Unlike its southern neighbor, Canada legalized medical marijuana nationwide back in 2001. That means that the industry has evolved greatly and is not plagued with state restrictions like the United States, where, as of April 2019, there are 33 states (and Washington, D.C.) where pot is allowed for medical use. In November 2017, the House of Commons of Canada passed the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45), allowing the legal use of marijuana for recreational purposes, and in June 2018, it received the Royal Assent (formal approval of an act by a monarch). This lies in stark contrast to the U.S., where the immediate future for legal weed is in question after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned an Obama-era law that protected states choosing to liberalize legal marijuana laws.
While uncertainty prevails in the United States, investors could get a piece of the pot action by investing in Canadian stocks traded in the country in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. Most of these stocks can be labeled as penny stocks.
Penny stocks may carry a significantly higher risk component.
Here's a look at some of those companies. All figures are accurate as of April 26, 2019
1. Canopy Growth Corp.
Market Cap: $23.077B
Canopy (NYSE: CGC) is touted as Canada’s first unicorn in the pot market. While the company sells its product under various brand names, the brand ‘Tweed’ has had the most recognition, thanks to its affiliation with rapper Snoop Dogg. The company listed on NYSE on May 24, 2018.
2. Aurora Cannabis
Market Cap: $12.300B
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC: ACBFF) debuted on the Canadian venture stock exchange (TSX) in October 2016. In addition to producing dry cannabis, Aurora received a license to sell cannabis oil in January 2017. It has been around longer in the OTC market, returning 347% over a one-year period. In May 2018, Aurora Cannabis purchased MedReleaf Corp. (OTC: LEAF) for $2.5 billion. MedReleaf, as of June 7, 2018, has a market cap of $2.92 billion and has seen a 292% increase in their stock over the past year.
3. Aphria Inc.
Market Cap: $2.545B
The company calls itself one of the lowest cost producers of marijuana. Aphria (OTC: APHA) produces dry cannabis as well as cannabis oil of varying qualities and strength. In April 2018, their stock surged after the company announced that it had struck a deal to sell its products through the online site of Shoppers Drug Mart, a major Canadian pharmacy chain.
4. The Cronos Group
Market Cap: $7.570B
This company is in the business of investing in pot growers and companies in the marijuana business. Cronos' (CRON) portfolio currently consists of six companies. It owns two of these companies completely, and the rest it holds a minority stake in.
5. The Hexo Corporation
Market Cap: $2.205B
The Hydropothecary Corporation (HYYDF) is the only licensed medical marijuana producer headquartered in Quebec. Hexo focuses on recreational marijuana use.
6. CannTrust Holdings Inc.
Market Cap: $1.032B
Appotex Inc., one of Canada's premier pharmaceutical companies, has an exclusive global partnership with CannTrust Holdings Inc. (OTC: CNTTF). In the Niagara region of Canada, CannTrust has a 430,000 square foot cultivation facility, making it the sixth largest marijuana facility in Canada.
7. Namaste Technologies Inc.
Market Cap: $239.427M
Namaste Technologies Inc. (OTC: NXTTF) focuses on the eCommerce side of the medical marijuana business. They are operating at 32 sites in 20 different countries. In 2017, Namaste added CannMart Inc. into their portfolio. CannMart has a distribution network in Toronto, which helps the eCommerce site develop its retail distribution.
8. OrganiGram Holdings
Market Cap: $1.295B
This company's portfolio includes dry cannabis and cannabis oil, along with accessories like vaporizers that can be purchased on its website. Although it promises organic produce, OrganiPharma (OTC: OGRMF) issued a product recall in December 2016 because the products contained pesticides not approved for marijuana growing.
9. Emerald Health Therapeutics
Market Cap: $561.051M
Emerald Health Therapeutics (OTC: EMHTF) is also a producer of dry cannabis and cannabis oils for medical use based out of British Columbia. New Cannabis Ventures reports that the company raised CAD 10 million in equity from Dundee Capital.
10. The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc.
Market Cap: $589.726M
The company produces marijuana under the banner of its wholly owned subsidiary 7Acres. In December 2017, SupremePharma changed its company name to The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc.