The Biggest Catalysts for Cannabis in New Year 2020

2019 was a monumental year for cannabis. Legalization advanced in Congress with the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which could remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Presidential candidates are embracing reform, using it as a platform. President Trump noted he supported state marijuana laws without federal interference. Illinois became the 11th state to legalize its use, with many more states likely to legalize it for recreational and/or medicinal use. In addition, two-thirds of Americans are for cannabis legalization. And now, as we move into 2020, we’re likely to see more efforts for legalization with higher approval ratings. We’re also likely to hear much more about it as we near the 2020 elections. All of this is leading to a wide range of opportunity for companies including Rubicon Organics Inc. (CSE:ROMJ)(OTCQX:ROMJF), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB)(TSX:ACB), Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED)(NYSE:CGC), and Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. (OTC:CWBHF) (CN:CWEB).

Rubicon Organics Inc. (CSE:ROMJ)(OTCQX:ROMJF) BREAKING NEWS: Rubicon Organics Inc. just announced an agreement with Agro-Greens Natural Products Ltd., a Health Canada licensed cannabis producer and processor, to distribute the Company’s Simply Bare branded flower to provincial distributors and retailers in the Canadian recreational market. In connection with the agreement, the Company has commenced shipment of bulk flower to Agro-Greens’ facility in Saskatchewan where they will package it into Simply Bare branded product.  Agro-Greens expects to secure purchase orders with major provincial distributors and retailers for Simply Bare in the coming weeks and the Company will announce such purchase orders as they are received by Agro-Greens. “We are delighted to have Agro-Greens as our partner to begin rolling out our certified organic Simply Bare branded flower to the Canadian marketplace,” stated Jesse McConnell, CEO. “Based on extensive discussions with provincial distributors, we know there is significant market demand for high-quality organic cannabis products and are confident that our products will be available in major markets starting in the new year.” The Company’s agreement with Agro-Greens covers the time between today’s announcement and when Rubicon Organics receives its Health Canada authorization to sell dried cannabis flower products directly to provincially authorized distributors.  As reported on November 12, 2019, Rubicon Organics expects to receive its sales license in the first half of 2020.

Other cannabis-related developments from around the markets include:

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON) announced 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. “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.”

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB)(TSX:ACB) oil products has now been approved for use under Ireland's new Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP). Aurora's High CBD Oil Drops received approval from the Irish authorities and have now been added to a regulatory schedule by the Irish Minister of Health enabling importation, prescribing and supply under the scheme and is to date, one of only two products to gain such authorization. Dr. Shane Morris, Chief Product Officer at Aurora said, "Aurora is pleased to be able to assist patients who are seeking treatment with high quality EU-GMP (good manufacturing practice) certified pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis in Ireland.   We are very proud to be one of the first approved suppliers of medical cannabis under the MCAP.  We want to acknowledge the efforts made by many people, especially the patients and doctors who have campaigned for access to these medicines.  We look forward to more of Aurora's high-quality medicines being approved, so that more patients can benefit from the MCAP in Ireland.  We will continue to work closely with all parties and state agencies to facilitate further availability."

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED)(NYSE:CGC) just announced that effective January 14, 2020, David Klein has been appointed as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. David brings a wealth of expertise to this role, having served in a number of senior leadership capacities over the past 14 years at Constellation Brands. His capabilities include extensive CPG and beverage alcohol industry experience, strong financial orientation, and experience operating in highly regulated markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. David is an experienced strategist with a deep understanding of how to build enduring consumer brands while leveraging operational scale across a dispersed production footprint. He is a strong leader with a proven track record of developing diverse and high performing teams. In his current role as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Constellation Brands, David oversees all aspects of the company’s finance operations, all mergers and acquisitions, as well as the company’s information technology function. He is widely respected among members of the U.S. investment community, earning recognition as a top CFO by Institutional Investor magazine the past three years. David serves as a member of Constellation Brands’ executive management committee. He has served on the Canopy Growth Board of Directors for over a year and is presently Canopy Growth’s Board Chair. This familiarity with the Company’s current leadership team and strategy will allow David to integrate quickly, a major benefit in the fast-moving cannabis sector.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. (OTC:CWBHF)(CN:CWEB) announced that it has closed its previously announced underwritten public offering for aggregate gross proceeds to the Company of C$66,250,000. A total of 5,000,000 units of the Company, at a price of C$13.25 per Unit were sold pursuant to the Offering. The Offering was led by Canaccord Genuity Corp., together with a syndicate of underwriters including Cormark Securities Inc., Eight Capital, and PI Financial Corp. Each Unit was comprised of one common share of the Company and one half of one common share purchase warrant. Each Warrant will be exercisable to acquire one common share for a period of 2 years following the closing date of the Offering at an exercise price of C$16.50 per Warrant Share, subject to adjustment in certain events. Charlotte's Web has also granted the Underwriters an option (the "Over-Allotment Option") to purchase up to 750,000 additional Units of the Company on the same terms as the Offering, exercisable within 30 days of the closing of the Offering. Net proceeds from the Offering will be used primarily to fund the Company's business development and for general working capital purposes. The Units were offered in each of the provinces of Canada, other than Québec, pursuant to the Company's base shelf prospectus dated April 8, and were also offered by way of private placement in the United States to "qualified institutional buyers". The terms of the Offering are described in a prospectus supplement dated November 27, 2019.

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