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The Week In Cannabis: Stocks Finally Back In Green Despite Mixed Earnings Results

Javier Hasse

A strong week for cannabis closed with surprising quarterly results from Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) Friday, with fiscal third-quarter net revenue of CA$123.8 million ($93.5 million), up 49% year-over-year. While the adjusted EBITDA loss of CA$92 million was higher than last year’s CA$74.8 million, investors were excited about the strong revenue and margin figures.

The earnings report was a “huge exhale on what has been a difficult few weeks for Canadian LPs as the still the most important company in the sector beats on top line and margin,” Tim Seymour, portfolio manager of the Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF and co-host of CNBC’s “Fast Money,” told Benzinga.

Seymour was most impressed by Canopy’s gross margin improvement. The margin rose from 13% to 34%, beating consensus estimates of 25%. The company attributed this to “significant write-offs over previous quarters and higher selling prices this quarter on 2.0 products.”

See what analysts said about the results here.

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For Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt, Canopy’s results were not as impressive.

“We continue to get discouraging earnings reports from various cannabis companies, but that doesn't mean everyone is doing poorly,” she said. “While Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Rivers and Supreme Cannabis talked about struggles this week, Neptune Wellness delivered a solid quarter. I feel that we will start to see the market shake out the stems and seeds from the blooming players and that is actually a good thing. It will make decisions for investors easier.”

Unlike its peer, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) reported disappointing second-quarter results, including consolidated net revenue of CA$66.6 million ($50.21 million), 26% lower from CA$75.2 million in the first quarter. The company posted quarterly cannabis net revenue of CA$63 million, down from CA$70.8 million in the previous quarter.

Other earnings reports this week included those from Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Akerna Corp. (NASDAQ: KERN) and cbdMD, Inc. (NYSE: YCBD). Check out our articles on all major earnings announcements from the past week here.

Benzinga, a financial news and data company, announced the launch of the Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Council. You can see a full list of members here.

In Mexico, a top lawmaker said the Senate would vote on adult-use legalization this month. In Argentina, a federally funded-and-operated scientific research institution started offering a medical cannabis testing service. And in California, more than 85,000 minor marijuana convictions were automatically wiped from public record.

In other news, the Virginia House of Representatives approved a bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts.

Berlin-based cannabis startup Sanity Group announced the closing of a $22-million Series A funding round Monday, with investments from entertainment mogul Scooter Braun, Berlin’s Cherry Ventures and a personal investment from Snoop Dogg’s money man, Karan Wadhera of Casa Verde Capital.

ETFs were finally back to the green. Over the last five trading sessions:

  • The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) was up 3.21%.
  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) gained 2.11%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO) rose 1.42%.
  • The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) put on 1.87%.
  •  The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS) added 2.66%.
  •  The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period up 1.63%.

More Cannabis News From The Week

Vertically integrated cannabis dispensary Harborside Inc (CSE: HBOR) (OTC: HSDEF) announced the opening of its San Leandro retail facility. Harborside San Leandro is operating in a medical capacity, but will expand to recreational services in the coming months. This latest opening marks Harborside's fourth dispensary in California.

The store carries the same inventory as existing retail locations, including Harborside's own KEY and Harborside Farms cannabis product lines, and will also offer delivery services.

“The San Leandro community has graciously welcomed us over the past few months, and the entire team at Harborside looks forward to providing neighboring residents with quality cannabis products and care,” interim Harborside CEO Peter Bilodeau told Benzinga.

Vertically integrated cannabis company Hollister Biosciences Inc. (CSE: HOLL) announced a licensing agreement with actor, comedian and cannabis icon Tommy Chong to produce and sell Tommy Chong’s Cannabis Full Spectrum Elixir 1:1.

Cannabis company Acreage Holdings, Inc. (CSE: ACRG) (OTC: ACRGF) signed multiple financing agreements. They include a $100-million credit facility with an institutional lender;a $50-million private loan transaction to support cash collateral for the credit facility; and a $30-million private placement of special warrants, with an option to attain an extra $20 million in special warrants.

New Zealand cannabis company Helius Therapeutics has raised NZ$20 million ($12.8 million) to support facility expansion and clinical trials.

The Alkaline Water Company (NASDAQ: WTER) launched its own line of CBD topical products, including balms, bath salts, lotions, essential oils and salves, all made with full-spectrum hemp under the brand name A88CBD.

Grown Rogue International Inc.'s (OTC: GRUSF) (CSE: GRIN) subsidiary GR Michigan, LLC signed a purchase agreement with Golden Harvests, LLC that grants the company the right to purchase a 60% controlling interest in Golden Harvests pending municipal and state approval.

Arizona-based lifestyle cannabis brand HUXTON launched in Nevada. HUXTON’s offerings have been brought to the region in partnership with Flower One, their full-service brand fulfillment partner.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome cannabis enthusiasts from Nevada into our HUXTON tribe. Our award-winning prerolls are sure to provide consumers in the region with the best time possible and help them pair their special moments with the right experience,” said Chelsea Johnson, co-founder of HUXTON.

Joy Organics announced its second annual Joy Day for Feb. 18. The event will combine two of Joy Organics' greatest values: compassion and holistic wellness. The Fort Collins CBD brand is not only offering their customers 40% off their entire purchase, they're also donating a generous portion of sales to empowering South Sudanese refugees through a primary school meal program. For every order placed on Joy Day, Joy Organics will donate a month of meals to a displaced child. 

“This is a cause very close to my heart, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday,” said Joy Smith, founder and CEO of Joy Organics. 

SLANG Worldwide (CSE: SLNG) (OTC: SLGWF) announced that it has expanded its partnership with Cookies into the Oregon market. Following the announcement of the SLANG x Cookies partnership in Colorado, the two companies are pleased to announce the continued growth of their partnership. Led by Bay Area rapper and entrepreneur Berner, Cookies offers a robust selection of popular products and contemporary strains like Girl Scout Cookies and Gelato. This partnership grows SLANG's product offering across several categories in Oregon, while further diversifying their portfolio.

“Berner and the Cookies team are true advocates for the cannabis culture, as they inspire a new generation of cannabis consumer through quality and genuine passion for the plant.  At Slang, we are excited to expand our relationship with brands like Cookies, whose team is helping lead the industry by example, through collaboration and inclusiveness, as evidenced by the diversity of their customers and supporters. We believe that our partnership will expand this vision and success,” said Peter Miller, CEO of SLANG Worldwide.

Medical Marijuana, Inc.  completed and published a clinical study conducted in Mexico in the EC Neurology (ECNE), an international peer-reviewed neuroscience journal, using its Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The study's results showcase that RSHO-X may show promise for pediatric patients who have drug-resistant epilepsy.

"We're encouraged with the study's results but also look forward to continuing to conduct research on this topic. Since the World Health Organization deemed that 'CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile', we've seen an uptick in approved cannabis research around the world and we are excited to see how much progress will be made throughout cannabis research this year," said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus.

CBDCapitalGroup, a CBD nutraceuticals investment and scaling company, has begun enrolling its portfolio companies, including Medix CBD, into the first-ever program to measure CBD efficacy using the qualitative Short Form (SF)-36 Health Survey.

The SF-36 is utilized by managed care organizations and by Medicare for routine monitoring and assessment of care outcomes in adult patients. CBDCapitalGroup is enrolling another portfolio company, Mana Botanics, into the survey this week and aims to boost the legitimacy of the cannabis industry by making the survey an industry standard.

"This could be huge for the whole industry because it suggests that consumers taking CBD for more than three months (13+ weeks) have higher Quality of Lives scores. More research will be done across additional companies to confirm this, and we will publish additional data in the coming months," said CBDCapitalGroup CEO David Metzler. 

The preliminary results released from the survey include:

  • An increase of 5.42% in overall quality of life scores after taking Medix CBD products for at least four weeks
  • 59.1% of participants reported “anxiety” as their condition for taking CBD, followed by “chronic pain” (50.81%), “insomnia” (42.67%), “acute pain” (22.80%)and “other” (17.59%)
  • The most common age range for those taking CBD is 55 to 64
  • The majority of people taking CBD are female (60.5%) compared to male (39.5%)
  • CBD frequency of use reported as needed (55.29%) and the rest reported use of CBD daily (44.71%) 

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on Benzinga.com/cannabis

Events Calendar

Feb. 24-25: The premier gathering of cannabis entrepreneurs and investors in North America, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, is heading to Miami in 2020 for its sixth installment.

The conference, which takes place Feb. 24-25 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, creates an ideal setting for attendees to learn from the individuals and experts driving the cannabis space forward amid regulation, legalization and industry changes. 

March 13-22: SXSW disembarks in Austin, Texas and features a CannaBusiness track for the second time. Check out details here.

April 17-18: The 10th CannaGrow Expo, the ultimate event dedicated to the art and science of growing cannabis, is coming to Chicago, Illinois, featuring more than 25 cultivation-focused educational sessions led by world-class growers over two action-packed days, endless networking with cultivators from around the globe, and a 115-plus vendor expo hall packed with the latest tools and technology for growing and extracting cannabis.

“A big difference between CannaGrow Expo and other industry events is our focus on quality in-depth education for cannabis producers. Many conferences review industry basics or pitch products and services, but CannaGrow provides education that supports the leading growers, breeders, and manufacturers,” said Jessi Rae, COO of CannaConnections, producers of CannaGrow, DispensaryNext and Science of Cannabis Summit.

“Patent your genetics. Explore cutting-edge cultivation and extraction techniques. Expand local operations to serve a global market —that's how you maintain product integrity and elevate the craft of cannabis cultivation.” The CannaGrow Expo is open to all 18 and up, and is intended for cannabis growers, grow managers, extractors and grow enthusiasts to explore the latest cannabis cultivation technology, tools, and techniques.

Pass prices range from $69-$500. The event is at the Marriott Marquis Chicago. For more information and to purchase passes, please visit https://cannagrowexpo.com.

May 1-3: The CBD Show returns to the U.K. with three full days of content, more than 50 speakers, specialized workshops, and 100-plus exhibitors from around the globe. Hosted at London Olympia, days one and two of the event are dedicated to the business side of things. Day three is open for the public sector to explore the latest offerings on the CBD market. Register for your tickets here.

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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