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Oct 29, 2018

Curaleaf debuts on CSE, eyes U.S. pot market's 'big growth curve'

Curaleaf CEO on how he drummed up $520M from cannabis investors

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U.S. cannabis producer Curaleaf Holdings Inc. started trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange Monday with a nearly $6-billion valuation, after completing a reverse takeover of Canada’s Lead Ventures Inc. last week.

The Massachusetts-based firm debuted under the symbol “CURA” and was trading at $9.25 a share around 1 p.m. ET Monday, lower than its private placement price of $11.45.

Curaleaf is present in 12 U.S. states – including Florida, New York and Oregon – with licensing pending in California and Pennsylvania. The vertically-integrated cannabis company has 28 dispensaries, 12 cultivation facilities and nine processing sites, and focuses on high-population U.S. states, according to its website.

“They’re very nascent markets but we expect them to be fast growing,” Curaleaf CEO Joseph Lusardi said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Monday.

“We think there’s significant growth ahead in the U.S. cannabis industry. It’s about a US$75 billion industry, and only US$11 billion of that is regulated, so we think there’s a big growth curve ahead for U.S. operators including Curaleaf.” 

Curaleaf raised approximately $520 million in a private placement led by GMP Securities and Canaccord Genuity last week, which the company says is the largest cannabis equity financing to date.  

Curaleaf isn’t the only U.S. marijuana company that’s been eyeing a listing on the CSE instead of the Toronto Stock Exchange, which prevents issuers from having any assets in the United States that run afoul of U.S. federal law.

Sources told BNN Bloomberg that Arizona-based pot producer and retailer Horizon Inc. is eyeing a listing on the upstart exchange, while Acreage Holdings CEO Kevin Murphy said in an August interview with BNN Bloomberg that it’s planning to go public in Canada in the fall. 

Cannabis Canada is BNN Bloomberg’s in-depth series exploring the stunning formation of the entirely new – and controversial – Canadian recreational marijuana industry. Read more from the special series here and subscribe to our Cannabis Canada newsletter to have the latest marijuana news delivered directly to your inbox every day.

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