Perfect Pairing – Zelda Therapeutics Joins with Ilera

Aurora commercialised cannabis wafers, KushCo partners with Sentia, TerrAscend expands its facilities, and more!

Zelda Therapeutics (ASX: ZLD) made some huge moves this week after the company announced plans to enter a merger of equals with international medicinal cannabis company, Ilera Therapeutics, to become Zelira Therapeutics LLC.

Following shareholder approval, Zelda is also proposing an acquisition of Ilera through an all-scrip transaction. The all-scrip transaction includes a nearly $9m upfront payment and 725 million performance rights.

Under the new name Zelira, the merged companies will combine to create a global cannabis company with operations in Australia and the US, bringing together a portfolio of revenue-generating medicines and products that are expected to enter the market from 2020. Zelira's launch, learn and develop' model will include commercializing unique products in order to target large addressable markets such as pain, sleep, and anxiety.

According to Zelda, the merger will "bring together a leading pipeline of clinical candidates, revenue-generating medicines, and a combined strategy to disrupt global medicinal cannabis and pharmaceutical markets."

Zelda Therapeutics Managing Director, Dr Richard Hopkins, explains the company's recent strategic review

Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC) took its nutraceutical range abroad, thanks to an agreement with the American Nutritional Corp Inc. The company announced that it has executed a commercial agreement with the American Nutritional Corp to bring Medlab's existing nutraceutical range to the United States.

Medlab expects to see revenues from the agreement in early 2020, with the deal placing MDC's products in medical and consumer markets, being distributed through healthcare practitioners, pharmacies and health food stores. 

While Medlab will be featured on the branding, the company has stated that the focus will be on rebranding to suit their clients' needs and branding strategies. The 1st Brand will be officially launched at a major US medical conference, the 27th Annual World Congress, in December, which will be hosted by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

This agreement provides a great opportunity to expand the commercialisation opportunities for Medlab into such a large market like the USA. Having access to clients of this calibre and being able to tap into their supply chains is very exciting and is a further example of the appeal of our patents research and strong clinical capabilities. Medlab Clinical CEO, Dr Sean Hall

Aurora Cannabis Inc (TSX: ACB) announced the successful commercialization of cannabinoid-infused sublingual wafers developed by CTT Pharmaceutical Holdings.

The new cannabis product line—a first of its kind—has been launched by Aurora in the Canadian medical cannabis market under the brand name "Dissolve Strips™"

Aurora has an ownership interest in CTT of approximately 9%—along with a warrant allowing it to increase its stake to 42.5%—and access to CTT's sublingual wafers drug delivery technology, which is patent protected or patent pending in multiple jurisdictions.

Aurora Cannabis CCO Cam Battley discusses the company's efforts to navigate the regulatory hurdles holding back access to medicinal cannabis products

KushCo Holdings, Inc (OTCQX:KSHB) named Sentia Wellness—a new hemp-derived CBD company with manufacturing and distribution capabilities—as its first brand partner for its new Retail Services division, which will be focused on CBD mass distribution, industry education, and compliance.

Sentia will utilize KushCo's partnership with C.A. Fortune to activate its Social CBD brand across a variety of retail channels.

The partnership commenced on October 1, 2019 and enables Sentia to leverage KushCo's enhanced distribution capabilities across the U.S. with many of the largest conventional retailers.

After having successfully built and delivered a platform of proprietary and value-added products to our highly entrenched customer base, we are excited to begin delivering to customers our higher-value services, with Sentia as the first CBD brand partner under our new Retail Services division. KushCo's Chief Revenue Officer and President, Jason Vegotsky

TerrAscend Corp (CSE: TER) revealed that it has received approval from Health Canada for significant expansion at its facility in Mississauga, Ontario. This approval increases licensed space at the Mississauga facility nearly three-fold from 17,800 sq. ft. to 51,800 sq. ft.

The facility will also feature additional cultivation capacity, a commercial kitchen, formulation rooms and increased primary and secondary packaging capacity to allow for new product formats and extracts for the Canadian Cannabis 2.0 market.

"Achieving this approval milestone is a crucial step in our plan to cultivate premium grade cannabis at scale for distribution to the EU and other international markets," said TerrAscend CEO, Michael Nashat.

TerrAscend CEO Michael Nashat outlines its status as the first cannabis company licensed for sales in Canada, US and the EU.

Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc (CSE: HARV), announced the opening of its fourth Harvest retail location in California.

As part of the grand opening, new customers can receive a 1c eighth of select flower with any minimum ($15) purchase, while supplies last.

Harvest of Palm Springs follows the recent openings of Harvest's Venice, Napa and Grover Beach locations. Harvest continues to further its footprint in California with the right to retail licenses in a number of additional California cities.

"We are thrilled to be working with the City of Palm Springs, whose dedication to allowing only best-in-class operators and products into the city aligns perfectly with Harvest's mission to bring high-quality, trusted cannabis experiences to patients and customers everywhere." Harvest Health & Recreation CEO, Steve White

Finally, Acreage Holdings, Inc (CSE: ACRG.U) announced that the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Acreage, Kevin Murphy, has executed an open market stock purchase for 100,000 shares through the OTCQX on October 8th.

The transaction—which is valued at approximately $685,000—was executed on the OTCQX open market on Tuesday, October 8th, 2019. Combined with his open-market stock purchase in July, the number of shares purchased on the open market by Mr. Murphy total 254,000.

"While cannabis stocks remain in turmoil, I have never been more optimistic with respect to the future of Acreage," said Murphy

"We continue to press forward with our growth strategy, rolling out our House of Brands, and implementing Canopy's IP, brands, and technologies across our U.S. footprint."

Acreage Holdings Chairman and CEO, Kevin Murphy, discusses the future of US cannabis legalization

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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