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Newsletter 32: Quebec Leads Canadian Provinces In Cannabis Sales


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

  • Quebec Leads Canadian Provinces in Cannabis Sales

  • Cresco Labs Ranks First for Edible Cannabis Sales in Nevada

  • Greece Considers €350 Million Investment in Cannabis Production

  • Aleafia’s $173 Million Acquisition of Emblem Corp. Set to Finalize



MARKETS: Quebec Leads Canadian Provinces in Cannabis Sales

For the first quarter following recreational legalization, Quebec led the country in recreational cannabis sales with a cumulative revenue of $33.3 million. Quebec is closely followed by private stores in Alberta, which reported sales of $32.9 million, according to data released by Statistics Canada. This reflects well on Quebec Licensed Producer Hydropothecary (NYSE: HEXO), which was awarded leading supplier status by the Société des alcools du Québec, the state run monopoly of retail sales.

Hydropothecary Corp. has signed a “commercial agreement” with the Société des alcools du Québec to supply an estimated 200,000 kilograms of cannabis to the province’s recreational market over five years. In a distant second and third, Aphria Inc. will supply up to 12,000 kilograms a year for three years, and Canopy Growth Corp. will retain a 12,000 kilogram three-year supply agreement. 

The small province of Prince Edward Island had the highest sales per capita with average monthly revenues of $7.39 per person since legalization, while Quebec ended the quarter with an average of $1.32 spent per capita each month.

Sales results for Ontario, Canada’s most populous province with 14.3 million people, reflect the start-up difficulties experienced by Ontario cannabis retailers, recording quarterly sales of $29.4 million, or $0.68 average per capita each month. British Columbia, where the black market is particularly well established, experienced fairly weak sales of $4.99 million for the quarter, or $0.31 spent per month on average.

Deepak Anand, a cannabis industry expert based in Vancouver, British Columbia, citedOntario’s “somewhat dysfunctional” online system and the absence of any physical legal retail stores as reasons for the declining sales.

MARKETS: Greece Considers 350 Million Euro Investment in Cannabis Production                

Greek authorities are currently considering 28 separate international investment proposals to grow both medical and industrial cannabis, with a total project value of over €350 million. So far, two of these proposals have been approved, two have already been rejected and the remaining 26 are still pending. The two approved projects were submitted last November and have a combined project value of €22 million. Partners for the pending projects hail from all over the world, and include groups from Europe, Israel, Canada and Saudi Arabia. 

Greece is one of the few European countries which has welcomed the cannabis industry as a source of both jobs and tax revenue, a stance made clear by their relationship with Canadian LP, Hydropothecary (NYSE: HEXO). Hydropothecary has established a partnership with Greek company QNBS to operate a vertically integrated cannabis enterprise for the current medical markets, marking the company’s first foray into the European cannabis market. Indeed, any presence in a European Union nation will provide a  foothold to supply medical and/or recreational cannabis amongst other European markets as regulations permit. 

The agreement between HEXO and QNBS plans for the development of 350,000 sq. ft. of licensed infrastructure that will be used for manufacturing, processing and distribution of medical cannabis products, powered by HEXO and destined for the European market.

COMPANIES: Cresco Labs Ranks First for Edible Cannabis Sales in Nevada

Chicago-based company Cresco Labs (CSE:CL), one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, has announced that its Mindy’s Kitchen brand of edibles has been ranked the top selling edible in Nevada.

Mindy’s Edibles were launched in Nevada in mid-August and in less than six months, their products are now carried in 62 out of 67 dispensaries in the state. “Our proven ability to create brands that resonate with each consumer segment and establish a dominant retail market position is a key differentiator for Cresco Labs.” said Charles Bachtell, Cresco Labs CEO and Co-founder.

Cresco Labs is one of the several multi-state operators (MSOs) already scaling up as it replicates this model to expand its national footprint. The company has acquired licenses for cultivation, processing and retail with operations in six states (Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, California and Arizona) and approval pending for acquisitions in three more states (New York, Massachusetts, Maryland).

Cresco Labs is one of the several multi-state operators (MSOs) already scaling up as it replicates this model to expand its national footprint. The company has acquired licenses for cultivation, processing and retail with operations in six states (Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, California and Arizona) and approval pending for acquisitions in three more states (New York, Massachusetts, Maryland). Cresco Labs Footprint, Source: Cresco Labs

COMPANIES: Aleafia’s $173 Million Acquisition of Emblem Corp. Set to Finalize 

Aleafia Health Inc. (ALEF.V) is acquiring Emblem Corp. (EMC.V) in an all-stock deal worth $173 million, marking the first significant cannabis industry takeover since Canada legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018. Terms of the deal stipulate that Emblem shares will exchange for 83.77% of an Aleafia share. When the deal closes, Aleafia’s shareholders will own 59.0% of the combined entity, with the remainder owned by Emblem’s shareholders.

The deal will allow Aleafia access to Emblem’s provincial supply agreements with Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, as well as Emblem’s national medical distribution through Shoppers Drug Mart and its joint venture with Germany-based Acnos Pharma GmbH. Indeed, with increased capacity, the combined company will be able to produce 138,000 kg of cannabis by the middle of 2019.

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