Investors may warm back to cannabis sector after checking out next generation products in stores: Linton  

Bruce Linton thinks investors will warm back to the cannabis sector – they just need a few more months handling some of these new infused products to reignite their interest in the space. Linton, the former Canopy Growth CEO and current executive chairman of Vireo Health, told BNN Bloomberg that retail investors will likely return to some key cannabis companies once they can see the infused edibles, drinks and extracts that are now legally allowed for sale in Canada. “The level of enthusiasm and anticipation for that, I think, is not on par with what is being presented. So I think in January and February, a lot of retail [investors] are going to see these products and want that stock that makes that product,” Linton said. He added that he’s more interested in the opportunities emerging in the U.S. and European cannabis markets and is hopeful that in the Canadian market, some well-established firms can emerge as profitable businesses that can leverage their domestic operations and expand internationally.

Short sellers made nearly US$1B betting against the pot sector this year  

Short sellers had a banner year in 2019 betting against the pot sector. Bloomberg News reports that investors that bet against stock gains in the pot space cleared US$993 million in mark-to-market gains, according to data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners. Pot stocks are now among the most expensive to short, with an average borrow fee of 31 per cent for the 20 that are most shorted, S3 Partners said. However, December turned out to be a rough month for short sellers, with S3 Partners data showing those bearish investors are down $132 million in the month. Some of the biggest short-side losers for the month are shorts in Canopy Growth, GW Pharma, Aphria and Cronos Group, the data showed.

Green Growth Brands ends US$310M deal for Moxie, citing changing market conditions 

Green Growth Brands’ deal for U.S. cannabis cultivator MXY Holdings is off. GGB said that the US$310 million deal for Moxie (as the company is better known), first announced in July, is terminated as the “market adjusts to the changing macro environment”, the company said in a statement. As part of the deal’s termination, GGB will pay Moxie US$5 million in an agreed-upon advance as well as US$4 million to reimburse the company in deal fees. When GGB first announced the deal, it touted how the combined company would have access to nine U.S. states and create an “unparalleled vertical distribution network across the U.S.”

Trulieve announces shareholders extend lockup to May 2020 

A day after slamming a short-seller report that led to a steep plunge in its shares, Trulieve announced Wednesday that its company founders agreed to extend a lock up of their shares until May 2020. The announcement comes a month ahead of the end of a prior lock-up agreement that would have been eligible to release 15 per cent of the company’s shares to the market. Roughly 60 per cent of the company’s shares which are also subject to lockup restrictions will be eligible to the market in July. In a report to clients, Beacon Reseach analysts said the lock-up extension “ demonstrates founders' confidence in the company's outlook.”

Akerna buys Ample Organics in a cash-and-stock deal valued at US$45M 

Cannabis software company Akerna is acquiring Canadian-based Ample Organics in a cash-and-stock deal valued at up to US$45 million. The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of next year, comes several months after Ample laid off roughly 16 per cent of its staff, according to BetaKit. Ample, whose software helps cannabis producers with growth, production, client management, and quality assurance metrics, is expected to make US$8.7 million in revenue next year, and is projected to be cash-flow positive in the second quarter of 2020.

U.S. teen cannabis vaping on the rise: study

A new study shows that teen cannabis vaping is on the rise in the U.S., with significant increases identified by eighth, 10th and 12th graders. The study, conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, also found that the use of e-cigarettes continues to climb among teens, despite a decline in tobacco cigarettes, smoking and alcohol consumption. The survey results showed that 20.8 per cent of 12th graders reported vaping cannabis in the past year, as well as 19.4 per cent of 10th graders and 7 per cent of eighth graders. This year's survey included 42,531 students from 396 public and private schools across the U.S.


-- The amount that cannabis prices have declined in Canada from January to November, according to Statistics Canada. In November, pot prices in Alberta fell 3.7 per cent from the prior month, StatsCan data showed.  

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