WeedMD Makes Changes To Leadership, Names George Scorsis Interim CEO

CANADA:  WeedMD, a medical cannabis licensed company operating in Strathroy, Ontario, has a new leader at its helm.

WeedMD announced that George Scorsis will take over as the organization’s Interim CEO. Since 2019, Scorsis has served as WeedMD’s Executive Chairman.  Currently, the company owns and operates a 158-acre state-of-the-art greenhouse and processing facility.

“As we continue on the path of executing our new product strategy and building an expanded distribution network, we are initiating a leadership transition that will position us strongly for this next phase. Additionally, the organization will focus on optimizing all aspects of the business,” Scorsis commented.

During his time at WeedMD, Scorsis has served in a variety of roles and has led initiatives and managed relationships with members and key stakeholders. He has over 25 years of business experience and was instrumental in restructuring Red Bull Canada, growing the company to $150 MM in revenue and also acted as President of Mettrum, a licenced producer.

In addition to this news, most recently, WeedMD announced the expansion of its Cannabis 2.0 product portfolio, with the introduction of terpene-infused vapes to be sold under its Saturday Cannabis branded line-up.  The flavored strains, which come in lemon haze and sour pineapple, are available to consumers through the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The launch of flavored vapes is another way the company is executing on its commercial growth plans.

“We are kicking off 2021 with a focused approach on increasing market share and commercial growth of our Color Cannabis and Saturday brands, while expanding our medical footprint through our Starseed portfolio. This includes an aggressive plan to transition WeedMD into a consumer-facing model of excellence. Ultimately becoming hyper-focused on driving meaningful results, while optimizing the organization for future success to deliver shareholder value,” George Scorsis commented.

The Saturday-branded vapes are produced at WeedMD’s extraction hub in Aylmer, Ontario and  join its line of Color Cannabis.

The debut comes after WeedMD began selling Black Sugar Rose to the Ontario Cannabis Store for adult-use earlier in December. WeedMD is the first cultivar to carry a terpene profile listing.  Black Sugar Rose is an indica-dominant hybrid whose whole flower product is currently available with a terpene profile of 3.6 per cent and THC level of 20 per cent.

Scorsis: “With Black Sugar Rose, we wanted to respond to the call for new cultivars, flower integrity, greater product diversity while responding to consumers’ request for less packaging.  Selling the product is just another way WeedMD is enhancing its appeal and accommodating an ever-evolving, national consumer base.”

Curtis Wallace, Head of Cultivation at WeedMD, added, “Cultivating and releasing Black Sugar Rose in Ontario is a proud achievement and pays homage to WeedMD’s cultivation pedigree and tradition for excellence.”

Terpenes are natural organic compounds that exist in all plants found in nature, including cannabis. They play a key role in aroma and flavour of individual cultivars and can be consumed in combination with cannabinoids.

WeedMD also made the decision to display total terpenes on its packaging at a time when cannabis users, and those who are new to cannabis, are looking for more information.

In an interview, Curtis Wallace said: “We now share full visibility on total terpenes, just like cannabinoids. Consumers and patients that are purchasing Color and Starseed flowers will value this new data point. From our perspective, a flower’s total terpene percentage is another number that matters, and knowledge is power.”

As WeedMD progresses into its next stages, George Scorsis will continue to work closely with the team to enhance customer experience, broaden distribution and work to increase sales on a national level.

 

Truss CBD USA, A HEXO Corp & Molson Coors Joint Venture, Launches Veryvell Sparkling CBD Water In Colorado

CANADA:  Truss CBD USA, a joint venture between HEXO Corp and Molson Coors Beverage Company, today announced the U.S. launch of VeryvellTM, a new line of non-alcoholic, sparkling CBD beverages, exclusively available in Colorado.

VeryvellTM is a hemp-derived, adaptogenic, sparkling CBD water now available to Colorado-based consumers in three flavours: Focus (Grapefruit Tarragon), Mind & Body (Strawberry Hibiscus) and Unwind (Blueberry Lavender). VeryvellTM is Powered by HEXOTM, the recognized quality and innovation behind award-winning products.

“We are excited to launch VeryvellTM in Colorado through Truss CBD USA, in collaboration with our partner, Molson Coors. Our joint venture with Molson Coors Canada saw Truss Beverage Brands become the number one choice for consumers in Canada and we are expecting similarly great results in the US.” said HEXO CEO and co-founder Sebastien St-Louis. “We have near-term plans to invest additional capital in the USA to support Truss CBD USA and to further execute on our Powered by HEXOTM strategy with other potential CPG partners, outside of beverages, with whom we are currently in ongoing negotiations.”

VeryvellTM is produced and distributed within Colorado state lines following the state’s established regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD in food and beverages and is exclusively distributed by Coors Distributing Company. Truss CBD USA is distinct from Truss Beverages, Molson Coors and HEXO’s joint venture in Canada that focuses on non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.

IM Cannabis to Acquire Trichome In Landmark Transaction

Establishes Global Growth Platform & Leading Multi-Country Operator

CANADA / ISRAEL:  IM Cannabis Corp., a multi-country operator in the medical cannabis sector with operations in Israel and across Europe, and Trichome Financial Corp., announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine their businesses into a global leader in adult-use recreational and medical cannabis pursuant to a plan of arrangement to be completed under the Business Corporations Act. Following completion of the Transaction, the Combined Company will maintain offices in Glil Yam, Israel and Toronto, Canada, and will operate under the IM Cannabis Corp. corporate name with common shares trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol “IMCC.” The Company remains on track to finalize its listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market in Q1 2021.

The Combined Company is expected to be a global cannabis production and distribution leader with increasing revenue in Israel and Germany’s medical cannabis markets under the IMC brand, and in Canada’s adult-use recreational market through Trichome’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Trichome JWC Acquisition Corp. The Combined Company is anticipated to benefit from each team’s cross-functional brand-building and distribution expertise, which is expected to enable the Combined Company to immediately begin planning for a roll-out of JWC products in Israel and the EU. Both management teams share a prudent operating philosophy that is grounded in finding low capital, high return projects, and a focus on free cash flow generation. Strategically, there is a common goal of continuing an aggressive, synergistic and accretive acquisition strategy in North America. With continued revenue growth in all operating regions expected throughout 2021 and by maintaining a disciplined and lean cost structure, the Combined Company is forecast to be adjusted EBITDA positive in 2021.

Aphria And Tilray Combine To Create Largest Global Cannabis Company With Pro Forma Revenue Of C$874 Million (US$685 Million)

Complementary, Scalable Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses Strengthen Leadership Position in Canada; Expands U.S. and International Reach through World-Class Cultivation, Manufacturing, Diversified Product Portfolio and Distribution Footprint

CANADA: Aphria Inc., a leading global cannabis company inspiring and empowering the worldwide community to live their very best life, and Tilray, Inc. , a global pioneer in cannabis research, cultivation, production and distribution, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine their businesses and create the world’s largest global cannabis company based on pro forma revenue1. The deal is pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario), and the implied pro forma equity value of the Combined Company is approximately C$5.0 billion (US$3.9 billion), based on the share price of Aphria and Tilray at the close of market on December 15, 2020. Following the completion of the Arrangement, the Combined Company will have principal offices in the United States (New York and Seattle), Canada (Toronto, Leamington and Vancouver Island), Portugal and Germany, and it will operate under the Tilray corporate name with shares trading on NASDAQ under ticker symbol “TLRY”.

The Combined Company, supported by low-cost, state-of-the-art cultivation, processing, and manufacturing facilities, will have a complete portfolio of branded Cannabis 2.0 products in Canada. Internationally, the Combined Company will be well-positioned to pursue growth opportunities with Aphria’s medical cannabis and distribution footprint in Germany, and Tilray’s European Union Good Manufacturing Practices low-cost cannabis production facility in Portugal, which has export capabilities and tariff-free access to the European Union to meet increasing global demand for medical cannabis. In the United States, the Combined Company will have a strong consumer packaged goods presence and infrastructure with two strategic pillars, including SweetWater Brewing Company, a cannabis lifestyle branded craft brewer, and Manitoba Harvest, a leading hemp food manufacturer and a pioneer in branded CBD and wellness products. The Combined Company is expected to have a strong, flexible balance sheet, cash balance and access to capital giving it the ability to accelerate growth and deliver attractive returns for stockholders.

Under the terms of the Arrangement, the shareholders of Aphria will receive 0.8381 shares of Tilray for each Aphria common share, while holders of Tilray shares will continue to hold their Tilray shares with no adjustment to their holdings. Upon the completion of the Arrangement, Aphria Shareholders will own approximately 62 percent of the outstanding Tilray Shares on a fully diluted basis, resulting in a reverse acquisition of Tilray, representing a premium of 23 percent based on the share price at market close on December 15, 2020 to Tilray shareholders. On a pro forma basis for the last twelve months reported by each company, the Combined Company would have had revenue of C$874 million (US$685 million).

Proven Leadership Team

The Combined Company will be led by a best-in-class management team and board of directors, with strong track records in consumer-packaged goods and cannabis experience internationally. Upon completion of the Arrangement, Aphria’s current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Irwin D. Simon, will lead the Combined Company as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The board of directors will consist of nine members, seven of which, including Mr. Simon, are current Aphria directors and two of which will be from Tilray, including Brendan Kennedy, and one of which is to be designated. Aphria and Tilray are confident that the leadership team and proposed board of directors of the Combined Company provides a strong foundation for the Combined Company to accelerate growth. Additional senior leadership positions at the Combined Company will be named at a later date.

“This is an exciting day for both companies including our 2,500 employees, for the cannabis industry, and for patients and consumers around the world. We are bringing together two world-class companies that share a culture of innovation, brand development and cultivation to enhance our Canadian, U.S., and international scale as we pursue opportunities for accelerated growth with the strength and flexibility of our balance sheet and access to capital,” said Mr. Simon. “Our highly complementary businesses create a combined company with a leading branded product portfolio, including the most comprehensive Cannabis 2.0 product offerings for patients and consumers, along with significant synergies across our operations in Canada, Europe and the United States. Our business combination with Tilray aligns with our strategic focus and emphasis on our highest return priorities as we strive to generate value for all stakeholders.”

“I am honored to work with Brendan Kennedy, a pioneer in the cannabis industry, and the Tilray team as they join forces with our talented employees at Aphria,” continued Mr. Simon. “I look forward to leading the talented teams of both Aphria and Tilray as we seek to create a leading global cannabis and consumer packaged goods company with a portfolio of medical, wellness and adult-use brands consumers love.”

Mr. Kennedy, Tilray’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are thrilled to bring together two cannabis industry leaders. At this nascent stage of development and expansion of the global cannabis market, we believe companies with leading geographic scale, product range and brand expertise are most likely to benefit long-term. By leveraging our combined strengths and capabilities, we expect to be able to meet the needs of consumers more effectively all over the world and advance patient care. With a strong financial profile, low-cost production, leading brands, distribution network and unique partnerships, we believe the Combined Company will be well-positioned to deliver sustainable, attractive returns for stockholders. I look forward to working with Irwin and the Combined Company’s management team to make our consumer products more accessible around the world.”

Strategic and Financial Benefits

The Combined Company will be the largest global cannabis company based on pro forma revenue for the last twelve months reported by each company with scale and breadth across major geographies and a complete portfolio of market leading brands in the major Cannabis 2.0 product categories. Aphria and Tilray each believe the business combination pursuant to the Arrangement will provide the following financial and strategic benefits, among others:

Financial Strength and Flexibility: The Combined Company will enjoy an attractive financial profile with pro forma revenue of C$874 million (US$685 million) for the last twelve months reported by each company, the highest in the global cannabis industry. In Canada, the combination of Aphria and Tilray will create the leading adult-use cannabis company with gross revenue of C$296 million (US$232 million) in the adult-use market for the twelve months reported by each company. Aphria has generated positive adjusted EBITDA over the last six quarters2, which in combination with the synergies to be realized, provides a robust platform for future profitability and cash flow generation for the Combined Company. This, collectively with the strength of the Combined Company’s balance sheet and access to capital, is expected to help accelerate global growth and value for the Combined Company’s stakeholders.

Creates the Leading Canadian Adult-Use Cannabis Licensed Producer: Together, Aphria and Tilray will be the leading adult-use cannabis Canadian Licensed Producer based on revenue for the last twelve months by combining their respective brands, distribution networks and world-class facilities. In Canada’s C$3.1 billion adult-use, retail market3, the Combined Company will have one of the lowest cost production operations with its state-of-the-art facilities. In addition, the Combined Company will have a portfolio of carefully curated brands across all consumer segments that are sold through its distribution partners. On a pro forma basis, for the period August to October 2020, the Combined Company would have held a 17.3% retail market share4, the largest share held by any single Licensed Producer in Canada and 700 basis points higher than the next closest competitor.

Increases Product Breadth and Commitment to Innovation: Leveraging both Aphria and Tilray’s commitment and culture of innovation and brand building, the Combined Company will serve clients with a complete portfolio of Cannabis 2.0 products and sales and service infrastructure supported by leading distribution partners. Aphria and Tilray’s complementary brands will be available across economy, value, core, premium and premium plus product offerings. In addition, the Combined Company will have a complete breadth of products in every major cannabis category, including flower, pre-roll, oils, capsules, vapes, edibles and beverages.

Establishes an Unrivaled European Platform: The Combined Company will be well-positioned to pursue growth opportunities with its end-to-end EU-GMP supply chain and distribution, which includes Aphria’s German medical cannabis distribution footprint and Tilray’s 2.7 million square foot European EU-GMP low-cost cannabis cultivation and production facility in Portugal. In Germany, Aphria’s wholly-owned subsidiary, CC Pharma GmbH, will provide the Combined Company with distribution capabilities for the Aphria and Tilray medical cannabis brands to more than 13,000 pharmacies. In Portugal, Tilray’s EU-GMP cultivation and production facility will provide the Combined Company with the capacity to cultivate and produce medical cannabis products in order to meet international demand and has export capabilities, which provides tariff-free access to the EU.

Enhances Consumer Packaged Goods Presence and Infrastructure in the U.S.: In the United States, the Combined Company will have a strong consumer packaged goods presence and infrastructure with two strategic pillars, including SweetWater, a cannabis lifestyle branded craft brewer, and Manitoba Harvest, a pioneer in branded hemp, CBD and wellness products with access to 17,000 stores in North America. The Combined Company is expected to leverage SweetWater’s craft beer manufacturing and distribution network to build brand awareness for the Combined Company’s leading brands via craft beers, hard seltzers, and other beverages as it seeks to take advantage of opportunities for both the adult-use and health and wellbeing beverage trends. The Combined Company also expects to pursue the opportunity to expand with new or existing CBD or other cannabinoid brands leveraging Manitoba Harvest’s strong hemp and wellness product platform. When U.S. regulations allow, the Combined Company expects to be well-positioned to compete in the U.S. cannabis market given its existing strong brands and distribution system in addition to its track record of growth in consumer-packaged goods and cannabis.

Positions Combined Company to Continue to Grow in the Beverage Segment: The Combined Company believes it will be well-positioned to pursue an accelerated rate of growth in the Canadian and the U.S. beverage industries by leveraging SweetWater’s innovation, knowledge, and expertise to introduce adult-use cannabis brands via craft beers and other beverages. This includes leveraging Aphria and Tilray’s proven distribution networks in Canada to sell SweetWater’s 420 cannabis lifestyle brand in Canada.

Substantial Synergies: The combination of Aphria and Tilray is expected to deliver approximately C$100 million of annual pre-tax cost synergies within 24 months of the completion of the transaction. The Combined Company expects to achieve cost synergies in the key areas of cultivation and production, cannabis and product purchasing, sales and marketing and corporate expenses. This is expected to include the opportunity for Aphria’s Leamington, Ontario operations to provide additional volume for Tilray’s brands and to replace the need for Tilray to use wholesale cannabis purchases from other licensed producers. Tilray’s London, Ontario facility will also provide Aphria with excess capacity to increase production of additional form factors including their branded edibles and beverages. The Combined Company is considering utilizing Tilray’s existing Nanaimo, British Columbia facility for Aphria’s premium Broken Coast brand to increasingly meet consumer demand for its products. The Combined Company plans to capitalize on opportunities for growth through a broadened product offering and additional form factors, with the aim of increasing adult-use cannabis brand availability across certain Canadian provinces to an expanded customer base with the Combined Company’s scalable infrastructure. Internationally, the Combined Company will have the opportunity to reach additional pharmacies and patients via distribution relationships. The combination is expected to unlock significant shareholder value.

Agreement Details

Under the terms of the Agreement, the Arrangement will be carried out by way of a court approved plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) and will require the approval of at least two-thirds of the votes cast by the Aphria Shareholders at a special meeting. Approval of a majority of the votes cast by Tilray stockholders will be required to, among other things contemplated by the Agreement, authorize the issuance of Tilray shares to Aphria shareholders pursuant to the Arrangement. Following completion of the Arrangement, Aphria will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tilray, with Aphria shareholders owning approximately 62 percent of Tilray.

Completion of the Arrangement is subject to regulatory and court approvals and other customary closing conditions. Regulatory approvals expected to be required include Competition Bureau (Canada), U.S. HSR and Germany FDI. The Agreement includes certain reciprocal customary provisions, including covenants in respect of the non-solicitation of alternative transactions, a right to match superior proposals and C$65 million (US$50 million) reciprocal termination fee payable under certain circumstances. The Arrangement is expected to close in the second quarter of calendar year 2021 following the receipt of such regulatory approvals, as well as court approval of the Arrangement.

Each of Aphria’s and Tilray’s respective directors and officers and certain principal Tilray Stockholders have entered into voting support agreements agreeing to vote their Aphria Shares or Tilray Shares, as applicable, in favor of the resolutions put before them pursuant to the Agreement.

For further information on the terms and conditions of the Arrangement, please refer to the Agreement in its entirety, which will be available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. Full details of the Arrangement will be included in a management information circular of Aphria and in a proxy statement of Tilray to be delivered to Aphria Shareholders and the Tilray Stockholders, respectively, in the coming weeks.

Board of Directors’ Approval

Each of Aphria’s and Tilray’s respective board of directors has unanimously approved the Agreement and the Arrangement. Jefferies LLC provided a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of Aphria on December 15, 2020, stating that, as of the date of such opinion and based upon the scope of review and subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications stated in such opinion, the Exchange Ratio is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Aphria Shareholders. Cowen provided a fairness opinion dated December 15, 2020 to the board of directors of Tilray stating that, as of the date of such opinion and based upon and subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications stated in such opinion, the Exchange Ratio is fair, from a financial point of view, to Tilray.

Advisors

Jefferies LLC is serving as financial advisor and DLA Piper LLP (US), DLA Piper (Canada) LLP and Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP are acting as legal counsel to Aphria. Cowen is serving as financial advisor and Cooley LLP and Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP are acting as legal counsel to Tilray.

Conference Call & Webcast Presentation

Aphria and Tilray executives will host a conference call and webcast with a supplemental presentation to discuss the strategic business combination today, December 16, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

To listen to the live call, dial (647) 427-7450 from Canada and the U.S. or (888) 231-8191 from international locations and use the passcode 4334816. A telephone replay will be available approximately two hours after the call concludes through January 13, 2021. To access the recording dial (855) 859-2056 and use the passcode 4334816.

There will also be a simultaneous, live webcast and supplemental presentation available on the Investors section of Aphria’s and Tilray’s website at aphriainc.com and Tilray.com. The webcast will be archived for 30 days.

We Have A Good Thing Growing

Canopy Growth Announces Changes To Canadian Operations

CANADA:  Canopy Growth Corporation announced a series of Canadian operational changes designed to streamline its operations and further improve margins.

Canopy Growth will cease operations at the following sites: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Fredericton, New Brunswick; Edmonton, Alberta; Bowmanville, Ontario; as well as its outdoor cannabis grow operations in Saskatchewan. Approximately 220 employees have been impacted as a result of these closures.

“As part of the end-to-end review of our operations that we outlined during our second-quarter earnings call, we have made the decision to close a number of our production facilities. These actions will be an important step towards achieving our targeted $150-$200MM of cost savings and accelerating our path to profitability. We are confident that our remaining sites will be able to produce the quantity and quality of cannabis required to meet current and future demand,” said David Klein, CEO, Canopy Growth. “This was a difficult decision but I believe it is the right one. I want to thank all of the employees impacted by this decision for their efforts in helping build Canopy Growth.”

These decisions are the partial outcome of an ongoing end-to-end review designed to improve the Company’s margins. The end-to-end review was announced during the Company’s Q2 earnings call and looks at people, process, technology, and infrastructure. The Company expects to record estimated total pre-tax charges of approximately $350-400MM in the third and fourth quarters of Fiscal 2021.

The production sites impacted represent approximately 17% of the Company’s enclosed Canadian footprint and 100% of its Canadian outdoor production footprint.

All figures reported above with respect to the third and fourth quarters of Fiscal 2021 are preliminary and are unaudited and subject to change and adjustment as the Company prepares its quarterly and annual financial statements.

 

Canopy Growth Expands Beverage Portfolio with Launch of First CBD-Infused Beverage Line Quatreau

New Product Line Features A Range of Naturally Flavoured Cannabis-Infused Sparkling Waters In Both CBD-only and Balanced (CBD + THC) Offerings

CANADA: Canopy Growth, a world-leading diversified cannabis, hemp, and cannabis device company, today announced the launch of Quatreau, a new line of premium CBD-infused beverages. The naturally flavoured sparkling waters are Canopy Growth’s first CBD-infused drinks, with both CBD-only and “balanced” (CBD + THC) offerings available in Canada. Launched on the heels of incredible growth in sales from the Company’s THC-infused beverages, released earlier this year, Canopy Growth is uniquely positioned to win market share in the CBD beverage space.

“We are proud to debut our first CBD-infused beverage brand in Canada, where we already lead the cannabis-infused beverage category, at a price point that delivers both quality and value to consumers,” said David Klein, CEO, Canopy Growth.  “We created Quatreau as an alternative to sugary, caffeinated beverages or even alcohol. With both CBD-only and “balanced” (CBD + THC) offerings in four natural  flavours, Quatreau meets the needs of discerning cannabis consumers.”

Canopy Growth plans to continue developing category leading brands that are driven by consumer insights, product-focused, with industry leading scientific formulation. Building on the successful launch and strong sales of THC-infused cannabis beverage brands Tweed, Houseplant and Deep Space, Canopy is poised to continue leading the cannabis space with the launch of Quatreau CBD-infused sparkling water, a consistent CBD product in a beverage format that is familiar to consumers.

Quatreau’s naturally flavoured Canadian product line includes four offerings named:

  • Quatreau Cucumber + Mint (contains 20 mg of CBD and < 1 mg of THC)
  • Quatreau Passion Fruit + Guava (contains 20 mg of CBD and < 1 mg of THC)
  • Quatreau Ginger + Lime (contains 2 mg of CBD and 2 mg of THC)
  • Quatreau Blueberry + Açai (contains 2 mg of CBD and 2 mg of THC)

For more information, visit quatreauwater.com

Aphria Announces Strategic Entry Into The United States With An Agreement To Acquire Sweetwater Brewing Company

SweetWater’s Portfolio of Beer Brands, Including the Flagship 420 Brand, Aligns with a Cannabis Lifestyle and Provides a Scalable Platform for Expansion into the U.S. and Canada

Accretive Acquisition Significantly Expands Aphria’s Addressable Market and Diversifies Product Offerings

Establishes an Infrastructure in the U.S. Enabling Accelerated Entry into U.S. Cannabis Market, Subject to Federal Legalization

Aphria to Host a Conference Call and Webcast on November 4, 2020, at 4:15 pm EST.

CANADA:  Aphria Inc., a leading global cannabis company inspiring and empowering the worldwide community to live their very best life, today announced it has entered into an agreement of merger and acquisition to acquire SW Brewing Company, LLC. SweetWater Brewing Company is one of the largest independent craft brewers in the United States  based on volume. Beginning with the flagship 420 beverage offerings, SweetWater has created an award-winning lineup of year-round, seasonal and specialty beers, a portfolio of brands closely aligned with a cannabis lifestyle. The approximately USD $300 million acquisition has been unanimously approved by Aphria’s Board of Directors and is expected to close before the end of December 2020. Aphria expects this acquisition to be immediately accretive to EBITDA and diluted earnings per share. All dollar amounts in the press release are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.

Founded in 1997 by Freddy Bensch, SweetWater has broad consumer appeal and has established strong distribution across 27 states plus Washington, D.C. and has ample capacity to support distribution efforts into new geographies, with limited capital expenditure. From its state-of-the-art brewery in Atlanta, Georgia, SweetWater produces a balanced variety of year-round and seasonal specialty craft brews, with SweetWater beverages available in approximately 29,000 off-premise retail locations ranging from independent bottle shops to national chains. SweetWater’s significant on-premises business allows consumers to enjoy its varietals in more than 10,000 restaurants and bars.

In addition to its traditional distribution footprint, SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale and IPA are served on all Delta flights nationwide plus internationally totaling more than 50 countries across six continents which have served to extend SweetWater’s brand reach on both a national and international level. The Company also hosts an annual music festival, “SweetWater 420 Fest,” that has evolved into one of the largest and most anticipated music festivals in the U.S., increasing brand awareness nationwide. In 2019, the 420 Strain G13 IPA became the top new craft brand in the U.S. in the first 12 months after its launch. In addition to branding, SweetWater’s various 420 strains of craft brews use terpenes and natural hemp flavours that, when combined with select hops, emulate the flavours and aromas of popular cannabis strains, to appeal to a loyal consumer base that made the 420 Strain G13 IPA their #2 best-selling beer and #1 best-selling new craft beer in the U.S. For the year ended December 31, 2019, SweetWater Brewing Company generated net revenue and adjusted EBITDA of $66.6 million and $22.1 million, respectively, and production volume increased 7% year-over-year to nearly 261,000 barrels, twice the growth rate of the craft beer market nationally, according to the Brewers Association.

“Our strong balance sheet and access to capital have enabled us to enter the U.S. through this strategic and accretive acquisition. We will establish and grow our U.S. presence through SweetWater’s robust, profitable platform of craft brewing innovation, manufacturing, marketing and distribution expertise. At the same time, we will build brand awareness for our adult-use cannabis brands, Broken Coast, Good Supply, Riff and Solei, through our participation in the growing $29 billion craft brew market in the U.S. ahead of potential future state or federal cannabis legalization,” said Irwin D. Simon, Aphria’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to building upon the strengths of each of our respective and complementary brands, diversifying our product offering, broadening our consumer reach, and enhancing loyalty with consumers.”

The People’s Alliance Of Cannabis In Canada Brings Support, Services & Standards To The Growing Industry

CANADA: “We are concerned with setting standards for the cannabis industry in Canada that will not only demonstrate our united strength, but also give countries across the world something to emulate as they pursue federal legalization as well,” said Anne-Marie Fischer, M.Ed., the President of the newly launched People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada (PACC).

The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada, known as PACC, launched today on the second anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada. PACC represents the interests of professionals and consumers within the growing cannabis space across the nation. They provide support through crucial programming, develop professional standards for the industry to emulate, encourage the unification of all cannabis markets, and create a standard for education across cannabis in our country.

PACC operates and advocates for legislative change so that we create a cannabis industry where cannabis is always safely accessed, and provided by cultivators and producers who meet a set of defined professional standards.

“We came together in spring of this year because we were all frustrated about some of the things that were happening in the cannabis industry,” says Fischer, Founder and CEO of CannaWrite, “We saw that people were losing their jobs, that harassment and discrimination was a big problem, and that there were certain divides between markets that were preventing a united front for the progression of the plant.”

The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada has 6 focus areas that are led by one of the founding members, and supported by an Advisory Team of cannabis professionals, advocates, and consumers that have been carefully chosen to represent their part of cannabis. These focus areas are:

Medical Cannabis

Recreational/Retail

Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) in Cannabis

Hemp and Agriculture

Legacy Market

Cannabis Advocacy

Each Focus Area will work to develop professional standards, educational resources, and a path towards advocacy in their area of passion.

In addition to the Focus Areas, PACC will have several service areas that aim to provide support, benefits, and methods of recourse for disputes:

Group Medical Benefits

Legal Support

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Human Resources Standards/Best Practices

Harassment & Discrimination Reporting & Support

“The Founding Members of PACC all have professional backgrounds, and experiences, that we would like to see brought into this industry,” says Fischer, “By putting our skills, background, and knowledge of business, human resources, group benefits, and legal standards together, we hope that the people of cannabis feel they have somewhere to go, where they feel taken care of in all aspects of their lives”. The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada will unveil its membership program, that gives professionals in cannabis access to the above services, in mid-2021.

At present, PACC is working on establishing its Advisory Team and Working Groups, at which time the organization will move forward with establishing bylaws, terms and conditions, and objectives of PACC for the remainder of this year, and the year ahead.

Joining Fischer within the Founding Board is Vice President Kelly Addison, of Kelly’s Green Lounge, Michelle Parrotta of Mimi Cannabis, Khadisha Thornhill of Afro Cannada Bud Sistas, and Stacy Bobak of Cannadent.ca. “It’s been a passionate project for us all,” says Fischer, “We’ve been working every week together to move this forward. We genuinely hope this organization is a success that is supported by many.”

To learn more about The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada, visit www.peoplescannabis.ca, or follow the organization on Instagram at @peoplescannabiscanada or Facebook at www.facebook.com/peoplescannacanada

Kristen Bell Launches Happy Dance CBD Brand

CANADA: Cronos Group Inc. announced the launch of Happy Dance™, a new, clean, simple CBD skincare brand, co-founded with actress and New York Times best-selling author Kristen Bell. Happy Dance launches with a trio of high-quality, cruelty-free and vegan bath and body care products.

The new Happy Dance collection features a body butter, a coconut melt and a bath bomb, all formulated with Kristen Bell’s favorite clean ingredients and high-quality CBD from full-spectrum hemp extract. These multi-purpose products are infused with delightful blends of plant-based oils and butters in enjoyable textures that are effortlessly easy-to-use. The ultimate head-to-toe body treats, Happy Dance products are perfectly suited for the CBD enthusiast or for someone experiencing CBD for the first time.

“I discovered CBD through the Lord Jones™ brand in 2017 and was blown away by its quality, integrity and consistency. As a working mom, I turned to CBD skincare as a way to turn down the volume of my life and CBD products have since become an essential part of my self-care routine,” said Kristen Bell. “I was inspired to create a line of high-quality, affordable CBD bath and body care products that would reach a wide audience. Having been involved in all aspects of bringing this new brand to life, from the formulations to the packaging, I couldn’t be happier to launch Happy Dance today.”

“After years as a working actress, Kristen Bell understands the importance of taking care of your skin,” said Summer Frein, U.S. General Manager, Cronos Group. “Her passion for the category started with her personal and professional experience as a skincare ambassador and she has since become someone who people look to for personal care advice and expertise.”

The Happy Dance brand is the epitome of good, clean, fun. The full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD product collection launching today features:

  • Happy Dance Whipped Body Butter (200mg CBD) – $30
  • Happy Dance Head-to-Toe Coconut Melt (225mg CBD) – $25
  • Happy Dance Stress Away Bath Bomb (60mg CBD) – $15

“We feel fortunate to be working with someone as authentic, caring and kind as Kristen,” said Kurt Schmidt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cronos Group. “We have always been committed to improving people’s lives with breakthrough cannabinoid products, which is why we’re incredibly excited to launch an accessible, purpose-driven brand with Kristen Bell, someone we know consumers trust for her integrity and relatability.”

Happy Dance’s commitment to self-care extends not only to its products, but to the community it serves. One percent of profits from sales on the Happy Dance website will benefit A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, a Black-owned LA-based organization that provides housing, case management, pro bono legal services, advocacy and leadership development for women rebuilding their lives after prison.

“It was essential to me that Happy Dance be a purpose-driven brand that challenged the traditional notion of self-care,” said Kristen Bell. “And when I care for myself, I can better care for others. Happy Dance’s commitment to care extends to those who need it most, which is why we are honored to be partnering with A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project.”

Happy Dance products undergo extensive third-party testing, are vegan and cruelty-free and tested for heavy metals, microbiological contaminants, residual solvents and pesticides. Each product formula is evaluated through clinical testing according to cosmetic industry standards. Every product also features traceable lot codes allowing customers to review product Certificates of Analysis (COA).

For more information, or to purchase Happy Dance products, visit www.doahappydance.com or @happydance.

“Men Of Cannabis” Calendar Highlights Diversity In Growing Canadian Industry 

CANADA: “Of all the projects I have been involved in, the Men of Cannabis calendar is the most important one I’ve been involved with so far,” says Reverend Kelly Addison, founder of Orono’s Kelly’s Green Lounge, “I am pretty sure it was some divine intervention that helped this all come together so perfectly,” she says of the soon-to-be-released cannabis-friendly calendar that Kelly hopes will grace the walls of cannabis professionals and consumers alike for the 2021 calendar year.

Reverend Kelly Addison is the founder and managing director at Kelly’s Green Lounge, a cannabis-friendly establishment. Located in Orono, Ontario, Kelly’s Green Lounge is a centre for community, education, and celebration of the cannabis plant. While the Ontario legislation does not yet permit indoor consumption in “cannabis lounges”, the smoke-free lounge offers a number of on-site and online programming for personal development, cultivation, and building of community in cannabis. The calendar is a celebration of the community that has been built around Kelly’s Green Lounge.

Shot over the summer months, and artistically designed and photographed by Jeff Buchanan and his partner Black Gypsy, the Men of Cannabis calendar is not just a timepiece, but a piece of art. Some of Canada’s most influential men of cannabis have come together to share their passions, and their visual aesthetics to the Canadian cannabis community.

“Every single one of these men are beautiful,” Kelly remarks, “The men in this calendar show that cannabis doesn’t discriminate. We have men from their twenties up to their sixties, we have men of different sexual orientations, men of different cannabis career paths, and men of all backgrounds, religion, and ethnicities representing the greater contributions of the men of the industry in this one piece of art.”The calendar is styled after the iconic “Last Supper” painting by Leonardo DaVinci, with Reverend Kelly at the centre, surrounded by twelve men in poses that imitate the famous tableau. The choice of this spiritual spread was intentional, as Kelly’s approach embraces the spirituality of the plant, cannabis as our goddess, believing that cannabis is the embodiment of what anyone’s chosen deity wants for the world. Having Kelly at the centre of this photo, surrounded by the men of cannabis is a representation of the divine and central place the female has in the cannabis world.

The calendar is available for pre-order at www.kellysgreenlounge.ca, with full online sales beginning October 17, 2020

Each month of the 2021 year will feature a different man of cannabis, each chosen to represent their chosen path in the industry. From “Mister January”, Rich Prince who embodies Jamaican/Rhastafarian culture; to “Mister June”, Count Klassy, the charting LGBTQ musical artist proudly wearing the pride flag; to healer and “Cannawitch” Sean Black as “Mister October”; to ending the year with a surprise “tasty treat” from Baker John, also known as Baked on High Guy, this calendar represents all men, and all paths taken in the name of the mighty flower.We asked Kelly why she chose to feature the men of cannabis as her first iteration of the annual calendar project.

“We’re lucky to be able to say that cannabis in Canada is quickly being conquered by females,” says Kelly, “The plant herself is female, the numbers of female CEOs and leaders in cannabis is increasing, and that equals a lot of female energy within our industry, and rightfully so,” she goes on, “We didn’t want to lose sight on the beautiful men of this industry who are both advocates for the plant, and true exemplars of humans, who are fighting for equity for all people within the growing industry.”

The calendar had it’s “soft launch” on October 2, with a safe and socially-distanced celebration of “Danksgiving” at Kelly’s Green Lounge.   To Pre-Order :  lisamarie@kellysgreenlounge.ca