On August 3, Green Market Report hosted its 2023 Finance Summit. At the Summit, the winners of the 2023 GMR Cannabis Finance Awards were announced.
The winner of the Top Investment Analyst in Cannabis was Vahan Ajamian of High Tide Inc. (Nasdaq: HITI) (TSXV: HITI) (FSE: 2LYA), which operates primarily in Canada but also has cannabis interests in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Ajamian, who began his cannabis career in 2016 at Beacon Securities, was the first analyst to cover the U.S. marijuana industry full-time, which he recalls as a “groundbreaking moment” and one of the proudest of his professional life.
Since then, Ajamian has worked for several names in the cannabis industry, and his career has included stints at MedMen and Vext Science before he landed at High Tide in 2020, where he said he’s been happily watching the company – and the entire marijuana industry – grow.
“I take great pride in our journey from a smaller company to becoming the largest revenue-generating cannabis company in Canada,” Ajamian told Green Market Report. “Our consistent positive EBITDA over 13 consecutive quarters underscores our dedication and strategy. The transition from the (Canadian Securities Exchange) to the Nasdaq marked a significant milestone, increasing visibility and opening doors to institutional capital. I’ve also been a key player in our M&A strategy, shaping the business into what it is today.”
But the ride hasn’t been all roses and champagne, Ajamian noted, with the current industry climate a significantly difficult one for operators of all sizes, in large part due to the lack of federal cannabis reform in the U.S.
“One of the most challenging obstacles we’ve faced is the prevailing sentiment in recent years. Negative perceptions around inaction in the United States government, and underperformance of certain large Canadian cannabis companies have cast a shadow over the industry,” Ajamian lamented. “Despite High Tide’s impressive and continually improving results, these sentiments have restrained our ability to capture investor attention.”
Still, Ajamian said he remains optimistic, and signaled he believes it’s only a matter of time before cannabis companies and stock prices begin to rebound as the market continues to grow and international marijuana reform efforts gain steam.
“I’m eagerly anticipating a shift in investor sentiment, where the focus finally turns to the robust and constantly improving fundamentals of High Tide,” Ajamian said.