White Labeling Services in the Cannabis Industry

Used as a means to expand SKU lines as well as revenue, white labeling in the cannabis industry offers companies unparalleled upside and potential for impressive profitability.

The evolution of the cannabis industry in recent years continues to outperform market projections. While many attribute this unprecedented growth and positive trending to a focus on business-to-consumer models, some cannabis companies are finding significant successes leveraging white labeling partnerships to tap into a rapidly emerging marketplace that thrives on innovative business models and unique products for a growing consumer base

As the popularity of white labeling services amongst cannabis companies grows, especially in the production of fast-growing categories of value-added products like extracts, oils, edibles, and vapes, companies that are becoming an expert in co-manufacturing and have the ability to provide these services are establishing themselves as the leaders in the industry. Used as a means to expand SKU lines as well as revenue, white labeling in the cannabis industry offers companies unparalleled upside and potential for impressive profitability.

How do white labeling services work?

White labeling is a business practice that involves one company manufacturing a product, which is later sold and advertised under another company’s brand. These solutions are typically done in exchange for a flat fee or percentage of product sales depending on the terms of the agreement.

This business-to-business solution offers a partnering company to attach their unique brand onto a “white label” product for marketing and sale to the final consumer and allows the manufacturing “white labeler” to potentially partner with different companies. Without the need to invest in infrastructure or technology. Cannabis companies can focus on building their brand and selling a wider range of products to a wide net of prospective customers.

Additionally, many also associate these white labeling solutions with toll processing, a practice in which one company provides the raw or partially processed product for another company to manufacture into a value-added product.

Access to extraction and packaging services through white label providers

White labeling services provide an ideal solution for companies who may not have the start-up capital to build a manufacturing facility, secure product licensing or have a difficult time getting a cannabis business off the ground. In these circumstances, partnering with a licensed processor that has established production and focused effort on creating a diversified range of high-quality cannabis products presents outstanding economic opportunities.

One leading example is Ayurcann Holdings (CSE:AYUR), a B2B post-harvest solution provider focused on providing scalable custom processes and pharma-grade products to the recreational and medical cannabis industry in Canada. The company delivers a profitable business model of services and products. It operates three production divisions specializing in expert cannabis-based extraction and refinement, high-quality bulk oil sales and white label manufacturing.

White labeling options for cannabis companies

In an industry that is shifting its focus away from cultivation, more fully integrated companies delivering multiple verticals in cannabis processing and production offer an unparalleled investment opportunity that stands out from the rest. Major players in the cannabis white-labeling space offer unique exposure and retail footing that allow many companies to compete with established brands and quickly make an impact on consumers.

Ayuracann’s production offers full end-to-end outsourcing services, including proprietary product research & development, cannabis extraction & refinement and final production formulation and fulfillment. As a leading white labeling service provider, the company is focused on becoming the partner of choice for leading Canadian cannabis brands by delivering best-in-class, proprietary services, including ethanol extraction, formulation, product development and custom manufacturing.

Benefits of white labeling for cannabis companies

Data collected by Grand View Research projects the global legal cannabis market to be worth US$66.3 billion by 2025. While much of the cannabis product sold today is still the raw product, value-added consumer packaged goods are rapidly gaining significant traction throughout the cannabis industry.

White labeling services allow cannabis companies to capitalize on the latest and greatest cannabis consumer trends by expanding their portfolios to include high-demand products such as oil cartridges, extracts, topicals, CBD bath products and lotions, edibles and more. Without having to invest in the infrastructure, processing labs and manufacturing facilities required to make these products, companies can focus on releasing more products to an eager customer base. With an ever-evolving cannabis market, white label partnerships can give cannabis companies an edge over the competition.

While vertical integration can be a highly efficient strategy for large cannabis companies with the up-front capital to build the necessary infrastructure, companies without the resources to establish it take a huge risk by investing in operational and up-front costs. This includes time, building and equipment costs, license processing and finding specialized staff to grow and sustain the business.

Alternatively, outsourcing manufacturing allows a cannabis company to expand its product offerings, utilize quality formulations and establish its brand while reducing the financial risk associated with vertically integrating. Finding a compatible white labeling partnership means more time to build a brand and reach retailers and final consumers substantially faster. For cannabis companies who want to hit the ground running, white labeling offers the tools, expertise, and systems in place to make it happen.

Takeaway

Cannabis companies are using white labeling services to expand and diversify their product lines and tap into a market that is increasingly favoring value-added consumer packaged goods. For cannabis companies without fully vertically integrated operations, white-label partnerships with major players like Ayurcann Holdings offer exceptional economic efficiency and investing upside with minimized risks and infrastructural costs.


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Royalty Financing and Investing In Rapidly Emerging Commodities Outside of Gold and Silver

Investing in royalty financing and emerging commodities outside of gold and silver is increasingly attractive due to lower risk and the ability to provide commodity price leverage and exposure to in-demand commodities and their price movements.

In recent years, royalty and streaming companies have quickly emerged as a popular choice among a broad spectrum of investors. They provide the capital to finance many of the most highly prospective mining projects around the world to provide investors with a perfect storm of minimized risks and economic upside.

With unparalleled exploration, diversification, and project acquisition opportunities, this particular type of alternative financing could be set for significant expansion over the next decade.

What is royalty streaming?

Marin Katusa, chairman of Katusa Research, told Kitco News in an interview, “I would start at the royalty side of things … that’s the easiest place to start because these are teams that are de-risking themselves.”

Royalty agreements and streams have similar structures at face value but key differences set them apart.

  • Royalty agreements: Also known as net smelter returns, these agreements provide royalty holders with a percentage of a specific mine’s revenue generated from production, typically hovering around one to three percent. Another common type of royalty agreement includes net profits interests, where the royalty holder receives a percentage of the profits rather than the revenue.
  • Streams: These contractual agreements provide the right to purchase a certain percent of metal production directly from the mine, typically ranging from five to twenty percent. Streams often will have a predetermined purchasing price for the metal, which is usually either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of the spot price.

An important distinction between royalty and streaming companies is that these entities are not mine operators. Instead, they seek to find untapped value through financing and working with miners to curate agreements that provide their shareholders with steady exposure to various mineral and metal markets. These agreements enable recipient mining companies to further develop or expand projects, providing greater returns for vested interests and the companies with royalties and stream agreements on the projects.

For junior mining companies, having the financing and support from more established royalty and streaming players can be especially beneficial as it may significantly boost development and exploration efforts and improve balance sheets across highly prospective project portfolios.

Risks and rewards to royalty streaming

In the case of royalty streaming, outlining major pros and cons can paint a clearer picture as to what potential downfalls these agreements have and what makes them one of the most popular financial strategies in 2021.

One of the main downfalls of royalty streaming relates to the structure of the business. Royalties and streaming companies have traditionally had intense competition competing within the precious metals space and needed a large amount of capital to invest in mines, which are raised through stocks or debt. Either companies accumulated debt on their balance sheet or issue stocks, which can involve some unfavorable stock dilution. However, there are very few royalty groups focused on clean energy metals and the costs of deals has been much lower thus far.

Another risk involves actual spot prices and mine production. If spot prices fall, so can revenue generation for royalty companies and metal selling prices for streaming. Additionally, in the case of mine delays, both types of companies may be impacted by a delay of commodity flow. Luckily, there are no costs to holding a royalty so there are no operating costs associated with shutdowns and the G&A required for running royalty companies is very low. .

By avoiding many of the operational costs, royalty and streaming companies cut out significant risks commonly associated with mining investments. While mining companies’ operational costs may rise, royalty and stream holders simply reap the potential benefits of high margins during peak pricing periods for their metals, having acquired them at lower fixed prices according to their agreement.

Another key advantage royalty and streaming companies have is advantageous portfolio diversification and the ability to be selective with their agreements. With the right management and strategic acquisition team, companies can minimize concentrated jurisdictional or asset risk and make agreements with mines already at near-term production staging. Since costs per ounce are contractually defined, this also protects streamers from cost overruns across the life of a mine.

Electric Royalties (TSXV:ELEC) is a royalty company focused on building a premium portfolio that takes advantage of the demand for a wide range of commodities and critical metals like lithium, vanadium, manganese, tin, graphite, cobalt, nickel and copper. Its focus on vital battery and base metal elements leverages the growing demand and global drive toward electrification across virtually all sectors, including transportation, rechargeable batteries, large-scale energy storage, renewable energy generation and more.

The company has a robust commodity portfolio, which helps to diversify investment and mitigate risk for investors and shareholders while leveraging exploration upside, revenue-driven business modelling and more. It currently has a portfolio of 12 royalties with exceptional exploration potential and four additional royalties currently under acquisition.

Electrification: Growing market for royalty streaming companies

The mining royalty and streaming sector have grown steadily from US$2.1 billion in 2010 to more than US$15 billion in 2019. While gold and silver take up a large portion of the streaming market, up-and-coming metals like copper and cobalt continue to show exceptional growth potential as the world shifts to greener alternatives to energy, power and more. Market researchers expect bright futures for both commodities despite disruptions in production in 2020.

Year-to-date:

  • Lithium prices are up 313 percent
  • Copper prices are up 25 percent
  • Zinc prices are up 22 percent
  • Nickel prices are up 18 percent
  • Tin prices are up 82 percent
  • Cobalt prices are up 75 percent

These raw materials expose prospective investors and many royalty streaming companies to multiple sectors, including new economy drivers like electric vehicles, batteries, energy storage, personal electronics and renewable energy platforms including wind and solar. .

Nova Royalty (TSXV:NOVR) is a royalty company focused on copper and nickel discovery as the foundational building blocks in clean energy decarbonization. With a rich portfolio of base metal royalty assets operating out of mining-friendly and highly prospective mining jurisdictions, Nova could become a leading royalty company in the transition to the future of sustainable energy.

With the battery revolution and growing demand for copper and nickel, the company has also strategically positioned itself as a potential frontrunner in the transition to an electric-powered world. As a royalty company, it has a decreased risk across a global portfolio.

Royalty financing: Economic upside potential for investors

For investors, royalty and streaming companies continue to be increasingly attractive due to their lower risk and ability to provide commodity-price leverage and exposure in-demand commodities and their price movements. In addition, investors in streaming companies advantageously leverage the ability to contract metal prices and delivery and tailor metals exposure more than royalty companies can.

Innovative companies are leveraging the momentum behind the transition for decarbonization into green power and investing in these companies outside of precious metal markets like gold and silver. With unprecedented demand and growth in prices for these raw commodities, market researchers predict more money investment opportunities coming into the sector for royalty and streaming companies exposed to these commodities.

Takeaway

Royalty and streaming companies present unparalleled investment opportunities with benefits of low risk, stable metal and mineral market diversified exposure and support for highly prospective mining projects across the globe. With no exposure to issues such as operating cost pressures or capital cost overruns due to predetermined metal pricing and revenue generation agreements, it comes as no surprise that royalty financing has become a significant strategy utilized by new and experienced investors.

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ESG investing best fits socially conscious investors looking for ESG companies focused on environmentally friendly practices to benefit from carbon credits.

Investing in companies based solely on in-depth financial analysis isn’t the only way to evaluate a company these days. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is a trending investment strategy in which an investor assesses a company’s social presence as it relates to profitability and future returns before making an investment decision.

In 2020, the total worldwide. According to Bloomberg, global ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025 –– showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. Some of the top ESG stocks, according to RBC Capital Markets, include large companies like Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) — to name a few.

It is clear that ESG investing has a role to play for the more socially-conscious investors out there. Read on to learn more about the basics of ESG investing and why this trend continues to grow in popularity.

What is ESG investing?

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. ESG includes a variety of actions and responsibilities that a company takes towards building a more sustainable future. ESG initiatives typically come in the form of company policies, dedication to best practices or responsible operations.

Environmental impact includes all investments that support preservation and conservation of the natural world including climate change, carbon emissions, air and water pollution, biodiversity protection, deforestation, energy efficiency, waste management and water supply.

Social impact includes all investments that support the people and communities affected by a company’s operations including customer satisfaction, data protection and privacy, gender and diversity, employee engagement, community relations, human rights and labor standards.

Lastly, governance issues include investments in standards in which the company operates by, including board composition, board diversity, board independence, audit committee structure, risk and governance committee structure, compensation committee structure, health & safety committee structure, anti-bribery and anti-corruption bodies, lobbying, political contributions and whistleblower schemes.

ESG funds and stocks reduce portfolio risk and increase returns

Portfolios that include ESG investments have proven to have greater long-term success than those that do not. Part of this is because ESG funds have had progressively higher returns on investment due to resilience in the face of conventional market disruptions. For example, companies with strong ESG track records had less stock price volatility than non-ESG companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research has also found that ESG stocks produce similar if not better financial results than non-ESG stocks. According to Arabesque, the top quintile S&P 500 companies with ESG initiatives performed more than 25 percent better than the bottom quintile companies from 2014 to 2018.

This reduction in portfolio risk is believed to partly stem from the fact that ESG companies are less likely to be involved in controversies –– whether it be environmental, social or governance due to proactive management.

Environmental is the leading ESG factor

According to recent survey data, among all ESG factors, pollution and waste management ranked top in importance and support from ESG investors. Investor prioritization of pollution and waste management is likely linked to growing concerns around climate change. Both large and smaller companies have responded to this growing concern by either launching or shifting to green models.

Steelcase (NYSE:SCS) is a company that produces furniture and architectural elements. Steelcase minimizes waste through smart product designs that easily allow for product disassembly for use in refurbishing and recycling. Steelcase produces very little waste in addition to reducing pollution through the use of renewable energy and water efficiency.

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPE) has also established a recycling program that spans 73 countries and has collected and recycled 90 million kilograms of plastic. The initiative has substantially cut back on landfill waste and reduced heavy metal pollution. Hewlett Packard has also reduced its greenhouse gas emission and water consumption through the use of 100 percent renewable energy in its manufacturing process.

Northstar Clean Technologies (TSXV:ROOF,TSXV:ROOF.WT) is an emerging clean technology company focused on the recovery and repurposing of single-use asphalt shingles. The company has developed a proprietary design process at its Empower Facility in Delta, BC for taking discarded asphalt shingles, otherwise destined for already over-crowded landfills, and extracting the liquid asphalt, aggregate sands and fiber. Northstar’s mission is to become the leading shingle material recovery provider in North America, extracting 99% of the recovered components from single-use asphalt shingles that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.

Carbon credits for ESG investments

The Canadian government recently announced an upcoming Canadian Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System that will provide carbon credits to a variety of industries. Companies with ESG investments will be well primed for successful carbon credit trading given the expected rising costs of carbon under the Trudeau government.

For companies with ESG-focused models, a federalized carbon credit system will not only provide additional working capital but can improve profitability, growth and ROI potential.

Takeaway

ESG is considered to be crucial to business success. Industries that have not adopted ESG initiatives have received criticism and pressure from various stakeholders. As ESG takes off with billions of dollars in investment, investors may find ESG companies to be of more interest, specifically ESG companies with a focus on environmentally-friendly practices that are well-suited to benefit from carbon credits.

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ROOF:CA

Even as a young market, Michigan has grown exponentially to become one of the largest states in cannabis sales in the US.

In July 2021, Michigan’s marijuana sales hit a record-breaking net high of US$171 million. Since its cannabis legalization in December 2019, Michigan has been pulling numbers many newly emerging cannabis markets would only dream of.

Shifting legal frameworks and the rapidly growing popularity of cannabis use throughout the Western world have made Michigan’s emerging marijuana market a big beneficiary of legalization in the US. Not only has Michigan’s cannabis market been big, but it is also rapidly becoming one of the biggest.

This article will outline Michigan’s rise as a dominant force in cannabis sales through the US and current opportunities the state presents to investors and cannabis companies looking to get unparalleled exposure to the internationally growing cannabis market.

The Michigan cannabis market: An overview

In December of 2019, Michigan became the 10th state in the US to legalize adult-use cannabis. With significant enthusiasm and proactive growth, first movers in the state were quick to establish strong positioning in various economic avenues surrounding cannabis, which have had tremendous growth ever since.

According to the Michigan Marijuana Regulator Agency, the state saw a combined US$985 million in sales from medical and adult-use in 2020 alone. With over 2.62 percent of the Michigan population being medical marijuana cardholders, seeing these numbers in this emerging market presents a massive opportunity for investors and cannabis companies.

One of the biggest contributors to Michigan’s exponential growth in cannabis sales has been its medical cannabis industry. Despite recreational market legalization in 2019, medical cannabis has been legal in the state since 2008. “We found that Michigan is doing more than US$100 million a month in cannabis, so the medical and recreational opportunity is there to take a bigger market share,” said Gage Growth (CSE:GAGE) Chairman Bruce Linton, the former CEO of Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED,NASDAQ:GCG). Gage Growth currently stands as one of the largest cannabis companies operating in Michigan.

With the onset of the pandemic, the newly legalized cannabis industry remained open under its essential status despite other industries taking significant hits and suffering massive disruptions. Recent data found that sales in Michigan and other states like Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the previous two years.

Increasing openness for medical cannabis in the realm of mental health and recreational use across the state, especially in the past year, has pushed prospective growth to new heights.

With recreational sales growing from US$9.8 million in January 2020 to US$128.3 million by July 2021, there’s no questioning Michigan’s potential.

Michigan positioning in US markets

Less than a year into its recreational cannabis use legalization, Michigan already outpaced Nevada to take the top spot as the fifth highest-grossing state for cannabis sales and US$1 billion in projected sales..

“Michigan has historically boasted the second-largest medical cannabis program in the country, and therefore, the adult-use market has a phenomenal base of consumers to grow from,” explained CEO and Director Fabian Monaco, president of Gage Growth.

Additionally, Michigan’s first-mover positioning allows it to capitalize on slower moving states and establish a more dominant footing across the national cannabis landscape. Its unique geographical location brings in consumers from neighboring states, some of which only allow medical purchases or none at all.

This external customer base could be a big contributor to the state’s top spending across individual consumers and entities who are especially attracted to the state’s premium cannabis brands and products.

Major cannabis player in Michigan

Brands operating within the state are expanding their services to keep up with the Michigan consumer demand. The state’s emerging markets host a mix of established cannabis companies and up-and-coming brands.

Gage Growth is a premier cannabis cultivator and retailer in Michigan, US. Its core values in providing premium cannabis to market, positively shaping cannabis culture and nurturing community primes the company for success and rapid economic growth.

The company is currently one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis companies in Michigan with nine cultivation facilities (three Gage operated and six contracted cultivation assets), and a retail portfolio of 15 provisioning centers throughout the state. Gage has control of plant growth, cultivation, processing and retail aspects of its business. This centralized business model and strategic partnerships ensure cannabis licensing best practices and the highest-quality product for its consumers.

The company also recognizes the advantages of partnering with other highly visible and respected brands as well. Along these lines, Gage has exclusive brand partnerships with industry stalwarts including Cookies, Lemonnade, Grandiflora Genetics, Khalifa Kush, Pure Beauty, Blue River, and more. These relationships expand not only Gage’s product offerings but its marketing reach as well, enabling the company to message a much wider audience than if it chose to go it alone

For example, in July 2021, Gage announced exclusive partnerships with Wiz Khalifa’s Khalifa Kush and Pure Beauty.

Takeaway

Even as a young market, Michigan has grown exponentially to become one of the largest states in cannabis sales in the US. Between medical cannabis and adult use, the state has already pushed over a billion in sales in 2021, with positive projections for the future. For emerging and established cannabis companies and investors alike, Michigan presents exceptional economic upside and growth potential as shifting legal frameworks create new opportunities for cannabis innovation.

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