Upcoming Event: GreenRush Conference Toronto

After a successful show in Vancouver, the GreenRush Conference is coming to Toronto this week (on June 26th). The recent spotlight on medical marijuana in Canada has revealed interest from a wide array of stakeholders including investors, existing (and possible) producers, regulatory bodies, commentators as well as from consumers and advocacy groups.

Organized by Next Gen Metals Inc (CSE:N), the upcoming conference will be a full-day session featuring over 20 speakers and more than 30 exhibitors. GreenRush Toronto, therefore, may be an ideal opportunity to learn more about the many sides of the Canadian medical marijuana conversation.

The CSE (as well as several CSE-listed companies) will be among those exhibiting and speaking at the conference. We will also be hosting a corporate presentation for individuals and firms interested in learning more about listing on the CSE.

For those interested in learning more about (or registering for) the GreenRush Conference, click here.

To see our gallery from the first GreenRush conference in Vancouver, click here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Seed Capital: Early Investment in Canadian Medical Marijuana Industry Continues to Grow

If you’re a Canadian investor, the chances are good that you’ve heard or seen a massive spike in interest in medical marijuana.

From pundits to producers and all points in between, interest in the Canadian medical marijuana space has reached frenzied levels, driven there by the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) announced by Health Canada.

Recent reports peg the number of companies that have applied for licenses from Health Canada to grow and distribute medical grade marijuana at almost 850 with more coming in daily. And while there may only be 13 producers that are licensed to sell or provide medical marihuana under the MMPR today, that number is almost surely expected to rise as those applications work their way through the approval process.

With regulatory, administrative and legal hurdles to the MMPR still remaining, speculators and investors are betting that the entrepreneurs behind many of these firms find a way to stand out and succeed.

SL_logoTwo such entrepreneurial medical marijuana focused companies: Supreme Pharmaceuticals (CSE:SL) and Cannabis Technologies (CSE:CAN) were recently profiled in a pair of pieces by Proactive Investors.

From the piece on Supreme Pharmaceuticals, scale appears to be their strategy of choice. With formal final approval under the MMPR still pending, Supreme Pharmaceuticals is nonetheless continuing to work towards its goals of becoming a premier high volume producer in the near term.

CAN_logoOn a slightly different note, technology appears to be the strategy employed by Cannabis Technologies. With a view towards finding innovative ways to deploy and deliver medicinal cannabis, Cannabis Technologies has its eye on adopting a pharmaceutical company-like model.

With much of the Canadian medical marijuana industry still in flux, it remains to be seen how the marketplace will react to the sheer number of names and providers focused on the space. On the Canadian Securities Exchange, there are a number of companies in addition to Supreme Pharmaceuticals and Cannabis Technologies that are active in the medical marijuana space.

One thing that does remain clear, however, is that interest from speculative capital is still providing attention and dollars to the medical marijuana story.

In Need of an Invisible Hand? Proposed Amendments to NI 23-101 Trading Rules Cause a Stir

The waters for securities intermediaries in Canada seem like they’re about to get a bit choppy.

Recently, Canadian Securities Administrators announced that some of rules that govern the transaction of securities are up for review. Specifically, amendments are being proposed to the National Instrument 23-101 (NI 23-101) Trading Rules in the areas of trading fees, data fees and most notably, the order protection rule (OPR).

Given the stakes involved, the proposed changes are almost certain to generate a spirited debate between those in favour of and those opposed to the amendments to the OPR.

One such point of view came from Jeffrey MacIntosh via the Financial Post. In his recent article, MacIntosh takes aim at the proposed NI 23-101 Trading Rules amendments and provides an insightful analysis about the potential impact they may have on the multi-marketplace model.

While there are other issues as well, OPR appears to be a linchpin, and will therefore be an important topic to continue tracking. If you have thoughts or comments on the proposed amendments to NI 23-101, we’d also love to hear them – feel free to leave a comment below.

Photo Gallery from the CSE launch party in Toronto

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Rosewater Room in Toronto on May 13th to formally celebrate the launch of our rebranded exchange. It was a long overdue celebration and we are grateful that many of our friends in the listings and trading community came out to party with us!

Photo Gallery from the CSE Launch Party in Toronto:

Continuing the Climb: CSE Joins the List of OTC Qualified Foreign Stock Exchanges

2014 continues to be a year of great accomplishments for the Exchange for Entrepreneurs. Earlier this month, the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) celebrated the achievement of another key milestone by being named to the OTC Markets Group list of qualified foreign stock exchanges, and in doing so, has opened the door to even greater attention and interest from one of the most popular marketplaces in the US.

Specifically, as a result of this designation, CSE-listed companies are now eligible to apply for trading on the OTCQX and the OTCQB marketplaces. Given the scale and popularity of the OTC marketplaces, the news is certainly creating a buzz among investors and issuers in Canada and the US.

Winds of Change

The approval announcement came just a few days ahead of a visit to Canada by the president and CEO of the OTC Markets Group, Cromwell Coulson.

As part of a campaign to raise awareness about the exchange, Coulson strategically selected Vancouver as the location to talk to industry and media because of the significant concentration of venture-stage companies. Like any savvy investor, however, the timing of Coulson’s visit was just right.

With the passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in the US, there have been a number of important barriers lifted for “emerging growth” companies to be able to attract early investors. With restrictions on advertising to certain investors lifted and compelling amounts for capital raising allowed under the JOBS exemptions, there may very well be a catalyst for more active deal making to occur especially for junior and venture stage companies.

A Fine Balance

Given the pace of change that is occurring, however, only companies that can keep up with these changes can truly take advantage of them. One way in which companies can move with greater agility, is in the meeting the regulatory disclosure requirements.

The streamlined continuous disclosure model, recognized by the OTC marketplaces as viable reporting structure, will give CSE listed issuers the opportunity to respond more quickly to emerging funding landscape.

As advocates for reducing complexity, the CSE believes growing companies should be able to focus on growing their businesses and ultimately be more agile in the way in which they run themselves.

The Bottom Line: Being a Qualified Foreign Stock Exchange Opens Doors

The acceptance onto the OTC Market’s list of qualified foreign stock exchanges is a great milestone in a year that has already seen so much positive news and interest in the CSE.

Given the alignment of the CSE’s streamlined approach to cost and complexity, it appears that this could provide emerging growth companies with a strategic edge they need to compete in a quickly changing landscape.

For CSE listed issuers interested in finding out more information about the OTC Marketplaces, here are a couple of resources:

OTC Markets Homepage: http://www.otcmarkets.com/home

Steven Jenkins
Associate
OTC Markets Group
212.896.4414 – office
518.641.8646 – mobile
steven@otcmarkets.com

Keeping it Simple: CSE Unveils Streamlined Trade Execution Pricing

For many in the securities industry, complexity is the new norm. Whether because of technology infrastructure, regulatory compliance or simply keeping pace with innovation, there’s simply just more to manage – everywhere. And, wherever complexity seems to appear, cost seems to show up like a faithful wing-man.

It seems reasonable, therefore, that one promising strategy to lower costs would be to decrease complexity – especially at the trade execution level. At the Canadian Securities Exchange, it is precisely the idea of making the current Canadian securities landscape more efficient that underpins their latest move to simplify access for a key stakeholder in the market ecosystem: the dealer community.

Lower Trade Execution Fees: A Bold Step Forward

As announced in an earlier news release, the CSE is taking a bold step to simplify pricing and access for the dealer community by eliminating the ‘maker/taker’ model and, in its place, implementing equal pricing for both active and passive sides of the trade.

The table below summarizes the new trade execution fee structure as it applies to three tiers of securities trading price. Under this fee structure, both active and passive fees are priced at the same rate on each tier.

Trade Execution Fees

This announcement is a win for the dealer community and for the trading public for two important reasons.

First, with better pricing comes improved participation and better functioning marketplaces. Second, by eliminating the maker/taker price distinction, the playing field has been leveled for liquidity provider and liquidity consumer.

Ultimately, however, the change in fee structure is a natural consequence of the need for innovation. According to CSE CEO Richard Carleton:

As the exchange for entrepreneurs, we are committed to bringing innovative solutions to market operations. We understand that by simplifying the moving parts of the market, we’ve not only lowered industry costs but we’ve enabled wider participation and access to trading of junior public companies.

Getting Noticed

The message of “simpler is better” is gaining traction with many junior public companies. The number of listed issuers on the CSE is up substantially through the first quarter of 2014 and trading volumes are also at historical highs.

While there are still many hurdles to clear, a streamlined and more cost effective framework for dealers is an important step towards making simple the new normal.

The CSE is Exhibiting and Speaking at the Vancouver GreenRush Conference

The CSE is exhibiting and speaking at the Vancouver GreenRush Conference on May 7, 2014.

In addition to exhibiting at the show, the CSE will also be hosting a short corporate presentation at 3:45 discussing the exchange and some of the exciting, recent developments surrounding the marketplace.

Along with the CSE, several CSE-listed companies will be participating at the conference including:

Next Gen Metals Inc.
Lexaria Corp.
Abattis Bioceuticals Corp.
Supreme Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Details of Inaugural GreenRush Conference

GreenRush_graphicFrom the event website:

The conference will feature insightful speakers, government officials, health and industry specialists, public and private companies, fund managers, bankers, brokers, analysts, and media who share a common interest in the Medical Marijuana, Industrial Hemp and Alternative Medicine industries.

GreenRush Financial Conferences’ objective is to provide a platform for venture capital investment, education and business to business opportunities. The conferences will also provide Exhibitors a forum to showcase their products, technologies and services and allow underfunded companies access to capital.

Full details and registration link for the event below:

Vancouver Convention Centre East
Ballrooms A/B/C in the Pan Pacific Hotel
May 7, 2014 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

CLICK HERE FOR REGISTRATION