With legalization secured, Ottawa-area pot firms head to public markets for extra capital

Cannabis

The day after the Senate passed a bill permitting the purchase and consumption of cannabis nationally, Ottawa-area pot firms were looking to the public markets to raise funds and capitalize on the high-potential industry.

Leading the charge was Smiths Falls-based cannabis producer Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED)(NYSE:CGC), which closed a previously-announced $500 million deal in convertible notes on Wednesday. The Ottawa-area firm said in a statement it will use the money to support expansion initiatives.

Though Canopy Growth is already publicly listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, it’s also eyeing a listing for its strategic investment arm, Canopy Rivers. The firm intends to go public on the TSX-V via reverse takeover of Toronto-based AIM2 Ventures.

The firm also announced last month that it would seek to raise up to $60 million in a related offering. This week, the company raised the expected round to $104 million and said it expects the deal to close by July 5. Canopy Rivers consultant Sean McNulty told OBJ that the firm expects the public listing to follow about a month after the financing closes.

Elsewhere in Ottawa, LiveWell Canada, which is converting 550,000 square feet of greenhouse space in Metcalfe into a cannabis grow-op, announced Wednesday that it had closed a qualifying transaction to list its shares on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol LVWL.

As part of the transaction, LiveWell also raised $9.4 million in financing.

Not to be sidelined, Ottawa’s cannabis holding firm CannaRoyalty (CSX:CZR) also announced plans this week to raise up to $30 million through a convertible debenture to further its investments in the lucrative California pot market.

The company, which acts as a vehicle for investors looking to get exposure to legal pot markets, expects to develop five additional facilities in California where it already holds numerous cannabis producers and distributors. CannaRoyalty says the expansion would reinforce its distribution infrastructure in the state, allowing it to “meet the strong consumer demand for cannabis.”

Canopy Growth’s stock price reached an all-time high of $45.07 when markets opened on Wednesday before retreating slightly later in the day to $45.07, up 3.2 per cent, in late afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Share of CannaRoyalty, meanwhile, were down five per cent to $5.22 on the Canadian Securities Exchange.