I stand with MassRoots. MassRoots was recently rejected by NASDAQ, and the National Cannabis Industry Association and ArcView Group issued a joint letter criticizing NASDAQ’s decision, and supporting MassRoots’ appeal. I don’t know a lot about the stock market, and all the details of NASDAQ’s application process, but I do know flawed logic based off of reefer madness when I see it, which is the case with NASDAQ’s decision to reject MassRoots. Below is a copy of that letter:
May 31, 2016
Mr. Robert Greifeld
Chief Executive Officer
The NASDAQ Stock Market
AnchorOne Liberty Plaza
New York, NY 10006
Re: National Cannabis Industry Association and ArcView Group Statement of Support of MassRoots’ Appeal
Dear Mr. Greifeld:
On behalf of the tens of thousands of small businesses in the regulated cannabis industry, we are writing in support of MassRoots’ appeal to list on Nasdaq. We believe the precedent Nasdaq has established in denying MassRoots’ application could prevent nearly every business in the regulated cannabis industry from listing on Nasdaq, hampering job creation and slowing the growth of the industry.
The central argument in denying MassRoots’ application for listing is its business model could be perceived as aiding and abetting the distribution of an illegal substance. This standard is so vague that thousands of businesses across the country will be unable to reasonably determine if their conduct could result in being unable to list on Nasdaq. Is every power company that provides electricity to marijuana cultivation operations aiding and abetting? What about Google that shows people where to buy marijuana? Is Facebook liable for the tens of thousands of illegal drug transactions that likely occur over its network on a regular basis? The Denver Post and New York Times have publicly accepted advertising dollars from the cannabis industry – are the owners of those publications also banned from listing on Nasdaq? Several local and national banks traded on national exchanges have accepted regulated cannabis businesses as clients and conduct marijuana-related transactions on their behalf, could those banks also be perceived as aiding and abetting?
Nasdaq is one of the world’s most-effective connectors of innovative, disruptive companies with investment capital – more IPOs occur on Nasdaq than any other exchange. In this unique position, Nasdaq serves as both a source of investor liquidity and significant growth capital — the precedent set in this case will undoubtedly factor into every cannabis-related investment decision made by institutional investors, resulting in significantly less capital being deployed to the cannabis sector. We believe Nasdaq’s dangerous precedent could slow the growth of the cannabis industry and stifle job creation across the United States.
We are calling on Nasdaq to treat cannabis companies fairly. If a company meets Nasdaq’s enumerated listing requirements, as MassRoots states it can do if you grant this appeal, we believe they should be allowed to list on Nasdaq. We encourage you to grant MassRoots’ appeal and reverse this dangerous precedent.
/s/ Aaron Smith /s/ Troy Dayton
Aaron Smith Troy Dayton
Executive Director Chief Executive Officer
National Cannabis Industry Association The Arcview Group
Adena Friedman, President and Chief Operating Officer, The NASDAQ Stock Market
Edward Knight, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, The NASDAQ Stock Market
Isaac Dietrich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MassRoots, Inc.
About The National Cannabis Industry Association
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the largest cannabis trade association in the U.S. and the only organization representing cannabis-related businesses at the national level. NCIA promotes the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and works toward a favorable social, economic, and legal environment for that industry in the United States. More information at http://thecannabisindustry.org
Founded in 2010, The Arcview Group is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ventures in the cannabis industry. The Arcview Investor Network includes more than 550 accredited investors who have put more than $72 million behind 114 companies. Arcview Market Research produces the State of Legal Marijuana Markets report, which is the most oft-cited market data report. In 2015, Arcview became a partner in Canopy, the first seed-stage mentor-driven business accelerator. Arcview is also co-founder of Cannasure Insurance Services, the leading provider of business insurance to the cannabis industry.Parties who wish to be added as signatories can do so at www.MassRoots.com/NasdaqAppeal