Cannabis Investment Pays Off for Norway's Oil Fund

cannabis close up

writer icon - -     ISB   |   Ethics     🕐 20. Mar. 2019

Norway's Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), commonly referred to as its 'oil fund', is heavily invested in the cannabis market.

The oil fund and ethical discussions
The Ministry of Finance has the overall responsibility for management of the fund. However, the operational management is run by the Norwegian Central Bank together with the National Insurance Scheme Fund, Folketrygdfondet.

Making the right investment choices can prove challenging at times, even for a successful fund like GPFG. They asses investments much like other investment funds do, but also prioritise an ethical stance both in relation to companies' product, and conduct.

According to Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM)'s communications manager, Thomas Sevang, the managers of the oil fund made ethical assessments of the cannabis industry, with recommendations by the Council on Ethics, before investing.

The companies
By early 2019, the fund had invested 910 million Norwegian kroner (NOK) in five companies belonging to the medical marijuana industry. These shares are now worth NOK 1.36 Billion, a profit of 446 million NOK for GPFG.

The five companies GPFG invested in was Aurora Cannabis, Conopy Growth Cooperation, Aphira Inc., Insys Therapeutics, and Scott's Miracle Gro. Where a large sum was invested into Aurora Cannabis and Conopy Growth Cooperation.

Not all companies are new additions to the oil fund. Aphira Inc. was added last year, and Insys Therapeutics and Scott's Miracle Gro, have been part of the portfolio since 2015 and 2007 respectively.

GPFG have shares in 9 150 companies in total, spanning a wide range of industries.

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