Marijuana Minute: Weekly News Recap

Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (TSXV: CBW) (“Cannabis Wheaton” or the “Company“) is pleased to provide the following development update on the joint venture with FV Pharma Inc. (“FV Pharma” or “FV”). The FV Pharma facility (the “Facility”) is located in Cobourg, Ontario and hosts an existing 620,000 square feet of building space, a portion of which is currently licensed for cultivation pursuant to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

Pursuant to the Company’s agreement with FV Pharma, in exchange for access to the Cannabis Wheaton platform which includes ongoing financial, design and operational support and expertise, Cannabis Wheaton will receive a 49.9% stream of all cannabis (or cannabis-derived products including any immature cannabis plants and any cannabis trim) produced at the Facility, under partnership with Cannabis Wheaton, in perpetuity.

Chuck Rifici, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cannabis Wheaton commented, “The FV Pharma facility remains one of the most unique and important assets in the Cannabis Wheaton portfolio and we are very pleased with the progress the project has made over the previous few months. With the addition of Cornerstone as our design and building partner, and the ongoing support of the Town of Cobourg, we remain convinced that the FV Pharma facility will be a truly differentiated indoor growing facility.”

Thomas Fairfull, President and CEO of FV Pharma commented, “We are delighted with the progress of the facility, not to mention the fact that it remains on schedule and on budget. This goes to highlight the strength and value of the partnership with Cannabis Wheaton, in addition to their ability to execute within the parameters of the original agreement and timeframe. We look forward to working with them as this project moves into the advanced stages of construction and ultimately into the production of cannabis.”

Full press release:

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ, TSXV: CRON) (Cronos Group” or the “Company“) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018.

“We are pleased that the strategic initiatives launched in 2017 are coming to fruition,” said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. “2017 was a building block year which set the groundwork and foundation for the results achieved in the first quarter. Cronos is focused on continuing to increase capacity in order to serve existing distribution and newly established markets, developing intellectual property and launching recreational brands.”

First Quarter 2018 Highlights

  • Sales were $2.9 million for the first quarter of 2018 as compared to $0.5 million for the first quarter of 2017, representing an increase of $2.4 million, or 473%.  Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, sales increased by $1.3 million, or 83%, for the first quarter of 2018.

Since November 2017 when Health Canada approved the Company’s new extraction laboratory, Cronos Group has ramped-up production of strain-specific cannabis oils that have been received favorably by customers.  In Q1 2018, cannabis oil sales represented 29% of domestic medical patient revenue.  The Company expects oil sales to continue to become a larger part of sales over time.

In February 2018, Cronos Group became the first licensed producer to list on a major stock exchange in the United States.  The Company’s common shares trade on the NASDAQ under the trading symbol “CRON”.

Full press release:

Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSXV :OGI) (OTCQB: OGRMF) (the “Company” or “Organigram“), a leading licensed producer of medical marijuana based in Moncton, New Brunswick, is pleased to announce that Health Canada has issued the Company a License for Controlled Drugs and Substances (“Dealer’s License”) making Organigram a “Licensed Dealer”.

The Dealer’s License is the product of over twelve months of work with Health Canada to ensure Organigram can engage in research and development initiatives that will be critical to the Company’s forward-looking strategic plan both in Canada and internationally.

“The Dealer’s License will allow us to put our plans into action,” stated Greg Engel, Organigram CEO. “Now that we have our Dealer’s License in hand, we’ll be aggressively moving forward on plans for alternative forms and partnerships to fully maximize the value of our planned production of over 113,000 kg of cannabis through 2020.”

Full press release:

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF) (“Canopy Growth” or the “Company”) and Canopy Health Innovations Inc. (“Canopy Health” or “CHI”) are pleased to announce that, together with CHI’s subsidiary, Canopy Animal Health Inc. (“Canopy Animal Health”), they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement (the “Arrangement Agreement“) pursuant to which Canopy Growth will acquire all of its unowned interest in CHI and, Canopy Animal Health, bringing its affiliated research arm fully into the broader Canopy Growth family.

“Canopy Health has over-achieved in its mandate to create value and intellectual property (IP) relating to medical cannabis applications. By combining its IP with Canopy’s production and advanced manufacturing platform we aim to advance speed to market of medical cannabis products,” said Bruce Linton, Chairman & CEO, Canopy Growth and Chairman, Canopy Health. “Bringing CHI fully under the Canopy banner at this time and at this price reflects the value of CHI’s existing assets and takes into account the upstream value creation Canopy Growth is uniquely capable of layering on.”

Canopy Growth has built the world’s leading ecosystem of cannabis product development, research, and international sales channels, all while serving the largest medical patient base in Canada. Incorporating CHI into this ecosystem as a wholly-owned subsidiary will increase efficiencies and unlock the full potential of CHI’s significant IP portfolio including 39 patent applications filed with the United States Patent Trade Office, as it complements Canopy Growth’s broader efforts to develop, perfect, and market commercializable cannabis medicines in federally regulated jurisdictions around the world.

Full press release:

Surna Inc. (OTCQB: SRNA) announced today operating and financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2018 along with our recently approved transition plan for the company’s husband and wife co-founders.  Surna Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures application-specific environmental control and air sanitation systems for commercial, state- and provincial-regulated indoor cannabis cultivation facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Q1 2018 Financial Results

  • During the three months ended March 31, 2018, we had net bookings of $4,623,000, an increase of $2,169,000, or 88%, compared to the three months ended December 31, 2017, and an increase of $1,886,000, or 69%, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2017.  See “Project Life-Cycle and Backlog” below.
  • Our revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2018 was $2,055,000, a decrease of $254,000, or 11%, compared to the three months ended December 31, 2017, and an increase of $462,000, or 29%, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2017.
  • Our ending backlog as of March 31, 2018 was $7,024,000, an increase of $2,568,000, or 58%, compared to our December 31, 2017 backlog, and our largest quarter-end backlog.
  • Gross profit margin decreased by eight percentage points from 27% for the three months ended March 31, 2017 to 19% for the three months ended March 31, 2018.
  • We realized a net loss of $1,884,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2018 as compared to a net loss of $1,001,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2017, an increase of $883,000, or 88%. The net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2018 included $641,000 of non-cash, stock-based compensation expenses and $21,000 of non-cash gain related to debt instruments.

Chris Bechtel, the Company’s CEO stated:  “We are encouraged to see that our investments in upgrading our engineering personnel and increasing the effectiveness of our sales and marketing outreach over the last two quarters are beginning to be realized through increased net bookings.  While we are not satisfied with our recent declines in gross margin, and which was partly attributable to legacy internal procedures, we remain focused on improvement in this area through a combination of more disciplined pricing using enhanced pricing software, better absorption of fixed costs as we convert our increased bookings into revenue, and the implementation over time of lower-cost supplier alternatives.  We remain confident that with the new people, engineering know-how and improved processes that we now have in place, we are well positioned for expected future growth.”

Full press release:

Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (CSE: LHS) (OTCQX: LHSIF) (“Liberty” or the “Company“) has named seasoned marketing executive Stephanie Kubacki as Vice President of Marketing, effective June 1, 2018. Ms. Kubacki comes to Liberty with and exceptional track record managing and building high-profile brands in the highly regulated beverage industry.

“I am incredibly excited to welcome Stephanie to the leadership team where she will play an important role in pursuing our aggressive growth strategy” said George Scorsis, Director and CEO of Liberty. “She has an impressive background and wealth of experience in developing and advancing some of the world’s most recognizable brands. She’s a tremendous talent and adds important depth to our team.”

With over 15 years experience in strategic and commercial brand marketing, Ms. Kubacki brings a wealth of leadership and industry knowledge to the Company. She started her career with Bacardi Canada Inc. where she oversaw the Bacardi Rums portfolio marketing group. She has extensive experience leading national, regional and multicultural marketing initiatives for Bacardi Canada, Diageo Spirits California and Palm Bay International. In addition to driving marketing on such brands as Bulleit Bourbon, Ciroc Vodka, Skinnygirl Margarita and Aperol, Ms. Kubacki has also led the strategic implementation of business-critical, big data, business intelligence systems for top-tier companies in the beverage alcohol industry.

“I am thrilled to join one of the leading companies in the rapidly booming cannabis industry,” said Stephanie Kubacki. “I look forward to collaborating with such a strong team of innovators and game-changers as we work to convey the importance of education around the many benefits of Liberty’s medicinal cannabis products.”

Full press release:

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (the “Company” or “Aurora”) (TSX: ACB) (OTCQX: ACBFF) (Frankfurt: 21P; WKN: A1C4WM) and Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. (“Hempco”) (TSX-V: HEMP) are pleased to announce that, further to the Companies’ press release of September 18, 2017, Aurora has exercised its right under a private option agreement with Charles and Angela Holmes. Pursuant to this agreement Aurora has purchased an aggregate of 10,754,942 additional Hempco Shares (50% from Charles Holmes, 50% from Angela Holmes). Following the transaction, Aurora’s ownership interest in Hempco now stands at 52.7% (50.12% on a fully-diluted basis).

Management commentary

“Hempco plays an important role in our strategy to secure access to low-cost raw material for the potential production of CBD extracts once new legislation is in place allowing whole (hemp) plant utilization,” said Terry Booth, CEO. “Furthermore, this is a strategic partnership that also helps us develops a broader portfolio of value added products for the health supplements market. By taking control, we will be able to more closely integrate Hempco’s operations with our own and drive growth.”

Diane Jang, CEO of Hempco, added, “Aurora provides us with a large, financially strong and long-term stable shareholder, whose capabilities and networks will enable Hempco to accelerate development. With our new Nisku plant coming online, multiple distribution channel initiatives being implemented, and new products coming to market, we are rapidly developing a strong foundation for growth and expansion.”

Full press release:

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (the “Company” or “TGOD”) (TSX:TGOD) (US:TGODF) is pleased to announce  that, effective April 20, 2018, the Company has been granted a supplemental license from Health Canada for the production of cannabis oils.

The Company produces its cannabis oil using a supercritical CO2 extraction system, capable of processing up to 6,600 kg / year into ultra-pure, environmentally friendly, organic cannabis oils. The process is free of toxic solvents and does not require any winterization protocol. This innovative process produces the highest-quality cannabis oils in the world.

Giving concentrate makers control over the process provides access to cannabinoids within the plant in addition to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).  The result of this specialized extraction process is a precisely concentrated, aromatic golden-brown oil that is as close to the original plant composition as can be achieved.

“The extraction process allows TGOD to transform our premium quality organic raw material into a variety of premium higher-margin cannabis products. This is an important milestone in our path and commitment to providing users with alternative, more convenient and dose-controlled consumption methods.

“This license is instrumental in driving our research & development forward through product innovation, discovery of novel traits, and expanding our intellectual property portfolio. With over 125 years of consumer packaged goods experience, TGOD is well-positioned to be the world leader in the organic cannabis industry, providing a range of safe, consistent, high quality organic products,” said Robert Anderson, TGOD’s Co-Chairman and CEO.

Full press release:

CV Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: CVSI) (the “Company”, “CV Sciences”, “our” or “we”) announced today its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018.

Q4 2017 and 2017 Full Year – Operating Highlights

  • Record Q1 2018 Sales of $8,071,000, an increase of 114% compared to Q1 2017
  • Record Q1 2018 Gross Profit of $5,562,000, an increase of 129% compared to Q1 2017
  • Record Q1 2018 GAAP Net Income of $619,000, an improvement of $4,404,000 when compared to Q1 2017
  • Record Q1 2018 Cash Flow from Operations of $1,654,000, an improvement of $1,628,000 when compared to Q1 2017
  • Record Q1 2018 Adjusted EBITDA of $1,822,000, an improvement of $2,012,000 when compared to Q1 2017
  • Increased Retail Channel Distribution to 1,771 Stores as of March 31, 2018, an increase of 14% compared to three months ago at December 31, 2017
  • Continued Progress in Drug Development Division including preclinical progress with CVSI-007, the Company’s patent pending synthetic-based cannabidiol, which will be co-administered with nicotine to provide treatment options for smokeless tobacco use and addiction, currently a multibillion market with no currently FDA-approved drugs available to help patients.

Sales for Q1 2018 were $8.1 million demonstrating the Company’s continued organic expansion into all sales channels including the natural product retail, wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels. This is an 11% sequential quarterly increase from $7.2 million reported for Q4 2017. The Company’s natural product retail channel now includes 1,771 locations nationwide.  CV Sciences plans to continue developing new sales channels and is encouraged by the strength of its branded products as evidenced by SPINS® Scan data, which positions the Company as the #l selling hemp product line in the natural products industry.

Gross profit for Q1 2018 was $5.6 million and indicates the Company’s ability to expand sales while maintaining strong gross margins.

Adjusted EBITDA for Q1 2018 was $1.8 million and shows strong operating leverage from the Company’s significant investment in inventory, product development, systems, marketing and distribution.

“We are off to a strong start for 2018, delivering record financial performance on all of our key metrics including triple digit year-over-year revenue growth and double-digit sales growth on a sequential quarterly comparison. Our operating performance is driven by a combination of core revenue growth, strong demand for our products, and a market that is still in its infancy stages,” said Joseph Dowling, CFO of CV Sciences. “In every aspect, we set new performance records and laid the groundwork for continued profitable growth. On the drug development side, we made steady progress in advancing CVSI-007 – our proprietary lead drug candidate – which addresses the multibillion dollar smokeless tobacco use and addiction market. This quarter validates our ability to grow profitably and generate cash flow and positions us well to deliver a successful 2018 for our shareholders. ”

Full press release:

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