Three of the Biggest Cannabis Catalysts Heading into New Year 2020

Cannabis could very well be the hottest buzzword of 2020. For one, we’re just beginning to see higher approval ratings for cannabis in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, 67% of Americans now support its legalization In addition, only 32% of adults now oppose legalization, as compared to 52% in 2010. Two, many more retailers are jumping on board. Neiman Marcus, Abercrombie & Fitch, Vitamin Shoppe, Kroger’s, Barney’s, DSW, CVS, American Eagle Outfitters, Sephora, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and even Dollar General will sell CBD products. Three, with U.S. presidential elections just months away, cannabis is becoming a hot platform topic. President Trump for example has said he would support bipartisan efforts in Congress to ease the federal ban on marijuana. That’s creating sizable opportunity for companies including Veritas Farms Inc. (OTCQB:VFRM), Aphria Inc. (NYSE:APHA)(TO:APHA), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON), Green Growth Brands Inc.(CSE:GGB)(OTC:GGBXF), and Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CN:CURA)(OTC:CURLF).

Veritas Farms Inc. (OTCQB:VFRM) BREAKING NEWS: Veritas Farms Inc. just announced that it has signed a lease for a 34,000 square foot product production and distribution facility in Aurora, Colorado. The new facility is located inside the Majestic Commercenter, a 1,500-acre master planned business park located just 5 miles from Denver International Airport, and will be used for production, warehousing, ecommerce fulfillment and commercial distribution of Veritas Farms' ingestible and topical product lines. The facility will also house additional office and meeting space for the Company. “This new facility represents an important part of our overall growth strategy moving into 2020” explained Veritas Farms CEO Alexander Salgado “When we move in, we will be joining the likes of Amazon, Crate and Barrel, Airbus and other leading corporations in the business park, and the sites convenient location near the Denver International Airport, makes it an important step in the continuation of our overall growth strategy, which focuses on expanding our vertically integrated operations to meet rapidly rising consumer demand.” Veritas Farms will begin buildout work on the property as soon as possible and hopes to move into the new facility by the end of the 1st Quarter 2020. The expansion of operations follows aggressive customer acquisition campaigns undertaken by The Company, which management believes will support increasing sales during 2020. 

Other cannabis-related developments from around the markets include:

Aphria Inc. (NYSE:APHA)(TO:APHA) announced that its subsidiary Aphria Diamond secured a credit facility, on November 29 2019, with a major Canadian chartered bank as sole arranger, sole book runner and administrative agent on behalf of a group of lenders for a committed senior secured credit facility of $80 million. “Aphria has the largest cash balance in the cannabis industry without the dilution of a strategic partner,” said Irwin D. Simon. “We are pleased to have secured a term loan that will repatriate a portion of our investment in Aphria Diamond, to be strategically deployed by Aphria. This loan strengthens our balance sheet without being dilutive, and positions Aphria Diamond for success as we expand into new categories and growth opportunities in cannabis to enhance value for shareholders long term.” Since securing its Health Canada license on November 1, 2019, Aphria Diamond is quickly coming on scale. Aphria Diamond will be 70 per cent planted by mid-week, with 350,000 young seedlings planted. With the level of automation and scale of the facility, the Company anticipates Aphria Diamond to have one of the lowest cost structures in the industry. Aphria expects the dried flower production from the first harvest to be sold to provincial control boards sometime in March 2020.

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON)  announced its financial results and business highlights for the three- and nine-months ending September 30, 2019. “As demonstrated by our progress in the third quarter, we are making great strides to advance the development and diversity of our portfolio and to expand our manufacturing capabilities,” said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. “We are confident that our platform strategy and focus on consumer driven innovation will continue to differentiate Cronos Group and drive growth and value creation over the long-term.”

Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB)(OTC:GGBXF) reported its results for the thirteen-week period ended September 28, 2019. Revenues for the period totaled $12.7M. “As we approach the holiday shopping season, we are confident in our growth trajectory,” said Peter Horvath, CEO. “We are proud of the topline growth we accomplished in Q1 and are extremely pleased with our current results, which are an indication of future growth. In fact, the four weeks of fiscal November, retail CBD sales were two-thirds of our total CBD sales reported in all of the thirteen weeks of first quarter fiscal 2020, which we are reporting today. This topline growth is reflective of our shift from investing in the foundation of our CBD business to focusing on its execution. “In a very short-time we have grown a meaningful CBD footprint. We believe our products, network of shops, rapidly growing web business and wholesale relationships position us as a leader in the industry. In the coming quarters we look-forward to reporting similar trends and results for our MSO segment of the business. As we begin to reach scale our consumer and operations expertise will be clearly reflected, not only in the customer experiences we create and the loyalty we drive, but also in our financials as we work towards profitability.”

Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CN:CURA)(OTC:CURLF) announced that Joe Bayern will become President of Curaleaf Holdings, Inc., effective immediately. Bayern brings over 20 years of executive leadership experience in consumer packaged goods at a critically important moment in Curaleaf's growth trajectory. He will report to Curaleaf CEO Joseph Lusardi. As President, Bayern will work closely with the senior executive team to lead the company and oversee its continued growth. Bayern will primarily be focused on driving operational excellence and executing on Curaleaf's mission. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Lusardi will continue to oversee the strategic vision and operations of the company.  

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