FSD Pharma Inc. (CSE:HUGE, NASDAQ:HUGE, FRA:0K9A) (“FSD Pharma” or the “Company”) today announced that it has appointed Larry Kaiser, MD, FACS to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. Dr. Kaiser will also continue to serve as the Chairman of FSD Pharma’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

Dr. Kaiser is currently the Managing Director with the Healthcare Industry Group at Alvarez and Marsal, a leading global professional services firm. Most recently, Dr. Kaiser was the President and CEO of the $2.2 billion Temple University Health System (“Temple”), Dean of Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and Senior Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Temple University. Among his many accomplishments at Temple was the acquisition of the Fox Chase NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the development of a number of programs, including the number one lung transplant program in the country, a nationally recognized program in pulmonary hypertension, in addition to growing programs in cardiovascular surgery, thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, and orthopedic surgery. Before joining Temple University in 2011, Dr. Kaiser served as the President of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the largest of six health-related campuses at the University of Texas.


“With decades of academic and senior executive experience in medicine and the delivery of healthcare in the United States, Dr. Kaiser brings substantial depth and strength to our Board of Directors,” said Raza Bokhari, MD, Executive Co-Chairman and CEO of FSD Pharma. “Dr. Kaiser has already contributed immensely as Chairman of our world-class Scientific Advisory Board, where his input has been very meaningful in shaping our Biosciences strategy to focus on assembling synthetic compounds that target the CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system of the human body. As a Director, we are relying on his leadership and sage counsel as we continue to double down on our Biosciences effort to eventually bring to market prescription-based drugs by conducting rigorous FDA-approved clinical trials.”

Dr. Kaiser stated, “I am truly honored to join the outstanding leadership group that Dr. Bokhari has assembled at FSD Pharma. I am impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit that this company brings and look forward to a number of exciting developments in the months to come. It is a privilege to work with a group so committed to building a successful and innovative company based on the foundation created by its founders.”

Dr. Kaiser graduated AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Fraternity) from the Tulane University School of Medicine in 1977 and completed his residency in general surgery as well as a fellowship in surgical oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He then completed a residency in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the University of Toronto. Following that, he held positions as attending thoracic surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Cornell University Medical College (both New York City) and subsequently as Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis). At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Kaiser held a variety of positions, including chief of general thoracic surgery, founder and director of the university’s lung transplantation program, director of its Center for Lung Cancers and Related Disorders, and co-director of the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory. In 2001, following a national search, he was named the John Rhea Barton Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery as well as Surgeon in Chief for the University of Pennsylvania Health System. In 1997, Dr. Kaiser was named as the first recipient of the Eldridge Eliason Professorship of Surgery endowment at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kaiser is author or co-author of 17 books and more than 300 original papers, and he serves on multiple editorial boards, including the Annals of Surgery, the world’s leading surgical journal, the American Journal of Surgery, and the European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Kaiser has served in a number of leadership capacities for professional societies and associations and has been a director of both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. In 2005, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

About FSD Pharma

FSD Pharma is a specialty biotech pharmaceutical R&D company focused on developing over time a robust pipeline of FDA-approved synthetic compounds targeting the endocannabinoid system of the human body to treat certain diseases of the central nervous system and autoimmune disorders of the skin, GI tract, and the musculoskeletal system.

Through its acquisition of Prismic Pharmaceuticals in Q2 2019, FSD Pharma is also making an effort to help address the opioid crisis by developing opioid-sparing prescription drugs utilizing the micronized formulations of palmitolylethonalamide (PEA). The Company intends to initiate Phase 1 first-in-human safety and tolerability trials for its lead candidate, PP 101 micro-PEA during 1Q20.

FSD’s wholly-owned subsidiary, FV Pharma, is a licensed producer under Canada’s Cannabis Act and Regulations, having received its cultivation license on October 13, 2017, and its full Sale for Medical Purposes license on June 21, 2019. The Company is licensed to cultivate cannabis in approximately 25,000 square feet of its facility in Cobourg, Ontario.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its regulation services provider accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Certain statements contained in this press release constitute “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian and U.S. securities laws (collectively, “Forward-Looking Information”). Forward-Looking Information includes, but is not limited to, information with respect to FSD Pharma’s strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance, receipt of any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approvals, development of any FDA approved synthetic compounds, the successful treatment of diseases by such compounds, the ability to address the opioid crisis, the development of opioid sparing prescription drugs utilizing the micronized formulations of palmitolylethonalamide (“PEA”), the intention and timing of the initiation of Phase 1 first-in-human safety and tolerability trials for PP 101 micro-PEA, maintenance of FSD Pharma’s Cannabis Act License, the ability to cultivate and sell cannabis produced in FSD Pharma’s facility. The use of words such as “budget”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “plan”, “forecast”, “future”, “target”, “project”, “capacity”, “could”, “should”, “focus”, “proposed”, “scheduled”, “outlook”, “potential”, “estimate” and other similar words, and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur, are intended to identify Forward-Looking Information and are based on FSD Pharma’s current beliefs or assumptions as to the outcome and timing of such future events. Such beliefs or assumptions necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such Forward‐Looking Information. Forward‐Looking Information is not a guarantee of performance. The Forward-Looking Information contained in this press release is made as of the date hereof, and FSD Pharma is not obligated to update or revise any Forward-Looking Information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. Because of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions contained herein, investors should not place undue reliance on Forward Looking-Information. The foregoing statements expressly qualify any Forward-Looking Information contained herein.

Click here to connect with FSD Pharma Inc, (CSE:HUGE, NASDAQ:HUGE, FRA:0K9) for an Investor Presentation.

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Cannabis Market Update: Q3 2020 in Review

Click here to read the previous cannabis update.

During the first few months of investment time in 2021, cannabis faced some volatility alongside optimism about federal changes in the most important market for the drug.

The cannabis business found its stride during Q1 thanks to policy change signals and consolidation.

To find out more, the Investing News Network (INN) asked experts about progress in the market during the first major period of the new year, and which developments investors should watch out for.

 

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Cannabis market update: New York and US potential boost operations

New York state’s legalization of recreational cannabis was a huge Q1 announcement that added pressure to the federal government when it comes to cannabis policy, said George Mancheril, co-founder and CEO of Bespoke Financial, a debt financing business with a particular focus on servicing cannabis businesses.

“It’s going to add to the chorus of voices in the federal scene to basically move sooner rather than later,” he explained to INN.

Following the US election in 2020, the momentum for cannabis businesses went on the upswing, as did company valuations, with the idea of expansion at the heart of it all, according to Mancheril.

Before starting Bespoke Financial, Mancheril learned from traditional investment banks, where he worked on lending, fixed income and debt markets with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Guggenheim Partners.

Nawan Butt, portfolio manager with Purpose Investments, agrees with Mancheril. The financial expert told INN the ongoing legalization process seen in the US market is leading to expansion.

“It’s becoming more of a national move, then small pockets of proliferation. That’s very exciting about cannabis right now,” said Butt, who co-manages the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund (NEO:MJJ).

This proliferation effect is causing a change in valuations and enthusiasm for US-based operations. Mancheril told INN that by the end of Q1, multi-state operators (MSOs) had raised approximately US$3.3 billion.

The cannabis lender said he sees the industry as having grown from the woes of 2019; it is now seeing a return to form by way of the excitement for an ongoing opening process in the US.

The expert explained that there is likely to be a windfall of capital in the wake of major federal changes for cannabis policy, although the timeline for these changes is becoming increasingly hard to predict.

Leading up to that capital influx, Mancheril said he wants to see operators really drill down on the value of desired assets and whether they make sense.

 

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“What I’d hope is that we continue to see bullish sentiment, but with some measure of responsibility, and let’s not just get over ahead of ourselves,” Mancheril told INN. “The idea is let’s minimize the volatility and continue growing responsibly.”

As far as struggles go, Butt explained that the cannabis industry has cemented itself as a growth-type sector, and as such there are macro environment pressures affecting the way these assets operate.

“We’ve seen this preference for cash flows at growth in the current or in the near future, rather than in the far future, and that’s what we’re seeing as far as valuations go in the broad market,” Butt said.

Cannabis market update: Volatility continues to rule as industry foundations build

Despite the industry’s current potential and the growing pains it has gone through as a whole in both the US and Canada, volatility remains a key factor in the cannabis investment scene.

Butt explained that the current shareholder base, which is dominated by hedge funds and retail investors, still lacks enough institutional support to avoid the day-to-day volatility cannabis has come to be known for.

These two investor groups, Butt said, can be easily spooked and excited by the news of the day when it comes to their investments.

“A lot of these institutions’ strategies are not about short-term profits, but they’re about long-term sustainability of the businesses themselves,” Butt said.

“That’s why you see a lot of volatility in the space, and that’s essentially what we’ve seen over the past, I’d say, three to two months as well,” he added.

That means investors shouldn’t expect an end to volatility anytime soon.

“It’s not about whether we continue to expect volatility, because we do,” Butt said. “We really think that the volatility will be taken out when the shareholder base becomes more institutional, but it’s really about understanding why there is volatility in the first place.”

Cannabis market update: Canadians talk up US business potential, but questions remain

A surge of mergers and acquisitions has taken over the Canadian cannabis sector recently as more producers see potential in America.

One of the biggest announcements in this regard came when Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) secured a C$221 million investment deal from British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI,LSE:BATS).

Using the funds, the two will work in tandem to develop new branded products designed to work on the international stage, including in the US. Organigram CEO Greg Engel previously told INN that the US represents a critical opportunity for Canadian companies, but the entry point isn’t as clean as it could be at the moment.

 

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While the long-term potential may be exciting for investors, Butt told INN he’s still unsure how the approach will work for Canadian companies.

The Purpose Investments expert said there will be plenty of space for the biggest Canadian names to pursue US market entries, beyond the initial hemp-derived CBD moves some operators have mde, since the US represents the biggest market in the world.

“But there’s just way too many unknowns right now to say exactly what that participation is going to look like, or when that participation will happen,” he said.

“What we do know is that currently the US MSOs are in a wonderful sort of position to expand on their market leadership that they have. And it will be tough for Canadians to come in and compete with them,” Butt said.

Canadian players still retain the upper hand at times in terms of valuation, which is confusing for both Butt and Dan Ahrens, chief operating officer and portfolio manager at AdvisorShares.

“The performance in quarterly earnings of US companies has been rather spectacular. They’ve knocked it out of the park in most instances,” Ahrens told INN.

Butt praised the recent performance reports from MSOs across the board, pointing to year-over-year growth lines and projections for continued positive performance.

In his view, share prices still don’t reflect company value. “Those are really being discounted at this point,” Butt told INN.

“We’ve seen the Canadian licensed producers be really hot stock performance-wise, outpacing the US (MSOs), and I’ll say it’s rather nonsensical to me,” said Ahrens, who oversees the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (ARCA:YOLO) and the recently launched AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (ARCA:MSOS).

Cannabis market update: Investor takeaway

The cannabis investment proposition finds itself at an interesting moment in time, as the entire sector eagerly awaits confirmation in the US at the federal level.

While for the Canadians waiting on the sidelines, this development may feel like a major necessity to address current financial struggles, for US-based operators, the heat around the corner could represent an increase to their already thriving operations.

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All interested parties can join the conference call by dialing 1-888-231-8191 or 1-647-427-7450, conference ID: 4880609. Please dial in 15 minutes prior to the call to secure a line. The conference call will be archived for replay until May 20, 2021 . To access the archived conference call, please dial 1-855-859-2056 and enter the encore code 4880609.

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Ayurcann has commenced trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (” CSE “) on April 8, 2021 and subsequently announced a private placement of up to $500,000 (” Financing “), as per the Company’s press release dated April 12, 2021. The proceeds of the Financing are intended to be used to further pursue Phase 2 of the expansion of the production capacity of the Company’s Pickering facility.

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