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The Week In Cannabis: A Bunch Of Earnings And Policy Moves Around The World

In another big week for cannabis, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference hit Miami, with more than 1,000 attendees and an impressive lineup of speakers, who discussed topics ranging from Canadian and U.S.

Benzinga · 03/02/2020 18:23

In another big week for cannabis, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference hit Miami, with more than 1,000 attendees and an impressive lineup of speakers, who discussed topics ranging from Canadian and U.S. capital markets, to the need for financial discipline, to their visions for 2020 and beyond.

Meanwhile, Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) announced it was postponing the release of its earnings results, originally expected for Feb. 27.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) posted fourth-quarter revenue of roughly $17.7 million, up 269% year-over-year, and 2019 revenue of $44.7 million, up from $14.8 million for 2018. For the quarter, IIPR delivered net income of $9.6 million, or 78 cents per share, while full-year income came in at $22.1 million or $2.03 per share.

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH) released fourth-quarter results, with losses of 7 cents per share, which beat the consensus estimate by 68 cents. This is a 65% increase over losses of 20 cents per share from the same period last year. The company reported quarterly sales of $109.076 million, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $105.1 million by 3.78%.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTC: MMNFF) (CSE: MMEN) reported fiscal second-quarter revenue of $44.1 million, up 50% year-over-year, and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $35.1 million, which compared to an adjusted EBITDA loss of $43.77 million in the same period last year. Shared traded down following the announcement, mostly on the back of a net loss of $74.78 million, higher than its loss of $63.2million in the same period in 2019.

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“There were certainly some companies that reported solid earnings this week like GW Pharmaceuticals, Innovative Industrial Properties and Valens GroWorks, but you wouldn't know it due to the overall market sell-off," Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. "Still, there continues to be concern regarding net losses at Acreage Holdings and MedMen. Both said they would need more money and I think investors are getting tired of having to pony up for some of these companies. Having said that both of these companies are bringing in revenue so if expenses can be brought under control they will survive this financial crisis.”

In other news, CannTrust (NYSE: CTST) received a new notification of non-compliance from the NYSE. It now has six months to regain compliance by driving its stock price higher. If the company does not achieve this, its shares will be de-listed from the senior exchange.

On the policy front, we learned Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is all for medical cannabis, but not so much for recreational weed – unlike many lawmakers in the country; while Malawi passed a bill decriminalizing medical cannabis and industrial hemp. Further South, Paraguay issued 12 medical marijuana production licenses.

Lastly, NBA superstar Kevin Durant called for an end on the NBA’s ban on cannabis, and Utah’s medical cannabis program launched on Sunday.

ETFs posted massive losses this week. Over the last five trading days:

  • The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) was down 12.2%.
  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) lost 15.6%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO) lost 14.3%.
  • The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) dropped 16.25%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS) tumbled 10.5%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period down 11.16%.

More News From The Week

Medicine Man Technologies Inc. (OTC: MDCL) said that Andy Williams, the company’s co-founder, president and vice chairman of the board, will resign.

Mendi, the athlete-built, women-owned sports recovery brand, announced WNBA icon Sue Bird will be joining their Athlete Ambassador Program. Bird joins soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe as the second sponsored athlete a part of the program.

CaaMTech Inc, a company with expertise in psychedelic chemistry and development of novel psychedelic compounds and formulations, announced Wednesday thatformer Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) executive Jon Cooperhas joined the company's board.

AYR Strategies Inc. (OTC: AYRSF) reported a marginal shortfall in fourth-quarter sales on Wednesday, although EBITDA was in-line with expectations.

“We have built Ayr to be in a strong financial position. The business generates positive cash flow – even after taxes – and we are able to fund organic growth with no reliance on capital markets to fulfill our growth plans,” Jonathan Sandelman, CEO of Ayr Strategies, told Benzinga. “We see distress on the horizon for many companies who were not sufficiently prudent, and we plan to use our strong position to consolidate the sector. Ayr is well-positioned to seize this growth opportunity and help define the industry’s future.”

Disruption Labs, Inc., the parent company to Santé Laboratories LLC & RESET Bioscience LLC, completed an oversubscribed $3.8-million seed round of investment through the sale of common stock.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. (CSE: ACRG) (OTC: ACRGF) announced fourth-quarter and full-year financial results, reporting quarterly revenue of $21 million — up 101% on a year-over-year basis. For the full year 2019, the company disclosed revenue of $74 .1 million, up251% from the prior year.

The+Source, a dispensary with two locations in Las Vegas, partnered with Vitalant to host its first blood drive in the wake of the national blood shortage and in honor of American Heart Month. Approximately 25 people donated blood at either of The+Source’s location on Feb. 24.

“Giving back to the community is of the upmost importance to us,” said Matt Janz, Director of Marketing for The+Source. “We love the Las Vegas community and pride ourselves on being both a state and national leader in regulatory compliance and consumer safety.”

Nextleaf Solutions (OTC:OILS) was issued a U.S. patent for the Acetylation of Cannabinoids which protects the production of a cannabinoid-derived prodrug. This specific prodrug has particular medicinal properties and potential applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our newly granted U.S. patent, which marks Nextleaf's 14th issued patent, is unique because it is based on the process of formulating cannabinoid derived prodrug formulation, whereas our previous issued patents cover extraction and distillation," Paul Pedersen, CEO of Nextleaf Solutions, told Benzinga. "As the pharmaceutical industry enters the cannabinoid sector, they will look to develop, acquire, and license IP protected formulations and delivery formats - which is where we believe Nextleaf stands out from its cannabis peers." 

EcoGen Laboratories, a manufacturer and supplier of specialty hemp-derived ingredients, announced Danielle Renner as their Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Renner has over 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, business development and team leadership and has developed over 50+ CBD consumer brands. Renner will oversee all sales and business development for EcoGen as they continue to advance pursuits worldwide.

“Coming in on the heels of a $40 million private investment is an exciting time for EcoGen,” said Renner. “In my eight years in the industry, EcoGen has become the gold standard in hemp-derived specialty cannabinoid ingredients and finished goods. I am looking forward to expanding their footprint globally in 2020 and beyond.”

Hemp and cannabis infusion technology company Vertosa earned two certifications: its Hemp-derived CBD Emulsion System are now certified organic by CCOF, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-accredited certifier, and the company has also received its Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, which affirms their sourcing, procedures and offerings follow regulations promulgated by the US Food and Drug Administration to be safe, pure, and effective.

FoodChain ID, a company in the food safety and testing space, is now the exclusive certifying body for the U.S. Hemp Authority Certification seal. This seal addresses the trustworthiness of Hemp/CBD product claims for consumers and the trade while also helping to legitimize this new and evolving product category.

According to USHA President Marielle Weintraub, “The U.S. Hemp Authority Certification Program gives consumers an easy way to identify hemp-derived products that can be trusted.”

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on Benzinga.com/cannabis

Events Calendar

March 13-22: SXSW disembarks in Austin, Texas, once again, with its second year featuring a CannaBusiness track. Check out details here.

March 29: The folks behind CannaTech will introduce PsyTech Summit, Israel’s first international event for innovation and investment in psychedelic medicine. Saul Kaye, CEO and Founder of CannaTech and PsyTech, said, “In many ways, the mainstream introduction of psychedelic and empathogenic medicines such as psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and Ketamine are following the same trajectory as medicinal cannabis.  Israel, which is light-years ahead of every nation with respect to medical cannabis scientific research and clinical trials, has also emerged as a leader in the research and clinical use of psychedelics.”

March 30-31: CannaTech Tel Aviv will celebrate its fifth anniversary with over 1,000 participants from 40 countries descending once again on the Start-Up Nation.

April 17-18: The 10th CannaGrow Expo, the ultimate event dedicated to the art and science of growing cannabis, is coming to Chicago, Illinois, featuring more than 25 cultivation-focused educational sessions led by world-class growers over two action-packed days.

“A big difference between CannaGrow Expo and other industry events is our focus on quality in-depth education for cannabis producers. Many conferences review industry basics or pitch products and services, but CannaGrow provides education that supports the leading growers, breeders, and manufacturers,” says Jessi Rae, COO of CannaConnections, producers of CannaGrow, DispensaryNext and Science of Cannabis Summit. “Patent your genetics. Explore cutting-edge cultivation and extraction techniques. Expand local operations to serve a global market —that's how you maintain product integrity and elevate the craft of cannabis cultivation.”

The CannaGrow Expo is open to all, 18+, and is intended for cannabis growers, grow managers, extractors, and grow enthusiasts to explore the latest cannabis cultivation technology, tools, and techniques. Hosted at the Marriott Marquis Chicago. For more information and to purchase passes, please visit https://cannagrowexpo.com.

May 1-3: The CBD Show returns to the UK with three days of content, more than 50 speakers, specialized workshops, and 100+ exhibitors from around the globe. Hosted at London Olympia, days one and two of the event are dedicated to the business side of things. Day 3 is open for the public sector to explore the latest offerings on the CBD market. Register for your tickets here.

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.