Consumer Products

NYSE Warns Pot Grower CannTrust Stock

Ontario-based cannabis grower CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) announced Friday morning that it has received written notice that its stock does not meet New York Stock Exchange rules for continued listing. The company’s stock has failed to meet the exchange’s requirement that the share price remain about $1.00 over a consecutive 30-day trading period.

CannTrust may regain its trading privileges at any time in the next six months if the trading price once again rises above $1.00 per share for a consecutive 30-day period on the last trading day of that month or the last day of the six-month cure period.

Just two weeks ago, CannTrust announced the appointment of Greg Guyatt as its new chief executive officer. At the same time, it said it would submit documentation to Health Canada, the federal agency that regulates legal pot sales in the country, detailing how it had fixed the troubles at its Niagara facility. CannTrust is trying to reinstate the Niagara growing facility’s licenses to operate.

The company also said at the time that it had received an extension until April 15, 2020, from the New York Stock Exchange to file its restated SEC Form 40-F for the 2018 fiscal year and its interim financial report for the first half of 2019. The warning announced Friday is not related to the delayed reports.

CannTrust’s problems began with a secondary offering 36 million shares priced at $5.50 a share in May of 2019. The price reflected a discount of almost 15% and raised $230 million for the company.

In the summer, a former employee of the company notified Health Canada that CannTrust was growing cannabis illegally at its Niagara facility and that the company’s CEO had lied about the status of the company’s licenses when pumping up the secondary offering. In July, Health Canada suspended CannTrust’s licenses to sell cannabis, a suspension that is still in force.

In mid-February, the company said it had $167 million in cash as of the end of January and that a special committee of the board of directors continues its review of strategic alternatives. In its announcement two weeks ago, CannTrust noted:

The nature, timing, and outcome of the Special Committee’s ongoing strategic review process will be influenced by, among other things, CannTrust’s ability to extend or renew its insurance coverage on acceptable terms, whether or when Heath Canada reinstates the Company’s licenses, how long it will take to restore operations and expectations regarding the resolution of the Company’s contingent liabilities and potential regulatory actions.

In the late morning Friday, CannTrust stock traded at around $0.62 after posting a new low around $0.60 a share. The 52-week high is $10.17.