In the cannabis space this week, Ontario announced an end to measures introduced earlier this year to help curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, the latest numbers released by Health Canada indicate that marijuana inventory in the country remains high, which could be a problem for the industry moving forward.


Read on for a closer look at some of the biggest cannabis news over the last five days.

Ontario ends delivery, curbside pickup for private stores

News hit this week that customers will no longer be able to receive delivery or curbside pickup services from privately run cannabis stores in Ontario. They had been allowed to do so since April due to a temporary emergency order from the provincial government.

Instead, the province-run Ontario Cannabis Store will now be the only entity able to offer delivery.

The news has not been well received by operators of private cannabis stores in the province, largely because they believe taking these services away makes retailers less competitive with the black market.

There had been some expectation that the measures would remain even after COVID-19 — speaking to the Investing News Network (INN) not long after they were introduced, Charles Taerk, president and CEO of Faircourt Asset Management, expressed optimism that they would be left in place.

While they were “designed to end with the provincial re-openings, there is an opportunity to add (these services) in addition to home delivery, which further reduces demand for the illicit market,” he said.

Faircourt is the portfolio advisor to the Ninepoint Alternative Health Fund, which Taerk manages with Doug Waterson. The fund’s inception was in March 2017.

Stats show Canada’s cannabis inventory still high

Fresh data released by Health Canada indicates that cannabis inventory remains elevated in the country.

According to the organization’s latest report, which covers the month of April, Canadian marijuana producers held unpackaged inventory of 620,144 kilograms at that time, a new high.

Meanwhile, federal license holders had packaged inventory of 46,413 kilograms, with provincial distributors and retailers having a further 38,601 kilograms.

Health Canada defines unpackaged inventory as cannabis that is held in stock by a cultivator or processor that is not packaged for sale at the retail level; packaged inventory is described as cannabis held in stock by a cultivator, processor, distributor or retailer that is packaged for sale at the retail level.

Speaking to Marijuana Business Daily, Craig Wiggins, managing director of market researcher TheCannalysts, expressed concerns about the market’s ability to absorb the inventory that is amassing.

“The total addressable market is growing. There’s no question about it,” he said. “But it’s not growing to the extent that it can absorb the unsalable product, so adjustments are coming.”

The Health Canada report also includes a breakdown of April sales in the country. About 7.59 million packaged units of cannabis were sold for both medical and non-medical purposes; dried cannabis, cannabis extracts and edibles represented 73 percent, 14 percent and 12 percent of sales, respectively.

Cannabis investor base starting to diversify

INN spoke this week with Nawan Butt of Purpose Investments, who said marijuana investors are becoming a more varied set of people as opposed to a single group with similar ideas.

For example, he pointed out that while interest from institutional investors is strengthening, some retail investors have lost enthusiasm.

Click here to skip to the Investing News Network’s overview of Butt’s comments.

Support from institutional investors is coming as the marijuana space begins to see more stability after a tough 2019. Attention from these investors is mostly being directed at licensed producers (LPs), and Butt said it is happening partially due to strong cannabis sales seen during the coronavirus outbreak.

“On the institutional side, we’ve seen financings increase,” Butt said. “It has mostly been for LPs, which are on the sort of margins for profitability … just about maybe six to 12 months away.”

Butt’s comments on institutional investors are in contrast to thoughts expressed by panelists at the recent Prohibition Partners LIVE event.

Cannabis company news

Company news in the cannabis spaced ran the gamut from operational updates to store launches.

  • Aleafia Health (TSX:AH,OTCQX:ALEAF) shared an update on its strategic growth plan, saying that it is getting close to releasing its Cannabis 2.0 products. CEO Geoffrey Benic described the launch, which is expected this month, as a “major milestone” for the company.
  • Fire & Flower Holdings (TSX:FAF,OTCQX:FFLWF) opened two cannabis retail stores adjacent to Circle K locations in Alberta. The company expects the stores to benefit from being in high-traffic areas, and anticipates additional co-locations with other Circle K stores in the future.
  • The first Hemisphere Cannabis store opened this week in Toronto. Hemisphere is owned by Aegis Brands, the parent company of coffee shop chain Second Cup Coffee (TSX:SCU), and the store is situated at a former Second Cup Coffee location. Six more Hemisphere stores are set to open in Ontario before the end of the year, according to Aegis.
  • HEXO (TSX:HEXO,NYSE:HEXO) said it has launched medical cannabis products in Israel via a two year agreement with Breath of Life International, an Israeli medical cannabis company. This is the first time the company’s medical cannabis products have been available outside Canada.
  • The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TSX:TGOD,OTCQX:TGODF) announced that its Ontario-based Ancaster facility has received a European Union Good Manufacturing Practice certificate, allowing it to export dried flower and cannabis extracts to Germany for validation.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Trulieve to donate $20,000 in scholarship funding and $15,000 to support leadership development

Trulieve Cannabis Corp . (CSE: TRUL) (OTC: TCNNF), a leading and top-performing cannabis company in the United States today announced a new partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. Trulieve will donate $20,000 to help fund several college scholarships awarded to students who are attending one of the organization’s member-schools as part of Trulieve’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The $15,000 in talent funding is earmarked to support TMCF’s internship program, reaching a diverse talent pool of students and alumni from their 47 member-schools to provide immersive experiences at Trulieve.

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The new dispensary expands patient access to Florida’s largest inventory of medical cannabis products

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) (“Trulieve” or “the Company”), a leading and top-performing cannabis company based in the United States announced today the opening of a brand-new Florida dispensary, the Company’s 80th nationwide. The new location marks the Company’s first in Tamarac and third in Broward County expanding patient access to Florida’s largest and broadest assortment of high-quality medical cannabis products.

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Revive Therapeutics Ltd. (“Revive” or the “Company”) (CSE: RVV, USA: RVVTF), a specialty life sciences company focused on the research and development of therapeutics for medical needs and rare disorders, is pleased to announce an update on the Company’s U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) Phase 3 clinical trial (the “Study”) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Bucillamine in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

With its recent $23 million dollar financing, the Company plans to aggressively expand from 14 clinical sites to up to 50 clinical sites to meet the next enrollment goals for the Study in Q2-2020. The Study is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial and the safety and efficacy data analyzed at each interim analysis timepoint of 210, 400, 600 and 800 completed patients are only made available to the Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (“DSMB”) for review and recommendations on continuation, stopping or changes to the conduct of the Study. In the event of any serious safety concerns, the DSMB would be notified to determine any risks and provide its recommendations. To date, in this initial 210 interim point there have been no serious safety concerns that required the DSMB to be notified.

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HempFusion Wellness Inc. (TSX:CBD.U) (OTCQX:CBDHF) (FWB:8OO) (“HempFusion” or the “Company”), a leading health and wellness CBD company utilizing the power of whole-food hemp nutrition, is pleased to announce that its common shares have been approved for DTC full-service eligibility in the United States by the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) and can now be both traded and serviced through DTC’s electronic book-entry system.

DTC is a subsidiary of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (“DTCC”) that provides clearing and settlement services for the financial markets and settles the majority of securities transactions in the United States. This electronic method of clearing securities speeds up the receipt of stock and cash and thus accelerates the settlement process for investors and brokers, enabling the stock to be traded over a much wider selection of brokerage firms.

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CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN) (CFN Media) partners with FMW Media Works LLC to produce a regular series on the global cannabis markets to air on major financial news networks across the US. Initial segment features leading cannabis analyst and US Multi-State Operator (MSO)

CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the leading media network dedicated to the global legal cannabis, CBD and psychedelics industries, today announced that its inaugural news segment on the cannabis markets, “Cannabis Market Outlook for 2021,” will air on Bloomberg, Newsmax and Fox Business.

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