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Mar 7, 2018

Aurora eyes Nasdaq, NYSE listing as Canadian pot stocks go global

Cronos Group CEO: We plan to be a big part of the U.S. market

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Another one of Canada’s biggest marijuana producers is exploring a listing on an international exchange.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is “absolutely” looking at trading its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the New York Stock Exchange or the AIM, a division of the London Stock Exchange, Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth said in an interview Tuesday in Edmonton, Alberta. While the company is already attracting a high volume of investors in Canada, more banks and institutions are looking to get into the market, he said.

The company’s shares rose as much as 2 per cent and were down 1.8 per cent to $11.53 at 12:50 p.m. in Toronto.

“We’re all over it,” Booth said. “We’ll look at all exchanges, we’ll look at New York Stock Exchange.”

Last month, Cronos Group Inc. became the first Canadian marijuana company to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market alongside companies such as Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Canopy Growth Corp., Canada’s first marijuana unicorn that now has a market value of $6.52 billion, has said it intends to list on the Nasdaq.

Aurora, with a market value of $5.75 billion, is doing due diligence on the U.S. market before it pursues a potential listing since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, Booth said. The company is looking at listing on an exchange that makes the most sense, he said.

“Cronos broke that barrier, and good on ’em, it’s excellent for everybody,” Booth said.

The move toward U.S. listings is another step in legitimizing Canada’s burgeoning marijuana industry and is positive for all companies, John Fowler, chief executive officer of Supreme Cannabis Co., said in a telephone interview. The licensed producer will be watching closely how Cronos and others trade in the U.S., he said.

“We’re going to see new eyeballs on the industry,” Fowler said.