Abcann (ABCN.V) trading opens with a thud: Here’s why

One of the more anticipated Canadian marijuana grower public markets debut was noticeable for two things Thursday; a massive amount of buying, and an even more massive amount of selling.

Abcann (ABCN.V) is widely considered to be one of the better marijuana producers out there, with a high quality product that has been in demand from other LPs until the company recently shut them out in preference to its own patients.

But weed investors who got in early Thursday, as the company opened trading on the public markets, took it in the neck as the stock slipped from $1.50 all the way down to $1, where it stayed for most of the day.

The reason for this is simple, says CEO Aaron Keay. In fact, he was okay with the opening crush.

“Always said there was a float,” he texted me today. “This is going well for opening day clean up. 8m shares in the opening hour.”

He continued, “Old shareholders raised $15m at $0.41 almost four years ago. […] Not shocked at all.”

The downward shove you all saw in Abcann on day one, with 15m shares traded, was down to one group that, frankly, traded like assholes. They sold heavily at the market price like they had somewhere to be.

Sure, get your profits. Sure, you’ve made your money so move it out. But the massive sell-off in one fell swoop was not just dumb from the perspective of getting the best possible return on your money, but also tarred the stock all day long so it’ll be harder for them to attract more buyers for a few days.

If they’d dripped their shares out over the course of the day, the stock may have bounced back quickly and traded at $1.30 for much of the day, but every time new investors got in, the old investors gave up their hard earned stock cheaply, quickly, and weakly.

These guys doubled their money in four years, which is great, but they could have done much better if they hadn’t been spending their profits at 9:30 am like drunken sailors on shore leave.

“Once it cleans out this old shareholder base, on this type of volume, it’ll be fine,” says Keay, and that’s likely true. The $100m million market cap on the stock currently is ridiculously low based on comparables, especially considering the amount of financing money ABCN left on the table when it raised $20m+ prior to listing. If you believe the scuttlebutt, they could have taken more than double that.

Which would explain how some $15m in trading took place on opening day, even with the dip.

Now the situation moves to day two, and the question becomes, is the founder churn over? Will investors see this price as a great place to jump in? Will those who took the early bait hold what they have and even average down?

The CEO thinks the game is afoot now.

“Opportunity knocks,” he says.

— Chris Parry

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