White knight for CannTrust might be in “everyone’s interest”: Money manager

While it’s still unclear what the outcome for embattled cannabis producer CannTrust will be, one Toronto-based money manager thinks a white knight taking over the company is the best solution. Norman Levine, managing director at Portfolio Management Corp., told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Friday that: “It’s in everybody’s interest for someone to take them out of their misery.” Levine’s comments come a day after BNN Bloomberg reported that at least two Canadian cannabis producers have been approached by bankers to gauge interest in acquiring CannTrust, while another reached out to Health Canada to inquire if the federal regulator would be amenable to a white knight scenario, according to multiple sources directly familiar with the matter. Levine added that despite its regulatory issues, CannTrust still has assets, brands and growing facilities that would be attractive for interested parties.

Who owns Toronto’s illegal cannabis dispensary chain – and why do they continue to stay open?

The CBC has released an investigation the personalities behind Cannabis and Fine Edibles, or CAFE, an unlicensed cannabis café with four locations in Toronto, which have been raided and shut down at least a dozen times since Canada legalized cannabis last October. CAFE has made a habit of re-opening its doors hours after being raided, causing much consternation among the city’s police as well as legal industry observers. The CBC reports that CAFE defends its illicit operations, stating its customers have a right to "reasonable, dignified access" to marijuana, which was legalized in October under strict regulations, notably on the retail side. The CBC also reports that the cannabis chain’s owners are Jon Galvano, a former high-school-championship wrestler, and Wesley Weber, who is known by the RCMP as one of the country’s most prominent counterfeiters.

More than 70% of Canadians interesting in trying CBD drinks: Study 

There continues to be growing interest in CBD-infused beverages, with one study released on Friday finding over 70 per cent of Canadian consumers would “definitely” or “probably” purchase those drinks once they become legal. The study, conducted by an independent research group on behalf of BevCanna, a cannabis beverages maker, surveyed more than 2,000 adults across Canada, New York and California. The report also found consumers across all regions see CBD-infused beverages contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Cannabis-infused beverages are expected to be legalized in Canada in October and should be available for sale by mid-December.

Cannabis sales extend double-digit gains in May amid increased retail presence: StatsCan   

There was a whole lot of cannabis sold in Canada in May, according to Statistics Canada. The country’s national statistics agency reported cannabis retail sales reached $85 million in May, more than double what was reported in October, the country’s first month of legal sales. Cannabis stores saw a nearly-15-per-cent jump in May from the prior month. It marked the third consecutive month of double-digit growth. StatsCan said sales gains were widespread across all provinces, with Quebec and Ontario accounting for the majority of the increase. Stifel’s cannabis analyst said the retail sales figures demonstrate that while the country’s supply situation is improving, industry data and anecdotal evidence continues to suggest “a significant supply/demand imbalance with supply unable to absorb the demand currently.” 

Flowr shares rise after company pulls $125M capital raise, suspends Nasdaq listing    

Flowr Corp.’s TSX Venture-listed spiked higher on Friday after the company announced it would be withdrawing its planned $125 million capital raise. The company said in a release that it isn’t going forward with its capital raise “due to prevailing market  conditions” which it notes weren’t in the best interest of its shareholders. It is also suspending its listing on the Nasdaq, which was supposed to occur on Friday. “Flowr will continue to monitor market conditions as it evaluates options to drive long-term growth,” the company added.


-- The price of a gram of cannabis in Canada, down 4.1 per cent from the prior week, according to the Cannabis Benchmark’s Canada Cannabis Spot Index. This equates to US$2,458 per pound at current exchange rates.


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