True Leaf stock holds up

A lot of investors in cannabis futures were left holding the bag Thursday after watching marijuana stocks go up in smoke. 

The unexpected dip came after The Associated Press reported U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind an Obama-era policy that generally barred federal law enforcement officials from interfering with marijuana sales in states where the drug is legal.

The move is likely to add confusion about whether it's OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where the drug is legal. 

"That's added huge volatility today to the marijuana stocks," Norman Levine, managing director of Portfolio Management Corp. told the Canadian Press. "They all sold off huge in the morning, came back part way during the day and seemed to be cooling off again."

Shares of many major licensed Canadian cannabis producers were down at the close of markets Thursday.

However, the news barely affected Vernon-based True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., whose stock actually finished the day up on the Canadian Stock Exchange. 

"I think it went up primarily because when investors look at our company they realize that we have taken this different angle," explained True Leaf CEO Darcy Bomford. "We are 100 per cent legal on both sides of the border."

Unlike some of True Leaf's competitors, the company doesn't use CBD, a substance which is still regulated in the U.S. and Canada, but uses the fully-legal hemp seed. 

"Because we have taken this 100 per cent legal route, we are not affected by any of those rules and that actually helps us in a way, I guess, because the states that are selling our products can continue to do so without being affected by it." 

Apart from an increase in investor confidence, the medicinal marijuana company has other reasons to smile as of late.

On Tuesday True Leaf announced it was purchasing 40-acres in Lumby to build a new state-of-the-art facility.

"We are excited and I think Lumby is excited to have us there. It has suffered over the last few years with a lot of businesses pulling out ... and we have great plans for the site."

Those plans include an initial 16,000-square-foot grow building that will be anchored by a 9,000-square-foot central hub, which will house the offices, warehouse and production area.

Bomford said they will be looking to hire around 10 people, if not more to start, but as the company grows it will add more employees. 

"From what we understand, a facility 50,000 square feet is around 50 employees."

Bomford said Canada is really leading the way for the rest of the world by becoming one of the first G7 countries to establish a federally sanctioned program.

"Because we are the first, I really believe it is the beginning of a new era for the hemp plant and cannabis in general."



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