Cannabis Professional’s daily roundup of industry news. View archive here.
NAC raises $10-million for Ontario expansion
Cannabis retail store owner National Access Cannabis Corp. (NAC) is raising $10-million in a bought deal underwritten by Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. NAC, which owns the retail brand META, is aiming to expand its footprint in Ontario, where the provincial government recently announced an open licensing system for private cannabis retail stores.
The financing is not cheap. The bought deal prices NAC shares 18 per cent below where they finished trading on Thursday. The company is also paying Echelon roughly $700,000, a cash commission equal to 7 per cent of the gross proceeds of the deal.
Each unit sold to Echelon is priced at $0.22, and includes both a common share and a share purchase warrant that can be exercised at $0.29 for the next 36 months.
In an earlier news release on Thursday, NAC said that two Ontario cannabis licence lottery winners that is has partnered with have received operator licenses and are expected to open their doors in the coming weeks. The company also said that it has assembled a portfolio of more than 10 locations in Ontario which it intends to operate as corporate stores.
“META has begun construction activities on these sites in anticipation of submitting store authorization applications on March 2, 2020,” the company said in a statement.
– Mark Rendell
Nextleaf secures research licence from Health Canada
Vancouver-based extraction company Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. has received a research licence from Health Canada, which will allow it to expand R&D activities looking into nanoemulsified THC and CBD for infused beverages.
“Under the Research Licence, Nextleaf Labs is permitted to conduct R&D on analytical investigations of cannabis and its derivatives, the extraction, refinement, and purification of compounds from cannabis and hemp, and formulation of infused cannabis products. Research Licence holders may also conduct human administration trials for sensory evaluation,” the company said in a statement.
NextLeaf has spent the past few years building up its intellectual property portfolio. The company said on Friday that it has secured its twelfth patent. This one, granted by Australian patent authorities, is related to filtration cells used to remove “undesirable compounds from crude cannabis oil extracts in less time,” the company said.
The company received a standard processing license from Health Canada last September.
- Mark Rendell
Friendly Stranger buys Hotbox Cafe
Toronto cannabis retailer Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp. is acquiring the Hotbox Cafe, a storied Toronto establishment in the city’s Kensington Market, for an undisclosed amount of money. Hotbox’s founder Abi Roach, one of the most prominent cannabis advocates in the country, has taken a job with the Ontario Cannabis Store, the provincial crown corporation, as Senior Category Manager.
Friendly Stranger, another long-time staple of Toronto’s cannabis culture, has been expanding rapidly in the new legal market, after receiving a $5-million investment from licensed producers 48North Cannabis Corp and VIVO Cannabis Inc., as well as from cannabis investment fund Green Acre Capital.
Friendly Stranger has already signed agreements with six retail lottery winners and expects to start opening new stores in early 2020.
- Mark Rendell