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Cannabis Professional’s daily roundup of industry news. View archive here.

FDA warns of CBD harms and side effects, reprimands sellers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that CBD cannot yet be considered “generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” for human or animal consumption, and that CBD use may have a number of side effects and may cause harm.

In a strongly worded statement released on Monday, the FDA said that “many unanswered questions and data gaps about CBD toxicity exist, and some of the available data raise serious concerns about potential harm from CBD.”

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Potential harms include:

  • liver injury,
  • interactions with other drugs
  • drowsiness
  • diarrhea
  • changes in mood.

“In addition, studies in animals have shown that CBD can interfere with the development and function of testes and sperm, decrease testosterone levels and impair sexual behaviour in males. Questions also remain about cumulative use of CBD and about CBD’s impacts on vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant or breastfeeding women,” the FDA said.

The FDA has also issued 15 warning letters to companies selling CBD in a manner that violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The FDA is in the process of determining whether CBD should be allowed to be sold in food products, following the descheduling of the drug last December.

“The FDA plans to provide an update on its progress regarding the agency’s approach to these products in the coming weeks,” the agency said.

– Mark Rendell

48North’s outdoor harvest falls short of expectations

48North Cannabis Corp.’s first outdoor crop fell short of company projections, with the LP harvesting 12,000 kilograms of dried cannabis outdoors compared to an expected 40,000 kilograms.

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“In fact, the Company successfully cultivated enough cannabis at Good:Farm to meet its initial 2019 projections, but total harvest volume was reduced due to significant delays in the availability of licensed drying space, which will be resolved for the 2020 grow season,” 48North said in a news release on Monday.

The company did manage to achieve an outdoor cost per gram of $0.25, although this is considerably higher than the $0.08 per gram that was reported earlier in the month by Aleafia Health Inc. for its outdoor operation.

The quality of the product is also unclear at this point. “There is still uncertainty as to the THC and/or CBD levels of the harvested crop, the allocation between dried flower and extraction grade cannabis and the selling price per gram,” the company said in its MD&A.

The company reported $1.45-million in sales for the quarter, up from $484,000 in the preceding quarter, but still short of the revenue numbers the company was posting in the second half of 2018.

- Mark Rendell

Village Farms confirms majority stake in Pure Sunfarms

Village Farms International, Inc. says it now controls a majority stake in Pure Sunfarms Corp., following a dispute with joint venture partner Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc.

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Village Farms said on Tuesday that it has put an additional $5.94-million into the greenhouse operation in Delta, B.C. giving it more than 50 per cent ownership of the operation. Emerald had earlier disputed this claim.

“Pure Sunfarms’ management has now confirmed that the VF Additional Equity Contribution has been properly credited to Village Farms’ share capital,” Village Farms said in a news release on Tuesday.

Village Farms said it acquired the additional stake in Pure Sunfarms after Emerald failed to contribute a further $5.94-million to the project earlier in the fall. Village Farms and Emerald have been locked in a dispute over whether Emerald needs to pay Pure Sunfarms for cannabis that it decided not to purchase at a pre-set price.

Village Farms is still seeking to cancel $5.94-million worth of Pure Sunfarms shares that have been held in escrow for Emerald Health.

- Mark Rendell

TGOD to raise $22-million in discount bought deal

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. is raising $22-million in a bought deal underwritten by a syndicate led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. that prices TGOD shares 15 per cent below where they finished trading on Monday.

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TGOD will sell 29.3 million units – comprising of a common share and half a share purchase warrant – for $0.75 a unit; TGOD stock price closed at $0.89 on Monday. The warrants have an exercise price of $1.00 and last for 36 months.

“TGOD intends to use the proceeds of the Offering to complete construction of its processing facility at Ancaster and for general corporate purposes,” the company said in a news release.

As with many cannabis companies, TGOD has had a tough time raising money over the past few months. It decided to halt construction on its large greenhouse in Quebec in October after failing to secure bank financing or a sale-leaseback agreement.

- Mark Rendell

Canopy Growth appoints new VP Investor Relations

Canopy Growth Corporation has appointed Judy Hong as Vice President, Investor Relations.

“Judy has over 20 years of experience at Goldman Sachs & Co ("Goldman Sachs"), most recently serving as a Managing Director of its Global Investment Research Division covering the US beverage and tobacco sectors,” the company said in a news release on Tuesday.

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“Judy will be based in New York City and will report directly to Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Mike Lee,” the company said.

- Staff

Fire & Flower secures three more retai licences in Edmonton

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. has received three additional cannabis retail store licences in Edmonton, Alt. the company said on Tuesday.

“The Company anticipates the locations to open and be selling cannabis products during the week of December 16, 2019,” Fire & Flower said.

“The opening of three additional cannabis retail stores continues to demonstrate Fire & Flower’s commitment to achieving our store roll-out plan of 45 stores before the Company’s fiscal year end of February 1, 2020,” said CEO Trevor Fencott in a news release.

- Staff

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