One of the world's largest legal marijuana producers operates out of a once-abandoned Hershey's factory

Andrew Szeto for Tweed Inc.Canadian marijuana company Canopy Growth plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2018.

Canopy Growth, one of the world’s largest marijuana producers by market value, has applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange and plans to begin trading shares by the end of May 2018.

It’s the first Canadian pot company to list on the NYSE, though not the first marijuana company to trade on a major US stock exchange, CBC reports. (Marijuana manufacturing rival Cronos Group listed on the Nasdaq in February 2018). Canopy Growth announced on Monday that it will file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and plans to trade under the ticker symbol CGC.

Founded in 2014, Canopy Growth likens itself to the Procter & Gamble of pot. Several marijuana brands fall under its umbrella and cater to different user preferences. The company supplies the drug to about a third of the roughly 270,000 registered medical marijuana customers in Canada.

Canopy Growth grows, trims, processes, packages, and ships marijuana products out of several properties across the Great White North. Take a look inside the company’s headquarters.

Canopy Growth has greenhouses across Canada, but its headquarters are based in a once-abandoned Hershey chocolate factory in the small town of Smiths Falls, Ontario.

Andrew Szeto/Tweed, Inc.

The company supplies the drug to about a third of Canada’s roughly 270,000 registered medical marijuana customers. It’s been hailed as the world’s first billion-dollar marijuana “unicorn.”

Andrew Szeto/Tweed, Inc.

Source: Health Canada, CBC and Business Insider

Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth, founded the company because he thought a vertically integrated company — one that grows marijuana in addition to processing it for oils and other products and packaging it for shipment — would give him better control over quality.

Andrew Szeto for Tweed Inc.

Vertically integrated companies are also able to offer their products more cheaply, since they cut out the middle men in growing and distribution.

Source: Business Insider

The 42-acre former chocolate factory located at 1 Hershey Drive was sitting vacant when Canopy Growth scooped it up in January 2016 for $US6.6 million.

Canopy Growth previously ran operations out of the space as a tenant.

Source: Financial Post

Canopy Growth owns several marijuana production companies.

Andrew Szeto for Tweed Inc.

There’s Tweed Inc., a medical marijuana producer with slick and youthful branding that could be mistaken for a designer jeans company.

Andrew Szeto for Tweed Inc.

Vert Medical allows Canopy to tap into the French-speaking market, while Bedrocan Canada has a distinctly clinical feel that is likely to gain favour among medical patients.

Andrew Szeto/Tweed, Inc.

Since 2000, Canadians have enjoyed the ability to possess and grow small amounts of weed for medical use. In 2014, the government began licensing companies like Canopy Growth to produce mass amounts of medical marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses.

Canada’s legal marijuana market will be a $US6.5 billion industry by 2020. That’s more than the $US5.1 billion Canadians spent on liquor in 2017, and it’s approaching wine sales.

Source: Business Insider

Canopy Growth already trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker WEED.

Source: CBC

But the manufacturing giant’s decision to list on the NYSE may encourage investors in the US to take a look at the $US6.4 billion company. (American companies that process the plant have been sidelined from major US stock exchanges because marijuana is still federally illegal.)

Source: Bloomberg

The company’s colossal growth stems from a belief that as more countries legalise weed on a federal level, growers like Canopy Growth will be able to branch into global markets.

Canopy Growth already exports marijuana products to Germany and Brazil.

“It’s really about the public policy,” Linton told Business Insider in 2017. “That doesn’t sound sexy or exciting. But if you don’t have the right public policy, you don’t have the right business opportunity.”

Andrew Szeto/Tweed, Inc.

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