Investor Ideas Potcasts, Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move; (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) (TSXV: PCLO) (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB) (CSE: ISH) (TSXV: GTEC) (CSE: BHNG)
Delta, Kelowna, BC - December 2, 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 series of recent podcast interviews with thought leaders and experts in the sector. Listening to a mix of small to larger players in the industry, investors can hope to gain insight into the pulse of today's market.
Listen to the podcast:
Investor Ideas Potcasts, Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move; (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) (TSXV: PCLO) (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB) (CSE: ISH) (TSXV: GTEC) (CSE: BHNG)
Today's podcast overview/transcript:
Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of Investorideas.com "Potcast" featuring cannabis news, stocks to watch as well as insights from thought leaders and experts.
In today's podcast we look at a few early announcements.
Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) announced that its subsidiary Aphria Diamond secured a credit facility, on November 29 2019, with a major Canadian chartered bank as sole arranger, sole book runner and administrative agent on behalf of a group of lenders for a committed senior secured credit facility of $80 million.
"Aphria has the largest cash balance in the cannabis industry without the dilution of a strategic partner," said Irwin D. Simon. "We are pleased to have secured a term loan that will repatriate a portion of our investment in Aphria Diamond, to be strategically deployed by Aphria. This loan strengthens our balance sheet without being dilutive, and positions Aphria Diamond for success as we expand into new categories and growth opportunities in cannabis to enhance value for shareholders long term."
Since securing its Health Canada license on November 1, 2019, Aphria Diamond is quickly coming on scale. Aphria Diamond will be 70 per cent planted by mid-week, with 350,000 young seedlings planted. With the level of automation and scale of the facility, the Company anticipates Aphria Diamond to have one of the lowest cost structures in the industry. Aphria expects the dried flower production from the first harvest to be sold to provincial control boards sometime in March 2020.
The Credit Facility is secured by Aphria Diamond's assets and Aphria's balance sheet. Pricing is based on a set margin over the Bank's Canadian Prime Rate or Bankers' Acceptance and a pricing grid linked to certain financial ratios. It is expected to be at the outset in the low-to-high 5 per cent per annum range. The Credit Facility has a three-year term and contains customary financial and restrictive covenants.
PharmaCielo Ltd. (TSXV:PCLO) (OTCQX: PCLOF) announced that the Company has qualified to trade on the OTCQX® Best Market in the United States and secured Depository Trust Company ("DTC") eligibility. PharmaCielo's shares were previously traded on the OTC Markets' Pink® Market under the ticker "PHCEF" and have begun trading today on the top tier OTCQX® Best Market under an updated ticker symbol of "PCLOF".
"Having our shares traded on the top-tier of the OTC Markets in the U.S. is a testament to PharmaCielo's successful transition from the start-up phase into a mature medicinal cannabis company with robust operating infrastructure," said David Attard, CEO of PharmaCielo Ltd. "Being traded on the OTCQX Market is expected to provide PharmaCielo with greater visibility for U.S. and international investors who are looking for opportunities to participate in the burgeoning global medical cannabis industry. In addition, DTC eligibility will provide added convenience to U.S. investors, brokers and institutions."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), the Canadian company defining the future of cannabis worldwide, today announced that one of the Company's oil products has now been approved for use under Ireland's new Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP). Aurora's High CBD Oil Drops received approval from the Irish authorities and have now been added to a regulatory schedule by the Irish Minister of Health enabling importation, prescribing and supply under the scheme and is to date, one of only two products to gain such authorization.
Dr Shane Morris, Chief Product Officer at Aurora said, "Aurora is pleased to be able to assist patients who are seeking treatment with high quality EU-GMP (good manufacturing practice) certified pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis in Ireland. We are very proud to be one of the first approved suppliers of medical cannabis under the MCAP. We want to acknowledge the efforts made by many people, especially the patients and doctors who have campaigned for access to these medicines. We look forward to more of Aurora's high-quality medicines being approved, so that more patients can benefit from the MCAP in Ireland. We will continue to work closely with all parties and state agencies to facilitate further availability."
Under the new programme, a consultant can prescribe medical cannabis for patients under their care who have any of the following medical conditions:
- Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis
- Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
- Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy
The Medical Cannabis Access Programme was signed into law in June 2019 by Ireland's Minister for Health, Simon Harris. The programme will facilitate access to cannabis-based medical products in line with legislation and is scheduled to run for 5 years.
Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd. (CSE:ISH), a Canadian company establishing a national network of retail cannabis stores under its Spiritleaf brand, today announced it is putting its corporate focus solely on its Spiritleaf retail cannabis brand and will be voluntarily winding-down its corporate Watch It! retail operations by the end of the year.
Inner Spirit went public in July 2018 and leveraged the experience that the management team gained from operating the Watch It! franchise system since it was started in 1999. The Company's Watch It! division, which sells watches and accessories at select retail locations in Canada, provided the Company with infrastructure, retail experience, an effective approach to training and franchise relations, real estate connections, marketing knowledge and brand expertise. As Inner Spirit has evolved and with the Spiritleaf brand representing 84 percent of the Company's system-wide retail sales1 in third quarter 2019 financial results, the Company is executing on its plan to become a pure-play cannabis retailer.
"We are advancing the Company's business strategy by rapidly opening Spiritleaf cannabis retail stores in locations across Canada where permitted by regulation. We are the industry leader in Canada with 38 Spiritleaf branded stores operating and we want to continue to build on this momentum. We are preparing to open additional stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and possibly Ontario in 2020. For these reasons, we are voluntarily closing our corporate Watch It! retail business so we can train our sights fully on the recreational cannabis business moving forward. We want to be focused solely on expanding the Company's cannabis retail store network, enhancing our financial performance, and creating value for our shareholders as a pure-play recreational cannabis retailer," said Darren Bondar, President and CEO of Inner Spirit.
The Company plans to close its corporate Watch It! operations as of December 31, 2019. On November 29, 2019, Watch It! Consolidated Ltd., the wholly owned subsidiary of the Company that runs the Watch It! retail operation, filed a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal pursuant to the provisions of Division I of Part III of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada). Additionally, A. Farber & Partners Inc. has been appointed as trustee in the proposal proceedings. The Watch It! trademark and website are anticipated to be sold, and it is expected that a number of Watch It! franchise locations will continue to operate independently under the brand without any further connection to the Company or to WIC.
Bondar noted, "Over the last 20 years, Watch It! has played a special role in helping thousands of customers mark timely moments and celebrate important milestones. I'd personally like to thank the customers, staff, suppliers and franchise partners who have all been part of this family and wish everyone success in the next chapter. Watch It! has also played an instrumental role as the foundation for us to build the Spiritleaf network. We'll now focus our efforts exclusively on Spiritleaf and continue to build it as the premier retail cannabis brand in Canada."
The Company has a total of 38 retail cannabis Spiritleaf stores open and operating in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario. This includes the recent opening of a franchised Spiritleaf store on November 27, 2019 in Calgary's Sunridge Mall. Additionally, store openings projected for the coming week include franchised locations in the Hillhurst community of Calgary and in Cochrane, Alberta as well as the Company's ninth corporate-owned store located in Edmonton's Garneau community near the University of Alberta campus. The Company will be entering the busy holiday shopping season with more than 40 Spiritleaf store locations serving local communities. Please see www.spiritleaf.ca for more information, including store locations, opening dates and operating hours.
GTEC Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V:GTEC) (OTCQB:GGTTF), a multi-licenced producer of premium indoor flower, announced that it has formally launched its recreational adult-use brands in the Provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
"We set out a mandate to produce ultra-premium cannabis that is superior to the available selection in the current legal marketplace, produced from exclusive cultivars," said Norton Singhavon, Founder, Chairman and CEO of GTEC. "This product launch marks a pivotal chapter in our growth and strategy. We are very excited about our fiscal 2020 year, as we expect to realize significant increases in production, revenue and gross margins, which we anticipate will drive GTEC into profitability."
"Since day one, it has been our goal to build a brand and product portfolio that caters to what consumers are searching for; whether new to the market, or legacy cannabis connoisseurs," said Adil Hirji, Head of Marketing at GTEC. "We are confident that our meticulous efforts from seed to shelf will separate ourselves from others, establishing a sustainable competitive advantage while building consumer loyalty."
Initial orders were fulfilled and shipped in November to the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch and a private Saskatchewan distributor, with wholesale and retail sales commencing during the week of November 25, 2019. The purchase orders have provided GTEC's products access to 135 retail stores between both Provinces. The products have been priced amongst the highest tier within BCLDB sales channels, and promptly sold-out within hours of being available for wholesale distribution and to public consumers, which demonstrates the robust demand for GTEC's products in British Columbia.
A subsequent purchase order was received from the BCLDB, which is currently being fulfilled and expected to be delivered this week. The Company expects to continue to expand its national distribution into other Provinces in the near future.
Launched products include:
- BLK MKT™: Born out of passion and dedication to the craft. This brand is for the true connoisseur, seeking rare top-shelf cultivars with a higher THC.
- Wedding Crasher: ultra-premium quality | GTEC exclusive cultivar
- Cherry Punch: ultra-premium quality | GTEC exclusive cultivar
- Tenzo™: A balanced lifestyle brand, with a variety of strains that provide a diverse palette of desired experiences to consumers
- Purple Punch 2.0: premium quality | GTEC exclusive cultivar
- Cold Creek Kush: premium quality | non-exclusive cultivar
The recently launched products have been produced from GTEC's exclusive cultivar collection, with the quality of flowering increasing from premium to ultra-premium, resulting in a significant increase in GTEC's selling price. Management anticipates that its average selling price and sector-leading gross margins(A) will continue to increase as it realizes economies of scale and transitions its production to its exclusive cultivar collection.
Bhang Inc. (CSE: BHNG) (OTCQX: BHNGF), a global cannabis CPG brand company with an extensive, award-winning portfolio of products, today reported its financial and operating results for the third quarter ending September 30, 2019.
Over the past decade, Bhang has become one of the most-recognized brands in cannabis anchored by our flagship 8X cannabis cup winning chocolate products. Since our official CSE list date in July, Bhang has faced challenging market headwinds and strong skepticism driven by reduced investment and downsizing across the cannabis industry. Despite these challenges, the Company has been laser focused on evolving its portfolio of branded products within existing categories. Through the third quarter, Bhang laid the necessary foundational building blocks with our successful acquisition of Red Ace Organics as well as our announced partnerships to bring Bhang hemp-derived CBD products across Europe and Puerto Rico. The Company also increased its U.S. market exposure to seven states, with Bhang branded THC chocolate bars coming soon to Nevada.
To position the Company on a strong path to profitability, Bhang is now expressly focused on rationalizing its current assets, driving efficiencies through cost and overhead reductions and improving execution on the Company's existing product portfolio. As we look forward to 2020, we are confident that the strong foundation we have built in Q3 and throughout 2019 will allow us to rationalize our core product offering, gain the trust of new customers and continue growth across our global retail network.
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