TORONTO – You can smoke it or eat it, and now in Canada, you can trade it in your stock portfolio.
The $120 million Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF –– the first exchange traded fund in North America that focuses on the legal marijuana market – launched in April on the Toronto Stock Exchange. There are no US competitors, at least initially, as federal law prohibits the drug, making it difficult to set up a fund.
Canada is on track to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018 after the government put forward legislation in April that will allow it to regulate production but leaves the details of how the drug will be sold up to the provinces.
At least one detail of the new ETF has already changed: in June, its Canadian-based fund sponsor dropped “medical” from the fund’s name in anticipation that recreational marijuana will soon be legal in Canada.
With positions including marijuana grower Aurora Cannabis Inc, medical marijuana companies such as GW Pharmaceuticals Plc, and fertilizer company Scotts Miracle-Gro Co, the fund attempts to capture the full extent of the Canadian marijuana industry, which Deloitte expects could grow to $22.6 billion if the recent bill to legalize recreational use is successful.