This week’s top joint ventures in cannabis

Since Canopy Growth’s offbeat acquisition of Acreage Holdings last month, the cannabis industry is seeing an uptick in partnerships, acquisitions, and joint ventures across all markets in North America. Legalization is on the mind of more than one presidential hopeful, and consumers themselves are calling for product diversity and regulation. As if to answer the call, pot stocks and industry leaders are looking for the right partners to take on this ever-expanding, barely legal industry.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s top joint ventures in cannabis:

Trulieve closes latest acquisition and enters their fourth cannabis market

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE:TCNNF) officially closed their acquisition of Connecticut-based dispensary chain The Healing Corner, Inc. earlier this week. The Healing Corner is known for their one-on-one consultations between patients and pharmacists, and Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers believes this acquisition will uphold the cannabis stock’s growing reputation for customer experience.

[Curaleaf acquires Cura Partners in blockbuster billion-dollar deal to become largest cannabis company in the US]

“The Healing Corner has demonstrated a strong track record of profitable growth, and we believe we are well-positioned to leverage our combined vision of delivering exceptional customer experience and best-in-class products,” she stated in Tuesday’s press release.

This acquisition puts Trulieve in their fourth North American market, driving their strategy to become a multi-state cannabis operator. Investors should note that the company will be speaking more about The Healing Corner and this transaction in their upcoming conference call scheduled for May 29.

Aurora spin-off Australis Capital acquires Green Therapeutics and a new state-of-the-art cannabis facility

Australis Capital Inc. (CSE:AUSA)(OTC:AUSAF) also announced Tuesday that the company would be acquiring Green Therapeutics. Per the purchase agreement, Australis will now be privy to all of GT’s intellectual property, their operations team, and their brands of cannabis flower. GT’s 55,000 square foot cultivation facility, and the nearly nine acres of land it sits on, are also included in the agreement, giving Australis their first flagship facility in Las Vegas. Australis intends to use this facility and the acquired acreage to better utilize their organic production methodology.

[Organigram Holdings latest cannabis stock to apply for listing on US exchange]

“Introducing Mr. Natural's Veteran Affairs registered premium organic strains and proprietary cultivation methodologies to Nevada through [this] purpose-built facility will serve as the launching ground for a nationally recognized cannabis brand,” Australis CEO Scott Dowty explained in the press release.

According to the press release, the 8.9 acres of land could potentially hold a 400,000 square foot facility. Australis intends to expand upon the existing facility with new indoor greenhouses, a post-production facility, and state-of-the-art control systems. It will also apply Australis’ Mr. Natural production methodology that the company hopes will set a new standard for organic cultivation in the industry.

Aurora Cannabis partners with UFC for new CBD research project

Following up on their Q3 earnings report last week, Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB) (OTCQB:ACBFF) made another big announcement this week. The pot stock announced on Tuesday that they will be partnering with UFC to research the wellness and athletic recovery potential of CBD. The multi-million dollar research project will be done at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, which is already well-equipped for athletic performance research and education.

The research will focus primarily on the health benefits of CBD, especially when it comes to athletic injury and recovery. Clinical trials will investigate CBD’s effects on pain, inflammation, and mental well-being.

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"The Aurora-UFC research partnership creates a global platform to launch targeted educational and awareness campaigns while creating numerous opportunities to accelerate our global CBD business,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth clarified in Tuesday’s press release.

This announcement comes right before the FDA public hearing on CBD scheduled to happen later this month. As it stands right now, CBD products marketed and sold in America as health or dietary supplements must be approved first by the FDA. There are legal loopholes around this requirement, as the industry has proven with the fact that the legal CBD market is anticipated to be worth nearly $22 billion by 2022.

Getting a headstart on the research of CBD’s effects on the health of professional athletes will help Aurora gain substantial ground once an FDA federally-approved market opens up. Currently, Aurora owns 37 percent of the Canadian cannabis market. Participating in a CBD research project on this side of the northern border will no doubt help the cannabis stock see similar, if not bigger, numbers in the American markets, provided that the American government works in the cannabis industry’s favor.

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