Article by Armina Ligaya, National Post
Licensed marijuana producer Aphria Inc. dug in its heels Tuesday, determined to remain on the Toronto Stock Exchange despite a warning from the group that operates the index that pot firms with U.S. exposure could face delisting.
Shares of Aphria (TSX:APH), which expanded into Florida in April, closed 13 per cent lower on Tuesday at $6.86, a day after the TMX Group issued a notice that U.S. federal laws which state that marijuana is an illicit Schedule 1 controlled substance take precedence over state laws.
Canada’s biggest exchange operator warned companies that operate in states where it is legal that they are not complying with its listing requirements and could face removal from the exchange when it wraps a review at the end of the year.
Aphria’s chief executive Vic Neufeld, who has maintained that the TMX was aware of its plans to invest in the U.S., said Tuesday the exchange operator’s notice blindsided his company.
“This is very irresponsible of the TSX,” he said in an interview.
“How in the world are they going to adjudicate and apply a very broad statement like that?”
The news came as the Leamington, Ont.-based company started a previously arranged bought-deal financing agreement to raise $80 million, issuing more than 11 million shares at a price of $7.25 per share with an additional option for 1.6 million shares — about five per cent higher than what it was publicly trading for Tuesday.