Cannabis Stocks Are Wasting Their Time Listing in Canada

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Ahead of its recent public equity offering, Curaleaf suggested that it might raise capital as part of a move to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), and it did end up applying to list there. If it is successful, it will join TerrAscend, the only MSO to move successfully from the CSE to the TSX, a higher exchange in Canada.

While we like to see companies moving to higher exchanges, we think it is not important for an American company to be listed on a higher exchange in Canada. We continue to believe that listing on a higher exchange in the U.S. would be a significant move for MSOs. Of course, ancillary companies and Canadian LPs already trade on the NASDAQ.

TerrAscend had an Investor Day on Friday, and the topic of the TSX listing, which took place in early July, was prominent. The stock is up since it moved from the CSE to the TSX, but it has done poorly relative to peers since the big rally commenced near the end of August on the potential rescheduling of cannabis. Here is the performance with the Tier 1 names since 8/29:

Since then, the New Cannabis Ventures American Cannabis Operator Index has rallied 40.8%, so TerrAscend is also lagging the broader universe of comparable stocks. It has also trailed the broader Global Cannabis Stock Index, which has gained 11.5%.

Of course, this period of time since the elimination of 280E became possible is not the right time-frame to evaluate the role of the uplisting. Looking at the year-to-date return, TerrAscend’s 68.1% gain is better than the 5 largest MSOs:

We don’t think that the uplisting was the driver, though it certainly helped get more investors interested. TerrAscend ended 2022 at an all-time low. It was very attractive at the time, and I included a large position in my model portfolios at 420 Investor at the time. The big driver of TerrAscend recently was the potential rescheduling news.

In our view, investors have been paying too much for TerrAscend, though that now appears to be changing since the peak in early September. For Curaleaf investors, we suggest not looking at the chart to get a clue on where the stock price is headed if the TSX approves the listing. Instead, look at the valuations! Here is the enterprise value to projected adjusted EBITDA for 2024 for the largest 9 MSOs by revenue or market cap:

At just 6.3X on average, all of the MSOs seem cheap, especially if the 280E tax vanishes, but TerrAscend is already very expensive to peers at a 61% premium to the average. The insider buying of TerrAscend has really helped the stock in our view, and the TSX listing is not a major factor. Curaleaf investors should not count on the valuation to expand. In fact, it may contract due to being so high relative to peers.

Again, we think that uplisting in the U.S. from over-the-counter to a higher exchange could be a big deal. Some American investors may care about TSX listing, but not most. When it comes to uplisting in America, we keep our eyes on NASDAQ, of course, but there is an alternate path that could evolve, the CBOE. That exchange, known for options trading, bought the NEO Exchange, which it calls CBOE Canada. The Cannabist Company already trades there, and Verano just announced that it plans to move there from the CSE. It’s not clear when or even if this may happen, but the CBOE listing American cannabis stocks would be a big win for investors.

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New Cannabis Ventures publishes curated articles as well as exclusive news. Here is some of the most interesting business content from this week:


Michigan Cannabis Sales Stall Again

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Alan & Joel

Exclusive article by Alan Brochstein, CFA
Alan Brochstein, CFA
Based in Houston, Alan leverages his experience as founder of online community 420 Investor, the first and still largest due diligence platform focused on the publicly-traded stocks in the cannabis industry. With his extensive network in the cannabis community, Alan continues to find new ways to connect the industry and facilitate its sustainable growth. At New Cannabis Ventures, he is responsible for content development and strategic alliances. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Alan, who began his career on Wall Street in 1986, worked as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. A prolific writer, with over 650 articles published since 2007 at Seeking Alpha, where he has 70,000 followers, Alan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV. Contact Alan: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

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