Moncton, Canada-based OrganiGram Holdings (NASDAQ: OGI) began trading on NASQAQ Global Select Market on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 using the ticker “OGI”.
With this milestone, the company has joined Canadian counterparts like Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), Greenlane Holdings (NASDAQ: GNLN), and Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) in trading on NASDAQ. This is laudable because NASDAQ has higher requirements for financial and corporate compliance.
According to Greg Engel, the CEO of OrganiGram, the listing will help to expose the OrganiGram brand to U.S. consumers and companies in advance of entering the U.S. hemp market. This will also help OrganiGram to diversify its investor base as demanded by institutional investors.
Explaining the impact of NASDAQ listing on investors, Engel said, “It diversifies your investor base over time, and I think we’ve seen huge demand from much larger traditional funds that want to invest [but] can’t invest when you are on the OTC stock. It also creates a brand awareness of your company in the United States, and we are actively following and looking at how do we enter the U.S. market.”
OrganiGram is considering whether to enter the U.S. hemp market as a processor and brand or just a brand. However, OrganiGram will focus on U.S. CBD rather than becoming a cultivator. Engel explains, “We have not formally entered the U.S., but we are very actively looking at the opportunities. And I think where we look at opportunities [is] the CBD market in the U.S. We don’t want to be a cultivator. There [is] lots of hemp cultivation happening.”
OrganiGram is also working actively on conquering the European market. The company already has investment in Eviana (hemp producers in Serbia) and Alpha-Cannabis in Germany. OrganiGram is also expanding on its edibles and beverages. The latest was the investment of $15 million in automated cannabis-infused chocolate.
Technological innovations are at the core of OrganiGram’s model and Engel is hopeful this will give the company an edge over other cannabis producers. Engel said, “By having the top line equipment, it’s going to allow us to really produce the best products. With that team and the innovation we are doing, we are going to offer a broad range of products to lead the markets, and we know chocolate is a major category. We are actively looking for a strategic partner on the beverage side right now.”
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