With Canada’s cannabis legalization law advancing past the United States, and every other nation, U.S. companies are turning to the Canadian Securities Exchange to survive and thrive in the competitive marijuana market. With companies from the U.S.’s northern border swooping down with big capital and resources, some enterprising American businesses decided that they should level up the playing field and acquire funding by listing themselves on the Canadian financial market. We’ve seen company’s like Chalice and MedMen pull off “reverse mergers or takeovers” and Oregon’s Eco Firma Farms has done something similar with C21 Investments Inc, although their vertical integration plan appears to be rather unique as reported by the Portland Business Journal’s Pete Danko:
That is, C21 has lately bought retail shops, a major grower and an extraction company.
“The rollup isn’t a surprise — consolidation has been widely anticipated in Oregon’s overcrowded cannabis sector,” Pete writes. “And other Oregon companies, like Chalice Farms, have gone the Canadian route.
“But the sweep of the investments by C21 Investments Inc., pulling together players all along the supply chain, appears to be unprecedented.”
Here’s what the Willamette Week said about Eco Firma Farms, its owner Jesse Peters, and C21 Investments, in its “Meet the New Faces of Cannabis-10 People Now Shaping Legal Weed in Oregon” piece this past May 6th:
Peters is trying to create a large cannabis farm with a small environmental footprint. EcoFirma Farms depends entirely on wind power, replaced all of its light bulbs with LEDs, and recently accepted a grant from the Energy Trust to install solar panels at his Canby farm. The savings in energy means Peters’ weed costs less than $450 a pound to grow and process, so even with the average wholesale price dipping as low as $700 a pound, EcoFirma can still turn a profit. Peters also bears watching because he is symbolic of the Canadian entry into this market. Because of different rules governing banking and finance, Canadian companies, lenders and investors can cross the border and plow money into U.S. cannabis. Peters is also relisting a defunct Canadian stock, C21 Investments, and merging it with EcoFirma so the company can sell shares to investors. “There was a lot of bad impressions when Golden Leaf bought Chalice and now Chalice is opening more Chalices, [but] what we’re doing is a lot different,” Peters says. “There is no Canadian asset that was already up and running. We just want to be in the United States, and we’re from Oregon.”
What people say about him:
“[Peters is] crusading for carbon-neutral grow ops, which is really rad.” “He’s such a wonderful human. The two concessions he’s made: He brought in LED lights and bought wind power from PGE by paying that 0.1 cent more.”
C21 Investments has recently made moves to purchase three dispensaries, another Oregon farm, and a processor, as the company consolidates and grows. Moving into the Canadian Securities Exchange is a fascinating option that seems to have allowed American companies to make major expansion plans and other advances, moves that used to be only available to Canadian companies.
Until the United States government ends federal prohibition, we can expect more U.S. cannabis companies to take advantage of the Canadian financial market. It’s going to be real interesting seeing how many businesses are able to capitalize on the capital that can be gained. American companies turning to the Canadian Securities Exchange will undoubtedly be a prominent topic at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th, and I’m certainly interested in finding out more and seeing how the maneuver works for those looking to thrive in the ultra-competitive cannabis industry.