FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, April 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Overwhelmingly positive data from clinical trials and research has led cannabis to become a disruptive global industry, even though there have been obstacles. Under international regulations, cannabis is considered an illicit drug, yet, a handful of countries have already moved to legalize cannabis on some level. Cannabis is a family of plants that falls under two primary classifications: Indica and Sativa. The plant is also comprised of two counterparts; marijuana and hemp. Although the two derivatives widely differ in their biological makeup, the two still offer similar therapeutic effects. Marijuana can fall under both the Indica or Sativa family, while hemp is categorized solely into the Sativa family. However, marijuana provides consumers with psychoactive effects because of its high THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, content. On the other hand, hemp does not cause psychoactive effects because it is mainly comprised of CBD or cannabidiol. As such, the potent THC concentration within the marijuana plant is the major reason why cannabis is strictly enforced around the globe. Nevertheless, despite the legal barriers, ongoing research, studies and positive sales results are all leading countries to reconsider the cannabis plant and its role. In particular, most countries are looking to adopt cannabis legislation for medical applications, while countries like the U.S. and Canada have already established a large recreational user base. According to data compiled by Zion Market Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at approximately USD 16.71 Billion in 2017. By 2024, the market is expected to generate revenues of USD 62.96 Billion while registering a CAGR of 21% from 2018 to 2024. WeedMD Inc. (OTC: WDDMF) (TSX-V: WMD), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), HEXO Corp. (NYSE-A: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO), Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTC: HRVSF) (CSE: HARV)
Currently, the medical market accounts for the largest share of the overall cannabis industry, even as the U.S. and Canada are expected to gradually shift the market from medical to recreational. The recreational market is mainly based within the North American region, while the medical market has already had a deep global impact. Countries such as Australia, Chile, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and others have all adopted medicinal cannabis legislation. Meanwhile, only Canada and Uruguay are the only two countries that have legalized recreational use. Moreover, there are a handful of countries such as Belgium, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland, that have decriminalized cannabis, allowing for moderate usage. "Overall, 2019 is set to be a year when investors start looking for results from cannabis picks in Canada, while the US is expected to continue to gain momentum from key policymakers. As a result, investors may be motivated to pay more attention below the border," said Oren Todoros, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of CannaImpact, "One of the greatest advantages of widespread legalization of cannabis is the ability to invest in research and development. The medicinal benefits of cannabis are well known, but scientists and engineers now have access to resources that will revolutionize our understanding of cannabis' properties. It will be crucial for the cannabis industry to continue staunch support of well-substantiated research, to drive continuous improvement in both agricultural and retail safety, and to nurture professional business practices at all levels."
WeedMD Inc. (OTCQX: WDDMF) (TSX-V: WMD) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: WMD). Earlier last week, the Company announced, "that it is has confirmed the appointment of Nichola Thompson to the position of Chief Financial Officer. The Company also announced it is expanding its commercial footprint to include corporate offices in downtown Toronto, and London, Ontario – both of which will open in spring 2019.
"Nichola is a dynamic leader with over 15 years of finance leadership experience at Discovery Air, Deloitte & Touche and Siemens Canada. Since joining WeedMD in January 2018, she has become an integral member of our executive team, taking on many key initiatives including systems integration, financial reporting, capital allocation and most recently was the lead in securing and finalizing the $39M secured credit facility with BMO," said Keith Merker, CEO, WeedMD. "Additionally, we are thrilled to announce our expanded footprint in Toronto and London as we continue to diversify and expand our commercial initiatives across Canada's largest province which is expected to capture 65% of Canada's legal cannabis market*."
WeedMD Expands Commercial Footprint - WeedMD's Toronto office located on Queen Street West opened its doors in April 2019 and houses the leaders and their teams in sales & marketing, business development, investor relations, communications and corporate affairs. The London office, located downtown off Richmond Street, is slated to open later this spring and will house the finance team and the administrative offices of the CEO and CFO.
WeedMD's corporate offices will accommodate the company's plan for future organizational growth and provide it with greater access to Canada's business networks as well as a strong pool of corporate talent to drive commercial growth across the country.
For more information, access WeedMD's investor presentation here (https://www.weedmd.com/investing-in-weedmd/) and recently updated corporate video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktgJ_BQtBCs&feature=youtu.be).
*Deloitte: 2018 Cannabis Report
About WeedMD Inc: WeedMD Inc. is the publicly-traded parent company of WeedMD Rx Inc., a federally-licensed producer and distributor of cannabis products for both the medical and adult-use markets. The Company owns and operates two facilities: a 26,000 sq. ft. indoor facility in Aylmer, Ontario and a 158-acre state-of-the-art greenhouse and outdoor facility located in Strathroy, Ontario. The Company currently has 136,000 square feet of licensed production space across its facilities and is expected to have a total footprint of more than 550,000 square feet of indoor and greenhouse production in addition to more than 25 acres of outdoor cultivation space online in the first half of 2019.
WeedMD has a multi-channeled distribution strategy that includes selling directly to medical patients, strategic relationships across the seniors' market and supply agreements with Shoppers Drug Mart as well as six provincial distribution agencies."
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 and Acreage Holdings, Inc. (CSE:ACGR.U) (OTC: ACRGF) recently announced that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement that grants Canopy Growth the right to acquire 100% of the shares of Acreage, with a requirement to do so at such time as cannabis production and sale becomes federally legal in the United States, subject to obtaining the requisite prior approval of the shareholders of each of Acreage and Canopy Growth, respectively, as well as the approval of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The Companies will also execute a licensing agreement granting Acreage access to Canopy Growth's award-winning line-up of brands such as Tweed and Tokyo Smoke, along with other intellectual property. Once the Right is exercised, Acreage will become part of a leading global cannabis company with access to markets beyond the U.S. Until then, the two companies will continue to operate independently. "Today we announce a complex transaction with a simple objective. Our right to acquire Acreage secures our entrance strategy into the United States as soon as a federally-permissible pathway exists," said Bruce Linton, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Canopy Growth. "By combining Acreage's management team, licenses and assets with Canopy Growth's intellectual property and brands, there will be tremendous value creation for both companies' shareholders."
Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) is a global pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis currently serving tens of thousands of patients in twelve countries spanning five continents. Tilray recently celebrated the official opening of its European Union (EU) Campus located in Cantanhede, Portugal. Tilray Chief Executive Officer Brendan Kennedy, global senior leaders and the EU Campus Team welcomed guests from all over the world including international healthcare professionals, government officials and local dignitaries to celebrate the inauguration of the company's European production and distribution center. Tilray's EU Campus in Portugal is a multi-faceted production facility that includes indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cultivation sites, as well as research labs, processing, packaging and distribution sites for medical cannabis and cannabinoid-derived medical products. To date, Tilray has invested approximately EUR 20 Million in the facility, which totals approximately 250,000 sq. ft., with additional room to expand. Tilray's EU Campus also serves as a hub supporting Tilray's clinical research and product development efforts across Europe. Tilray's EU Campus currently employs more than 100 professionals, and that number is expected to double by the end of 2019, with production ramping up and multiple harvests anticipated in the coming months. "We're thrilled to celebrate another milestone as we continue to expand our global presence and pioneer the future of the cannabis industry. We are grateful for the warm welcome we've received from Portugal and the city of Cantanhede," says Brendan Kennedy, Tilray Chief Executive Officer. "We're looking forward to utilizing Tilray's EU Campus to serve the European Union medical cannabis markets with high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products."
HEXO Corp. (NYSE-A: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) is an award-winning consumer packaged goods cannabis company that creates and distributes prize-winning products to serve the global cannabis market. HEXO Corp. recently announced that it had entered into an arm's length binding multi-year extraction services agreement with Valens GroWorks Corp. (CSE: VGW, OTC: VGWCF) to receive cannabis and hemp extraction services. The Agreement has an initial 2-year term from the date of the first shipment, with HEXO supplying Valens with an annual minimum of 30,000kg in the first year and 50,000kg in the second year of cannabis and hemp biomass. Valens will process this material on a fee for service basis into premium quality resins and distillates using the Company's leading proprietary extraction processing methods. The Agreement contains provisions under which it may be terminated with 90 days written notice after the one-year anniversary. Valens expects to receive and begin processing the first shipment from HEXO early in Q3 of 2019 and currently holds all required licensing from Health Canada to carry out its obligations under the Agreement. "HEXO is pleased to work with a quality organization like Valens. On the eve of edibles and concentrate legalization in Canada, this agreement will allow our company to bring an expanded offering to market, creating innovative products to deliver exceptional cannabis experiences to consumers," said James McMillan, Vice-President of Strategic Business Development at HEXO Corp.
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF) (CSE: HARV) is one of the first consistently profitable, vertically integrated cannabis companies with one of the largest footprints in the U.S. Recently, Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. announced it would become the largest multi-state operator (MSO) in the U.S. following closing of a definitive agreement signed on April 22, 2019 to acquire Verano Holdings, LLC, as previously announced by press release dated March 11, 2019. Verano is one of the largest privately held multi-state, vertically integrated licensed operators of cannabis facilities with an extensive portfolio of premium branded products. The Transaction is expected to offer synergies related to enhanced scale of the combined operations, which upon completion is expected to make Harvest the largest MSO, as measured by facilities allowed, state footprint, revenue and permitted facilities in today's market – despite the potential growth based on changes in U.S. federal laws. Following closing, Harvest will be able to operate in up to 200+ facilities in 17 U.S. states and territories, including 123 retail dispensaries. Combining Verano and Harvest, Harvest is one of the few, U.S. multi-state operators with a track record of operational profitability. "Expanding our national footprint is paramount at Harvest and allows us to continue on the path to profitable growth for shareholders," said Jason Vedadi, Executive Chairman of Harvest. "This accretive transaction will improve our position by strategically expanding our operating base to realize the benefits of scale. From day one, both companies focused on consistent revenue and profit growth. We are excited to bring Verano's premium brands, depth of management and sound operations into Harvest."
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