It’s been about a year since the historic legalization of cannabis came into effect in Canada, and the retail segment for marijuana is still finding its footing.

The cannabis retail space in Canada has faced hurdles since its launch. As industry experts and analysts have noted, the slow rollout of physical stores has been a snag for the growth of the industry.


During a recent investment event held by financial firm Echelon Wealth Partners in Toronto, Canada, the marijuana retail space was the main focus of discussion.

At the “Insights Into the Cannabis Consumer: New Perspectives on Retail and Consumers Brands” gathering held on Tuesday (October 15), some of the cannabis industry’s most notable names spoke about their upcoming moves to establish retail presences both physically and online.

During a panel, Echelon Wealth Equity Research Analyst Matthew Pallotta described the current Canadian retail landscape as being a “hub and spoke system” that involves select large flagship stores surrounded by smaller storefront locations.

Nadia Vattovaz, chief financial officer at Fire & Flower (TSXV:FAF), said the hub and spoke model works for Canada as it’s able to service the country’s larger urban centers — which are mainly concentrated in a few key provinces and cities across the nation — with experiential spaces, while smaller locations can be established in less densely populated areas.

When it comes to smaller locations, National Access Cannabis (TSXV:META) CEO Mark Goliger said the increased use of technology, including tablets and other user screens, can support the operations of smaller stores by making them more efficient.

Goliger stated that one of the most important factors in choosing the site of a store, regardless of size, is convenience — another is location.

In the US, cannabis stores are subjected to strict zoning laws, said MedMen Enterprises (CSE:MMEN,OTCQX:MMNFF) Managing Director Vahan Ajamian.

US Election 2020 and Cannabis

 
Investing in cannabis? Read what experts have to say about cannabis and the US Election!
 

The executive mentioned that the company had previously mapped out spaces in Los Angeles, California, that were compliant with zoning restrictions, away from schools, daycares and hospitals. It found only about 15 percent of the city’s square footage can be used for cannabis retail spaces.

That isn’t the case in Canada, according to Goliger.

“We’re in a much more positive type of environment (in Canada) where we can set up stores in these natural types of retail traffic patterns,” he said.

When it comes to the store approach, Columbia Care (NEO:CCHW) Chief Marketing Officer Bryant Ison said the company’s retail concept has changed as it has grown, with a focus on customer interaction.

“The consultative approach is one that’s really, really important to the secret sauce of Columbia Care,” said Ison.

Beth Stavola, chief strategy officer with iAnthus Holdings (CSE:IAN), spoke about the company’s new line of Be. stores, which will have a grand opening in Brooklyn later this year.

The iAnthus executive said “inclusion and unity” are key points in the conceptual design for the upcoming stores, giving the locations an inviting feeling for new consumers of cannabis.

Retail cannabis to be boosted by branding strategy

Branding has been a big part of the discussion in retail as well. Regulations vary greatly between Canada and the US, as the US has much more lenient rules around marketing cannabis products, but industry experts such as HempFusion CEO Ian DeQuieros say brands are where the money is at in the next phase of growth for the sector.

The trouble starts with developing brand recognition.

“Right now there is no brand loyalty, so we do not see customers come in and specifically ask for brands,” Vattovaz said. “It’s pretty quick and easy to turn them to a competitive option.”

Vattovaz added it comes down to building a relationship with the customer.

During his keynote speech at the event, Bruce Linton, former co-CEO of Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED,NYSE:CGC), said the retail space has suffered, along with the larger cannabis industry, from an onslaught of bad news, including the CannTrust Holdings (NYSE:CTST,TSX:TRST) illegal growing scandal. It’s left a bad taste in the mouths of some consumers.

The key to improving cannabis’ reputation is making sure companies normalize buying marijuana products, Linton said.

“I think what we need to do is … give (consumers) great experiences,” he said. “Let them come in and be comfortable, have stores where they actually feel like they’re in control. Give them products in January that actually seem sensible to them that don’t involve combustion.”

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, 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.

US Election 2020 and Cannabis

 
Investing in cannabis? Read what experts have to say about cannabis and the US Election!
 

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of investors that purchased Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (NYSE: ACB) securities between February 13, 2020 and September 4, 2020 (the “Class Period”). Investors have until December 1, 2020 to apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Click here to participate in the action.

Keep reading... Show less

The coming together of two Canadian beverage industry leaders will form a unique vertical in the plant-based mineral and cannabis beverage sectors

Not for Distribution to U.S. Newswire Services or for Dissemination in the United States

Keep reading... Show less

The potential for new disease research and treatments is expanding thanks to the global adoption of marijuana for medical purposes.

As more countries open the doors to the use and investigation of cannabis, medical applications for the drug are set to expand — indeed, the substance has already shown much promise.

However, in terms of treating skin cancer patients, currently the promise of cannabis outpaces any medically confirmed results or applications.

Though there may be individual cases crediting the drug, cannabis and its derivatives are not being applied to treat skin cancer — at least not yet. Read on to learn about the current situation and future possibilities.

Skin cancer, cannabis and medical research

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, accounting for over 5 million cases per year. This category holds many different variations, but the main three types are basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas; the rest are considered rare.

Melanomas develop in specific areas like the neck and face and can be more serious than their counterparts. Basal and squamous cancer cells, on the other hand, develop based on a person’s sun exposure and mostly appear on the head and neck.

The Canadian Cancer Society states that treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, photodynamic therapy and drug therapy, including the use of topicals.

In the future, cannabis and cancer could be paired up as more research across the globe begins to take place and companies look for new medications and formulations, boosted by the early successes of the drug.

Changes are happening slowly, with one serious improvement being when GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) obtained approval in the US for its cannabidiol (CBD) solution, which treats seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in toddlers.

After going through its clinical trials, the company’s Epidiolex drug received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, signaling that top medical agencies are ready to confirm the medical prowess of cannabis and its derivatives for the benefit of patients.

Cannabis entering the skincare space

Looking more specifically at cannabis and skin ailments, the National Eczema Association has vouched for CBD as an option in the treatment of eczema, a skin disease that affects over 30 million people in the US.

“It has long been observed that cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-itch qualities,” the Independent reported.

A study from the the University of Colorado School of Medicine is looking further into the use of CBD for patients with psoriasis or eczema who have tried using topical steroids or topical immunomodulators.

Robert Dellavalle, professor of dermatology with the University of Colorado, told Inside Science that CBD products are growing in popularity, but the results are not being collected as properly as they could be.

“I believe it’s a wide-open horizon with tremendous potential that needs to be investigated, but there are a number of regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome and that’s where we are,” he said.

A medical study from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus shows the anti-inflammatory sensibilities of cannabinoids are the main reason why cannabis may be potent in combating skin diseases.

As part of its guide for healthcare practitioners, Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) indicates that medical cannabis could aid patients with inflammatory skin diseases such as dermatitis, psoriasis and pruritus.

“And while this research is still relatively formative, the results achieved so far clearly indicate its value and the promising potential of cannabis as effective medicine,” Tilray states.

Dave Berg, chief technology officer for software company Strainprint, told the Investing News Network the lack of sophisticated research has impacted the development of novel therapies for patients using cannabis.

“It’s been very difficult for people to study cannabis in a clinical way, but there’s been a ton observational data … There’s no really strong observational data set that allows us to make proper decisions,” Berg said.

In an effort to increase the research options available for cannabis, the Canadian federal government announced in 2018 that it would spend C$10 million over five years in order to assess the impact of cannabis use on the mental health of Canadians.

The government also promised C$10 million to the Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction for research purposes.

CBD skincare products getting traction

Amid developments geared at solving specific skin issues, more general CBD skincare products are also gaining popularity among many consumers.

For example, the introduction of cosmetics with cannabis elements, supported by Canadian licensed producers, is another upcoming element for the skin treatment segment of consumers. While not medical, this avenue does offer more options in terms of cannabis uses.

The endorsement from consumers for CBD ointments and other topicals for skincare has been documented with multiple products launched in the fractured US cannabis market.

One downside of the growth in these products is that it has led companies to make more and more claims about how these items can help with skin conditions. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association warns that CBD products are often mislabeled online.

Takeaway on cannabis and skin cancer

In order for skin cancer patients to see the potential benefits from treatment with medical cannabis, much still has to change in Canada and abroad.

As the medical and recreational sections of the cannabis space continue drifting apart thanks to legalization efforts, the medical space should get more time to properly research and investigate the drug’s applications.

The early position CBD has gained in terms of skin maintenance and treatment could lead to further research on its impact on more serious diseases.

What’s more, GW Pharmaceuticals’ success, along with increased awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis, is moving the needle on research efforts geared at finding out how capable the drug will be in the medical space.

Keep reading... Show less

The growth of the cannabis industry has made it possible for companies to offer many different investment opportunities through the major exchanges in Canada.

Previously known as the Canadian Venture Exchange, the TSX Venture Exchange is the sibling of Canada’s main listings board, the larger Toronto Stock Exchange.

For those interested in investing in cannabis companies, this exchange offers a variety of cannabis-related businesses, from growers to biotech companies looking for cannabinoid therapies.

Here the Investing News Network offers investors a growing list of all cannabis-related companies listed on the TSXV. Read on to learn more about them and their businesses.

48North (TSXV:NRTH)

This company is a marijuana producer looking to offer a variety of products for the recreational market in Canada, including for the health and wellness industry. 48North is a licensed outdoor grower of cannabis.

Auxly Cannabis Group (TSXV:XLY,OTCQX:CBWTF)

Created by Chuck Rifici, co-founder of Tweed, Auxly Cannabis Group operates as a cannabis streaming investment firm looking to boost various plays related to the sector.

Avricore Health (TSXV:AVCR)

While Avricore Health operates as a healthcare technology company, in 2017 the firm made a deal with Emerald Health Therapeutics (TSXV:EMH,OTCQX:EMHTF) for the right to develop and sell endocannabinoid products in Canada to licensed pharmacies.

CanadaBis Capital (TSXV:CANB)

This cannabis company is targeting the Canadian market through a business model that is focused on cultivation, research, product development, retail and hemp.

Emerald Health Therapeutics

This Canadian cannabis company holds a variety of growing assets in the country. The firm holds a 50/50 joint venture for the management of a grower in BC with Village Farms International (TSX:VFF,NASDAQ:VFF).

EnWave (TSXV:ENW,OTC Pink:NWVCF)

EnWave is a technology company that has centered itself in the cannabis business thanks to its Radiant Energy Vacuum drying technology for organic materials. It effectively decreases the time from the harvest to the sale of cannabis products.

Elixxer (TSXV:ELXR,OTCQB:ELIXF)

Through its partners, investment firm Elixxer presently has significant interests in Australia, Jamaica, Switzerland, Italy and Canada.

Eve & Co. (TSXV:EVE,OTCQX:EEVVF)

Eve & Co. is a Canadian cannabis producer that, thanks to its subsidiary Natural MedCo, is targeting female consumers, specifically with premier brands.

Experion Holdings (TSXV:EXP,OTCQB:EXPFF)

Formerly known as Viridium Pacific Group, this cannabis investment firm holds a portfolio of assets, including its licensed producer Experion Biotechnologies in BC.

The Flowr Corporation (TSXV:FLWR,OTC Pink:FLWPF)

The Flowr Corporation is a vertically integrated cannabis company working on the cultivation and sale of medical and recreational marijuana in Canada.

FluroTech (TSXV:TEST,OTCQB:FLURF)

FluroTech is a technology company working on a cost-effective testing platform for the cannabis industry at large. The company’s proprietary CompleTest employs fluorescence spectroscopy technology to measure the specific contents of the product.

GTEC Holdings (TSXV:GETC,OTCQB:GGTTF)

This Kelowna-based cannabis company is vertically integrated, with operations in the cultivation, extraction and analytical testing sectors. The company is also pursuing retail operations through various investments.

Harvest One Cannabis (TSXV:HVT,OTCQX:HRVOF)

Harvest One Cannabis is a cannabis company with production and assets spread across Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia. The company gains its reach thanks to its three subsidiaries: United Greeneries, Satipharm and Dream Products.

Hill Street Beverage Company (TSXV:BEER)

This beverage maker has made its name thanks to its development of non-alcoholic beverages. Now the firm will offer consumers cannabis-infused drinks.

INDIVA (TSXV:NDVA,OTCQX:NDVAF)

INDIVA is a company focused on the supply of medical cannabis. Through an acquisition, it holds a licensed producer with an indoor cannabis facility in Ontario.

Khiron Life Sciences (TSXV:KHRN,OTCQB:KHRNF)

Khiron Life Sciences is a Colombia-based cannabis company raising capital in Canada. The firm has declared that it will seek to expand its presence through Latin America, including Mexico.

Meta Growth (TSXV:META)

This company is a retail operator managing cannabis shops across Canada. Meta Growth manages two recreational store brands: Meta Cannabis Supply and NewLeaf Cannabis.

Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N,OTCQB:NXTTF)

After a tumultuous management change, Namaste Technologies has centered back on its investments and the development of its marijuana play, which includes its online platform of cannabis consumer information.

Naturally Splendid Enterprises (TSXV:NSP,OTCQB:NSPDF)

Naturally Splendid Enterprises is a biotech company developing hemp products for consumers in the health and wellness space. It plans to pursue a stake in the edible cannabidiol market as well.

Pharmacielo (TSXV:PCLO,OTCQX:PCLOF)

Pharmacielo is another cannabis company originally from Colombia raising capital in the Canadian markets. The company is headquartered in Canada, but operates part of its marijuana growing in Colombia.

Radient Technologies (TSXV:RTI,OTCQX:RDDTF)

Radient Technologies is an extraction technology company that has dabbled in the cannabis sector thanks to a partnership with licensed producer Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB,NYSE:ACB).

Relevium Technologies (TSXV:RLV,OTC Pink:RLLVF)

Thanks to its subsidiary Biocannabix, this company has a cannabis play in the development of pharmaceutical-grade products infused with cannabinoid formulations.

SugarBud Craft Growers (TSXV:SUGR)

Like some other Canadian cannabis producers, this Alberta company specializes in growing and developing craft-style premium cannabis products.

Target Capital (TSXV:TCI)

Doing business as CBi2 Capital, this Alberta-based company’s investment strategy focuses on developing and managing a diversified portfolio of predominantly early stage cannabis opportunities.

Tetra Bio-Pharma (TSXV:TBP,OTCQB:TBPMF)

Tetra Bio-Pharma is researching and developing medicines based on cannabis and its elements.

Therma Bright (TSXV:THRM)

Therma Bright is a medical device company that has a subsidiary seeking to carve up a space in the technology space for medical and recreational marijuana thanks to its pain relief device.

WeedMD (TSXV:WMD,OTCQX:WDDMF)

WeedMD is another Canadian cannabis producer making product for the medical and recreational markets in Canada. Its subsidiaries include WeedMD Rx and CX Industries.

YSS (TSXV:YSS,OTC Pink:YSSCF)

YSS operates as an adult-use cannabis retailer with 17 stores in Canada.

Keep reading... Show less

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC reminds investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed against the following publicly-traded companies. You can review a copy of the Complaints by visiting the links below or you may contact Peretz Bronstein, Esq. or his Investor Relations Analyst, Yael Hurwitz of Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC at 212-697-6484. If you suffered a loss, you can request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn’t require that you serve as a lead plaintiff. A lead plaintiff acts on behalf of all other class members in directing the litigation. The lead plaintiff can select a law firm of its choice. An investor’s ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff

Tactile Systems Technology (NASDAQ:TCMD)
Class Period:
May 7, 2018 – June 8, 2020
Deadline: November 30, 2020
For more info: www.bgandg.com/tcmd

Keep reading... Show less