The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) has published a policy paper urging the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange to allow U.S. cannabis operators that “touch the plant” to list on their respective Exchanges. The current prohibition to listing is purely discretionary and not because of any regulatory action by the SEC or any other U.S. regulatory authority. The policy paper, published November 7, 2022, outlines very convincing arguments for allowing U.S. operators to list on the National Exchanges.
The policy paper notes that up until now, the National Exchanges have refused to list these companies while cannabis remains federally illegal out of concerns that they could be charged with aiding and abetting violations of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) or with money laundering by the receipt of listing fees. As of the time of the publication of the policy paper, cannabis is legal in 37 states, D.C. and U.S. territories. The ATACH rightfully asserts that