Acreage Holdings, Inc. (“Acreage Holdings” or “Acreage”) (CSE:ACRG, OTCQX:ACRGF, FSE:0VZ) and GreenAcreage Real Estate Corp. (“GreenAcreage”), an independent real estate investment trust, today announced the closing of a series of sale-and-leaseback transactions for the sale of certain properties and facilities from Acreage Holdings to GreenAcreage for an aggregate of approximately $18 million to Acreage Holdings and approximately $23 million overall including payments to a third-party seller.  The locations funded and closed today include facilities in Massachusetts, Florida and Pennsylvania.  Acreage Holdings and GreenAcreage expect to close on additional facilities in Illinois and Connecticut within the next thirty days.

Acreage Holdings is expected to undertake significant expansion at the properties sold and additional properties to be closed upon. GreenAcreage has committed to provide up to approximately $43.9 million in additional financing in commitments or funding related to properties in Florida and Illinois. Assuming full utilization of this expansion financing, GreenAcreage’s total investment in the properties will be approximately $77.3 million, with $72.3 million specifically allocated to Acreage Holdings. Concurrent with the closings, Acreage Holdings entered into long-term, triple-net lease agreements with GreenAcreage and will continue to operate the properties as licensed cannabis facilities.


acreage

“Acreage Holdings took a long, hard look at our portfolio of real estate holdings and made a strategic decision to rationalize our business strategy. We are in the business of bringing to market the best cannabis products possible and making them accessible to as wide an audience of patients and adult use consumers as is viable. Acreage Holdings never intended to be a real estate company, and as the cannabis industry is a capital intensive business, tying up capital that can be deployed elsewhere is not in our shareholders best interest. By working closely with GreenAcreage, we will be able to focus on our core competencies, growing the plant, processing it into consumer/medical products and building out a network of retail locations across the country,” said Glen Leibowitz, Chief Financial Officer of Acreage Holdings. “The proceeds generated from our relationship with GreenAcreage will be utilized to create long-term shareholder value through the buildout of our existing footprint or in our acquisition efforts to further expand our footprint. This is just one tool in our box we are utilizing to access efficient capital, with an eye toward building a leading U.S. cannabis operation.”

“Our objective is to help companies in the medical and recreational cannabis industry expand their businesses,” explains Katie Barthmaier, Chief Executive Officer of GreenAcreage. “By providing sale-leaseback and build-to-suit transactions to the regulated cannabis industry, GreenAcreage allows companies to release the capital they have tied up in their fixed assets and redeploy it into their core businesses.  We are excited to close this transaction with Acreage Holdings and support their continued growth, while building a diversified portfolio of industrial and retail cannabis real estate.”

ABOUT ACREAGE

Headquartered in New York City, Acreage is one of the largest vertically integrated, multi-state operators of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., according to publicly available information. Acreage owns licenses to operate or has management or consulting services or other agreements in place with license holders to assist in operations in 20 states (including pending acquisitions) with a population of approximately 180 million Americans, and an estimated 2022 total addressable market of $16.7 billion in legal cannabis sales, according to Arcview Market Research. Acreage is dedicated to building and scaling operations to create a seamless, consumer-focused branded cannabis experience. Acreage’s national retail store brand, The Botanist, debuted in 2018.

On June 27, 2019 Acreage implemented an arrangement under section 288 of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) (the “Arrangement”) with Canopy Growth Corporation (“Canopy Growth”). Pursuant to the Arrangement, the Acreage articles were amended to provide Canopy Growth with an option to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of Acreage, with a requirement to do so, upon a change in federal laws in the United States to permit the general cultivation, distribution and possession of marijuana (as defined in the relevant legislation) or to remove the regulation of such activities from the federal laws of the United States (the “Triggering Event”), subject to the satisfaction of the conditions set out in the arrangement agreement entered into between Acreage and Canopy Growth on April 18, 2019, as amended on May 15, 2019 (the “Arrangement Agreement”). Acreage will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity and to conduct its business independently, subject to compliance with certain covenants contained in the Arrangement Agreement. Upon the occurrence or waiver of the Triggering Event, Canopy Growth will exercise the option and, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions to closing set out in the Arrangement Agreement, acquire (the “Acquisition”) each of the Subordinate Voting Shares (following the automatic conversion of the Class B proportionate voting shares and Class C multiple voting shares of Acreage into Subordinate Voting Shares) in exchange for the payment of 0.5818 of a common share of Canopy Growth per Subordinate Voting Share (subject to adjustment in accordance with the terms of the Arrangement Agreement). If the Acquisition is completed, Canopy Growth will acquire all of the Acreage Shares, Acreage will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth and Canopy Growth will continue the operations of Canopy Growth and Acreage on a combined basis. For more information about the Arrangement and the Acquisition please see the respective information circulars of each of Acreage and Canopy Growth dated May 17, 2019, which are available on Canopy Growth’s and Acreage’s respective profiles on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. For additional information regarding Canopy Growth, please see Canopy Growth’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

About GreenAcreage

GreenAcreage provides sale-leaseback and construction financing to all companies operating in the cannabis industry. GreenAcreage specializes in helping cannabis-related companies release and redeploy the capital within their fixed assets, as well as provide long-term construction financing for the expansion and development of new cultivation, processing, dispensary, and other cannabis-related commercial facilities.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release and each of the documents referred to herein contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein are forward-looking information, including, for greater certainty, statements regarding the proposed transaction with Canopy Growth, including the anticipated benefits and likelihood of completion thereof.

Generally, forward-looking information may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “proposed”, “is expected”, “budgets”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases, or by the use of words or phrases which state that certain actions, events or results may, could, would, or might occur or be achieved. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects Acreage’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to Acreage and on assumptions Acreage believes are reasonable. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Acreage to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such risks and other factors may include, but are not limited to: the ability of the parties to receive, in a timely manner and on satisfactory terms, the necessary regulatory approvals; the available funds of Acreage and the anticipated use of such funds; the availability of financing opportunities; the ability of Acreage and Canopy Growth to satisfy, in a timely manner, the conditions to the completion of the Acquisition; the likelihood of completion of the Acquisition; other expectations and assumptions concerning the transactions contemplated between Acreage and Canopy Growth; legal and regulatory risks inherent in the cannabis industry; risks associated with economic conditions, dependence on management and currency risk; risks relating to U.S. regulatory landscape and enforcement related to cannabis, including political risks; risks relating to anti-money laundering laws and regulation; other governmental and environmental regulation; public opinion and perception of the cannabis industry; risks related to contracts with third-party service providers; risks related to the enforceability of contracts; reliance on the expertise and judgment of senior management of Acreage; risks related to proprietary intellectual property and potential infringement by third parties; the concentrated voting control of Acreage’s founder and the unpredictability caused by Acreage’s capital structure; risks relating to the management of growth; increasing competition in the industry; risks inherent in an agricultural business; risks relating to energy costs; risks associated to cannabis products manufactured for human consumption including potential product recalls; reliance on key inputs, suppliers and skilled labor; cybersecurity risks; ability and constraints on marketing products; fraudulent activity by employees, contractors and consultants; tax and insurance related risks; risks related to the economy generally; risk of litigation; conflicts of interest; risks relating to certain remedies being limited and the difficulty of enforcement of judgments and effect service outside of Canada; risks related to future acquisitions or dispositions; sales by existing shareholders; and limited research and data relating to cannabis. A description of additional assumptions used to develop such forward-looking information and a description of additional risk factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking information can be found in Acreage’s disclosure documents, including the Circular and Acreage’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2018 filed on April 29, 2019, on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com. Although Acreage has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Readers are further cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are placed will occur. Forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking information contained in this news release represents the expectations of Acreage as of the date of this news release and, accordingly, is subject to change after such date. However, Acreage expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable securities law.

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider has reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release.

Click here to connect with Acreage Holdings (CSE:ACRG,OTCQX:ACRGF,FSE:0VZ) for an Investor Presentation.

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Cannabis Market Update: Q3 2020 in Review

Click here to read the previous cannabis market 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 US 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, working in the 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 undergoing a return to form as excitement about the US opening up increases.

The expert explained that there is likely to be a windfall of capital in the wake of major federal changes in US 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.

“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.”

 

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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 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 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, 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 for 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.

 

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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 Canadian companies 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 future positivity for 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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