Positive U.S. Pot News Spurs Rush to Raise Cash: Cannabis Weekly

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Jordan, meanwhile, said he previously didn’t expect the MORE Act to be passed until the next administration, but he now thinks it could happen by the end of President-Elect Joe Biden’s four-year term.

Cannabis stocks have surged on the brighter prospects. An industry index rose 16% last week.

Green Thumb Industries Inc., one of the largest U.S. multi-state operators, also sees expansion accelerating as a result of the recent news, Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler said in a phone interview. With potential access to capital markets coming sooner than expected, Kovler said the company is thinking about refinancing its current $100 million in debt, which carries a 12% interest rate.

“We could create an extra $100 million out of thin air by refinancing at 6%,” he said. This could then be invested back into the business and potentially boost the share price. Staffing up is also on the agenda. “We hired over 1,300 people in 2020, and we’d expect that to be bigger in 2021,” Kovler said.

Green Thumb is also intensifying efforts to register on U.S. exchanges, Kovler said. Companies have largely tapped markets in Canada rather the U.S., where they have been shunned for concerns about legal risks due to federal prohibition. But Kovler said views are changing on this.

“I don’t believe there’s a legal issue that prevents this,” he said. “I think the NYSE and the Nasdaq should list cannabis companies. Otherwise it’s a massive wealth transfer to Canada.”

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