After securing a key relationship with a top tobacco maker, CEO Greg Engel says Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) is ready to pursue the US cannabis market.
The two will also collaborate on product formulations while sharing data and methods. As part of their new collaboration, a research and development hub will be set up to focus on formulation fine tuning.
The money comes with few restrictions, except for a dedicated amount of around C$30 million to be used for what’s known as the “Center of Excellence,” the place the two companies will work on developing novel products. Engel said the rest of the sum can be used for working capital, and will put Organigram in a good position to leverage a strategy within Canada and internationally, primarily the US.
The Investing News Network (INN) caught up with Engel following the vital deal announcement to learn more about the immediate impact for Organigram and how Engel envisions this business relationship with BAT shaping up. Read on to learn what he said.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
INN: Greg, this collaboration represents a landmark agreement for Organigram, and it goes to show the evolution of the cannabis industry at large within these past few years. Could you tell me about the origins of the conversations between Organigram and BAT, as well as how critical is it for Organigram to have secured this deal right now?
Greg Engel: It’s certainly been a significant number of months and has been an ongoing process. It was made a little bit more challenging certainly by COVID-19 and a lack of ability to actually meet face to face in person or do site tours at our facility. We did still end up doing them virtually.
I think it’s important to put (this in) perspective for us. I’ve been CEO of the company for four years, and over that time we’ve been actively looking for a strategic relationship that could bring a lot to the company. In the past, we’ve had discussions with a number of different companies in different verticals: consumer packaged goods (CPG) and alcohol.
What really excited us about BAT as a strategic investor, and how we’re approaching this, is that the two companies are very aligned in terms of innovation and product development. Both parties are bringing intellectual property to the product collaboration. The goal is to continue to create innovative new products that are going to change the whole experience for the cannabis consumer. And whether it’s CBD or THC in the future, that’s been the focus.
At the end of the day, that relationship brings three key things:
- One is a significant capital injection from a strategic investor, which will allow us in the future, as we develop new products, to look to not only bring those products to market in Canada, but to look at other markets, like the US and internationally.
- Secondly, this Center of Excellence that we’re working on together is going to be a combination of existing research and development staff at Organigram and BAT, as well as hiring new people. That focus is really on oral and vapor cannabis delivery.
- The third thing is we do gain the value of the strategic investor from the perspective of they have two board nominees, and one has already been filled by Jeyan Heper, who has extensive commercial experience for over 20 years.
We’re really excited about moving forward on this collaboration.
INN: I was struck by your comment about how selective Organigram has been when it comes to finding the right company to align with and obtain an investment like this one. Was there a specific factor that helped solidify this transaction?
Also, besides the COVID-19 complications, I’m wondering if there’s been any sort of hesitancy to sign onto a deal like this one based on the way some other deals have gone down between big-name CPG corporations and Canadian cannabis players?
GE: For us the whole focus is to say this isn’t just a strategic investment, this is about creating, innovating and developing new products or the next version of products. Both companies have contributed intellectual property to this collaboration. That’s a big part of why this was the right agreement for us and I think that played a key role.
When you look at how the Center of Excellence is going to operate, it really is going to be developing these products and undergoing rigorous testing. There’s kind of an ethos there or a culture within both companies that is very focused on quality, innovation, new products and consumer health and safety at the end of the day.
INN: Before I ask you more specifically about the US market strategy, I’m very curious about the recent shift in the way Canadian cannabis companies talk about the US. The industry has latched onto trends and topics such as the path to Canadian legalization, Cannabis 2.0 products, international ventures and now it seems the US is becoming that hot talking point.
How much of your day-to-day time is spent evaluating the US and its long-term impact for the cannabis industry? How much of that is dominating the headspace for the Canadian cannabis space in general?
GE: For the last couple years we have spent a significant amount of time looking at the US. We have an agreement with the Green Solution, which is part of Columbia Care (CSE:CCHW,NEO:CCHW,OTCQX:CCHWF). That was an intellectual property agreement in the early days for Organigram. For Organigram, we were looking to learn from them and get market insights, both on the recreational market and to prepare for Cannabis 2.0 products. Through them we’ve actually learned a lot about the US market.
It’s hard to say how much time, but it’s certainly top of mind. There’s some hurdles though, right? I mean, we’re not in a position today, because of the legal and regulatory restrictions on the THC side, to look to imminently enter that business.
On the CBD side we could, and I think part of our rationale for finding this strategic investor and working on this collaboration is that it will allow us to develop products we feel will be more advanced and undergo more rigorous testing than a lot of the products that are out in the market.
INN: Let’s dive deeper into the US cannabis market. There’s been a transition in the way this segment is understood in relation to Canadian companies and the way the US-based operators are valued through the open market.
When you look at the US, you already highlighted some of the ways this deal benefits your company in relation to that territory, but I’m wondering if you could expand on the general vision you have for this market and its relationship to Organigram? What are your priorities in the US, and what do you think of the general approach of Canadian cannabis operators pursuing entryways into the US?
GE: If you look at how that market is going to evolve, it more than likely could evolve in stages. You’re going to see potentially the MORE Act and the SAFE Banking Act both pass; you (could) see the shift in banking regulations, and then that would move to allow NASDAQ, NYSE, TSX, TSXV companies to invest in US companies. And I think that’s going to happen over time. Early indications, certainly for the current administration, is that it may move in steps.
When we look at the market, I think today what you have is a very fragmented US market where you have multi-state operators, but they’re siloed within each state. They may be vertically integrated, but in the future is that the model that’s going to work and is going to be required? If you have federal legalization and there’s an ability to move products across state borders, being vertically integrated with any one state is not going to be advantageous.
As we look to enter the US with this agreement, both companies are in a position to commercialize any and all the products we developed through this collaboration. This is a perpetual royalty-free basis for us.
We can enter directly, we can find a contract manufacturer to produce for us in the US. There are some potential licensing opportunities as well — those do have some restrictions on them, but certainly there’s a lot of different ways that we could enter the marketplace in the US.
We could look at, and we certainly have spent a lot of time looking at, CBD companies today, and (it is about) determining whether or not that would be the best approach. Do we potentially acquire or invest in a CBD company today as a way to get in the market? That still hasn’t been determined if that’s the direction we would go or not.
INN: As a last thing, would you be able to expand on the initial response you have seen so far to this announcement in regards to your investors and the market at large?
GE: We had an investor call (on March 11) and we had a number of analysts come out with support. We’ve had some upgrades on the company as a result of this deal. The initial response has been very positive in terms of, from a capitalization perspective it certainly elevates us and gives more certainty around our position.
There’s a lot of interest and excitement about where this can go in the future. We’re focusing on fundamentals and building for the long term here, and I think that’s what has spurred people’s interest.
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.
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.
Ayurcann Holdings Corp. (CSE: AYUR) (the “Company” or “Ayurcann”) an integrated Canadian extraction company specializing in the processing of cannabis and hemp for the production of oils and various derivative products, announces the granting of stock options and restricted share units.
The Company has announced that it has granted incentive stock options to directors, officers, employees and consultants of the Company to purchase an aggregate of 1,000,100 common shares under the Company’s Stock Option Plan. Each option is exercisable at a price of $0.16 per common share, expires three years from the date of grant and vest six months from the date of the grant.
The Company has also granted restricted share unit grants, pursuant to the Company’s Restricted Share Unit plan, dated April 1, 2021, totaling 1,548,875 to certain eligible participants.
For further information, please contact:
Igal Sudman, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Corporate Secretary
Ayurcann Holdings Corp.
About Ayurcann Holdings Corp.:
Ayurcann is a leading post-harvest solution provider with a focus on providing and creating custom processes and pharma grade products for the adult use and medical cannabis industry in Canada. Ayurcann is focused on becoming the partner of choice for leading Canadian cannabis brands by providing best-in-class, proprietary services including ethanol extraction, formulation, product development and custom manufacturing.
Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider have reviewed or accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
News Provided by GlobeNewswire via QuoteMedia
A planned business merger between two leading cannabis producers hit a small delay this week as a critical vote got moved.
Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.
Tilray delays critical shareholder meeting
On Thursday (April 15), Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) announced it will be postponing its shareholder vote on the fate of its merger with Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA,TSX:APHA). It will take place on April 30 instead of April 16.
Neither cannabis company offered an explanation for the change. Tilray has asked shareholders to participate in this vote regardless of how many shares they may hold. “Tilray stockholders who have not already voted, or wish to change their vote, are strongly encouraged to do so,” the company said.
This news came days after Aphria shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favor of the business transaction, with a total of 99.38 percent of shareholders voting for the deal to continue. Confirmation from Aphria Chairman and CEO Irwin Simon indicated the partnership was en route to being complete.
This past week Aphria also released financial results for the third quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, in which the firm highlights the overall direction of the company with the Tilray deal.
“We expect to have a tremendous runway for long-term sustainable growth as we build upon our existing foundation in Canada and internationally by increasing the scale of our global operations,” Simon said in a statement.
Cannabis retailer celebrates digital trend
Bidding for the piece, named “Non-Fungible Toke“ started at a price of C$4.20. The retailer plans to donate the proceeds to two charities, Second Harvest and Less.
The latter is designed to counter the carbon footprint of blockchain technology, a common criticism drawn against the rise of NFTs and other novel technologies.
As of 11:00 a.m. EST on Friday (April 16), the NFT bid was up to C$169.11.
Cannabis company news
- The Valens Company (TSX:VLNS,OTCQX:VLNCF) issued its financial report for the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year. In its results, the company highlights a net revenue uptick of 24.7 percent from the previous quarter, resulting in C$20 million for the period.
- Trulieve Cannabis (CSE:TRUL,OTCQX:TCNNF) closed a public offering of 5 million subordinate voting shares at a price of C$50 each for total gross proceeds of C$287.5 million. The company celebrated its financial position after an offering in January, which will lead to the pursuit of merger and acquisition targets.
- Australis Capital (CSE:AUSA,OTCQB:AUSAF) appointed Jason Dyck as its new chief science officer and chairman of the firm’s scientific advisory board. Dyck previously served as an executive at Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB,TSX:ACB), leading the scientific efforts for the cannabis producer. “I look forward to providing AUSA with advice and direction in its scientific efforts towards bringing innovations to market with immediate and significant commercial appeal,” Dyck said.
- Truss Beverage, a cannabis drinks venture co-owned by Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP,TSX:TPX) and HEXO (NYSE:HEXO,TSX:HEXO), released the details of its new lineup of infused beverages. Six new drinks will become available around the summer and are intended to pair with the season.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Partnerships with Minardi Law , Minorities for Medical Marijuana, CultivatED, and the Georgia Justice Project will include clinics and virtual events across Florida , Georgia , and Massachusetts
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 a series of expungment clinics located throughout south and central Florida as well as virtual events in Georgia and Massachusetts . The clinics are part of the Company’s celebration of the 50 th anniversary of 420.
During the month of April, Minardi Law has hosted expungment clinics and will be hosting two more as follows:
- Releaf Patient Appreciation Day, April 17 th ( Valrico )
- First Annual 4/20 Event ( St. Petersburg Beach )
At these clinics, an attorney will be present to review records and see if someone is eligible for a sealing or expungment of their records. As part of the events, Trulieve will be helping cover the costs for finger prints, legal fees, and court costs.
Trulieve is working with Minorities for Medical Marijuana (“M4MM”) to host a 4/20 Expungement Clinic, part of M4MM’s Project Clean Slate. This event will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 , from 9:30am – 4:30pm at Riviera Beach City Hall. Anyone seeking to take place in this event is required to register in advance at http://trulieve.cc/expungementpreregistration .
In addition, Trulieve is sponsoring the First Friday Series , a weekly virtual event from the Georgia Justice Project to help Georgia citizens with record restrictions, and is also sponsoring the Fellowship Presentation and Expungement Clinic being offered through CultivateEd and GBLS on Friday, April 23 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm . You can register for the Massachusetts expungement clinic in advance here: HTTPS://BIT.LY/2Q655KK
“Our mission as a company has always been to improve people’s lives,” said Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers . “We’ve always been dedicated to improving the communities we call home. Partnering with Minardi Law , Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Georgia Justice Project and CultivatED on these clinics was a simple decision for us; we encourage anyone seeking help with the expungement process to attend one of these clinics in your own state to start the process.”
For more information about Trulieve and the April expungment clinics, please visit www.Trulieve.com .
Trulieve is primarily a vertically integrated “seed-to-sale” company in the U.S. and is the first and largest fully licensed medical cannabis company in the State of Florida . Trulieve cultivates and produces all of its products in-house and distributes those products to Trulieve-branded stores (dispensaries) throughout the State of Florida , as well as directly to patients via home delivery. Trulieve also has operations in California , Massachusetts , Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Trulieve is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol TRUL and trades on the OTCQX market under the symbol TCNNF.
To learn more about Trulieve, visit www.Trulieve.com .
SOURCE Trulieve Cannabis Corp.
News Provided by PR Newswire via QuoteMedia
Seth Rogen’s New Cannabis Brand are Now Available at Apothecarium Dispensaries in San Francisco , Berkeley and Capitola
The Apothecarium is offering cannabis from Houseplant, the cannabis lifestyle brand founded by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg at its five California dispensaries. The Apothecarium has three San Francisco locations (Castro, SOMA and Marina ) and one each in Berkeley and Capitola (outside of Santa Cruz ).
“With the vast number of dispensaries in California , we put a lot of effort into identifying the right ones that align with Houseplant’s values,” said Seth Rogen , Co-Founder of Houseplant. “The Apothecarium shares the same commitment to creating a strong consumer experience that we pride ourselves on and we are thrilled to bring our three initial strains to their stores in the Bay Area.”
Houseplant is launching with three flower strains, all of which will be available at The Apothecarium, including: Diablo Wind (sativa), Pancake Ice (sativa) and Pink Moon (indica). Like their founder’s groundbreaking film “Pineapple Express”, Houseplant strains are named after weather phenomena. Each strain will be sold in a custom tin.
“We are so proud to be one of the very first dispensaries in California to offer Houseplant to our customers,” said Ryan Hudson , CEO and co-founder of The Apothecarium. “Seth, Evan and everyone at Houseplant love and respect cannabis as much as we do. We simply cannot wait to share their beautiful and delicious flowers with our guests.”
“We’ve been working with the Houseplant team for more than a year and are grateful to have a partner that shares so many of our values, including an emphasis on cannabis education, quality, reform of cannabis laws and beautifully designed, recyclable packaging.”
“Seth has been hands-on during the process, spending time with our store managers to make sure they know the products and how much care has gone into vetting and selecting the best strains. We think our guests are going to love Houseplant.”
About The Apothecarium
The Apothecarium is recognized as one of the nation’s premier cannabis dispensaries, with an emphasis on education via in-depth one-on-one consultations from highly trained cannabis consultants. The company was founded by three first cousins and two family friends in 2011. Our dispensaries are known for providing educational events that are open to the public at no cost — and for welcoming seniors, first-time dispensary visitors, and people with serious medical conditions. The Apothecarium’s flagship San Francisco dispensary was named the best-designed dispensary in the country by Architectural Digest . Patients and customers may order at our dispensaries or online for pickup or delivery at apothecarium.com [apothecarium.com] .
The Apothecarium is committed to giving back to the communities we serve. We have donated more than $400,000 in cash to community groups and nonprofits — plus more than $300,000 worth of in-kind donations.
All Apothecarium dispensaries continue to implement safety measures to protect guests and team members. Protocols include strict social distancing inside and outside the dispensaries, a mask requirement for everyone inside the dispensaries, no contact check-in procedures and ongoing sanitizing throughout the day.
CA Licenses: C10-0000523-LIC; C10-0000522-LIC; C10-0000515-LIC, C10-0000738-LIC, C10-0000706-LIC
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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario TheNewswire – April 16, 2021 Sire Bioscience Inc. (CSE:SIRE) (OTC:BLLXF) (FSE:BR1B) (CNSX:SIRE.CN) (“SIRE” or the “Company”) announces that Brian Nugent has resigned as a member of the Company’s board of directors (the “ Board ”). It has been a pleasure and a blessing to have worked with Brian Nugent over the past few years, his business acumen and tremendous experience will certainly be missed, SIRE wishes him nothing but the best in all his future endeavors.
About Sire Bioscience
SIRE is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario with its wholly owned subsidiary PLANTFUEL® based in Denver, Colorado. SIRE is managed by a group of successful entrepreneurs who have extensive experience in the areas of consumer-packaged goods, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution. SIRE is a CPG life science company focused on the plant-based foods and supplements industry.
For additional information contact:
Sire Bioscience Inc.
Copyright (c) 2021 TheNewswire – All rights reserved.
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