Nasdaq Adds Marijuana Price Indexes to Its Platform


By Eric Volkman, MotleyFool

Would you like to monitor what cannabis is selling for in Canada? Well, for a price, Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ:NDAQ) can now help you do just that. Cannabis Benchmarks, a unit of a privately held company called New Leaf Data Services, announced Friday morning that its three indexes of Canadian marijuana spot prices are now being disseminated through Nasdaq's proprietary GIDS information service.

GIDS offers its products on a subscription basis. Its client base includes entities in the commodities trading space, and many types of financial services providers.

Cannabis Benchmarks compiles its data from a range of people and businesses involved in the Canadian cannabis trade. These comprise the plant's cultivators, retailers, and industry associations, and according to the company, those would be ideal clients for its wares.

A woman looking at a set of indexes and graphs.


"Since the Canadian adult use market opened in October 2018, industry participants... have been seeking price transparency to analyze and navigate a dynamic market currently characterized by swiftly changing market fundamentals," Cannabis Benchmarks said in the press release announcing the Nasdaq arrangement.

However, in an interview with BNN Bloomberg, New Leaf CEO Jonathan Rubin admitted, "The challenge continues to be that so many market participants are either not yet profitable or on the verge of being profitable, and they don't want to pay for the data. The challenge is that people still want free content."

The Nasdaq Exchange is seen as a welcoming place for marijuana companies, and numerous businesses prominent in the industry are listed on it, including Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON), and OrganiGram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI). Those three and a clutch of other Nasdaq-listed cannabis businesses are headquartered in Canada, and would be target clients for Cannabis Benchmark's services. None have officially reacted to news of the Nasdaq arrangement, however.

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