The Canadian cannabis sector has moved one step closer to gaining more credibility with institutional shareholders and the banking sector.
This comes as a result of Toronto-based Cronos Group being listed for trading today on NASDAQ, which is one of North America's major stock exchanges.
The company was already trading on the TSX Venture Exchange.
Cronos Group is the first cannabis corporation to be traded on NASDAQ, which has more onerous listing requirements than many other stock exchanges around the world.
It owns 100 percent of licensed cannabis producers Peace Naturals and Original BC, and 21.5 pecent of another licensed producer, Whistler Medical Marijuana Company. The company is also building a cannabis-grow operation on a kibbutz in Israel.
Cronos Group president, CEO, and chairman Michael Gorenstein is a former corporate lawyer and former partner of New York-based investment management firm Alphabet Ventures LLC.
"This up listing to NASDAQ is a major corporate milestone and reflects the significant progress we have made in strengthening our corporate governance and expanding our global footprint," Gorenstein said in a news release. "We believe this will increase long term shareholder value by improving awareness, liquidity, and appeal to institutional investors."
To qualify for being on NASDAQ, a company's stock bid price must be $4 at the time the shares are listed.
Another requirement: there must be 1.25 million publicly traded shares, not counting those owned by insiders or beneficial owners of more than 10 percent of the stock.
In addition, there must be at least 550 shareholders with a 1.1-million average trading volume over the previous year or 2,200 total shareholders or 450 shareholders with at least 100 shares.
While corporatization and heavy government regulation over the North American cannabis sector might be good news for shareholders, it isn't sitting well with long-time activist Marc Emery.
He's called this a government "scam" designed to turn the industry over to bureaucrats and the corporate elite.
Emery has recently been tweeting from Uruguay, where lawmakers are giving far more latitude to people to grow their own weed and to smoke pot in public.