Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: New Health Minister in Canada

INN rounds some of the biggest news in the cannabis market for the past trading week

cannabis-leaf

The past trading week (August 28-September 1) saw the announcement of a new minister of health in Canada tasked with overseeing the full legalization of cannabis in the country next year. The demand of cannabis continues in Nevada and the tax commission voted on a way to help amend it. Market news and top gainers complete this week’s cannabis roundup.

During the week it was announced the former Health Minister for B.C., Terry Lake has been appointed as the new vice-president of corporate social responsibility at Hydropothecary (TSXV:THCX).

My prime objective is to ensure that the initiation of the framework around recreational cannabis is done in a way that, above all, protects public health,” Lake said in a press release. The former minister decided against’ running for reelection in the provincial race in May of this year.

Lake told the Ottawa Citizen he has great confidence in Hydropothecary and thinks they are well set up to capitalize on the upcoming recreational market in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, this week, announced a reshuffling of ministers in his cabinet, chief among them for the cannabis industry was the switch of Jane Philpott from minister of health to the minister of Indigenous services. New Brunswick MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor, has been appointed Philpott’s replacement.

Speaking with BNN, Cam Battley, executive vice president with Aurora Cannabis said the new minister’s background in social work should give her the tools to have a particular understanding of the medical cannabis industry. When asked if he wanted any changes from the previous minister, Battley said he hopes Petitpas Taylor gives more signals that the federal government is seriously committed to maintaining the deadline for recreational legalization.

The cannabis situation in Nevada continues to complicate. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the state’s tax commission decided to attempt and break the monopoly held by licensed liquor distributors for cannabis.

Those distributors argue that such a monopoly was given to them by the recreational marijuana legalization law voters approved in November.

But the Nevada Tax Department and the marijuana industry have argued that there are not enough delivery options, leading to lower product counts and lost sales.

The demand caused by the legalization of the recreational market in the state has led to massive lines at the retailer’s and a chokehold on the distribution due to the limited amount of licensed distributors of cannabis.

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This past week saw the financial report announcements from a variety of cannabis companies, including but not limited to Kalytera Therapeutics (TSXV:KALY; OTCQB:KALTF), WeedMD (TSXV:WMD), ICC International Cannabis (TSXV:ICC) and Quadron Cannatech (CSE:QCC).

Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB; OTCQX:ACBFF) also shared a business update, announcing it had added 3,000 new patients during July and August and now projects cannabis sales for over $3 million in August from the Canadian and German markets.

The Canadian marijuana ETF finally turned things around from the decrease it has seen over the past few weeks. Over the five-day trading period, the Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) saw a minor 0.23 percent increase. As of 12:16 p.m. EST on Friday, the ETF traded at $8.57. Since its inception earlier this year, the index has dropped 16.59 percent.

Two of the biggest winners during the week in the market were Supreme Pharmaceuticals (TSXV:FIRE) and Hydropothecary (TSXV:THCX), which saw a 4.42 and 8.89 percent increases respectively.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: WeedMD is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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** This article is updated each week. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information**

Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: Interview with President of Cannabis Wheaton

By Bryan Mc Govern August 25, 2017

During this last trading week (August 21-25), we got a closer look at the boom of cannabis in Nevada and the reason why distribution has proved to be so chaotic. The Investing News Network (INN) also took a closer look at some of the big cannabis news of the week and even published an interview with the president of Cannabis Wheaton (TSXV:CBW).

On Monday (August 21), INN reported on the response from Aphria and their US partner Liberty Health Sciences (CSE:LHS) to the TMX Group regarding the potential CDS sanctions against cannabis stocks with business interests in the US. Vic Neufeld, president, and CEO of Aphria said they will continue their dialogue with the TMX Group for the full clarification on this matter.

This situation came about as the CEO of the TMX Group Lou Eccleston, which operates the TSX, gave an interview with the Globe and Mail where he discussed the need to determine the legality of Canadian cannabis stocks with business operations or associations in the US, where cannabis is still technically illegal on a federal level. Due to the larger market available in the States and the legal status of cannabis stocks in Canada there has been a surge in companies “looking to take advantage of the pot boom in the States,” according to a report from Vice News.

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Looking over to INN’s interview with the president of Cannabis Wheaton Hugo Alves,  he told us about the business model of the company, the challenges Wheaton has faced since its inception earlier this year and one of their most important deals of the year with ABcann Global (TSXV:ABCN).

“If we have one partner that is going through some difficulties and if we can help them out by getting another partner to transfer product to them our allocation of product to them, deal. We like to say we help our partners, because it’s all about our partners with us, become the best cultivators and the best operators that they can be,” Alves told INN.

The situation in Nevada continues to grow at a pace in which supply simply can’t catch up with the demand. A new report from Forbes indicates the distribution issues that have affected the cannabis business in Nevada and a closer look at the role of alcohol distributors in it.

The Canadian marijuana ETF continued its decrease over the trading week. Over the five-day trading period, the Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) saw a 0.12 percent decline. As of 12:01 p.m. EST on Friday, the ETF traded at $8.54. Year-to-date, the index has dropped 16.68 percent.

At the middle mark of the week (August 23), Maricann (CSE:MARI) announced the acquisition of a novel drug delivery and extraction company called NanoLeaf Technologies. According to Ben Ward, CEO of Maricann, this transaction will boost his company’s growth trajectory and will solidify their pipeline of future products.

Looking abroad, Canadian cannabis company CanniMed (TSX:CMED) announced on Thursday (August 24), that it is entering the South African market. Through a newly announced partnership with Akula Trading 2, the Canadian medical cannabis company will export oil products in South Africa, followed by sales in an undisclosed number of other countries in the continent.

“Since it was announced in South Africa that medical cannabis was being legalized late last year, we have been researching the right partner to adequately supply a consistent and safe medication for introduction in our region of the world,” Graham MacKintosh, Chief Operations Officer, Akula Trading 2 said in the announcing statement.

In Canada, THC BioMed (CSE:THC) obtained a sales license from Health Canada, which allows the company to sell dried cannabis to patients with an option of compassionate pricing of $4.20 per gram and a regular price of $6 per gram. “Our pricing structure reflects our mandate of supplying good quality [cannabis] at an affordable price,” John Miller, CEO of THC said in a statement.

Two of the biggest gainers of the week include Aphria and Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED), who saw a 1.37 and 0.46 percent increase respectively.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: ABcann Global is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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