rises in Toronto

Tweed Marijuana Inc., the first publicly traded Canadian producer of the drug, rose from its private placement price as it began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Tweed rose to C$2.59 at the 4:00 p.m. close in Toronto today, up 191 percent from the issue price of 89 cents based on a private placement on March 7. The shares sank from an opening price of C$5.10 at the start of public trading and were the third-most traded in Canada with 10.95 million shares changing hands.

Tweed, based in a former chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ontario, said yesterday it purchased more than 60 new strains of medical marijuana seeds and plants from licensed growers. It didn’t disclose how much the purchases cost.

“Being public helps, because it does give us another threshold of transparency or credibility,” Tweed Chairman Bruce Linton said by phone today. “It should assist us in capital access.”

Tweed, with a market value of C$90.8 million ($82.7 million), won a government license to grow and sell marijuana to patients who have a doctor’s prescription. The system was supposed to replace home-grown medical pot on April 1 before a recent court challenge by individual growers. Health Canada has estimated the market could be worth C$1.3 billion in 10 years.

In the U.S., a movement to soften or eliminate marijuana laws has been stoked by legalization in Colorado and Washington state, the first states to allow its sale for recreational use. While the drug is still illegal under federal law, the Justice Department hasn’t moved to stop those states from proceeding.

Tranzbyte Corp., which sells pot in Colorado, has soared 2,383 percent in 2014. GreenGro Technologies Inc., which provides management services for medical marijuana dispensaries, has jumped 900 percent so far this year.

Tweed took over a stock listing held by LW Capital Pool Inc. and changed the stock ticker to TWD.

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