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John SchroyerMay 31, 2023


Toronto-based global cannabis company Cronos Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CRON) (TSX: CRON) on Wednesday announced its departure from the United States hemp CBD industry, saying it plans to refocus on the Canadian marijuana market until cannabis is federally legalized in the U.S.

The company will finish winding down its U.S. presence by the end of the second quarter this year, according to a press release, and said that staying in the U.S. isn’t financially viable.

“Cronos has made this decision to improve its cash flow in the near term and position itself to directly enter the U.S. THC market when the necessary changes in U.S. regulatory conditions occur,” the company said.

Due to the pivot, Cronos expects to save an additional $10 million-$15 million this year, though it does expect write-offs of up to $1.8 million due to the exit.

“We believe that one day, the U.S. will be one of the most important cannabis markets in the world,” Cronos CEO Mike Gorenstein said in a statement. “But we also believe our resources are best spent on staying laser-focused on becoming cash flow positive by driving cost savings and process efficiencies for our borderless adult-use products.”

Gorenstein said that becoming cash flow positive in Canada by reinvesting in its brand presence there “will advance our industry-leading cash balance and put us in the best position to win in the U.S. once regulatory conditions change.”

Cronos will be re-launching its Lord Jones cannabis brand, which it acquired in 2019 for $300 million, in Canada in the fourth quarter this year. In addition, the company said it plans to keep building its “borderless” product portfolio with ongoing research and product development, including with its other two primary brands, Spinach and Peace Naturals.

Cronos faced various headwinds in the U.S. last year, including fraud charges leveled against the business by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting misconduct and improperly reporting millions of dollars in revenue.

And in the most recent quarter, Cronos reported a 20% year-over-year drop in revenue, which it said was partially to blame on harsh market conditions in the U.S. but also on its underperforming international division, particularly in Israel.

Debra BorchardtMay 31, 2023


 Compass Pathways plc (Nasdaq: CMPS)  announced that Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Ekaterina Malievskaia will step down from her executive role effective June 16, 2023. She will remain a member of the Compass Pathways Board of Directors, while her executive responsibilities will be carried forward by the existing executive team.

Dr. Ekaterina Malievskaia said, “I am grateful for the opportunity I had to co-found Compass Pathways and to work alongside such talented and dedicated people. We had a steep learning curve, building the company from a tiny start-up, through our initial public offering, and now to our phase 3 program. I am excited to take this experience forward into new opportunities in philanthropy and business to help change patients’ experience with mental health care and address significant unmet needs. Onward!”

Together with George Goldsmith and Lars Wilde, Katya co-founded Compass Pathways in 2017, determined to bring much-needed innovation to the field of mental health care. She helped oversee the growth of Compass and provided critical executive leadership to the company both before and after its initial public offering in 2020. During her tenure, she oversaw the development and execution of the groundbreaking phase 2b trial of COMP360 psilocybin for patients with treatment-resistant depression, started and helped build critical functions such as R&D, Digital Health, AI and Machine Learning, and Clinical Care Innovation. She also developed the company’s psychological support model and built its network of trained therapists.

Ekaterina received her medical degree from St Petersburg Medical Academy in St Petersburg, Russia, and then moved to the US where she completed her Internal Medicine residency training. She worked in private practice, academic medicine, and public health for more than 15 years in the greater New York area. She was a Clinical Instructor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, as well as a Research Professor at City University of New York. After moving to London in 2011, Ekaterina worked in global health and medical philanthropy, focusing on improving outcomes in maternal and child health.

Kabir Nath, CEO, of Compass Pathways, said, “Katya leaves an indelible mark on the company she helped found. COMPASS today reflects both the rigor and precision one would expect from a scientist and the compassion for and commitment to patients that one would expect from a physician. Her influence extends well beyond our company to the fields of psychedelic medicine and mental healthcare. We are closer to meaningful breakthroughs in care for patients thanks to her dedication, hard work, and leadership. We are pleased that we will continue to benefit from her experience and insights as she remains on the board.”

Watching Cash Levels

While the company has a large cash cushion, it is also spending quite a bit. In the company’s recent earnings call, CFO Mike Falvey said, “Our cash balance decreased by $26 million in the first quarter of 2023 due to using $27.7 million in operating cash, partially offset by $1.1 million provided by financing activities due primarily to the sale of shares under our ATM facility and a change of $0.7 million due to exchange rates impacts. The movement in operating cash is primarily driven by our net loss, partially reduced by noncash charges. Regarding guidance, we expect the second quarter net cash used in operating activities to be between 22 million and 30 million and the full year to be between $85 million and $110 million.”

He added, “The size of the second quarter range is due to the challenge in predicting the precise timing of cash outlays to support our phase 3 program in its early stages. As the trial reaches steady-state enrollment, we expect to offer a narrower quarterly and annual range. Compass continues to maintain a strong financial position with cash and cash equivalents of $117.1 million on March 31st, 2023, compared with $143.2 million on December 31st, 2022. In addition to our first-quarter cash balance, in the second quarter, we have received net proceeds of $26.9 million through the share — sale of shares under our ATM facility, which has further strengthened our cash position and extended our runway.”


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