Investor Ideas Potcasts, Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move: (NASDAQ: SNDL) (TSX: FAF), NY Cannabis and Swiss Pilot Program
Delta, Kelowna, BC - May 15, 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: (NASDAQ: SNDL) (TSX: FAF), NY Cannabis and Swiss Pilot Program
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Today's podcast overview/transcript:
In today's podcast we go over a few public company financial reports, the state of the legal cannabis industry in New York and the cannabis pilot program in Switzerland.
SNDL Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL) reported its financial and operational results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2023. The results for the first quarter of 2023 include the operating results of The Valens Company Inc. subsequent to the acquisition on January 17, 2023, and the results for the first quarter of 2022 include one day of Alcanna Inc. operations subsequent to the acquisition closing on March 31, 2022.
SNDL has also posted a supplemental investor presentation on its website, which can be found at https://sndl.com.
"We are pleased to report progress towards key milestones in all of our operative segments against the backdrop of expected seasonally moderate sales in our retail networks," said Zach George, Chief Executive Officer of SNDL. "The integration of Valens is proceeding with pace, and we are actively identifying new revenue streams and cost reduction opportunities. The first quarter was impacted by a number of one-time items including $13.5 million to replenish liquor inventory following the seasonal holiday draw in the fourth quarter of 2022, $2.7 million in severance and restructuring costs, and $17.5 million to stabilise Valens and bring overdue accounts payable up to date. We expect additional restructuring charges to impact the second quarter and the results of our team's hard work to become clear in late 2023. We are focused on improving all aspects of our business with the objective of generating strong free cash flow. The relocation of all cannabis processing activities to our Kelowna complex will drive improved capacity utilisation, and we are aggressively reducing our exposure to higher-cost cultivation as we seek low-cost producer status in all relevant product categories. In our retail segments, we are carving a path to higher margins and are excited about the recent launch of our data service programs and the potential for improved consumer engagement through new e-commerce and loyalty capabilities. We look forward to updating investors on our intended dividend of Nova shares, and events related to our SunStream portfolio in the coming weeks. 2023 is shaping up to be another transformational year for our company."
Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (TSX: FAF) (OTCQX: FFLWF), announced its financial and operational results for the fiscal 2023 first quarter ended March 31, 2023.
"Our first quarter of 2023 is a clear demonstration of our continued discipline on delivering positive improvements in our overall operational results. Once again, we saw same-store sales and gross margin growth. As we look towards 2023 as a transformational year, the Company is focused on our core retail business, supported by Hifyre which enables us to deliver higher gross margin percentages and the best available products to our customers," shared Stéphane Trudel, Chief Executive Officer of Fire & Flower.
"Our continued innovation and long-term focus is demonstrated through the recent launch of the Spark Marketplace mobile app that allows customers to shop with ease and has already produced significantly larger transaction amounts than in-person transactions."
"Consolidation opportunities in the industry that are fully accretive to our business are a key priority as we look to a long-term goal of achieving 10% market share. While keeping our eye on our long-term vision, our teams are working diligently to generate savings in SG&A expenses by simplifying our business and building value in core assets," concluded Mr. Trudel.
A recent news story from CNBC focussed on the rollout of legal weed within the Tri-State Area has been called slow and cumbersome, allowing for the proliferation of "gray" market storefronts and businesses to sell marijuana without going through the regulatory process. In New York City, for example, the mayor's office estimates the city is home to 1,400 illicit businesses selling marijuana without a licence.
"Those legitimate businesses face stiff competition from shops that are not following the rules," said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg during a Feb. 7 news conference. "It is time for the operation of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries to end."
At the same time, state officials are trying to right the historical wrongs brought about by the decades-long "War on Drugs." New York, Connecticut and New Jersey all have social equity components in their recreational marijuana programs, focusing on granting licences to applicants with previous marijuana-related criminal convictions.
"Every cannabis company should be focusing on hiring people who have had previous cannabis charges and people who have come from communities that have been impacted by the war on cannabis," said social equity applicant Tahir Johnson, who's about to open Simply Pure Trenton, in New Jersey's capital city.
Last week another news article discussed how the NY Cannabis Insider will be hosting a full-day "problems and solutions" summit at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albany on May 18. Learn more and buy tickets here.
A group of Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensees have documented in a letter an "alarming and unacceptable" lack of communication and transparency among state cannabis regulators.
The group of seven CAURD licensees, along with the Long Island CAURD Coalition and "several others" who signed anonymously, sent the letter late last Tuesday night to:
- The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) Executive Director Chris Alexander.
- Cannabis Control Board (CCB) Chairwoman Tremaine Wright.
- Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) President (and CCB member) Reuben McDaniel.
- A representative from Gov. Kathy Hochul's office.
The letter was also sent to NY Cannabis Insider.
The bulk of the group's ire is directed toward DASNY and the structure of its Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund, which was supposed to provide funding for the identification, leasing and build outs of 150 CAURD sites across the state.
As NY Cannabis Insider has documented repeatedly, the fund - which is overseen by DASNY and managed by Social Equity Impact Ventures - has failed to raise any money since its inception.
"In the CAURD program, we are consigned to a process that is monopolised by DASNY and the Fund by way of financial information, service providers, and access to real estate," the authors wrote.
The CAURD licensees cite as grievances DASNY's obscure and opaque lease agreements, exorbitantly priced build outs for CAURD locations "with no ability by the licensees to negotiate," delayed or nonexistent site approvals, and more.
"It appears as though we are once again asked to participate in a market that is fundamentally inequitable and counteractive to the purpose of the very initiative the government launched," the authors wrote.
At the end of the letter, the group asks for a meeting within the next 14 days between CAURD licensee representatives "and key representatives of the OCM, DASNY and the CCB" to address the issues expeditiously.
"As your licensees at the forefront of this industry, we fully expect you to address these concerns and propose a path forward so that the original promises made by the state can be upheld. It is the state's responsibility to uphold its commitment to social equity initiatives and the promises made to participants in the CAURD program."
In response to the letter, DASNY spokesperson Jeffrey Gordon told NY Cannabis Insider that the agency and the OCM are committed to providing licensees with the opportunity to succeed through mentorship and support.
"We look forward to meeting with them to address the concerns they have," Gordon said
In other news, The Swiss city of Bern will join Basel, Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva and legally distribute cannabis later this year.
The Bernese pilot trial for the regulated sale of cannabis in pharmacies, dubbed the Safer Cannabis - Research In Pharmacies randomised controlled Trial (SCRIPT), has just been authorised by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Cantonal Commission of Ethics and the Ethics Commission of Northwestern and Central Switzerland.
The three-year study, which will last from October 2023 to April 2026 and be monitored by the Universities of Bern and Lucerne, will aim to assess the health and social effects of selling cannabis in "strictly regulated, non-profit" pharmacies.
It will be carried out in the cities of Bern, Biel and Lucerne and should start "probably in the fall". The experiment plans to recruit 1,091 participants, including approximately 600 in the federal city.
Only people who already use cannabis for recreational purposes and who are at least 18 years old will be able to participate in the study. Furthermore, only half of the participants will be allowed to buy cannabis products for the first six months.
According to Reto Auer, head of the SCRIPT study at the University of Bern: "The objective of the study is to test the health and social effects of selling cannabis in strictly regulated, non-profit pharmacies".
Study participants will only be able to obtain cannabis products, which have been produced specifically for the study, in selected pharmacies. Revenues generated by the pharmacies will only cover their expenses, with the study being run on a non-profit basis.
SCRIPT will test regulations that aim for strict control of supply and demand while allowing risk reduction measures. This means no advertising will be allowed, while the products will be sold in neutral and standardised packaging.
Reto Auer explains : "These elements should make the products less attractive, especially for young people. We know the effectiveness of these measures from the field of smoking prevention.
"The aim of our study is therefore not a simple legalisation of cannabis, but consists in testing risk reduction measures to address the problems caused by a ban and the illicit market while controlling supply and demand for these products".
The study should provide data for possible future regulation of cannabis at the federal level aimed at promoting public health and social security.
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