After the tremendous political strides, the cannabis industry made in 2020, 2021 has a lot to live up to. Experts and insiders agree the coming year could have a lot in store for the maturing cannabis industry, from acceleration of M&A and funding in the capital markets to continuing momentum toward legalization on the state level. Cheddar.com said that experts predict that shifting political preferences toward legalization in the U.S. and globally will kick off a flurry of consolidation in the cannabis industry. But mergers and acquisitions in 2021, following last year’s onset of COVID-19 and a pre-pandemic market rout that rocked the cannabis sector, will be much more intentional and accretive than the land grab M&A of more cash-flush years. Active companies in the markets this week include: CAN B CORP. (OTCQB: CANB), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI), Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL), GrowGeneration Corp. (NASDAQ: GRWG).
Motley Fool sees that there will be a lot of M&A activity building off of 2020. They said the sector as hot again, coming off of two large deals. They said: “In the past few months, some big deals have taken place in the cannabis industry. In December 2020, there was news of a near-$4 billion merger including Canadian pot giants Aphria and Tilray, which will create the largest cannabis company in the world in terms of revenue. Earlier this month, Jazz Pharmaceuticals also announced it would be acquiring GW Pharmaceuticals. And with more states legalizing marijuana and a slightly more pot-friendly presidential administration and U.S. Congress in place, there’s tons of excitement in the industry right now.… It’s not uncommon for cannabis companies to acquire other businesses. In the U.S. pot market, where pot is illegal at the federal level and can’t cross state lines, it has become a necessary form of expansion. One of Curaleaf’s largest acquisitions was the purchase of Grassroots last year for $875 million, which increased the number of states it operated in from 18 to 23.”
CAN B CORP. (OTCQB: CANB) BREAKING NEWS: Can B Corp. Acquires Assets from Leading-Edge Hemp Technology Group – Can B Corp. (“Can B” or the “Company”), a diversified health and wellness company, is pleased to announce it has closed on the acquisition of assets and talent from a hemp derivative development and manufacturing group. A newly formed wholly-owned subsidiary, Botanical Biotech LLC (“BB”), will be the new home for Florida-based research & development laboratory and extraction facility for the Company. BB will focus on developing and implementing new pharmacokinetics technology and partnering with global and emerging brands to create innovative products and solutions that are positioned for sustainability and wellness and are culturally driven.
The new subsidiary will be led by President Bradley Lebsock. BB will aim to improve upon what Mother Nature has given us by using cutting-edge science to develop innovations that offer a greater value proposition by optimizing the formulation of plant-based products to improve the bio-availability of bio- active compounds and ensure long-term stability to ensure the consumer has a consistent experience. There are several strategies that can be used to enhance the liberation, solubilization, and absorption of bio-active compounds. BB’s extensive experience utilizing these pharmaceutical homogenization techniques allowing us to manipulate molecules and offer scalable cost-effective formulations paired with the ability to articulate the unique value propositions of a formula through our in-house marketing and communications team.
B&B’s team are at the forefront of hemp isolate extraction into CBG, CBN, and other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. According to a February 2020 Healthline Media report, “CBD and CBG are both non-intoxicating cannabinoids, meaning they won’t make you high, and both interact with the same receptors in the body, according to a 2018 study Trusted Source, and appear to have anti-inflammatory effects”. The article goes on to name a plethora of possible additional benefits of the CBG and CBN cannabinoids.
Marco Alfonsi, Can B’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are thrilled to bring Brad’s team under our umbrella and leverage their scientific approach to our current and future developed products. Their product development and science-based technology and innovations will benefit our proprietary brands and Pure Health Products production facility in WA. We look forward to working more closely with Brad and his team at Can B Corp.” For more information on CANB, please visit: https://www.canbcorp.com/investors/
Other cannabis-related developments from around the markets include:
Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL) and SAF Opportunities LP, a member of the SAF Group (“SAF”) recently announced they have entered into an agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture (the “Joint Venture”) through a new corporation, SunStream Bancorp Inc. (“SunStream”).
The Joint Venture will leverage a strategic financial and operational partnership to generate asymmetrically enhanced risk-return opportunities in the cannabis industry to provide exposure to a portfolio of attractive debt, equity and hybrid investments. The Joint Venture will focus on cannabis-related verticals, seeking both Canadian and international opportunities and investments. The Joint Venture’s first mandate is the formation of a special opportunities fund with commitments from third party limited partners alongside an initial commitment from Sundial of $100 million. The Joint Venture expects to pursue additional potential mandates, including a Canadian SPAC and other investments.
Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), a global pioneer in cannabis research, cultivation, production, and distribution, recently announced that it has received the necessary approvals from New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and the Medicinal Cannabis Agency to launch Tilray medical cannabis products across the country.
Tilray is one of the leading providers of medical cannabis in Australia and New Zealand for commercial, compassionate access, and research purposes and the first Licensed Producer to legally export medical cannabis from North America to Australia and New Zealand from its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-certified facility in Canada.
Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI) recently announced a C$221 million strategic investment from a wholly-owned subsidiary of BAT (LSE:BATS andNYSE:BTI). The BAT subsidiary has subscribed for approximately 58.3 million common shares of OGI, which represents a 19.9% equity interest1on a post-transaction basis for total proceeds of approximately C$221 million (“Investment Proceeds”) at a price per share of C$3.792, based on a five-day volume weighted average price on the TSX ending March 9, 2021.
Organigram Inc., a leading licensed cannabis producer and a subsidiary of Organigram Holdings Inc. (together, “Organigram” or “the Company”), and BAT have also entered into a Product Development Collaboration Agreement (the “PDC Agreement”) pursuant to which a “Center of Excellence” will be established to focus on developing the next generation of cannabis products with an initial focus on CBD. The Center of Excellence will be located at Organigram’s indoor facility in Moncton, New Brunswick, which holds the Health Canada licenses required to conduct research and development (“R&D”) activities with cannabis products. Both companies will contribute scientists, researchers, and product developers to the Center of Excellence which will be governed and supervised by a steering committee consisting of an equal number of senior members from both companies. Under the terms of the PDC Agreement, both Organigram and BAT have access to certain of each other’s intellectual property (“IP”) and, subject to certain limitations, have the right to independently, globally commercialize the products, technologies and IP created by the Center of Excellence pursuant to the PDC Agreement.
GrowGeneration Corp. (NASDAQ: GRWG), the nation’s largest chain of specialty hydroponic and organic garden centers, recently announced its acquisition of Aquarius Hydroponics, an indoor-outdoor garden supply center specializing in hydroponics systems, lighting and nutrients. Aquarius Hydroponics is one of the largest hydroponics retailers in New England, with annual revenues approaching $5 million. With the acquisition of Aquarius Hydroponics, GrowGen’s portfolio of hydroponic garden centers now includes 52 stores across 12 states.
“The Aquarius Hydroponics acquisition is a testament to our continued investment in best-in-class hydroponic suppliers in emerging adult-use markets across the U.S.,” said Darren Lampert, GrowGen’s CEO. “Importantly, it represents our entry into Massachusetts’ cannabis market, which is projected to become a $1 billion industry in 2021.”
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