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Tilray Becomes first Cannabis Company to go Public on Nasdaq

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Using the ticker symbol TLRY, massive Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray Inc. announced on July 19 that is it the first cannabis company to go public with an initial public offering (IPO) on a major U.S. exchange. While other ancillary or cannabis-related companies have ventured into the stock market, Tilray is the first pure-play (focused on one specific industry or product) cannabis company to be listed publicly.

The announcement suggests that a sea change could be brewing in the stock market as the cannabis industry becomes more widely acceptable. Venture Capitalists are eager to get their hands into the honey pot.

The company offers Class 2 shares, which will receive one vote per share, and Class 1 shares, which will have three votes per share. On Wednesday, each share was priced at $17. Seattle, Washington-based Privateer Holdings Inc., a cannabis-friendly venture-capital firm, already holds 75 million of the Class 1 shares.

Scott Greiper, president and founder of Viridian Capital Advisors, is excited about the news. Viridian Capital Advisors offers banking services to cannabis companies. “In general, U.S. capital markets have generally been closed to growers,” Greiper told MarketWatch. “Tilray is reflecting that exchanges like Nasdaq and New York [Stock Exchange] are starting to open up to the fact that cannabis is a legitimate marketplace. Every exchange is looking to be on the front lines of capital markets.”

Tilray follows in the footsteps of Canadian companies. Cronos Group Inc. CRON, is cross-listed on the Nasdaq and TSXV, and Canopy Growth, CGC, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tilray cultivates, processes, researches and sells medical cannabis which is distributed throughout Australia, Canada and Germany. Tilray’s cannabis is grown in massive farms in Canada and Portugal. According to Tilray, it harvested 6,779 kilos of cannabis in 2017 and 4,526 kilos in 2016. It’s recently announced IPO will undoubtedly shake things up in the cannabis industry.

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