In this four-part series, Benzinga takes an exclusive look at some of the highest valued, US-traded cannabis ETFs.
For part two, we spoke with Matt Markiewicz, executive director of The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX).
The Cannabis ETF was launched in July 2019. This passive fund follows the Innovation Labs Cannabis Index, a portfolio of global stocks that have a business interest in the legal marijuana; hemp; and CBD-based pharmaceutical, consumer and wellness markets.
Markiewicz served as director of iShares, BlackRock’s ETF division, for six years before launching the fund.
BZ Cannabis: What's the fund criteria for putting together the index?
M.M.: In order for a stock to be eligible for initial inclusion in the index, it must trade on the NYSE, Nasdaq, TSX, TSX Venture or Australian Stock Exchange. Operate a legal business in the jurisdiction where it’s based. Recreational cannabis in Canada is legal, but it’s not in the U.S. Therefore, if a company grows or distributes marijuana in the U.S., it cannot be included in the portfolio at this time. Have a $100 million market cap. The maximum weight of a stock at the time of rebalance cannot exceed 8% of the portfolio.
What's the strategy? How is this a better approach than the one taken by other cannabis ETFs?
The fund is a pure play portfolio. It does NOT own any alcohol or tobacco (T&A) stocks, unlike many of its peers which do. …