The Fly

Here’s What You Missed in Cannabis, Psychedelics This Week

Cannabis firms report earnings as Clever Leaves, Curaleaf to close certain operations

In this week’s "Rising High," The Fly’s recurring series focused on cannabis and psychedelic stock news, The Fly looks back on cannabis earnings, operation closures and study results.

CANNABIS EARNINGS: On Monday, Avant Brands (AVTBF) reported preliminary Q4 gross revenue of C$8.8M, which compared to C$2.8M for the same period last year. The company produced approximately 1,752 kilograms of cannabis and sold approximately 1,471 kilograms of cannabis in Q4.

"The 2022 fiscal year was a record year for Avant as we continue to demonstrate that we are capable of producing high-quality cannabis, at scale. We are excited for the year ahead, as we expect to leverage the pending acquisition of The Flowr Group Inc., which is expected to deliver additional growth," said CEO Norton Singhavon.

Additionally on Thursday, the company provided its 2023 strategic objectives and outlook, Upon closing of the acquisitions of Flowr Okanagan and 3PL, Avant’s strategic objectives and outlook for the 2023 year include: Increasing production through the Flowr Facility and the 3PL Facility; Implementing modifications to the Flowr Facility to facilitate production of Avant premium cannabis flower; Fulfilling all Provincial government purchase orders and export demand; Exploring new global markets for exporting product, leveraging the Company’s reputation in existing markets, such as Israel and Australia; Launching new cultivars from Avant’s extensive library of genetics; Continuing to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, while seeking opportunities to reduce the Company’s overall cost of production; and Continuing to explore contract growing or acquisition opportunities to the extent that the acquisition of Flowr Okanagan does not completely fulfill unmet customer demand.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Body and Mind (BMMJ) reported Q1 loss per share of 3c on a revenue of $7.8M, compared to loss per share of 1c on revenue of $7.6M for the same quarter last year. The company also reported adjusted EBITDA loss of $1.6M, which compared to adjusted EBITDA of $0.8M for the same period last year.

"Our most recent quarter reflects our growth into new markets, continued focus on operations and funds committed to expanding Body and Mind as we continue to advance our priority projects in Illinois and New Jersey. Our goal is to drive our business forward with our current operations as we open new facilities in strong markets. Our development team has worked diligently with the city of Markham, Illinois and received all approvals to advance construction," stated CEO Michael Mills.

Additionally on Monday, Cannara Biotech (LOVFF) reported Q1 revenue of C$10.3M, compared to revenue of C$6.56M for the same period last year. The company also reported adjusted EBITDA of C$1.68M, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $0.9M for the quarter last year.

"In Q1 2023, we continued to execute on Cannara’s growth plan, as evidenced by the activation of our 7th grow zone at our Valleyfield Facility, our entry into the BC market and the release of 14 new high-demand SKU’s," stated CEO Zohar Krivorot. "We have maintained our market share in Quebec, which we expect to increase in future quarters as we continue to expand in Ontario, British Colombia, and Saskatchewan in addition to launching in Alberta. The release of 14 new SKU’s this quarter is a testament to the hard work of all Cannara staff here and we are confident that our premium products will continue to be a hit with our ever-expanding customer base.”

CLEVER LEAVES TO WIND DOWN PORTUGAL OPERATIONS: Clever Leaves (CLVR) announced Monday the wind-down of all operations in Portugal as part of its ongoing restructuring initiatives. Under this restructuring plan, the company expects its Portuguese flower cultivation, post-harvest processes, and manufacturing activities to cease in full by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

“By exclusively cultivating and producing our cannabinoid products in Colombia, we aim to leverage our existing cost efficiencies in the country as we ramp our dry flower offering,” said CEO Andres Fajardo. “We believe this transition will allow us to optimize our production infrastructure and drive increased cost savings, positioning us to compete more effectively in the global medicinal cannabis market.”

Beginning in the second quarter of 2023, the company will solely cultivate its flower strains in its Colombian greenhouses, where preparations for dry flower exports have been underway for the past 18 months. Clever Leaves believes it remains on track to commence sales of dry flower from Colombia later this quarter, and it has begun the process of transitioning its flower production to Colombia for current customers. On January 17, 2023, Clever Leaves’ board of directors authorized a restructuring plan that is designed to improve operating margin and support the company’s growth, scale, and profitability objectives. In conjunction with its restructuring plan and wind-down in Portugal, the company announced a collective dismissal of 63 employees associated with its Portuguese operations. Clever Leaves expects to incur total charges of approximately $19M to $21M in 4Q22 related to its operational closure in Portugal. Of the foregoing $19M to $21M in estimated charges, approximately $1.5M to $2M are expected to be cash expenditures with the balance being non-cash write-offs of prior investments. Taken together, the operational transition and workforce reduction initiatives are expected to generate approximately $7M in savings by year-end 2023, compared to 2022.

CURALEAF CLOSES OPERATIONS IN CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, OREGON: Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF) announced Thursday the proactive closure of most of its operations in California, Colorado and Oregon, beginning this month, as part of its continued effort to streamline its business. Additionally, to further optimize operations and reduce costs, the company will consolidate cultivation and processing operations in Massachusetts to a single facility in Webster, resulting in the closure of its Amesbury facility. Curaleaf expects to record non-cash restructuring and impairment charges. Concurrent with these actions, the company has reduced its payroll by 10% which, when coupled with other cost savings initiatives, it expects to realize $60M in gross run-rate expense savings in 2023, exceeding its initial savings target by 50%. The company will exit production and cultivation facilities in California, Colorado and Oregon. Curaleaf expects these market closures will be immediately accretive to its adjusted EBITDA margins and positions it for robust positive free cash flow generation in excess of $125M this year.

CEO Matt Darin said, "We have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders to improve margins and fortify our balance sheet by controlling what we can in our business. We believe these states will represent opportunities in the future, but the current price compression caused by a lack of meaningful enforcement of the illicit market prevent us from generating an acceptable return on our investments. We are confident that these moves, made to improve our cashflow and margins, are the right ones to bolster the future success and profitability of Curaleaf.”

Additionally on Tuesday, Curaleaf announced the expansion of its Grassroots brand in New Jersey with the launch of premium cannabis flower and pre-rolls. Available now at all Curaleaf locations across the state, New Jersey is the eighth market to offer Grassroots’ products.

SMALL PHARMA REPORTS SPL026 PHASE IIA RESULTS: Small Pharma (DMTTF) announced Wednesday that SPL026, intravenous N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, with supportive therapy for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder met the primary endpoint in its Phase IIa clinical trial, demonstrating a statistically significant and clinically relevant reduction in depressive symptoms at two-weeks post-dose, as compared to placebo. Further analysis of key secondary endpoints demonstrated a rapid and durable antidepressant effect to 12-weeks. The trial investigated the efficacy and safety of intravenous SPL026, with supportive therapy, in 34 patients with moderate/severe MDD.

Carol Routledge, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, said: “We are pleased that a significant number of patients benefited from the treatment in our trial. SPL026 with supportive therapy was shown to have a significant antidepressant effect that was rapid and durable, with a remission rate of 57% at three months following a single dose of SPL026. It was encouraging to see that SPL026 demonstrated a favourable safety and tolerability profile in MDD patients in this study, consistent with our Phase I study. The results are clinically meaningful and enable us to progress into an international multi-site Phase IIb study where we seek to further explore the efficacy and safety profile of SPL026 in a larger MDD patient population.”

The company also reported Wednesday cash on hand of $22.7M as of November 30, 2022 and cash used in operating activities for the three months ending November 30 of $5.4M. Operating expenses for the three-month period were $7.2M.

IIPR PRICE TARGET LOWERED: BTIG analyst Thomas Catherwood lowered the firm’s price target on Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) on Tuesday to $179 from $196 but kept a Buy rating on the shares after the company’s mixed update last week. While the resolution with Kings Garden played out exactly as predicted and the tenant resumed rent payment on its four operating assets in Q4, three additional tenants, which represent about 6.3% of investment, have now defaulted on rent, the analyst said. Innovative Industrial Properties management has now proven its ability to work through tenant defaults and re-lease vacant facilities, but an eviction of Green Peak and Parallel would be the company’s largest test to date, Catherwood added.

CANNABIS/PSYCHEDELIC STOCKS: Publicly-traded companies in the space include Akerna (KERN), Acreage Holdings (ACRHF), Aleafia (ALEAF), Atai Life Sciences (ATAI), Audacious (AUSAF), Aurora Cannabis (ACB), Awakn Life Sciences (AWKNF), Ayr Wellness (AYRWF), Canopy Growth (CGC), Chicago Atlantic (REFI), Compass Pathways (CMPS), Columbia Care (CCHWF), CordovaCann (LVRLF), Cresco Labs (CRLBF), Cronos (CRON), CURE Pharmaceutical (CURR), CV Sciences (CVSI), Cybin (CYBN), Delic Holdings (DELCF), Delta 9 (DLTNF), Entourage Health (ETRGF), Fire & Flower (FFLWF), Flora Growth (FLGC), Flowr Corporation (FLWPF), General Cannabis (CANN), Greenlane (GNLN), BZAM (BZAMF), Green Thumb (GTBIF), Goodness Growth (GDNSF), GrowGeneration (GRWG), Hemp (HEMP), HEXO (HEXO), High Tide (HITI), India Globalization Capital (IGC), Indiva (NDVAF), InterCure (INCR), IM Cannabis (IMCC), Wellbeing Digital (KONEF), Khiron Life Sciences (KHRNF), Lowell Farms (LOWLF), Lotus Ventures (LTTSF), MediPharm Labs (MEDIF), MedMen (MMNFF), NewLake Capital (NLCP), Organigram (OGI), Planet 13 (PLNHF), Reunion Neuroscience (REUN),  Revitalist (RVLWF), RIV Capital (CNPOF), Relmada (RLMD), RYAH Group (RYAHF), Safe Harbor (SHFS), SLANG Worldwide (SLGWF), Sproutly (SRUTF), Stem Holdings (STMH), Skye Biosciences (SKYE), SNDL (SNDL), Sunniva (SNNVF), TerrAscend (TRSSF), Tetra Bio-Pharma (TBPMF), Tilray (TLRY), Tryp Therapeutics (TRYPF), Trulieve (TCNNF), The Valens Company (VLNS), Verano (VRNOF), Village Farms (VFF), Wesana Health (WSNAF), Zynerba (ZYNE) and 4Front Ventures (FFNTF).

Keywords: cannabis, weed, stocks, marijuana, cultivation, legalization, CBD, THC, hemp, psychedelics, ketamine, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA

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