Vireo Health Inc., the Minneapolis-based parent of medical marijuana provider Minnesota Medical Solutions (MinnMed), joined the Canadian Securities Exchange on Wednesday. The company’s shares are being traded under the ticker symbol “VREO”.
The debut follows Vireo Health’s reverse takeover (RTO) in January of Vancouver-based Darien Business Development Corp. In conjunction with the transaction—which was conducted as an alternative to an IPO—Vireo Health raised its target $50 million to go public, says Vireo CEO Kyle Kingsley, M.D.
"[This] is an historic milestone for Vireo Health," says Kingsley. "Our business and product offerings are expanding rapidly, and we expect the proceeds from our RTO transaction will enable us to significantly expand our geographic footprint and our investments in intellectual property development.”
Vireo subsidiary MinnMed is one of just two medical cannabis companies operating in Minnesota. Kingsley expects medical marijuana recipients in Minnesota will benefit directly from the RTO and stock exchange launch. According to Kingsley, Vireo is working to decrease its operating costs and pass those savings down to patients.
“We’re also able to expand our production capacity in Minnesota, which is needed given the significant growth we’ve seen in the Minnesota program,” says Kingsley. “And we need the labor to work the extra capacity, so this will lead to additional jobs in Minnesota.”
Last August, as Vireo was in the middle of a $17 million funding round, Kingsley told TCB the company was planning to add at least 50 jobs in Minnesota. Kingsley wasn’t sure offhand the exact number of jobs added in the state since the round closed, but says it’s been “many.”
The company at the time also hinted at the potential of becoming a publicly-traded company on the Canadian Stock Exchange. The move isn’t uncommon as U.S. cannabis companies, due to the drug’s legal status, cannot list themselves on stock exchanges in their home nation.
While there are already a handful of other multi-state medical cannabis operators on the CSE, Kingsley believes Vireo is in a class of its own.
“Our focus is on science… we’re physician-led. To my knowledge we’re the only physician-led multistate operator in the cannabis space,” says Kingsley, “so we’re pretty excited about our future and we feel we’re fundamentally differentiated.”
Vireo is currently offering 110 million total shares and is trading around five Canadian dollars. In its first day, the company sold 3.79 million shares.