FSD Pharma, a Toronto-based biotech pharmaceutical R&D company, garnered a Nasdaq uplisting this winter and began trading on the U.S. market Jan. 9. With that, the company joined 11 other Canadian cannabis businesses that now trade on either the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Here’s the list, as of January 2020:
Innovative Industrial Properties: December 2016, NYSE
Cronos Group: February 2018, Nasdaq
Canopy Growth Corp.: May 2018, NYSE
Tilray: July 2018, Nasdaq
Aurora Cannabis: October 2018, NYSE
Aphria: November 2018, NYSE
HEXO: January 2019, NYSE
Village Farms International: February 2019, Nasdaq
CannTrust Holdings: February 2019, NYSE
Greenlane Holdings: April 2019, Nasdaq
OrganiGram Holdings: May 2019, Nasdaq
FSD Pharma: January 2020, Nasdaq
Because cannabis is legal in Canada, those companies are less restrained by securities regulations in the U.S. As such, access to capital is far greater for companies able to raise funds on public markets and, in a less tangible way, raise awareness of their brands among an international consumer base. Publicly traded Canadian cannabis producers have also fueled much of the M&A action in the U.S. cannabis space over the past two years.
For companies like FSD Pharma, the move to the public marketplace in the U.S. is a new corporate milestone.
“The listing of our shares on the Nasdaq Capital Market is a momentous moment and represents a paradigm shift in the outlook of FSD Pharma,” FSD Pharma CEO Dr. Raza Bokhari said in a public statement. “Doing so offers us an opportunity to expand awareness of the company's specialty pharmaceutical lead asset, a micronized formulation of palmitolylethonalamide (micro-PEA), which by targeting the CB2 receptor of the endocannabinoid system of the human body, may help address the opioid crisis by developing opioid-sparing, FDA-approved prescription drugs. A NASDAQ listing also elevates our corporate profile to institutional investors."