Nanaimo-based Tilray to join ranks of publicly traded pot growers

Considering the vaunted reputation of “B.C. bud,” the province has been a bit of a bystander as companies east of the Rockies have raised money on public markets, expanded production and acquired rivals in anticipation of the legalization of recreational cannabis sales, now slated for Oct. 17. (Though No. 2 player Aurora Cannabis maintains a legal headquarters along with a customer service centre in Vancouver, its operational head office is under construction in Edmonton.) However Nanaimo-based Tilray Inc., which has supply deals with Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmasave and distribution in 10 countries, recently announced plans to go public on the Nasdaq exchange. Residing in the first G7 country to legalize marijuana at the federal level, Canadian producers like Tilray have a unique opportunity to establish the scale and talent base to dominate the US$31-billion global medical marijuana market ahead of foreign competitors.