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The Week In Cannabis: Stocks Tumble As Canopy Dominates The News

June 26, 2020 3:33 pm
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The Week In Cannabis: Stocks Tumble As Canopy Dominates The News

This week, the cannabis news world was somewhat dominated by Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC).

The Smiths Falls, Ontario-based company hosted a virtual investor meeting to discuss the COVID-19 impact and business strategies. It also tweaked its previously announced capital agreement with Acreage Holdings Inc. (OTC:ACRGF).

The amended arrangement provides for up-front cash payment to Acreage shareholders and certain convertible security holders in the amount of $37.5 million.

Canopy’s stock lost about 8% of its value this week.

BofA Securities analyst Bryan Spillane reiterated a Buy rating and CA$30 ($21.70) price target for Canopy. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic maintained a Neutral rating on Acreage Holdings and raised the price target from $2.30 to $2.90; Zuanic has a Neutral rating and CA$25.50 price target for Canopy.

“It's amazing how quickly the Acreage Holdings and Canopy Growth unraveled. While the acquisition is still planned, the price was dropped dramatically from $3.4 billion to roughly $37 million. Co-founder and CEO Kevin Murphy also resigned, but continues to hold a majority of the voting shares,” Debra Borchart, Editor-in-Chief at Green Market Report, told Benzinga.

In other news, actress and author Bella Thorne joined Rachel Cook and Jay Alvarrez as as an affiliate of DRIHP, an eco-friendly hemp apparel and accessories brand.

Alcohol retailer Alcanna Inc. (TSX:CLIQ) (OTC:LQSIF) and cannabis company Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) finalized a deal offering worth $27.6 million. Under the agreement between Alcanna, Aurora, and a syndicate of underwriters, including AltaCorp Capital Inc., CIBC World Markets Inc., and Cormark Securities Inc., which led the process.

The underwriters agreed to buy 9.2 million Alcanna's common shares at $3 per share.

Aurora also announced this week another round of reductions in its selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses (with massive firings included) and consolidation of manufacturing facilities. The latest announcements should allow the company to expand gross margins by as much as 8 percentage points, according to Cantor Fitzgerald.

Cantor’s Pablo Zuanic maintained an Overweight rating for Aurora Cannabis, while raising the price target from CA$ 27 ($19.89) to CA$ 29 ($21.37).

Israel is a step closer toward cannabis legalization, as the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill to legalize cannabis use on Sunday. According to The Times of Israel, the legislation is poised to legitimatize the possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana. In addition, it allows individuals older than 21 to possesses and consume up to 15 grams of marijuana.

One World Pharma Inc. (OTC:OWPC), under the helm of Isiah Thomas, initiated the sale of its hemp seeds in Colombia.

Over the five trading days of the week (and as of Friday 3pm ET):

   •  The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ): lost 5.3%.

   •  The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO): slipped 6%.

   •  The Cannabis ETF (NYSE:THCX): tumbled 6.4%.

   •  The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) closed the period down 2.6%.

Benzinga Cannabis’ content is now available in Spanish on El Planteo.

Havn Life Sciences Inc. announced the filing of its preliminary prospectus. The company is focused on standardized, quality-controlled extraction of psychoactive compounds from plants and fungi, including psilocybin. The company is also working on developing natural health care products from novel compounds. 

"There is enough research to show that psychedelics work. What we need is a safe, consistent and quality-controlled supply of these compounds in order for researchers to access what they need to move the industry forward. A safe and consistent supply of quality, naturally derived compounds is also needed for those in the clinical research space. This is what we are focused on developing," said Susan Chapelle, Co-CEO of Havn Life.   

ACS Laboratory acquired Botanica Testing Inc., a certified hemp and CBD testing laboratory. Botanica Testing has a portfolio of 500 clients and a reputation for quality that aligns with ACS’s standards and ongoing expansion across the U.S. This acquisition expands ACS’s multi-state reach in the hemp and CBD market, offering an extensive range of hemp testing options from pre-planning through postproduction.

“The Botanica agreement is the first step in a large journey to acquire reputable companies across the United States and have the largest footprint of any cannabis and hemp testing laboratory," said Roger Brown, President of ACS Laboratory.

Flourish Software, a supply chain and inventory management software for cannabis, hemp and CBD operations, announced a new integration with CannVerify, the cannabis industry’s blockchain authentication tool. The new integration will enhance protection for Flourish’s users against counterfeiting through CannVerify’s patent-pending, two-step verification process, which features a unique serial number, QR code, and scratch-off verification code for every product. The QR codes make it easy for Flourish users to add detailed product information and activate serials in bulk in their online system.

“Through this new integration, sellers in the cannabis market will have greater accuracy of their inventory and get the benefit of product visibility from the seed to the sale, all while protecting their brand from counterfeiters,” said Colton Griffin, CEO of Flourish.

Michigan-based cannabis company Exclusive Brands is launching a 30-acre Arlington cultivation site. The family-owned brand expects to grow 10,000 plants at the site during its first phase.

Benzinga will be hosting a virtual Cannabis Capital Conference in August. Check out details here.

Cannabis and hemp company Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE:JUSH) (OTC:JUSHF) agreed to acquire Vireo Health International Inc. (CSE:VREO) (OTC:VREOF)’s Pennsylvania-based subsidiary in a $37 million deal.

Gotham Green is demanding debt repayments from multistate cannabis operator iAnthus (CSE:IAN) (OTC:ITHUF). IAnthus recently disclosed that it's saddled with almost $160 million in debt. Its shares were suspended from trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange after failing to provide financial reports by its June 15, 2020 deadline. The cease of trade order could be revoked if the company makes the required fillings within 90 days of the date of the CTO.

Movement for Family Power, the Drug Policy Alliance and NYU Family Defense Clinic have released a new report focused on the child welfare and foster system and its intersection with the war on drugs. This report — titled “Whatever they do, I’m her comfort, I’m her protector: How the foster system has become ground zero for the US drug war” — comes at an important moment. The volume surrounding the systems the U.S. has in place (and how those systems work against Black, Brown, and marginalized people) is getting louder.

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Top Spanish-language stories of the week:

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on Benzinga.com/cannabis

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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