Investor Ideas Potcasts, Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move: Happy 420! (TSX: FAF), (CSE: CURA), Mississauga and UberEats
Delta, Kelowna, BC - April 20, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) investorideas.com, a global news source covering leading sectors including marijuana and hemp stocks and its potcast site release today's podcast edition of 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: Happy 420! (TSX: FAF), (CSE: CURA), Mississauga and UberEats
Today's podcast overview/transcript:
Happy 4/20! In today's podcast we go over a few public company announcements, retail cannabis in Ontario and UberEats in B.C.,
Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (TSX: FAF) (OTCQX: FFLWF), a leading cannabis consumer retail and technology platform announced advancements in the relationship between the Company's strategic partner, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Fire & Flower through the completion of a Master Licence Agreement with MC Cannabis Inc., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Couche-Tard.
Overview of the Master Licensing Agreement
- Fire & Flower will have the exclusive right of first opportunity to negotiate with Couche-Tard with respect to entering new retail cannabis businesses and franchise arrangements in Canada, as well a potential retail expansion to additional legal cannabis markets outside of Canada.
- Couche-Tard has exclusively committed to developing Fire & Flower branded retail cannabis stores in Ontario under the Master Licensing Agreement.
- The first five Fire & Flower branded retail cannabis stores will be recently opened co-located stores, adjacent to Circle K convenience stores in the Greater Toronto Area that are currently operating as MC Cannabis Inc. and will be re-branded to Fire & Flower.
Benefits of the Master Licensing Agreement
- Leverages Couche-Tard real estate footprint and resources to develop licensee stores.
- Gives Fire & Flower the opportunity to expand its system sales, brand presence and the Hifyre™ digital retail platform in Canada and, through the exclusive right of first opportunity, to participate alongside Couche-Tard in a potential expansion to additional legal cannabis markets outside of Canada.
- Expands reach of the Spark Perks™ membership program and industry-first Spark Marketplace App.
"With the signing of this agreement, we have achieved another important step forward with our strategic partner, Couche-Tard. We continue to work closely together to build a sustainable growth engine, leveraging Couche-Tard's high quality real estate assets, retail operations expertise and capital, accelerating our path to profitability and goal of free cash flow," shared Stephane Trudel, Chief Executive Officer of Fire & Flower. "Successful retail is built on delighting our customers with great locations, people and products. Today, we have expanded our ability to grow the Fire & Flower network in Canada and other international legal cannabis markets by adding this scalable building block that we can further refine together in the first federally legal cannabis market in the world."
"Couche-Tard is pleased to have entered into a Master License Agreement with Fire & Flower. The Hifyre digital retail platform, including the Spark Perks membership program and the Spark Marketplace app, will bring a distinct competitive advantage to our cannabis stores. The current co-located cannabis stores adjacent to Circle K locations and anchored by convenience stores, fuel and car wash offerings are showing growth and we look forward to combining this with the recognized Fire & Flower brand and technology-enabled shopping experience to make it easy for customers," shared Steve Pitts, Vice-President of Operations, Central Canada, of Couche-Tard.
"As we look to markets opening in the United States and Europe, we will work alongside our strategic partner to expand Fire & Flower to international markets," shared Stephane Trudel, Chief Executive Officer of Fire & Flower.
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) announced that as of Monday, April 17th, the Board of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory (CRC) reversed itself and voted to approve Curaleaf's adult-use cannabis licences.
The CRC Board's decision came after first voting to vacate their decision from Thursday, April 13th, when they attempted to deny Curaleaf's adult use licence renewals.
Said Curaleaf CEO Matt Darin, "Today's decision by the CRC Board to vacate their unprecedented action last week is an incredible victory for our 500 NJ team members and vindication for what we knew all along: Curaleaf is in good standing with the CRC and has fulfilled every requirement necessary for the renewal of our licences. I am incredibly proud of and grateful to every one of the hundreds of dedicated team members who showed up today, not just for their jobs and livelihoods, but for a better, safer cannabis industry in New Jersey."
In previously attempting not to renew Curaleaf's adult use licences, the CRC Board had disregarded the Commission's staff recommendation to renew Curaleaf's adult use licences and the fact that the company has no pending violations.
As part of the approval, Curaleaf will be providing the Commission with additional information regarding its labour practices and confirm its ongoing compliance with New Jersey law.
Said Curaleaf Chairman Boris Jordan, "This decision by the Board is a victory for Curaleaf, a company that has proudly generated tens of millions of tax dollars for the State, invested upwards of $75M more to support its cannabis industry, and supplied cannabis products to nearly all of New Jersey's licensed dispensaries, including social equity licence holders. Curaleaf remains open for business and will continue working collaboratively with the CRC Board and its staff to ensure our good standing in the State of New Jersey."
In recent news, Ontario's largest city which had banned retail cannabis stores up until this point, voted this Wednesday to opt in.
Mississauga, Ont., was one of dozens of municipalities to ban retail cannabis stores from their communities when cannabis legislation came into effect in 2018.
The city council voted Wednesday 8-4 to opt in.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie spoke in favour, saying she had supported opting out in 2018, hoping the province would give municipalities greater control over location of stores. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is responsible for issuing licences and in municipalities that have opted in, one of the only restrictions on location is that stores must be at least 150 metres away from a school. Now after five years, it's clear the province will not be granting any additional oversight powers to municipalities, Crombie said.
"I've watched and observed the experience in other municipalities and it does seem to sort itself out," she said.
"There hasn't been the clustering that we have been concerned about ... All I have observed over the past five years is the proliferation of illegal stores and I don't want that here. We can't close them down. We don't have the ability to close them down and if we're going to have a product for sale in Mississauga, let's make it a safe product for goodness sake."
Coun. Dipika Damerla put forward the motion, saying that opting out of the legal framework has allowed illegal stores to flourish in the city, including one in her ward that police have unsuccessfully tried six times to shut down.
"So the goal today here is not a choice between no stores and legal stores," she said. "The choice today is illegal stores, the profits of which are going to create more illegal activity, or legal stores."
"According to the OCS, Mississauga continues to be disproportionately served by the illegal market, compared to communities that have 'opted in,'" the Mississauga staff report says.
In a statement, representatives for OCS said they support Mississauga's decision to lift the ban, saying the choice "marks a major step forward as the cannabis industry continues to evolve within the legal framework."
In other news, Uber Eats is now offering cannabis deliveries in British Columbia.
The tech company has partnered with cannabis company Leafly to offer the service, which became available as of Tuesday. The two companies have already been offering cannabis deliveries in Ontario since October 2022.
Those over 19 years of age will be able to place cannabis orders through their UberEats app and have them delivered by provincially certified staff. The app will now feature a "recreational cannabis" category, and ask for age verification.
"More British Columbians are accessing legal cannabis than ever before. We are partnering with industry leaders like Leafly to help retailers offer safe, convenient options for people in British Columbia to purchase legal cannabis for delivery directly to their homes. This will help reduce impaired driving and improve road safety," said Klaas Knieriem, General Manager of New Verticals for Uber Eats Canada.
"Over the last few years, we have invested heavily in our delivery offering and selection has expanded tremendously. Uber Eats has grown quickly to become a versatile platform usable by diverse businesses large and small."
"Leafly has been empowering the cannabis marketplace in Canada for more than four years and we support more than 850 cannabis retailers in British Columbia. We are thrilled to work with Uber Eats to help licensed retailers bring safe, legal cannabis to people across the province," said Yoko Miyashita, CEO of Leafly.
There will be 13 cannabis stores in B.C. that will be available to deliver through Uber Eats to start. Ten of those dispensaries are located in Vancouver, along with two in Victoria, and one in New Westminster.
Cannabis deliveries in B.C. are not anything new however, as home delivery for non-medicinal cannabis has been allowed in B.C. since July 2021 and has also been available through Canada Post since July 2022.
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