The Week In Cannabis: Aurora And Canopy's Bad News, Charitable Initiatives During A Pandemic, And Big Capital Raises

The week kicked off with shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB plummeting after the Canada-based company announced Monday that it would renew its at-the-market offering of up to $350 million in stock and complete a board-approved 1-for-12 reverse stock split.

The main objective of the latter move was to drive the share price above $1, which is a requirement to remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The reverse stock split is scheduled for May 11.

Cantor Fitzgerald maintained an Overweight rating on Aurora, but lowered the price target from CA$3.80 ($2.71) to CA$2.75 ($1.96). 

Canopy Growth Corporation WEED CGC announced global operational changes that it said are intended to improve production, balance supply and demand and enhance overall efficiencies. Beyond euphemisms, this means the company fired 85 employees, left South Africa and Lesotho, closed its Yorkton, Saskatchewan facility, halted operations in Colombia and stopped farming activities in Springfield, New York.

On the bright side, Greenbits, a cannabis retail platform serving more than 1,200 retail locations, has closed a $23-million Series B funding round, led by Tiger Global Management and Casa Verde Capital, the investment fund led by Snoop Dogg, Karan Wadhera and Ted Chung. And, Clever Leaves International Inc. completed the first tranche of its Series E financing, successfully raising $14 million.

“While the week delivered more awful news from Canopy Growth with its reorganization, I think I'm more impressed that Greenbits managed to raise $23 million this week and even Clever Leaves raised $14 million. So even though things are rough, there is still optimism,” said Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt.

Find our cannabis, hemp and psychedelics news in Spanish on El Planteo.

Versión en Español en El Planteo: Cannabis y Noticias de la Semana: Malas Nuevas para Aurora y Canopy, Buenas para Greenbits y Clever Leaves, y Más

Stocks were still up. Over the last four trading days:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ gained 0.35%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO rose 1.4%.
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX traded up 2.8%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS gained 4.5%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the period up 3.06%.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a set of criminal justice reform bills that were proposed in January into law, including one that decriminalizes cannabis. House Bill 972 decriminalizes simple possession of marijuana and institutes a $25 civil penalty.

Michigan’s recreational cannabis retailers are being prohibited from buying flower grown by caregivers six months earlier than anticipated. The regulation eliminates an informal link in the supply chain that has been contributing about 60% of the state’s legally sold medical and recreational marijuana.

In Mexico, the Supreme Court extended the deadline for Congress to pass marijuana legalization legislation. Back in the U.S., the Department of Agriculture passed regulatory plans for hemp production in Florida, Kansas, the Blackfeet Nation, the Cayuga Nation and the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa.

And cannabis company Hexo Corp HEXO HEXO said it is enhancing its collaboration with Molson Coors Beverage Co. TAP. The two companies have agreed to create a new joint venture, Truss CBD USA, which will produce non-alcoholic, hemp-derived CBD beverages in the Colorado market.

More News From The Week

Israeli cannabis company Together Pharma, led by the former commissioner of the Israeli police, Yochanan Danino, began the export of medical cannabis from its 30-dunam, GACP-certified facility in Uganda to Israel. The shipment contains 250 kilos of medical grade cannabis inflorescence, and is imported to Israel in accordance with Together's regulatory approvals and certifications for import.

This is the first time that GACP-certified medical cannabis is being exported from Uganda to Israel, and the company said it is working to promote the export of cannabis inflorescence from this factory to Europe and other African countries as well.

After its arrival in Israel, the cannabis will be processed in a GMP-standard factory and distributed through pharmacies to patients in Israel.

"Our goal is first and foremost to bring these inflorescence into Israel, so that combined with the cannabis we are growing in Ashkelon, we can will provide products on a large scale for the benefit of the local patients," said Nir Sosinsky, a founding partner and managing director at Together.

“Meanwhile, we are advancing with our EU-GMP trade agreements and facilities in EU member countries, and we intend to also start providing medical cannabis products to the rapidly growing European market, after complying to the stringent European standard."

Biotechnology company Orthogonal Thinker has filed an application for a proprietary psilocybin product with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

The Kihei, Hawaii-based company, which is focused on whole plant products as well as psychoactive compounds, has leveraged a proprietary formulation that uses natural alkaloids to produce its flagship product, Psilly.

Materia Ventures has partnered with vape pen designer Feather Company Ltd. to launch a premium CBD brand Hiatus in the United Kingdom.

North American cannabis operator TerrAscend Corp. TER TRSSF named Jason Ackerman as permanent CEO.

Canadian cannabis company Organigram Holdings Inc. OGI OGI reported second-quarter net revenue of $23.2 million versus $26.9 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Its gross margin was $11.3 million, which compares to a gross margin of $8 million in the second quarter of 2019.

Cannabis company Aphria Inc. APHA APHA posted third-quarter revenue of $144.4 million, up by 96% from the same quarter of 2019.

The Ontario-based company also posted a net income of $5.7 million, or 2 cents per share, which compares to a net loss of $108.21 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same period of the prior year.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (TSX.V: XLY) CBWTF reported that its subsidiary Dosecann LD Inc. has signed a supply agreement with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Drug Mart’s online medical cannabis platform.

The cannabis-oriented venture capital company Canopy Rivers Inc. RIV CNPOF confirmed that its Ontario-based joint venture PharmHouse revised its syndicated credit facility with the Bank of Montreal BMO, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM and Concentra Bank.

The Inter-Tribal Marijuana Commission (ITMC), a multistate organization regulating the Native American commercial cannabis industry, is providing a valuable support system for tribal hospitals and communities during t the COVID-19 outbreak.

In Nevada, ITMC enforcement director Laurie Thom has issued an Emergency Cannabis to Crop Regulation change allowing cultivators to grow alternative products to support the diminishing food supply chain and has created a donation drive with the governor's coronavirus task force.

The ITMC was established by Tribal Cannabis Consulting, a North American firm focused on building successful, compliance-driven native cannabis programs.

"The Inter-Tribal Marijuana Commission has been instrumental in harnessing the resources of essential marijuana businesses during this crisis. We hope to bring this proactive approach in Nevada to tribal communities in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Canada,” said Cassandra Dittus, co-founder and president of Tribal Cannabis Consulting. 

Cannabinoid-focused biopharmaceutical company Avicanna AVCN AVCNF reported fourth-quarter 2019 revenue of CA$122,715 versus revenue of CA$24,142 in the corresponding period of 2018.

During the quarter, the Ontario-based company posted a net loss before taxes of CA$8.67 million or CA$0.33 per share compared to a net loss of CA$3.34 million or CA$0.25 per share in the same quarter of the prior year.

Halo Labs Inc. HALO AGEEF (Germany: A9KN) released fourth quarter and full-year 2019 financial results Friday, reporting revenue of $28.1 million for the full year, up by 158% from 2018.

In 2019, the Toronto-based cannabis company posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $13.1 million and a net loss of $27.6 million versus an adjusted EBITDA loss of $8 million and a net loss of $13.7 million in 2018.

Harborside Inc HSDEF announced the addition of Marian Robinson to the executive team as vice president of human resources. Robinson will be in charge of managing Harborside talent and creating efficiencies across the organization.

Previously, Robinson was the senior director of HR at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in San Jose, California, the largest affiliate in the country. She's also held senior management positions with companies including Orchard Supply Hardware and Target. 

“I'm excited to be joining Harborside's industry-leading team as the company continues to grow in California and set new standards in safety and customer service,” Robinson told Benzinga.

Charitable Initiatives

To support frontline medical workers, Medterra CBD announced it will donate 15,000 of its THC-free CBD tinctures (250mg), equivalent to $300,000 of product, to health care professionals with proof of badge. 

“During these unprecedented circumstances, we wanted to take a step back and think about our mission to help people. That’s why we’re donating 15,000 tinctures of our CBD to the brave health care professionals who are fighting this pandemic on the frontlines day in and day out. This is a challenging time for so many, and with this donation, we hope we can have a small part in making this a bit easier for those who need it most,” said Jay Hartenbach, Medterra CEO and co-founder. 

Green Gorilla CBD  debuted a nationwide Buy 1 Give 1 initiative to support emergency responders who are on the front lines protecting communities across the United States.

For every online order placed for Organic 1,200mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil on Green Gorilla’s website, the company will donate a CBD oil to a first responder including nurses, doctors, firefighters, police and other brave emergency workers fighting the pandemic. Additionally, those purchasing the product on the site will also receive a second bottle complimentary as a goodwill gesture for contributing to the cause. 

“At Green Gorilla, we are extremely grateful to all the first responders and health care workers helping keep our communities safe and people healthy during the pandemic. We recognize the heroism and bravery in such immense times of  difficulty, and want to help those who are protecting us. We’re happy to share the benefits of our 1,200mg Full Spectrum CBD oil to help ease the mind and support whole-body balance,” said Steven Saxton, founder and CEO of Green Gorilla.

Chalice Farms is giving back to its local community through donation matching and meal deliveries to first responders for several weeks beginning Thursday, April 23. Each week, each of the seven Chalice Farm dispensary locations will select a local restaurant in the community to purchase at least $5,000 worth of meals from, to be donated to local hospitals, fire departments, paramedics and police departments.

“Now more than ever, we are seeing the ripple effect of this unprecedented time,” said Jeff Yapp, CEO of Golden Leaf Holdings.

“Our mission is to heal, share and come together through cannabis. Chalice Farms appreciates being a part of this community and we want to pay it forward. This is a small token of gratitude to those on the front lines who are working tirelessly to make our community safer and a small thank you to our local restaurant owners who have been impacted greatly.”

Top Stories Of The Week

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Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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