Cannabis company Tilray (TLRY) was rewarded on Thursday for its focus on telling its story to investors globally. 

Shares of Tilray saw a scorching hot 31% gain on its first day of trading on the Nasdaq Composite . Tilray's market cap is now hovering around $2 billion. The company gains the distinction of being the first U.S. cannabis IPO, impressive given the mountain of regulatory hurdles.

By any measure the IPO is a success, reflecting investor appetite to invest directly in the surging cannabis market. 

"Today is a big milestone in that shift in the mainstreaming of this industry," Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy told TheStreet. "Over the past year, we have met with hundreds of institutional investors around the world. One of the things I am really proud of in the IPO is that 70% of the investors are in the U.S. and most had never invested in this industry before while 18% are from Canada and 12% are international. 

Kennedy says the company saw "tremendous" interest in its IPO. The company plans to use the IPO proceeds to expand its production. It's also keen on developing partnerships to extend its brand to non-leaf offerings.  

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