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Canadian Securities Exchange Highlights Five Key Takeaways From Its 2020 “Cannabis Month” Podcast and Video Series

June 9, 2020 – Toronto, ON – The Canadian Securities Exchange (“CSE” or “the Exchange”) is pleased to announce that it recently completed Cannabis Month, an informative series of podcast interviews with senior executives and other thought leaders across the cannabis sector. The interviews and related content were provided through the CSE’s website, YouTube (CSE TV) and Instagram (@CanadianExchange) feeds.

The podcast guests included cannabis industry pioneers and entrepreneurs including Bruce Linton (founder of Canopy Growth Corp.), Joseph Lusardi (Curaleaf Holdings Inc.), Charles Bachtell (Cresco Labs Inc.), Jason Ackerman (TerrAscend Corp.), and Jennifer Drake (AYR Strategies Inc.). The interviews provided a comprehensive portrait of the industry, which has achieved remarkable capital markets success while managing growth through significant ongoing challenges.

Cannabis Month concluded with a podcast recapping five key takeaways from the interview series, all of which underline the growth and evolution of the cannabis industry: 

  1. Equity valuations of multi-state operators (“MSOs”) in the U.S. cannabis sector are rapidly decoupling from their Canadian counterparts. Numerous U.S. MSOs have been generating strong earnings growth during 2020 and have been duly rewarded by investors. Podcast guests speculated that the days when U.S. MSO valuations were impacted by unrelated events in Canada are largely over.
  2. When asked to choose whether the first change they would like to see is federal legalization of cannabis or the relaxing of banking restrictions, the overwhelming number of executives chose banking. This reflects the fact that state laws provide sufficient operating leeway for cannabis companies, meaning that federal legalization is less urgent. Meanwhile the banking industry has all the elements in place to support the industry when they are able to do so.  
  3. Culture is a major success factor in helping cannabis companies deal with the threat from COVID-19. A number of MSOs indicated that their can-do corporate cultures of adaptability and creativity have helped them continue to serve customers and maintain growth during difficult times.
  4. Executive experience matters in dealing with the twin challenges of managing growth and operating through a pandemic. Many senior managers in the industry have past experience in other industries that have gone through growing pains and/or crises. This has prepared them well for today’s challenging environment.
  5. The companies that have highly focused strategies and manage growth with comprehensive data support are generating value for shareholders. They are eschewing growth-for-growth’s-sake in favour of a continued focus on their strengths and competitive advantages. Even when equity capital was widely available, disciplined managers frequently declined the opportunity, recognizing that it was not in the long-term interests of shareholders.

“These five takeaways have a common underlying theme: the continued development and professionalization of the cannabis industry,” said Richard Carleton, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Securities Exchange. “The cannabis business is clearly undergoing an evolution common to successful emerging industries. The CSE is committed to promoting and highlighting entrepreneurial activity, and these interviews demonstrate that the cannabis industry is home to some of the world’s brightest entrepreneurial minds. We are proud to be able to participate in the industry’s rapid global growth.”

The month of May is typically a busy time in the cannabis sector, with numerous industry conferences and other scheduled events. Unfortunately, activity ground to a near-halt this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CSE was pleased to help fill the gap with its Cannabis Month interview series. 

The entire series of Cannabis Month discussions can be viewed here:

The CSE will be providing additional virtual content in the weeks ahead. This includes two events during the month of June that are focused on the rapidly emerging psychedelics sector. Psychedelics have been a source of tremendous investor interest during 2020, with entrepreneurs bringing several new companies to market on the CSE and elsewhere. More information on these and other upcoming events is available here:

Richard Carleton, CEO
[email protected]