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Weekly Roundup on the Cannabis Sector & Psychedelic Sector

Key Takeaways; Cannabis Sector

  • Canopy Growth received ISS recommendation for creation of exchangeable shares.

  • Trulieve to hold first quarter 2024 results conference call at the beginning of May.

  • Goodness Growth announced sale of Vireo Health of New York in effort to address financial constraints.

  • Avant Brands entered German market through IM Cannabis deal.

Key Takeaways; Psychedelic Sector

  • Awakn partnered with Oklahoma clinic for addiction treatment.

Below is a weekly roundup of what happened this week in the cannabis and psychedelic sectors. In this ever-evolving landscape, we explore the major developments and groundbreaking initiatives happening among companies operating in these industries; from advancements in medical research, therapeutic applications to shifts in legal frameworks and current market trends.

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Top Marijuana Companies for Week

#1: Canopy Growth

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (NASDAQ: CGC) recently received a favorable recommendation from Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) regarding its proposal for the creation of exchangeable shares. This recommendation came ahead of the special meeting of shareholders scheduled for April 12, 2024.

The proposed amendment to Canopy Growth’s articles of incorporation aims to establish a new class of non-voting and non-participating exchangeable shares, alongside restating the rights of common shares. According to the company, the objective behind this move is to facilitate the Company’s entry into the U.S. cannabis market, particularly through its U.S.-domiciled holding company, Canopy USA, LLC.

Canopy USA holds various U.S. cannabis investments, and with the approval of the proposed amendment, it will have the ability to acquire additional assets, including Acreage Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ACRHF), Mountain High Products LLC, Wana Wellness LLC, The Cima Group LLC, and Lemurian Inc. According to Canopy, these potential strategic acquisitions are designed to unlock value for Canopy Growth and its shareholders, positioning the company for growth and profitability in anticipation of federal legalization of cannabis in the United States.

ISS, a renowned independent proxy advisory firm with a significant client base, recommended that Canopy Growth shareholders vote in favor of the proposed amendment. In its report, ISS highlighted the importance of this proposal in ensuring compliance with applicable U.S. federal law.

Canopy Shareholders are encouraged to participate in the upcoming special meeting and cast their votes. The meeting, scheduled for April 12, 2024, will be conducted virtually, and shareholders can access the proceedings through a live audio webcast. The deadline for submitting proxies or voting instruction forms is April 10, 2024.

#2: Trulieve

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (OTC: TCNNF), one of the leading marijuana multistate operators in the U.S., announced that it will conduct its conference call on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 8:30 AM Eastern Time, after the release of its first-quarter 2024 financial results. Chairman, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer Kim Rivers and Chief Financial Officer Wes Getman are expected to participate in the call, where they will offer insights into Trulieve’s financial and operating performance.

The call will attract significant interest from stakeholders, with analysts eagerly awaiting Trulieve’s financial updates. Analysts have predicted revenue estimates of $286.36 million and average earnings estimate of -0.11. The company’s performance against these estimates will be closely scrutinized during the call.

Additionally, Trulieve had previously announced its participation in several events during April 2024, showcasing its commitment to industry engagement and advocacy. According to the company, Founder and CEO Kim Rivers will participate in a panel discussion at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami, Florida, on April 17th. The panel, which will include the Bellamy Brothers, campaign spokesmen for the Smart & Safe Florida initiative, will address crucial topics pertinent to the cannabis industry.

#3: Goodness Growth

In a strategic move aimed at addressing financial challenges, cannabis multistate operator Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc. (OTC: GDNSF) unveiled plans to sell its subsidiary, Vireo Health of New York (VireoNY), to Ace Venture Enterprises for a sum ranging between $3 million to $5 million. The sale comes as Goodness Growth endeavors to amend a credit agreement with its secured lender, Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance, Inc. (NASDAQ: REFI), a cannabis real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Illinois.

Under the terms of the deal, Ace Venture Enterprises, a minority-owned business in New York founded by TV and film producer Steven Acevedo, will acquire VireoNY’s licenses, inventory, and assets. Additionally, Ace Venture Enterprises will take over VireoNY’s lease agreement with Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) for a marijuana cultivation and manufacturing facility located in Johnstown, New York.

To facilitate the transition, Goodness Growth will provide a $2.5 million unsecured loan to VireoNY, while Ace Venture Enterprises pledged a $20 million investment for the development of licenses and to support the transfer of the IIP lease. Furthermore, Ace intends to acquire the Johnstown cannabis cultivation and manufacturing campus from IIP through a two-year purchase option.

Despite the impending sale, Goodness Growth will maintain a collaborative advisory agreement with Ace, retaining management and compliance oversight in exchange for approximately 15% of net profits. The deal is contingent upon regulatory approval and secured capital commitments and is anticipated to close by June 30

#4: Avant Brands

Canadian producer Avant Brands Inc. (OTC: AVTBF) inked a deal with IM Cannabis Corp. (NASDAQ: IMCC), a medical cannabis company based in Israel and Germany. This is a strategic move aimed to tap into the expanding German medical cannabis market. The agreement grants IMC’s German subsidiary, Adjupharm GmbH, exclusive rights to launch Avant’s flagship BLK MKT brand in Germany.

Under this international trademark licensing agreement, Avant will license its BLK MKT brand to Adjupharm. The products will exclusively feature cannabis cultivated by Avant in Canada and then exported to Germany.

The timing of this collaboration coincides with Germany’s recent relaxation of medical cannabis restrictions, whereby the country approved partial legalization of cannabis from April, signaling a significant opportunity for market growth as discussions about recreational cannabis continue.

Norton Singhavon, Founder and CEO of Avant Brands, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting its importance in expanding Avant’s global presence and positioning the BLK MKT brand on an international platform. “Partnering with IMC is a strategic move; it not only bolsters our position as a global leader in the ultra-premium cannabis sector but also amplifies the reach of our flagship brand, BLK MKT, on the global stage,” Norton said in a statement.

Top Psychedelic Company for Week

#1: Awakn

Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (CSE: AWKN) (OTC: AWKNF) a pioneering biotechnology company focused on developing medication-assisted treatments for addiction, announced a significant expansion in North America through a Licensing Partnership agreement with Rivus Wellness and Research Institute, based in Oklahoma City.

This marked Awakn’s first foray into the U.S. southern states, enhancing access to its groundbreaking treatment protocol, Awakn Kare, for individuals struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Awakn Kare represents a proprietary treatment regimen validated in a phase II a/b trial, demonstrating remarkable efficacy with an 86% abstinence rate over six months post-treatment, a stark improvement compared to the mere 2% seen pre-trial. This efficacy surpasses the current standard of care for AUD, which typically yields only a 25% abstinence rate over a similar timeframe.

The partnership agreement, effective since May 18, 2023, and launched in April 2024, grants Rivus Wellness and Research Institute access to Awakn’s advanced therapeutics and comprehensive training for its practitioners. In return, Rivus will pay Awakn an annual fee alongside a revenue share per treatment administered.

Anthony Tennyson, CEO of Awakn, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing the shared ethos and vision between the two organizations. He also highlighted the significance of providing a novel and superior treatment option to individuals in Oklahoma facing addiction challenges. “We are excited to partner with Rivus and their excellent team, there is shared ethos and vision between the two organizations which is important. Being able to provide a whole new cohort of people in Oklahoma with a new more effective treatment option whilst they are in desperate need, is what drives us,” Anthony Tennyson said in a statement.

Moreover, Dr. Lane Peyton of Rivus Wellness and Research Institute echoed this sentiment, emphasizing their commitment to delivering innovative treatments and interventions to the Oklahoma City mental health community. “The Rivus Wellness and Research Institute has consistently served the Oklahoma City mental health community with innovative treatments, interventions, and preventions, and we feel that this partnership with Awakn Kare will benefit our patients tremendously,” Dr. Lane Peyton commented.

The collaboration between Awakn Life Sciences and Rivus Wellness and Research Institute signifies a significant step forward in addressing the pressing need for more effective addiction treatments in the United States. With Awakn Kare’s proven efficacy and Rivus’s dedication to patient care, this partnership holds promise for improving outcomes and transforming lives affected by AUD.