October 17 was a historic turning point for marijuana in Canada, but for many companies across the cannabis industry, legalization day was essentially just business as usual.
The weekend following the Cannabis Act officially taking effect saw a flurry of press releases issued by organizations large and small assuring stockholders of their intentions to produce enough product to meet increased demand.
CEO Vic Neufeld of Aphria (TSX: APH), which filed a 40-F with US regulators last week to list on the New York Stock Exchange, released this statement about the company’s expanding portfolio of adult-use cannabis brands:
“We celebrate the end of nearly a century of prohibition and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the cannabis industry. This is an historic moment as we march into the future of cannabis.”
Neufeld went on to say, “It is the commitment of our incredible team and partners that has gotten us to where we are today and built Aphria into a global cannabis success story.”
Cronos Group (TSX: CRON) just announced a partnership with Technion to research cannabis-based skin care treatments, and has also issued a press release looking forward with enthusiasm to the future of marijuana usage in Canada:
CEO Mike Gorenstein commented: “This is a defining moment that sets the foundation for all participants in the cannabis industry, both in Canada and as markets open around the world. Congratulations to the many leaders and advocates who worked so hard to achieve this milestone.”
Gorenstein added, “At Cronos, we take pride in leading the industry forward responsibly and are motivated to create meaningful products that excite our consumers and bring happiness and an improved quality of life. The growth potential in the cannabis industry is vast and extends well beyond the flower. With our differentiated brands, global footprint, growing production capacity and commitment to cannabinoid innovation, Cronos is well positioned to realize this opportunity.”
Following one of the very first legal sales of recreational cannabis in Canada at the Tweed flagship store in St. John’s, Newfoundland Co-CEO Bruce Linton of Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) reflected on the long road to legalization:
“On a day like this, it’s important to recognize all those who struggled, and fought to get us here. The advocates, patients, physicians, lawyers, and many more who can celebrate today as the product of years, if not a lifetime, of hard work.”
Linton also stated, “Now the real fun begins. In addition to our constant focus on education, we can start introducing customers to the differentiated retail experience and high-quality products we’re proud to offer.”
While companies have been busy selling product and issuing statements, plenty of large-scale dealmaking has also been occurring in the ramp up to legalization day, such as New Brunswick-based medical marijuana producer Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSXV: OGI) completing the sale of Trauma Healing Centers to Harvest Medicine Inc.