In the absence of sensible federal cannabis reform, a growing number of US-based companies are looking to do business in Canada, where adult-use cannabis is fully legal. Aside from the simple issue of legality, cannabis companies operating in Canada are also able to list themselves on publicly traded stock-exchanges, such as the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), whereas most US-based companies cannot.
For those cannabis companies hoping to do business north of the border, the question becomes: how does one take their company public in Canada and when is the right time to do it? A new report released by MGO-ELLO Alliance attempts to answer this question.
MGO-ELLO Alliance is a professional collaboration between MGO LLP, a company dedicated to CPA and financial advisory services, and ELLO LLC, which focuses on cannabis financial services. MGO-ELLO Alliance aims to help shepherd emerging companies through the increasingly complex cannabis industry.
“As the cannabis industry continues to experience massive growth, inevitable financial and operational challenges will develop and the MGO-ELLO alliance is uniquely positioned to provide the highest quality consulting and professional services needed,” said ELLO CEO, Evan Eneman, in a statement announcing the partnership.
In the report, MGO-ELLO Alliance weighs the pros and cons of going public. For example, one of the advantages of going public is that it is easier to raise capital and attract top talent. The tradeoff, however, is that publicly traded companies, especially those in the cannabis space, are under increased scrutiny and are subject to strict regulatory oversight.
The report also covers the differences between going public through an initial public offering (IPO) and a reverse takeover (RTO). Generally seen as the traditional way of going public, IPOs involve filing a preliminary prospectus form with securities regulators and allow companies to raise as much money as possible.
RTOs, which is where a company goes public by buying a publicly traded company, represents a growing trend among cannabis companies in the United States. The reason why is that RTOs are quicker, cheaper, and subject to less oversight than traditional IPOs. The tradeoff, however, is that the purchasing company will have to issue a percentage of its shares to legacy shareholders of the purchased company. There also may be hidden liabilities that the purchasing company may have to deal with.
For US-based companies hoping to do business in Canada, the MGO-ELLO Alliance report provides a detailed walkthrough of how to go public through both an IPO and RTO, as well what the regulatory expectations are for publicly traded companies.
To view the full report, click the following link or visit the report section on Green Market Report.