Financial Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 20, 2020
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5min3950

GenCanna, one of Kentucky’s largest hemp companies, filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky earlier this year in February. One problem with GenCanna’s bankruptcy filing though was that MariMed (OTC:MRMD) was one of the largest shareholders in the company. It had a $34 million claim against the company sparking a battle over control of the company.

Last week, Law360 reported that MariMed lost a round over the efforts to gain control over the company. The website said that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gregory Schaaf of Kentucky found MariMed had acted improperly when it attempted to replace members of GenCanna’s board of directors and force out GenCanna’s president and chief executive officer.

The Fight Begins

In any bankruptcy cases, debtors are first in line over equity holders. In the process of working through its bankruptcy, GenCanna made a deal to sell the bulk of its assets for $75 million. MariMed was against the deal and had its own plan to reorganize the company, but apparently couldn’t come up with the money needed for the plan. According to the Law360 reporting, the court records demonstrated that GenCanna went with the offer it had.

The court records said that MariMed’s president and chief executive officer Robert Fireman, who also sits on GenCanna’s board of directors, teamed up with another board member, Michael Falcone, to form a voting bloc controlling 52% of GenCanna’s parent company’s shares. The two apparently pulled GenCanna Chief Executive Officer Matty Mangone-Miranda, GenCanna President Steve Bevan, and one other member of the board of the parent company, and installed Fireman as chairman, according to court records.

The court filings stated that Fireman and Falcone appointed a new CEO of the parent company, and directed him to get the bankruptcy case dismissed. The new director of GenCanna USA’s board was told to develop a plan to liquidate the company within 30 days.

The ousted executives, Mangone-Miranda and Bevan asked Judge Schaaf to step in claiming MariMed’s actions violated board rules. The Judge agreed saying, “Using an equity position that has no chance of recovery to object to a settlement that is not even filed is an obvious attempt to exercise control over the case and enhance the creditor interests,” Judge Schaaf wrote. “Further, this also suggests clear abuse of the governance process that would warrant action in this court if an injunction was requested. For now, that analysis is not required.”

Basically, since the assets were sold, there is nothing left for the equity owners like MariMed. Since there’s nothing left for MariMed, they have no power to make these types of decisions at the company. GenCanna said it is in settlement negotiations with its senior secured lender and buyer to resolve claims from the committee of unsecured creditors. The settlement is expected to generate roughly $1 million, but the claims are much higher than that.

The assets were sold to New York-based MGG Investment Group, a private lender, and one of the company’s creditors.

GenCanna’s Pain Inflicted On MariMed

GenCanna’s bankruptcy filing also weighed on the shares of MariMed. In April, MariMed’s fourth-quarter 2019 financial results included a one-time charge of $30.2 million as a result of a write-off of its investment in GenCanna. CEO Jon Levine said, “Despite GenCanna’s Chapter 11 filing, we believe that it will emerge with a restructured capital and operational structure that will allow GenCanna to restore its position as a leader in the hemp industry. If this occurs, we believe there will be an opportunity for the value of the assets to be recaptured at a later date.  We expect to continue our strong relationship with GenCanna and jointly pursue opportunities in the evolving hemp industry.”

MariMed’s shares have dropped from 40 cents in February before the GenCanna bankruptcy and were lately selling at 13 cents.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 17, 2020
1933.jpg

5min1780

1933 Industries Inc.  (CSE: TGIF) (OTCQX: TGIFF) reported that it has agreed upon a non-brokered financing of up to C$5,000,000. 1933 said that the offering will consist of the sale of up to 66,666,666 units at a price of C$0.075 per Unit. The offering is expected to close on or about August 14. The stock was lately selling at C$0.07. The proceeds will be used for ongoing business development and general working purposes.

1933’s CEO Paul Rosen said, “1933 Industries has the assets in place to build a self-sustaining and profitable business. Our new cultivation facility in Las Vegas is now running at full capacity and we have launched new hemp and CBD wellness products and opened up new sales channels, including through Amazon and Walmart. We have cut our public entity expenses by 68% and our non-operating expenses by 46% since November 2019, and we continue to move aggressively to control costs. This financing will strengthen our balance sheet and provide additional cash reserves to manage COVID-19 related uncertainty while we execute on our strategy.”

The company has two subsidiaries and controls all aspects of the value chain with cultivation, extraction, processing, and manufacturing assets supporting its diversified portfolio of cannabis brands and licensing partners. 1933 owns 91% of Alternative Medicine Association, LC (AMA), and 100% of Infused MFG LLC.

Brands include: AMA flower and AMA concentrates, as well as CBD-infused Canna Hemp™, Canna Hemp X™, and Canna Fused™ products. Partners under licensing agreements include: Birdhouse Skateboards™, Blonde™ Cannabis, Bloom™, Denver Dab Co., Grizzly Griptape, OG DNA Genetics, The Pantry Company, PLUGplay, and The Original Jack Herer®.

Wal-Mart

1933’s Canna Hemp announced earlier this week that it has made its products available for sale through the retail giant, Walmart.com. Walmart currently occupies one of the top spots in the hierarchy of online retail, as one of the largest online retailers for supplements and natural health products. Health products have been a major seller within Walmart.com’s online marketplace, and Walmart expects online sales to grow by more than thirty percent by the end of 2020.

“Walmart has been the next natural move for Canna Hemp, as the brand continues its expansion throughout 2020. Understanding the online marketplace and maintaining a stable e-commerce presence is vital for success in today’s web-based economy. Currently, Canna Hemp’s products are available through its website, cannahemp.com, as well as a host of other e-commerce sites, with more to come as the brand continues to grow.”

Deal Terms

Each Unit will consist of one common share of the Company and one half of one transferable share purchase warrant. Each whole share purchase Warrant will entitle the holder to acquire one Common Share at an exercise price of C$0.125 per share for a period of 24 months following the closing date of the Offering. The net proceeds of the Offering will be used to fund the Company’s ongoing business development and general working capital.

Each Warrant is subject to an accelerated expiry. If the closing price of the company’s common shares exceeds C$0.25 per share for a period of 10 consecutive trading days, the company may provide notice of acceleration, after which holders of the Warrants will be entitled to exercise their Warrants for a period of 30 days. All securities in respect of the Offering will be subject to a four month and one day hold period commencing on the Closing Date.

The company recently announced amendments to its convertible debentures, including the deferral of interest payments to the maturity date in September 2021 (refer to news release dated June 29, 2020).


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 16, 2020
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10min5831

The dispensary credit card fraud scheme that has ensnared the delivery company Eaze is set to move forward.

In March, Ruben Weigand and Hamid “Ray” Akhavan were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud over charges that occurred between 2016 and 2019. They are alleged to have created a bunch of fake companies to trick banks into processing credit and debit payments for marijuana products from legal sellers. The two asked the court to dismiss the indictment saying that no one was harmed in the scheme.

[The major credit card companies have refused to work with the cannabis industry as it is still federally illegal. This has caused major difficulties for retailers whose customers are accustomed to using debit and credit cards for most transactions. Numerous workarounds have been devised like installing ATM machines in dispensaries or creating a transaction where the buyer is making a debit transaction versus a credit card transaction.]

The two also argued that in addition to no one being harmed, “the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, a rider on a congressional appropriations bill that bans the U.S. Department of Justice from using its funding to prosecute businesses engaged in a state’s legal medical marijuana industry.”  Law360 has reported that “on Wednesday, the government said the amendment has nothing to do with charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The allegations center on the pair’s efforts to mislead the banks, which is a crime no matter what industry is involved.”

“The indictment clearly alleges facts showing that the issuing banks maintained a property interest in the funds they used to settle credit and debit card transactions for their cardholders, and that the banks issued such payments as a direct result of the deceptive scheme outlined in the indictment,” the prosecutors wrote.

Eaze Not Named

Prosecutors said Weigand and Akhavan worked with executives at an online marijuana marketplace company to facilitate the sales, although they haven’t named the business. Eaze, an online company offering delivery from dispensaries, was the subject of a lawsuit last year that alleged it worked with Akhavan to utilize shell companies to process credit card payments.

While Eaze was not specifically named in the case by the prosecutors, only an unnamed online marijuana marketplace was mentioned, a connection has been made. Eaze was not charged in this case against the two.

The Eaze Connection

In a lawsuit filed in 2019, Herban accused Eaze of ongoing, pervasive criminal activity. It should be noted that this case was dismissed by parties in January 2020 according to Law 360. Eaze was not charged.

 To gain an unfair competitive advantage in the California cannabis delivery market, Eaze is directing,
coordinating, and participating in a scheme to defraud credit and debit card companies and financial
institutions into processing cannabis transactions in violation of a host of criminal laws, including
prohibitions against: (1) wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343); (2) bank fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344); and (3)
criminal fraud (Cal. Pen. Code § 532). By running a business that avoids the constraint of California
and federal laws, Eaze has obtained an unfair advantage over its competitors, including Herban,
who have been harmed and continue to be harmed by Eaze’s ongoing criminal acts.
To perpetrate these frauds, Eaze created or partnered with Cyprus- and U.K.-
based shell corporations that purport to sell these seemingly innocuous products but in fact exist
solely or primarily for the purpose of misrepresenting the nature of the underlying transactions (the
“Eaze Shell Companies”).
Herban owned Chill, a group of former Eaze employees that split off to create a competing platform. Back in April 2019, the company DionyMed terminated its contract with Eaze and claimed that “Based on review by outside counsel, DYME could not confirm that the processing procedure meets California regulatory requirements.” The company said it was going to invest in its own delivery service called “Chill.” DionyMed through its dispensary store Hometown Hearts claimed that Eaze was using shell accounts to create fraudulent charges and payment processing, which was the excuse it needed to terminate a three-year contract.
Eaze countersued and claimed in its countersuit that Hometown Heart knew that the payment processors it accused of fraud, were its own processors, not Eaze’s. Eaze has said repeatedly, “It doesn’t process claims.”
In its customer delivery receipts, Eaze tells its customers that they will see the charge for their purchase through Eaze on their card statement, and that the charge will be associated with some entity other than the actual merchant from whom they purchased the product. The customer delivery receipts reflect an express promise by Eaze to submit false information into the credit and debit card payment system, which Eaze does, on information and belief, to ensure that the transactions are not flagged or caught by the Payment Card Companies as Precluded Activities.
The complaint went on to say:

Eaze worked with an individual named Hamid “Ray” Akhavan (“Akhavan”) in an effort to restart credit and debit card processing on the Eaze Platform. Eaze directed several cannabis dispensaries, including some of its largest partners, to

meet with Akhavan in Calabasas, California regarding a new credit and debit card solution. In or around March or April 2018, at Eaze’s direction, representatives from various dispensaries attended the meeting with Akhavan in Calabasas (hereinafter the “Akhavan Meeting”). On information and belief, when the representatives for the dispensaries arrived at the meeting
location, Akhavan’s ostentatious purple Lamborghini was parked outside.

Are The Dispensaries Guilty?

Eaze quit accepting payments of this nature in mid-2019. However, the allegations don’t end because the transactions ended. The dispensary owners are no doubt nervously watching the outcome of this case. They could also be dragged into this for committing bank fraud. The case uses the term “conspiracy,” indicating that it isn’t just these two and that others could be involved. If the dispensary owners knew that Vias and Mastercard would not accept payments for cannabis transactions and they still pursued a scheme that managed to make that happen, are they guilty?
At least while cannabis foe Attorney General Bill Barr is at the top of the Department of Justice, the dispensaries are probably right to be worried. Some dispensaries tried to back out of the Eaze deal and were refused by Eaze who told them they had to meet certain volume goals.

In a statement, Eaze said the company is aware of the case and is “fully cooperating with the relevant authorities. Eaze transitioned to supporting new payment systems over a year ago, and this matter does not impact the current customer experience.”

 

 


StaffStaffJuly 15, 2020
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3min1490

Cannabis technology company POSaBIT Systems Corporation (CSE: PBIT) reported rising revenue for the first quarter of 2020 and said it expects to meet its prior forecast for revenue of $8 million for the year of 2020. Total revenue for the quarter ending March was $972,000, up 5% compared with $897,000 in the first quarter of 2019.

The net loss for POSaBIT was $792,743, which was slightly higher than last year’s net loss of approximately $774,000 for the same time period. The gross profit was $70,833 an increase of 192% compared with a gross profit of $36,797 in the first quarter of 2019. The company engages in blockchain-enabled payment processing and point-of-sale systems for cash-only businesses.

“We are pleased to witness continued strong demand for our retail payment and POS solutions even amid the ongoing pandemic,” said Ryan Hamlin, co-founder, and CEO of POSaBIT. “POSaBIT is also excited to provide updated guidance that we will be cash-flow positive in Q3 2020, a change from our prior guidance of Q4 2020. Customer desire to avoid cash payments is leading to an increased usage of our solutions in our current stores. At the same time, we are witnessing a significant uptick in interest from stores that have previously been cash-only operations. Sales have increased at a rapid pace and we expect to meet our prior 2020 forecast guidance of over $8M in revenue and over $135M in transactional sales.”

Looking Ahead

POSaBIT updated its full-year 2020 outlook with a forecast that revenue would grow in the range of approximately 75% to 95% year over year. The company gave new guidance that it would reach profitability in the third quarter of 2020. Transactional sales are projected to grow over 200% to approximately USD $135 million, assuming the average store processes between USD $350,000 and USD $600,000 per year through the POSaBIT service. Cost of sales in the range of $3.5 million to $4.0 million and the company said it plans to expand POSaBIT’s footprint to end 2020 in 15 to 20 recreational and medical states.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 13, 2020
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3min2940

 Jushi Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: JUSHF) announced $15.25 million in debt financing. To date, The company said it has received cash proceeds of $16.325 million and additional binding subscriptions, for a pro forma total issuance of $17.425 million of 10% senior secured notes and warrants to acquire a subordinate voting share. The company also received non-binding indications of interest for up to an additional $10 million of financing.

The money will be used for the cash portion of a previously announced Pennsylvania grower-processor permit holder transaction.  Last month the company said it was planning on buying Vireo Health’s (OTC:VREOF) Pennsylvania Medical Solutions in an effort to strengthen its position in the state’s market. Jushi was to pay Vireo $16.3 million in cash, a $3.8 million seller note, and assume a $17 million facility associated with a long-term lease obligation. The $37 million deal is expected to close by the end of August 20.

Debt Terms

The company said in a statement that all Notes would mature on January 15, 2023, and will bear interest of 10.0% per annum payable in cash quarterly. Jushi’s obligations under the Notes are secured by the assets of Jushi and certain of its subsidiaries (subject to certain exclusions) and are also guaranteed by certain subsidiaries of the Company and rank pari passu with the currently outstanding 10% senior secured notes of the Company.  In connection with the Offering, the purchasers of the Notes will also receive Warrants to acquire subordinate voting shares of the Company at 75% coverage with an expiry date of December 23, 2024, at an exercise price equal to US$1.25 (~CAD$1.70 as of 7/10/20).  The Warrants contain a cash-less exercise (net settlement) option available 12 months after issuance.

Jushi’s Chairman & CEO Jim Cacioppo subscribed for US$1.5 million of the Notes with other insiders and management subscribing for US$3.475 million of the Notes.


StaffStaffJuly 8, 2020
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2min3540

Tissue culture technology company, Conception Nurseries has raised more than $15 million with the addition of approximately $12 million in its Series A round. The company said that the proceeds would be used to operationalize its facility in Sacramento, CA.

The raise was announced by Viridian Capital Advisors, who through broker-dealer, Pickwick Capital Partners, led the financing round.

Kevin Brooks, Conception’s CEO said, “Our focus at Conception is not only to provide a far superior plant when compared to traditional propagation but to do so at or below what it would cost a cultivator to do in house. The only way to achieve this is through scale and automation. We conducted a global search for partners to bring state-of-the-art, industrial agriculture technology to the U.S. cannabis industry. We thank the team at Viridian Capital for their hard work and perseverance in completing our Series A financing.”

Conception’s goal is to  solve some of the cultivators’ trickiest problems by bringing tissue culture technology (micropropagation) to the cannabis industry. The company said in a statement that growers have been dependent on “mom plants” to produce “clones” that deliver inconsistent harvests with diluted and uncontrollable traits. “This results in cultivators being unable to accurately forecast production and end-users being unable to depend on a consistent experience. Tissue culture technology allows Conception to quickly mass-produce identical, disease-free plantlets with customized and consistent profiles. This reduces growers’ operational risks and costs while increasing yields. Conception’s plants will be sold at (or even below) what it costs cultivators to produce them in-house.”

Scott Greiper, President and founder of Viridian Capital, stated, “Conception Nurseries, led by its CEO, Kevin Brooks, is at the forefront of the adoption of tissue culture technology as the standard for cannabis cultivators. Conception’s technology, combined with Kevin Brooks’ track record as a growth-company CEO, is why we were excited to represent Conception as a Viridian client.”

 


StaffStaffJune 19, 2020
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4min3750

Columbia Care

Columbia Care Inc.  (OTCQX: CCHWF) said it expects to complete the second tranche of its previously announced $50.0 million financing with the offering of an aggregate principal amount of $15.7 million in 5.00% senior secured convertible notes due 2023. $12.8 million of escrowed funds are expected to close on or by June 22 with the remaining binding commitments closing in early July.

“Columbia Care continues to demonstrate its ability to access the institutional capital markets at attractive terms despite incredibly challenging macroeconomic conditions, validating the confidence that institutional investors have in our company and team,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care. “Since the start of 2020, including these financings, Columbia Care has raised over US$65 million of new capital, minimizing dilution, enhancing our liquidity position, de-risking our outlook and enabling us to execute on our growth strategy. We will continue to allocate resources to our highest performing markets where opportunities exist to drive incremental profitability and improve our position as the leading nationwide operator. Columbia Care is committed to being a disciplined steward of capital and remains focused on creating shareholder value as we transition to adjusted EBITDA positive in 2020.”

The company said that once it closes the additional $19.7 million, the aggregate financed amount of $54.1 million will exceed Columbia Care’s previously announced target of $50 million. This amount excludes proceeds from the company’s anticipated second and third sale leaseback transactions, expected to close in the third quarter. Also excluded is the company’s previously announced sale of a 10% minority interest in its non-US business to Avalon Pharmaceuticals for $11 million which closed earlier this year and is funding in tranches through the end of the third quarter.

Zenabis

Zenabis Global Inc. (OTC:ZBISF) reported that it has entered into an agency agreement with a syndicate of agents co-led by AltaCorp Capital Inc. and Eight Capital and including Canaccord Genuity Corp., Haywood Securities Inc. and PI Financial Corp. for the sale of up to 157,643,875 Units at a price of $0.13 per Unit for gross proceeds of up to $20,493,704. In addition, Zenabis has granted the Agents an over-allotment option, exercisable in whole or in part, for a period of 30 days following the closing of the Offering, to purchase an additional 15% of the number of Units sold in the Offering. If the Over-Allotment Option is exercised in full, the total gross proceeds to Zenabis will be $23,567,760.

Zenabis said it plans to use the net proceeds of the Offering for general working capital and corporate purposes, the partial repayment of subordinated secured notes, the partial repayment of the Company’s unsecured convertible debentures, the partial or full repayment of it’s $7,000,000 third tranche of senior secured debt and the payment of an extension fee on the remaining balance of Tranche 3, if applicable.

 


StaffStaffApril 3, 2020
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12min10660

Horizons ETFs Management Inc. has completed the quarterly rebalance of the constituent holdings of the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) and the Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF (NEO:HMUS).

This quarter, four companies were removed from HMMJ’s portfolio:

Deletions

Company Name

Ticker

Exchange

Abacus Health Products Inc.

ABCS

Canadian Securities Exchange

Agraflora Organics International Inc.

AGRA

Canadian Securities Exchange

Flower One Holdings Inc.

FONE

Canadian Securities Exchange

CBDMD Inc.

YCBD

New York Stock Exchange

Performance Update as of March 31, 2020,

1
Month

3
Month

6
Months

YTD

1
Year

Annualized
Since Inception**

HMMJ

-15.28%

-28.36%

-45.68%

-28.36%

-69.05%

-9.55%

NAMMAR Index

-17.27%

-32.10%

-43.98%

-32.10%

-69.91%

-15.89%

TX60AR Index

-15.30%

-18.48%

-16.49%

-18.48%

-11.68%

-0.79%

HMUS REBALANCE

Launched in April 2019, HMUS is the world’s first U.S.-focused marijuana index ETF. HMUS seeks to replicate, to the extent possible, the performance of the US Marijuana Companies Index, net of expenses. This index is designed to provide exposure to the performance of a basket of publicly-listed companies having significant business activities in, or significant exposure to, the marijuana or hemp industries in the United States. Constituents of this index are selected from Canadian and U.S. exchanges. While some securities may be listed on major North American exchanges, the majority of the securities currently trade on North American exchanges that include but are not limited to the Canadian Securities Exchange and the Aequitas NEO Exchange.

This rebalance resulted in the removal of six companies from the portfolio:

Deletions

Company Name

Ticker

Exchange

Abacus Health Products Inc.

ABCS

Canadian Securities Exchange

Body & Mind Inc.

BAMM

Canadian Securities Exchange

Ignite International Brands

BILZ

Canadian Securities Exchange

Green Growth Brands Inc.

GGB

Canadian Securities Exchange

Plus Products Inc.

PLUS

Canadian Securities Exchange

CBDMD Inc.

YCBD

New York Stock Exchange


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueFebruary 27, 2020
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3min11881

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) reported its earnings from the fourth quarter yesterday, exceeding analysts’ expectations. The quarter ended on December 31st, 2019. 

The cannabis real estate company reported total revenue of approximately $17.7 million in Q4, an astonishing 269% increase from the prior year’s quarter. This is an amazing jump from the companies total revenue of just $4.8 million in Q4 of 2018. 

According to IIRP’s report, since October of 2019, the company has acquired 20 properties and executed five lease amendments across various states in the U.S., totaling an aggregate investment of approximately $308.8 million. New tenant relationships include key cannabis players like Cresco Labs and Green Thumb Industries, and the company expanded existing relationships with companies like Trulieve and PharmaCann.

Since the addition of company properties, IIP has grown its portfolio from 11 properties to an impressive 51 properties since January 1st, 2019. The total properties have grown from approximately 1.0 million square feet in nine states, to roughly 3.2 million rentable square feet across 15 states. IIP’s total investment in its property portfolio has increased by 307%, with the aggregate amount going from $167.4 million to $680.7 million. The company acquired multiple properties in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio, with the rest being in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, and North Dakota. 

The total net income available to the company’s common share stockholders accumulated a total of $9.6 million for the total, with each diluted share representing $0.78. Adjusted funds from operations totaled $14.3 million, or $1.18 per diluted share. The adjusted funds from operations represented a 293% increase and an increase of 211% from the previous quarter’s earnings, respectively.  

Following the end of the quarter, the company completed an underwritten public offering of 3,412,969 shares of common stock, including the exercise in full of the underwriters’ option to purchase an additional 445,170 shares, resulting in gross proceeds of approximately $250.0 million. IIP also established an “at-the-market” equity offering program, issuing shares of common stock from September until February. According to the company, the net proceeds from that issuance totaled approximately. $184.8 million.

The company paid a quarterly dividend of $1.00 per common share, on January 15th to stockholders, positioning the company at an increase of 186% from the prior year’s quarter. 

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. will conduct a conference call and webcast at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, February 27, 2020, to discuss IIP’s financial results and operations for the fourth quarter. 


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueFebruary 10, 2020
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4min18012

Cannabis, to some, is seen as a risky market. Bankers, the government, and society, in general, all have their own hesitations with the industry. This rings true for investors, too.

Some financial experts are adamant about the importance of investing in cannabis. Those who believe in the industry feel it has a long life ahead of it. 

Others say beware of investing in cannabis at all costs. Due to the “trendiness” of the industry, they are certain it will die out. Not to mention, cannabis’s federally illegal substance is a turn-off for many.

2019 was a rough year for cannabis. Stocks plummeted, just one hurdle of many in the year, and sent some potential investors running. Even big players Aurora Cannabis (ACB), Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED), and Cronos Group (CRON) fell 52.7%, 32.6%, and 37.4%, respectively, as of a Market Realist article published last November.

Capital in cannabis seemed, and was, tight.

Green Market Report had the pleasure of catching up with Jon Trauben, a partner of Altitude Investment Management, to try and decipher exactly what investors are looking for before they put their coins into cannabis in 2020.

Altitude Investment Management has collaborated with companies like Canndescent, The Green Organic Dutchman, and Grassroots.

Trauben explains that in order for the purse strings to loosen up again in 2020, investors need to see companies “meeting or exceeding their business plan and financial projections” for 2-3 quarters of the year. He goes on to say that cannabis companies need to first prove its ability to operate profitably and efficiently before investors want to take the plunge.

He adds that growth-stage companies with a proven strategy who are on the way, or already at, a profitable point in their business are the current focus for investors. “Scale, a moat and a strong management team are absolutely key attributes”, he says.

Yale Insights interviewed two Yale alumni in November of 2018. The pair formed Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm dedicated to cannabis. They explain in order for their company to make an investment, they “spend a lot of time looking at risk management, how these companies operate and brand.” They add that their company wants to see brands not focused on one state alone, but rather be a brand that can be successful in multiple states, and even countries.

Trauben sheds light on what he anticipates as a cold point for cannabis investors in 2020. He says that Altitude Investment Management believes hemp cultivation will go through a “boom and a bust cycle.” He reiterates that “the basic companies participating and servicing the industry that are executing their business plan” are the hottest points investors are searching for. “I know that’s not sexy,” says Trauben, “but it is fundamental.”



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