Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: Curaleaf Makes TSX Listing Progress, STATES Act Returns

A New York-based multi-state operator has received conditional approval to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) as prices for wholesale flower continue to climb.

Meanwhile, Germany faces another setback on the long road to legalization, and Japan has new legislation that legalizes medical cannabis, but doles out severe repercussions for recreational users.

Read on to learn what else happened in the cannabis space this week.

Curaleaf receives conditional approval for TSX listing

Two months after applying to be listed on the TSX, New York-based operator Curaleaf Holdings has received conditional approval to list its subordinate shares on the exchange, with full approval pending customary requirements.

The company issued the news on Thursday via a press release on its website. “We are now one step closer to accessing an even broader set of global institutional investors than we currently have, alongside the capital and increased liquidity that comes with listing on a major exchange such as the TSX,” said Executive Chairman Boris Jordan.

The company also expressed its intention to delist from the Canadian Securities Exchange once it meets the conditions for listing on the TSX.

Canada’s wholesale cannabis prices climb higher

The Canadian market was harsh on operators in 2023, resulting in the closure of several prominent production facilities. Aurora Cannabis closed its Lachute, Quebec, facility in September, SNDL shut down operations at its Olds, Alberta, facility in October, and Canopy Growth sold its Smith Falls production facility in Ontario back to Hershey on October 2.

However, the closures could be a factor contributing to a trend of increased wholesale flower prices. According to data provided to StratCann by the Canadian Cannabis Exchange (CCX), a platform for buying and selling cannabis products, the average cost for dried flower under four months old has been steadily increasing since June. The latest figures from October reveal that the average price is $1.12/gram, an increase of 6.67 percent since June.

CCX CEO Steve Clark said in an interview with StratCann that these higher prices can be attributed to a shrinking pool of sellers, demand from domestic buyers and an increase in international exports.

Ohio congressman reintroduces STATES Act

Ohio Republican Congressman Dave Joyce has introduced a revised version of his STATES Act.

The bill made its first appearance back in 2018, and according to the congressman’s website, he and four other representatives from Oregon, Florida and Louisiana are seeking to allow the 38 states that permit cannabis to some degree to implement their own laws without fear of federal interference or repercussions. The act would de-classify cannabis as a controlled substance and instead move regulation services to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the US Food and Drug Administration.

According to the congressman, the revised version of the bill would enable increased research into the medical benefits of cannabis, ease the financial burden of companies that are unable to take advantage of traditional financial products and “create a safe and professional environment for one of the fastest-growing industries.”

The reintroduction of the STATES Act was announced on the congressman’s website two days after a group of six governors from Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Maryland penned a letter to President Joe Biden, urging the POTUS to follow through with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance before the end of the year.

Germany delays cannabis law vote until 2024

Germans advocating for reform of cannabis legislation faced another setback on Wednesday, when it was announced that a mid-December vote would be rescheduled yet again to 2024, citing the need for more clarification regarding some aspects of the proposed law.

The Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – the German Social Democratic Party or SPD – announced via social media on Saturday that the law had failed to garner support from the parliamentary group leadership but did not elaborate. An article from the German publication Spiegel Politics alludes to several points that are still in need of clarification before the law can be voted on. A revised date is yet to be set.

Japan legalizes medical cannabis use

In a surprising move, Japan’s House of Councilors has passed a revision to its Cannabis Control Law that legalizes cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals while also toughening its ban on recreational marijuana use. This change marks a significant shift in Japan’s previously stringent stance on cannabis, which prohibited all forms of the plant for both medicinal and recreational purposes. The revision allows for the use of cannabis-derived products in the treatment of certain medical conditions, but maintains the prohibition on recreational use of the drug. The change represents a compromise between the desires of medical experts and the conservative stance of the Japanese government.

However, the new law comes with an important provision. While cannabis for medical purposes will now be allowable, cannabis use for recreational purposes remains illegal and the law now carries a seven-year prison sentence for violators. Previously, only import, export cultivation and possession were banned. This aspect of the law was met with some opposition from members of Japan’s liberal Reiwa Shinsengumi party. The leader of the party, rep. Taro Yamamoto spoke out, citing the irony that actions that previously carried no penalties now come with long prison sentences.

Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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