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Mettrum Health Corp. (TSXV:MT.V) is a vertically integrated provider of Canadian-grown cannabis products. Mettrum holds three licenses to produce and sell medical cannabis under Canada’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). One of the country’s first licensed medical cannabis producers, the company has three licensed facilities in Ontario with an annual production capacity of approximately 12,000 kilograms. Mettrum Originals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mettrum, is Canada’s pioneer hemp producer and distributor under the Industrial Hemp Regulations (Canada) issued pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada).
Mettrum is managed by a team of dedicated professionals with decades of combined experience in the agri-pharma, pharmaceutical, distribution and technology industries. Their initiatives led to the creation of two industry firsts: The Mettrum SpectrumTM , a medical cannabis classification system that categorizes cannabis products based on their strength, terpene profile and cannabinoid profile; and, the cannabis electronic medical records (CEMR) application.
Arguably, the most technology driven and physician-centric licensed producer in today’s market, Mettrum is dedicated to helping physicians and their patients find the products that are most appropriate for their specific medical need. The company recently launched the Mettrum Registry Research Program (MRRP), a Canadian SHIELD ethics review board approved study that will systematically gather data on up to six thousand Canadian patients that have been prescribed medical cannabis.
For those who choose cannabis for their health, Mettrum’s “Live Your Way” campaign is a commitment to provide ongoing access to all things cannabis, whether it is medical cannabis in the form of dried flower and oil extracts or its healthy line of hemp based functional foods, Mettrum OriginalsTM. Mettrum has established a strong reputation within the physician community with their medical brand, and is leveraging proven best practices in R&D, production and CPG marketing to create dominant brands in the recreational, adult-use market. Once marijuana is legalized, the company is poised to be a leading producer and distributor of a dynamic line of retail products.
- 3 facilities licensed Under MMPR – Bowmanville (2), Creemore
- 1 facility licensed to produce and sell industrial hemp products – Barrie
- Currently licensed to produce 3,550 kilograms per annum, with a built capacity of 6,000 kilograms; ability to expand to 12,000 kilograms in current facilities, with total expansion potential of 26,000 kilograms
- More than 6,100 registered clients as of February 23, 2016.
- Continued robust referral and patient registration growth with more than 1,550 referring physicians
- Insider ownership of approximately 27 percent
- Healthy balance sheet with Cash and Cash Equivalents of approximately $11 million as of December 31, 2015
Cannabis: A New Growth Market
Canada’s medical cannabis market is worth between $80 million to $100 million with an estimated 50,000 patients enrolled in Health Canada’s medical marijuana program. Mettrum currently has over 12 percent market share in this space. The current month-over-month rate of growth for new medical patients in Canada is pegged at nearly 9 percent. At this current growth rate, Mettrum expects the total market to reach 400,000 patients by 2020.
In the first two months of 2015, Mettrum increased its client base by about 20 percent. As of February 2016, more than 1,550 doctors have prescribed Mettrum medical marijuana products to more than 6,150 patients. The company expects to see continued, robust patient growth and has the ability to meet this demand now that all three of its production facilities are fully-licensed.
Upcoming Legislation May Pave Way for Retail Market
Recent polling shows more than two-thirds of Canadian’s are supportive of the newly-elected, Liberal Federal government’s pledge to legalize recreational cannabis use. Industry insiders anticipate full-legalization within a reasonable timeframe of two years.
Following legalization in the state of Colorado two years ago, cannabis sales reached C$1.37 billion in 2015. Mettrum anticipates yearly sales in Canada could top C$4 billion. Recently, Dundee Capital Markets put the figure at C$5 billion.
Mettrum is well-positioned with existing available capacity to service a retail cannabis market. Currently, Mettrum is licensed to produce 3,550 kilograms per year with a current production capacity of 6,000 kilograms. The company can expand its production capacity to 12,000 kilograms per year within its existing facilities at a low capital cost. In addition, the company can expand its capacity to more than 26,000 kg per year on its existing properties. Mettrum plans to pursue an aggressive retail strategy pending new legislation at the Federal level.
- Estimated based on 0.7 grams per client per day for 365 days per year
- Estimated based on 0.7 grams per client per day for 365 days per year at a sale price of $7.90 per gram
Mettrum Services and Medical Cannabis Products
Mettrum SpectrumTM System
The Mettrum SpectrumTM system is a simple yet effective method for categorizing medical cannabis strains according to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency and cannabidiol (CBD) levels. It helps physicians determine the most appropriate cannabis strain and dosage to meet each patient’s specific medical need.
“We were the first company to simplify the strain selection process and create a dialogue around medical cannabis based on the strength and ratio of THC to CBD,” said Michael Haines, Mettrum CEO. “We created the profiles first to ensure we can cover the full spectrum of client needs, and then we curated the strains that best fit those profiles. This gives us the flexibility to change the strains within the profiles when necessary to ensure patients are receiving the most effective and reliable treatment.”
Mettrum has over fifty strains in its living genetic library and over 13,000 seeds in its library from which to develop future products.
Live Your Way: Quality Products for Quality of Life
Mettrum produces whole bud, non-irradiated medical marijuana using best-practices from cultivation through to its commitment to client service. In line with its “Live Your Way” campaign, the company offers patients standardized and easy to understand medical product offerings, including dried cannabis in a variety of sized packages, and cannabis oils in 40 mL bottles. Mettrum also offers a line of premium medical cannabis accessories including vaporizers, grinders and specially formulated hemp-based baking mixes for use with medical cannabis.
New Line of Medical Cannabis Oils
Patients are increasingly turning to alternative consumption options for medical cannabis. To address this demand, Mettrum launched a product line of standardized cannabis oils in January of 2016. Equivalent to 5 grams of dried cannabis, Mettrum’s cannabis oils contain a highly concentrated resin extract suspended in medium chain triglyceride oil.
“As Canada’s second licensed provider to receive a license to sell cannabis extracts, we’ve been working hard to deliver accessibly priced, medical oils for our clients,” said Haines. “We are responding to the demand from patients and health care professionals alike for alternative consumption methods and highly standardized forms of medical cannabis.”
Mettrum Originals™: Hemp-Based Food + Skincare Products
In May 2015, Mettrum purchased Oilseed Works Inc. (which operated under the Hempola brand since 1993), to provide for the organization’s strategic entry into the hemp cannabis-based functional foods market. The company was rebranded and launched as Mettrum Originals™ in September 2015.
Mettrum Originals™ is exclusively Ontario-grown and proudly maintains longstanding relationships with key farm producers across the province. These relationships give Mettrum Originals™ access to optimally developed hemp crops that yield impressive nutritional profiles for our oils, powders and shelled seed products.
In the long-term, Mettrum seeks to develop additional varieties of hemp to advance their efforts in emerging sectors such as CBD, and other health-related cannabinoid avenues; as well as stem fiber for developing markets, thus creating added revenue for their farm producers.
Over 30 Mettrum Originals™ product SKUs are now available online and in-store at approximately 2,000 retailers across Canada (including Sobey’s, Bulk Barn and Whole Foods) and the United States, helping to build brand recognition for Mettrum at the retail level.
Mettrum Originals™ Mmedibles™: Capturing the Health-Conscious Edibles Market
Patients often have difficulty finding discreet alternatives for consuming medicinal cannabis while also avoiding unhealthy trans-fats and refined flours that are often found in traditional baking mixes or edibles recipes. Mettrum’s Mmedibles™ mixes provide healthy consumption alternatives for patients who choose medical cannabis for their health. These simple-to-prepare baking mixes are specifically formulated for use with dried cannabis or cannabis oils, and currently include cookie, brownie and pancake mixes.
In March 2015, Mettrum launched a highly-interactive Cannabis EMR and Research Portal for their physician database. The web-based application offers paperless patient registration and management, as well as physician-only access to resource materials, pharmacovigilance functionality supplements and literature. The CEMR is also the data collection platform for the Mettrum Registry Research Program. Physicians are able to easily register, review, and renew their patients’ medical documents, recommend specific strains, and instantly review their patients’ Mettrum purchase history by date, quantity and strain. Using the physician portal not only allows for the secure electronic transmission of documents but it also gives you important product utilization statistics for each patient, providing useful information to aid in the consultation process.
Mettrum Registry Research Program
Mettrum launched the Mettrum Registry Research Program (MRRP) in March 2016 to systematically gather data on up to six thousand Canadian patients who have been prescribed medical cannabis. The goal of this observational study is to provide information to prescribing physicians and the wider medical community to help determine if and how cannabis should be prescribed – focusing on which strains best suit a particular patient’s needs. It also considers the impact of intercurrent illness or potential interactions with other medications. Physicians can opt-in to the MRRP online via the Mettrum Cannabis EMR & Research Portal. The study will run for one year, with results anticipated to be published by March 2017.
“We believe the data gathered will generate a greater understanding of the factors that influence how medical cannabis is and should be prescribed,” said Haines. “This includes which medical strains are most commonly used and the medical conditions and symptoms they most effectively address. We also hope to determine how the effects of medical cannabis might be modified by other conditions an individual has, or by other medications they might be taking concurrently.”
Goal for 2016
Mettrum’s management is focused on improving the company’s cash flow profile by stabilizing production costs in the $2.00 to $2.25/gram range, rapidly expanding client growth and leveraging its Mettrum OriginalsTM CPG brand for increased retail sales. Currently, the company’s costs average around $2.55/gram.
“Our primary method to improve our cost of goods is to increase our yields,” explained Haines. “So we’ve invested heavily in our operations and in standardizing our production across our three facilities and that process is almost finished.”
George Scorsis —President
George Scorsis was President of Red Bull Canada until October 2, 2015. He was instrumental in restructuring the company from a geographical and operational perspective while working closely with Health Canada on the guidelines regulating the energy drink category. Prior to joining Red Bull, Scorsis held an executive role at Bacardi.
Peter Kampian —CFO
Peter Kampian was the former CFO of Algonquin Power Income Fund (TSX:AQN) and is experience with various capital market initiatives on the TSX, including a cross border income trust initiative.
Trevor Fencott —Chief Legal Officer and Director
Trevor Fencott is a founder of Mettrum. He is a former IP and corporate lawyer at Goodmans LLP and former Head of Business & Legal at Fuse Powered.
Grant Koehler —Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Grant Koehler is a former National Sales Manager – Pain Specialty for Valeant Canada and Regional Sales Manager for Valeant Pharmaceuticals (TSX:VRX).
Luke Escott – Master Grower
Luke is a founder of Mettrum. He has years of experience growing legal medical cannabis. He entered the industry in 2001 as a certified grower for patients under the government’s original medical cannabis program. He’s been overseeing Mettrum production since 2013.
Board of Directors
Don Wright (Chairman) is a former Chairman and CEO of TD Securities.
Norman Inkster is a former Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
William Assini is a former Partner and Senior Vice President of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and current Director and Chair of Audit Committee of Investors Group Investment Management Ltd.
Dr. Joshua Tepper is President and CEO of Health Quality Ontario.
Jack Cashman is a former Chairman of Vectura Group plc U.K. (LSE:VEC) and current Director of Telsat.