Signaling the emerging presence of the hemp industry and more welcoming regulations in the US, a hemp producer is upgrading its shares to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

On Tuesday (May 28), the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) issued a delisting notice for Charlotte’s Web Holdings (CSE:CWEB,OTCQX:CWBHF), confirming the senior Canadian exchange as its new home.

Shares of the Colorado-based hemp producer will stop trading on the CSE after the markets close on Thursday (May 30).

Charlotte’s Web closed Tuesday with an increase of 3.1 percent to finish with a price of C$19.93. The producer has a market capitalization of C$771.73 million.

In a statement issued on Wednesday (May 29), the company indicated to shareholders that it believes a TSX listing will “exposure (Charlotte’s Web) to a wider capital markets audience, increase trading liquidity, and expand access to international institutional investors and capital.”

Joel Stanley, chairman and co-founder of the hemp producer, said the listing upgrade represents a “milestone” achievement for the company.

Charlotte’s Web explained that, despite being capable of an up-listing, it was not previously allowed to do so due to TSX listing policies surrounding the “uncertainties” of the hemp market in the US.

That was the case until hemp was legalized through the farm bill signed by US President Donald Trump in December 2018.

“While Charlotte’s Web previously met operational, governance and capital requirements for a TSX listing at the time of its IPO, uncertainties regarding the federal legality of hemp in the United States at the time were not clear enough to satisfy TSX listing policies,” the company said.

Charlotte’s Web reports net income of US$2.3 million

Also on Tuesday, the company issued its financial results for Q1 2019. Charlotte’s Web reported revenue of US$21.7 million for the quarter, with total net income of US$2.3 million.

“My priority is to raise the company’s level of operational effectiveness and accelerate growth opportunities acting with urgency and decisiveness,” Deanie Elsner, the newly appointed CEO of the company, said in a press release.

Elsner is a former president of the US snacks division of Kellogg Company (NYSE:K).

The producer confirmed that, thanks to newfound interest from established retailers, product from its portfolio is now being shipped to four separate undisclosed national retailers representing 18 state markets in the US.

FDA clarity could expand retail partners for hemp producers

Elsner said the firm expects to see more retailers joining the rush for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products. “This momentum is continuing as consumer awareness and retailer interest surrounding hemp and CBD increases,” she said.

However, the executive added, some retailers will wait for guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In May, the New York Post reported that executives from Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) were eyeing the potential to launch sales for CBD products.

The report came on the heels of pharmacy retailers CVS Pharmacy (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) launching sales of CBD novelty products this year.

Back in April, a public hearing was scheduled for this Friday (May 31) to gauge opinions on how the FDA should regulate CBD products.

“While the availability of CBD products in particular has increased dramatically in recent years, open questions remain regarding the safety considerations raised by their widespread use,” former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the announcement.

Gottlieb wrote that it is critical for the agency to find a solution as it considers the option to enforce a regulatory authority on CBD in dietary supplements and other foods.

“I hope to have more definitive rules come out of the hearing,” Marc Adesso, veteran cannabis attorney with law firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, told the Investing News Network in an email statement.

Charlotte’s Web stock plays role in new ETF

As part of a quarterly rebalance in March for its leading cannabis exchange-traded fund (ETF), Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) highlighted Charlotte’s Web as an addition to the fund.

Steve Hawkins, president and CEO of Horizons ETFs, said the increased attention to the hemp market will be a new tool for the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ) (TSX:HMMJ).

“(The CBD market) is another exciting growth market through which HMMJ can provide exposure, given the regulatory changes in the United States,” Hawkins said.

Charlotte’s Web was also one of the leading launch holdings for Horizons ETFs’ latest cannabis fund, the Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF (HMUS) (NEO:HMUS).

As of Monday (May 27), Charlotte’s Web held a 2.7 percent weight in the total holdings of HMMJ and the leading 10.29 percent weight for HMUS.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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