The black sheep of the Canadian industry is mounting a comeback — this week CannTrust announced its licenses have been reinstated.
This past week in the cannabis space, investors saw the return of a former publicly traded Canadian producer that experienced a fall from grace.
Below the border, the US market provided plenty of updates — one longstanding executive left the troubles at her company, and the biggest cannabis-based drug received new approvals.
Keep reading to find out more of the highlights from this week.
Is CannTrust making a comeback?
On Thursday (August 6), Ontario-based cannabis producer CannTrust Holdings told the market that Health Canada has reinstated various federal licenses at its facility in Vaughan, Ontario.
“Today marks the beginning of the next chapter in CannTrust’s history,” Greg Guyatt, CEO of CannTrust, said in a statement. “We are excited to return to work with our partners to provide our consumers and patients with high-quality cannabis products.”
But can CannTrust really go back to normal after everything that has happened?
The company was found to have produced cannabis products in an unregulated and therefore illicit way in July 2019. The discovery led to revelations of improper handling all the way to the top. Both former CEO Eric Paul, who also served as chair of the board, and Peter Aceto, then the CEO of CannTrust, were directly aware and had sanctioned the company’s actions. Both were eventually dismissed.
A report from Marijuana Business Daily indicates that one expert believes it’s too early to voice an indictment of the process Health Canada went through with CannTrust.
CannTrust said it plans to begin operations in Vaughan immediately. However, the company has no “meaningful revenues and has terminated or laid-off a significant portion of its workforce.” It is also no longer listed on both the TSX and NYSE.
Architect of US cannabis MSO strategy departs amid company turmoil
Stavola was originally a part of multi-state operator (MSO) MPX Bioceutical and joined iAnthus during an acquisition deal. The former iAnthus executive told Forbes that lately she hasn’t been as much a part of the business-building element of cannabis.
“I really miss being in the weeds, no pun intended. I miss rolling up my sleeves up and building a business and I miss that part of it,” she said. Stavola has been credited as the force that built MPX to the point where it was acquired by iAnthus in a play to compete with the larger MSOs in the public space.
iAnthus is in the midst of a corporate firestorm as now ex-CEO Hadley Ford was revealed in March to have been “acting in a conflict of interest and has misused iAnthus’ resources to his own benefit.”
Ford was dismissed after an investigation found he had secured personal loans worth US$160,000 from an arm’s-length party; the loans should have been disclosed to the company’s board.
Cannabis company news
- GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) announced the US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the range of treatment for its cannabinoid drug EPIDIOLEX. The regulator has approved the drug for the treatment of seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex in patients one year of age and older.
- Eve & Co. (TSXV:EVE,OTCQX:EEVVF) signed a new partnership with Canadian winery Colio Estate Wines. This new business relationship, done through Eve’s subsidiary Natural MedCo, will work on the development of “premium cannabis-infused wine-based beverage.”
- Village Farms International (NASDAQ:VFF,TSX:VFF) plans to acquire a 6.6 stake in Australia-based Altum International in order to execute on an international expansion plan. Altum offers exposure to the cannabidiol (CBD) market in the Asia-Pacific region, as the firm already has CBD products in Hong Kong.
- Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA,TSX,APHA) confirmed a new agreement with InterCure’s (TASE:INCR,TASE:INCR.TA) subsidiary Canndoc for dried bulk cannabis flower supply, representing 3,000 kilograms over a two year period. “Today’s announcement is about … the strength and quality of our medical brand,” Aphria Chairman and CEO Irwin Simon said.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.