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Merger madness: Canada’s marijuana industry enters consolidation phase

Canada’s cannabis industry is shedding its wild adolescence and maturing into adulthood as it prepar..



Canada’s cannabis industry is shedding its wild adolescence and maturing into adulthood as it prepares for the legalization of recreational marijuana this summer. Companies are bulking up, knowing the promise of billions of dollars will draw bigger players and more competition.

That path to adulthood though is expensive and fraught with risk. So, it’s perhaps inevitable that Canada’s cannabis players are looking to mergers to scale up and stave off competition.

Consultancy Ernst & Young surveyed nearly a dozen licensed producers about the state of the industry and where things are headed.

“Many believe that consolidation is inevitable, leaving a few large players post-legalization,” Ernst & Young said in a report this week.

Bulk up and diversify

Evidence of that strategy is everywhere right now. A marijuana company from Alberta called Aurora Cannabis has launched a hostile takeover bid for Saskatchewan-based CanniMed Therapeutics.


Pot is now big businesses, dominating labs and Bay Street boardrooms. (Mason Trinca/Yakima Herald-Republic/Associated Press)

CanniMed would rather hunt than be hunted. So it launched its own bid and announced a plan to buy an Ontario-based company called Newstrike Resources. They say that merger would result in single entity worth more than half a billion dollars. (You may have heard of Newstrike. It’s the company that partnered with the Tragically Hip earlier this year — one more sign that everyone’s trying to get a piece of the market.)

Aurora is pushing ahead with the hostile bid. But it’s also looking at ways of making these deals less costly and less painful. It issued a statement last week indicating it has ways of nudging unwilling participants into making a deal. That’s because Aurora just bought a greenhouse design firm and the company says it will use that firm as a way of pressuring rival producers into those “partnerships.”

An offer you can’t refuse

Chuck Rifici is one of Canada’s leading investors in the cannabis space. (He helped found Tweed and is the company’s former CEO. He was until recently on the board of Aurora.) He says these deals make sense at this stage because pot companies can use their sky-high stock values to throw weight around and buy up smaller players in all-stock deals.

“It makes sense to do deals where you’re buying optionality in a future market for not much in stock,” he told CBC News. “These smaller companies are in a position to fill in gaps and get a nice premium on their stock and the larger guys are essentially printing cheap paper to do those deals.

“It’s win-win.”


Marijuana companies have seen their stocks soar, giving them more weight to throw around when buying out smaller companies. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)

The proposed CanniMed and Aurora deal is a great example of that, he said. CanniMed is well established as a medical player looking to diversify into the lifestyle side of the sector. On the opposite side of the coin, Aurora wants to broaden by acquiring something more medically focused.

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In the Ernst & Young report, Canada’s licensed producers said that sort of consolidation is bound to continue.

“The majority of respondents believe that the cannabis industry will continue to consolidate,” the report said. “Inorganic growth is expected to persist, leaving a few large players.”

And no one, it seems, is immune. Even the country’s largest publicly traded cannabis producer is trying to navigate a quickly changing landscape.

Bruce Linton, the CEO Canopy Growth (formerly known as Tweed) told Ernst & Young he expects the field to narrow considerably.

Marijuana Warning Labels

Experts say the industry will consolidate to a few big growers and a bunch of “craft” producers making smaller amounts. (Seth Perlman/Associated Press)

“Over the long term, I see an industry with two or three major, relevant players and bunch of craft producers,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

New players

This is all happening against the backdrop of a quickly changing regulatory landscape. Rules are being written on the fly and the provinces aren’t necessarily all moving in the same direction or on the same timeline.

Another X factor is new players that haven’t jumped in yet but are no doubt readying to behind the scenes. Existing companies have carved out a toe-hold from which they can build a business. But those unknowns have forced them to guess how regulations will come down.

There are no sure bets, but when it comes to survival, size matters. Hence the mergers.

“It’s still a craft industry, even though you have people that have non-craft valuations.” Rifici says.

Canopy 20171114

Canada’s next cash crop has pushed the industry into a mergers and acquistions phase. (Robert F. Bukaty/Canadian Press/Associated Press)

With the floodgates about to open, many firms are facing a looming capacity crunch. So producers who are licensed now are spending money hand over foot trying to maximize production. Canopy doubled its revenues in its second-quarter results but still lost more than $1 million. Linton told Ernst & Young that’s just part of the process at this stage.

Growing up fast

“You’re spending four times as much as you would normally in order to be ready for a year from now,” he said.

Many of these companies are likely just trying to stick around long enough to get bought out once the new laws are in place.

Much like adolescents , all companies grow up eventually. With a marijuana industry that Deloitte recently pegged as being worth almost $23 billion, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to see these recalcitrant teenagers don a suit and tie and start acting like grown-ups.

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Morocco-Spain Partnership for 21st Century Challenges



Madrid – Aware of the strategic importance of preserving and developing a privileged relationship looking to the future, Morocco and Spain show a firm determination to build a renewed global partnership, up to the challenges but also opportunities offered by the 21st century, said Morocco’s ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich.

Both Countries Are Neighboring And Friendly

“Morocco and Spain are two friendly and neighboring countries, which share common values and interests and which continue to work together to make their relationship an example to follow in all areas,” said Ms. Benyaich in an interview with MAP, on the occasion of the holding in Rabat of the 12th Morocco/Spain High Level Meeting.

It is within the framework of this spirit that fits the speech delivered by HM King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, on August 20, 2021, in which the Sovereign called for the inauguration of an unprecedented stage in relations between the two countries, based on mutual trust, permanent consultation and frank and sincere cooperation, recalled Ms. Benyaich.

Responding to the generous appeal of HM the King, the Spanish government has repeatedly reaffirmed its unshakeable will to engage with Morocco in a renewed dynamic to establish a lasting relationship on more solid foundations, observed the Diplomat.

”Today, in accordance with this new dynamic initiated between the two countries since last April, following the visit of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, to Morocco, at the invitation of HM the King and the adoption of an ambitious roadmap, Morocco and Spain are determined to move forward in the implementation of this virtuous process, by identifying all the appropriate means to give this partnership a serene, lasting basis and an operational character. which will strengthen bilateral relations and create mutually beneficial synergies,” noted Ms. Benyaich in this regard.

In this wake, the Ambassador of Morocco to Spain highlighted the “excellent relations of brotherhood” uniting the two Royal Families, assuring that the “distinguished and privileged ties of solid friendship and mutual esteem between HM the King and King Felipe VI strongly contribute to the consolidation of a unique and exemplary relationship.

Thus, argued Ms. Benyaich, the High Level Meeting between the two countries, which has not taken place since 2015, will undoubtedly constitute an exceptional meeting which will imbue a new dynamic in bilateral relations and will reflect the determination to build a mutually beneficial strategic partnership, under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and King Felipe VI of Spain.

This meeting, she added, is only the concretization of the firm will of the two countries to take an unprecedented step in bilateral relations, on the basis of a clear and ambitious roadmap responding to the aspirations of both friendly peoples.

In this context, the leaders of the two countries are looking into the implementation of concrete actions within the framework of this roadmap encompassing all areas of the partnership and integrating all issues of common interest, in a climate of trust and transparency, said Ms. Benyaich, recalling that, since last April, all the working groups have held regular meetings to put in place the provisions of the new bilateral roadmap.

As a result, the High-Level Meeting in Rabat will reflect this positive state of mind and oriented towards respect for the commitments that drive the Moroccan-Spanish relationship today, Ms. Benyaich concluded.

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Spain Raises Minimum Wage For Workers



New government measure to tackle inflation: the minimum wage will increase by 8%. It is in addition to social aid and various reductions in the country.

The Spanish Minimum Wage will increase by 8%. It will increase to 1080 euros, against 1050 euros previously. This is what the President of the Government Pedro Sánchez has just announced before the Senate, after having reached a consensus with the unions.

The measure aims to deal with the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine, and inflation which has also peaked this month. It is also part of a battery of measures to “control the inflationary curve”, specified the Head of State, quantified at 45 billion euros invested in social aid, reductions in public transport or even food taxes.

“Spain is More Resistant to The Crisis”

Because if five years ago unemployment, the independence of Catalonia and corruption represented the main concerns of the Spaniards, today only that of unemployment persists alongside the economic problems which complicate the payment of the bills for many homes.

Despite everything, according to the Spanish Prime Minister, the Iberian Peninsula “is the country with the lowest inflation in the EU and the labor market has reached record figures”. He also assures that “Spain is resisting the crisis better than many neighboring countries”.

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115-Year-Old Maria Branyas Morera: The New Dean Of Longevity



After the death of Sister André at the age of 118 on January 17, Maria Branyas Morera became the new dean of humanity. This American-Spanish is 115 years old.

From the top of her 115 years, here she is at the top of the world. After the death of the French sister André, at the age of 118, on January 17, Maria Branyas Morera is now the new dean of humanity. This American-Spanish was born in the United States on March 4, 1907 in San Francisco. In 1915, her parents decided to return to live in Spain, where she still spends peaceful days today in a retirement home, at the Residència Santa María del Tura, located in the city of Olot, in the northeast of Spain. ‘Spain. “It is an honor to be able to continue to accompany her and take care of her” also explains the establishment in a publication on social networks, which also explains that she is today “in good health”.

Peaceful indeed, his life was not. In 1915, when her parents decided to return to live in Spain, Maria Branyas Morera lost her father to tuberculosis during the trip that took her and her family to Europe. The trip was particularly harmful: during the crossing, Maria Branyas Morera lost hearing in one ear. Today, at 115, the new dean of humanity still has health problems in her ear. The American-Spanish arrives in Spain with her family in the dismal theater of the First World War. It will also go through the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939), the Francoist dictatorship (1939 to 1977) and the Second World War. In the Catalan News, she thus describes wars “very harmful in Europe”. She also has “very bad memories” of the civil war.

“A New Year is a Gift”

In 1931, she decided to marry Joan Moret, a doctor with whom she would have three children, who in turn would have 11 grandchildren.

Her husband died at the age of 72. It was also struck by the COVID-19: “This pandemic revealed that the elderly are the forgotten of our society,” she said. The company, moreover,, the American-Spanish will have seen it transforming over the decades with the arrival of the Internet and its social networks which allow it to stay in touch with its family and even to tweet. The retiree notes, however, that people lived “more peacefully and happier” at the beginning of the 20th century.

And his secret for such longevity? Maria Branyas Morera says she is used to eating “little but everything”, and that she has never followed a diet. The dean also thinks “that longevity is also about being lucky. Luck and good genetics.” She prefers to favor “order, tranquility, a good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability”. And to conclude: “Life is not eternal for anyone […] At my age, a new year is a gift, a humble celebration, a new adventure, a beautiful journey, a moment of happiness. Let’s enjoy life together. »

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