On May 24, 2016, MassRoots (OTCQB: MSRT), a social media app for cannabis enthusiasts, announced that NASDAQ denied the company’s application for listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market, which had been filed back in August 2015.
According to MassRoots, NASDAQ concluded, “MassRoots may be deemed as ‘aiding and abetting’ the distribution of an illegal substance under Federal law.” NASDAQ will not proceed the MassRoots’ listing application; however, the company plans to appeal NASDAQ’s decision.
“With this decision, we believe that the Nasdaq has set a dangerous precedent that could prevent nearly every company in the regulated cannabis industry from listing on a national exchange. This will have ripple effects across the entire industry, making it more difficult for cannabis entrepreneurs to raise capital and slow the progression of cannabis legalization in the United States,” said Isaac Dietrich, CEO of MassRoots.
“This decision must not be allowed to stand and we’re asking cannabis supporters, activists businesses, and investors to write a brief note to the Nasdaq in support of our planned appeal here.”
According to Forbes, MassRoots has requested a copy of the denial letter from NASDAQ and it will file its 8-K within four days of receiving it.
“If we were a social network for tobacco users or alcohol consumers, the NASDAQ would likely be moving forward on our application even though alcohol and tobacco cause far more deaths and societal damage than cannabis ever will. Moreover, the NASDAQ has already listed at least 4 biotechnology companies that extract compounds from the cannabis plant for scientific research – actually touching the plant as part of their business model,” Dietrich said, as reported by Forbes.
“We believe the Nasdaq has inappropriately denied our application and look forward to making our case not just to the Nasdaq Listing and Hearings Review Panel, but directly to the American public.”