Investor Ideas Potcasts #Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move: Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Aphria (TSX; APHA) (NYSE: APHA), The Hill Street Beverage Company (TSXV: BEER) (OTC: HSEEF), Zenabis Global (TSXV: ZENA) and Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED)
Delta, Kelowna, BC - March 4, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) www.Investorideas.com, a global news source covering leading sectors including marijuana and hemp stocks and its potcast site, www.potcasts.ca release today's edition of Investorideas.com potcastsCM - cannabis news and stocks to watch plus insight from thought leaders and experts.
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Investor Ideas Potcasts #Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move: Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) (TSX:ACB), Aphria (TSX; APHA) (NYSE: APHA), The Hill Street Beverage Company (TSXV: BEER) (OTC: HSEEF), Zenabis Global (TSXV: ZENA) and Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) (TSX:WEED)
Today's podcast overview/transcript:
Good afternoon and welcome to another Investorideas.com "potcast", looking at cannabis news, stocks to watch as well as insights from thought leaders and experts.
Today we begin our "Monday Review" which will be focussing on a few early announcements as well as industry trends from the previous week. Today's "Monday Review" features Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) (TSX:ACB), Aphria Inc. (TSX; APHA)(NYSE: APHA),The Hill Street Beverage Company (TSXV: BEER) (OTC: HSEEF), Zenabis Global Inc. (TSXV: ZENA) and Canopy Growth Inc. (NYSE: CGC) (TSX:WEED).
Let's start with the easy news of Aurora Cannabis Inc. announcing that the Company has completed the acquisition of all the issued and outstanding shares of privately held Whistler Medical Marijuana Corporation, in an all-share transaction, pursuant to the terms of an amalgamation agreement dated January 31, 2019 among Whistler, Aurora, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Aurora.
Whistler has developed one of Canada's most iconic cannabis brands, built on quality, award-winning, organic certified BC bud and the transaction provides Aurora with a premium and differentiated organic certified product suite, expanding both its medical and consumer offerings, and reinforcing Aurora's presence in the well-established west coast cannabis market.
"Now that this transaction is complete, we intend to accelerate development of Whistler and leverage its iconic brand globally," said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. "Applying certain of our best practices to the Whistler cultivation protocols, we anticipate an increase in capacity of the Pemberton facility beyond the stated 5,000 kg annual production target. Furthermore, in pursuing EU GMP certification, we expect, once certified, to offer Whistler's premium organic flower and derivative products in the much higher margin EU medical cannabis market, further increasing the accretive nature of this transaction. Whistler and Aurora are very much aligned with respect to cannabis culture and community. We expect a swift and successful integration with Whistler, our latest partner."
Aurora has had a busy month. having announced the first commercial export of cannabis oil to the United Kingdom, the Company's construction of a 300,000 square foot expansion at the Edmonton International Airport, named Aurora Polaris, intended to serve as Aurora's centre of excellence for the industrial-scale production of higher margin, as well ast it has agreed to terms to acquire a 51% ownership interest in Gaia Pharm Lda., a license applicant in Portugal, to establish a local facility to produce medical cannabis and derivative products.
Aphria Inc. announced that Health Canada has granted the Company its license amendment, permitting Aphria to commence production in an additional 800,000 square feet of facilities at its Aphria One location, as part of the Company's completed Part IV and Part V expansions.
"This is a major milestone for Aphria on its path to becoming a leading global cannabis producer, as well as a positive development greatly anticipated by the Canadian cannabis industry," said Irwin D. Simon, Interim CEO of Aphria. "Aphria's progress expanding production and automation is essential to our strategy of securing scale and long-term advantages that enable the evolution of the cannabis industry through product and brand innovation. With Aphria One, we now have the ability to expand our production capacity by over three times."
Simon concluded, "We are ready to hit the ground running and look forward to alleviating industry-wide supply constraints with our greatly expanded production capacity and sophisticated, proprietary automation technology that will ensure Aphria remains at the forefront of cannabis cultivation and innovation. In anticipation of Health Canada's approval, we had allocated a portion of our previously approved capacity to mother and vegetative plants that will be used as the initial growing crops in Part IV and Part V. As a result of these measures, growing operations in the expanded facilities are expected to commence without delay. By this Friday, we will move swiftly to establish nearly 22,000 plants in the Part IV and Part V expansion, with an additional 12,000 plants added each week thereafter until we reach full crop rotation."
This follows Aphria Inc.'s announcement in February of a worldwide license agreement with Manna Molecular Science, LLC, as well as the independent members of its Board of Directors consisting of Shlomo Bibas, John Herhalt, Tom Looney and Irwin Simon, who unanimously approved the early termination and liquidation of a promissory note, option and other agreements related to the Company's previously announced divestment of all interests in Liberty Health Sciences, Inc.
As detailed on September 6, 2018, the Company entered into a share purchase agreement with a group of buyers, wherein it completed the sale of the shares making up 100% of its outstanding interest in Liberty, in exchange for a five-year promissory note due September 6, 2023, bearing interest at 12% per annum and in the amount of $59,097,986. Aphria retained an irrevocable option to repurchase its shares in Liberty from the buyers for a period of up to five years, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.
In line with Aphria's commitment to enhanced corporate governance practices and a renewed focus on its strategic plan, the option in the Liberty shares represented a non-essential holding of the Company. Accordingly, the independent members of the Board of Directors unanimously approved the Early Termination and Liquidation wherein the Company received cash consideration of $47.4 million and may earn up to an additional $10 million based on certain value thresholds, if the counterparties monetize the Liberty shares underlying the terminated option within six months. Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisor to the Company.
The Hill Street Beverage Company challenged Canadians to go alcohol-free for the month of January, and in doing so demonstrated its ability to leverage effective marketing to achieve its business objectives.
The "Hill Street Challenge" represented the Company's first fully-integrated marketing campaign, and capitalized on a growing trend to go "dry" for the month of January. It was designed to build awareness of the Hill Street brand amongst Canadians, help people understand the benefits of going alcohol-free, and ultimately drive consideration of the company's alcohol-free products.
This follows the announcement with Lexaria Bioscience Corp. to license Lexaria's DehydraTECHTM, on a semi-exclusive basis, for a term of five 5 years, and a national agreement with Lifford Cannabis Solutions Inc. , who will be responsible for the sales and distribution of Hill Street's cannabis-infused beverage portfolio in Canada.
"We created the Hill Street Challenge as a way to highlight some benefits of going alcohol-free, but decided to do that in a slightly outrageous way so people would sit-up and take notice" said David Pullara, Chief Marketing Officer at Hill Street, referring to the irreverent videos created as part of the campaign. "We've been working hard over the past year to get people to understand that giving up alcohol doesn't mean giving up drinking or even having a good time, and the outstanding results of this campaign demonstrate our efforts are having an impact."
Zenabis Global Inc. announced that it has been approved to cultivate and grow cannabis at its 255,000 square foot facility in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. This represents the third Zenabis facility in Canada licensed to grow cannabis, adding design capacity of 18,500 kilograms of dried cannabis per year.
This follows Zenabis announcing reaching a letter of intent with the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). Quebec is the ninth Canadian jurisdiction in which Zenabis has a distribution relationship. Zenabis also has distribution arrangements with government and third-party retailers/distributors in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon Territory.
Lastly we look at Canopy Growth Corporation who announced a transformative clinical research partnership that will investigate the efficacy of cannabinoids as an integral part of a novel treatment for post-concussion neurological diseases in former NHL players.
Researchers estimate that between 1.6 and 3.8 million athletes suffer from a sports-related concussion each year*. Ten to 15 percent of these athletes will go on to develop chronic post-concussion symptoms that can affect their ability to function. The results of this original study may also lead to new cannabinoid-based therapies that help athletes in other professional sports, along with adults who suffer from the aftermath of brain injuries from accidents and other activities.
Approximately 100 former players will be enrolled in this randomized double-blind study. The research will be led by NEEKA Health Canada's Dr. Amin Kassam, a world-renowned neurosurgeon who completed his undergraduate training at the University of Toronto and has led four neurosurgery programs over two decades. Joining Dr. Kassam is Dr. Richard Rovin, a neurosurgeon who completed post-graduate training through the Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program at Harvard University Medical School. Their combined expertise in neuroscience, molecular cell signaling, brain mapping, and clinical trial design may lead to novel cannabis therapies that have the potential to improve the lives of patients suffering from post-concussion healthcare issues.
This follows a busy month for Canopy Growth Corporation having announced that Martha Stewart has joined the Company in an advisory role to assist with developing and positioning a broad new line of product offerings across multiple categories, naming Hilary Black as its Chief Advocacy Officer, and the multi-year agreement with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (TSX: ATD.A) (TSX: ATD.B) in which, pending the results of a public-consultation process, Couche-Tard has entered into a trademark license agreement with one of the winners of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario's Expression of Interest Application Lottery, who will operate a "Tweed" branded retail store in London, Ontario once the process is complete. The lottery winner will have full ownership and control over the London store.
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