As the laws start to relax around cannabis use in South Africa, the question of how to buy or sell dagga is unfortunately still a bit of a legal grey area.
That said, it’s something that will have to be worked out sooner or later because, judging by Canadian cannabis producer Tilray, there’s a pretty lucrative market out there for quality marijuana.
Tilray became the first marijuana company to go public on the Nasdaq in July. Its initial share price was only $17 (R250), but that has now skyrocketed to above $200 (almost R3 000).
That explosion has seen the company’s value hit a cool $20 billion, which has a nice ring to it.
Based in the Vancouver Island town of Nanaimo in Canada, Tilray, according to its website, is dedicated to “cultivating and delivering the benefits of medical cannabis safely and reliably.”
Its revenues were just $20 million last year, but because Canada is about to legalize marijuana in October, its business prospects recently have become much more attractive.
Have a look around their site – it’s all very slick.
Bloomberg tweeted the following graph, showing Tilray rising in value to overtake large established companies in the United States, including American Airlines:
Not a bad jump in price in less than 48 hours.
The big reason its stock price is up so much right now isn’t Canada but, instead, the United States: The US Drug Enforcement Administration just signed off on Tilray’s plan to import marijuana from Canada to the US for medical research.
The company will work with the University of California San Diego’s cannabis research center to study whether the drug can be effective in treating essential tremor, a neurological movement disorder.
Weed is also legal in a number of American states, but the law is still in flux when it comes to growth and distribution. Weed is also very much in vogue right now as the substance becomes less and less criminalised around the globe.
Tilray is a fascinating example of what we can expect as legal weed distributors start entering the stock market. Right now, despite speculation as to whether Tilray will continue to grow, or suffer at the hands of unpredictable regulations, some are equating it with Amazon.
Here’s what Leslie Bocskor, president of Electrum Partners, an advisory services firm specialising in cannabis, had to say:
“The stock’s naysayers and short-sellers could have it wrong, and this may be the Amazon of the cannabis industry.
“From a valuation perspective, from the investment perspective, from trying to create context. … Amazon is a very valid reference point,” he said. “Only time will tell.”
Being compared to Amazon, the world’s second trillion-dollar company, is never a bad thing.
Via Tilray’s site, how’s this for a look at the production process:
Tilray choreographs a complex series of cutting-edge processes to deliver unparalleled product to its patients. From cultivation to shipping, Tilray’s team brings precision, professionalism and care to each stage of the process.
Basically, if you’re thinking about investing in the marijuana trade, this company is the one to watch. How they fare may just set the tone for future investments in the industry.
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