As 2018 draws to a close, cannabis investors are looking over to which Canadian cannabis stocks managed to provide substantial gains on the year.

While the debate continues on whether cannabis is a long-term play for investors, quick gains have been available all throughout the year. Here the Investing News Network (INN) offers a look at the top three performing Canadian cannabis stocks in each exchange over a year-to-date basis.


All figures were collected at the closing of markets on Wednesday (December 12). Read below to discover which stocks were the top gainers of the year.

 

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CSE

3. TerrAscend (CSE:TER,OTCQX:TRSSF)

TerrAscend is a company focused in the global cannabinoid (CBD) opportunity while also owning a licensed producer subsidiary Solace Health. As per a variety of Canadian LPs the company launched brands for the adult-use market and signed deals with provinces for the supply of the product.

The company disclosed its intentions to pursue a play in the US market through “disciplined acquisitions” looking to become a multi-state operator in the US cannabis industry.

Over a year-to-date period, the company’s share price saw a 84.91 percent growth.

2. iAnthus Capital Holdings (CSE:IAN)

iAnthus is an established US multi-state operator of cannabis assets. The company surprised investors when it was announced iAnthus would be acquiring the US presence of MPX Bioceutical (CSE:MPX).

Hadley Ford, CEO of iAnthus told shareholders this was the “watershed” moment for the company moving forward. As part of the combination Beth Stavola, chief operations officer of MPX, who led the MPX expansion through the US in 2018 would join iAnthus as well.

During the year iAnthus shares rose in value by 106.51 percent.

1. FSD Pharma (CSE:HUGE,OTCQB:FSDDF)

FSD Pharma has attracted investors thanks to its particular method of growing cannabis in Canada. The company’s subsidiary, FV Pharma, holds a hydroponic indoor grow facility in Ontario, for which an expansion is already in place and expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2019.

The company has been able to reach beyond the cannabis space and seek the acquisition of Therapix Biosciences (NASDAQ:TRPX), to develop its CBD-based medical treatments.

Thanks to a huge rush right out of the gate from its debut in May, FSD was the top gainer on the CSE with a 158.33 percent rise in share price.

 

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TSXV

3. Organigram Holdings (TSXV:OGI)

Organigram has been a steady LP in the path many cannabis producers have faced. Along with many others, the volatility of the market has taken this stock for a roller-coaster ride in 2018. The producer secured supply deals in Canada with Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, BC, Saskatchewan and PEI.

The company launched its own suite of adult-use brands looking to appeal to recreational consumers. On an international scale, Organigram was allowed to export medical cannabis product to Australia and is also seeking opportunities in the German market.

Shares of Organigram increased in value during 2018 by 8.67 percent.

2. Khiron Life Sciences (TSXV:KHRN)

Khiron is the first Colombian-based cannabis company to launch its public shares on a Canadian exchange. Khiron seeks to establish a presence in the Latin American cannabis market and has been able to access the newly unveiled Mexican one.

“Investors now are also saying that the Canadian market is a bit oversaturated and that there’s opportunities to grow elsewhere,”Alvaro Torres, president and CEO of Khiron said. “If you look at Colombia, [it] is like taking a time machine [back] to five years ago where Canada was.”

Despite its public launch near the halfway mark of the year, Khiron was able to grow 20.34 percent in value during 2018.

1. Aleafia Health (TSXV:ALEF)

Aleafia is a cannabis companies with operations of LP status and a network of 22 medical clinics. As part of the Q3 fiscal results Geoffrey Benic, CEO of Aleafia, said the company expects 99 percent of its annual cannabis production capacity to be active in 2019 to begin moving into the adult-use market.

Near the end of 2018, company chairman Julio Fantino wrote a letter to shareholders of the company requesting support as Aleafia started seeking a NASDAQ listing and may need to consolidate its common and outstanding shares.

Investors of Aleafia during 2018 took in gains of 47.42 percent over a year-to-date basis.

 

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TSX

3. HEXO (TSX:HEXO)

HEXO shocked the cannabis industry when it secured a partnership with Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP;TSX:TAP) for the development of cannabis infused beverages. The deal will see both companies participate in a joint venture called Truss. Edibles and infused products are expected to become legal in Canada in 2019.

The company still face turbulence during the year as a large shareholder issued a public letter requesting for the company to evaluate making decisions to bring the company on par with the upper echelon of Canadian LPs. HEXO issued a response and even indicated it will pursue a US-based listing, similar to fellow LPs.

HEXO managed to increase its value in the market by 15.21 percent during 2018.

2. Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED,NYSE:CGC)

Canopy continued to make strides in 2018 as one of the leading Canadian LPs. The company expanded with a network of assets in Latin America and even created an investing subsidiary in Canopy Rivers (TSXV:RIV).

The biggest move for the company in 2018 was when Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), its alcohol producing partner, doubled down and put a second investment in the cannabis producer, this time worth approximately C$5 billion.

Canopy netted a rise in value to its shares of 32.34 percent.

1. Cronos Group (TSX:CRON,NASDAQ:CRON)

Cronos continued its growing path in 2018 and, while it took a hit after short sellers when after the company, the Canadian producer became the first LP to list in the US through a senior listing. The move was followed then by a collection of other LPs.

However, Cronos’ biggest stride in the year came when it confirmed it had obtained a coveted partnership and investment deal with Altria Group (NYSE:MO). Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos, said the money from Altria would be used to “expand our global infrastructure and distribution footprint, while also increasing investments in [research and development] R&D and brands that resonate with our consumers.”

Shareholders of Cronos enjoyed a late push to the stock and saw a full year-to-date gain of 47.89 percent.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: FSD Pharma and Khiron Life Sciences are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

 

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