Japan has some of the harshest laws when it comes to cannabis — simple possession can mean up to five years in prison. But that hasn’t prevented the country’s Government Pension Investment Fund from investing in Canadian cannabis, reports Bloomberg.
Top investor in $WEED and $ACB
Financials from last summer show the Fund had an approximate $80 million stake in cannabis in total, and with 1.7 million shares in Canopy, was among that company’s top 12 investors. The Fund was also one of the top 10 investors in Aurora with a $7 million stake, and held about $17 million in Cronos shares.
Some say the illegality and harsh consequences for cannabis should mean the country’s government pension fund shouldn’t be investing in it overseas. “It’s a complete contradiction,” criminal defense attorney Michiko Kameishi told Bloomberg. “People’s lives get ruined for this.”
While they’re significant investments in cannabis, they make up just 0.0005% of GPIF’s $1.6 trillion in assets. The Fund’s spokesperson, Nao Honda, would not say if they’ve sold off the shares or not, but said managers of GPIF are prohibited from picking stocks. Instead, they’re bought through “accounts intended to track equity indexes” and that the fund is “dedicated solely to ensuring long-term returns for our members.”
So, to clarify:
Making money on cannabis is ok for a government pension fund but the beneficiaries of the same pension fund could spend 5 years in jail for cannabis use.