Horizon launches first medical marijuana ETF

Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc has launched the Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences ETF on the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol HMMJ.

HMMJ is the first ETF in the world that offers direct exposure to North American-listed stocks that are involved with medical marijuana bioengineering and production.

"Canada is the birthplace of ETFs and has been home to many firsts in the industry. The Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences ETF is another made-in-Canada ETF milestone, the world's first marijuana ETF," says Steve Hawkins, President and Co-CEO of Horizons ETFs. "At Horizons, we take pride in our innovation, so we're very happy that for the first time, investors will be able to access a low-cost, diversified portfolio of companies that are directly involved in the rapidly growing medical marijuana industry."

HMMJ is an index (or passively managed) ETF, which seeks to replicate, to the extent possible, the performance of Solactive's North American Medical Marijuana Index ("the Index"), net of expenses. The Index provides exposure to the performance of a basket of North American publicly listed life sciences companies, and other firms, with significant business activities in the marijuana industry. The Index selects from a current universe of companies that have operations that may include one or more of biopharmaceuticals, medical manufacturing, distribution, bioproducts and other ancillary businesses, related to the marijuana industry.

Only stocks that meet minimum asset and liquidity thresholds are eligible for inclusion in the Index. Stocks are rebalanced quarterly on a market-capitalization basis, and capped so that no single stock can exceed 10% of the weight of the Index when rebalanced.

"The rapid growth of the medical marijuana industry, which includes the growth in the size of companies and the number of companies that are publicly listed on North American stock exchanges, has created enough market depth and liquidity to make launching an ETF with this unique theme possible," says Hawkins. "It's rare that investors get an opportunity to invest in what is essentially an entirely new sector of stocks. Despite the recently strong performance of many of these companies, we do think that we're still in the early stages of what could be a unique long-term growth opportunity."

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