Last week, Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp. (NASDAQ:AAPC) filed an 8-K (current report) with the SEC regarding a letter they received from Nasdaq's listing qualifications department.
For those unfamiliar with AAPC, it announced a merger with cannabis REIT Kalyx Development Inc. back in May, and will be completing the transaction soon.
The letter indicated that "the staff of Nasdaq has determined, based on its review of the Company’s plan of compliance, to grant the Company’s request for the continued listing of its ordinary shares on Nasdaq, pursuant to an extension to evidence compliance with the minimum 300 round lot shareholder requirement applicable to the Company’s ordinary shares, as set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5505(a)(3), by September 25, 2017.".
Let's Break it Down...
Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp. requested to remain listed on Nasdaq (perhaps the need for a request is connected with the merger, perhaps not) and Nasdaq said yes!
There was one condition... before September 25th, Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp. has to have at least 300 different shareholders that own at least 100 shares each. Assuming the merger with Kalyx proceeds as planned, it's pretty safe to assume that the resulting company will not have a problem meeting this requirement.
Now...What is So Exciting About This?
The fact that Nasdaq agreed to continue listing the shares while knowing that the company is actively engaged in a reverse merger transaction with a cannabis related company.
Those familiar with the cannabis space are well aware of Nasdaq's rejection of MassRoots (OTC:MSRT) attempted IPO last year. This rejection put a sour taste in the mouths of cannabis companies seeking to list publicly who have for the most part taken their business to other exchanges including the CSE, ASX and TSX Group (Toronto and Toronto Venture) and most notably the NYSE.
In the fall of last year, the NYSE took a different stance than its long term rival, Nasdaq by accepting the IPO of cannabis REIT, Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR).
Perhaps this precedent changed Nasdaq's opinion concerning the listing of cannabis-related companies, or real estate investment trusts are somehow more 'acceptable' for listing, we just don't know. Regardless, the bigger deal here is that Nasdaq said yes to Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp. which is basically the same as saying yes to Kalyx.
Note: There are a handful of cannabis related companies listed on Nasdaq, but they predominately fit into two categories, biotech and pharmaceutical companies doing research in pursuit of FDA approved products and companies that became involved in the cannabis space long after listing.
We eagerly await the completion of Atlantic Alliance Partnership's reverse merger with cannabis REIT Kalyx Development Inc. and applaud Nasdaq's decision to permit the continued listing of Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp. We will be sure to keep readers posted regarding any developments regarding the merger and listing.
In the meantime, check out our guide to the cannabis REITs, and be sure to subscribe to our cannabis real estate email newsletter if you haven't already.
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