NEW YORK – Thailand made headlines last week when it became the first country in Asia to decriminalize Cannabis, making it legal to grow and sell or use for medicinal reasons. Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul expects legal cannabis production to boost the economy, but warned that recreational cannabis use remains illegal. The public health minister also launched a plan to distribute 1 million cannabis seedlings with a THC level below 0.2% to households across Thailand for medicinal purposes. Cannabis decriminalization in Thailand opens up a new market for cannabis companies like Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX:OGI), Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX: WEED) (NASDAQ: CGC), and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZYNE).
Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) is a leading all-outdoor cultivator, manufacturer and distributor of global cannabis products and brands that operates one of the largest outdoor cannabis cultivation facilities.
On June 16, Flora Growth announced a new share repurchase program. The company’s board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $5 million of its outstanding common shares as market conditions and Flora’s liquidity mandate. The repurchase program will help to increase Flora‘s share price, creating value for shareholders by boosting demand for a company’s stock .
“We believe that the potential to repurchase our shares at these levels represents a compelling opportunity to deploy available cash to drive shareholder value,” said Luis Merchan, Flora Growth‘s Chairman and CEO. “The repurchase program affords us the opportunity to increase our ownership in our portfolio of high-quality brands through our shares, which in our view are trading well below NAV.”
On May 23, Flora Growth announced that it has reached an agreement with leading cell biologist, Dr. Annabelle Manalo-Morgan, Ph.D., to acquire her Masaya brand, as well as her patent-pending CBD formulations. Created by Dr. Annabelle and backed by her research, Masaya’s pure and potent CBD oil formulations are 100% THC-free. They have a long list of positive testimonials collected over years of use. Flora intends to distribute the brand and its formulations worldwide.
Masaya will become a Flora-owned brand sold in the United States and will be Flora Life Sciences’ first offering. In addition, the original patent-pending formulation, Masaya Pure, is expected to be used in Flora‘s current clinical trials with the University of Manchester in the UK. The formulation is also being registered with the Colombian regulatory agency, INVIMA, as one of the first steps for distribution beyond the United States.
Flora‘s Chairman and CEO Luis Merchan said: “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Masaya. The brand’s formulation was developed by Dr. Annabelle for her son and has since been used by thousands of consumers. Amplifying Dr. Annabelle and her son’s beautiful story and improving the well-being of people around the world is our aim. This acquisition allows us to deliver on our promise to invest in safe, thorough, cutting-edge scientific research that can bring meaningful change via an efficacious and accessible product offering for people worldwide.”
On May 18, Flora Growth announced a partnership between the company’s cannabis accessories brand, Vessel, and Highsman, a cannabis lifestyle brand grounded in an appreciation for greatness founded by the former NFL running back Ricky Williams.
To kick off the partnership, the former NFL star collaborated with Team Vessel to create a custom Helix one-hitter prop designed by Highsman. The Highsman Helix showcases both brands’ appreciation for elite performance and the cannabis plant. Precision crafted from pure, non-toxic brass, the patent-pending dual helix design provides the perfect combination of filtering and cooling for a truly unique user experience.
Cannabis Companies Report Quarterly Results
OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI) provided a corporate update on March 25. The company earned the third market share position among Canadian licensed producers for the second consecutive month. In addition, it maintained its No. 1 position in terms of market share in dried flowers. In December 2021, the company acquired Quebec-based Laurentian Holdings Inc. The two business leaders are working together for a successful integration across all departments, including human resources, sales, R&D, operations, marketing and finance. This integration supports the synergies identified during the acquisition. Due to the popularity of its flagship Edison brand, OrganiGram has launched two new premium dried flower strains: Edison Kush Cakes and Edison Frozen Lemons. In the second quarter, the company achieved positive Adjusted EBITDA two quarters ahead of schedule, driven by record net sales of $31.8 million.
Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) posted net revenue of $25 million in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of $12.4 million compared to the first quarter of 2021. The year-over-year increase was primarily due to an increase of net sales in the Rest of the World segment, driven by the growth of the Israeli medical market and the Canadian adult-use market. Adjusted EBITDA of ($18.9) million in Q1 2022 improved by $17.7 million compared to Q1 2021. The year-over-year improvement was primarily due to improved gross profit and lower sales and marketing and R&D expenses. In the first quarter, Cronos Group launched a strategic plan to realign the business around its brands, centralize functions and assess the company’s supply chain. The organizational and cost reduction initiatives undertaken aim to better position Cronos Group to generate profitable and sustainable growth over time.
On May 27, Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX: WEED) (NASDAQ: CGC) reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 31, 2022. The company advanced its premier North American brand strategy with Canopy Growth considering the acquisition of Wana Brands, North America’s #1 edible cannabis brand, and Jetty Extracts, a top 10 cannabis brand in California, adding to the strong brand portfolio. As a result of business transition activities, the company generated net revenue of $520 million in fiscal 2022, down 5% from fiscal 2021. Through restructuring actions previously announced on April 26, 2022, management expects to generate COGS savings of $30-50 million and general and administrative expense reductions of $70-100 million, both in a period of 12 to 18 months.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZYNE) reported R&D expenses of $5.1 million for the first quarter of 2022, including stock-based compensation of $0.5 million. General and administrative expenses were $3.8 million in the first quarter of 2022, including stock-based compensation expenses of $0.6 million. Net loss for the first quarter of 2022 was $8.5 million, with a basic and diluted loss per share of ($0.21). The company continues to expect top results from RECONNECT, a pivotal confirmatory Phase 3 trial of Zygel in patients with Fragile X syndrome (FXS), in the second half of 2023. Zynerba believes that results from RECONNECT, if positive, will be sufficient to support the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) for Zygel in patients with FXS.
Flora Growth Corp. recently appointed regulatory veteran Holly Bell as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Bell will play a key role in Flora’s national and global expansion strategy and will lead government relations in key international markets.
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