What we learned about pot from the Ontario budget

The Ontario budget, released on Thursday afternoon, revealed a number of new details for the marijuana sector. First, it appears that the expected boon from legalizing cannabis for government coffers isn’t as high as once thought. Ontario now expects to generate $80 million in cannabis-related revenue -- down from the $115 million it projected with its budget last year, -- following several other provinces in slashing their cannabis forecasts. In addition, Ontario announced it will introduce new measures to vet applicants for future legal cannabis stores when it is ready to start awarding new licences. The Ford government said the move aims to set up better operators and eliminate the black market.

Aleafia ups stake in Australian cannabis producer CannaPacific

Toronto-based pot producer Aleafia Health announced it has increased its strategic investment in CannaPacific, an Australian medical cannabis company. After investing an additional AU$540,000, Aleafia’s total stake in the company is now estimated to be 10.5 per cent, a company spokesperson said. CannaPacific operates a 108,000-square-foot greenhouse located in New South Wales, which will be used for cannabis cultivation grown for medical patients and global exports, the company said in a statement.

Trulieve Cannabis reports US$35.9M in fourth-quarter revenue  

Florida-based medical cannabis company Trulieve reported fourth-quarter results late Wednesday, posting US$35.9 million in revenue, up 172 per cent from the same period a year earlier. The company’s gross margins improved to 58 per cent from 46 per cent over the same period as Trulieve expanded its Florida dispensaries to 22. Trulieve provided guidance for the coming fiscal year with revenue expected to grow 108 per cent to approximately US$214 million and an adjusted EBITDA of approximately US$92 million.

Ditch pot stocks for energy sector, portfolio manager says

A Canadian money manager has a message for investors: Ditch pot firms with no earnings and invest in energy stocks instead. Ryan Bushell, president of Newhaven Asset Management, told BNN Bloomberg in an interview it would be wise for people invested in pot stocks with “no earnings” to buy energy companies if they want the same risk profile or better, especially considering the recent rally in oil prices.  

Tetra Bio-Pharma, Ovensa team up as part of cancer research program

Quebec-based Tetra Bio-Pharma has entered into a collaboration agreement with Ontario’s Ovensa to evaluate whether Triozan, a proprietary nanomedicine platform, allows a targeted delivery of cannabinoids to brain tumor cells. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “There is some published evidence demonstrating the activity of cannabinoids on brain tumors. If successful this could provide an increased efficacy when this treatment is used as an adjunct to radiotherapy and or chemotherapy,” Dr. Guy Chamberland, Tetra Bio-Pharma’s chief executive officer and chief scientific officer, said in a release.



-- How much Scotiabank analysts Oliver Rowe and Ben Isaacson slashed their fourth-quarter revenue estimate for Canopy Growth, in their warning that expectations for the pot sector are “too optimistic”

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