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Pandemic provides opportunity for growth, investment for this new Simcoe County resident – BradfordToday



Throughout the pandemic, there has been an uptick of people vacating the city in exchange for more space in the suburban and rural outskirts of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Simcoe County. 

According to a report from Statistics Canada, from July 2019-July 2020, Toronto saw an exodus of 50,375 people moving to other regions and provinces. 

New Orillia resident Matt Williams is one of those people. 

When the pandemic hit, Williams worked from home in Toronto at his corporate job in print and advertising.

As the pandemic persisted and he continued working at home “It dawned on me, I don’t have to be in the city, I should just leave, I should just go,” he said.

At the time, he was actively searching for a first home to purchase in the Burlington area. As a first-time homebuyer, his options in the GTA were rather limited. 

“My buying power is better if I leave Toronto,” he remembers thinking.  “I wouldn’t be able to afford a place in Toronto on my own.” 

Williams had previously been offered a job for local print apparel company Screenmachine Promotions in Orillia.  He had built a good relationship over the years with owner Aaron Barton from previous work projects. As much as Williams wanted to work for the Orillia company, it never felt like the right time, until now. 

With the real estate market booming in smaller cities, Williams reconsidered taking the job in Orillia, and started looking at homes to purchase in the area. 

With the help of his real estate agent friend, he found himself a townhouse available for quick-sale, put in an offer, and moved in October 2020. 

“I went back to Screenmachine and said I got a place and can start in a few weeks,” he said. “He’s (Barton) offered me a cool opportunity to grow a small local business.”

Williams has always been a creative spirit. With a background in marketing and advertising, and his side hustle, MattMadeCa, an Etsy shop of customized apparel and gifts, the decision to  work for a smaller, local company allowed him to use his creative skills while getting into the real estate market. 

Williams has always had a soft spot for the small-town, his parents live just around the corner from his new place,  but school and work had always kept him in the city. Now he is able to be close to family while doing the work he is passionate about. 

As a kid, he loved video games and creative arts. He was always drawing and making crafts and learned how to screenprint in high school. 

“I love functional art. I like creating things that you can use, which is what drew me to apparel,” he said. 

The pandemic has shown Williams just how important supporting local business is. He really noticed the ‘shop local’ movement pick up in his Etsy shop sales. He sells internationally, with most sales coming from the U.S., but in 2020, he said his Canadian sales tripled from 2019.  

“When the pandemic hit, everyone went online to buy stuff,” he explained. “Through the pandemic, there was a massive shift of Canadians wanting to support Canadians, that was really cool to see.”

Now that he has made Orillia his permanent home, he is excited to be able to help support and grow local business while still creating for his Etsy shop in his spare time. 

“There was such a seamless transition to where I was before to what I am doing now because I knew it would be a good time and it has been so far,” he said.

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BTV Shares Investment Opportunities in Canada's North – Investing News Network



On national TV Sat. Mar 6 & Sun. Mar 7, 2021 – Invest Canada North! BTV-Business Television presents resource companies in Canada’s north.Cannot view this video? Visit: Preview: YouTube BTV Live Premiere 1pm PST today + Meet the Hosts of BTVClick here to set a reminder! Discover Companies to Invest InOsisko Metals Inc. – As sustainability and electric transportation rise in popularity the demand for zinc increases …

On national TV Sat. Mar 6 & Sun. Mar 7, 2021 – Invest Canada North! BTV-Business Television presents resource companies in Canada’s north.

Cannot view this video? Visit:

Sneak Preview: YouTube BTV Live Premiere 1pm PST today
+ Meet the Hosts of BTV
Click here to set a reminder!
Discover Companies to Invest In

Osisko Metals Inc. (TSXV: OM) (OTCQX: OMZNF) – As sustainability and electric transportation rise in popularity the demand for zinc increases and this company is poised to take advantage.

Whitehorse Gold Corp. (TSXV: WHG) – This company sports a new management team stocked with industry veterans ready to revive and expand a past producing mine.

Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. (TSX: SBB) (OTCQX: SGSVF) – BTV visits this company moving towards opening their first gold mine in Nunavut.

NorZinc Ltd. (TSX: NZC) (OTCQB: NORZF) – BTV learns why this company’s high-grade zinc-lead and silver mine is on track to be the next development mine in the Northwest Territories.

Victoria Gold Corp. (TSX: VGCX) (US: VITFF) – BTV gets an update on the company’s Eagle Gold Mine in central Yukon on target to produce between 180K- 200K ounces of gold in 2021.

White Gold Corp. (TSXV: WGO) (OTC: WHGOF) – This company boasts a district-scale land package in the Yukon and its flagship property has shown significant defined gold resources.

On air for over 20 years, BTV – Business Television, a half-hour investment TV show, features analysts and emerging companies on location. With Hosts, Taylor Thoen and Jessica Katrichak, BTV brings viewers investment opportunities.


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Vinergy adds Blockchain Expert to Strengthen Investment Committee – Regina Leader-Post



VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vinergy Cannabis Capital, Inc. (“Vinergy” or the “Company”) (CSE:VIN, OTCQB:VNNYF, FSE:1V7) announces that the Company’s Investment Committee has appointed Dr. Peter White to its Investment Committee advisory. Dr. White will work with Mr. Albert Szmigielski to assist the Investment Committee with due diligence to help identify potential blockchain and digital currency targets that align with Vinergy’s now expanded investment policy.

Dr. Peter White researches the development, adoption, and impact of communication, blockchain, and big data. He also works with industry partners building next generation communication technologies in health and genomics, social media, blockchain, sports, and big data. Dr. Peter White has previously been an Advisor for Blockchain Strategy at Digital Asset Management Corporation and Hyperbridge.

Dr. Peter White is a Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University where he is Director of the Genomics and Networks Analysis (GeNa) Lab and Associate Director of the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology. He is also has affiliate Professor positions in Computing Science at SFU and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is a member of the Centre for Clinical Diagnostic Genomics at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver. He received his PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

John Vu, lead director, stated, “Dr. White is a leading block chain expert with deep industry experience and acumen. His work in the space has resulted in multiple commercially beneficial endeavours and we will leverage his breadth of knowledge to evaluate the multiple value creating opportunities we are currently evaluating in order to make our first investment in the sector over the coming weeks.”

The CSE does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Vinergy Cannabis Capital Inc.
Arif Merali, Chief Executive

Cautionary Statement Regarding “Forward-Looking” Information

The forward-looking information contained in this press release is made as of the date of this press release and, except as required by applicable law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. By its very nature, such forward-looking information requires the Company to make assumptions that may not materialize or that may not be accurate. This forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, levels of activity and achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such information.

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Andy DeFrancesco's investment firm Sol faces legal battle with lender – The Globe and Mail



Controversial Canadian dealmaker Andy DeFrancesco is in the midst of a heated legal battle with Toronto-based hedge fund MMCap Asset Management over shares of U.S. cannabis company Verano Holdings, that are now worth almost $700-million.

The tug of war involves SOL Global Investments Corp. – the cannabis company founded and led by Mr. DeFrancesco – and 1235 Fund LP, an affiliate of MMCap. It has culminated in both entities hurling lawsuits at each other in courts in New York and Ontario.

1235 Fund is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from SOL, Mr. DeFrancesco, his wife, Catherine DeFrancesco, as well as his private equity company Delavaco Holdings.

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The dispute is unfolding at a time of renewed investor interest in the cannabis sector that has sent pot stocks soaring, increasing the stakes for both parties involved in the litigation centred around millions of shares of the newly listed Verano.

SOL has a 20-per-cent all-stock stake in Verano, which went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in mid-February and is one of SOL’s most valuable assets. In the summer of 2019, SOL borrowed US$50-million from 1235 Fund, which is now seeking repayment in the form of SOL’s Verano shares.

A lawsuit filed by SOL on Feb. 7 in New York alleges that 1235 Fund is attempting to “extort a usurious windfall” in relation to a US$50-million convertible debenture that was issued to SOL in July, 2019. The cannabis company insists that according to the repayment terms of the loan, it is only obligated to pay back the US$50-million principal plus 6 per cent in interest.

But a separate lawsuit, filed by 1235 Fund on Feb. 24, accuses SOL and the guarantors of the loan – Mr. DeFrancesco, Ms. DeFrancesco and Delavaco Holdings – of deliberately misinterpreting the terms. The suit argues that SOL is obligated to hand over millions of Verano shares worth US$550-million as repayment for the convertible debenture.

“This action concerns the unlawful conduct of rogue participants in the Canadian capital markets … the Defendants [SOL] now regret their bargain and seek to resile from it instead of honouring their contractual and legal obligations,” states the 1235 Fund lawsuit, filed in an Ontario court.

The latter half of 2019 was a particularly bad time for cannabis companies, both in the U.S. and Canada. The euphoria of legalization the previous fall had waned, and signs of oversupply and low demand had started to permeate the industry. Between October, 2018, and July, 2019, shares of SOL plummeted 60 per cent, and the company was facing significant financial difficulty, public filings show.

It was under these circumstances that SOL and 1235 Fund entered into the convertible-debenture agreement. “SOL was in critical need of cash to continue as a going concern. 1235 had what SOL needed, namely available funds to invest,” the Ontario suit against SOL states.

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1235 Fund, for its part, was particularly interested in the large equity stake that SOL had in Verano at the time, which was one of the cannabis company’s most valuable assets. Verano was set to merge with another large U.S. cannabis company, Harvest Health & Recreation, and the fund saw a huge monetary upside in the deal if it went through.

The debenture agreement, according to the lawsuit, stated that if the Harvest-Verano deal was successful, 1235 Fund would receive 8.2 million shares of the resulting company as repayment for the US$50-million loan.

More critically, if the deal did not go through, 1235 Fund claims that the agreement between both parties stated that the fund had the option of receiving 1.7 million in Verano shares as repayment for the loan. The fund alleges that it was also “given the option” of receiving repayment of the loan purely in cash.

Hedge funds have long played the role of providing much-needed cash to companies with little revenue. MMCap and its affiliates frequently entered into these types of share-lending agreements, which also gave them the chance to sell their borrowed shares at opportune moments.

“Although structured using a debenture … whenever 1235 purchases debt securities, those securities always carry an equity upside,” the Ontario lawsuit said.

In March, 2020, the Harvest-Verano deal fell apart because of a combination of regulatory and financing issues. The fund could have technically exercised its equity option in Verano shares at the time or received repayment of the loan in cash, but it chose not to, according to the lawsuit filed by 1235 Fund against SOL, because Verano shares “appeared to be worth considerably less than US$50-million.”

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But then in late 2020, a new deal was on the table. Taking advantage of the renewed investor interest in cannabis, Verano was planning to go public on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

SOL still had millions in Verano stock and issued multiple news releases reminding shareholders of how Verano’s public debut would significantly boost its own value. According to SOL, it was in early 2021 that 1235 Fund decided to ask for Verano’s shares, threatening to invoke an “event of default” under the debenture agreement that would force SOL to repay the fund in Verano shares. That was effectively what prompted SOL to file a lawsuit against the fund, according to a Feb. 16 news release from SOL.

“Defendants saw in Verano’s going-public transaction an opportunity to extort an advantage for themselves at Plaintiffs’ expense,” SOL’s New York lawsuit stated.

Mr. DeFrancesco played a central, and often controversial role in many deals in the early days of the cannabis boom. He was most famously in the spotlight in late December, 2018, when a short-seller report accused him of orchestrating the sale of SOL-owned Latin American cannabis assets to Aphria Inc. at an inflated price.

Mr. DeFrancesco declined a request for comment.

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