Canadian licensed marijuana producers started the week off on the right foot and we are monitoring how the sector trades following yesterday’s move higher.
This rally took place while the overall market pulled back and we continue to view the Canadian cannabis market as one of the most attractive and exciting opportunities for investors. The sector continues to advance ahead of the opening of the recreational marijuana market (expected to be before July 1st) and this is a very exciting time for the industry.
Today, we have highlighted three of the most important recent company announcements that we believe investors need to be aware of.
Canopy Growth: Continues to be a Cannabis Leader
Leading Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) (TWMJF) rallied more than 10% after announcing that it was granted a cultivation license for the first of its two sites operating under the BC Tweed joint venture banner.
The licensing of the Aldergrove site, the largest federally licensed cannabis site in the world, continues a pattern of execution as Canopy prepares to meet an unprecedented increase in demand in a few short months once the recreational market opens. With the Aldergrove site now in the production stage, BC Tweed’s focus will turn to its second BC site, a 1.7 million sq. ft. greenhouse, with work already well under way.
The initial licensing covers over 400,000 sq. ft. of growing space, allowing vegetative growth so that the mature plants can be spread into the full 1.3 million sq. ft. in the coming months for flowering and ultimate harvest. With this expansion, Canopy Growth is on track to have over 5.6 million sq. ft. of domestic growing space.
On Friday, Canopy Growth announced that it was conditionally selected by the Government of Manitoba to operate cannabis retail stores in the province after a rigorous and highly competitive RFP process. Canopy Growth, along with its partner Delta 9, is one of four successful candidates chosen to operate a number of retail locations throughout the province. Further details on locations and store quantities will follow as the RFP process is finalized.
To date, four provinces in Canada have put forward their retail and supply frameworks including New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island; and all of them have chosen Canopy Growth as a trusted partner and supplier.
Aphria: Revises Terms of the Nuuvera Acquisition
In late January, Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) (APHQF) significantly enhanced its position within the global cannabis market after announcing plans to acquire Nuuvera (NUU.V). Although this acquisition will provide leverage to several attractive international medical marijuana markets, the market did not respond favorably to it due to the costs associated with the transaction.
Yesterday, Aphria traded higher after the marijuana producer entered an amended agreement with Nuuvera (NUU.V), whereby the companies have agreed to reduce both the required level of unrestricted cash and the consideration payable to holders of Nuuvera’s common shares. The consideration has been reduced from $1.00 in cash plus 0.3546 of an Aphria common share for each Nuuvera Share to $0.60 in cash plus 0.3546 of an Aphria Share for each Nuuvera Share.
We are favorable on the combined company and will keep an eye on how these stocks trade prior to the closing of the acquisition. Aphria will leverage Nuuvera’s relationships in Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Malta, Israel, Lesotho and Uruguay to establish a leading international footprint and expand global processing and manufacturing capabilities.
Through Nuuvera the combined company has access to the only standalone Health Canada GMP-approved facility that is authorized and dedicated under its controlled drugs and substances license to conduct commercial scale activities with respect to cannabis and cannabinoids. This is a friendly acquisition and the Nuuvera management team will play a meaningful role within the combined company going forward.
Hiku Brands: Announces a Major Milestone
Late last week, Hiku Brands (HIKU.CN) (DJACF) subsidiary, Tokyo Smoke, with participation by BOBHQ, was conditionally awarded one of four master retail licenses in Manitoba’s Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the right to operate retail cannabis stores.
The license gives Tokyo Smoke the ability to operate legal retail cannabis stores and an online cannabis sales platform in Manitoba. This represents a significant milestone for Hiku and BOBHQ as one of only four successful entities selected in a highly competitive process.
We are favorable on this development and think this is a major catalyst for the newly formed company. Hiku Brands is the result of the combination of DOJA Cannabis and Tokyo Smoke and we are favorable on this opportunity. The combined company also secured a supply agreement with Aphria (APH.TO) (APHQF) and we think the company is well positioned to capitalize on the recreational opportunity.
Although this was a significant development, the shares were under a little pressure after this milestone was reported. We think this improves Hiku’s fundamental story and investors need to keep an eye on this opportunity.