Marijuana Stock IPO Goes Up in Smoke

The New York Stock Exchange has gone to pot. A company named Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR), a real estate investment trust that plans to buy buildings and lease them to growers of medical marijuana, went public on the venerable NYSE Thursday morning.

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The stock wasn’t exactly lighting up Wall Street though. (Sorry.) The shares priced at $20 and only went as high (sorry, again) as $20.53 before tumbling 1%.

Innovative Industrial Properties is one of just a few companies related to the business of cannabis that actually trades on a major exchange, though.

So its IPO, which had been pushed back a couple of times and also had the size of the deal cut, is still an achievement in of itself.

There is a British-based drug company called GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) that is listed in the Nasdaq.

It makes a cannabis-based drug to treat epilepsy that has had successful clinical trial results. GW Pharmaceuticals is still waiting for FDA approval, but investors have high hopes. The stock is up more than 55% this year.

But GW Pharmaceuticals and Innovative Industrial Properties are the exceptions, not the rule.

Most marijuana stocks trade on so-called “over the counter” or “bulletin board” exchanges — where penny stocks that can often be manipulated by pump and dump traders call home. And the pot stocks listed there tend to have goofy names and ticker symbols.

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by Paul R. La Monica | money.cnn.com

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