Florida-based cannabis company Bhang went public on Thursday, with shares in the company beginning trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Shares in the company are listed under the ticker symbol BHNG and were up more than 70 percent in Friday morning trading.
Bhang currently owns a family of eight active brands with more than 100 cannabis and hemp products including cannabis edibles, beverages, oral sprays, pre-rolls, terpenes, and hemp-derived CBD consumer goods. The brand’s products are manufactured, sold, and distributed by the company directly and through licensing agreements with partners in jurisdictions with legal cannabis.
Bhang Expanding Its Reach
Bhang’s licensing arrangements include partnerships with Origin House/Crescp in California, Trulieve in Florida, and a 50/50 joint venture with Indiva for distribution in Canada and other international markets. The company’s plans for 2019 include launching eight new brands, offering more products, and expanding its availability to 2,000 stores from the current count of approximately 1,000.
Scott Van Rixel, the CEO of Bhang and a 2018 selectee for the High Times 100, said in a press release that going public will help fuel the company’s expansion goals.
“We’re proud to announce this major milestone for Bhang and the industry, as we see a national cannabis brand begin trading on the CSE. This public listing fuels our strategy to meet the growing demand for today’s most innovative cannabis products,” Van Rixel said. “While our model is not reliant upon accessing the capital markets, our going public transaction will allow us to evaluate new opportunities to accelerate our growth, build our industry-leading house of brands and increase shareholder value.”
He added in an interview that going public now will poise the firm to react quickly once cannabis is legalized in the U.S. nationwide.
“When [federal] legalization happens, I’d rather have the long, arduous process of going public out of the way and establish Bhang’s rightful place as a cannabis industry pioneer,” Van Rixel said.
Van Rixel, who is a trained chef and chocolatier, said that he started Bhang after visiting a friend’s cannabis facility nine years ago.
“Back in 2010, edibles were still coming in basic ziplock bags – no nutritional information, no serving size, no ingredient list. I brought my food industry knowledge in and we changed packaging to include that information and meet [U.S Food and Drug Administration] standards, even though obviously cannabis isn’t an FDA-approved product,” he said.
Bhang’s award-winning chocolates primed the company’s early growth and expansion into other product lines. Van Rixel said continuing cannabis legalization can make the world a better place.
“Marijuana and hemp both have a lot to offer society,” said Van Rixel. “It’s not just a way to get high. There’s real medical value and the taxation opportunities for cities and states to fund things like schools could be extraordinary.”