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Glen MacLarty

NYSE Approves IPO for Cannabis-Related Real Estate Investment Trust

The New York Stock Exchange has approved the initial public offering application of Innovative Industrial Properties, a real estate investment trust with medical cannabis property investment plans, making it the first cannabis-related company to be listed on the exchange, according to a Forbes report. It will be listed under the symbol IIPR.

The company, which does not “touch the plant,” plans to raise $75 million, offering 8.75 million shares at $20 a share, giving the San Diego, California-based firm a $202 million valuation. Currently, the company does not own any properties but is working on a deal with PharmaCann in New York which would see the trust purchase the company’s 127,000 square-foot building and lease it back to them for $30 million.

Jeremy Unruh, general counsel of PharmaCann, called the listing “every bit as important to the cannabis movement as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment…or the commitment of Scott’s Miracle Gro to the cannabis industry.” The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment prohibits the Department of Justice from spending federal dollars to enforce federal law against canna-businesses in legal states.

“IIP’s publicly-traded REIT will be the very first opportunity for institutional investors to comfortably generate exposure to an industry that currently lacks the sort of transparency that SEC oversight provides,” Unruh said in the report.

The approval likely has much to do with the fact that the company is a real estate holding company and the NYSE doesn’t police any other REITs as to the nature of their real estate holdings.

Drug companies GW Pharmaceuticals and Insys Therapeutics, who use the cannabis plant in their drug development, are also listed on the NYSE but are viewed as biomedical firms, not cannabis companies.

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