Cannabis Unicorn MedMen Stock Stumbles As Industry Throws Shade

Trading for MedMen Enterprises (MMEN) has got off to a rocky start. The much-touted first “unicorn” of cannabis began selling shares following a reverse takeover on Tuesday at the Canadian Stock Exchange. The shares were valued at C$5.63, but on the first day of trading, the prices slipped to C$4.95. The stock was lately trading at C$4.65, slipping another 6%.

Matters weren’t helped when a story from Equity Guru was published the day before the stock began trading.  The story did not mince words and said, “This MedMen deal is rank AF.” Readers should probably know what the AF stands for.

The story mostly highlighted that CEO Adam Bierman was set to receive $1.5 million a year in pay for the next four year, plus $10 million in redeemable units. Ultimately Bierman gets $26.5 million from the get-go. Co-founder and President Andrew Modlin gets the same deal. Equity Guru wrote, “So, of the $100 million raised in new shares going public, $53 million of it goes straight into the pockets of the big two.”

The story also warned potential new shareholders that they would have no shareholder voting rights because the majority of voting rights are held by the top executives.

MedMen in return posted its own sponsored content story on Cannabis Financial News calling the company “A compelling opportunity to invest in the cannabis industry.” The only financial figure given in the story about the compelling opportunity was that MedMen had a $1.6 pre-market valuation. MedMen’s initial valuation grew as a result of an investment by Captor Capital which lists Andrew Modlin as a consultant.

Merida Capital Partners jumped into the fray  on Twitter calling out the “insane terms in the prospectus” and chastised investors saying, “Did you even read the OC?”

Marijuana Stocks asked if it will be the biggest pot stock to flop and the Wolf of Weed Street (Jason Spatafora) gave a snarky, “What do you think?”

Nikola Zivkovic wrote on Twitter, “Can you name a more flagrant and borderline criminal compensation structure of a recent issue than MMEN?”

SenorWeedStocks said, “G’morning folks, remember to NOT buy $MMEN today.”

Betting Bruiser said, “$MMEN Most Overvalue Potstock to date.”

Compensation issues aside, MedMen only generated revenue of $8.4 million for six months ending December 2017 and booked an operating loss of $43 million. This isn’t unusual for a company that is reinvesting in its own growth. A review of most cannabis companies earnings will demonstrate several with big losses as they build cultivation facilities and expand storefronts. Still, the level of shade being thrown in the direction of MedMen was unusual, since the cannabis community normally supports most companies in the industry.

The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD) also went public recently and had even less revenue to report that MedMen, yet the stock has moved higher as the company has announced key partnerships. Equity Guru suggests this is because the shareholders have a share in the success of the company versus MedMed whose shareholders have no voting power.

The stock had been very hyped and so expectations have run high. Now as a public company, MedMen will be forced to prove to its shareholders that their investment will pay off

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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