FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, May 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ –The rapid proliferation of cannabis legalization throughout the North American region has led to the emergence of new products within the recreational and medical marketplaces alike. Aside from smoking cannabis through joints or pipes, consumers are now enjoying cannabis in a variety of ways, including edibles and extracts. Consequently, the shift towards different cannabis-based products led to a major decline in flower sales. For instance, Colorado began adult-use sales back in 2014 and flower sales accounted for 67% of the state’s total revenue. However, four years later in 2018, flower sales sank and accounted for only 44%. During the same period, the concentrates market closed the gap, as its market share expanded from 15% to 31%, according to BDS Analytics. Now, the declining flower sales don’t necessarily mean the cannabis market is retracting, rather, it signifies the emergence of innovation within the industry. On the other hand, segments such as the hemp market have made significant progress over the past year. The hemp market claimed major accomplishments such as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency delisting its derivate, CBD, from the Schedule 1 list and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving its first CBD-based drug. As the industry continues to rapidly evolve, legalization efforts are ramping up, causing federal regulations to loosen up. As a result, more entrepreneurs and investors are finding ways to enter into the industry and seize the opportunity. According to data compiled by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, worldwide consumer spending on legal cannabis was USD 9.5 Billion in 2017. The research also suggests that spending will increase to USD 31.3 Billion by 2022 while accelerating a CAGR of 26.7% from 2017 to 2022. Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) (TSX-V: RIV), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP) (TSX: TPX), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF) (CSE: CURA), CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST)
Medical cannabis is generally more available and accessible than recreational cannabis. Countries representing some of the largest addressable markets in the world such as France, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina have all moved to ratify medicinal cannabis legislation. For instance, Germany implemented its medical cannabis program about two years ago and as of early 2019, the German Cannabis Association estimated that there were 50,000 to 60,000 medical cannabis patients, three times as many as in the first 10 months of legalization. Furthermore, Bank of Montreal analysts Tamy Chen and Peter Sklar highlighted that Germany has a population of over 82 million people and Canadian producers are already exporting cannabis products there, potentially leading to a USD 5 Billion market. However, the U.S. alone accounts for the majority of the global cannabis market because of its early adoption. Primarily, states such as Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington remain the main growth drivers for the U.S. industry while states such as New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico are all likely candidates to legalize cannabis. Moreover, states like Rhode Island, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are also exploring opportunities within the industry, but have not yet made a decision on legalization. And, on a more global scale, Mexico’s newly elected President is pushing for the country’s legalization of cannabis while European nations Switzerland and the United Kingdom are seeing growing support for complete legalization as well. “The industry is at about 5 percent of what it will be someday,” concurs Tyler Stratford, Director of Client Operations for cannabis consulting firm Canna Advisors. “Even if the path forward isn’t straight, we’re certainly on a path forward. The tide has changed, and there’s no turning it back now.”
Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) (TSX-V: RIV) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: RIV). Earlier last week, the Company announced breaking news that, “its portfolio company PharmHouse Inc. (“PharmHouse”) has entered into a second offtake agreement (the “Agreement”) with Canopy Growth Corporation (“Canopy Growth”) (TSX: WEED,NYSE: CGC) for the purchase of cannabis from its 1.3 million square foot greenhouse facility upon licensing. The Agreement commits an additional 20% of PharmHouse’s flowering space to Canopy Growth for the next three years, in addition to the 10% that was originally committed in May 2018. The Agreement provides for the delivery to Canopy Growth of a minimum of 25,000 kg of cannabis per year and a maximum of 45,000 kg of cannabis per year.
‘PharmHouse continues to show tremendous progress at the facility, and the joint venture is quickly developing as a key pillar for value creation and synergy within the Canopy Rivers portfolio ecosystem,’ said Olivier Dufourmantelle, Chief Operating Officer of Canopy Rivers. ‘Thanks to the collaborative contributions of our joint venture partners, the ongoing support and guidance of Canopy Rivers, and the strategic insight of Canopy Growth throughout the licensing process, we are excited to announce an incremental supply partnership that mutually benefits all three parties.’
This new supply arrangement provides PharmHouse with additional revenue visibility and financial de-risking for a significant portion of the expected production from the flagship facility. Canopy Rivers holds a 49% equity interest in the PharmHouse joint venture and has played an active role in sourcing and negotiating production and supply agreements, which now cover approximately 50% of expected annual output. The incremental 50% of output remains unencumbered for the development of PharmHouse’s own suite of brands and products.
‘This offtake agreement represents a significant step forward for PharmHouse. By effectively committing and selling 50% of our near-term cannabis production, we favorably position PharmHouse for the development of a proprietary suite of products and brands and/or the pursuit of incremental contract manufacturing agreements,’ said Tony Abbas, General Manager of PharmHouse. ‘The fact that we are executing yet another agreement with an industry titan like Canopy Growth sends a strong signal about the quality of our operations and the confidence in our team’s ability to deliver.’
The 1.3 million square foot facility in Leamington represents the first stage of a planned global strategic relationship between Canopy Rivers and its PharmHouse joint venture partner, a company formed by the leading principals and operators of a North American agriculture conglomerate. The parties seek to leverage their relationship networks and respective strengths in cannabis, global commercial agriculture, marketing, and distribution to pursue regulated cannabis opportunities together on a global scale
About PharmHouse: Formed by Canopy Rivers and a company formed by the leading principals and operators of a North American agriculture conglomerate, the PharmHouse joint venture operates out of an ultramodern 1.3 million greenhouse facility in Leamington, Ontario, constructed in 2017 using the latest in commercial agriculture technology and featuring state-of-the-art automation systems. Canopy Rivers, along with its PharmHouse joint venture partners, are actively upgrading and supplementing the facility in preparation for licensing. In January 2019, PharmHouse entered into a syndicated credit facility providing up to C$80 million of secured debt financing. PharmHouse has secured multiple offtake agreements for an aggregate 50% of the production capacity upon licensing.
About Canopy Rivers: Canopy Rivers is a unique investment and operating platform structured to pursue investment opportunities in the emerging global cannabis sector. Canopy Rivers works collaboratively with Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED, NYSE: CGC) to identify strategic counterparties seeking financial and/or operating support. Canopy Rivers has developed an investment ecosystem of complementary cannabis operating companies that represent various segments of the value chain across the emerging cannabis sector. As the portfolio continues to develop, constituents will be provided with opportunities to work with Canopy Growth and collaborate among themselves, which Canopy Rivers believes will maximize value for its shareholders and foster an environment of innovation, synergy and value creation for the entire ecosystem.”
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Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) is a world-leading diversified cannabis and hemp company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms. Canopy Growth Corporation recently announced that it had acquired German-based, Bionorica SE-founded C3 Cannabinoid Compound Company in a transformative deal that will see established single cannabinoid medicines brought together with the world’s leading full-spectrum medical cannabis offering. The acquisition will allow Canopy Growth to further empower European physicians with the knowledge and therapies drawn from the full range of synthetic to naturally-derived cannabinoid-based medicines. Adding dronabinol to Canopy Growth’s product offering in Europe and potentially other key markets will allow the Company’s medical division, Spectrum Cannabis, to present an expanded, medically validated suite of cannabinoid therapies to the benefit of healthcare professionals and patients. Furthermore, C3’s infrastructure including production, distribution, and sales & marketing significantly adds to the Spectrum Cannabis footprint in Europe, including an expanding product line and additional reach into pharmacy and medical specialists’ networks. “What this boils down to is greater choice,” said Bruce Linton, Chairman & Co-Chief Executive Officer, Canopy Growth. “This acquisition will allow us to offer more options to physicians across Europe, accelerate our commercial sales and increase our economic footprint on the continent, and drive forward new innovations. Our goal is to build on C3’s extraordinary reputation and decades of success as we move to an innovative continuum of medical cannabis therapies that will enable physicians globally to better treat their patients.”
Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP) (TSX: TPX) has defined brewing greatness for more than two centuries. Molson Coors Canada (MCC), the Canadian business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Company, and HEXO Corp. (NYSE-A: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) previously announced that they had closed the transaction announced on August 1, 2018, to form a joint venture to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization. The joint venture, Truss, will be led by former Molson Coors executive, Brett Vye, in the role of Chief Executive Officer. Vye will report to the Truss board of directors consisting of three members appointed by MCC and two members appointed by HEXO. “With the backing of two partners with deep Canadian roots, proven success, and market-leading experience in the respective beverage and cannabis industries in Canada, Truss will hit the ground running,” said Brett Vye, Chief Executive Officer at Truss. “When consumable cannabis is legalized in Canada, Truss will be ready to make its mark as a responsible leader in providing high-quality beverages for the Canadian consumer. Why “Truss”? We are joining together the extensive experience and excellent practices of each partner to build a powerful foundation for the future.”
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) (CSE: CURA) is the leading vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator in the United States. Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the state-regulated cannabis business of Cura Partners, Inc., owners of the Select brand, in an all-stock transaction valued at CAD 1.27 Billion or USD 948.8 Million. The acquisition includes Select’s manufacturing, processing, distribution, marketing and retailing operations and all adult-use cannabis products marketed under the Select brand name, including all intellectual property. Based in Portland, Oregon, Select is the most well-known cannabis wholesale brand in the country. With its THC products sold in more than 900 retailers, it is the leading cannabis brand in key Western states, including California, Arizona, Oregon and Nevada. The highly complementary acquisition brings together two of the strongest cannabis brands, Curaleaf and Select, to offer a full-range of products across the U.S. The combination will provide immediate geographic diversification with Curaleaf’s footprint on the East Coast and Select’s brand strength on the West Coast. “The transformational acquisition of Cura and the Select brand is another step in our journey to create the most accessible cannabis brands in the U.S.,” said Joseph Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf. “The combination of Curaleaf and Select is a perfect fit. With our industry leading capacity, expansive retail distribution network and Select’s impressive sales and marketing capabilities, we intend to meaningfully accelerate our topline growth trajectory with the addition of the Select Oil product range. In addition, we intend to create significant operational synergies from the integration of Select’s wholesale business with our vertically-integrated cultivating, processing and retail platform. We look forward to welcoming the talented Select team who will bring superior brand marketing expertise and a culture of innovation in technology and product development.”
CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST) is a federally regulated licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis in Canada. CannTrust Holdings Inc. recently announced that its cultivation and processing permit under Health Canada Cannabis Regulations was amended to include the final 20% of its Phase 2 expansion. The entire 450,000 sq. ft. of its perpetual harvest greenhouse in Pelham, Ontario, is now fully licensed. CannTrust’s expected production ramp is as follows: The last 20% of the Phase 2 expansion is expected to be operating at full capacity by the end of Q2 2019; Pending Health Canada approval, the Company anticipates planting on its previously announced outdoor land acquisition of 81 acres in Q2 2019 and expects to realize a yield of approximately 1,000kg per acre in 2019. Total 2019 production from this harvest is expected to be approximately 75,000kg; With additional land under a letter of intent anticipated to be secured in the near term, the Company’s outdoor cultivation operation is expected to total 100,000kg to 200,000kg of production in the second half of 2020. Production from outdoor cultivation will primarily be used for extraction purposes for products that we anticipate will be permitted based on proposed regulations for additional cannabis products, which include edibles and inhaled extract products; The Company’s Phase 3 expansion of its perpetual harvest greenhouse is expected to add a further 50,000kg of capacity beginning in the second half of 2020. Phase 3 includes productivity and automation enhancements over Phases 1 and 2. Production from the Phase 3 expansion is also subject to Health Canada approval; CannTrust’s combined cultivation operations are expected to reach a total annualized capacity of 200,000kg to 300,000kg in the second half of 2020. “We have always been confident that our processes meet and exceed regulatory standards, and we now have further validation of this from our regulators,” said Peter Aceto, Chief Executive Officer. “With this approval, CannTrust is set to meet its plan to reach 50,000kg of annualized capacity at the perpetual harvest greenhouse and continue providing award-winning products in a cost-effective manner.”
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