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Canadian Cannabis Companies Ask to Be Included in Ottawa's Coronavirus Aid Package

By Eric Volkman - Updated Mar 24, 2020 at 3:45PM

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More than 70 companies and organizations involved in the nascent industry have sent an official letter to Canadian officials.

A large group of Canadian marijuana companies are banding together to lobby for financial aid from their government, according to numerous reports in the media. They hope to be included in a planned 82 billion Canadian dollar ($57 billion) rescue package aimed at mitigating the economic damage caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak.

According to an article from news agency The Canadian Press,  representatives of more than 70 companies and other parties involved in the marijuana business have signed the letter requesting support. It was addressed to Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains.

Additionally, the petitioners have requested the right to borrow money from a pair of government agencies, Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

A collection of Canadian paper currency.

Image source: Getty Images

BNN Bloomberg obtained a copy of the letter, which it quoted as saying: "Canada's cannabis industry has weathered several shocks in the past six months, including the loss of over 2,000 well-paying jobs in the sector. Our access to capital, including credit, is challenging."

BNN Bloomberg wrote that among the signatories are Adine Carter, chief marketing officer at Tilray (TLRY) and Rick Savone, senior vice president of Aurora Cannabis (ACB 7.75%).

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the plan, which will take the form of CA$27 billion ($19 billion) in direct assistance to individuals and enterprises, accompanied by CA$55 billion ($38 billion) worth of tax deferrals.

No arm of the government has yet officially commented on the  request, nor have Aurora Cannabis or Tilray.

The fortunes of the two marijuana companies' stocks diverged on Monday. Aurora Cannabis fell 6.5%, which was a sharper decline than the broader market, while Tilray rose by 5.5%. 


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