Living in America – MediPharm Applies to List on NASDAQ and Appoints New CFO

Canopy Growth partners with Rapper Drake, Cresco debuts its largest ever advertising campaing, ECS Botanics secures a deal with Woolworths and more!

MediPharm Labs Corp (TSX: LABS), a global leader in specialized, research-driven cannabis extraction, distillation and purification, announced this week that it had filed an application to list its common shares on the NASDAQ Stock Market.

The company will also continue to maintain the listing of its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "LABS". According to the CEO of MediPharm, Pat McCutcheon, successfully managing to list, "alongside our peers on the NASDAQ will enhance our visibility and access to a larger base of institutional and retail shareholders in the U.S. and globally."

 In advance of its anticipated listing on the NASDAQ, MediPharm Labs will file a Form 40-F Registration Statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

We are thrilled to be entering the next phase of growth at MediPharm Labs including cross-listing on the NASDAQ, one of the world's foremost exchanges for emerging markets and technology, such as the burgeoning cannabis sector. MediPharm Labs CEO, Pat McCutcheon

The company also announced the appointment of Robert (Bobby) Kwon as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective November 18, 2019. Christopher Hobbs, the Company's current CFO will also continue to serve on the Board of MediPharm Labs.

Bobby Kwon brings over 25 years of international experience in the consumer-packaged goods, retail and pharmaceutical industries; holding senior roles in finance, strategic planning, and operations working in Canada, U.S., the Netherlands, and U.K. 

Most recently, Bobby served as the Senior Vice President of George Weston Ltd. (Weston Group), Canada's largest food and drug retail business. He was a trusted and strategic advisor to Weston Group's owner and Executive Chairman on key activities and transformational transactions including the $12 billion acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart.

This week also saw the company receive the Manufacturing Sector Business Excellence Award from the Barrie Business Awards.

"We thank the Barrie community for presenting us with this award and recognizing the tremendous accomplishments of our team this past year and since our founding," said Pat McCutcheon, Chief Executive Officer, MediPharm Labs.

MediPharm Labs CEO Pat McCutcheon outlines key milestones and revenue results.

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC) and Aubrey Drake Graham—better known as the world famous rapper, Drake—announced that they have entered into agreements to launch the More Life Growth CompanyTM, a fully licensed producer of cannabis based in Drake's hometown of Toronto, Canada. 

Proudly based in Drake's hometown of Toronto, More LifeTM is centred around wellness, discovery and overall personal growth with the hope of facilitating connections and shared experiences across the globe.

In connection with the launch of the More Life brand, a previously wholly-owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth, has issued shares to certain entities that are controlled by Drake. Following the issuance of the shares, Drake holds a 60% ownership interest in the More Life Growth Company, with Canopy Growth retaining a 40% ownership. Canopy Growth will continue to provide all of the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the More Life Facility and will retain all of the rights to distribute the product that is cultivated there.

"When we first began talks with Drake we were extremely inspired by and aligned with his vision to bring best-in-class cannabis products to the world," Canopy Growth Corporation CEO, Mark Zekulin

Cresco Labs Inc (CSE:CL), one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, debuted its largest ever advertising initiative, which has been created to bolster consumer awareness in California for its namesake cannabis brand, Cresco.

Called "Excellent Everyday Cannabis", the multi-channel campaign spans cannabis and mainstream media and features break-through branding that highlights the importance of quality and consistency for everyday cannabis consumption—a marketing message that closely aligns with Cresco Labs' mission to normalize and professionalize cannabis use. The campaign supports the market introduction of updated packaging featuring an elevated look and feel for Cresco's portfolio of products that include flower, cartridges and solid concentrates.

As Cresco quickly moves to solidify its position as one of the largest cannabis brands in California, this initiative comes at a particularly significant time. Cresco has historically operated in medical markets such as Illinois and Pennsylvania, and the brand is making its first marketing push in a recreational market where cannabis companies can advertise and speak directly to consumers. The company aims to set itself apart from other brands with straightforward messaging that demonstrates its quality and consistency.

We're focused on delivering the most consistent, high quality products for consumers who use cannabis to complement their daily rituals. Whether it's to relax, focus or sleep, people are looking for a cannabis brand they can trust. Cresco Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing, Cory Rothschild

This week the company also kicked off its community impact incubator program, as part of the SEED (Social Equity and Educational Development) initiative in Illinois.

Phase one of Cresco's SEED incubator program is comprised of seminar-style sessions during which accepted participants are equipped with key learnings, best practices and one-on-one guidance from some of the most knowledgeable experts in the regulated cannabis industry.

The application series covers general processes including developing an application narrative, creating a dispensary business plan, security and floorplan considerations, as well as financial planning. Participants also receive one-on-one mentoring sessions in between the group meetings.

Cresco Labs internal and external pro-bono experts also review and provide feedback to participants' applications before submitted to ensure they're best positioned for success. The company is committed to providing successful phase one participants with financial support for their dispensary application fees.

The CEO of Cresco Labs, Charlie Bachtell, explains the company's multi-state operations.

The Australian agribusiness and hemp food grower, ECS Botanics Holdings Ltd (ASX: ECS), made a huge announcement this week after it revealed that its distribution partner, Just Foods Australia Pty Ltd, had secured an agreement that will see its Hemp Oil range sold in 850 Woolworths stores.

This was great news for shareholders, as the deal will see ECS products stocked in over 80% of Woolworths stores nationwide, allowing the company to easily expand its market share in the rapidly expanding hemp food sector.

And the investors have already responded accordingly, after stock in ECS Botanics spiked in value, climbing by 41.46% in a single day to 0.58 a share.

"This is a very large step in our commercial strategy and shows the strength of our new distribution partner JFA, who has delivered very early on in the relationship." ECS Botanics Managing Director, Alex Keach

TerrAscend Corp (CSE: TER), the first and only global cannabis company licensed for sales in Canada, the US, and the EU, announced changes to its leadership team and provided a business update. The Company also announced preliminary unaudited revenue for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, and provided an update to its financial outlook.

For the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, the Company expects preliminary unaudited revenue of $26 million, a nearly 50% increase compared to the second quarter, with improved Adjusted EBITDA margin over the second quarter, driven by the U.S. segment.

Looking ahead, the Company expects significantly higher revenue and continued improvement in Adjusted EBITDA margin in the fourth quarter. Based upon the slower development of the Canadian cannabis marketplace and the Company's strategic decision to forego lower margin Canadian revenue in favor of larger and higher-margin U.S. markets, the Company has withdrawn its revenue guidance of $141 million for 2019.

Although we will miss our projections based on poor forecasting for our Canadian business, this should not detract from what is shaping up to be a tremendous year. Q3 sales were approximately $26 million compared to $1.8 million in Q3 last year. Chairman of TerrAscend, Jason Wild

This week the company also announced the closure of the second tranche of the previously announced non-brokered private placement of units of TerrAscend for additional gross proceeds of approximately $4.76 million.

Each unit in the Offering is comprised of one unsecured convertible debenture and 25.2 common share purchase warrants of TerrAscend. The company previously closed a first tranche of the offering for gross proceeds of US$10 million, consisting of a lead order from Canopy Rivers Inc. None of the subscribers in the second tranche were related parties to the company.

The company intends to use the proceeds from the offering to fund its various growth initiatives, capital expenditures, working capital and general corporate purposes. TerrAscend is expecting to close the next tranche of the offering in the coming weeks.

TerrAscend Chairman Jason Wild discusses the company's current expansion strategy

The Cann Group Limited (ASX:CAN) caused a stir when they announced the launch of a range of imported medicinal cannabis products which will be supplied to Australian patients under the government's Special Access Scheme (SAS).

The company has executed a national distribution agreement with healthcare supplier, Symbion Pty Ltd, that will see Cann's full range of imported products stocked in Symbion's 4,000 retail locations—along with 1,300 hospitals—across Australia.

Aside from the development of finished product formulations, the company is also working hard—in conjunction with a network of Australian compounding pharmacies—to develop the necessary processes to allow for the development of compounded products. If successful, then this could be a game changing move for Cann, as compounded products can be formulated specifically for an individual patient's needs. 

We are now operating our existing Southern and Northern production facilities at full capacity, with in excess of 40 harvests now completed, and we are advancing our product manufacturing capabilities with IDT Australia. The Victorian Government acknowledged the progress made in the development of local industry capabilities when it announced recently the Government's decision to cease its manufacturing role. Cann Group CEO, Peter Crock

KushCo Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:KSHB), announced that it has expanded its CBD footprint with the launch of a new hemp trading business focused on facilitating legally compliant hemp transactions for in-network, pre-qualified farmers and a pre-qualified buyer network.

The company has also entered into a partnership with a leader in U.S. industrial hemp farming, who will serve as a supplier for verified buyers. With the addition of the new hemp trading business, KushCo's ecosystem now services farmers, operators, extractors, brands, and distributors of legally compliant hemp-derived CBD across the entire value chain.

As part of its new hemp trading business, KushCo will be creating both spot and long-term supply contracts to buy or sell legally compliant hemp biomass, crude CBD oil, CBD isolate, and CBD distillate. The biomass is tested for cannabinoids, microbials, solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, moisture, mycotoxins, and other chemicals.

KushCo CEO and Chairman Nick Kovacevich warns about the dangers of black market vaping products.

Sunniva Inc (CSE:SNN), a North American provider of cannabis products and services, announced that Chief Financial Officer, Dave Lyle, has resigned, effective November 1st, for personal reasons.

The company's Global Controller, David Weinmann, has been appointed to Interim CFO. Mr. Weinmann has a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from San Diego State University. David has over 20 years of progressively increasing experience in both public and privately held companies with the majority of his career in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

Prior to joining Sunniva, he worked for Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Accriva Diagnostics, and Ambit Biosciences.  He has spent the past few years consulting for companies within the start up, transition, and transaction phase, this includes, ACEA Biosciences, Inc., Ametek, Inc., and Robo3D Limited.

With Mr. Weinmann's outstanding leadership skills and his finance and accounting experience supported by the team Sunniva has built over the past six months we have every confidence in David's ability to succeed. Sunniva Inc CEO, Anthony Holler

Aphria (TSX: APHA) announced it has received a cultivation licence from Health Canada for Aphria Diamond, the company's second Leamington, Ontario cannabis greenhouse facility, bringing an additional 1,300,000 square feet of production space with an annual growing capacity of 140,000kg.

Combined with the Company's Aphria One facility and its subsidiary Broken Coast Cannabis, the Company now has more than 2,400,000 square feet of cultivation space capable of reaching a total annualized production capacity of 255,000kg.

Aphria Diamond is a 51%-owned subsidiary of Aphria Inc, through which the Company has partnered with Double Diamond, a company with multi-generational expertise in the commercial greenhouse industry. Aphria Diamond is situated on a 100-acre campus with a brand-new greenhouse facility covering 1,300,000 square feet that has been retrofit for the cultivation of cannabis.

The interim CEO of Aphria, Irwin Simon, discusses the biggest opportunities in the Canadian cannabis market.

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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