The Canadian cannabis stocks industry has been on the rise, so which companies are the big players on the scene right now?
The Canadian cannabis stocks industry has been on a rollercoaster this past year, with increasing demand coming from Bay street as market watchers jump into this explosive investment space.
Despite the recent downturn in the cannabis market in February, Canaccord Genuity analyst Matt Bottomley believes that the market will get a boost from upcoming announcements. A market made volatile by and swayed heavily by sentiment, Matt’s statement seems quite plausible.
That being said, the Canadian government has announced that the legalization bill will be delayed, possibly even until the end of the year. Bottomley doesn’t believe this date change will make much of a difference to the market opportunity. However, it could cause a brief dip in the market upon the news.
With that in mind, who are the biggest players in the cannabis space? The following are currently the largest cannabis stocks in Canada as of March 29th, 2018.
To narrow things down for our readers and for brevity, we have selected only cannabis stocks who have market caps between $500 million to $7 billion.
1. Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED)
Market cap $6.69 billion; current share price: $31.95
Kicking off our cannabis stocks is Canopy Growth, the longtime favourite horse in the cannabis race. Canopy has three core brands, Tweed, Spectrum Cannabis, and Bedrocan Canada. Canopy has its famed former Hershey Chocolate factory facility in Smith Falls, near Ottawa, ON.
With its IPO success, being the first of the cannabis stocks to surpass 1 billion market cap, Canopy has used its capital to acquire stakes in other smaller LPs and extend its reach into international markets. These include partnerships with famous musician and cannabis smoker, Snoop Dogg, as well as DNA Genetics, AusCann, and Indoor Harvest, to name a few. Canopy is on an accelerated expansion path, continually announces new partnerships. The company gained further clout when Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) acquired nearly 10 percent of Canopy back in October of 2017 for $245 million.
2. Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB)
Market cap $4.53 billion; current share price: $9.24
Aurora Cannabis is another big player in the space. The company was officially issued its ACMPR license to sell in November 2015 and claims it is the lowest cost-per-gram licensed producer in Canada.
Since then, Aurora was at the center of a controversial acquisition of CanniMed Therapeutics, in which the company paid C$1.1 billion. Aurora also has stakes in many other cannabis companies such as fellow Canadian firm The Green Organic Dutchman and Pedanios GmbH, a German medical cannabis firm.
3. Aphria (TSX: APH)
Market cap $1.90 billion; current share price: $11.85
In April 2016, Aphria became Canada’s medical marijuana leader, when it entered into a $6.5 million deal to acquire 360,000 square feet of existing production space. Since then, Aphria has partnered with Mass Roots (OTCMKTS:MSRT) to become one of the first international partnerships between cannabis companies. Recently, Aphria was granted a license amendment which will enable the company to expand its facility in Leamington, ON, by 200,000 square feet. This will increase the company’s production three-fold.
The company is also the first public licensed medical cannabis producer to report cash flow from operations and earnings in consecutive quarters. This is a real differentiator in the cannabis space, as many of the companies listed have not reported profits as of yet.
Aphria has had its share of acquisitions as well. The company acquired Broken Coast Cannabis in January of this year for $230 million in cash and stock. The company also has a supplier agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart for the dispensing of medicinal cannabis.
4. MedReleaf (TSX: LEAF)
Market cap $1.73 billion; current share price: $17.37
Next on our list of cannabis stocks is MedReleaf. This company is, as the name would suggest, focused on the medical marijuana space. The company’s CEO, Neil Closner, has stated that the company isn’t restricted to the medical market and that it has plans to extend its reach in the future.
Along those lines, MedReleaf has extended its reach via property in its recent purchase of 164 acres of land in Exeter, ON. The purchase includes 1 million square feet of greenhouse infrastructure that will increase its production capacity by an additional 105,000 kilograms of cannabis.
MedReleaf entered into an agreement with Cannamedical Pharma GMBH, a medical marijuana distributor to pharmacies located in Germany. Under this deal, MedReleaf will be the largest supplier to Cannamedical. According to New Cannabis Ventures, Germany is an auspicious market to dive into, with medicinal marijuana being covered by health insurance providers for approximately 73 million people.
5. Cronos Group (TSXV: CRON; NASDAQ:CRON)
Market cap $1.36 billion; current share price: $8.52
Cronos is a cannabis stock which is not only bi-coastal in Canada, but has expanded into the US and Australia. The company owns three licensed producers: PeaceNaturals, OGBC, and WMMC. It also has a supply agreement with Pohl-Boskamp, a pharmaceutical manufacturer and supplier in Germany. Plus the company has a joint venture with Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, an agricultural producer which exports to 35 countries according to its website.
Cronos made headlines in Q1 of 2018 when it became the first Canadian cannabis stock to list on the NASDAQ. Recently, Cronos entered into a joint venture with American company MedMen, which has facilities in California, Nevada and New York.
6. Cannimed Therapeutics(TSX: CMED)
Market cap $885.05 million; current share price: $35.75
CanniMed has been in the medical marijuana space for over a decade, originally under the name Prairie Plant Systems. The company was originally the sole medical marijuana supplier to Health Canada. In 2013, CanniMed was established with an ACMPR license.
With its years of experience, CanniMed became an auspicious target for acquisition and in Q4 of 2017 andthe company found itself embroiled in a hostile takeover bid by Aurora. After months of bitter negotiation, the companies came to a ‘friendly’ agreement and CanniMed was acquired by Aurora for C$1.1 billion in January of 2018. The future of the company now rests with Aurora.
7. Hydropothecary (TSXV: THCX)
Market cap $700.19 million; current share price: $3.91
Hydropothecary is a licensed producer which boasts greenhouse production with direct sunlight, as opposed to its indoor-grow competitors. The licensed producer is located in Gatineau, QC on a 143 acre farm. The company currently produces 3,600 kilograms of cannabis annually. Hydropothecary is currently expanding its facilities and plans to have 1.3 million square feet of greenhouse space by the end of 2018, with the goal of exponentially increasing its production to 108,000 kilograms of cannabis per year.
Recently the cannabis stock entered an agreement with Segra International, a biotechnology company specializing in cannabis tissue culture.
8. Emerald Health Therapeutics (TSX: EMH)
Market cap $609.66 million; current share price: $5.20
Next on the top cannabis stocks list is Emerald Health, another LP under the MMPR program. The company does a lot of research and development on cannabis strains. Emerald is currently expanding its facility with the potential 1 million square feet at full capacity by the end of 2018. The company also owns half of Pure Sunfarms, which is planned to be converted to 50 percent cannabis production by the end of the year.
On March 5, 2018, Emerald announced that it, and its partner with Village Farms International, had received a cultivation license from Health Canada for their jointly owned greenhouse operation in Delta, BC. Once in full production, the facility is projected to produce 75,000 kilograms of cannabis per year.
9. Newstrike (TSXV: HIP)
Market cap $540.26 million; current share price: $1.12
Newstrike owns Up Cannabis, which is based in Brantford ON, and received its cannabis license back in 2016. Since then the company has partnered with Canadian music band The Tragically Hip to re-brand Up.
Newstrike has announced that it has received a site plan approval for its greenhouse facility near Niagara, ON. The company states that this will enable to double its production capacity on site.
Newstrike was at the center of the aforementioned controversial acquisition of CannaMed by Aurora. Newstrike shareholders voted in favour of being acquired by CanniMed, only to be cut out of the deal less than a week later when the deal between Aurora and CanniMed went through. Newstrike did receive a hefty severance of C$14.1 million from the break in the deal, and the company’s CEO has stated that Newstrike has been solicited by numerous investment banks vying to finance the brand.
10. Organigram (CVE: OGI)
Market cap $509.52 million; current share price: $4.09
Last on our big cap cannabis stocks is Organigram which is a company differentiating itself from others in the space by focusing on organic medical cannabis. The company dates back to 2013, and it has a facility in New Brunswick with an ACMPR license. Organigram is also working with the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education to create a cannabis technician program. The company sells cannabis herb, oils, as well as a variety of vaporizers.
In February of 2018, the company announced it had gotten approval from Health Canada to expand its facility, thereby tripling its production capacity.
Which big cap cannabis stocks are your top picks, and why?
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Securities Disclosure: I, Amanda Kay, currently hold investments in Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, Aphria, MedReleaf, and Newstrike, mentioned in this article. This is not paid for content.