More than three dozen cannabis companies put their names in a lottery for the most desirable marijuana-themed stock ticker symbol, and one fortunate winner has emerged with POT luck.
Which company won the right to use the ticker symbol “POT”?
For now, it’s still a secret. TMX Group said Wednesday that a winner has been selected, but that it will not disclose the victor. It will be up to the winner to make the announcement when it chooses, TMX said.
The company whose name was drawn – out of roughly 40 contenders – is a currently listed company, TMX spokesman Shane Quinn said in an email. (TMX conducted the lottery on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the TSX Venture Exchange, the Canadian Securities Exchange and the NEO Exchange).
Only companies currently listed on an exchange or those who have made listing applications were permitted to toss their names in the hat. The winner will have 90 days to either change their ticker or obtain a listing.
The POT ticker became available when Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan yielded it in early 2018 after it merged with Agrium Inc., forming a new company called Nutrien. Exchange rules dictate that an abandoned ticker must remain dormant for 13 months.
Clever stock ticker symbols can serve a marketing purpose by essentially making a company more memorable to investors and advisers.
A number of marijuana companies have already employed clever ticker symbols. Cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp. changed its ticker to WEED in 2017, the year after Canada started allowing four-character symbols. Meanwhile Nutritional High International Inc., which produces edibles and other cannabis products, trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange as EAT and on the U.S. over-the-counter market as SPLIF.
Companies with pot-themed tickers could run into issues in the United States, where exchanges have been gun-shy about such tickers because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. A spokesman for Canopy told The Globe last year that when the company approached the New York Stock Exchange for a listing, it was told it could not take its Toronto Stock Exchange ticker symbol across the border. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB), Cronos Group Inc. (CRON) and Aphria Inc. (APHA) are all dual-listed on both the TSX and a U.S. exchange.
In a joint statement earlier this month, the four stock markets noted that exchange traded funds and issuers without an active operating business would not be eligible to participate in the lottery.