B.C. Securities Commission will play much bigger role regulating small-cap Canadian cannabis companies

The provincial watchdog has taken on direct oversight of the Canadian Securities Exchange

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The rapid growth in publicly traded Canadian cannabis companies has led to a change in the way they're going to be regulated.

The B.C. Securities Commission has announced that it's joined the Ontario Securities Commission in providing oversight to the Canadian Securities Exchange, where many of the small-cap weed companies are listed.

There are about 500 companies listed on the CSE—and much of its rapid growth in recent years has been driven by the cannabis sector.

"The B.C. Securities Commission brings extensive knowledge and experience to the public venture markets by virtue of its long history regulating the junior mining sector and overseeing the TSX Venture Exchange with the Alberta Securities Commission,” BCSC chair and CEO Brenda Leong said in a news release. “We believe we can add significant value to supporting venture financing on CSE and managing issues unique to early-stage companies.”

Currently, there are no transactional reviews, approvals, or fees to be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Nor are there any mandatory sponsorship requirements.

Any company that seeks a listing must be a reporting issuer in good standing and must have at least 500,000 freely tradeable shares with at least 150 public holders.

“The Canadian Securities Exchange is home to a large number of public companies domiciled in British Columbia,” CSE CEO Richard Carleton said in the news release. “We will continue to work closely with our colleagues from the British Columbia Securities Commission to enhance our collective investor protection efforts and access to capital for B.C.-based entrepreneurs.”