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Hard Value Fund

Blocking Cannabis Stocks in Germany: What Happened?

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

In recent years, there has been a real cannabis hype, triggered by the gradual legalisation of cultivation and sale of cannabis worldwide. In Germany, too, the legalisation of cannabis outside of purely medical use is planned.

In 2018, cannabis investors then suffered a shock when you learned from Clearstream and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that a large number of cannabis shares were no longer tradable. In this article you can find out what the blocking was all about, which shares are still affected today and how investors can still invest in blocked shares.

 Cannabis e-Vapor

Ban on Trading and Custody of Cannabis Shares in Luxembourg

Clearstream Luxembourg, the depository for foreign securities traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Xetra), informed its customers on 11 June 2018 that, with immediate effect, it would no longer be possible to accept applications for admission or acceptance of securities if the main business is directly or indirectly related to cannabis and other narcotics. "Legal reasons" were cited.

The background is a ruling by the Luxembourg financial market supervisory authority Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), which has classified trading and settlement of cannabis shares as illegal under Luxembourg law.

Chart North America Cannabis Select Index

Later, on 22 June 2018, Clearstream informed its customers that it would no longer be possible to hold or settle affected securities through Clearstream by the end of 28 September 2018. Customers were also asked to transfer their positions to another custodian within the deadline.

As a result, the affected shares could also no longer be traded on German trading venues such as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which settle transactions in foreign shares via Clearstream Luxembourg.

Partial Loosening After Only Two Weeks

By decision of 28 June 2018, the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies authorised the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. It has defined the use for medicinal purposes as follows:

  • Chronic pain: Patients experience a significant decrease in their symptoms (cannabis plant);

  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: Some orally ingested cannabinoids are effective in preventing and treating these complaints;

  • Muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis: There is "substantial evidence" that short-term oral cannabinoid use relieves patient-reported symptoms.

In response to this change in the law, Clearstream announced on 29 June 2018 that the settlement restrictions would no longer be applied to securities of companies whose main business activity is in the field of medicinal cannabis. Accordingly, trading of these securities on German stock exchanges could also be resumed.

Cannabis Shares Affected by the Freeze

The following shares are still affected by the Luxembourg custody and trading ban in Germany today.

  • 1933 Industries Inc (CA65442F1053)


  • ​Arco Resources (CA0396054078)

  • Bayport International Holdings Inc (US0730682079)

  • C21 Investments (CA12675Q1019)

  • Cannabusiness Group Inc (US1376491098)

  • Cannex Capital Holdings Inc (CA13768L1085)

  • Chuma Holdings Inc (US1713261014)

  • Citation Growth Corp (CA17289C1095)

  • Friday Night Inc (CA3583671001)

  • FutureWorld Corp (US36117M1053)

  • Global Payout Inc (US37951P1057)

  • ​Golden Leaf Holdings (CA38109W1095)

  • Kaya Holdings Inc (US4865672095)

  • Liht Cannabis Corp (CA5323511033)

  • Marapharm Ventures Inc (CA56575M1086)

  • MJ Venture Partners Inc (US5530891036)

  • MPX Bioceutical (CA5534431021)

  • Nutritional High International Inc (CA6706841096)

  • Ventura Cannabis and Wellness (CA9230102019)

  • Vibe Biosciences Ltd (CA92556L1085)

Tobacco Companies Were Never Banned

The shares of the big tobacco companies Altria, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris were never affected by the CSSF's ban on trading and liquidation. It is true that they have all invested to a greater or lesser extent in cannabis. However, the Luxembourg ban is linked to the company's main activity in the (non-medical) cannabis sector. For the big tobacco companies, this sector can only be seen as a secondary activity or at least as a risky investment in the future - but by no means as their main activity. Therefore, these tobacco companies could also be traded in Germany without any problems.

Foreign Custody as an Alternative

German investors are only affected by the Luxembourg ban on the settlement and custody of cannabis shares because the custodian Clearstream Banking S.A., Luxembourg, is the most important custodian of foreign shares for the German market and trades are settled on German stock exchanges such as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Xetra).

However, many brokers have long since established alternative structures for their clients. They have links to foreign trading venues that do not settle via Clearstream Luxembourg. The depositaries responsible there are not affected by the CSSF's ban. In principle, they can settle and hold all cannabis shares without further ado, also for clients in Germany. German brokers can thus enable their clients to trade and hold in custody abroad.

Which Cannabis Stocks can still be Traded?

Currently, the following cannabis shares can also be traded in Germany or held in custody at Clearstream Luxembourg:

  • Abattis Bioceuticals Corp (​CA00258G1037)

  • Aleafia Health Inc (CA01444Q1046)

  • Alternative Energy Partners (US02152E2000)

  • Aphria Inc (CA03765K1049)

  • Aurora Cannabis Inc (CA05156X1087)

  • Auxly Cannabis Group Inc (CA05335P1099)

  • Blissco Cannabis Corp (CA09357P1045)

  • ​Cal-Bay International Inc (​US12802P3073)

  • ​Canada House Wellness Group (CA1351011038)

  • Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc (​​US13764M1009)

  • Cannabis Science (US1376481016)

  • ​Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp (CA13765K1030)

  • CannPal Animal Therapeutics Ltd (AU000000CP17)

  • Canntab Therapeutics Ltd (​CA1377991023)

  • Canopy Growth Corp (CA1380351009)

  • Cara Therapeutics Inc (US1407551092)

  • Chemesis International Inc (CA13637A1012, CA1635991039)

  • ​​Cronos Group (CA22717L1013)

  • CTT Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc (US12651E1064)

  • ​Deutsche Cannabis AG (​DE000A0BVVK7)

  • Doja Cannabis Co Ltd (CA25660K1030)

  • ​Dutch Gold Resources Inc (US26702V1070)

  • Easton Pharmaceuticals Inc (US2777741057)

  • Emblem Corp (CA29082J1084)

  • Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc (CA29102R1064)

  • Empower Clinics Inc (CA29246V1040)

  • Endexx Corp (​US29259K1025)

  • Endocan Corp (US29271J1097)

  • Endocan Solutions Inc (CA29278R1047)

  • Enertopia Corp (US29277Q1076)

  • Evio Inc (US30051V1061)

  • Generex Biotechnology Corp (US3714851033)

  • Global Cannabis Applications Corp (CA37956B1013)

  • Green and Hill Industries Inc (US39260U1060)

  • Greenhouse Solutions Inc (​US39530T2024)

  • GrowBlox Sciences Inc (US3998471029)

  • GW Pharmaceuticals Plc (GB0030544687, US36197T1034)

  • Health Sciences Group Inc (US42223A1007)

  • Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp (CA42727B1094)

  • Hiku Brands (CA43130F1099)

  • Hop-On Inc (US4393382035)

  • ​​Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (CA44054H1055, CA44054J1012)

  • ​India Globalization Capital Inc (US45408X3089)

  • Indigenous Roots Corp (US4556851073)

  • ​Inmed Pharmaceuticals Inc (CA4576371062)

  • ​Innovative Industrial Properties (​US45781V1017)

  • Invictus MD Strategies Group (CA46183X2086)

  • Isodiol International Inc (CA46500L2003)

  • Itonis Inc (US4657331033)

  • Kaneh Bosm Biotechnology Inc (CA4841901032)

  • Lifestyle Delivery Systems Inc (​CA53224Y1043)

  • Maple Leaf Green World Inc (CA5652971089)

  • Maricann Group Inc (CA5667241007)

  • Matica Enterprises Inc (CA5768081096)

  • Medical Cannabis Financial Group Inc (US5845021089)

  • Medical Marijuana Inc (US58463A1051)

  • Medical Services International Inc (CA58463C1014)

  • Medically Minded Inc (US5846401066)

  • MedReleaf Corp (CA58506X1042)

  • Megola Inc (US58517C3051)

  • MYM Nutraceuticals (CA55406A1012, CA5652971089)

  • Namaste Technologies (​CA62987D1087)

  • Noble Mineral Exploration Inc (CA65505T2083)

  • OrganiGram Holdings Inc (​CA68620P1018)

  • OSL Holdings Inc (US67105N2018)

  • OXIS International Inc (US6918295014)

  • ​Pan American Fertilizer Corp (CA69783X1050)

  • Pazoo Inc (US70454Q3048)

  • PharmaCan Capital Corp (CA7171151094)

  • Premier Brands Inc (US74048L1026)

  • Primco Management Co (​US74164Q3074)

  • Prominex Resources Corp (CA74344K1057)

  • Protext Mobility Inc (US74371E2046)

  • Puf Ventures (CA74530Q2053)

  • QED Connect Inc (US74732Q3002)

  • ​Quadron Cannatech Corp (CA74737N1042)

  • Rapid Fire Marketing Inc (US75339L3050)

  • Sante Veritas Holdings Inc (CA8022201039)

  • Satori Resources (CA8040312016)

  • SK3 Group Inc (US78440L1070)

  • Speakeasy Cannabis Club Ltd (CA84730M1023)

  • Sproutly Canada Inc (CA85209J1084)

  • Suggestion Box Inc (US8650431039)

  • Tauriga Sciences Inc (US87669X1063)

  • Terra Tech (US88102J2096)

  • Tetra Bio-Pharma (CA88166Y1007)

  • THC Biomed International Ltd (CA87243W1032)

  • The Supreme Cannabis Company (CA86860J1066)

  • Tilray Inc (US88688T1007)

  • True Leaf Medicine International Ltd (CA89785C1077)

  • US Energy Initiatives Corporation Inc (US90342S1069)

  • Verde Science Inc (US92337L2034)

  • Veritas Pharma Inc (CA92347A1066)

  • Vodis Pharmaceuticals Inc (CA92858L2021)

  • Weedmd Incorporated (CA9485251008)

  • Wildflower Marijuana Inc (CA96812E1051)

  • Worldwide Marijuana Inc (CA98161U1021)

  • Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (​US98986X1090)

Note: The list is not exhaustive and new decrees or revaluations by Clearstream may change the status of individual shares.

Legal notice 

This article contains general information on the topic presented and no recommendations or suggestions on investments in financial instruments or issuers ("securities"). Possible specific information on individual securities, if applicable by naming them, is for illustrative purposes only and is also neither a recommendation nor a suggestion. An investment always requires a comprehensive consideration of all relevant aspects. This article does not claim to do so. Investments in securities are associated with risks. The value of an investment and returns from it can rise and fall (sometimes substantially). Investors may not get back the full amount originally invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Investments in securities may also be made for funds advertised on this website ("Fund"), but this is not mandatory. Information on positions of Fund can be obtained from the website and the relevant annual or semi-annual report, if available. The purpose of this article is to provide a rough overview of the relevant topic. No claim is made to completeness. Despite careful compilation of the information, no guarantee can be given for its correctness. We reserve the right to make changes. A purchase of shares in a fund or of securities should always be made only after one's own comprehensive analysis with recourse to various sources of information. Consultation with a financial advisor is recommended. The tax treatment of investment income depends on the personal circumstances of each investor and may be subject to change in the future. The sole basis for the acquisition of shares in a fund is the current sales documentation (sales prospectus, key investor information, annual or semi-annual report, if available). The sales documents and further information are available free of charge in German on the website

van Grunsteyn

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