Banks warming up to weed? BMO agrees to finance Canopy Growth Corporation

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      Bank of Montreal is the first of Canada's "Big Five" banks to finance a publicly traded company that's in the business of growing cannabis.

      In a January 17 news release, Smith Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corporation announced that GMP Securities and BMO-owned BMO Capital Markets had underwritten a $175-million stock sale of more than five million shares, valued at $34.60 each.

      While a Bloomberg report notes that two of Canada's big banks have provided business accounts to companies in the cannabis sector, the deal marks the first time a major bank will lend capital to a licensed producer.

      Until now, risk-averse banks have shunned the idea of participating in the legal medical-marijuana market, in large part due to their business in the United States, where cannabis is still illegal under federal law and U.S. attourney general Jeff Sessions has recently vowed to crack down on cannabis.