From Three to 16: TD Bank Significantly Increases How Many Cannabis Stocks its Advisers Can Recommend

Article by Clare O’Hara and Christina Pellegrini, Globe and Mail

From three to 16: TD Bank significantly increases how many cannabis stocks its advisers can recommend CLARE O’HARA AND CHRISTINA PELLEGRINI

Toronto-Dominion Bank is getting more comfortable with the cannabis sector.
The bank made an unusual move in April to restrict how its investment advisers could talk to clients about the burgeoning industry, banning staff from recommending all but three Canadian pot stocks. At the time, TD said it approved medical marijuana growers Canopy Growth Corp., Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. and Emblem Corp. because they don’t have any exposure to the United States, where the drug is prohibited under federal law but legal in certain states.
TD has been reviewing the space and is now adding 16 more cannabis firms to its approved list of equities, including Cronos Group Inc. and CannTrust Holdings Inc., according to a June 27 e-mail sent to advisers. Five of these companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and 11 are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.
In order to be included on TD’s “eligible for solicitation list,” an issuer must be listed on the TSX or the TSXV and can’t have any prohibited U.S. touchpoints as determined by the bank, TD spokesman Paolo Pasquini said.
In October, TMX Group Ltd., the largest operator of stock markets in Canada, clarified its policy to restrict any cannabis company violating U.S. federal law from listing on the TSX or TSXV. The markets conducted a review of their issuers, forcing those breaching the policy to offload their U.S. assets to keep their listing. TMX has more than two dozen pot stocks listed on the TSX and TSXV, including Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Aphria Inc.
But advisers in the TD Wealth Private Investment Advice (PIA) network are still not permitted to recommend shares of Aurora and Aphria, two of Canada’s largest cannabis growers, nor the four Canadian marijuana exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Aurora said in June that it was spinning out its U.S. assets and applying to list that company – named Australis Capital Inc. – on the Canadian Securities Exchange, where looser listing rules than the bigger TSX have seen it become home for many pot companies. Australis owns land in the state of Washington, where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use, and has an interest in a Michigan company that has applied with the state to become a fully licensed medical grower.

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