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by papapuff » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:18 am

Baystreet Staff - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Aurora Cannabis and WeedMD Partner to Leverage Resources

It's been a bumpy ride for so-called pot stocks over the last few years, as some balance begins to be realized while the newness of legal cannabis wears off some. That's not to say that volatility is over; it's just simmering lately as the wheat is being separated from the chaff and fly-by-night companies disappear, while those with merit maneuver to establish a market footprint.

Looking to benefit from synergies, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX-V:ACB)(OTCQX:ACBFF) and WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) on Wednesday morning announced a new strategic relationship.

Per the pact, Vancouver-based Aurora will provide cannabis counseling and outreach services through its CanvasRx unit to WeedMD. In return, Toronto-based WeedMD will provide wholesale dried medical cannabis to Aurora.

No details on reciprocity with respect to exchange of goods and services (i.e. "Our services are worth x amount of cannabis" or vice-versa) were disclosed. Only ambiguous commentary was provided, such as WeedMD "to wholesale product to Aurora for demand above and beyond WeedMD's own patient requirements."

Aurora CEO Terry Booth said that he has been following along with WeedMD since being introduced to the company three years ago. He is confident in the quality of WeedMD's cannabis meeting their high standards and sees value in expanding their product bag to include new marijuana strains.

WeedMD chief executive Bruce Dawson believes the partnership will have a meaningful benefit for his company on several fronts, including brand recognition and patient engagement.

As the legal marijuana market matures, there is likely to be far more partnerships and consolidation. These companies are looking to capitalize on a rapidly growing patient population.

At the end of September 2016, there were 98,460 registered patients under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations with estimates for 10% monthly growth.

With the consensus that the Canadian government will introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana this year, expectations for an exponential surge in demand is looming on the horizon.
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by papapuff » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:20 am

Ottawa Business Journal

Gatineau marijuana grower Hydropothecary raises $20M for expansion

OBJ staff

Jun 27, 2017

Less than a week after Health Canada removed limits on how much pot it could produce, Gatineau-based Hydropothecary (TSX-V:THCX) says it’s raising $20 million in new financing.

The firm said Tuesday that it had entered into an agreement with its longtime financing partner, Canaccord Genuity Corp., and a syndicate of underwriters to raise the money via a private placement.

Last week, Health Canada approved two new buildings at Hydropothecary’s Gatineau facilities and granted the pot producer a licence renewal to grow and sell as much cannabis as it can store.

A Hydropothecary spokesperson said Tuesday that the loosened restrictions signal a major move on the part of Health Canada to fast-track industry expansion ahead of the federal government’s plans to legalize marijuana for recreational use by July 2018.

The move came as Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa was quoted as saying that he expects a shortage of marijuana when it’s legalized, echoing previous comments by financial analysts.

Hydropothecary’s stock price was down 9.5 per cent, or 15 cents per share, to $1.43 in late-afternoon trading on the TSX Venture Exchange.
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by papapuff » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:18 am

Powell River Peak

City of Powell River council approves marijuana lease changes

Santè Veritas prepares for federal licencing by securing rights to building and parking lot


JULY 12, 2017

City of Powell River council has approved amendments to a lease agreement with the proponents of a medical-marijuana facility being developed in the former Catalyst administration building.

Santè Veritas asked council to shorten its option to purchase the building to 45 days after Health Canada approval and remove the right of first refusal, including an exclusive option to purchase the building’s large parking lot for expansion.

Council passed a motion unanimously at its meeting on Thursday, July 6, to amend the 10-year lease with a 10-year renewal option at the recommendation of city chief financial officer Kathleen Day.

City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa said he was confident the project will proceed as planned and Health Canada will issue a licence for the facility in the first quarter of 2018.

“They basically have their licence, but it’s subject to the property being built out per the plans, otherwise they wouldn’t spend these millions,” said Formosa. “As long as they do everything they promised to do in their application, they’ve got it.”

City economic development manager Scott Randolph said he shared Formosa’s optimism about the project, one the city has been working with Santè Veritas on since before the medical-marijuana company began the federal approval process in 2014.

“Their architect is well experienced in this area and has been involved in the development of four other facilities of this nature,” said Randolph, “so they’re in good shape.”

Randolph said the company is currently preparing the site for renovation and the city’s planning department received a development permit on Friday, July 7, with a building permit application expected soon.

The multimillion dollar Townsite facility is expected to create approximately 50 local jobs in its first phase.
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by papapuff » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:45 pm

The Globe and Mail

After pushing down production costs, marijuana producer Aphria posts ‘stellar’ quarter

The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jul. 12, 2017

Leamington, Ont. greenhouse-grown medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc. doubled its revenue in the most recent quarter as it drove down the per-gram production costs of its cannabis with improved growing techniques and favourable growing conditions.

The company revealed Wednesday that, according to its proprietary definition of cash cost, it had reduced its per-gram production cost 36 per cent to $1.11 per gram in the fourth quarter of 2017 from $1.73 in the third quarter. Using industry competitors’ definition, which does not include indirect labour or quality control costs, Aphria said it reached a per-gram cash cost of $0.79, versus $1.42 a quarter earlier.

“I would call it a stellar quarter,” said Noel Atkinson, a research analyst and vice-president of Clarus Securities Inc. who covers the company. He called the lowered production costs “basically an industry record,” which “reflects the economies of scale that can be achieved when you’re using greenhouses.”

As competitors race to ramp up production ahead of Canada’s proposed recreational-marijuana legalization date of July 1, 2018, chief executive Vic Neufeld says Aphria is focusing on shorter-term strategies to improve its performance for investors. That includes improving product quality, reducing production costs, and focusing on the medical market by signing up more patients, he said.

“I don’t think anybody really expects on July 1 [2018] that a good chunk of the underground economy moves above ground,” Mr. Neufeld said in an interview. “It’ll be some movement over time.” But he believes Aphria will still have product available for recreational users then anyway. “We’ll already be producing 30,000 [kilograms] annualized, which is more than what we conceptually identify is necessary for the medical distribution model.”

The company announced its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2017 results Wednesday. Its share price rose 9 per cent to $5.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange mid-Wednesday.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $5.7-million, more than doubling the same quarter in 2016.

Aphria revealed a $2.6-million loss, versus a $1.3-million profit a year prior, though that resulted in large part from positive operating income being offset by investment losses. For the full year ending May 31, its profit was $4.2-million – a 955-per-cent rise, which included a $3.6-million gain on the company’s investment portfolio and a $3.5-million writeoff related to limits that were imposed on veterans’ medical cannabis reimbursement allowances.

The news capped a quarter that saw Aphria jump to the Toronto Stock Exchange from its Venture Exchange; launch a U.S. expansion strategy with a $25-million acquisition in Florida; and receive Health Canada approval for an expansion that already had its first harvest. It also closed a bought deal and debt financing round of more than $105-million to fund working capital and further planned expansion.

With its most recent expansion, the company expects it can produce 9,000 kilograms of dried cannabis a year in Leamington. By November, Aphria hopes to build out another expansion that, with government approvals, would its push capacity to 30,000 kilograms. A year from then, if construction and approvals go smoothly, Mr. Neufeld said a final planned expansion phase could be in full crop rotation – giving the company capacity to produce 100,000 kilograms each year.

With a $5-a-gram average wholesale price, Mr. Atkinson noted this would give Aphria $500-million a year of revenue potential at full capacity.

Its quarterly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization – a figure in which Aphria includes share-based compensation and adjustments related to biological assets, among other adjustments – was positive for the seventh-consecutive quarter, the company said, at $2.8-million, or 443 per cent over the same quarter in 2016.

The Ontario government also announced Wednesday that it would seek public input on how to build its framework around recreational marijuana legalization.
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by papapuff » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:01 pm

A Canadian pot firm goes all-in on ‘Colombian gold’

In Pablo Escobar’s old stomping ground, a well-connected Toronto company is growing weed to supply the global demand for cannabis products. This time it’ll be legal.

Brian Hutchinson
July 13, 2017

Security is in-your-face tight all around the future cannabis oil factory, conceived as the world’s largest. Armed guards, electronically-controlled gates, tall fences, high-resolution cameras: the place is breach-proof. It isn’t surprising, given the location and what’s going on inside.

Workers are gearing up to produce massive amounts of marijuana. Colombian gold. Not the same stuff you might have encountered in high school, decades ago. This will be legal, liquified into oil—all of it government approved.

The facility is Canadian-controlled, its Toronto-based parent company, PharmaCielo Ltd., run by a board of globe-trotting executives and investors, several of whom are from Big Tobacco and Pharma. But the heart of the operation is here in Colombia, about an hour’s drive east of Medellin, once considered among world’s most dangerous cities.

Things have improved since Pablo Escobar and other cocaine kingpins held sway here. The local murder rate has plummeted, the economy has diversified, the middle class has grown.

Medellin is now a bustling centre of innovation and legitimate commerce. In the suburbs, in the verdant, rolling hills around Rionegro, brash new residential developments and shopping centres compete for space with farmland; much of the latter lies hidden under sheets of translucent polycarbonate. The further one travels from the centre of town, the more one notices these shimmering greenhouses.

It’s a florist’s field of dreams. Cut flowers remain a huge part of the Colombian export economy. The glorious arrangement gracing your dinner table? It might well have come from this region. But that could change, if legal cannabis production takes hold here.

After a brief negotiation and some radio back-and-forth, a gate slowly opens and visitors are directed into the plantation. More greenhouses, row after row of plants. Chrysanthemums, for now.

In about a year’s time, when it’s expected all the required permits will have been issued by the Colombian government, various strains of cannabis will replace the pretty flowers. Some 20 hectares of prized marijuana mother plants will be cultivated here. Cuttings will be snipped, then planted in other greenhouse locations, where they will be raised in native soil and harvested by contract farmers, some of whom have been growing marijuana illegally their entire lives, often for the benefit of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, who would impose taxes on marijuana farmers as a means to finance their violent campaigns against the national government.

That decades-old conflict has calmed down, with peace negotiations underway between FARC and Colombian officials. Rather than punish illicit marijuana growers and force them to raise different crops, the country’s health ministry has decided to pull their knowledge, skill and labour from the shadows and into the legitimate economy, allowing them to continue growing under license.

The goal is supervised production of medicinal-grade cannabis oil for local and international markets. It’s a bold move for a country that for decades was under the thumb of violent drug cartels and FARC guerrillas. But Colombia is moving in step with other countries, recognizing that cannabis has medicinal and economic value, that it can be exploited and taxed just like any other commodity, such as cut flowers.

“We have found a friendly space here,” says Marcelo Siqueira, an American-Argentinian horticulturalist who runs PharmaCielo’s Rionegro operation. “The government believes Colombia has paid its price in blood and treasure with the war on drugs, that it’s time to move on. But it’s sensitive. The violence associated with the drug trade is ingrained in peoples’ minds. ”

He walks me from his spacious office into a greenhouse, where workers are tilling soil. Rain begins to fall; it hammers on the polycarbonate cover, forcing us to practically shout to be heard. PharmaCielo was among the first foreign companies to inquire about growing legal weed in Colombia, Siqueira says. It began the process of acquiring necessary permits last year. It now has permission to grow up to 20 cannabis plants for medical and scientific purposes, and is waiting on permits to cultivate and process cannabis oil.

Unlike other countries where dried marijuana flower is legally exchanged, Colombia has decided to allow only the sale of cannabis oil, for medicinal use inside the country, and for export to countries that allow it. The government chose this path to better to regulate and track production and trade, and to add value to the product. If all goes as planned, marijuana grown and harvested by PharmaCielo’s contract farmers will be packed into armed transport carriers and returned to the company’s Rionegro facility, where it will be processed into oil, then shipped to markets inside the country and to legal markets around the world, including Canada.

That’s the broad pitch PharmaCielo makes to investors. And it seems to have won over a bunch of them. According to PharmaCielo president and CEO Patricio Stocker, the company has raised US$30 million, all privately, since it was created in 2014 by two entrepreneurs, one American and one Colombian. Early enthusiasts included U.S. venture capitalist Jim Rogers, best known for having co-founded with George Soros the legendary Quantum Fund, and Anthony Wile, a Canadian cannabis industry promoter.

According to documents filed with Canadian securities regulators, other shareholders include Toronto lawyer David Yun, Vancouver accountant Kenneth Phillippe, and Elco Securities Ltd., registered in the Bahamas. A private offering last year attracted 199 individual investors from 34 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, Clearly, the PharmaCielo message got around.

PharmaCielo is now led by an experienced management team and directors recruited from various segments of the business world: two former executives with Philip Morris Inc., the tobacco giant; a former Bayer MaterialScience executive; and David Attard, vice-president in charge of corporate strategy and product development at President’s Choice Financial, a Loblaw Companies Ltd. subsidiary. Stocker, for his part, used to lead DaimlerChrysler’s operations in Colombia. He says PharmaCielo incorporated in Canada in order to leverage the country’s sophisticated financial sector and its reputation as a strictly-regulated producer of legal cannabis. “It’s a financial place, a place to raise capital, and the laws are already there,” Stocker says.

Smart move, notes Jason Zandberg, a Vancouver-based analyst who covers the sector for PI Financial Corp. “Canada is definitely starting to look like a world leader” in terms of cannabis investment and regulations, he says. “We certainly haven’t seen the last of the capital raised in this sector.” But the sizzle in PharmaCielo’s story is really Colombia, where all of its sticky product will be made. In enormous quantities, at a very low cost.

They are staggering, the numbers being bandied about. Eventually, PharmaCielo hopes to put 1,000 hectares of Colombian farmland into cannabis production, Stocker says. That’s over 100 million square feet, enough to yield at least two million of kilograms of dried marijuana flower per year, and as much as 250,000 kilograms of oil.

Thanks to its warm climate, abundant rainfall and 12 hours of daylight all year, Colombia has natural advantages for growing marijuana. Factor in low labour costs and the company figures it can produce dried flower at 10 cents a gram, one-tenth or better the cost of production in marijuana-friendly countries such as Canada, where plants are grown indoors–at great effort–by 50 federally-licensed companies for the legal medicinal market. “The costs and the carbon footprint associated with cannabis production in Canada are absurd,” says PharmaCielo’s Siqueira. “It’s like growing coffee beans indoors. It can be done, but should it? Energy consumption, water diversion, pesticides, water contamination, these are already issues.”

It explains, in part, why there are fewer than two million square feet of government-sanctioned marijuana under cultivation in Canada right now, with experts predicting a significant shortage of product in 2018, when recreational marijuana becomes legal under Bill C-45, the proposed Cannabis Act. Zandberg thinks it will be years before licensed producers in Canada will be able to meet consumer demand; in the meantime, he says, the black market will fill gaps in supply.

Unless, of course, companies such as PharmaCielo manage to convince authorities to accept their foreign-made products into Canada. While Stocker says his company’s first priority is supplying medicinal products to Colombians, its long-term focus is “on the global market.” He mentions Canada in the same breath as Australia and Europe, where recreational use may also soon be made legal.

Zandberg, the analyst, raises some doubts. He wonders if cannabis oil from Colombia—”a country with lower standards than Canada”—would have the same quality as locally-made products. Stocker dismisses that argument. The bigger obstacle could be regulations around medicinal pot, and the proposed Cannabis Act. Zandberg says the Canadian government already puts local indoor growers “through so many hoops that it’s not realistic to think it will open the market to (foreign) producers, at least in the short term. There would be lawsuits.”

And according to Health Canada, under the proposed Act it will be “illegal to import into or export from Canada cannabis and cannabis products except under very specific circumstances. The import and export of cannabis or cannabis products for medical and scientific purposes will continue to be allowed with the proper permits issued by Health Canada…The Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and local police forces will continue to work together to uphold laws governing the cross-border movement of cannabis.”

In other words, Canada isn’t flinging the door wide to foreign cannabis producers. But it has opened it, just a crack, enough for PharmaCielo to anticipate the day it ships its first barrels of low-cost, “all natural” Colombian oil to the north. To the place it has incorporated, where hones its message and raises its cash. And where, quite frankly, its stuff may be wanted most.
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by papapuff » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:09 pm


Gilla to make vaporizer for Canadian cannabis market

Partners intend to provide private-label and branded vapour solutions.

July 12, 2017

TORONTO — Gilla Enterprises Inc., a manufacturer of E-liquid used in vaporizers, is collaborating with an un-named licensed producer to develop a device for cannabis.

Their non-binding LOI calls for a device that will be distributed to the LP’s Canadian client.

The device and packaging will be submitted to Health Canada for approvals before a definitive agreement is signed.

The partners intend to provide both private-label and branded cannabis vapour solutions.

They’ll work together to develop full-scale production-level standard operating procedures that will be used to manufacture licensed products to comply with Health Canada’s requirements.

Gilla Enterprises is the Toronto subsidiary of Gilla Inc., a manufacturer of vaping products for cannabis and nicotine.
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by papapuff » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:15 pm


Marijuana facility gets license

Annacis Island to be home to large-scale medical marijuana facility


JULY 13, 2017

Annacis Island will soon be home to a large-scale medical marijuana facility.

Health Canada has approved a cultivation license for International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd. According to the company’s website, the state-of-the-art facility features more than 25,000 square feet for the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana.

The company has been working on the application for more than three years and its Delta location is the first of its two facilities to acquire a cultivation license to produce medical marijuana.

Its other facility is located in Atholville, NB.

It is also one of the first companies in the Lower Mainland to receive a cultivation license and one of the few companies in Canada to get the license on the first pre-license inspection.

“It’s been a long journey, but we kept our eye on the prize,” said CEO Kevin Coft in a news release. “There was a tremendous amount of effort that was put forth and, without that, we could not have met our objectives. I’m happy to see our hard work resulting in success.”

With both of its facilities combined, the company becomes one of Canada’s largest producers and distributors of medical marijuana.
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by papapuff » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:31 am

Ottawa Sun

Insiders see a shift in attitudes as cannabis industry heads to the mainstream



Ottawa entrepreneur Chuck Rifici dove in to the medical marijuana business with trepidation five years ago.

“When I was first looking for investors and researching the creation of Tweed, you would whisper ‘marijuana’ in a Starbucks, talking to people,” he recalls.

“Mainstream discussion of being involved in the cannabis industry carried the fear of reputational risk.”

If the plan to grow medical marijuana in an old chocolate factory in Smiths Falls failed, Rifici figured he would be labelled as “just the pot guy.”

Those concerns now seem quaint. Tweed Inc. in Smiths Falls has expanded into the world’s largest medical marijuana company, Canopy Growth Corp. Rifici now runs a business that finances fledgling cannabis ventures, and there are plenty of them. With Canada expected to legalize recreational marijuana a year from now, the industry is exploding.

It’s also pushing into the mainstream.

These days, Rifici doesn’t think twice about strolling into his children’s school wearing one of his cannabis leaf T-shirts. Like other executives at Canadian cannabis companies, he says public attitudes are shifting quickly.

That’s reflected in the stream of businesspeople, financiers, executives from the pharmaceutical industry and high-flyers from government and politics getting involved with cannabis-related companies.

It’s expected to be lucrative, although estimates vary wildly about the potential size of the pot market and whether it will eventually rival sales of alcohol.

Health Canada estimates that between four million and six million Canadians will use cannabis next year.

The growing number of Canadians obtaining a doctor’s certificate to legally purchase medical marijuana has helped pave the way for social acceptance of cannabis in general, says Cam Battley, executive vice-president of Aurora, an Alberta-based medical marijuana company that is expanding to supply the recreational market, too.

“The speed of social change in attitudes to medical cannabis has been remarkable,” says Battley. “Three years ago, there was still stigma associated with medical cannabis, and only a handful of doctors would prescribe it.

“I think you will find that once cannabis is legal for adult-consent use, those who are hesitant or concerned about it will find it’s not the end of the world,” says Battley, who formerly worked in the health field as a policy assistant to a federal minister. “In fact, I suspect it will turn out to be more of a normal event.

“It will become reasonably mainstream, as long as people use it responsibly. And I think we will come to see it very much in the same light as beer, wine and liquor.”

Marc Lustig, who founded CannaRoyalty Corp., says his family and friends in Vancouver questioned his decision to quit his job as an investment banker to found a company that invests in cannabis-related businesses for both the medical and recreational markets.

“They said, ‘You are running a very successful investment banking firm, and now you are becoming, what, like a pot-slash-dealer-slash CEO? What are you doing?’ ”

Lustig, who has graduate degrees in molecular biology and business administration from McGill, says they’re all supporters now. His dad found that medical marijuana helps his arthritis.

Some of his 40-something friends who tried cannabis vape pens were impressed.

“The last time that many of these people used cannabis was bad weed at university 20 years ago.

“We are bringing products that are just so much better; they are cleaner, there is science going into this, the effects can be managed.”

The growth will be in cannabis products that don’t require smoking, from vape pens to lotions and patches, says Lustig. And a target market will be people like himself.

“Our company isn’t doing this because we want to make the gummy bear that makes people the highest. … Ultimately, I think the biggest market will be young professionals, parents. …

“People may substitute a glass of wine for our products, which are very professional and high quality.”

That’s already happening in Colorado, says Chris Driessen, president of Organa Brands, which bills itself as the world’s largest consumer cannabis company, selling vape pens, gummy candies, drinks and other products in more than 1,200 dispensaries in the U.S.

Colorado was the first U.S. state to legalize recreational pot, opening stores in 2014.

In the posh Denver suburb where Driessen lives, parents are as likely to puff on a vape pen loaded with marijuana oil as they are to sip on a craft beer at neighbourhood barbecues, he says. “It’s just part of the fabric of society. The stigma has been removed.”

Driessen’s wife is a high school teacher. They have three children aged 3 to 7. They teach their kids that marijuana is for grownups, just like having a glass of wine, using the biggest knife in the drawer or staying up past 9 o’clock, he says.

“The sky hasn’t fallen,” he says with a laugh. “Life is pretty good in Denver, Colorado.”

Whether using cannabis will soon be as socially acceptable as quaffing a beer in this country is debatable.

Only a minority of Canadians use marijuana now. Use is concentrated among young people. (The Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey from 2015 found that 10 per cent of people over 25 reported using cannabis once in the last year, compared to 30 per cent of those aged 20 to 24 and 21 per cent of those aged 15 to 19.)

There are also pressures working against the mainstreaming of marijuana.

The recreational pot industry will be heavily regulated, including strict controls on advertising.

The landscape of Canada’s new world of legal pot isn’t clear. Key details, from where pot will be sold to what types of products will be allowed, will be spelled out later in federal regulations or decided by the provinces.

Federal politicians emphasize that the purpose of legalization is to take profits out of the hands of organized criminals, keep pot away from children and ensure Canadians are not saddled with a criminal record for possessing small amounts. They do not want to promote consumption or the “commercialization” of the industry.

And few other emerging sectors have the challenge of creating legitimacy when the product they are selling was illegal for decades.

There’s a Wild West feel to the cannabis industry. That’s partly because companies are jostling to be the next big thing. But it’s also because legal upstarts are displacing a massive network of illegal cannabis entrepreneurs who are used to being both underground and underdogs.

The transition is alarming to some marijuana activists, and illegal growers and sellers hesitant to come out of the shadows.

Decades of protest and civil disobedience helped push Canada to the verge of legal marijuana. That work was appreciated, but it’s “the old game,” says Jeremy Jacob, who co-founded the Village Dispensary in Vancouver.

It’s time for activists to become experts in bridge-building, regulatory compliance and lobbying, Jacob told a recent cannabis business conference in Toronto. A mechanical engineer by trade, Jacob is the president of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.

Yes, illegal dispensaries have formed their own trade group. So have illegal growers, who want to ensure “craft” producers such as those who have made B.C. bud famous have a place in the legal market.

The move toward the mainstream is also reflected in evolving language. Cannabis company executives don’t tend to talk about weed or pot. Some also reject the word “marijuana” as pejorative. The term cannabis doesn’t carry the stigma associated with decades of reefer madness.

And cannabis business people are about as likely to use the word “stoned” as liquor company executives are to talk about how their products make costumers drunk.

The modern marijuana landscape is littered with euphemisms like elevate, lift, relax and energize. Toking on a joint has been transformed into a “well curated smoke session,” in the description of one Canadian company, Tokyo Smoke. It’s a “cannabis and lifestyle brand” that is partnered with Aphria, a large Ontario medical marijuana producer.

The Tokyo Smoke store opening this week on Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West will sell coffee, clothes and cannabis paraphernalia that is far removed from the utilitarian rolling papers and bongs sold in head shops for decades. A stylish odour-proof bag to store your stash can be had for $80, and a designer water pipe that looks like a modern-art sculpture is $750.
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by papapuff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:18 am


Another licensed medical marijuana producer opens in Hamilton

Posted: July 17, 2017 10:09:24 PM
Category: Hamilton


There are currently 52 licensed medical marijuana producers in Canada and three of them are in Hamilton.

Bill Panagiotakopoulos bought a piece of land off Highway 6 a decade ago. He initially set up solar panels and sold the energy to the city. Four years ago, he decided to go even greener industry: medical marijuana. His business partner, Roger Ferreira, has a PhD in physiology from the University of Toronto and is excited about some of the health benefits.

The publicly traded company is now the third licensed marijuana producer in Hamilton. When they started, Panagiotakopolous says Hamilton was the only city ready to give them a chance. He now wants to build a 200 000 square foot facility elsewhere that he says could create over 100 jobs.

But first, Beleave has to build up some product. Receiving it’s producing licence in May, there’s still tests to pass before they hit the market.

“Once we’ve demonstrated that our product meet quality assurance metrics after being tested in the lab then we may apply to Health Canada for a sales licence.”

Once Beleave obtains their sales licence, which they predict will be around the fall, credited patients could buy their medical weed from them online and receive it in the mail. In terms of recreational sales, the team is waiting until the official legalization of the drug set for next summer.
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by papapuff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:38 am

MMJ Reporter

Aurora Cannabis Inc (CVE:ACB) Hosts Australian Delegation

Aurora Cannabis Inc (CVE:ACB) reported that the firm will be hosting a delegation from Australia, headed by the Jaala Pulford. The objective of the travel to Canada, during which this delegation will even meet with federal executives in Ottawa, is knowledge transfer pertaining to the guidelines governing the medicinal cannabis segment, as well as detailed insight into best measures pertaining to production, distribution and cultivation. The visit will offer insights into the factors that have made the Canadian setup, which currently serves around 200,000 patients, so successful.

The details

The Australian delegation will devote an entire day with Aurora officials, visiting both the automated Aurora Sky facility that is under construction and the firm’s current production facility in Alberta, which was Canada’s preliminary purpose-built indoor cannabis grow facility.

Also, the Minister will meet Shaye Anderson, who is Minister of Municipal Affairs of Alberta and MLA for Leduc-Beaumont, and officials showcasing two of Aurora’s strategic associates: Peter Crock, the CEO of Cann Group Limited, the first licensed cannabis firm of Australia, in which Aurora has around 20% stake; and Denis Taschuk, the CEO of Radient Technologies Inc., in which Aurora has a 17% stake.

In the last month, Victoria recorded a hugely considerable milestone in the advancement of the medical cannabis market in Australia with the awarding of the preliminary commercial license to Melbourne-based firm Cann Group.

Ms Pulford added that associations like the one between Cann Group and Aurora will play a major role in establishing top practices and advancing Australia’s newest economic division. Victoria’s involvement in the medical cannabis industry is in its initial phases and they are keen to know out from other, more established industries what some of the challenges and opportunities are.

In the last trading session, the stock price of Aurora gained more than 4% to close the day at $2.47.
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by papapuff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:42 pm

Marketwired (press release)

July 18, 2017 15:26 ET

INDIVA Becomes a Licensed Producer of Cannabis and Provides TSX-V Update

LONDON, ONTARIO and VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 18, 2017) -


INDIVA Corporation ("INDIVA" or the "Company") and Rainmaker Resources Ltd. ("Rainmaker") (TSX VENTURE:RIR) are delighted to announce that INDIVA'S wholly owned subsidiary, INDIVA Inc., received its cannabis cultivation license from Health Canada on July 14, 2017. This license enables INDIVA to produce medical cannabis under Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation ("ACMPR").

"This is a wonderful day in the evolution of INDIVA. Our management team is pleased to have achieved this important milestone and would like to thank all of our partners, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders for their hard work," said Niel Marotta, CEO of INDIVA.

INDIVA to Close Financing for Up to $15 Million

On June 1, 2017, INDIVA announced its plans to complete a private placement raising up to $15 million to finance the expansion of its indoor GMP-compliant production facility. INDIVA has received approximately $10 million of orders and is expected to close the financing in late July or early August, 2017.

On the closing of the financing, investors will acquire subscription receipts at a price of $0.75 per subscription receipt, each to automatically convert into common shares on the completion of the reverse takeover and change of business transaction between INDIVA and Rainmaker. Sunel Securities is engaged as lead agent and is expected to form a syndicate of investment banks to participate in the Offering.

INDIVA Closes $2.1 Million Convertible Debenture Interim Financing

On June 15, 2017, INDIVA closed the previously announced $2.1 million convertible debenture financing, allowing INDIVA to commence planning its facility expansion. Upon completion of the recently announced maximum $15 million subscription receipt financing (the "Offering") and RTO transaction, the convertible debenture will automatically convert into common shares in the capital of INDIVA at the Offering price.


INDIVA is a Canadian supplier of high quality, medical grade cannabis. INDIVA's strain selection, cultivation and client care processes combine the know-how and experience of an internationally recognized and award winning grow-team with GMP-compliant quality assurance standard operating procedures.

INDIVA's wholly owned subsidiary is a Licensed Producer under Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation ("ACMPR") with its first indoor cannabis production facility located in London, Ontario.

INDIVA aims to become a global marijuana brand recognized for high quality cannabis products and excellent client care. As marijuana laws liberalize in Canada, INDIVA will expand its product offering to include safe edibles and other client-friendly cannabis products. In addition, as marijuana laws liberalize internationally, INDIVA will use its Canadian operations as a platform to open new markets for its cannabis products.


Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) has in any way passed upon the merits of the Transaction and neither of the foregoing entities accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release or has in any way approved or disapproved of the contents of this press release.

Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking information. These statements relate to future events or future performance. The use of any of the words "could", "intend", "expect", "believe", "will", "projected", "estimated" and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts are intended to identify forward-looking information and are based on the parties' current belief or assumptions as to the outcome and timing of such future events. Actual future results may differ materially. In particular, this release contains forward-looking information relating to the intention of the parties to complete the business combination and concurrent financing. Various assumptions or factors are typically applied in drawing conclusions or making the forecasts or projections set out in forward-looking information. Those assumptions and factors are based on information currently available to the parties. The material factors and assumptions include the parties being able to obtain the necessary corporate, regulatory and other third parties approvals; licensing and other risks associated with regulated ACMPR entities; financing and execution risk; competition; and completion of satisfactory due diligence. There is no assurance that the business combination or financing will be completed on the terms or within the timeframe set forth herein or at all. The forward looking information contained in this release is made as of the date hereof and the parties are not obligated to update or revise any forward looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. Because of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions contained herein, investors should not place undue reliance on forward looking information. The foregoing statements expressly qualify any forward-looking information contained herein.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act") or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available. Not for distribution to U.S. Newswire Services or for dissemination in the United States. Any failure to comply with this restriction may constitute a violation of U.S. Securities laws.

Niel Marotta, CEO

For Rainmaker Resources and Sunel Securities:
Isaac Maresky
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by papapuff » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:37 pm


Matica Announces Letter of Intent to Acquire a 70% Interest in a Second Marijuana Producer Application in Quebec

C.MMJ | 7 hours ago

Toronto, Ontario / TheNewswire / July 20, 2017 – Matica Enterprises Inc. (MMJ–CSE) (39N – Frankfurt) (MQPXF – OTC PINK) (“Matica” or the “Company”) is pleased to report that the Company has signed a letter of intent (“LOI”) for Matica to become a majority owner of a second late stage application under the Access To Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (“ ACMPR ”) in Quebec.

The target facility for this second ACMPR application is also a ten thousand square foot (10,000 sq. ft.) facility located in an industrial park in Saint-Laurent, Quebec in close proximity to our initial facility. The target is a late stage application with the goal of becoming a licensed producer under ACMPR and has completed the security clearance stage and is now in the review stage. Upon completion of due diligence, Matica will proceed to a definitive agreement (“Agreement”) which will allow Matica to acquire an initial sixty-five percent (65%) interest with the right to earn an additional five per cent (5%).

Matica Enterprises CEO, Boris Ziger states, “This second Quebec facility establishes Matica as a serious player in the Quebec medical marijuana market.”

After successful due diligence and signing of the definitive agreement, Matica is required to forward $75,000 in cash and issue 6,000,000 common shares of Matica. Matica will be required to provide funding of $2,200,000 to complete the build out of the medical marijuana facility in preparation for Health Canada inspection. This will earn Matica an initial sixty-five percent (65%) interest. After the completion of twelve (12) months of production at the facility, Matica will make a final payment of $675,000 and receive an additional five percent (5%) interest for a total seventy percent (70%) interest.

For more information on Matica please visit the website at: .

On behalf of the Board of Directors


/s/Boris Ziger

Boris Ziger, CEO & Chairman

The Company’s filings are available for review at and

For further information, please contact Boris Ziger, Chief Executive Officer, at:

Telephone: 416-304-9935

E-mail :


Certain information in this press release may constitute forward-looking information. This information is based on current expectations that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results might differ materially from results suggested in any forward-looking statements. The Corporation assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward looking-statements unless and until required by securities laws applicable to the Corporation. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties is contained in the Corporation’s filings with the Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at

The CSE has not reviewed, approved or disapproved the content of this press release.
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by papapuff » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:33 pm


Aurora Cannabis Starts Trading on Toronto Stock Exchange

Canada NewsWire

VANCOUVER, July 21, 2017

Company Will Ring the Bell to Open the Market Monday, July 24


VANCOUVER, July 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Aurora Cannabis Inc. (the "Company" or "Aurora") (TSXV: ACB) (OTCQX: ACBFF) (Frankfurt: 21P; WKN: A1C4WM) announced today that common shares of the Company will commence trading on Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX") effective Monday July 24. Common shares will continue to trade under the symbol "ACB". In conjunction with listing on TSX, the common shares have been voluntarily delisted from TSX Venture Exchange, effective close of trading today, Friday, July 21, 2017. Aurora will "ring the bell" to open TSX on Monday, July 24, 2017.

"Aurora's graduation to TSX reflects the remarkable commercial and operational progress we have made since listing on TSX Venture Exchange late last year," said Terry Booth, CEO. "We are achieving record yields at our Mountain View County production facility, progressing rapidly with the construction of our 100,000+ kg per annum Aurora Sky facility at Edmonton International Airport, and are executing consistently on our national and international expansion strategy. The acquisition of our third production facility, in Pointe-Claire, Québec will further support our domestic growth. Our acquisition of Pedanios, Germany's largest medical cannabis distributor, and our strategic investment in Australia's Cann Group, have established Aurora as a global leader in the cannabis sector. Aurora continues to drive innovation in the industry, as evidenced by our research collaboration with and investment in Radient Technologies, the launch and upgrades of our one-of-a-kind mobile application, and the expansion of our same-day and next-day delivery program. We expect that graduating to TSX will further increase our shareholder audience, and represents another important strategic step in enhancing shareholder value."

About Aurora

Aurora's wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., is a licensed producer of medical cannabis pursuant to Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ("ACMPR"). The Company operates a 55,200 square foot, state-of-the-art production facility in Mountain View County, Alberta, and is currently constructing a second 800,000 square foot production facility, known as "Aurora Sky", at the Edmonton International Airport, and has acquired, and is undertaking completion of, a third 40,000 square foot production facility in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, on Montreal's West Island. In addition, the company is the cornerstone investor with a 19.9% stake in Cann Group Limited, the first Australian company licensed to conduct research on and cultivate medical cannabis, as well as owns Pedanios, a leading wholesale importer, exporter, and distributor of medical cannabis in the European Union ("EU"), based in Germany. Aurora's common shares now trade on TSX under the symbol "ACB".

On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Terry Booth, CEO

This news release includes statements containing certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities law ("forward-looking statements"). Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. These statements are only predictions. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this news release. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The Company is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law.

Neither TSX nor TSX Venture Exchange (nor its Regulation Services Provider as that term is defined in the policies of TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE Aurora Cannabis Inc.

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by papapuff » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:22 pm

The Cannabis Shortage Plaguing German Pharmacies


At present, Germany is experiencing massive delays in the delivery of medical cannabis. The supply at most pharmacies is limited to three or four of the 16 available medical strains. More than 10 of Germany’s medically-approved strains originate from the Canadian medical cannabis program, but currently, only smaller stocks of Pedanios’ 18/1 are available — the other five Pedanios Strains are sold out. None of the five strains produced by Tweed are available in German pharmacies.

Due to the lengthy import and export process, Canadian cannabis could return to the German market in September, at the earliest. Shortages from Canada are not the only problem, Dutch producer Bedrocan has not been able to deliver all of its six available medical strains.

On July 17th, medical patients in Germany reported that all wholesalers are currently sold out, posting on self-help network Cannabis as Medicine (SCM) and the German Hemp Federation’s (DHV) forums. Only a few pharmacies that pre-stocked the sought-after medicine can still provide for patients. Patients must, therefore, call their pharmacy before visiting the doctor, ask which of the few strains are available, and then request to have their medicine placed on hold. If a pharmacy can not fill the order of a prescribed strain, the patient’s prescription is effectively invalid. The patient then must revisit the doctor to obtain a valid prescription for an available strain.

The Number of German Patients Has Exploded

The current law for cannabis as medicine has been in existence for four months. In that time, the number of cannabis users has risen unpredictably fast. In the case of two of the largest health insurance companies, by mid-July, more than 3,100 patients had applied for reimbursement of medical cannabis prescribed by their doctor. The insurance company Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) published the only concrete figures on these applications.

According to the TK’s reports, 863 applications for reimbursement had been received by July 7, 522 of which were approved and 341 were rejected. Germany’s largest health insurance fund, the AOK, received roughly 2,300 applications by the same date but did not publish figures on approved or rejected applications.

The number of individuals who have applied for reimbursement from the two other large and numerous small insurance companies is not yet known. In view of the total number of insured persons in Germany, experts estimate there are several thousand unreported cases of pending reimbursement applications. In addition, there are no statistics available on patients who have received a cannabis prescription without applying for reimbursement. Maximilian Plenert, a member of the board of directors of the Federal Association for Accepting Drugs and Human Drug Policy (akzept.e.V.), was invited as an expert on medical cannabis to several German Bundestag hearings. On request from, Plenert said he estimates that on the basis of the numbers and feedback received, about 10,000 patients have obtained medicinal cannabis flowers from pharmacies since the introduction of the law in March.

Due to these unforeseen developments, many cannabis patients are currently confronted with a shortage of supply. The German Hemp Association (DHV) has received numerous reports of affected patients who are currently waiting for their medicine. After all, those affected simply do not need “Cannabis Flos,” but one or more strain varieties, each with a specific active ingredient profile.

Currently, German patients are completely dependent on imported cannabis. They only receive what is not needed by the Dutch and Canadian cannabis programs. The imminent legalization in Canada will only exacerbate this problem, as bottlenecks are already expected in Canada by July 2018. In addition, it is far easier and less bureaucratic for Canadian producers to use the domestic recreational market instead of struggling with lengthy export- and import-licensing procedures.

The German Pharmacists Rejoice

While many health insurance companies continue to oppose cannabis for reasons beyond the exorbitant costs, pharmacists appear to be enjoying their new role. As the Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung reported recently, the majority of German pharmacies welcome the new law. Three out of ten pharmacists said the new law had a positive impact on the demand. However, the additional examination of the medicine represented a considerable effort, and 98 percent of pharmacists surveyed complained. This is probably why they charge almost 10 Euro per gram for the high effort of checking, repacking, and labeling cannabis medicine. The survey found that 30 percent of pharmacists have no opinion on the new regulations, while one in five oppose it.

Home Cultivation Remains a Political Issue

The production of medical cannabis in Germany could begin much faster if the licensing of the producers was a less bureaucratic than the current procedure. According to the recently founded Cannabis Agency, the earliest date to supply pharmacies with medicinal cannabis products is mid-2019. Allowing patients to grow cannabis could mitigate the problem of supply bottlenecks. But this solution, much like under ex-Premier Harper in Canada, is not politically viable in Germany. The federal government still carries out numerous trials against patients who have applied for the cultivation of a few plants to meet their medical needs. If the supply remains inadequate through 2019, the German Health Ministry will continue to lose these trials against cannabis patients.
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by papapuff » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:26 pm

Medical marijuana company buys a Westbrook Greenhouse for $7.3M

Automated Dutch tray system perfect for growing pot, says CEO of Up Cannabis Inc.

NEWS Jul 21, 2017 12:08 by Alexandra Heck Grimsby Lincoln News

LINCOLN — It’s not a big jump from blooms to buds.

Jay Wilgar has great hopes for growing pot in one of Westbrook’s former orchid-growing greenhouses in Beamsville, and said the set up is just perfect for what he and his company plans to do.

The CEO of Up Cannabis Inc. has been growing plants indoors in a smaller Brantford location — and now, with the sunny outlook for the medical marijuana industry, he’s looking to scale up.

“For a whole lot of reasons, it’s ideal for what we want to do,” said Wilgar, who expects to produce 14,000 kilograms of pot annually in the 203,000 sq. ft facility. “Westbrook has obviously got a fantastic name in the greenhouse business, so that was one of the deciding factors.”

Westbrook’s automated Dutch tray system directly fits with their growing needs, and he said it will reduce labour costs for the company.

Up Cannabis Inc., a subsidiary of Newstrike Resources Ltd., is expected to employ approximately 100 staff for the facility. Wilgar takes note of the fact that the greenhouse is located in an area where there are a number of skilled greenhouse workers nearby.

When asked if he will be looking to employ former Westbrook employees laid off in recent months, Wilgar said, “Sure, absolutely.”

“It’s very extensive what we’re doing here,” he said. “It’s significant potential employment for the area.”

He said the facility has already got site-plan approval from the Town of Lincoln to increase in size.

“What we need to do at that site is add in the proper security,” said Wilgar. In order to adhere to Health Canada’s tight security regulations for marijuana production, they will have to install hundreds of cameras, a laser detection system, a vault to hold the finished product and more.

“It will be a Health Canada Level 8 or 9 vault,” said Wilgar, “and that’s where all the dried products have to be stored. It’s a pretty intense vault.”

The site will be processing medical marijuana from the initial cutting of clones from the mothers, planting clones, growing them, drying, processing and holding in the vault before being shipped out.

The strains of marijuana they intend on growing will run on a cycle of seven to 9.5 weeks. In Brantford, the company grows five different strains that include crosses between indica and sativa.

He said the Westbrook automated Dutch tray system is much different than other greenhouses.

The trays are 100 sq. ft, and depending on the strain and the growing cycles, Wilgar estimates they will grow nearly 500,000 plants each year.

With the medical marijuana strains, Up Cannabis focuses on plants that produce high amounts of cannabinoids, which are the medicinal ingredient, but not necessarily THC. Wilgar said that while they are focusing on producing plants with high cannabinoid content, that doesn’t mean they won’t have a high level of THC.

“Brantford was the place where we learned to grow the plants in the right way, and we’re expanding that knowledge to a scale that’s unparalleled in Newstrike’s history,” said Alan Rewak, director of communications for Newstrike Resources Ltd. “This will allow us to introduce the economies of scale while maintaining the efficiency and control that we’ve developed in Brantford.”

With the change in growing practices from Brantford’s indoor growing facility to the natural light inside the former Westbrook greenhouse, Wilgar expects to be learning along the way which strains grow best at the site.

“The key is creating very consistent, high-quality products,” said Wilgar.

While the company is licensed solely for medical marijuana production at the moment, they intend on lining themselves up for recreational production once the legislation is passed to legalize the practice next year.
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