Cannabis may be one of the hottest investments of the year.
More states are legalizing its use, including New Jersey. North Dakota just approved a cannabis legalization bill. Legalization has been proposed in Maryland. In fact, the Maryland sponsor of the bill, Del. Jazz Lewis, argues, “the bill would take the production of cannabis off of the streets to ensure safer products, while simultaneously creating jobs, helping small businesses, and bringing in potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.”
Even some of the top lawmakers in D.C. want to federally decriminalize cannabis. To-date, according to CNET, recreational sales are legal in 15 states, plus Washington, D.C. Medical sales are legal in 35 states. Medical sales of CBD are legal in seven states. In addition, it has been decriminalized in 32 states.
It’s also fueling big growth for the global edibles market, which could generate about $13.65 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 30.5%, says Zion Market Research. “The growing acceptance of cannabis is the key factor likely to drive the cannabis edibles market globally in the future.”
All Could Help Drive Cannabis Stocks to Higher Highs
Pure Extracts Technologies Corp.(CSE:PULL)(OTC:PRXTF)(XFRA:A2QJAJ), for example, just announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Pure Extracts Manufacturing Corp.’s distribution partner has submitted a Notice of New Cannabis Product (NNCP) application to Health Canada on behalf of the Company seeking approval for its retail cannabis products including cannabis extracts and edible cannabis.
The Company submitted over 20 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) product identifiers for approval including THC vapes, CBD vapes, 1:1 blended vapes, and 3 different flavours/formulations of gummies. The Company plans to launch these products under its ‘Pure Pulls Vapes’ and ‘Pure Chews Gummies’ branded product lines and is looking forward to having them listed for sale with provincially authorized distributors and retailers nationwide.
Pure Extracts is continuing to develop its portfolio of cannabis 2.0 products with emphasis on its 34 proprietary formulations of ‘Pure Pulls’ branded full spectrum oil (FSO) vape products and on its new line of ‘Pure Chews’ edible gummies manufactured under license from Taste-T, LLC, the manufacturer of Fireball cannabis gummies.
Pure Extracts CEO, Ben Nikolaevsky, remarked, “We create products that are in high demand by provincially authorized distributors and retailers nationwide, and are looking forward to having our high quality, FSO products in consumers’ hands early in Q2 of this year.”
Or, look at Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ:CGC)(TSX:WEED).
The company just announced the launch of a new line of science-backed CBD products for dogs under the brand name SurityPro. Leading scientists at Canopy Animal Health developed this new generation of advanced pet specialty CBD products for dogs to support calm behavior, joint health and flexibility, healthy aging, and overall physical and mental well-being in dogs. The SurityPro portfolio is scientifically-formulated to deliver carefully controlled CBD content for customized daily use in dogs of all sizes. All SurityPro CBD Pet products carry the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) quality seal, denoting strict adherence to manufacturing, labeling, testing and marketing guidelines. The products also contain no corn, soy, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI)(TSX:OGI) announced its results for the first quarter ended November 30, 2020. “We are pleased with our double-digit sales growth in the Canadian adult-use recreational market this past quarter as it reflects the success of many of our new product launches, particularly in the dried flower value segment,” said Greg Engel, CEO. “Now we look forward to our new higher margin Edison dried flower offerings contributing substantially to overall revenue with even more new products to come in the next few quarters. We believe our product portfolio revitalization combined with additional resources to ramp up production and achieve greater economies of scale as well as our relentless focus on increased automation and cost efficiency opportunities position us well to generate further top-line growth and significantly improve gross margins.”
Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (TSX: CWEB)(OTCQX: CWBHF), the market leader in hemp CBD wellness products, announces that Charlotte’s Web, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, has been granted U.S. Utility Patents for its hemp genetics by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The newly issued patents cover two of the Company’s new feminized seed hybrid hemp varieties developed under the Company’s breeding program; ‘Kirsche’ (US Patent No. 10,888,060) and ‘Lindorea’ (US Patent No. 10,888,059). ‘Lindorea’ and ‘Kirsche’ are the world’s first two allowed U.S. Utility Patents reading on feminized hybrid hemp plants. The Company now has earned a total of five U.S. hemp variety patent grants: one Plant Patent and four Utility Patents as it advances the science of hemp horticulture.
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:NEPT)(TSX:NEPT) announced groundbreaking research on the absorption of omega-3 fish oils, which are the basis of its exclusive product MaxSimil®. The study was published in The Journal of Nutrition by the Oxford University Press. MaxSimil® is a patented omega-3 fatty acid delivery technology that uses enzymes that mimic the natural human digestive system to predigest omega-3 fatty acids. The study — titled ‘Pharmacokinetics of Supplemental Omega-3 Fatty Acids Esterified in Monoglycerides, Ethyl Esters, or Triglycerides in Adults in a Randomized Crossover Trial’ —adds to a growing body of research on Neptune’s patented MaxSimil® fish oils.
Legal Disclaimer / Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Winning Media is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice. Winning Media is only compensated for its services in the form of cash-based compensation. Pursuant to an agreement Winning Media has been paid three thousand five hundred dollars for advertising and marketing services for Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. by a third party. We own ZERO shares of Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. Please click here for full disclaimer.
Wealthsimple hits $4 billion valuation on funding from Ryan Reynolds, Drake
(Reuters) -Wealthsimple said on Monday it has raised C$750 million ($610.40 million) in its latest funding round, which more than doubled the Canadian fintech company‘s valuation to C$5 billion.
The latest funding round included participation from celebrities Drake, Michael Fox and Ryan Reynolds, according to the company.
The Toronto-based company that has helped make stock trading, peer-to-peer money transfers and tax filing easily accessible, said it will use the amount raised to further expand its market position, product suite and team.
The latest funding round, led by venture capital firms Meritech and Greylock, also includes investments from iNovia, Sagard, TSV and Redpoint.
The funding consists of C$250 million primary fundraising by Wealthsimple and a C$500 million secondary offering by holding company Power Corp of Canada, its largest shareholder.
Wealthsimple said it has seen rapid growth in the past 14 months as Canadians took an interest in stock trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, the company said it plans to grow revenue by adding premium features for its clients.
($1 = 1.2288 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Shounak Dasgupta)
Ethereum breaks past $3,000 to quadruple in value in 2021
SINGAPORE (Reuters) –Cryptocurrency ether broke past $3,000 on Monday to set a new record high in a dazzling rally that has outshone the bigger bitcoin, as investors bet that ether will be of ever greater use in a decentralised future financial system.
Ether, the token transacted on the ethereum blockchain, rose 3% on the Bitstamp exchange to $3,051.99 by lunchtime in Asia. It is up more than 300% for the year so far, easily outpacing a 95% rise in the more popular bitcoin.
In part, the big rally is a catch-up to late 2020 gains in bitcoin, said James Quinn, managing director at Q9 Capital, a Hong Kong cryptocurrency private wealth manager.
It also reflects improvements to the ethereum blockchain, he said, and a growing shift towards “DeFi”, or decentralised finance, which refers to transactions outside traditional banking for which the ethereum blockchain is a crucial platform.
“At first, the rally was really led by bitcoin because as a lot of the institutional investors came into the space, that would be their natural first port of call,” Quinn said.
“But as the rally has matured over the last six months, you have DeFi and a lot of DeFi is built on ethereum.”
The launch of ether exchange-traded funds in Canada and surging demand for ether wallets to transact non-fungible tokens such as digital art have also pushed up the price.
The ether/bitcoin cross rate has soared more than 100% this year and hit a 2.5-year high on Sunday, pointing to a degree of rotation into the second-biggest cryptocurrency as investors diversify their exposure.
“Surging DeFi volumes continue to push ethereum prices higher as investors gain confidence in crypto and see ethereum as a safe second-place asset,” said Jehan Chu, managing partner at Hong Kong blockchain venture capital firm Kenetic Capital.
Illustrating the momentum for such new transactions, Bloomberg reported last week that the European Investment Bank plans on issuing a digital bond over the Ethereum blockchain, while JP Morgan plans a managed bitcoin fund.
Bitcoin, the world’s biggest crypto asset with more than $1 trillion in market capitalisation, regained the $50,000 mark last week and hovered around $58,000 on Monday, up about 3% but well below its record high at $64,895.22.
The U.S. dollar was broadly steady. [FRX/]
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by Himani Sarkar & Shri Navaratnam)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway
By John McCrank and Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Some Berkshire Hathaway shareholders are grappling with how Warren Buffett’s conglomerate will handle a thicket of post-pandemic challenges, including looming inflation, a dearth of acquisitions and demands for more environmental and social disclosures.
Making money at Berkshire used to be like “shooting fish in a barrel, but that’s gotten harder,” Buffett’s long-time business partner Charlie Munger said at the conglomerate’s annual meeting on Saturday.
Investors have long been happy to bet on Buffett outperforming markets, and many remain confident Berkshire’s growth will pick up if the U.S. economy continues roaring back from its pandemic-induced slump. Still, some worry the last year may have exacerbated Berkshire’s difficulties delivering faster growth.
“We have been reducing our position in Berkshire for a number of years because it appears that we can make more money than he can,” said Bill Smead, whose firm, Seattle-based Smead Capital Management has reduced its Berkshire holdings to about 2.2% of its $2.5 billion portfolio, from 5% a decade ago.
With unprecedented government stimulus and rock bottom interest rates threatening to lift inflation, Berkshire may be too big to pivot heavily to companies that could benefit from rising consumer prices, Smead said.
Several Berkshire shareholders expressed frustration that Buffett did not snap up more shares of companies at the beginning of the pandemic, a missed opportunity given the S&P 500’s nearly 90% surge from last year’s low.
Steve Haberstroh, a partner at Berkshire shareholder CastleKeep Investment Advisors, said it was “frustrating” Berkshire didn’t swoop in to buy distressed companies sooner.
Yet, he was gratified when the company announced share buybacks and new stakes in Verizon Communications Inc and Chevron Corp .
Another issue hampering Berkshire’s ability to generate money is historically low interest rates, which the Federal Reserve has pledged to leave at near-zero for years.
Berkshire now earns about $20 million annually on its more than $100 billion in Treasury bills, compared with about $1.5 billion before the pandemic, Buffett said.
“Imagine your wage is going from $15 an hour to $0.20 an hour,” Buffett said.
Still, Berkshire has outperformed the S&P 500 year to date, gaining 18.6% versus the index’s 11.84% gain. But it has trailed over the past decade, returning nearly 236% compared with just over 277% for the index.
As the economy improves, Berkshire is poised to benefit, said James Shanahan, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co.
“If it has a challenge, it relates to capital deployment,” he said. Berkshire’s $145.4 billion cash hoard could swell by $25 billion by year end, he said.
Buffett said he would like to put $70 billion to $80 billion to work through acquisitions.
But the growth of special purpose acquisintion companies, which take private companies public, has made buying whole companies pricey for Berkshire, Buffett said.
EYE ON SUCCESSION
As in previous years, investors have also been focused on Berkshire’s guidance regarding succession.
Among the biggest reasons for Berkshire’s success is the relationship between Buffett, 90, and Munger, 97, and the business culture they cultivate.
Both expressed confidence in Berkshire’s ability to stay on course once they’re gone, and had possible Buffett successors, Vice Chairmen Greg Abel and Ajit Jain, join them on stage at the annual meeting.
“This decentralization won’t work unless you have the right kind of culture accompanying it,” Buffett said about Berkshire.
“Greg will keep the culture,” Munger said of Abel.
Robert Miles, a shareholder who teaches a class on Buffett and Berkshire at The University of Nebraska, called Abel and Jain’s presence “a real value-add,” in that they fielded several questions and were more visible than in most prior years.
Jain said he and Abel talk every quarter about businesses they oversee.
Abel addressed Berkshire’s efforts around environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues topics that were on the meeting’s agenda, with two shareholder proposals asking the company’s board to publish annual reports on how each of its units addressed them.
Berkshire opposed the proposals, citing its decentralized business model.
Both proposals were rejected, but received support from around one quarter of the votes cast, suggesting greater discontent than Berkshire shareholders historically have demonstrated.
“These are complex topics that warrant ongoing dialogue,” said Caitlin McSherry, Director of Investment Stewardship at Neuberger Berman, a Berkshire shareholder that backed the proposals.
Smead, of Smead Capital Management, looks forward to when Berkshire will again become a frequent buyer of choice for companies looking to sell.
“We would (add) where they are back to shooting fish in a barrel,” he said.
(Reporting by John McCrank and Jonathan Stempel; additional reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and Diane Craft)
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