Long time readers know, a year or two back, we wrote a lot about a US multi-state operator (MSO) in the cannabis dispensary space, iAnthus (IAN.C). We liked the company as it accelerated its dispensary acquisition program but stopped coverage in early 2019, with the shareprice in the $5 range, as it began to overpay for assets in a land grab with competitors we believed would ultimately have few winners. Today, iAnthus has put out some uncomfortable news announcing that, because it is involved in a lawsuit with creditors, it has chosen to default on debenture interest payments.
I have a list of companies that want me to write about them that, for the last few years, has never got to an end. Heck, the list of companies that’ll pay me to look at them rarely gets to zero, and they take precedence over the freebies. So when I spot something in the wild that people are talking about but isn’t on one of those lists, it may take me a while to get around to seeing what all the fuss is about. Powerband Solutions (PBX.V) has been shown up a lot in my social media timelines for a while now, touted by folks I know and sometimes even trust, so I thought I might as well set aside some quarantine time to look it over.
It’s never been clearer that many Canadian cannabis companies were built, from the outset, poorly. As the economy creaks and groans and every sector takes a hit from COVID-19 effects, cannabis should be an exception to the rule because, if my circle is any indication, a lot of folks are at home, bored, and getting high as hell.
If your current quarantine situation hasn't left you thinking about new ways to make money out of a new socially distanced world, you're probably still watching Tiger King. Blackhawk Growth Corp (BLR.C) isn't a name on many people's lips through the COVID-19 crisis, but that's a good thing if you, like me, enjoy ultra-low priced pubcos with the potential to break out.
Trust me, there’s nothing I’d like more, as the publisher of a financial markets-focused media outlet, than to tell you all it’s time to buy back in on these ailing markets. I’ve got clients who’d reward me well if I were to convince you that it’d be a good idea to buy their stock in the middle of a stock slide. I’ve got employees that I’m still paying and not laying off that are ready to do their thing and share good investing opportunities with you all, especially at a time when you’re all at home looking for information.
When new sectors emerge, as cannabis did in 2013 and psychedelics are doing right now, microcap companies that have struggled in other sectors will often pivot into new business. Miners become weed companies, then biotech companies, then shroom companies, as boards and management pursue new opportunities that might one day prove better than the last.
GTEC Holdings (GTEC.C) is a company we've written about a lot, a BC-based cannabis grower that laid out a business model of multiple small licensed grow facilities, hitting the premium artisan weed market. Their products are great, their costs are low, and they've never yet benefited from the irrational weed booms of the '15, '16, and '17 years because they were late to get those licenses. This means, they've experienced all the weed industry dives, but none of the runs. Their stock price: $0.09, good for a market cap of just $11 million.
When the savings and loan crisis in the US hit in 1989, a lot of slow-moving investors lost their dough thinking the worst couldn’t possible happen. When the dotcom bubble burst in 2001, a lot of folks got torn up as stocks that had previously been 100-baggers went to zero. When the real estate market burned to the ground amid the financial crisis of 2008, a lot of folks got pulled under, imagining the worst that could happen couldn’t really happen. When the Canadian weed market started imploding in early 2019, true believers told themselves for months, “It’s bound to come back soon,” even as companies lost 95% of their value
No company in the Canadian cannabis space polarizes people like Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD.T), which roared to the public markets on perhaps the biggest promote yet seen, raised nine-digit totals along the way, swept in more first time private placement participants than any company before them, and then did... well... nothing, for a long time. With top brass having been walked recently and plans to super-size the company grow facilities shelved in the wake of underwhelming need for more weed, TGOD has made no secret it is at a moment of recalibration, but investors will have expected to see more than this.
Okay, so the world is burning, the Russians and Saudis are pouring low-cost fuel over it, the Americans are shocked that a reality TV show host with a penchant for scams didn’t make a clever President, Italy is in total lockdown, the Japanese are thinking of holding a spectator-free Olympics, Israel is putting anyone coming home from overseas in two weeks of quarantine, the stock markets are taking their biggest dive ever, and morons are hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer while lining up for the free havarti samples at Costco.
Today was a day that daytraders have been looking forward to for some time; the day that shroom stocks finally gripped the road and took off. Mind Medicine (MMED.E) ripped 90% to $0.77 on the back of 15m shares traded, reminding anyone who'd listen that ex-Canopy CEO Bruce Linton and pretend billionaire Kevin O'Leary were on board. Champignon Brands (SHRM.C) zoomed 40% to $0.33 on a lot smaller market awareness spend byt a handy ticker, Roadman Investments (LITT.V) was up 30% to $0.065 being sucked along in the other two companies' wake, and Revive Therapeutics (RVV.C) was up 81% to $0.10 on ripples caused by the rest.
A quick scan of headlines today would tell a harrowing story that Heritage Cannabis (CANN.C) was in big trouble and had lost $13 million and pandemonium had broken loose, and dogs and cats were going to be living together any time now. That's because the company led their Q4 financials news release today with their yearly metrics filling the headlines, while their not-so-rough quarterly numbers were largely and inexplicably hidden from view.