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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The Canadian Securities Exchange Composite Index fell 0.68 point to 431.75 Friday, finishing the week down 18.36 points. Some of the better capitalized and profitable, or at least near-profitable, cannabis companies have started to rise after long descents. Village Farms International Inc. (VFF) climbed to $10.91 from $8.94, Medipharm Labs Corp. (LABS) rose to $4.92 from $4.30, Aphria Inc. (APHA) rose to $7.28 from $6.24 and even Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED) had a modestly positive week, gaining $1.96 to $28.53. Meanwhile, companies that have high expenses and troubled balance sheets continue to fall. Hexo Corp. (HEXO) fell from $3.60 to $3.11 this week, while Zenabis Global Inc. (ZENA) fell from 69 cents to 25.5 cents.
One of the many things pushing cannabis stocks down in the last six months has been concerns about the thriving black market. Crowd-sourced data from Statistics Canada show that in the third quarter of 2019, legal prices averaged $10.23 per gram, nearly double black market prices of $5.59 a gram. It was the biggest gap between legal and black market prices since legalization last year. Data from August (recently released by Statistics Canada) paint a more promising picture for the legal market. Sales from Canadian cannabis stores made their largest month-to-month jump, reaching $127.3-million in August, up $20-million from $107.3-million in July. The increase was spurred in part by British Columbia, which doubled its cannabis sales to $11.9-million in August.
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