Cannabis Stocks to Watch in M&A (OTC: $RLBD) (OTC: $TRTC) (NYSE: $APHA) (NYSE: $ACB)
Point Roberts, WA and Delta, BC - November 8, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering cannabis and hemp stocks releases a snapshot looking at mergers, acquisitions and partnership agreements in the cannabis industry and how companies like Real Brands, Inc. (OTC:RLBD) and other key players are ramping up for the next phase in the sector.
While the partnership and acquisition news rush that began at the start of the year may have slowed over the summer, there seems to be an upturn happening again. New Frontier Data, the global authority in data, analytics and business intelligence and the only Big Data tech solution solely focused on the cannabis space, shortly after the announcement of the over USD $10M acquisition of Zefyr, announced plans to acquire Civilized Worldwide Inc. at the New West Summit 2019.
New Frontier Data COO, Gary Allen said Tuesday, in a keynote at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, that "brands must go further in their marketing and brand development,''
"We have to do some things in this industry, just like every other mature market. We have to bank. We have to standardize. More brands are likely to merge as legalization continues," he said, "but they shouldn't unless there's a viable reason to do so."
As analysts are starting to predict a bottom in the cannabis sector, companies are preparing for the next wave of growth.
Real Brands, Inc. (OTC:RLBD), recently closed its previously announced acquisition of the proprietary CBD formulas from Integrative Medicine US, of Coral Springs, Florida. The formulas consist of Ancient Chinese and other Ancient Herbal Remedies that are paired with the latest scientific breakthroughs in endocannabinoid systems, nutrients and hemp derived CBD.
"We are pleased to announce the signing of the definitive agreement to acquire these proprietary formulas," said Real Brands, Inc. CEO, Jerry Pearring. "Since completing our audit, earlier this month, we are now focusing on launching our brands and E-commerce website," he added. "We are concluding the final steps in developing our unique packaging design and formulations for each of our brands: CBD Pharmacy™, HempAid®, Humboldt Brands® and Omegahemp™. This acquisition bolsters our efforts to offer consumers innovative CBD products and, as we previously announced, we intend to use these formulas for our CBD Pharmacy™ brand and feature the Chinese symbol for healing in our new logo."
In addition, as part of this acquisition, Jonathan Fields, AP DOM, has entered into an agreement to formulate additional products for Real Brands and become the initial member of Real Brands, Inc.'s Advisory Board. "I'm pleased to become a member of the Real Brands team and look forward to applying my education and ongoing research into traditional eastern medical therapies to create delivery mechanisms that act synergistically with CBD," said Mr. Fields.
Real Brands is led by a strong management team, (Jerry Pearring, Chief Executive Officer, David Failla, Executive Vice President and Peter N. Christos, Chairman), with decades of experience in consumer products and building very successful companies from startups to Fortune 50 acquisitions.
The company also recently completed its PCAOB audited financial statements for the two-year period ending December 31, 2018.
Real Brands has also built up a strong relationship with professional athlete Scott Piercy, World-renowned PGA Tour Professional Golf Pro. Scott is also coming aboard the Real Brands Team as a Brand Ambassador, and last month made a further commitment by making a long-term investment into Real Brands.
"We are excited to announce Scott Piercy as a Brand Ambassador for Real Brands," said Jerry Pearring, CEO of Real Brands, Inc. "The fact is Scott has made a long-term investment in Real Brands, Inc. that elevates his endorsement beyond that of just a Brand Ambassador to that of a very serious-minded individual that believes in the Real Brands business model and its long-term potential. We are honored to have Scott join the Real Brands Team and welcome him aboard."
"I am proud to join the Real Brands Team. I have taken the time to get to know the team at Real Brands and look forward to doing what I can to help grow their Hemp-Derived CBD brands," said Mr. Piercy. "I know this will also be great fun and look forward to doing my part as the team works together within this rapidly evolving industry to launch the Company's unique brands through traditional retail channels, and its new e-commerce web site launching this year."
Terra Tech Corp. (OTC: TRTC), a vertically integrated, cannabis-focused agriculture company, and OneQor Pharmaceutical, a privately held over-the-counter pharmaceutical company focused on developing, patenting, and delivering proprietary, plant-derived formulations in order to provide consumers with safer, more effective OTC solutions, recently announced that the two companies have entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger pursuant to which OneQor will merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of Terra Tech in an all-stock transaction. The combined company will focus principally on emerging pharmaceutical development opportunities for OneQor, while the operation of Terra Tech's portfolio of THC and agricultural related assets is expected to continue in the short-term. However, the combined company desires to list on a national securities exchange and, as further described below, intends to weigh several strategic options for the legacy Terra Tech business segments that may include a spin-off, special dividend, merger or potential sale among other accretive transactions.
"With our scientific research and proprietary compounds, combined with Terra Tech's loyal shareholders, asset management, and corporate governance structure, we are confident OneQor will be able to positively impact the way society and big-box retailers approach OTC care. I have known the Terra Tech team for years and we believe that the alignment with Terra Tech will make this fundamental vision a reality," said Matthew Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of OneQor.
"The cannabis industry is facing strong headwinds, from both a capital and a regulatory standpoint. We feel confident that this is the best use of the company's balance sheet in order to achieve growth and profitable returns for shareholders," said Derek Peterson, Chief Executive Officer of Terra Tech.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), a company who has been making headlines with regards to acquisitions and partnerships since pre-legalization in Canada, recently announced adding the award-winning Binske cannabis brand, from parent company Praetorian Global LLC, and the Alchemist CBD brand to their growing portfolio of product lines.
Aurora will license Binske intellectual property (IP) from Praetorian as part of its first foray into the Canadian edibles marketplace. Binske joins other notable brands as Aurora continues its Canadian expansion of product lines. According to Deloitte, Canada's edibles market will be worth CA$1.7B by 2020, with research showing 93% of Canadians who favor legalization are open to trying edibles.
Aurora's leadership position extends beyond cultivation and beyond the Canadian market. The Company is now active in 25 countries around the world, and has been the driving force in the development of the global medical cannabis industry and now the global hemp industry.
Aurora is also conducting a joint research program with the Ultimate Fighting Championship on a number of health indications and desired health and wellness outcomes that are of importance not just for mixed martial arts ("MMA") athletes but for any level of athlete across any sport. The study will focus on the efficacy of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) therapies, as well as on identifying optimal dosage via a variety of delivery mechanisms.
Currently, Aurora and the UFC are in the final stages of preparing an athlete intake survey for submission to an Independent Review Board, which will engage UFC athletes at the Performance Institute in Las Vegas. Simultaneously, Aurora is developing the formulations and clinical trial protocols for the first pilot interventional study which is focused on pain and inflammation. Upon completion of the studies, Aurora intends to develop new products for the medical and wellness markets under the new brand, ROAR Sports, which stands for research on accelerated recovery.
Aurora has a broad partnership portfolio of cannabis and cannabis-adjacent businesses which all provide valuable strategic benefits to Aurora. The benefits include retail footprint and customer insights, product technology/intellectual property, and operational or cost advantages. The list of current portfolio includes includes Alcanna Inc., Australis Capital Inc., Capcium Inc., Choom Holdings Inc., CTT Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc., EnWave Corporation, High Tide Inc., Micron Waste Technologies Inc. and Radient Technologies Inc.
Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) recently issued the following statement in regards to Aleafia Health Inc.'s termination of the Company's wholesale cannabis supply agreement with Emblem Corp.:
"We are disappointed that Aleafia has chosen to terminate its Agreement with Aphria Inc. The Company had every intention of fulfilling its obligations under the Agreement. As a large shareholder of Aleafia, Aphria made good faith efforts to ensure continuation of the Agreement understanding it was in the best interest of all parties involved. However, the termination of this legacy Agreement frees up significant supply allowing the Company to service its brands that are in high-demand across the country."
The company also announced completing the implementation of the Cloud ERP solution from Rootstock Software, a leading provider of cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions designed for manufacturing, distribution and supply chain organizations. Aphria simultaneously implemented ComplianceQuest's Enterprise Quality Management System (EQMS) to support quality management processes in today's highly regulated cannabis industry.
Aphria is a Canadian cannabis company listed on both the Toronto and New York Stock Exchange, and is one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. In Canada, cannabis is legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes. The country's federal Cannabis Act went into effect in October 2018, making Canada the second country in the world to legalize cannabis and the first G7 nation (the seven largest, most advanced economies in the world) to do so.
Rootstock's Cloud ERP meets all of the requirements of the cannabis industry. As a comprehensive ERP solution, it includes order processing, production management, supply chain management, lot and serial number trackability and traceability, compliance reporting, costing and financial management.
These announcements were followed by the company reporting profitable results for the first quarter ended August 31, 2019.
"We are pleased to report a second consecutive quarter of profitable growth with strong contribution from our Canadian cannabis operations. Our success was also driven by our international business and the strength and growth of our brands, particularly Broken Coast, despite a small fire at our British Columbia facility at the end of the quarter. This solid start to the year keeps us on track to achieve our fiscal year 2020 financial outlook," stated Irwin D. Simon, Interim CEO of Aphria Inc.
"Going forward, we remain focused on our highest-return priorities both in Canada and internationally as our team furthers the development of our medical and adult-use cannabis brands to drive growth through innovation and return value to shareholders."
As the cannabis industry continues to experience the impact of market fluctuation and changing regulations, many companies are starting to see the benefit of working together, either through strategic partnerships or acquisitions, in order to maintain shareholder confidence and prepare for the predicted global cannabis revolution. For the times they are a-changin'
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