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Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: Software Firm Pivots to Bitcoin Mining
A leading cannabis software company seems to be exiting the industry after announcing plans to merge with a bitcoin miner and sell off its leading cannabis asset.
In a surprising move, enterprise software firm Akerna (NASDAQ:KERN), which has developed programs to aid the cannabis industry, will merge with a Bitcoin miner and sell its software business to POSaBIT Systems (CSE:PBIT,OTCQX:POSAF).
Also this week, a Canadian cannabis operator received a warning from a leading exchange for its low trading numbers.
Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.
Cannabis software firm shares new strategy
Akerna carved out a spot by uniting cannabis and technology, but now it seems the company is headed in a different direction.
On Friday (January 27), the software firm confirmed a merger with Bitcoin miner Gryphon Digital Mining in a move the company said will bring investors “access to the bitcoin mining industry with one of its premier operators.” Simultaneously, Akerna will sell the following cannabis assets to POSaBIT: MJ Freeway, including MJ Platform and Leaf Data System brands, and Ample Organics.
The sale is expected to bring Akerna US$4 million in cash, which will be used to “pay its remaining outstanding accounts payable and pay down any remaining principal balance on its outstanding senior secured convertible notes, net of $500,000 retained for outstanding obligations and net cash requirements associated with the proposed merger between Akerna and Gryphon.”
Shares of Akerna dropped sharply during Friday’s trading session. As of nearly 2:30 p.m. EST, the firm was sitting at a price of US$1.29, representing a decline in value of 27.53 percent.
Canadian producer receives warning from exchange
Since shares of the company have been below US$1 for 30 consecutive trading days, the exchange is required to remind the company of its valuation rules. The notice does not immediately affect Organigram’s status on the NASDAQ — the company has until July 24, 2023, to regain compliance or face harsher action by the exchange.
If Organigram fails to meet that deadline, it may be eligible for an extension of 180 calendar days.
The notice will likely remind cannabis investors of the recent case faced by fellow operator HEXO (NASDAQ:HEXO,TSX:HEXO), which regained compliance with the NASDAQ's listing rules just last week.
Cannabis company news
- Ayr Wellness (CSE:AYR.A,OTCQX:AYRWF)terminated its proposed acquisition of the equity interests of Gentle Ventures, which oversees Dispensary 33. “The cannabis market has changed significantly in the 15 months since we agreed to acquire Dispensary 33. Both parties have acknowledged this reality and engaged in good faith dialogue as we came to the mutual decision to terminate the proposed arrangement,” Ayr President David Goubert said.
- Village Farms International (NASDAQ:VFF)secured an investment deal worth US$25 million with “certain institutional investors” by offering over 18 million shares.
- MariMed (CSE:MRMD,OTCQX:MRMD)closed a $35 million secured credit facility with Chicago Atlantic Advisors, the lead lender in the agreement. “While we are capable of funding our current growth plans with cash flow from operations, the time is right to raise capital and accelerate these plans, which we believe will result in meaningful returns to our shareholders,” Jon Levine, MariMed president and interim CEO, said.
- Agrify (NASDAQ:AGFY)shared with investors a cost-efficiency strategy focused on renewed future growth. “Like many organizations in our industry and within the broader business landscape, we continue to encounter various headwinds that have necessitated significant adjustments to our short-term operating plan,” Raymond Chang, chairman and CEO of Agrify, said.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Bryan is a Senior Editor with INN. After graduating from the Langara journalism program he did some freelance reporting with community newspapers in British Columbia. He initially wrote about the life science space for INN and now spends his time covering the marijuana market, from Canadian LPs to US-based companies, and the impact of this sector on investors.
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