Jan 6 (Reuters) - Shares of HempFusion Wellness Inc CBDu.TO rose 50% in their debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, giving the hemp-derived health and wellness products maker a market value of about $176 million.
The hot debut could set the tone for a wave of cannabis companies eyeing initial public offerings this year in the United States and Canada.
The companies hope to cash in on renewed investor interest after the coronavirus pandemic created massive demand for cannabis' relaxative properties.
Hemp-based health products maker Vertical Wellness told Reuters in October it was looking to debut its shares this year, while synthetic cannabinoid maker BioMedican has also laid out plans to go public in the first half of 2021.
HempFusion, which makes cannabidiol-based capsules, liquids, pain-relief creams and ointments, said on Tuesday it plans to pursue a future listing on the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange in the future.
The Denver, Colorado-based company, which expects dietary supplements to be its early focus, is looking to expand into Europe, starting with Ireland.
Cannabis stocks were also boosted on Wednesday by the growing chance of Democratic wins in two pivotal U.S. Senate contests, with investors betting the outcome would make it pave the way for passage of more cannabis friendly laws in the country.
HempFusion said it had raised $17 million from the IPO by issuing 7 million shares and 10 million units at $1 apiece. The stock was last trading at $1.50.
It now has 117 million total shares are outstanding.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
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