Aurora Cannabis Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 29, 2020
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6min1150

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for June 29, 2020. 

On the Site 

Aurora Cannabis 

It’s been a rough road for some of the OG’s of the cannabis industry. Today, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) said its Co-Founder Terry Booth had retired from his role as Director of the Company, effective June 26, 2020. Mr. Booth was the Chief Executive Officer of Aurora from December 2014 through February 2020 and served on Aurora’s Board of Directors since December 2014. 

According to Wikipedia, Aurora was founded in 2006 by Terry Booth, Steve Dobler, Dale Lesack, and Chris Mayerson. Booth and Dobler collectively invested over $5 million of their own capital. The founding group secured a 160+ acre parcel of land in Mountain View County, Alberta, where they established Aurora’s first facility. The company received its license to grow cannabis in 2014, making it the first cannabis producer to obtain a federal license in that province. The company went public in Canada in 2017 and then in 2018 began trading at the New York Stock Exchange. 

Cannapreneur 

Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt: 

Kevin Harrington has recently joined with Cannaprenuer Partners, a company that is investing in cannabis companies. Kevin, you’ve not been in cannabis, but you have certainly been in the corporate world and businesses. You’ve been helping so many companies get started or grow. What at this point prompted you to get into cannabis and specifically choose to join up with Cannaprenuer? 

Kevin Harrington: 

Great question. Thank you. If I go all the way back, I’ve been a product guy for many years. 38 years ago I was creating infomercials and As Seen on TV, and doing some fun things with Jack LaLanne and the juicer, and George Foreman, and Tony Little, and Billy Mays. That’s been my previous life, and taking a lot of pitches. Of course, then original Shark on Shark Tank, being able to take pitches on national television, that was pretty cool. But one thing Shark Tank never did, they never took pitches about cannabis. Shark Tank is on ABC Network. It’s the Disney Group and so cannabis was not their cup of tea. I don’t know if they’ll change that at some point, but most of the entrepreneurs and judges and Sharks are in cannabis investments, O’Leary and Cuban, et cetera. 

 In Other News 

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) announced today that it has commenced a public offering of 1,800,000 shares of its common stock. The company said it expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 270,000 shares of its common stock. The company said it intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to invest in specialized industrial real estate assets that support the regulated cannabis cultivation and processing industry that are consistent with its investment strategy, and for general corporate purposes. 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 29, 2020
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5min1520

It’s been a rough road for some of the OG’s of the cannabis industry. Today, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) said its Co-Founder Terry Booth had retired from his role as Director of the Company, effective June 26, 2020. Mr. Booth was the Chief Executive Officer of Aurora from December 2014 through February 2020 and served on Aurora’s Board of Directors since December 2014.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and management team, I would like to thank Terry for his leadership over the years and for his tenure as a director,” said Michael Singer, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of Aurora. “As one of the original cannabis visionaries, Terry leaves an enviable legacy in the form of Aurora Cannabis. He helped set the table for the company to lead in Canada and globally, and we continue to execute our plan to do so profitably.”

According to Wikipedia, Aurora was founded in 2006 by Terry Booth, Steve Dobler, Dale Lesack, and Chris Mayerson. Booth and Dobler collectively invested over $5 million of their own capital. The founding group secured a 160+ acre parcel of land in Mountain View County, Alberta, where they established Aurora’s first facility. The company received its license to grow cannabis in 2014, making it the first cannabis producer to obtain a federal license in that province. The company went public in Canada in 2017 and then in 2018 began trading at the New York Stock Exchange.

Founders Forced Out

Founders often do quite well when their companies go public. Their large stake of shares suddenly becomes very valuable and at a certain point, the founder can sell those shares and capitalize on all the sweat equity and sacrifice it took to get the company to that point. Of course, the flip side to that coin is that the board of directors can now vote you out from your role at the company. That has been the case this year as boards have tossed founders and co-founders out as an expression of performance displeasure.

Here’s a shortlist of the leaders who got their walking papers this year.

  • Kevin Murphy, Co-founder of Acreage Holdings Inc. in June.
  • Hadley Ford, Co-founder of iAnthus in April.
  • Peter Horvath, Co-founder at Green Growth Brands in March
  • Joe Caltabiano, Co-founder, and president of Chicago-based Cresco Labs in March.
  • Jose Hidalgo Co-founder of Cansortium, a medical marijuana dispensary operator in Miami in February.
  • Andy Williams, Co-founder of Denver-based Medicine Man Technologies in February.
  • Adam Bierman Co-founder of  MedMen Enterprises in January.

In 2019, the trend seemed to be kicked off when Bruce Linton was asked to leave Canopy Growth. He had built it into one of the biggest cannabis companies in the industry, but his partnership with Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) proved to be his undoing as that corporate entity took over.

Most of the founders were asked to leave after the companies found themselves boxed into strategic corners. Not enough revenue coming in to satisfy all the money invested, much of it achieved through expensive debt deals. Boards always take out the CEO as a sign of acting in the best interests of the shareholders.

Still, the cannabis community is a small one and many of these founders were synonymous with their companies. When conferences do return, the companies will be familiar but the face won’t be.

 

 

 


Video StaffVideo StaffJune 26, 2020

6min3611

Happy Pride weekend everyone. Celebrate safely. 

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) and Acreage Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ACRGF) stunned markets when the two companies agreed to an unusual deal in 2019. The agreement was that when cannabis was legalized in the U.S., Canopy would buy Acreage. It was called the “triggering event.” A lot has changed since then and now the deal has changed accordingly.  Acreage shareholders will now get an initial up-front payment of $37.5 million in connection with the modification of Canopy Growth’s rights. That’s a big drop from the original price tag of $3.4 billion.  In addition to that CEO Kevin Murphy is resigning from the company.

Aurora Cannabis Inc.  (NYSE: ACB) is the latest cannabis company to destroy the job argument as a reason for legalization. The Canadian cannabis company laid off 25% of Aurora’s SG&A staff, most of those to take place immediately and a roughly 30% reduction in production staff over the next two quarters. The cuts went to the highest levels including a restructuring of the executive leadership team and the recently announced retirement of President Steve Dobler. Aurora said it has initiated a plan to close operations at five facilities over the next two quarters in order to focus production and manufacturing at the Company’s larger scale and highly efficient sites.

Jushi Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: JUSHF) is planning on buying Vireo Health’s (OTC:VREOF) Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, LLC as the company looks to strengthen its position in the state’s market. Jushi will 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.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: GWPH) said that the UK Home Office has reclassified Epidiolex, the company’s cannabidiol medicine as a Schedule 5 drug. A big relief to patients and pharmacists. 

TILT Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: TLLTF) reported Quarterly revenue of $42.4 million, up 27% Quarter over Quarter and 23% over Q1 2019. The company reported a positive net income of $50,925.  

Organigram Holdings Inc.  (NASDAQ: OGI) issued a very brief announcement stating that the company was facing a lawsuit and that it was changing its newly launched Trailer Park Buds brand. Organigram said it wouldn’t comment on the case, which was started in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. It is a class-action case that seeks damages from many cannabis companies including Organigram. 

A Cease Trade Orders have been issued by one or more securities commissions. 

Alternate Health Corp.  AHG  Ontario Securities Commission 
Champignon Brands Inc.  SHRM  British Columbia Securities Commission 
CIM International Group Inc.  CIM  Ontario Securities Commission 
iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc.  IAN  Ontario Securities Commission 
Ionic Brands Corp.  IONC  Ontario Securities Commission 
Sunniva Inc.  SNN  Ontario Securities Commission and British Columbia Securities Commission 

StaffStaffJune 23, 2020
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9min1000

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for June 23, 2020. 

On The Site 

Aurora  

Aurora Cannabis Inc.  (NYSE: ACB) is the latest cannabis company to destroy the job argument as a reason for legalization. The Canadian cannabis company laid off 25% of Aurora’s SG&A staff, most of those to take place immediately and a roughly 30% reduction in production staff over the next two quarters. The cuts went to the highest levels including a restructuring of the executive leadership team and the recently announced retirement of President Steve Dobler. 

Aurora said it has initiated a plan to close operations at five facilities over the next two quarters in order to focus production and manufacturing at the Company’s larger scale and highly efficient sites. The company will take a charge of $60 during the fourth quarter in order to make these changes. 

Harvest Health 

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF) said that it has completed the initial closing of certain retail properties in California to Hightimes Holding Corp. as previously announced on April 28, 2020, and June 12, 2020. The deal was recently amended from the original 13 operational and pending properties to ten. Those terms have now been reduced to a deal now valued at $67.5 million. The terms are now $1.5 million in cash and a $4.5 million one-year promissory note with 10% interest and $61.5 million in Series A Preferred stock issued by Hightimes Holding Corp. 

Organigram 

Organigram Holdings Inc.  (NASDAQ: OGI) issued a very brief announcement stating that the company was facing a lawsuit and that it was changing its newly launched Trailer Park Buds brand. Organigram said it wouldn’t comment on the case, which was started in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. It is a class action case that seeks damages from many cannabis companies including Organigram. 

In Other News 

TILT

TILT Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: TLLTF) reported Quarterly revenue of $42.4 million, up 27% Quarter over Quarter and 23% over Q1 2019. The company reported a positive net income of $50,925.  

“We are pleased to report our Q1 financials, which were driven by strong performances from our well-balanced portfolio of businesses,” said Mark Scatterday.  “Our first quarter revenue was up 27% Quarter over Quarter, and gross margins grew to 27.7%, demonstrating the durability of our business model as we support our customers in their quest to build winning cannabis brands.” 

“With our portfolio of market-leading businesses, TILT is activating multiple revenue streams leading to increased cash flow generation and shareholder value creation.  We are proud of our team’s agility and fortitude in the face of this ever-evolving and challenging environment, and look forward to continuing to build on the solid foundations we’ve established.  We believe that we will continue to move in a positive trajectory as the economy shifts into a more normalized environment.” 

Trading Ceased

The following companies are suspended pursuant to CSE Policy 3. The suspensions are considered Regulatory Halts as defined in National Instrument 23-101 Trading Rules. A Cease Trade Orders have been issued by one or more securities commissions. 

Alternate Health Corp.  AHG  Ontario Securities Commission 
Champignon Brands Inc.  SHRM  British Columbia Securities Commission 
CIM International Group Inc.  CIM  Ontario Securities Commission 
iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc.  IAN  Ontario Securities Commission 
Ionic Brands Corp.  IONC  Ontario Securities Commission 
Sunniva Inc.  SNN  Ontario Securities Commission and British Columbia Securities Commission 

Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueJune 4, 2020
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7min4260

Businesses across the nation are suffering at the hands of protesters attempting to send a message about the brutal killing of George Floyd. Many protests have been peaceful, but there are many that lead to looting and damaging buildings, and cannabis dispensaries are included. Despite being considered an essential business throughout the pandemic, many cannabis retail stores found themselves in the crosshairs of these looters. 

The protestors describe these acts of violence and damage to their cities as years of pent up rage and unheard voices, stemming from what they believe is a racially biased system against black Americans. The civil unrest has incited the President to release the National Guard across various states. There have been many deaths, arrests, and injuries during this tense time in history. 

According to social media videos, MedMen in Los Angeles had two locations broken into and robbed. The man filming the video can be heard saying, “They are cleaning MedMen out” as protestors o just plain looters leave the store with red shopping bags, filled with the things they stole. 

MedMen did not want to comment on the situation. However one employee of MedMen posted on LinkedIn, “It is not hard for me to empathize with, and I am sensitive to those who view MedMen as a symbol of the inequality that led to the anger expressed last night.” He further emphasized his support for those who feel outraged by the killing of George Floyd, and he himself feels “angry that a group of police officers sat idly by while one of their own murdered George Floyd by standing on his neck for nearly 10 minutes.” MedMen reported Monday that all of their stores will be closed until further notice. They have operations across six US states. 

“Effective immediately, we are temporarily closing all stores and the corporate office to protect the safety of our employees. The safety of everyone in the MedMen family is the most important thing right now, and we are grateful to report that while our stores were damaged, our employees and security guards were unharmed.” The company said in an internal memo, first reported by Marijuana Moment

Jushi Closes Temporarily

Jushi Holdings (OTC:JUSHF) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Cacioppo said in a statement:

We fully support an individual’s right to freedom of speech and the touching peaceful demonstrations that we have seen around the country. We are heartbroken by the murder of George Floyd and the pain it is causing communities across the country that we not only work in, but live and love.

Unfortunately, certain opportunistic bad actors have at times manifested unacceptable behaviors. This past weekend, our Center City and Northern Liberties locations in Philadelphia were broken into, making it impossible for us to safely operate. In addition to these two temporary store closures, we have limited our hours at certain locations in Pennsylvania and Illinois. Please check www.beyond-hello.com for the latest details. It is our hope to begin safely servicing our customers soon from the impacted store locations and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patients and customers.

As committed members of the cannabis movement, we will also continue to fight for equality and work to overturn racially biased laws that ruin lives and unequally target disenfranchised communities and people of color. 

Rappers Berner and B Real both reported robberies at their stores, too. B Real Tweeted on May 30th, “Today as a country we hit a low point.  Rioting, looting  and burning down business all during a pandemic isn’t going to make the change needed. It will only set us back. Protest peacefully and remove the instigators that aren’t there in the name of George Floyd.” 

The Chicago Tribune reported that all of their dispensaries would be closed indefinitely either to prevent looting or to clean up from the damage that has already been done. Kris Krane, president and co-founder of 4Front Ventures, who owns the robbed dispensary Mission South Shore, told The Chicago Tribune, “The store’s been pretty much ransacked. Nothing was going to hold that many people back.” Krane watched 30 to 40 people break into the dispensary on security cameras. 

Most of the cannabis industry seems optimistic that they will rebuild from this, and a lot of them say they understand why this happened. “We can replace windows, we can grow more pot, we can have empathy.” said the MedMen employee. 


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueMay 28, 2020
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5min1690

It’s time for your daily hit of cannabis financial news for May 28th, 2020. 

On the Site

Canopy River Tightens Belt, Cuts Employees

Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) is laying off employees and cutting back on spending as the company focuses on positive cash flow. The venture capital firm that specializes in cannabis companies said that it is streamlining its operations to preserve its cash on hand.

The company said in a statement that it is making the following changes:

  • A material reduction in the Company’s operating cash outflows, including a reduction in headcount, directors’ compensation, marketing expenses, and general corporate expenses of a minimum of 35% from the Company’s fiscal 2020 operating cash outflows on a normalized basis;
  • A focus on generating positive cash flow from operations for fiscal 2021 (year ended March 31, 2021); and
  • A focus on maximizing returns on existing assets.

MedMen Says COVID Has Hurt Sales

On the company’s earnings conference call, interim CEO Tom Lynch said, “Unfortunately, COVID has impacted our sales since the end of March; we’re down in April overall, but have seen a steady increase since. While we’re still not back to our normal levels, pre-COVID, particularly in California, we’re optimistic about our ability to recapture traffic as soon as stay at home orders are lifted.”

MedMen also noted that its Nevada location had suffered saying, “We saw a decrease in overall sales in this market, particularly given the impact that the pandemic has had on tourism into Las Vegas, we’re encouraged about the recent decision to open up cannabis retail again, and have already begun to see a steady ramp-up in revenue.”

In Other News

Aurora Completes Acquisition of Reliva, LLC

Canadian cannabis company, Aurora, has completed the acquisition of hemp-derived CBD company, Reliva. 

“We are pleased to have closed the Reliva transaction ahead of schedule. The partnership between Aurora and Reliva is expected to create a market leading international cannabinoid platform that we believe can deliver robust revenue and profitable growth,” said Michael Singer, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of Aurora. “I would like to officially welcome Miguel Martin and his team to Aurora, and look forward to increasing Aurora’s operating scale, international reach, and product and brand diversity while in parallel, we remain focused on delivering Adjusted EBITDA profitability in Canada for the benefit of all shareholders.”

Cresco Labs Announces First Quarter 2020 Results

Multi-state operator Cresco announced a record revenue of $66.4 million in Q1 of 2020. This is a 60% growth over 2019’s Q4. The company also revealed the largest cultivation expansion in their company’s history, adding 6x cultivation space in Illinois and 4x the cultivation space in Pennsylvania. There was a 144% increase year over year from Q1 of 2019 to Q1 of 2020. 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 13, 2020
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4min8090

Apparently a cash cushion of $200 million isn’t enough for Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) as the company files a new offering sending the share price even lower. The company confirmed that it has $250 million in cash as of March 31, 2020.

On Monday, Aurora said that it intends to file a new prospectus supplement for a renewed ATM (At-The-Market) program, to enable Aurora to raise additional equity capital under which approximately $350 million remains available. The company said it plans to use a portion of this available capacity to provide further balance sheet strength and preserve flexibility given macroeconomic uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

“Our focus today continues to be on financial discipline across the entire organization.  We are taking appropriate actions to strengthen our cash position and maintain financial flexibility as we navigate through the current environment,” said Michael Singer, Executive Chairman, and Interim CEO. “As Aurora drives towards generating positive free-cash-flow, we are confident that our shareholders will be supportive of our further actions to solidify our balance sheet and position the Company for success.”

12 For 1 Reverse Split

The company also said in a statement that it plans to consolidate all of its outstanding common shares on the basis of 1 Common Share for every 12 Common Shares currently outstanding effective on or about May 11, 2020. The reverse split comes right after the company just did an offering and issued more shares whipsawing investors. However, it seems the company had no choice as last week, it received notification from the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) that since the share price fell below an average of $1.00 for a consecutive 30 trading-day period, it is not in compliance with one of the NYSE’s continued listing standards.

Aurora hopes that by doing a reverse split it can jack up the price per share in order to remain at the NYSE. The company has 1.3 billion shares outstanding, which were selling at 81 cents in early trading. This was a 7% drop after today’s announcement.

Outlook

Aurora reaffirmed its previous forecast that fiscal Q3 2020 cannabis net revenue is expected to show modest growth relative to fiscal Q2 2020. Last quarter the company reported that its total net revenue fell 26% sequentially to C$56 million in the second quarter from C$75 million in the first quarter of 2020. Medical cannabis net revenues decreased 10% sequentially to C$27.4 million due to a short-term permit issue in Germany that has since been resolved. Wholesale bulk cannabis net revenues fell from C$10.3 million in the first quarter to C$2.4 million due to overall volume declines and the wholesale of lower potency (priced) product. The company did not state why it expected modest growth.

 

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMarch 16, 2020
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2min8780

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) said that former CEO Terry Booth has filed a report on the System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders (SEDI) regarding his sale of approximately 12,161,900 shares into the open market. Aurora stock was lately trading at 70 cents a share, down considerably from the company’s 52-week high of $10.32. Still, the sale would bring Booth roughly $8 million.

Executive Chairman and Interim CEO Michael Singer stated, “The Board and management remain focused on the plan we laid out in February and we are progressing as planned toward appropriate capital allocation, balance sheet strength, and profitability. We look forward to updating the markets on our next quarterly earnings call.”

Restructuring

Just last month the company announced a restructuring that included the resignation of Booth, who was the company’s founder. The company also cut 500 full-time positions including 25% of its corporate jobs and is restructuring spending across the board. Aurora said its plan was to get the SG&A to a range between $40 million to $45 million per quarter by the end of the fiscal fourth quarter of 2020, a significant decrease from the preliminary fiscal second-quarter 2020 range announced today.

Singer was named interim CEO at the time and said, “I look forward to serving as Interim CEO and executing on our short-term plans, which include rationalization of our cost structure, reduced capital spending, and a more conservative and targeted approach to capital deployment. These are necessary steps that reflect a fundamental change in how we will operate the business going forward.” Singer continued, “As one of the original cannabis visionaries, Terry is an invaluable resource with deep industry knowledge that we can leverage strategically. I look forward to having him continue on as a Senior Strategic Advisor to our Board of Directors.”

 

 

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtFebruary 13, 2020
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7min7310

Canadian-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) saw its shares falling in early trading after the company said that revenues fell in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 ending December 31, 2019. Aurora reported that its total net revenue reported in Canadian dollars fell 26% sequentially to $56 million in the second quarter from $75 million in the first quarter of 2020. It was higher than the 2018’s second quarter, which delivered net revenue of $54 million.

Medical cannabis net revenues decreased 10% sequentially to $27.4 million due to a short-term permit issue in Germany that has since been resolved. The company did state that its medical patient base remained relatively consistent at 90,307.

Wholesale bulk cannabis net revenues fell from $10.3 million in the first quarter to $2.4 million due to overall volume declines and the wholesale of lower potency (priced) product.

Losses Grow

The company also reported that the adjusted EBITDA loss was $80.2 million in the second quarter versus $39.7 million in the first quarter of 2020. The decline was attributed to “an increase in production costs relating to the ramp-up for the legalization of Cannabis 2.0, and the increase in SG&A expenses.” Aurora said it was taking actions to materially reduce SG&A expenses and was focused on achieving positive adjusted EBITDA.

“Despite delivering modest growth in our core medical and consumer business in Q2, we took immediate and deliberate actions to align our Company to current market conditions,” said Michael Singer, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO, Aurora Cannabis. “As announced last week, being a profitable cannabis company for our investors is the singular near-term focus for Aurora and we have begun to implement a business transformation plan where we intend to manage the business with a high degree of fiscal discipline.”

Those expenses increased by 23% to $99.9 million from the prior quarter. So even as revenues were dropping the company increased salaries, benefits, and annual merit increases. Plus there were investments in educational marketing campaigns related to the launch of Cannabis 2.0 products, and marketing initiatives related to the launch of the Aurora Drift brand.  On February 6, 2020, Aurora announced decisive action effective immediately to reduce SG&A expenses from the Q2 2020 levels, and expects to manage the business with an SG&A expense run-rate of between $40 million to $45 million per quarter exiting Q4 2020 (June 30, 2020).

Debt Levels

Aurora’s current credit facility and other debt outstanding include $50 million in a revolving facility, of which $2 million was drawn as of December 31, 2019. $162 million of fully drawn senior secured term loans and US$345 million of senior unsecured convertible debentures due February 2024.  The company also managed to secure credit facility amendments that removed EBITDA ratio covenants. 

“The transformational actions we announced last week have already positively impacted SG&A expense and we are confident that our run-rate will be approximately $40 million – $45 million as we exit the fiscal fourth quarter of 2020.  This is a very important step toward EBITDA profitability,” said Glen Ibbott, CFO. “In addition, our credit facility was amended to provide greater flexibility to Aurora. More specifically, Aurora chose to downsize the facility by $96.5 million with the elimination of undrawn term loan capacity, and further used $45 million of restricted cash to repay a portion of the drawn term loan balance for the purpose of reducing leverage and cash required for debt service.”

Prices Fall

The average net selling price of cannabis decreased to $5.54 per gram over the prior quarter of $5.68. This decrease was attributed to the provision for returns and price adjustments impacting Q2 2020 which did not affect Q1 2020, lower kilograms sold in Q2 versus Q1, and lower wholesale bulk volume and pricing. Gross margin before fair value adjustments on cannabis net revenue, excluding provisions was 48% in Q2 2020, compared to 58% in the prior quarter.

During Q2 2020, Aurora produced 30,691 kilograms of cannabis as compared to 41,436 kilograms in the prior quarter. The 26% decrease in production output was primarily due to previously announced changes to cultivation strategies, including a pivot to high-value, high-potency strains which are lower yielding. “With the continued refinement of our cultivation techniques, we expect to achieve quarterly harvest volumes leading to an average of 150,000 kgs annually or better.”

Looking Ahead

Despite the troubling earnings report, Aurora said it was bullish on the long-term potential for the global cannabis opportunity. “However, due to several short-term factors, there is likely to be a slower than previously expected rate of industry growth in the near-term. The Company has outlined a number of fiscally responsible steps it has already taken to realign its business operations to this expected industry growth rate. Aurora reiterates its outlook for fiscal third quarter that cannabis revenue will be impacted by previously mentioned industry headwinds, and as such will likely show modest to no growth relative to fiscal Q2’s cannabis revenue, excluding provisions, of approximately $65 million.”


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueFebruary 12, 2020
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5min14860

Amid layoffs appearing as a constant, The Supreme Cannabis Company is the latest in the industry to let a percentage of its staff go. Last night after the market’s close, the company announced a 15% layoff, releasing a third of corporate positions and 13% of its operational ones. This report comes after the announcements of companies like Tilray and Aurora also slashing jobs. 

All hope is not lost though in the ganja workforce. Leafly found 243,700 full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs in the United States that are supported by legal cannabis as of January 2020. That is a 15% annual increase. 

This data was reported in Leafly’s fourth annual Cannabis Jobs Report. Even more encouraging, the report shows that the industry created 33,700 new jobs nationwide in 2019, effectively making it the fastest-growing job arena in the United States. 

According to the report, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Illinois are leading the fight in terms of employment expansion. Massachusetts recently celebrated the one year anniversary of legalizing cannabis for adult-use in the state and added 10,226 jobs to boot. Oklahoma saw a 221% growth in 2019, supporting 9,412 full-time jobs. Illinois adult-use market rolled out on the first of the year, and early 2020 data shows this is already a $470 million annual market supporting 9,176 jobs.

An interesting tidbit of information, Massachusetts has more cannabis industry workers than hairstylists and cosmetologists, and Illinois has twice the number of cannabis industry workers than they do meat packers. When compared to other industries, it is truly amazing to see the creation of jobs in the United States by the industry, as well as the cannabis industry’s growth in general. 

Though the previously mentioned states take the prize for the fastest job growth, California is still America’s largest cannabis employer. However, Colorado may be the nation’s biggest per-capita cannabis job market. With California offering one job per 980 residents, Colorado supplies one job per 165 residents. 

Colorado is also passing Washington state in terms of jobs. Though both states legalized cannabis for adult-use in 2012, Colorado supplies nearly 10,000 more jobs than Washington state, despite Washington’s population containing nearly 2 million more residents. 

Despite cannabis job expansion’s rapid growth in most of the country, California and Michigan suffered technical job losses. 

Leafly’s experts estimate that their job markets fell due to changes in laws and regulations. In California, an estimated 8,000 jobs moved from legal to non-legal status, but as mentioned before it is still America’s largest cannabis job provider. Michigan’s new regulatory processes pushed hundreds of legally operating dispensaries into illicit status. 

Leafly started their annual job counts four years ago, upon the discovery that federal and state labor economists do not account for state-legal cannabis jobs in their employment reports. The reason? Federal prohibition. The NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes classify cannabis retail stores in the same category as art supply stores, hot tub stores, and auction houses. While cannabis cultivators have the same job code as hay farmers and agave growers. 

It is important to note that this report does not include jobs created by CBD since it’s recent change in legal status. Because the regulations for CBD differ from state-legal cannabis, there is no data to build from yet.



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