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TMX denies reports of ban on clearing trades in cannabis firms with U.S. ties

Last Updated Aug 18, 2017 at 4:40 pm EST

TORONTO – The company that operates the Toronto Stock Exchange says it is talking to securities regulators about Canadian-listed cannabis companies with operations in the United States, but that there is no ban currently in place on clearing trades of their stocks.

TMX Group spokesman Shane Quinn said Friday the company is in talks with Canadian securities regulators to discuss how to deal with Canadian companies with holdings in the U.S., where the drug is illegal. He said TMX hopes to report its conclusions to the public soon, but wouldn’t say if a ban is being considered.

TMX says it issued a clarification on the issue of a ban Thursday to counter unspecified media reports.

The Globe and Mail reported last week that the TMX-owned Canadian Depository for Securities, an office that processes all Canadian equity trades and ensures cash and securities wind up in the right hands, was considering a prohibition on clearing trades in such issuers.

Investors have expressed frustration over what they say is TMX’s murky position on allowing cannabis firms with U.S. operations to list on its exchanges. The drug has been legalized in some form in many states but remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

Canadian marijuana companies have so far dealt with the uncertainty by sticking to the U.S. medical cannabis market or ancillary businesses and listing their U.S. investments on the smaller and less risk-averse Canadian Securities Exchange.