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Activist and Dispensary Owner Lists Company on Canadian Stock Market

harborside health
Written by Peter McCusker

One of America’s leading cannabis activists has taken his chain of dispensaries public with a listing in Canada.

Steve DeAngelo, co-founder of Californian business Harborside Health, went to his first cannabis rally, in 1974, at the age of 16 .Speaking  to Bloomberg TV he said: “My basic goal is that everyone around the world who needs cannabis has safe and affordable access to it, and the only way that happens is by engaging in the mechanisms of global commerce like the Canadian public exchanges.”

Mr DeAngelo says he has been using cannabis since before he was 16 and has found it be a ‘friend’ a ‘teacher’ and a ‘comfort’ to him and ‘many others have shared that experience’.

First Mover Advantage

Harborside Health was one of the first legal cannabis businesses in the U.S. It received its first medical licence in 2006, in Oakland; which was one of the first jurisdictions to permit medical cannabis. Its shares began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange on June 10, with the company becoming the 66th U.S. cannabis company to be traded on the exchange, according to ABC News.

Andrew Berman, CEO of Harborside, said in a press statement announcing its listing: “The start of trading represents a significant milestone for Harborside, and we’re grateful for the support that we’ve received from the CSE throughout the process. 

“We’re excited to move forward as a public company, with a vehicle that attracts growth capital from new investors, and continue maintaining Harborside’s status as California’s premier cannabis operator.”

Reverse Takeovers Common in U.S. Cannabis

In May 2019, Harborside executed a ‘reverse takeover’ with Toronto-based firm Lineage Grow Company adding two dispensaries in in Oregon, additional cultivation, distribution and retail assets to its portfolio. Reverse takeovers are a well-honed strategy for U.S. cannabis companies to be listed on Canadian exchanges, as it avoids the prohibition on the listing of such companies on U.S. exchanges.

Richard Carleton, a spokesman for the Canadian Securities Exchange, told ABC News there are a total of about 160 cannabis companies listed on the exchange, including businesses from South America, Asia, and Israel.

Canadian Cannabis ‘Lacks Terpenes’

He said U.S. cannabis companies alone raised about $2.2 billion U.S. dollars on the Canadian exchange in 2018, and have already raised nearly $700 million this year. U.S. cannabis companies on the Canadian exchange, according to Carleton, have a collective value of about $26.3 billion.

Mr DeAngelo, who also co-founded Arcview Research, also told BNN Bloomberg that he’s been a cannabis advocate that so far hasn’t been impressed by some of Canada’s pot shops or the product sold there. 

“The cannabis had an extremely low terpene profile. “What I saw was mostly terpene-free cannabis. It just wasn’t very attractive.”  

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About the author

Peter McCusker

Peter McCusker is an experienced news and business editor, who believes it’s time to fully embrace the multiple, proven, medical benefits of the cannabis plant.