This past trading week (Dec. 4 – 8) saw the reveal in terms of its cannabis policy for a few more provinces in Canada. Another international market may be getting closer to medical legalization and market news complete this week’s cannabis weekly round-up.
During the week B.C., Nova Scotia, and P.E.I. all publicly outlined their cannabis plans in the face of full legalization arriving in Canada next summer. B.C., a notoriously famous cannabis market, announced the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be charged with the government-run distribution model for recreational cannabis. The age of majority for consumption was set at 19 and the province hinted at the possibility for privately run cannabis stores, saying it would give more details in 2018.
“The Province anticipates establishing a retail model that includes both public and private retail opportunities and will share details regarding the model in early 2018,” the provincial government’s statement indicated. The B.C. government failed to indicate the limits on the possession amounts of cannabis in place for consumers.
Nova Scotia also set its minimum age of consumption at 19 and announced its Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) stores will sell recreational cannabis. “We believe the NSLC is best positioned to sell cannabis, keeping it out of the hands of young people and making it legally available in a safe, regulated way,” Minister of Justice and Attorney General Mark Furey said, according to a report from Halifax Today.
The Eastern province revealed users will be restricted to holding up to 30 grams of cannabis and a limit of four plants of cultivation per household. The report indicated the province won’t sell cannabis in all of its NSLC stores and hasn’t determined which ones will yet.

Cannabis deals with the pharmacy world

This past week the Investing News Network (INN) reported on Aphria’s (TSX:APH; OTC:APHQF) deal with Shopper’s Drug Mart for the distribution, if the law allows it in the future, of medical cannabis in their online stores. The deal has seen an increase of 16.49 percent in the share price of Aphria, since the announcement on Monday, as investors and analysts reacted positively to the legitimacy this deal brought to the cannabis industry and the impact of being attached to a recognizable pharmacy in Canada.
Vic Neufeld, Aphria’s CEO, later clarified this isn’t an exclusive agreement with Shopper’s Drug Mart, other cannabis producers may take part in similar deals with Shopper’s, however, Aphria will be the leading supplier of cannabis for the pharmacy.
CanniMed Therapeutics (TSX:CMED) announced it entered into its own agreement with a pharmacy. PharmaChoice will be supplied medical cannabis products from CanniMed’s portfolio of offerings. “[W]e believe that pharmacies are perfectly positioned to become a major conduit for education on safe medical cannabis prescription and usage,” said Brent Zettl, president, and CEO of CanniMed.
The CEO of PharmaChoice said his company recognized the therapeutic impact of medical cannabis and its role in the lives of its patients. He expects this collaboration to make their pharmacists the “most educated and prepared to assist patients,” in regards to medical cannabis treatments.

Paraguay joins the medical cannabis market

Congress in Paraguay approved legislation which would seek to set up a system for the legal import and local production of cannabis for medical purposes. Roberto Cabanas, vice president Paraguay’s medicinal cannabis organization, told Reuters this decision also allows for the import of seeds for oil production.
Paraguay joins Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia in regulating cannabis. Uruguay went a step ahead of its peers and legalized the recreational sale of cannabis this year.

This past week a class action lawsuit against Organigram (TSXV:OGI) was broadened in scope to include the allegation of sick clients as the effect of its tainted cannabis before a recall took place, according to a report by the CBC.
Lawyer Maddy Carter said the update in the lawsuit was meant to represent the health complaints from patients, including nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
Carter said some patients were experiencing these “negative health effects” before the patients were notified by the company and the recall was made. This case hasn’t been certified and will only proceed to trial if so.
“Even before people knew that these Organigram products contained these two unauthorized pesticides, before they were notified by Organigram, and before the recall occurred, they were experiencing these things and had gone to their doctors and said, ‘You know, I don’t think this is supposed to be happening,'” Carter said.
The Canadian marijuana ETF saw growth in its value this past trading week. Over the five-day trading period, the Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) saw a 4.57 percent increase. As of 1:15 p.m. EST on Friday, the ETF traded at $14.63. Since its inception earlier this year, the index has gone up 42.73 percent.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience and @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.

** This article is updated each week. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information**

Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: Tension Increases Between Aurora and CanniMed Over Takeover Bid

By Bryan Mc Govern – Dec. 1, 2017
This past trading week (Nov. 27 – Dec. 1) we got an update on the takeover bid from Aurora for fellow cannabis producers CanniMed. The cannabis act, Bill C-45 was approved in the House of Commons and sent to the Canadian Senate, moving the country closer to its planned full legalization next year.
This past week the Investing News Network (INN) reported on a new study out of Illinois, set to publish in January, which indicated in its preliminary results some of the impact medical cannabis could have with patients recovering from opioid addiction. The data of the study made public showed 67 percent of patients surveyed stopped using any kind of opioid medication after trying medical cannabis.
Officially, Bill C-45, the cannabis act in Canada, was approved by the House of Commons after new amendments and is now for the Canadian Senate to consider the bill and approve it. If approved as expected, Canadians over 18 and older will be able to hold and cultivate cannabis. A new system of retail stores will also be allowed alongside online sales of cannabis.

Update on Aurora vs. CanniMed

Tensions are rising with Aurora Cannabis’ (TSX:ACB; OTCQX:ACBFF) hostile takeover attempt on CanniMed Therapeutics (TSX:CMED). On Tuesday (Nov. 28) CanniMed issued a statement calling the bid “opportunistic” and announced it had adopted a shareholders rights plan. This way, CanniMed argues its shareholders will be able to vote on the path forward. According to CanniMed, this stops Aurora from acquiring any more shares “other than those tendered to its Hostile Bid or from entering into any lock-up agreements.”
“The Company is very concerned that by secretly obtaining lock-up agreements from four of CanniMed’s shareholders, Aurora may be depriving shareholders of their ability to vote in respect of the Newstrike deal or may coerce them to accept the Hostile Bid,” CanniMed said.
Later in the week, Aurora responded to this development, going so far as questioning the ability of CanniMed’s board and special committee, formed after the takeover bid was announced in November, to “make an informed decision and act in the best interest of shareholders.”
“Many of CanniMed’s shareholders are telling us that our offer represents an excellent premium for their CanniMed shares,” Cam Battley, Aurora’s executive vice president said in the company’s statement. Aurora said the actions of the management team and board at CanniMed “seem contrary” to what their shareholders want. “CanniMed has adopted oppressive poison pill tactics, which appear to be driven solely by entrenched self-interest, and that purposely limit their shareholders’ rights and ability to choose,” Aurora wrote.
On Nov. 30, CanniMed told shareholders about the tactics used by Aurora in their takeover attempt and accused their shares of being “inflated.”
“Shareholders should ask themselves if they can trust an Aurora management team who are publicly talking up the stock and trying to convince CanniMed shareholders to tender to their opportunistic and coercive bid, while at the same time selling and taking millions in dollars for themselves,” Brent Zettl, president, and CEO of CanniMed wrote to investors.
CanniMed went on to detail and compare the market activity regarding shares sold from Zettl and Terry Booth CEO of Aurora and other management members of the company.

Lift awards

MedReleaf (TSX:LEAF) took the highest honor of “Top Licensed Producer” at the 2017 Lift Canadian Cannabis Awards, while Emblem (TSXV:EMC) was named the top licensed producer (LP) in customer service. OrganiGram (TSXV:OGI) earned an award for their compassionate pricing amongst LPs. Hydropothecary (TSXV:THCX) was awarded best new cannabis product of the year for their Decarb edible powder.
This past trading week saw quarterly reports and updates from a few cannabis companies, including DOJA Cannabis (CSE:DOJA), ABcann Global (TSXV:ABCN) and Maricann Group (CSE:MARI).
The Canadian marijuana ETF saw growth in its value this past trading week. Over the five-day trading period, the Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) saw a 0.29 percent increase. As of 1:20 p.m. EST on Friday, the ETF traded at $13.84. Since its inception earlier this year, the index has gone up 36.29 percent.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience and @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.
Editorial Disclosure: DOJA Cannabis and ABcann Global are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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