The cannabis sector was dominated by merger and acquisition (M&A) activity throughout 2018, according to a new market report.

A study from Viridian Capital Advisors shared with investors on Tuesday (April 9) shows that M&A activity increased 108 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. A total of 321 business transactions took place in the entire cannabis sector last year.

The cannabis advisory and investment firm indicates that most of the activity took place in the Canadian markets, with a particular focus on Ontario and BC.


Cannabis - Will The Fortune 500 Join The Party?

Our Exclusive FREE Report Contains Information You NEED To Know About Cannabis Stock Investing!

The report also shows that the top states for these transactions in the US were California, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and Arizona.

Viridian indicates that a total of US$13.9 billion was raised for the entire marijuana space in 2018, representing a 294 percent increase from 2017.

“Among our 12 cannabis industry sectors, Cultivation & Retail captured nearly 75 percent of all investment dollars, up from 48 percent in 2017,” the report states.

The most expensive deals were done by some of the biggest marijuana companies in Canada, and a list showing the top 10 M&A deals performed in 2018 includes four marijuana companies.

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB,TSX:ACB) took the top two spots on the list thanks to its blockbuster acquisitions of MedReleaf and CanniMed Therapeutics.

Aurora and fellow public producers Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED) and Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA) each made three separate appearances in the ranking.

MJardin Group (CSE:MJAR,OTCQX:MJARF) rounded out the list with its acquisition of private company GrowForce Holdings for a deal worth approximately US$135 million.

Public listings also on the rise

Viridian’s report indicates that public listings also rose in 2018, with a total of 56 deals completed.

While initial public offerings (IPOs) “picked up considerably” according to the firm, reverse takeovers were the dominant methods employed by companies seeking to go public in the sector.

“Traditional IPOs expanded in 2018 as clean shell companies became harder to find and delays in reverse takeover/merger processes pushed the going-public timelines closer to those in IPOs,” Viridian says.

A total of US$468 million was raised for cannabis IPOs in 2018, while 15 stocks in total launched over the year, the report stated.

Viridian says the Canadian Securities Exchange was the most active exchange for new listings in 2018.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


Cannabis - Will The Fortune 500 Join The Party?

Our Exclusive FREE Report Contains Information You NEED To Know About Cannabis Stock Investing!

An Emerging Markets Sponsored Commentary

A report just released in early April confirms that the cannabis beverage sector is thriving. According to this report from industry stalwart, Marijuana Business Daily while sales for vapes, pre-rolls and flower were lackluster, cannabis beverages shined:

Keep reading... Show less

BevCanna Enterprises (CSE:BEV,OTCQQ:BVNNF,FWB:7BC) CEO Marcello Leone shared how the company is scaling up its products to forge partnerships and explore opportunities across Canada, the US and Western Europe. 

“Getting your standard processing license and being fully compliant at a federal level is critical in Canada, and we were successful in getting that done. Now we’re getting ready to launch our Keef line of beverages within the next 45 days,” Leone said. 

As a young company, Leone said BevCanna has only started, but it took a four-pronged approach to make sure that it is a revenue-generating company prepared for the opening of many jurisdictions for CBD-based products.

“We are blessed that we have a beautiful infrastructure of our own, a state-of-the-art bottling facility with a capacity of almost 200 million bottles per annum and a strong balance sheet of $55 million. We are in a strong position to scale and grow this company.”

BevCanna has received a Standard Processing License from Health Canada and is now fully authorized to begin production at its full-service, high-capacity beverage manufacturing facility. The company will begin production of its white-label products, number one US cannabis beverage brand Keef and its in-house beverages through licensed Canadian retailers, positioning the company to fully capitalize on the burgeoning Canadian cannabis-infused beverage sector.

Watch the full interview with CEO Marcello Leone above.

Keep reading... Show less

BioHarvest Sciences (CSE: BHSC) will be presenting at the Benzinga Cleantech Small Cap Conference taking place on April 22, 2021. We invite our shareholders and all interested parties to explore cleantech small cap investment opportunities through two days of networking, dealmaking and discovery.

Sign up to get a free spectator pass for the event:

Keep reading... Show less

Positive distributor feedback and strong consumer interest accelerating launch with distributors

Emerging leader in innovative health and wellness beverages and products, BevCanna Enterprises Inc. ( CSE:BEV , Q:BVNNF , FSE:7BC ) (“ BevCanna ” or the “ Company ”) announces today that its wholly-owned subsidiary Naturo Group has successfully completed its initial shipment of TRACE plant-based products to one of Japan’s largest beverage distributors.

Keep reading... Show less

Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF) (“Cresco Labs” or the “Company”), a vertically integrated multistate operator and the number one U.S. wholesaler of branded cannabis products, today announced an additional refreshment of its board of directors to further strengthen its leadership in the cannabis industry.

Keep reading... Show less