Progressive Planet Solutions Inc. (TSXV:PLAN) (“PLAN” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in the commercialization of natural pozzolans, is pleased to present a corporate update on the company’s activities.

We are accelerating our efforts to commercialize our developing portfolio of natural pozzolan properties. In combination with these efforts, we are seeking to address the massive carbon footprint and requirements of one of the world’s largest industries…cement production.


Research Partnership with University of Alberta

Throughout the world, fly ash is generated as a by-product of burning coal for electricity generation. Fly ash is used as a supplementary cementing material in blended cement mixes. The supply of fly ash is directly related to the amount of coal which is combusted in power plants which in many parts of Canada, and the world, are scheduled for decommissioning or already being decommissioned.

In December 2019, PLAN announced a strategic relationship with the University of Alberta to conduct work with respect to improving the slump of the natural pozzolan from its Z-1 Quarry so that it possesses similar rheology to commercially available fly ash.

We have received an interim report from the University which describes the work done to date. The slump has been improved with a combination of various inputs which will remain proprietary; however, one input in the blend which we will disclose is pulverized, recycled glass.

The preliminary results are encouraging and in turn we believe there is tremendous potential for using waste material in a proprietary blend to create a high-quality supplementary cementing material (SCM) for the cement industry as a potential replacement for fly ash.

The initial research trial is expected to conclude at the end of April 2020 at which time we expect to finalize our proprietary formulation for CSA testing. Once CSA testing is completed, we intend to begin production on a small scale to introduce our SCM to the BC and Alberta markets.

Natural Pozzolans

In the fall of 2019, we announced the option of the Z-2 Natural Pozzolan Property. In February 2020, we announced the option of the Z-3 Natural Pozzolan Property (Heffley Creek). These three properties form the core portfolio of natural pozzolan properties for PLAN.

These three high quality properties near Kamloops, BC are all close to rail access to the Lower Mainland and Alberta.

We are currently finalizing the 2020 exploration plans for both the Z-2 and the Z-3 and expect to commence exploration work in late April or early May with work commencing once the snowpack is melted and the ground is sufficiently dry to conduct field work.

The intention for the Z-2 Property is to start to quantify the amount of natural pozzolan contained in an area of the property where we have already confirmed natural pozzolans occur.

For the Z-3 Property, we intend to conduct soil work on the property while completing further testing in areas previously drilled by LaFarge Canada which identified natural pozzolans.

For the Z-1 Property, our COO is working to renew the Notice of Work (license to mine the property) which is up for renewal in July 2020. In the interim, we will continue to draw down on the previously mined stockpile of natural pozzolan as required.

Z-1 Zeolite for Denaturing Cannabis

PLAN is experiencing an increase in the volume of denatured cannabis it is collecting from its contract with one of Canada’s largest extraction facilities. The success of utilizing our Z-1 natural pozzolan in the denaturing process has resulted in additional extraction companies requesting samples and pricing. We view supplying Z-1 natural pozzolan to denature cannabis as a growth opportunity in 2020.

Comminution Toll Processing

PLAN completed a small comminution contract in 2019. Comminution is the process of pulverizing rocks into fine powders. Based on industry feedback, PLAN intends to procure additional comminution equipment to enable it to respond to commercial demand for

comminution services. We are targeting soft rock phosphate and limestone companies. This same equipment is used for pulverizing natural pozzolans and will increase our capacity to process our own material. This complementary revenue stream will support our capacity growth for other core initiatives.

Third Party Building Product Development

Over the last six months, PLAN has supplied pulverized natural pozzolan from the Z-1 Quarry to three companies which produce cementitious products. In particular, we are jointly working on product development with one of these companies and on sharing the costs of CSA testing on the building product which we hope will ultimately contain Z-1 pulverized natural pozzolan as a core ingredient.

Commenting on the recent activities and milestones, PLAN’s CEO, Steve Harpur, said “We are very excited about the potential for our natural pozzolan assets and affiliated cementitious building products in development to contribute to the effort of reducing the carbon footprint of the cement industry. The PLAN team, which welcomed Mike Wypych as COO in February 2020, is accelerating our efforts to lay the foundation for significant commercialization and expansion in 2020.”

For further information or investor relations inquiries, please contact:

Stephen Harpur, CEO
sharpur@progressiveplanet.ca

Or:

investors@progressiveplanet.ca
1-800-910-3072
www.progressiveplanet.ca

NEITHER THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

Click here to connect with Progressive Planet Solutions Inc (TSXV:PLAN) 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 Holdings Corp. ( CSE: AYUR ) (the “ Company ” or ” Ayurcann “), a Canadian extraction company specializing in the processing of cannabis and hemp for the production of oils and various derivative products, is pleased to unveil further details of its Phase 2 expansion plans.

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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