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Valens signs extraction deal with Tilray

Valens GroWorks Corp. has signed a two-year extraction agreement with Tilray Inc., which will see the Kelowna-based firm process a minimum of 15,000 kilograms of dried cannabis or hemp a year. Valens “will receive and process the cannabis and hemp on a fee for service basis into crude, distillate or other cannabis oil derivatives as required by Tilray before bulk shipping the desired product back to Tilray for final processing and sale,” the company announced Tuesday evening. Valens is one of several firms focusing on contract extraction services, alongside MediPharm Labs Corp. in Ontario and Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. in Quebec. The emergence of specialized extraction companies in Canada follows a similar trend in legal U.S. state markets, where the cannabis supply chain has fragmented and specialized as the industry matured.

California tax revenue from cannabis disappoints

California brought in considerably less in tax revenue from cannabis sales than analysts had forecast when the market was legalized, the Orange County Record reported Tuesday. The newspaper said California booked US$345.2-million in tax revenue from legal cannabis during the first year of regulated sales in 2018, according to numbers released by the state. Some analysts had predicted the tax revenue of US$1-billion for the year. However, the paper said the revenue figures are on track to match the forecast revenues in the current fiscal year.

Related: B.C. revenue on cannabis a fraction of what it had budgeted a year ago

NAC names new CFO, SVP of retail

National Access Cannabis Corp. has announced the appointment of Michael Cosic as chief financial officer and Lori Bailey as senior vice-president of Retail. Current CFO Michael Best will remain with NAC and has been appointed chief accounting officer. Mr. Cosic has spent 25 years in the financial and capital-markets industries, most recently as CFO of DLT Labs Inc. Ms. Bailey was previously the head of retail at Canopy Growth Corp. and is a former SVP of retail operations at Sears Canada.

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Aurora expands to Portugal

Aurora Cannabis Inc. said yesterday that it has agreed to acquire a 51-per-cent ownership stake in Gaia Pharm Lda., a license applicant in Portugal, to establish a local facility to produce medical cannabis and derivative products. The company will be renamed Aurora Portugal Lda. Last week, Gaia Pharm received approval of its application to construct an EU GMP compliant cannabis cultivation facility from INFARMED, a division of the Portuguese Health Ministry.

Zenabis, Organigram ink supply deals with Quebec

Licensed producers Zenabis Global Inc. and Organigram yesterday announced they had secured letters of intent to supply cannabis to the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). Zenabis said it expects to begin supplying its cannabis products to Quebec in the second quarter of 2019. The company says Quebec is its ninth Canadian jurisdiction in which it has a distribution relationship. Organigram said it now has distribution in place for all ten Canadian provinces following its LOI with the SQDC.

Edmonton relaxes rules around malls, cannabis stores

Global News reported yesterday that the city of Edmonton has changed its rules to make it easier for cannabis stores to open in shopping malls. Provincial zoning rules prevented stores from being within 200 metres of libraries and schools, and within 100 metres of parks, public recreation facilities, and provincial health sites like hospitals. The rules said a cannabis store was considered to be an entire building, even if it was inside a larger retail space. The rules could have prevented an Aurora Cannabis store from opening in the West Edmonton Mall.

This and that ...

  • Australis Capital Inc., the U.S. spinoff of Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis Inc., said yesterday it has acquired 100 per cent of Mr. Natural Productions, Inc., (”Mr. Natural”) a multiple award-winning medical and recreational cannabis brand located in California for US$1.3-million. This acquisition includes the rights to the Mr. Natural brand and all related intellectual property. ... 
  • Columbus-Ohio-based Green Growth Brands, Inc. said yesterday it has appointed Randy Whitaker as chief operating officer, a new position within GGB. The company says Mr. Whitaker has more than 27 years’ experience in real estate, finance, and store operations.
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