Horizons Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 16, 2019
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14min26263

Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc. said that it has filed its final prospectus to launch the Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF. Units of the exchange-traded fund have been conditionally approved for listing by the NEO Exchange and are slated to begin trading on April 18, 2019, under the ticker symbols HMUS (Canadian dollar units) and HMUS.U (U.S. dollar units).

“While marijuana remains federally illegal for medical and recreational usage in the United States, the number of legal cultivators and distributors at the U.S. state level continues to grow. Many of these companies have chosen Canadian stock exchanges to list their stocks in order to raise capital to meet growing investor demand,” said Steve Hawkins, President, and CEO of Horizons ETFs. “HMUS will be the first index ETF solution to focus solely on identifying and investing directly in, U.S. marijuana and hemp companies. As the U.S. continues to further liberalize its marijuana regulations, we anticipate that more investors will be looking to invest in companies with significant business operations in the U.S. market and HMUS will provide a diversified and liquid way to gain that exposure in one ETF.”

The company said that HMUS will be the first ETF in the world that is solely focused on providing exposure to companies with significant business activities in, or significant exposure to, the United States marijuana or hemp industries. HMUS is an index  ETF, which seeks to replicate, to the extent possible, the performance of the US Marijuana Companies Index, net of expenses.

The NEO Exchange is a Canadian stock exchange based in Toronto. According to Wikipedia, it is marketed as Canada’s New Stock Exchange, NEO aims to help companies, dealers, and investors by creating a better listing experience, eliminating predatory market behaviors such as high-frequency trading and implementing a unique market making program to ensure liquidity.

Companies In The Index

The top-20 constituents and weights of the Underlying Index as of April 15, 2019, are in the table below:

CONSTITUENT NAME

TICKER

WEIGHT

CURALEAF HOLDINGS INC

CURA :CSE

12.60%

CRESCO LABS, INC

CL :CSE

11.94%

CHARLOTTE’S WEB HOLDINGS, INC

CWEB :CSE

10.96%

MEDMEN ENTERPRISES INC

MMEN :CSE

8.68%

GREEN THUMB INDUSTRIES INC

GTII :CSE

7.61%

ACREAGE HOLDINGS INC

ACRG/U :CSE

5.16%

IANTHUS CAPITAL HOLDINGS, INC

IAN :CSE

4.96%

GREEN GROWTH BRANDS INC

GGB :CSE

3.85%

TERRASCEND CORP

TER :CSE

3.76%

CANNAROYALTY CORP

OH :CSE

3.68%

HARVEST HEALTH & RECREATION INC

HARV :CSE

3.64%

FLOWER ONE HOLDINGS INC

FONE :CSE

3.32%

SLANG WORLDWIDE INC

SLNG :CSE

2.60%

CANNABIS ONE HOLDINGS INC

CBIS :CSE

1.68%

LIBERTY HEALTH SCIENCES INC

LHS :CSE

1.62%

VALENS GROWORKS CORP

VGW :CSE

1.57%

CANNABIS STRATEGIES ACQ. CORP

CSA/a: NEO

1.48%

PLANET 13 HOLDINGS INC

PLTH :CSE

1.27%

TRULIEVE CANNABIS CORP

TRUL :CSE

1.05%

SUNNIVA INC.

SNN :CSE

0.99%

Horizons said in a statement that the companies in the index are selected from Canadian and U.S. exchanges. While some securities may be listed on major North American exchanges, the majority of the securities currently trade on North American exchanges that include but are not limited to the Canadian Securities Exchange and NEO.

The Underlying Index is market-capitalization-weighted, subject to a cap for each constituent issuer of a maximum of 10% of the net asset value of the Underlying Index at the time of any rebalancing. For a security to be eligible for the Underlying Index, the issuer will generally need to have a market capitalization of greater than $75 million.

“The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF was the first Marijuana ETF listed in the world. We launched that ETF shortly before cannabis was fully legalized in Canada,” said Mr. Hawkins. “We see a lot of similarities with the regulatory environment in the U.S. to what we saw in Canada, three years ago. If the U.S. were to enact any type of federal legalization, either medical or recreational, that would immediately make the U.S. the largest federally approved cannabis market in the world. HMUS will give investors direct diversified access to this early stage sector which has the potential of future U.S. regulatory change.”


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 29, 2018
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3min16273

The Horizons Marijuana ETF (HMMJ) has added four new companies to the portfolio. They include Hempco Food & Fiber (HEMP), Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (LXX), The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD) and Village Farms International (VFF).

“The HMMJ portfolio continues to grow as more companies achieve a size and scale that allows them to be eligible for inclusion in the North American Marijuana Index,” said Steve Hawkins, President, and Co-CEO of Horizons ETFs. “Now that we have confirmed that the official start-date of recreational marijuana legalization will commence on October 17, 2018, we expect that more companies in Canada will continue to ramp-up their marijuana-focused activities over the next quarter.”

Horizons said in its statement that rebalancing of the North American Marijuana Index, and consequently HMMJ, occurs each calendar quarter. At that point, all stocks eligible for inclusion in the index are weighted by their respective market capitalization. However, no single stock can exceed 10% of the weight of the index at the rebalance date

The Horizons Emerging Growers Index (HMJR) added several new companies to its portfolio. They include Heritage Cannabis Holdings (CANN), Supreme Cannabis (FIRE) Invictus MD Strategies (GENE), Golden Leaf Holdings (GLH), Newstrike Resources (HIP), Liberty Health Sciences (LHS), Matica Enterprises (MMJ), Friday Night Inc. (TGIF) and THC Biomed (THC).

The Index also removed some companies that no longer qualified. These included Canada House Wellness Group (CHV), Liberty Leaf Holdings (LIB), Marapharm Ventures (MDM), PUF Ventures (PUF) and Hydropothecary Corporation (HEXO).

We would expect HMJR to have a slightly higher turnover than HMMJ, since it can hold stocks with smaller market capitalizations, but it will also be required to sell stocks that exceed a certain market capitalization,” said Mr. Hawkins. “Companies that graduate out of HMJR could potentially be in the HMMJ portfolio, so between the two ETFs, investors would have a more comprehensive exposure to the investable universe of listed marijuana securities in Canada.”

According to the company, HMJR has four key differences compared to HMMJ. HMJR invests in smaller market-capitalization companies than HMMJ and its portfolio is 100% invested in marijuana producers and distributors, and it can have exposure to companies outside of North America. In addition, HMMJ is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while HMJR is listed on the NEO Exchange.


StaffStaffMarch 20, 2018
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6min11550

Horizons ETFs Management completed its quarterly rebalance of the  holdings of the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ) on March 16, 2018. As a result, 10 new companies have been added to HMMJ’s portfolio.

The HMMJ portfolio recently expanded to include the following constituents:

Company Name Ticker Exchange
Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. ATT Canadian Securities Exchange
Beleave Inc. BE Canadian Securities Exchange
HIKU Brands Co. Ltd. HIKU Canadian Securities Exchange
Isodiol International Inc. ISOL Canadian Securities Exchange
National Access Cannabis Corp. NAC TSX Venture Exchange
Neptune Technologies and Bioressources Inc. NEPT Toronto Stock Exchange
Nuuvera Inc. NUU TSX Venture Exchange
Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc. TBP TSX Venture Exchange
Terrascend Corp. TER Canadian Securities Exchange
THC Biomed International Ltd. THC Canadian Securities Exchange

“One of the key benefits of HMMJ is its diversification – providing access to a broad cross-section of stocks involved in the marijuana sector. It’s exciting to see an increase in the number of investable companies that qualify to be included in HMMJ’s portfolio,” said Steve Hawkins, President, and Co-CEO of Horizons ETFs. “As we move closer to the Canadian government legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, we continue to watch the Cannabis sector rapidly grow in size and breadth.”

The Index now has 39 total holdings:

HORIZONS HMMJ HOLDINGS
as at 03/16/2018
GW PHARMACEUTICALS PLC . 7.06%
INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTI . 0.43%
INSYS THERAPEUTICS INC . 2.34%
SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO CO/THE . 6.74%
22ND CENTURY GROUP INC . 1.57%
ZYNERBA PHARMACEUTICALS INC . 0.82%
NEPTUNE TECHS & BIORES INC . 0.78%
ABATTIS BIOCEUTICALS CORP 0.22%
HARVEST ONE CANNABIS INC . 0.60%
ISODIOL INTERNATIONAL INC 1.01%
HIKU BRANDS CO LTD . 1.03%
NEWSTRIKE RESOURCES LTD . 2.29%
EMBLEM CORP . 0.59%
TETRA BIO-PHARMA INC 0.31%
HYDROPOTHECARY CORP NEW . 2.57%
TERRASCEND CORP . 0.77%
NATIONAL ACCESS CANNABIS CORP 0.44%
WEEDMD INC . 0.73%
CRONOS GROUP INC . 6.75%
ABCANN GLOBAL CORP . 1.38%
MEDRELEAF CORP . 7.93%
NUUVERA INC 1.57%
DELTA 9 CANNABIS INC . 0.61%
ICC LABS INC . 0.84%
SUPREME CANNABIS CO INC THE NEW 1.98%
RADIENT TECHNOLOGIES INC . 1.28%
ORGANIGRAM HOLDINGS INC . 2.22%
INMED PHARMACEUTICALS INC . 0.63%
APHRIA INC . 9.51%
AURORA CANNABIS INC . 14.30%
THC BIOMED INTL LTD 0.53%
EMERALD HEALTH THERAPEUTICS . 2.59%
CANOPY GROWTH CORP . 12.37%
BELEAVE INC . 0.27%
CANNTRUST HOLDINGS INC 3.21%
MARICANN GROUP INC . 0.87%
INVICTUS MD STRATEGIES CORP NEW 0.73%

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMarch 5, 2018
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9min37480

There is strong demand for ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds) with cannabis stocks, but the barriers in the marketplace have made filling that demand difficult. Investors would like to put their money in an ETF versus indivdual stocks because they can diversify their holdings, but also because they can rely on a portfolio manager to do the research.

Since there can be so many sketchy marijuana stocks that are publicly traded, investors prefer someone else do the homework to make sure they are investing in a quality company. Normally Wall Street is thrilled to create a financial instrument where there is demand. Hey they’ll create financial instruments even where there isn’t demand and convince investors they want it. Yet the cannabis ETF is a tricky challenge to solve.

“There are two problems I see with the public trading of anything cannabis,” said David Friedman, CEO of Panther Capital. “First is the regulatory fear around the custody and trading of the underlying securities. There are regulatory risks as well as reputational ones.” Friedman added, “The second is the liquidity of the underlying assets and the ability to trade them.”

Custodial Banks

So, let’s unpack that first problem where we dive into the back office. The assets of an ETF in the U.S. have to be custodied in a U.S. bank. It can’t be offshore or in Canada. The custodial bank actually holds the securities of the ETF. This is why the main cannabis ETF’s are in Canada with the Horizons company. The Marijuana Life Sciences ETF trading under the ticker HMMJ and the Emerging Marijuana Growers Index (HMJR).

Recently, the Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) launched with great fanfare as the only U.S. cannabis ETF. Then just as quickly, its custodian U.S.Bancorp changed its mind and declined to hold the assets. The fund used to invest in Latin American Real Estate, but with the money pouring into Horizons fund the ETF did a pivot and set itself up for cannabis.

The custodial bank has the right to terminate the contract and must give the company notice, which is usually 90 days. During this time, the ETF company can go look for another bank, except in this case that is easier said than done. Since marijuana is still federally illegal and the Cole Memorandum was recinded by the Justice Department, banks are extremely reluctant to do business with any cannabis company, even if it doesn’t “touch the plant.” If Alternative Harvest can’t replace the bank and find another custodian, it would more than likely be forced to close the fund and liquidate the holdings it has already amassed. The fear is that a large scale dumping of cannabis stocks would wreak havoc on the cannabis companies as their stock prices would plunge. For now though, the MJ is up and running.

This is why the Horizons ETF has been so successful and now has C$720 million in assets under management. Banks in Canada haven’t had the same issue as the U.S. banks since that country has legalized medicinal marijuana. Mark Noble, head of Sales Strategy at Horizons said that since Canada already had the capital infrastructure set up it wasn’t difficult to establish the ETF. “Our only difficulty was getting a sign off from the brokers and the auditors,” he said. “After numerous conversations, it was able to be done. All the stocks that are held are running legal businesses through Canadian standards.”

Liquidity

The stocks in the Horizon ETF’s are also trading on major exchanges in Canada, which brings us to the second problem, liquidity. As millions pour into these ETF’s, the funds have to actually go out and purchase those underlying stocks. There has to be enough to go around and when the ETF wants to sell, there have to be enough buyers in the market.

Most of the cannabis stocks in the U.S. are traded in the OTC Marketplace. There are a handful of biotech stocks traded on the NASDAQ Exchange (NDAQ) that have a cannabis component. High Times Media also called Origo Acquisition Group (OACQ) is trying to remain listed on NASDAQ, but the exchange keeps trying to delist them and Canadian medical marijuana producer Cronos Group (CRON) recently uplisted from the International Exchange to the Global Exchange. The New York Stock Exchange (NYA)  is also hesitant to list cannabis stocks, but a few have managed to squeeze their way in the door. However, the majority of pure cannabis stocks are at the OTC.

“Not every structure allows you to automate trading of the OTC stocks in baskets,” said Friedman. “Most of the OTC stocks trade too thinly to build any assets under management. It won’t be liquid if it grows too large.” Of course that is the name of the game, these ETF’s need to be big to be profitable.

Horizons saw the interest in the smaller names and created its junior ETF that recently launched has quickly grown to C$50 million in AUM. “The newer ETF is targeting cultivators one hundred percent,” said Noble. “The growers for a lack of a better term with a market cap of C$50-500 million. It’s smaller companies with the most amount of upside growth potential.”

Alternatives For Alternatives

One way around these cannabis ETF barriers is to create a less than pure cannabis ETF. Dan Ahrens, Portfolio Manager of the Advisor Shares Vice ETF (ACT) includes alcohol and tobacco stocks along with acceptable cannabis stocks. “We’re comfortable with the way we’ve invested,” said Ahrens. “We readily admit we’re not invested in pure marijuana growers, yet, but we’ll be ready for the future that’s coming.”

His fund invests in only exchanged-traded cannabis stocks. If cannabis ever gets legalized, the fund will have already established a foothold in the cannabis ETF arena. Having said that, Ahrens noted that alcohol and tobacco companies have already begun making overtures towards cannabis companies, so it isn’t inconceivable that these industries would end up overlapping. Also, by sticking with exchange-traded stocks, the Vice ETF avoids the custodial bank issues. He expressed concern about the Alternative Harvest fund, “If that fund is forced to close down and money is leaving those stocks. Their prices could go tumbling. That’s people taking out $300 million.”

That is a big problem indeed. Industry insiders are closely watching the situation at Alternative Harvest and hoping the ETF finds another custodial bank. In the meantime, it looks like money will continue to flow across the border to Canada and Horizons will be happy to fill those investors desire for a cannabis ETF.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerJanuary 31, 2018
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3min21534

Liberty Leaf Holdings Ltd. (LIBFF) today announced that it has been included in the Solactive Emerging Marijuana Growers Index.

Similar to Solactive’s Junior Marijuana Growers Index, the Emerging Marijuana Growers Index tracks a basket of publicly listed cannabis companies with significant business activities in cannabis cultivation and/or distribution. The junior index primarily focuses North American publicly-listed small-capitalization companies.

Although most cannabis indices focus on larger cannabis companies, the Junior Marijuana Growers Index focuses on minor companies with smaller market capitalization. Companies listed on the index are required to have a minimum market cap of CAD $50 million and a maximum of CAD $500 million. Existing members need to have a market cap of at most CAD $750 million.

Liberty Leaf’s listing will help the company move one step closer to becoming included in the Horizons Junior Marijuana Growers ETF. Owned by Horizons ETFs and still pending approval, the ETF hopes to replicate the performance of Solactive’s Junior Marijuana Growers Index; using it as its underlying index.

Solactive AG is a Frankfurt-based index provider that focuses on the development, calculation, and distribution of tailor-made indices over all asset classes. As of January 2017, Solactive AG served approximately 350 clients in Europe, America, and Asia, with approximately USD $100 billion invested in products linked to indices calculated by the Company globally, primarily via 250 exchange-traded funds from a number of well-known providers.

Unlike the popular Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF, which is focused on marijuana-related biotech companies, the Junior Marijuana Growers ETF will focus solely on small-scale cannabis cultivators.

“We look forward to broadening our shareholder base through our inclusion in the index, and ultimately, the ETF,” said Liberty Leaf Holdings President and CEO Will Rascan in a statement. “It should also help to expand our reach to an even larger audience of fund managers and investors who are becoming increasingly interested in the cannabis sector.”

Last week, Liberty Leaf also announced that it had closed a non-brokered private placement financing for a total of $2 million; allotting five million units, comprised of one common share and half of a share purchase warrant, at a price of $0.40 per unit.

Proceeds from the private placement will go towards facility build-outs for the company’s North Road Ventures and Just Kush Enterprises operations.

 


StaffStaffDecember 18, 2017
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7min28101

Canada’s Horizons ETF Management added 11 new companies to the portfolio of the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ). The names were added as a result of the quarterly rebalancing that took place on December 15, 2017.

The names added include:

Constituent Name

Ticker

Exchange

Canntrust Holdings Inc.

TRST

Canadian Securities Exchange

Delta 9 Cannabis Inc.

NINE

TSX Venture Exchange

Emerald Health Therapeutics

EMH

TSX Venture Exchange

Harvest One Cannabis Inc.

HVST

TSX Venture Exchange

Hydropothecary Corp.

THCX

TSX Venture Exchange

ICC International Cannabis Corp.

ICC

TSX Venture Exchange

InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc.

IN

Canadian Securities Exchange

Innovative Industrial Properties Inc.

IIPR

New York Stock Exchange

Newstrike Resources Ltd.

HIP

TSX Venture Exchange

Radient Technologies Inc.

RTI

TSX Venture Exchange

WeedMD Inc.

WMD

TSX Venture Exchange

In addition to adding the names, the ETF also rebalanced the portfolio holdings. Aphria (APHQF) is now the largest holding at 12.68% with Aurora Cannabis (ACBFF) moving up from the number three position to number two and Canopy Growth dropping to number three. GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) moves up to the number four spot from the fifth position and Scotts Miracle-Gro slips to number six. MedReleaf has also moved to the top five from its previous position of ninth.

According to the company’s interim report in June, “HMMJ seeks to replicate, to the extent possible, the performance of the North American Medical Marijuana Index (the“Underlying Index”, Bloomberg ticker: NAMMAR), net of expenses. The North American Medical Marijuana Index is designed to provide exposure to the performance of a basket of North American publicly listed companies with significant business activities in the marijuana industry.”

WeedMD jumped the gun and announced its inclusion on December 8th. “WeedMD’s inclusion in the North American Medical Marijuana Index caps a breakout year for the Company which saw us execute and achieve a range of significant licensing, operational and corporate milestones,” said Michael Kraft, Chairman of WeedMD. “Since announcing our landmark greenhouse expansion, WeedMD has seen incredible support from existing and new shareholders, and we look forward to broadening our shareholder base through our inclusion in the benchmark, and ultimately, the ETF.

The ETF was originally priced at a net asset value of C$10.00 and was lately trading at C$15.18.



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