Tilray IPO is ‘validation’ for pot companies, CEO says

Tilray Inc. landed a valuation topping $1 billion and became the first cannabis company to go public on the Nasdaq exchange Thursday, then received even more validation when shares popped more than 30% in initial trades.

The hot IPO was just another first for a cannabis company that has made bold, global bets on an industry that for decades was run by drug cartels and Northern California growers and remains illegal under U.S. federal law. Tilray TLRY, +0.00% Chief Executive Brendan Kennedy said in an interview Thursday that after hundreds of meetings in 15 cities around the world, it was clear to him that investors were fascinated by the prospect of a global cannabis industry because of the implications for health care and recreational use where legal.

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