Vancouver cannabis company wins lottery for POT stock symbol, stock rises 137%

The chief executive of cannabis company Weekend Unlimited Inc. says winning the POT stock ticker lottery was a “wonderful surprise” for the small company which is hoping the catchy symbol will help it stand out in the sector.

After being selected in the lottery conducted by several stock exchanges, Weekend plans to switch its ticker on the Canadian Securities Exchange from YOLO to POT as early as Monday.

“I’ve never won the lottery, so this is a first …. This is our lucky day,” Paul Chu said.

The lottery was held by the Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, along with the Canadian Securities Exchange and the Aequitas NEO Exchange, due to “significant demand” for the catchy stock symbol.

POT became available after Potash Corp. merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018 to become Nutrien Ltd., which now trades under NTR.

Weekend, which has a suite of cannabis-focused brands and operations in both Canada and in the United States, has a relatively small market value of $28.6 million. For comparison, licensed producer Canopy Growth Corp., has a market capitalization of roughly $22 billion.

Weekend sells products to dispensaries in the U.S. but is also in the midst of preparing to launch a legal recreational cannabis store in Alberta, Chu said.

“There has been tremendous excitement generated globally for the POT symbol,” Chu said in a written statement shared by the company Friday. “The POT lottery served to raise the profile of Canada’s leadership in legal recreational cannabis and we believe it will also serve to raise Weekend Unlimited’s leadership profile.”

That already seems to be the case. The company’s shares gained more than 137 per cent and closed at $0.27 per share Friday. On Thursday, they had closed at 11.5 cents apiece.

Several pot industry companies hold memorable symbols. Canopy changed its symbol from CGC to WEED on the TSX in 2017. Newstrike Brands Limited, a cannabis producer partly owned by rock band The Tragically Hip, trades as HIP on the TSX Venture Exchange. Licensed producer Invictus MD Strategies Corp. brought in Kiss bassist Gene Simmons as its chief evangelist officer and trades as GENE on the CSE.

Weekend already had the memorable ticker YOLO, which stood for “you only live once.”

However, the phrase may resonate more with younger generations and doesn’t have the broad appeal of POT, Chu said.

“POT really hits home who we are as a company,” he said.

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