Monday, May 10, 2021

Investor Ideas #Potcasts 562, #Cannabis News and #Stocks on the Move; (CSE: $XTRX.C), (NASDAQ: $VFF) (TSX: $VFF.TO), (CSE: $TRUL.C) (OTC: $TCNNF)



Investor Ideas #Potcasts 562, #Cannabis News and #Stocks on the Move; (CSE: $XTRX.C), (NASDAQ: $VFF) (TSX: $VFF.TO), (CSE: $TRUL.C) (OTC: $TCNNF)


Delta, Kelowna, BC, May 10, 2021 ( Newswire), a global news source covering leading sectors including marijuana and hemp stocks and its potcast site,  release today’s podcast edition of  cannabis news and stocks to watch plus insight from thought leaders and experts.


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Today’s podcast overview/transcript:


Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of "Potcast" featuring cannabis news, stocks to watch as well as insights from thought leaders and experts.


Today’s podcast is sponsored by Phyto Extractions Inc. (CSE:XTRX), an agricultural-scale cannabis extraction, distillation and product manufacturer located in Langley, BC at its co-located Health Canada Licensed Standard Processing (extraction, no cultivation), Sales (extracts, topicals, and edibles) through Adastra Labs Inc. and Analytical Testing Laboratory through Chemia Analytics Inc. Adastra Labs also has a pending Health Canada R&D license amendment.


In today’s podcast we look at a few public company announcements.


Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFFtoday announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.  All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.


The Company's financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2021, as well as the comparative periods for 2020, have been prepared and presented under United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principals ("GAAP"). On March 31, 2021, Village Farms owned 100% of Pure Sunfarms Corp., as the full acquisition of the remaining interest in Pure Sunfarms occurred November 2, 2020.  Accordingly, for the three months ended March 31, 2021, Pure Sunfarms' financial results are consolidated with Village Farms' results.  For the three months ended March 31, 2020, Pure Sunfarms is accounted for on a proportionate basis within "Equity Earnings from Unconsolidated Entities".


Pure Sunfarms Highlights Included:


       Achieved its third consecutive quarter of sequential growth in its priority sales channel, Retail Branded Sales, of 20% or greater;

       Achieved its tenth consecutive quarter of positive Adjusted EBITDA; and,

       Was the top selling brand of dried flower products with the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) (by kilograms sold and dollars sold) for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 and remained the top-selling brand of dried flower products with the OCS (by kilograms sold and dollars sold) since retail branded sales launch in October 2019.

       Produce sales increased 9%, however, Produce Adjusted EBITDA decreased 50% as a result of lower pricing as the tomato industry is experiencing one of the lowest pricing environments for tomatoes-on-the-vine and beefsteak varieties in the past ten years;

       Completed a registered direct offering with certain institutional investors for the purchase and sale of an aggregate of 10,887,097 common shares at a purchase price of US$12.40 (approximately C$15.70) per Common Share for gross proceeds of approximately US$135 million (approximately C$171 million);

       Received warrant exercise proceeds of US$17.7 million resulting in the issuance of 3,045,283 additional common shares. The warrants were issued as part of the September 2020 Registered Direct equity offering. As of the date of this news release, 1,652,830 warrants remain outstanding;

       Repaid in full the C$19.9 million (approximately US$15.6 million) promissory note, plus accrued interest of C$621,534.25 (approximately US$486,849.78), that the Company issued to Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. as partial consideration for the November 2020 acquisition of the remaining common shares of Pure Sunfarms that the Company did not own; and,

       Was added to the S&P/TSX Composite Index (Consumer Staples sector) prior to trading on March 22, 2021.

       Increased the equity investment in Altum International Pty Ltd from 6.6% to just under 12% as a capital efficient means to participate in international opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.

       Village Farms amended the Operating Loan terms to extend the credit agreement with an amended line of credit of C$10,000 and maturity date of May 7, 2024.


"The first quarter of 2021 was yet another strong quarter for Pure Sunfarms, which delivered its third consecutive quarter of strong sequential growth in our priority sales channel, Retail Branded Sales – up 20% from the fourth quarter – and is especially encouraging given the softness in the Canadian market due to pandemic restrictions, which stalled sales growth for the rest of the industry," said Michael DeGiglio, CEO, Village Farms. "Our continuing strong momentum was again driven by Pure Sunfarms' leading market share performance in dried flower1 which remains by far the largest product category, with our brand success firmly rooted in our reputation for premium quality products at an everyday price.  This, combined with our best-in-class operations, low-cost production and prudent SG&A management enabled Pure Sunfarms to deliver its tenth consecutive quarter of positive Adjusted EBITDA – every quarter since commencing sales in late 2018."


"As we look ahead, our 1.1 million square foot Delta 3 facility is operating at full capacity, and with expected strong growth demand we look forward to significantly expanding our production capacity in the coming months, with plans to increase capacity by 50% by year end and double it in the second half of 2022.  All of this positions Pure Sunfarms – with our existing assets and operations – to meaningfully and sustainably grow its profitability over both the short- and long-terms."


"Our continued success and leadership in Canada provide great confidence in our U.S. and international cannabis plans. We continue to monitor the regulatory progress in the U.S. in terms of our opportunity to legally participate in what we believe will be a different market environment that will position experienced, new entrants for success.  We are confident that our unparalleled large-scale, low-cost cultivation capabilities, alongside one of the largest high-tech greenhouse footprints in the country, will provide a meaningful advantage to capitalize on this significant opportunity. We will do so strategically, with prudence and our unwavering commitment to return on investment. In tandem, internationally, we continue to pursue targeted, strategic opportunities for the long-term that, again, meet our thresholds for return on investment."


Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTC: TCNNF) and Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (CSE: HARV)(OTCQX: HRVSFannounced that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement pursuant to which Trulieve will acquire all of the issued and outstanding subordinate voting shares, multiple voting shares and super voting shares of Harvest. Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, shareholders of Harvest will receive 0.1170 of a subordinate voting share of Trulieve for each Harvest subordinate voting share (or equivalent) held, representing total consideration of approximately $2.1 billion based on the closing price of the Trulieve Shares on May 7, 2021.


Trulieve, a leading multi-state operator with a focus on the northeast and southeast regions of the United States, and Harvest, a leading multi-state operator with a focus on the west coast and northeast regions of the United States, have built deep, vertically integrated operations in their key markets, becoming leading operators in the United States, the world's largest regulated cannabis market.


Upon completion of the Transaction, as well as the closing of other previously announced acquisitions by Harvest and Trulieve, the combined business will have operations in 11 states, comprised of 22 cultivation and processing facilities with a total capacity of 3.1 million square feet, and 126 dispensaries serving both the medical and adult-use recreational cannabis markets.


Key Transaction Highlights and Benefits

       Increases Scale Across Our Hub Markets – through the creation of the largest U.S. cannabis operator on a combined retail and cultivation footprint basis;

       Creates the Most Profitable US MSO – with combined 2020 Adjusted EBITDA of $266 million1,2 and combined 2021E consensus Adjusted EBITDA3 of $461 million, delivering an unparalleled platform for continued growth;

       Delivers a Superior Existing Retail and Distribution Model – from a robust retail network of 126 dispensaries across 11 states, the combined company will have leading market shares in Arizona and Florida;

       Strong and Expanding Multi-State Presence – bolsters Trulieve's expansion in US northeast and southeast hubs in Florida, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and establishes a southwest hub in core markets including Arizona, where recreational adult use of cannabis was recently legalized;

       Optimizes Nationwide Presence – through well-established retail and wholesale channels across markets, as well as the ability to reach an estimated total addressable market of US$19.3 billion in 2025E (Arcview market estimate);

       Adds Premium Brands – to Trulieve's portfolio of in-house brands and national brand partners with a successful line of products across multiple form factors;

       Leverages Expert Operating Teams and Best Practices – from each of Trulieve and Harvest, enhancing operational excellence by combining unparalleled knowledge of, and success in winning, state license application processes and the ability to rapidly bring operations to market; and

       Accretive Transaction Reinforces Trulieve's Leading Financial Metrics – by reinforcing superior financial performance relative to peers through industry-leading margins and strong projected profitable growth.


"Today's announcement is the largest and most exciting acquisition so far in our industry, creating the most profitable public multi-state operator.  Importantly, our companies share similar customer values with a focus on going deep in core markets. This combination offers us the opportunity to leverage our respective strong foundations and propel us forward with an unparalleled platform for future growth," stated Kim Rivers, Chief Executive Officer of Trulieve. "Harvest provides us with an immediate and significant presence in new and established markets and accelerates our entry into the adult use space in Arizona. Trulieve and Harvest are leaders in our markets, recognized for our innovation, brands, and operational expertise with true depth and scale in our businesses. We look forward to providing best-in-class service to patients and customers on a broader national scale as we create an iconic US cannabis brand."


"We are thrilled to be joining Trulieve, a company that has achieved unrivaled success and scale in its home state of Florida," said Steve White, Chief Executive Officer of Harvest.  "As one of the oldest multi-state operators, we believe our track record of identifying and developing attractive market opportunities combined with our recent successful launch of adult use sales in Arizona will add tremendous value to the combined organization as it continues to expand and grow in the coming years."



OG DNA Genetics, a globally recognized leading cannabis brand, today announced a licensing agreement with UNIVO Pharmaceuticals LTD, an Israeli based medical cannabis company trading on the Tel Aviv stock exchange under the symbol (UNVO.TA).


This Agreement will grant UNIVO license to the DNA brand and access to their proprietary library of award-winning genetics (including Kosher Kush) for use at the company’s 5-acre cultivation facility located in the south of Israel.


“We’re excited to announce our partnership with UNIVO Pharmaceuticals and our entry into the rapidly developing Israeli medical cannabis market. Through this partnership, we will be able to bring our unique varieties to Israel and develop new and exciting cannabis-derived medicinal products to export internationally. We couldn’t ask for a better partner to enter the Israeli medical cannabis market with than UNIVO Pharmaceuticals,” said Rezwan Khan, President of DNA Genetics.


“We are pleased to announce a strategic joint venture with DNA Genetics, a well-known global player in the field of cannabis, who has examined the Israeli market and partnered with us to build a joint international brand. We strongly believe that the technological and marketing capabilities of both companies will result in a high quality and competitive brand that will be launched shortly, which will contribute to our market presence both locally and outside our domestic Israeli market,” said Golan Bitton, CEO of UNIVO Pharmaceuticals.

"We are pleased to partner with DNA Genetics, one of the leading companies in the field of cannabis genetics and farming. Our professional teams will collaborate on Amit Farm to develop new cannabis strains while growing the best genetics and make available the best products using our leading global standard farming infrastructure for the benefit of patients in Israel and other countries," said Omer Layani, Amit Farm Manager.


Since its inception, the genetics developed by DNA have won more than 200 awards, in all

categories, at the most prestigious cannabis events around the world – making DNA the global standard in breeding and growing truly best-in-class strains. These awards include the High Times’ Top 10 Strain of the Year, which was inducted into the High Times Seedbank Hall of Fame in 2009, the High Times’ 100 Most Influential People in the Industry, and the High Times’ Trail Blazers Award, for contributions made towards uniting the fields of entrepreneurship, politics, and medicine.


Veridocs Inc., a leader in solutions for ID authentication and identity management, announced the introduction of the Veridocs BrightTower Retail Safety and Security System. This affordable, modular system automates the age verification process with technology far more advanced than a barcode scan and can also check internal and external watch lists according to state and local regulations. With ID readers, software, training, and additional options and integrations, BrightTower Retail delivers a flexible tool that outperforms standard ID verification systems and helps cannabis retailers maintain strict compliance.


BrightTower Retail’s ID authentication starts when a customer or staff member inserts an ID into the reader. It is quickly compared against a global database to confirm the presence of security features such as UV and other specialized inks, plus other electronic features present in the document. The technology confirms a match between the encoded data (such as barcodes and chips) with the data printed on the front of the document. This helps retailers easily spot barcode forgeries, which are increasingly common on fake IDs.


Cannabis retailers also have the option of incorporating watch list checks, automatically comparing the data on the ID document to databases as required by any state and local regulations. An option for facial matching compares the ID photo to a live image of the person presenting the ID, giving staff a useful tool to flag customers “borrowing” an older sibling or friend’s ID. Retailers can also use the technology to keep audit trails of ID scans for future reference and enforcement concerns.


BrightTower Retail includes on-demand training modules designed by experts in organizational safety and security. With this training, retailers can easily onboard staff members and help them make the right decisions when a fake ID is flagged, or a security concern arises.


Additional options such as security cameras with covert triggers are available for users to add extra layers of protection customized for their environments. BrightTower’s security experts—veterans of safety, security and fraud prevention—are also available for custom consulting and on-site assessments and trainings.


“BrightTower Retail was designed to help eliminate staff guesswork in spotting fake or ‘borrowed’ IDs,” Veridocs President and CEO Joe Oprosko said. “We’re giving retailers the tools—in both technology and training—to be certain they’re protecting themselves against fines, possible threats and fraud.”


Once again, today’s podcast is sponsored by Phyto Extractions Inc. (CSE:XTRX), an agricultural-scale cannabis extraction, distillation and product manufacturer located in Langley, BC at its co-located Health Canada Licensed Standard Processing (extraction, no cultivation), Sales (extracts, topicals, and edibles) through Adastra Labs Inc. and Analytical Testing Laboratory through Chemia Analytics Inc. Adastra Labs also has a pending Health Canada R&D license amendment.


Investor ideas reminds all listeners to read our disclaimers and disclosures on the website and that this podcast is not an endorsement to buy products or services or securities. Investors are reminded all investment involves risk and possible loss of investment.


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