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Empower Clinics (CBDT.C) expands sales force to service California CBD market

11/28/2019

Last week Empower Clinics (CBDT.C) announced that it has hired some young commissioned-based sales people to expand its Sollievo CBD line in Southern California.

Empower is a multi-state CBD life sciences company, that operates a network of health & wellness clinics for its nine corporate locations and franchises in the United States.

Empower manufactures and distributes the Sollievo CBD brand through its clinics, online and through retail partners. Extraction operations are being developed at a new extraction facility in Oregon.

Almost 40 million people live in California. Los Angeles County, Orange County and Ventura County have a combined population of 14 million consumers.

Sollievo products in production or R&D:

  • Lotions
  • Balms
  • Tinctures
  • gel caps
  • pain patches
  • e-drinks

In December, 2018 the U.S. Congress and Senate approved the $867 billion Farm Bill blowing the door open for hemp and CBD companies.

CBD – a non-psychoactive cannabis compound in marijuana plants and hemp is gaining traction in the health and wellness sector.

There are over 170 dispensaries in Los Angeles County. Sollievo’s new commission-based sales team is also targeting smoke shops, vape stores and “a variety of retail locations that carry CBD products or have expressed an interest to sell CBD products.”

“Establishing a retail presence in this area for our Sollievo CBD product lines gives us significant volume potential, but also provides crucial market feedback about branding, product quality and consumer adoption.” stated Steven McAuley, Empower’s Chairman and CEO. “Gaining direct market feedback, by having our own sales agents on the ground is already proving beneficial.”

Empower has entered into a Letter of Intent (L.O.I) to form a 50/50 JV with Heritage Cannabis (CANN.C) whereby “Heritage will install extraction units and related downstream extraction equipment inside Empower’s existing licenced hemp processing facility in Sandy, Oregon.”

Once operational, the JV will begin producing proprietary branded products for Empower’s clinics and 3rd party partners for distribution in the U.S.

Kudos to Proactive Investors for getting the CEO of Heritage, Clint Sharples on at the same time as McAuley to explain the mechanics of the JV.

Empower is not just another “cannabis story”.  It’s a functioning business with a growing clientele, and product distribution – as revealed by the latest financials.

Q3 2019 vs. Q3 2018 highlights:

  • 5,807 patient visits generated revenue of $663,003, compared to 1,864 patient visits that generated $279,850
  • Net loss of $504,531, compared to $378,657 for Q3 2018, which was primarily driven by increased revenues and fair value adjustments offset by net increased in operating expenses related to the operations of Sun Valley.
  • Cash used in operating activities $1,819,670 YTD, improved by $1,309,913 from $3,129,583 for YTD 2018.

“Our focus on operational excellence and cost controls are key contributors to strong year-over-year growth numbers and the reduction in direct clinic expense, as we continue to serve the 165,000 patients in our database.” stated McAuley, “The Company is beginning to fulfill its promise of vertical integration.”

On June 1, 2019 Empower took possession of a new hemp-derived CBD extraction facility extraction facility. It has been awarded a hemp-handlers licence from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, allowing it to begin the next phase of build-out.

Empower anticipates preliminary production of its Sollievo CBD line to take place at the Oregon extraction center in Q4, 2019.

When de-regulation coincides with surging global demand, it’s typically a big win for consumers, and a few nimble corporations.

Example: In the 1960s the Civil Aeronautics Board managed flight routes and set airline prices. By 1977, only 63% of Americans had ever boarded a plane.

In 1978, the Airline Deregulation Act saw the government exit the business, causing ticket prices to drop. Today, 87% of American’s have boarded a plane.

The World Health Organization has recommended de-scheduling CBD as a controlled substance among its 194-member states.

Empower is strategically positioned to benefit from this sweeping global regulatory change.

On May 11, 2018, the stock was trading at .48.  It’s now down 90% to .04, with a market cap of $5 million.

– Lukas Kane

Full Disclosure:  Empower is an Equity Guru marketing client.

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