Drumroll Please – CWEB Announces Retail Distribution Deal with Kroger

This week the market saw CWEB products hit Kroger shelves, VIVO secured a Standard Cultivation License, Terrascend acquired Ilera, and more.

There was strong attention on Charlotte's Web Holdings (TSX:CWEB) this week, after the company announced that The Kroger Co—America's largest grocery retailer—has begun carrying Charlotte's Web products in multiple states, with a plan to roll out to a total of 1,350 store locations in 22 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The announcement with Kroger marks a milestone for Charlotte's Web as the largest distribution ever through a single retailer. Charlotte's Web topical products will be available at the Kroger Family of Stores, including: Kroger, Dillons, Fry's, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Mariano's, Pick 'n Save, QFC and Smith's.

"Since its founding, Charlotte's Web has been on a mission to make CBD products available for as many people as possible," said Deanie Elsner, CEO of Charlotte's Web.

"This distribution reach through Kroger's market leading network of grocery stores is an enormous contributor to our mission.  We are very appreciative of Kroger and all of our channel partners for the continued progress in expanding access to hemp-based health and wellness products."

– CEO of Charlotte's Web, Deanie Elsner

Organigram Holdings Inc (TSX-V: OGI) announced that it has entered into an advance payment and purchase agreement with 703454 N.B. Inc—also known as 1812 Hemp— under which the company will pre-fund hemp purchases to receive access to as much as 60,000 kilograms of dried hemp flower to be harvested in calendar 2019 for extraction into cannabidiol isolate. Organigram is already a party to a purchase agreement entered into in January 2019 with 1812 Hemp, in which Organigram was granted a right of first refusal on 1812 Hemp's production of certain hemp cultivars.

Access to CBD-rich hemp flower is being facilitated through the Payment Agreement as the Company will advance funds to 1812 Hemp for their purchase of specialized large-scale hemp harvesting and processing equipment to maximize crop yields, contribute to increased efficiency and improve preservation of harvested cannabinoids. Purchase conditions for the dried hemp flower continue to be governed by the January Purchase Agreement which secures supply and supports research and development on the genetic improvement of hemp through traditional plant breeding methods. Funds advanced by Organigram will be credited toward future hemp flower purchases under the January Purchase Agreement.

Under the terms of the January Purchase Agreement, Organigram obtained access to a supply of hemp flower which contains significant and exceptional levels of CBD, as compared to other Health Canada-approved cultivars currently in commercial production in Canada. CBD is a naturally occurring active ingredient in hemp and cannabis that is currently being studied for various therapeutic uses.

The CEO of Organigram, Greg Engel, discusses the new rules on edibles.

Impression Health (ASX:IHL) has officially launched their cannabinoid drug discovery brand Incannex Pharmaceuticals, which will be targeting four areas of research; Gingivitis, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Traumatic Brain Injury and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

The company is working with an EU-based cannibinoid drug design company, who, for commercial reasons hasn't been named, to become their supply partner for the base cannabinoid materials in these four novel cannabinoid formulations.

The four trials will be overseen by the CEO, Chief Medical Officer and Chairman of Cannvalate, Dr Agarwal, who is an internationally acclaimed leader in the cannabinoid-based medicine space. Dr Agarwal was appointed CEO and chairman on the 25th of July, 2019.

"Impression Health and Incannex have realised that the two largest determinants of future growth for cannabis companies are patient acquisition and creation of patent-secured, novel cannabinoid products which have been scientifically validated by clinical trials. Incannex are on target to race ahead on both fronts by the end of 2019."

– CEO, Chief Medical Officer and Chairman of Cannvalate, Dr. Sud Agarwal

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp (TSXV: FAF) announced that shareholders representing more than 50% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the company have delivered written consents approving the proposed transaction contemplated by the subscription agreement  entered into by the Company on July 23, 2019, with an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Pursuant to the terms of the Subscription Agreement and upon completion of the transaction, the Investor will have the right to acquire up to 50.1% of the Shares (on a pro-forma fully-diluted basis) as further described in the company's press release dated July 24, 2019.  The company is relying on an exemption in the Toronto Stock Exchange Company Manual which permits the company to obtain shareholder approval for the transaction by way of a written consent instrument executed by the holders of more than 50% of the issued and outstanding Shares.

The transaction is expected to close and the shares are expected to commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on or about August 7, 2019, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary conditions.

Fire & Flower CEO Trevor Fencott talks about the company's debut on the TSX Venture Exchange.

VIVO Cannabis Inc (TSX-V: VIVO) announced that the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, ABcann Medicinals Inc, has been granted a Standard Cultivation licence from Health Canada for its Kimmetts facility.

Kimmetts, an innovative seasonal greenhouse site in Napanee, Ontario, is VIVO's third licensed production facility. Phase 1 of the planned development of Kimmetts includes four positive-pressure airhouse structures with 86,000 square feet of cultivation space.

The new site will increase the Company's annualized cultivation capacity by 4,000 kilograms, bringing its total internal licensed capacity to over 12,000 kilograms.

"I am extremely proud of our Napanee team demonstrating that innovation and a focus on quality are part of our DNA. Our team in Napanee, as well as the team at Health Canada, worked tirelessly during the approval process. We applaud Health Canada's efforts in playing a vital role in ensuring a safe cannabis supply chain for Canadians."

– CEO of VIVO, Barry Fishman

Cronos Group Inc (TSX: CRON) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire four of Redwood Holding Group, LLC's operating subsidiaries. Redwood manufactures, markets and distributes hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) infused skincare and other consumer products online and through retail and hospitality partner channels in the United States under the brand, Lord Jones™.

Redwood's products use pure hemp oil that contains natural phytocannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant. Redwood was co-founded in 2017 by Robert Rosenheck and Cindy Capobianco.

Following the close of the transaction, Mr. Rosenheck and Ms. Capobianco will join Cronos Group and continue to lead the development of the Redwood platform with the support of the current team, brand names and operating locations remaining in place.

Cronos Group CEO Mike Gorenstein discusses the company's global footprint.

TerrAscend Corp (CSE: TER), the first and only global cannabis company licensed for sales in Canada, the US, and the EU, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Ilera Healthcare, one of five vertically-integrated cannabis cultivator, processor, and dispensary operators in Pennsylvania, with such vertically-integrated licenses also referred to as "Super Licenses" in the state.

TerrAscend has agreed to acquire 100% of the equity of Ilera for total consideration of between US$125–$225 million, paid in a combination of cash and TerrAscend shares.

Additional cash consideration of up to US$175 million2 in aggregate may be paid to the sellers based on Ilera achieving certain specified revenue and profitability targets, with staged payments being made in 2020 and 2021. The transaction is expected to close in the 4th quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as well as certain customary closing conditions.

"Greg Rochlin and the rest of the Ilera team have built a substantial business that delivers high quality, safe, efficacious medicine to patients through scientific innovation, operational integrity, and best-in-class patient education and service."

– President of TerrAscend Corp and TerrAscend USA, Matthew Johnson

TerrAscend also signed an agreement with Indiva Limited this week, to partner on an extraction services program.

Under the terms of the Agreement, Indiva will provide TerrAscend with extraction and refinement support at its state-of-the-art facility in London, Ontario. TerrAscend, a global provider of cannabis, serves patients and consumers in Canada, the United States and Europe through its portfolio of brands, products, and services. In addition to supporting fellow producers with their extraction needs, Indiva plans to release its own gel capsules and oils to the Canadian public upon receipt of its oil sales amendment from Health Canada.

As part of the deal, TerrAscend will commit to deliver, on an annual basis, a minimum of 800 kg of dry flower to Indiva for extraction. Indiva will be responsible for extraction and refinement services employing its 70-tonne ethanol extraction system and will return the final product to TerrAscend in bulk formulated oil, or in distillate form.

Indiva CEO Niel Marotta discusses the upcoming legalization of edibles and derivative products in 2019.

Elixinol Global Limited (ASX:EXL) announce that it has entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement with Altmed Pets, LLC, trading as Pet Releaf.

Pet Releaf is the pioneer and market leading brand for hemp-derived CBD oils, topicals and treats for pets. Pet Releaf products are sold in over 4,000 independent pet stores across USA and globally and also sold online.

Elixinol has exclusively produced and supplied CBD extract sourced from USDA Organic certified hemp strains grown specifically for Pet Releaf since inception in mid-2014. In April 2019, Elixinol acquired a 25% equity interest in Pet Releaf.

"This exclusive agreement with Pet Releaf further strengthens our relationship and ensures Pet Releaf's products will have scalability and ongoing quality of supply."

– Elixinol Global Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stratos Karouso

Valens GroWorks Corp (TSXV: VGW)—a vertically integrated provider of industry-leading extraction products and services; including a diverse suite of extraction methodologies, next-generation cannabinoid delivery formats and an ISO 17025 accredited analytical lab—announced it has expanded its operational footprint with the opening of offices in Toronto as it gears up for geographic expansion.

Opening offices in downtown Toronto is a key next step in Valens' evolution as it looks to leverage its state of the art operations, technical expertise and advanced product portfolio in new, high-value markets, globally.

A Toronto office will improve the company's ability to realize on a number of international opportunities, increases its ability to attract and retain top talent, coordinate global operations, manage international customer relationships and expand access to the institutional investment community.

Valens GroWorks President Jeffrey Fallows explains the milestones reached during in the second quarter of 2019.

Finally, KushCo Holdings (OTCQX:KSHB) announced the creation of their new Retail Services division. The new business unit will focus on providing comprehensive retail solutions, through strategic partnerships with best-in-class sales agencies, to leading CBD brands. KushCo's retail services division will focus on industry education and compliance, as well as building distribution networks of CBD brands across conventional retail channels.

With Retail Services' experienced leadership optimizing growth opportunities, this division will expand the Company's platform and fuse two industries that have historically operated independent of each other. In his position as Vice President of Retail Services, Ryan Savage will oversee sales agency partnerships, including C.A. Fortune, a leading full-service national consumer products sales and marketing agency focused on lifestyle brand partnerships.

In addition, he will manage the expansion of CBD into the retail space across all channels, driving sales through management of brands, brokers and customers to increase distribution and revenue growth. Ryan Savage has spent the past 15 years gaining knowledge of multiple aspects of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. He has worked with many diverse, major retailers including Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Target, Amazon, and Kroger, in both a branded and private label capacity.

"The maturation of the cannabis industry has opened up countless avenues for business development across the industry's supply chain. The additions of Ryan and Julie, two performance-driven individuals with track records of developing strong working relationships with their clients, will provide the additional strength we need to continue servicing our customers at the highest level."

– CRO and President of KushCo Holdings , Jason Vegotsky

Watch this space for future updates.

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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