Tokers & Jokers | Cannabis Stocks Mixed As Canopy Growth Amends Earnings Report

US and Canadian cannabis stocks were mixed Thursday, after Canopy Growth issued a press release in the early morning indicating accounting errors in its most recent earnings report.

Last Thursday Canopy Growth issued its quarterly earnings report reflecting a 282% year-over-year upshot in revenue. The company originally reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of roughly $69M. However, due to an accounting error, the company issued a press release around midnight, announcing the loss exceeded $155M. According to The Street, Canopy posted a $0.38 loss on revenue after excise tax of CA$83M.

In an effort to join the US hemp market, Tilray announced the $419M acquisition of FHF Holdings Ltd., dbd Manitoba Harvest, Wednesday morning. Together, Tilray and Manitoba Harvest will bring hemp-based foods and supplements to US and Canadian markets. Tilray also closed the acquisition of Natura Naturals Holdings Tuesday — a deal that will boost Tilray’s production capacity by a minimum of 155K square feet. Going forward Natura Naturals will be renamed High Park Gardens. Tilray also announced that it will release its fourth quarter and full fiscal 2018 earnings report on March 18, 2019 after market close.  

Aphria seems to be turning over a new leaf. Due to a recent internal investigation, the company has recently undergone an overhaul of its management team. Further the company has implemented a majority-independent board  and is adopting corporate practices which will better inform the public of potential conflicts of interest. Following the investigation, Aphria also divested its position in Liberty Health Sciences, specifically referencing Aphria’s commitment to improve corporate governance.

Aphria has been in the spotlight since December when a short seller report accused the company of insider self dealing at the cost of shareholders. The company purchased certain Latin American assets that, according to the report, were essentially worthless. In response to the allegations Aphria launched an internal investigation. Last Friday, Aphria issued the results of that independent investigation which acknowledged conflicts of interest. According to the investigation, compared to similar high-cost cannabis sector acquisitions, Aphria purchased its Latin American assets within an acceptable price range, though on the high end. Additionally, Vic Neufeld and Cole Cacciavillani will be retiring from Aphria. In January the two announced they would be stepping down from their positions with the company however remain directors. That, however is no longer the case. Both Neufeld and Cacciavillani will be retiring from their positions with Aphria effective March 1, 2019 and neither will serve on the company’s board. Neufeld and Cacciavillani will however provide the company with corporate guidance in a special advisory capacity.

Green Growth Brands announced the opening of two new Seventh Sense CBD shops Thursday — the first in Fort Wayne, Indiana and the second in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Last Wednesday Green Growth announced the opening of its first Seventh Sense CBD shop in Fayette Mall in Lexington, Kentucky. The company recently signed an agreement with Simon Property Group to open 108 CBD retail locations in malls across the US. In conjunction with its new retail location, Green Growth also launched an ecommerce site, ShopSeventhSense.com, which will allow the company to broadly distribute its new CBD personal-care product line.

Cronos has more than doubled since it announced a deal with Altria in December. On Thursday February 21st Cronos Group shareholders will put Altria’s $1.8B investment to a vote. If approved, which is expected, the deal will solidify the first tobacco-cannabis relationship in the sector. Assuming shareholders agree to the partnership, Altria will acquire a 45% stake in the canna firm, with the option to boost that stake to 55%.

Wednesday, Organigram was ranked 4th best performing stock on the OTCQX Best 50 of 2018 — an annual ranking system for US and international companies trading on the OTCQX Best Market. Tuesday Organigram Holdings released a fully immersive, 360-degree, virtual tour of its Moncton, New Brunswick campus. The tour showcases Organigram’s three-tiered indoor cultivation facility, giving investors and customers insight to the production process. Last week the company issued its Q1 fiscal 2019 earnings report. According to the earnings report Organigram’s sales increased 287% due to legalization in Canada. The company expects sales to nearly double Q2 fiscal 2019 — projecting nearly $25M in sales.  

Last week Valens GroWorks announced that it has boosted its extraction capacity to 240,000 kilograms annually. The company recently received a bullish write up from The Street, noting AltaCorp’s “outperform” rating on the stock. Valens has been very active this year, with two extraction deals executed in January.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is on fire today! The company announced that it has received an international patent for a new osteoarthritis treatment Zynerba has developed an effective transdermal, CBD-based gel that offers pain relief according to studies conducted by the company. Wednesday, Zynerba appointed Pamela Stephenson to its Board of Directors. According to Zacks, who issued a “buy” rating on the company, analysts have given Zynerba Pharmaceuticals an average 12-month price target of $16.40, representing more than a 200% upside. Zynerba is on track to report results from its clinical study of CBD used in the treatment children and adolescents with Fragile X Syndrome. The company also completed enrollment in its Phase 2 clinical trial for epileptic encephalopathy and expects to report results in the third quarter of 2019.

Zacks has rated Innovative Industrial properties a “buy” and projects the company’s earning growth for the current year to be 64.2%. Standard and Poors announced last Thursday that it will include IIPR in its 600 SmallCap Index this week. Innovative Industrial Properties recently announced that its subsidiary IIP Operating Partnership LP has commenced a $100M private placement.

Aurora Cannabis announced Thursday that it is strengthening its leadership team by promoting Darren Karasiuk to Chief Commercial Officer. Additionally, Jill Swainson was promoted to Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. After Diane Jang resigned from the board Wednesday, Aurora also appointed Michael Singer to Executive Chairman, Ronald Funk was promoted to Lead Independent Director, and Shan Atkins joined Aurora’s Board as an Independent Director and Head of the Audit Committee. Aside from restructuring corporate governance, Aurora launched a “cannabis-tax ticker” which calculates the amount Canadians have spent on medical cannabis taxes. The company is calling for the Canadian federal government to stop taxing medical patients. Last week, Aurora issued its quarterly earnings report, nearly quadrupling its revenues. The company’s gains came with some significant costs however — Aurora disclosed quarterly losses of CA$237.8M on revenues of CA$54.2M. The company reported that some of its losses were due to inefficiencies and shrinking margins.  .

Neptune Wellness CEO Jim Hamilton announced this morning that the company is adding an additional 200 metric tons to its already existing 6000 ton production capacity. In an interview with Midas Letter, Hamilton explained how CBD was now more popular than Vitamin E in the US. Further, Hamilton notes CBD is expected to surpass Omega 3 products in demand next year. Last week Neptune Wellness announced its Q3 earnings report for the period that ended December 31, 2018. The company reported quarterly revenues of $6.5M and a net loss of $3.7M. Recently Roth Capital rated NEPT as a “buy” with a $5 price target.   .

Acreage Holdings is adding more muscle to its management arsenal. The company announced the appointment of Stacey Kawahata as the Vice President of Consumer Insights and Brand Strategy, and Joen Choe as Vice President of Marketing. Currently the company is facing difficulties opening its Sterling Massachusetts dispensary. Town officials are reluctant to change zoning laws which would allow the company to produce recreational marijuana products. Last week Acreage Holdings’ John Boehner has formed a new cannabis lobbying effort called the National Cannabis Roundtable. The aim of the Roundtable is to reform marijuana taxation and legalization. .

Wednesday, an upset father took to twitter, complaining that he was unable to source GW Pharmaceuticals’ epileptic treatment Epidiolex from Bay Area pharmacies. In a press release, GW said the company was unaware of supply issues, however was aware of insurance issues. Thursday the father tweeted that the medication had arrived but was unsure of reasons behind the hold up. Last week the company announced that Alzheimer’s Research UK will be sponsoring a clinical trial of the GW’s newly developed pharmaceutical Sativex. GW hopes to successfully treat symptoms of dementia and alzheimer’s including agitation and aggression. The company is scheduled to release its earnings report for the period that ended Dec. 31, 2018 on February 26, 2019. Monday the stock saw its Relative Strength Rating rise from 63 to 85. According to Investors Business Daily GWPH is building a cup without a handle with a buy point at $179.75. Last week Zacks reiterated its “hold” rating for the company. .

Hexo’s recent listing on the NYSE has boosted its profile and analyst projections. Tuesday, Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh initiated coverage on Hexo Corp, giving the company an “outperform” rating and a price target of $7 — an 18% upshot from the stocks current position. The same day, Russell Stanley of Beacon Securities rated the stock a “buy” and upped Hexo’s target price to $12.25. Last week Hexo and its partner Molson Coors announced the launch of their new cannabis-infused beverages is scheduled for the fall. .

MedMen has been met with a lot of adversity recently. The New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association is distancing itself from MedMen Enterprises after insiders of the company were accused of making of sexist and racist remarks. The association is also highly concerned about financial corruption among MedMen’s top executives. Former company CFO James Parker filed a lawsuit against the company recently, alleging top executives in the company forced him to “choose between complying with his fiduciary duty to the company and its shareholders or turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to improper and unlawful behavior”. This is the second lawsuit to accuse MedMen of fiduciary abuses launched in the last month. These allegations have the potential to interfere with MedMen’s Massachusetts cannabis license application. According to the Boston Globe, the Cannabis Control Commission will review the company’s lawsuits and recent press surrounding the company.  The CCC will then determine if the company is suitable to hold a state cannabis license. Despite serious allegations and concerns from shareholders and investors, MedMen seems to be going full steam ahead. Just last week the company announced it is launching a new clothing line. .

Brett Hundley of Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on KushCo, giving the company a “buy” recommendation and a price target of $10. According to Nasdaq, Kushco’s earnings could grow over 100%. With a 14% gain since January, Zacks reiterated its “hold” rating on the stock. KushCo has been building up its management team with several new additions. Tuesday the company announced that Danny Moses — yes that Danny Moses — has joined KushCo’s Advisory Board. But Moses isn’t the only addition. The company announced effective March 1, 2019, Jim McCormick will be stepping down from his position as the company’s COO and will be replaced by Rodrigo de Oliveira. Oliveira is being promoted from Vice President of Operations and will serve as interim COO. The company’s president Jason Vegotsky is being promoted to Chief Revenue Officer, and Carmen Lam, who is the company’s Regional Sales Director is being promoted to Senior Vice President. .

Trulieve is branching out of Florida with two recent acquisitions in Massachusetts and California now under its belt. Tuesday Trulieve announced a newly established partnership with SLANG Worldwide. According to the agreement, SLANG’s US subsidiary Organa Brands will supply Trulieve with leading cannabis brand products for its Florida medical marijuana dispensaries. Robert Fagan of GMP Securities has rated the company a “buy” with a price target of CA$26, representing a return of 59.2%.  .

Last week Auxly Cannabis announced changes to its management team, with the appointment of Brian Schmitt as Chief Financial Officer, Jason Sonshine as Vice President of Strategy, and Carla Nawrocki as Vice President of Investor Relations for the Company. .

Wednesday, iAnthus announced the opening of its second New York dispensary, Citiva Hudson Valley, located in Wappingers Falls. Tuesday Robert Fagan of GMP Securities initiated coverage on iAnthus, giving the company a “buy” recommendation with a price target of CA$11. Last week iAnthus announced the appointment of Pat Tiernan as Vice President of Operations. .

Namaste has been shrouded in drama recently. Last week the company announced that it terminated CEO Sean Dollinger due to evidence of self-dealing. In response to the termination, Dollinger began taking legal action against the company. As of Tuesday, Namaste has reached an official understanding with Dollinger, who has agreed to withdraw his injunction and resign from his position with the company. As part of the agreement, Dollinger will be permitted to act as an advisor to the company. .

Thursday, Zacks issued New Age Beverages a “buy” rating with a Forward P/E ratio of 159.25. The stock gained a massive 37% in the month of January according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Nasdaq is estimating New Age Beverages will release its earnings report in the coming days based on the company’s historical reporting schedule. .

Supreme Cannabis’ subsidiary 7Acres was recently approved to increase its production capacity at its Kincardine, Ontario facility. GMP Securities analyst Robert Fagan lowered Supreme Cannabis’ price target from CA$3.50 to CA$3.25 last Wednesday. Last week Supreme issued its Q2 2019 financial results, reflecting a 359% increase from Q2 2018. The company reported quarterly revenue of $7.72M with a net loss of $1.55M. .

Last week Amyris and the Infectious Disease Research Institute announced the receipt of a $4.4M grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Amyris was selected as a partner because of its record of success in engineering molecules that are pure, sustainable, and achieved at a low cost.  .

Last week Level Brands released its quarterly earnings report that ended on December 31, 2018. The company reported a net sales increase of 82% ($1.2M). According to Business Wire, Level Brands’ subsidiary cbdMD accounted for 37% of net sales — pretty amazing considering the cbdMD was acquired on Dec. 20, giving the subsidiary only eleven days to post sales for the quarter. .

The North American Marijuana Index tracks the leading cannabis stocks in the US and Canadian Sectors. The Index gained 0.61% and was trading at $287.16.