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February 03, 2023


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Cannabis 2.0 roundup: ain’t what she used to be edition featuring VFF.T, WMD.V, XLY.V, and MMEN.C

You don’t have to look far to find out that the cannabis industry ain’t what she used to be.

We start the roundup with Village Farms International (VFF.T), which has been something of an outlier in the cannabis industry these past few months—actually making money without resulting to cheap parlour tricks for a stock bump—and showing numbers looking suspiciously like a double in price in a market known for slopes that make professional skiiers nervous.

Ain't what she used to be


Their recent news has their ‘ subsidiary Pure Sunfarms partnered with B.C-based craft cannabis food and development company, White Rabbit, to make cannabis edibles using White Rabbit’s EAT ME technology.

One of the biggest problems with black market brownies, gummies and the like is dosage inconsistency. Sometimes the brownies or gummy bears you were eating didn’t provide a uniform experience in quite the way you would want. So you could eat an end or a few bites of a brownie, or maybe a few squares of a gummy, and not get as much effect. Maybe a little body buzz. It’d be an altogether pleasant effect and later on, when you anticipate getting the same, you don’t. Either you get nothing, or you’re face-down on the couch for eight hours because the two or three squares you ate had more milligramage than you were either prepared for, or accustomed to taking.

Their EAT ME tech is an all-natural emulsion blend that makes sure that cannabis extract is dispersed equally throughout each gummy, which increases THC and CBD bioavailability and allows for consistency of results and dosing.

“We are thrilled to exclusively partner with White Rabbit OG to develop a unique product made with real fruit. Pure Sunfarms and White Rabbit both share the fundamental belief in providing consumers with a pure cannabis experience, which we know consumers appreciate. White Rabbit is a true Canadian leader in the formulation of edibles. Combined with the absorption benefits of White Rabbit’s EAT ME Technology, we see lots of potential in this rapidly growing segment of the cannabis market.”

WeedMD puts the new normal on display

But if Village Farms reoccurring good fortune is something of an outlier, then WeedMD’s (WMD.V) trajectory is basically par for the course for the cannabis-industry. We’ll get into that in a bit, though.

Their latest news regards expansion of their cannabis 2.0 product offerings through the launch of their one-gram, 510 thread vape products in Ontario under their Saturday Cannabis (Saturday) brand.

Their Saturday vapes include strains called Lemon Haze and Sour Pineapple, and come in 510-thread cartridges. Products will be on shelves through the Ontario Cannabis Store starting in December 2020.

“The launch of our newest flavour-forward vapes is a great way to cap off the year as we continue to expand our Cannabis 2.0 portfolio with Saturday-branded products. As we keep executing on our commercial growth plans, we’re thrilled to design and formulate products that will continue to enhance the market appeal of our brands and meet the ever-evolving tastes and needs of discerning consumers nationwide,” said Angelo Tsebelis, CEO.

Unlike Village Farms’ chart above, WeedMD’s is more par for the course for the cannabis industry at the tail end of 2020. Note the optimistic price uptick for last month followed by a stable course correction—almost like mocking long term bagholders with the suggestion of a brighter future, like Lucy snatching the ball away from Charlie Brown yet again.

Ain't what she used to be


Old Auxly Cannabis ain’t what she used to be

Auxly is the first entry in the ain’t what she used to be category.

It’s hard to believe that Auxly Cannabis (XLY.V) used to trade in the $3 range. They were never exactly in the range of a Canopy Growth (WEED.T), Aphria (APHA.T) or Aurora Cannabis (ACB.T), but Chuck Rifici’s first baby post-Canopy held his imprimatur and commanded a decent amount of respect once upon a time.

You can’t really see that in the six month chart. The various rises and declines here represent the Hugo Alves era, post-cannabis collapse, wherein Alves has been doing his best to hold the ship upright and clean up Rifici’s excesses. If you want a guide to how far a company can fall in such a short period of time, and you’re tired of looking at Canopy’s history, look at Auxly’s trajectory over its three year life span. As it turns out, substantial debt is not a recipe for long term success.

Ain't what she used to be


Their latest news involves the Kolab Project, a consumer brand owned by Auxly focused on cannabis while championing arts, culture and design. They’re introducing their own 510 vape cartridges using an extraction method they call flash-freeze, which is supposed to preserve the natural terpene profile found in the plant.

“One year ago, we unveiled Auxly’s 2.0 product offering, along with a commitment to launch new and innovative products in order to lead the 2.0 market. Achieving the number 1 position for vape sales in Canada in the month of November with an approximate 25% market share3 is a validation of our strategy and reflects our entire team’s dedication to innovating to meet evolving consumer demand,” said Hugo Alves, CEO, Auxly.

No justice for MedMen bagholdersLast, we have Medmen (MMEN.C), still reeling from the destruction wrought by its former principles, Adam Bierman and Andrew Modlin, it may never come back to form. Cue sad trombone.

Its recent news is a licensing agreement with Bellrock Brands, wherein it has agreed to sell flagship brands Mary’s and Dixie in Medmen stores across Florida. The Mary’s line of cannabis products includes transdermal gels, patches and topicals. It’s been around since 2013 and has a strong library of intellectual property, including that for its transdermal tech. In contrast, Dixie has been around since 2010 and has been making beverages, gummies, mints and taffies infused with cannabis. According to Leaflink MarketScape, Dixie is the number one edibles brand in Michigan. Good for them.

“Florida represents an important market in our growth strategy, and we are very pleased to team up with Medmen to bring our flagship brands, Mary’s and Dixie, into their stores and make our products available to residents in the state. With the Florida market recently embracing infused products, we expect strong growth as the market continues to expand and the demand for diverse cannabis products increases,” said Chuck Smith, CEO of Bellrock Brands.

Pending regulatory approval, Bellrock intends to launch its its topical and edible products with Medmen in Q1, 2021, with the remainder of the portfolio arriving on shelves periodically throughout the year.

This news isn’t great news. This isn’t turnaround news. Instead, it’s daily grind news. The kind of thing that legit companies put out when they’re looking to rebuild their reputation, or already have one established. Maybe they will someday? My crystal ball remains hazy.

Ain't what she used to be


In keeping with the general theme of the article, MedMen’s chart is another example of a company that ain’t what she used to be, when it was riding high during the cannabis bubble courtesy of favourable press and general enthusiasm, but ultimately came crashing to earth on the insurmountable hubris of its founders.

But if you needed evidence that there’s no justice in the world it’s that those two assholes likely floated off to some Caribbean island in their multi-million dollar golden parachutes to sit poolside with their mai tai’s, hookers and mountains of blow, and left MedMen’s new staff to clean up their mess.

—Joseph Morton

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