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StaffSeptember 16, 2021
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This is your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for September 16, 2021.

On The Site

Acreage

Acreage Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ACRHF, ACRDF) is selling its four Oregon dispensaries to Chalice Brands Ltd. (CSE:CHAL) (OTCQB:CHALF). The divestiture is part of Acreage’s strategy to target only core states versus trying to be the largest MSO in the most states.  The deal is valued at $6.5 million. Acreage’s four Oregon retail dispensaries are branded as Cannabliss & Co. and the sale will end the company’s presence in the state. The company said in a statement that the Oregon stores were negatively affecting the company’s bottom line and utilizing management resources.

Awakn

It’s been a busy week for psychedelic company Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN) (OTCQB: AWKNF) who reported its financial results for the quarter ending July 31, 2021 and announced an acquisition. On Wednesday, Awakn reported its earnings, but the relatively new company has no revenues to speak of. Instead, the company reported that it had a net loss of $9.1 million for the six months ending in July. Awakn also addressed its situation as a going concern due to its lack of incoming revenue. However, it has been able to raise money and currently has $8.7 million in cash. The company completed an $8.3 million financing at $2.50 per share in conjunction with its listing on the Neo Exchange.

In Other News

Australis Capital Inc., operating as AUDACIOUS (CSE: AUSA) (OTC: AUSAF) is buying the outstanding shares of BW Macaw Group, Inc. (“Herbs”) for $5 million, in an all-stock deal. The retail license, located at 543 Parrot Street, San Jose, Calif. 95112, is part of the contemplated transaction, as well as Herbs’ business license to cultivate, manufacture (production of derivatives and edibles), and distribute cannabis products.

 Additionally, Herbs has entered into a distribution agreement with EAZE, California’s largest legal cannabis delivery and distribution company. The Company has two contract manufacturers lined up to commence production of the Company’s products in California.

 “This deal creates a platform for our further expansion in California through a compellingly valued transaction that sees us establish a brick-and-mortar presence in an underserved market while teaming up with EAZE, one of the marquee names in the industry with more than 800,000 registered customers,” said Terry Booth, CEO of AUDACIOUS. “Through our EAZE partnership, we can provide consumers throughout California access to our award-winning brands, including our LOOS shots and new products in development that will be launching soon. In addition, with a license allowing manufacturing and cultivation, this transaction, once closed, will provide us with the option to scale up operations throughout the value chain to capture higher margins. The transaction will accelerate our revenue growth, while reflecting our ongoing execution towards becoming a tier one MSO.”

 


Debra BorchardtSeptember 16, 2021
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Acreage Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ACRHF, ACRDF) is selling its four Oregon dispensaries to Chalice Brands Ltd. (CSE:CHAL) (OTCQB:CHALF). The divestiture is part of Acreage’s strategy to target only core states versus trying to be the largest MSO in the most states.  The deal is valued at $6.5 million. Acreage’s four Oregon retail dispensaries are branded as Cannabliss & Co. and the sale will end the company’s presence in the state. The company said in a statement that the Oregon stores were negatively affecting the company’s bottom line and utilizing management resources.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Chalice to edge closer to our goal of achieving our targeted market share in the state of Oregon while entering the Eugene market, and immediately enables the deployment of our Chalice products to more stores. Adding the Cannabliss retail stores increases our footprint from twelve to sixteen stores, represents nearly a 130% increase in retail footprint for this year alone. The Cannabliss team has done a tremendous job in Portland, Eugene, and Springfield, Oregon in building historic businesses and a strong reputation for friendly customer service – exactly aligned with what Chalice looks for in a partner,” said Chalice CEO Jeff Yapp. Chalice believes it can turn around the Cannabliss stores, which have apparently lost market share.

Chalice retail footprint increases from twelve to sixteen stores in Oregon, making this nearly a 130% increase in the current fiscal year. Cannabliss is expected to carry Chalice Brands products immediately once the services agreements are completed providing the opportunity to increase total gross margins gradually from approximately 42% to at least 52% within a year. Vertical sales of Chalice branded products are expected to be approximately 25% of products sold within a year. With the Cannabliss acquisition, Chalice said it will strengthen its customer base in the Oregon market, while also significantly increasing vertical margin contribution through the distribution of its Bald Peak flower, Chalice, Private Stash, RXO, and Elysium Fields branded products into the Cannabliss stores.

“The sale of our Oregon operations represents another strategic step in our previously announced operating strategy,” stated Peter Caldini, Acreage Holdings CEO. “As we previously communicated, Acreage remains focused on our three key strategic objectives – driving profitability, strengthening our balance sheet, and accelerating our growth in our core markets.”

Oregon dispensaries include two in Portland, one in Eugene, and one in Springfield. Two of the store locations are in buildings that are on the national registry of historic places – Sorority House in Eugene and Firestation 23 in Portland. The Firestation 23 location was the first adult-use dispensary to open in the city of Portland and was Oregon’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

“This deal structure demonstrates our disciplined approach to capital allocation, as we avoid dilution while growing both our top line and profitability. The positive cash flow generated by this acquisition will partially fund the deferred payment, providing an immediate opportunity to enhance value for Chalice shareholders. With the addition of these four retail assets,  Chalice continues to cement our leadership position in Oregon as we execute on our stated market share objectives for 2021,” noted John Varghese, Executive Chairman of the Company

Terms

Under the terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement, upon regulatory approval Acreage will divest the assets of its four Cannabliss retail stores (inclusive of a working capital surplus of US $500,000) – located in Portland, Eugene, and Springfield, Oregon – for total consideration of US $6,500,000, consisting of a US $250,000 cash payment at the time of signing and a 10-month secured promissory note for US $6,250,000 bearing interest of 6% for the first 5 months and 10% for the remaining 5 months.


StaffSeptember 16, 2021
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It’s been a busy week for psychedelic company Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN) (OTCQB: AWKNF) who reported its financial results for the quarter ending July 31, 2021, and announced an acquisition. On Wednesday, Awakn reported its earnings, but the relatively new company has no revenues to speak of. Instead, the company reported that it had a net loss of $9.1 million for the six months ending in July. Awakn also addressed its situation as a going concern due to its lack of incoming revenue.

However, it has been able to raise money and currently has $8.7 million in cash. The company completed a $8.3 million financing at $2.50 per share in conjunction with its listing on the Neo Exchange. CEO Anthony Tennyson said, “We have also made significant strides in the development and delivery of psychedelic therapeutics to treat Addiction and continued to progress the opening of our first clinics. We remain steadfast in our mission to fully integrate effective psychedelic-based treatments into mainstream healthcare to better treat Addiction.”

Following the earnings announcement, Awakn said it has signed a binding share exchange agreement to acquire a 100% interest in Axonklinikken AS (“Axon”), a leading ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic in Norway. As part of the transaction Axon will be renamed ‘Awakn Oslo AS’, and Axon’s majority shareholder Dr. Lowan Stewart will be appointed as Regional Director for the Nordics and Managing Director Awakn Oslo AS. Awakn said the acquisition will help it to speed up its clinic roll out program, as Awakn will now parallel path its regional expansion plans in both the Nordics (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland) and U.K. & Ireland.

“This is a key element of our goal for Awakn to become the leading authority in the development and delivery of psychedelic therapeutics to treat addiction,” said Anthony Tennyson, Awakn’s CEO. “Our approach of development and delivery enables Awakn to earn revenue while we also develop a deep IP portfolio with strong commercial potential. This acquisition will enable Awakn to accelerate the first element of our three-pronged revenue generation strategy: clinics in the UK and Europe, licensing partnership beyond the UK and Europe, and therapeutics commercialization.”


StaffSeptember 15, 2021
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National Hispanic American Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 through October 15. Green Market Report wants to celebrate the achievements and contributions of some of the leaders in the cannabis industry who identify as such. While this list doesn’t include all of the notable Hispanics in the industry, it’s a start towards recognizing some of the key players. 

 

 

 Jushi Holdings Inc. Chief Operations Officer Leonardo “Leo” Garcia-Berg

Leo brings vast operational experience and global supply chain management to his role as Jushi Holdings Inc.(CSE: JUSH) (OTCQX: JUSHF) Chief Operations Officer at Jushi. Before joining Jushi, Leo served in numerous roles at Anheuser-Busch InBEV (“AB InBev”). As the Global Director of Value Creation, Global Procurement Officer, Leo led strategies focused on improving manufacturing, logistics, sourcing, and operations across the company’s breweries worldwide. While at AB InBEV, Leo had the opportunity to integrate the Modelo facilities located in Mexico into AB InBEV. In addition to his positions at AB InBEV, he also served as an international consultant for McKinsey & Company, focusing on operational strategies, procurement, organizational transformations, along with supply chain and end-to-end process optimization solutions. Leo received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires in Argentina, and earned his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Flores, Head of Brand and Customer Engagement, Receptor Brands 

Mark Flores has over 18 years of experience in corporate, non-profit, and consumer marketing within the general and multicultural/Latinx markets. With a history in education policy and political consulting, Mark worked as the communications director for one of Chicago’s largest charter school operators and served as Commissioner of Latino Affairs for the city under Mayor Richard Daley. After years in politics, Flores joined ICF Next to build their multicultural department for the MolsonCoors client. During his eight years at the agency, he built the department and became the client team director, managing a 28 person team responsible for Molson’s product portfolio of beers and other alcohol-based beverages. Always ensuring that general market programs included multicultural extensions, Flores built both the business and the teams during his tenure at ICF.

 Flores is currently with Receptor Brands, a cannabis-specific marketing firm where he is the director of consumer engagement working on a variety of projects that include retail, brand marketing and public relations. His background in niche community marketing has aided his ability to break into cannabis while having his eye on the future of cannabis marketing in the multicultural space.  

Richard Acosta, Co-President, GreenTech Properties, Inc.

Richard continues to advance the development of the cannabis real estate investment world, beginning with the 2018 formation of Los Angeles-based Inception REIT, one of the first private investment funds in the space. In late 2019, Richard co-founded and led a $225mm Canadian-listed SPAC which merged with and took Israel’s InterCure LTD public on the NASDAQ earlier this year. Most recently, Richard formed a real estate investment partnership, GreenTech Properties, focused on supporting environmental sustainability and providing operator-friendly capital alternatives to the popular long-term sale-leaseback model.

Richard is the former CEO & co-founder of Subversive REIT and Inception REIT, both cannabis-focused real estate investment vehicles. Richard is an experienced investor with almost 20 years of investment and portfolio management experience across various commercial real estate property types and investment structures having originated, underwritten or managed over $13 billion of direct real estate and real estate operating company investments. 

Richard spent nearly a decade with Colony Capital where he last served as a Director. During his tenure at Colony, Richard was involved in or responsible for the underwriting and execution of equity and related investments with a focus on operationally intensive real estate, including hospitality and gaming. Richard also spent several years developing Colony’s deal sourcing and capital raising functions in the Middle East. Richard began his career in the Real Estate Merchant Banking Group at Wells Fargo Bank. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and is involved with various philanthropic causes, including Vista Del Mar Child & Family Services where he serves as Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Richard is a graduate of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in real estate finance.

Cristina Nutzman, VP of Legal-Labor & Employment at Curaleaf

Cristina Nutzman has dedicated her entire career to Human Resources and Labor & Employment law. After graduating from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Cristina worked in Human Resources roles and eventually legal positions within the L&E field. She is a dedicated, caring, and experienced labor and employment lawyer with diverse professional experiences ranging from the federal government, private practice, and corporate roles. At Curaleaf, Cristina oversees all legal labor and employment activations. Recently, Cristina was appointed Chairperson for the Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois.  As a board member and member since 2007, she has been a driving force behind the success of the organization.

Madeline Padilla, Trade Manager at Papa & Barkley

 

Madeline Padilla has been with Papa & Barkley for two and a half years and has held several key roles on the Marketing Team. Her role has been critical in building the brand’s awareness both in California and nationally as the company has expanded. Padilla currently serves as the Trade Manager at Papa & Barkley. She works cross-functionally to manage swag, collateral, and merchandising, ensuring the brand has a voice beyond its products and resonates with consumers. Padilla oversees Papa & Barkley’s presence at key national trade shows and events including Expo East, Expo West, Hall of Flowers, and Emerald Cup. She advises on activations and booth designs that highlight Papa & Barkley’s products while providing education, excitement, and value to event-goers.

 

Steve Bustamante, Inventory Control Supervisor from Glass House Brands 

As the only child born in the United States of his four siblings, Steve Bustamante grew up surrounded by his Hispanic heritage. After only being in the US for a short time, his parents moved him and his siblings back to Michoacan, Mexico. By the time Steve was in 2nd grade, the entire family moved back to Oxnard, California and Steve essentially had to start from square 1 –learning English and reintegrating into American culture. Upon graduating from Humboldt State University – known as the capital of the cannabis industry- Steve became the first in his family to graduate from a university. Upon graduation Steve immersed himself in the industry fully and joined Glass House as Inventory Control Supervisor, a role created specifically for him. Steve’s knowledge in botany made him the perfect candidate for processing and inventory. Currently, Steve oversees all finished/salable products and ultimately releases inventory that is suitable for sale.

Arlene Pitterson, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Cannaclusive

Arlene Pitterson is an award-winning experiential marketer, creating memorable strategic events for clients and customers. She has worked with Fortune 100 companies, creating and managing national events such as screenings with Fox, Netflix, Procter & Gamble to local events in major markets such as NYC, Philly, and Los Angeles. Her various experiences in the music, fashion, alcohol, beer, automotive, and education space allow her to have a unique voice that is not only relevant to current trends but understand how to make each activation relevant to the client. Those various experiences brought her as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Cannaclusive, where she connects cannabis brands with the goal of educating, advocating, and promoting the involvement of people of color in the cannabis business. Arlene is also an adjunct instructor of marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, instructing students on integrated marketing and event planning.  The Brooklyn, NY native holds a degree in Marketing from Drexel University, currently receiving her Masters in international labor relations from Cornell University. 

Eric Lopez, Head of Operations – Lantern

Eric Lopez is head of operations at Lantern where he leads the execution of the company’s growth strategy across markets, working closely with dispensaries and delivery couriers on the platform. Eric began his career in investment banking, working at Barclays before leaving finance to help early stage startups scale their operations. Prior to Lantern, Eric was GM for Bungalow’s Boston market and an Ops Manager for Rappi in Latin America. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Boston College. Originally from Boston, he is first-generation Colombian-American.


StaffSeptember 15, 2021
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On Tuesday, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about Delta-8 THC noting that the product hasn’t been evaluated or approved by the agency. Granted the FDA’s opinion on anything cannabis-related is received with a healthy dose of skepticism. The FDA still hasn’t made any determination on CBD after years of discussion and research.

The 2018 Farm Bill that essentially legalized help specifically called out the exclusion of Delta-9 THC. Manufacturers seized on that and decided that Delta-8 could slip through the loopholes since it wasn’t named in the bill. Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant.

It doesn’t pack the punch of a Delta-9 high, but consumers say it gives a light buzz.  Delta-8 though isn’t easily extracted from the plants and so it’s typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). As such, the FDA is concerned that these products get labeled as hemp-derived and some consumers may think there are no psychoactive effects like other hemp products. The products are also marketed as having therapeutic qualities, which the FDA notes are unsubstantiated claims.

Adverse Side Effects

What is troubling are the reports of adverse side effects. In the waring notice the FDA said the from December 2020 through July 2021, it had received adverse event reports from both consumers and law enforcement describing 22 patients who consumed delta-8 THC products and 14 went to a hospital or emergency room for treatment. 19 of these patients said they had eaten delta-8 THC food products. The adverse events included vomiting, hallucinations, trouble standing, and loss of consciousness.

In addition to that, the FDA said that the national poison control centers received 661 exposure cases of delta-8 THC products between January 2018 and July 31, 2021, 660 of which occurred between January 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021. Of the 661 exposure cases:

  • 41% involved unintentional exposure to delta-8 THC and 77% of these unintentional exposures affected pediatric patients less than 18 years of age.
  • 39% involved pediatric patients less than 18 years of age
  • 18% required hospitalizations, including children who required intensive care unit (ICU) admission following exposure to these products.

Added Chemicals

The FDA noted that the natural amount of delta-8 THC in hemp is very low, and also dditional chemicals are needed to convert other cannabinoids in hemp, like CBD, into delta-8 THC through a synthetic conversion. The FDA is concerned that some manufacturers may use potentially unsafe household chemicals to make delta-8 THC through this chemical synthesis process. Also, additional chemicals may be used to change the color of the final product. Since these products are unregulated the manufacturing of delta-8 THC products may also be taking place in unsanitary settings.

Children Targeted

The FDA has also pointed out that the products are showing up in packaging that is appealing to minors. “These products may be purchased online, as well as at a variety of retailers, including convenience stores and gas stations, where there may not be age limits on who can purchase these products. As discussed above, there have been numerous poison control center alerts involving pediatric patients who were exposed to delta-8 THC-containing products. Additionally, animal poison control centers have indicated a sharp overall increase in accidental exposure of pets to these products.”

 


Video StaffSeptember 15, 2021

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Cannabis has joined NYC Fashion Week with Flower by Edie Parker. Founded by former Director of Public Relations at Gucci, Brett Heyman, the Edie Parker brand brings together fashion and cannabis in a unique line of cannabis products and accessories. The handbags have a retro look and luxury price, while smaller items lend themselves to grab-and-go gifts. The event brought out fashionistas who were eager to check out the products and light up pre-rolls.


StaffSeptember 14, 2021
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It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for September 14, 2021.

On the Site

High Tide

High Tide Inc. (NASDAQ: HITI) reported its financial results for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 ending July 31, 2021, as revenue increased by 99% to $48.1 million versus $24.1 million in the same quarter last year. High Tide noted that the financial results included the acquisition of META Growth Corp., Smoke Cartel, Fab Nutrition, and DHC Supply LLC. The net loss for the quarter was $1.7 million versus last year’s net income of $3.8 million for the same time period. Geographically, $38.4 million of revenue was earned in Canada and $9.6 million in the United States. Revenue from the U. S. increased to $9.6 million, versus $5.7 million for the second quarter of 2021, representing a 69% increase sequentially.

Fire & Flower

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (OTCQX: FFLWF) announced its financial results for the fiscal second-quarter ending July 31, 2021, as revenue rose 51.4% to $43.3 million over last year’s $28.6 million. Fire & Flower delivered a net income of $19 million versus last year’s net loss of $29 million. Digging into the company’s earnings, retail revenue rose by 36.3% year-over-year to $31.8 million. However, in troubling news, the company noted that same-store sales decreased 14% for forty-eight (48) stores in operation during the comparable period in Q2 2021 due to a surge in newly licensed retail cannabis stores in Ontario, from 665 on May 1, 2021, to 981 at July 31, 2021. Fire & Flower contributed to the surge by opening seven new stores in Canada, bringing total stores to 91. In early June 2021, the Ontario cannabis market opened up from lockdown due to COVID-19, allowing for foot traffic into all Fire & Flower retail stores.

Plus Products

It’s a sign of how difficult it is to be a CBD-only company. This week Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) filed for the Canadian version of bankruptcy. According to Plus’ filing, it has secured court protection from its creditors under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act or “CCAA”, in order to restructure its business and financial affairs. Plus Products has canceled its Annual General Meeting previously scheduled for September 14, 2021.

Weedmaps

WM Technology, Inc., better known as Weedmaps  (Nasdaq: MAPS) is buying Sprout, a leading, cloud-based CRM & marketing platform for the cannabis industry. Weedmaps did not disclose the valuation of the deal. Sprout is a cannabis CRM and marketing software platform used by dispensaries and cannabis brands across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Sprout’s cannabis CRM platform includes an entire suite of omnichannel marketing solutions including customer relationship management, text & email marketing, loyalty, mobile wallets, QR codes, mobile surveys, mobile coupons, advanced customer segmenting, and analytics.

 

In Other News

GPS Global

The global consortium Gateway Proven Strategies (GPS.Global) announces the acquisition of the Global Cannabis Network Collective (GCNC), an elite network for cannabis executives building and transforming the international cannabis trade. The agreement brings Chris Day and Jillian Reddish, co-founders of GCNC, into ownership and executive positions at GPS. The duo continues to operate the GCNC day-to-day.

“This is a true merging of the minds. We have great respect for GCNC’s achievements joining global companies to expand the international supply chain. This acquisition is a natural fit initiating the next phase for GPS. It accelerates our goal of being the most trusted firm focused on helping companies navigate global markets and supporting ethically-minded entities in expanding the cannabis marketplace,” said GPS Founder and Chairman, Bob Hoban.


Debra BorchardtSeptember 14, 2021
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High Tide Inc. (NASDAQ: HITI) reported its financial results for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 ending July 31, 2021, as revenue increased by 99% to $48.1 million versus $24.1 million in the same quarter last year. High Tide noted that the financial results included the acquisition of META Growth Corp., Smoke Cartel, Fab Nutrition, and DHC Supply LLC. The net loss for the quarter was $1.7 million versus last year’s net income of $3.8 million for the same time period.

Geographically, $38.4 million of revenue was earned in Canada and $9.6 million in the United States. Revenue from the U. S. increased to $9.6 million, versus $5.7 million for the second quarter of 2021, representing a 69% increase sequentially.

” Over the past year, we have been making strategic moves to successfully advance our rising portfolio of companies. We believe we can continue to build upon this momentum and capture a sizeable share of the cannabis market globally. I’m proud of our team’s efforts this quarter which resulted in revenue increasing once again by 99 percent over last year and 18 percent sequentially, despite market disruptions due to pandemic-related lockdowns and a very aggressive pricing strategy adopted by some value players. In Ontario, the largest cannabis market in Canada, due to pandemic-related restrictions, our stores were closed for in-person shopping for about half of the second quarter with only click-and-collect and delivery permitted. Despite these challenges we have been able to remain EBITDA positive by increasing our revenue at a pace consistent with previous quarters,” said Raj Grover, President and Chief Executive Officer of High Tide.

High Tide’s adjusted EBITDA in the quarter fell to $1.5 million versus $3.4 million for the same quarter last year. The company attributed the decrease in adjusted EBITDA to expenses related to the uplisting of the company’s stock to Nasdaq including directors’ and officers’ liability insurance premiums, Nasdaq listing fees, one-time professional fees, and additional human resources to support the integration of newly acquired companies. As a result of the uplisting to Nasdaq, the company became a non-venture issuer resulting in higher compliance requirements.

Grover went on to say, “This last quarter saw us continue our organic growth momentum by opening seven new retail locations across Canada with a total of 93 locations today. While the Canadian retail market remains competitive, our one-stop cannabis shop concept is very well received. This is evidenced by the fact that our Cabana Club membership grew by over 69,000 during the last quarter. Beyond our bricks and mortar organic growth, we doubled down on more accretive e-commerce acquisitions last quarter, in the consumption accessories and hemp-derived CBD space, with a particular focus on the U.S. market. With these acquisitions, our portfolio now includes three of the top five most popular online platforms for consumption accessories in the world. I remain excited about our e-commerce pipeline and look forward to sharing more good news on the M&A front in the very near future.”

Looking Ahead

High Tide said it expects to be at approximately 110 stores by the end of calendar 2021, despite some delays experienced in securing building permits. The company said it has made good progress on its application to enter the British Columbia market, and now expects that to occur by end of its 2021 fiscal year.

The increase in dispensaries in Canada was also mentioned. High Tide wrote, “While competition has increased given material growth in store counts in Ontario and Alberta and the concurrent rise of value players, the Company is focused on maintaining and growing its market share. We have begun leveraging our unique positioning within accessories to attract and retain more customers, and this approach has already yielded meaningful increases to our top line over the past few months. Just this week we announced two initiatives to expand our revenue streams.” The company also noted its plans to increase its business in the U.S.

Finally, High Tide said, “We are currently in discussions with multiple parties across a variety of end markets, with a particular focus on e-commerce within the growing ancillary and hemp-derived CBD markets. With a current annual run rate of revenues in the U.S. exceeding $50 million, we believe we are excellently positioned to lever our U.S. customer base to also sell cannabis once permissible by federal regulations and/or exchange policies – and the Company intends to continue growing its U.S. presence in the meantime.”

 


StaffSeptember 14, 2021
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It’s a sign of how difficult it is to be a CBD-only company. This week Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) filed for the Canadian version of bankruptcy. According to Plus’ filing, it has secured court protection from its creditors under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act or “CCAA”, in order to restructure its business and financial affairs. Plus Products has canceled its Annual General Meeting previously scheduled for September 14, 2021.

“Over the last year, we have continued to build PLUS into one of the strongest brands in cannabis,” said Jake Heimark, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “However, the slow rollout of legal dispensary licenses in California, and the structure of the California market have made it difficult for independent brands to remain competitive in this state. We continue to believe the strongest brands will come out of California, and I am confident that the outcome of these proceedings will result in a business that matches the strength of our brand for our employees, debtholders and shareholders.”

Trading in PLUS common shares and listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange and the OTC Markets Group has been halted pending the anticipated delisting of the Subordinate Voting Shares and the company’s securities from the CSE. A comeback hearing in respect of the relief granted pursuant to the Initial Order will be scheduled with the Court within ten days. Interested parties that wish to bring a motion at the Comeback Hearing are required to provide notice to the affected parties prior to the Comeback Hearing pursuant to the requirements as set forth in the Initial Order.

According to a company statement, Plus will be able to continue operating and pay normal expenses in the ordinary course of business. It will also move forward with the Board of Directors’ review of strategic alternatives, including the solicitation, development, and execution of any potential sale or other strategic transaction involving PLUS, whether in addition to, or as an alternative to, a CCAA plan of compromise or arrangement.

Plus gave no indication that it was in trouble last month when the company reported its earnings. While revenues hadn’t grown by a large amount, they had increased over last year and the company bragged that it was the most sales it had ever recorded in a quarter. Even the loss from operations had improved by 30% over the previous year.

At the time Heimark said, “We are happy to demonstrate that our revenues are back on the correct trajectory following the one-time accounting changes in Q1 2021. In Q2 2021, we had the highest revenues as a company thus far. We have been successful in our transition to a fulfillment-only distributor in California, and see that change reflected positively in this quarter’s results. In addition to the progress with our new distribution partner, we have continued to gain momentum with our fully-internalized sales team along with our special-edition and collaborative offerings.”

 


Debra BorchardtSeptember 14, 2021
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WM Technology, Inc., better known as Weedmaps  (Nasdaq: MAPS) is buying Sprout, a leading, cloud-based CRM & marketing platform for the cannabis industry. Weedmaps did not disclose the valuation of the deal. Sprout is a cannabis CRM and marketing software platform used by dispensaries and cannabis brands across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Sprout’s cannabis CRM platform includes an entire suite of omnichannel marketing solutions including customer relationship management, text & email marketing, loyalty, mobile wallets, QR codes, mobile surveys, mobile coupons, advanced customer segmenting, and analytics.

“Our strategy focuses on establishing WM Business as the software solution of choice for cannabis businesses. With the addition of Sprout, we are one step closer to realizing this vision of providing an all-in-one seamless and integrated solution to run, manage, and grow one’s cannabis business,” said Chris Beals, CEO and Chairman of WM Technology, Inc. “This acquisition will allow our clients to better target, reach, acquire and retain customers at scale. I also want to welcome Jaret Christopher, Sprout’s exceptionally talented Founder and CEO, and everyone at Sprout to our team.”

WM Technology says its acquisition of Sprout reinforces the company’s end-to-end operating system as one of the most comprehensive software solutions available in the cannabis market today. WM Technology’s acquisition of Sprout will strengthen the company’s position between retailers and consumers in the legal cannabis industry.

“We’re incredibly excited to join WM Technology. We look forward to leveraging the breadth and scale of users, retailers and brands on the Weedmaps marketplace to accelerate the reach of Sprout as part of WM Business,” said Jaret Christopher, Founder and CEO of Sprout.

Sports Deal

Last month, Weedmaps announced a multi-year agreement with Kevin Durant and Thirty Five Ventures as well as a sponsorship deal with Boardroom. Weedmaps will become an official sponsor of Thirty Five Ventures’ sports business media network, Boardroom, as part of the agreement. In addition to its sponsorship agreement, Boardroom will collaborate with Weedmaps to produce an original content series, which is tentatively slated for debut in 2022. The multi-year agreement also comprises ongoing integrations with Boardroom, including: Out of Office podcast, development and distribution of original content, co-branded collaborations and events, exclusive merchandise, and more.

“As the largest technology provider in the sector, we are serious about our responsibility to lead the national discussion around cannabis and the need for cannabis regulations to be updated across the board,” said Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of Weedmaps. “This partnership with Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, and the team at Thirty Five Ventures is a pivotal step forward in our ongoing efforts to break down stigmas surrounding cannabis, especially in the sports industry.”


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