Key Takeaways; Cannabis Sector
• Canopy Growth implemented share consolidation to meet Nasdaq listing standards.
• Curaleaf successfully listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
• Safe Harbor Financial boosted social equity in Connecticut with a $1.17m loan to Higher Collective.
Key Takeaways; Psychedelic Sector
• Awakn achieved significant regulatory milestone and closed financing tranche as per the recent corporate update.
• MindMed reported positive results for Phase 2b trial in generalized anxiety disorder.
Below is a weekly roundup on the cannabis and psychedelic sectors. In this ever-evolving landscape, we explore the major developments and groundbreaking initiatives happening among companies operating in these industries; from advancements in medical research, therapeutic applications to shifts in legal frameworks and current market trends.
Top Marijuana Companies for Week
#1: Canopy Growth
Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC), a prominent Canadian cannabis producer, announced a share consolidation strategy to maintain its listing on the Nasdaq exchange. The decision, which was approved during the company’s annual general meeting in September, entailed consolidating shares at a ratio of one post-consolidation common share for every ten pre-consolidation shares. The move aims to bring Canopy’s share price in line with Nasdaq’s minimum bid requirement of $1 per share.
The consolidation plan became effective on Friday, December 15, with post-consolidation shares expected to commence trading on both the Nasdaq (CGC) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (WEED) on Monday, December 20.
Canopy’s Chief Financial Officer, Judy Hong, stated that the share consolidation is expected to help the company regain compliance with Nasdaq’s bid requirement and enhance the marketability of its shares; “By implementing this share consolidation, Canopy Growth expects to regain compliance with the Nasdaq’s bid requirement and further support the marketability of the Company’s shares,” Judy Hong said in the press release.
Canopy Growth joins the ranks of other Nasdaq-listed cannabis companies, including Hexo Corp. (now part of Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY)), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI), and Agrify Corporation (NASDAQ: AGFY), that have previously implemented share consolidations to meet Nasdaq listing standards.
New York-based marijuana multistate operator, Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF), successfully commenced trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on Thursday, marking a significant move for the company. The shares of Curaleaf are now listed as CURA on the Canadian exchange.
Curaleaf’s senior management team, led by CEO Matt Darin and Executive Chair Boris Jordan, had the honor of ringing the opening bell at the TSX on Thursday. The decision to list on the TSX came after the company received conditional approval the week before.
The transition to the TSX also involved the delisting of Curaleaf’s shares from the Canadian Securities Exchange, which was completed at the close of markets on Wednesday. Shareholders were assured that no action on their part was required in this process.
The decision to list on the TSX mirrored a trend within the marijuana industry, with fellow multistate operator TerrAscend Corp. (OTC: TSNDF) making a similar move in July. Both companies sought to tap into a larger pool of investors available on the TSX, aiming for increased visibility and access to institutional support.
Curaleaf’s uplisting represents the company with a significant step in aligning with broader market trends and expanding its reach within the investment landscape. And Boris Jordan expressed confidence in the company’s direction following the listing, stating, “I am as confident as ever in the direction we are headed, and I am grateful to the TSX, our shareholders, partners, and everyone in the company for helping get us here today.”
#3: Safe Harbor Financial
In a significant move to support social equity initiatives in the emerging Connecticut cannabis market, SHF(Safe Harbor Financial) Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHFS), a leading cannabis industry financial services firm, along with its partners announced a $1.17 million loan to a prospective marijuana retailer in the state. The forthcoming marijuana retailer store, Higher Collective brand, is set to become a flagship social equity joint venture, signaling a positive step towards inclusive growth within the cannabis industry.
The substantial $1.17m loan, aimed at acquiring and constructing the new store, is backed by a first lien on the property. While specific details such as the loan’s term and interest rate were not disclosed by Colorado-based Safe Harbor, the financial services firm emphasized that the debt was issued at market-competitive terms. Notably, these terms include a flexible structure allowing interest-only payments during the construction period.
Higher Collective, with its existing portfolio of four adult-use retail stores in Connecticut, is rapidly expanding its footprint in the state. Dan Roda, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer of Safe Harbor expressed the firm’s satisfaction in supporting this growing social equity joint venture. He stated, “We are pleased to support this rapidly growing social equity joint venture, which aligns with Safe Harbor’s commitment to supporting social equity operators within the cannabis industry with the provision of normalized banking services.”
Top Psychedelic Companies for Week
Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (OTC: AWKNF), a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in addiction therapeutics, provided a corporate update highlighting recent milestones and financial developments.
The first noteworthy achievement involved the company receiving regulatory and ethical approvals for the phase III clinical trial of its lead program, AWKN-P001, which is designed to address Severe Alcohol Use Disorder (SAUD). This collaborative trial, funded by both Awakn and the NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme, was authorized by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and received ethical approval from the UK’s Health Research Authority.
In addition, Awakn completed a feasibility study for its MDMA proprietary formulation using Catalent’s Zydis® orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) technology. The study confirmed the stability of MDMA on Zydis ODT technology, indicating its suitability for pre-gastric absorption.
Awakn also engaged Orphan Insight Ltd. to spearhead the development and advancement of market access, pricing, and reimbursement strategies for its lead program, AWKN-P001.
On the financial front, Awakn initiated a non-brokered private placement financing on April 26, 2023, with an initial target of $3,000,000 in gross proceeds. Subsequently, the offering was upsized to $4,000,000 on June 15, 2023, at a price of CAD$0.46 per unit. Each unit comprises one common share and three-quarters of one whole common share purchase warrant.
As of the recent update, Awakn said that they had closed the fourth tranche of the private placement, issued 500,000 units, and raised gross proceeds of $230,000 for this tranche. In total, the company stated that they had raised $2,964,663 through the offering as of Friday, December 15, 2023. The company also said that they intend to use the gross proceeds from the offering to fund the company’s general working capital.
Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) reported positive topline results from its Phase 2b clinical trial of MM-120 (lysergide d-tartrate) in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The trial successfully met its primary endpoint, demonstrating statistically significant and clinically meaningful dose-dependent improvements on the Hamilton Anxiety rating scale (HAM-A) compared to a placebo at Week 4. MM-120 was administered as a single dose in a monitored clinical setting without additional therapeutic intervention.
Robert Barrow, CEO and Director of MindMed, expressed excitement over the positive results, emphasizing the potential impact on patients affected by GAD; “We are excited by the strong positive results for MM-120 in GAD, particularly given that this is the first study to assess the standalone drug effects of MM-120 in the absence of any psychotherapeutic intervention. These promising findings represent a major step forward in our goal to bring a paradigm-shifting treatment to the millions of patients who are profoundly impacted by GAD,” said Robert Barrow.
With approximately 20 million people currently suffering from GAD—a condition associated with underdiagnosis and underservice—these findings mark a crucial step forward. MindMed said that they plan to share additional study results in the coming months, including topline 12-week results in the first quarter of 2024. The company also stated that they aim to collaborate closely with the FDA to finalize the Phase 3 development program for MM-120 in GAD.