Cannabis companies, betting on a Biden win, ready IPOs –

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By Shariq Khan and David Randall Reuters

By Shariq Khan and David Randall Reuters

NEW YORK — A year ago, Flora Growth Chief Executive Damian Lopez had just spent a chunk of his company’s seed capital buying a Colombian cannabis producer, and was fighting his way through the legal and financial hurdles that have made development of the industry such a challenge over the past decade.

These days, a boom in sales of his hemp-derived health food and beauty products during the coronavirus pandemic, and the prospect of an easing of marijuana laws in the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, have him sealing a $30 million funding round and making plans for a U.S. public floatation early next year.

“I think the election will be a huge catalyst,” Lopez said on Wednesday. He was busy planning for the initial public offering with investment banking firm Boustead Securities set to be the company’s chief adviser.

Lopez is far from alone. U.S.-based dispensary business Gage Cannabis announced two weeks ago it would seek to list in the new year, while synthetic cannabinoid maker BioMedican has also laid out plans to go public in the first half of 2021.

Another hemp-based health products maker, Vertical Wellness, told Reuters this week it too was looking to debut next year.

Today’s outlook is a far cry from 2018, when many Canadian-based players created for last year’s legalization there, as well as expectations of the widespread opening of U.S. markets, faced fines and shutdowns, or

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