Aurora Cannabis to Purchase CanniMed Aurora Cannabis struck a deal valued at $1.1 billion to buy rival licensed producer CanniMed Therapeutics, bringing an end to a hostile takeover battle between the two marijuana companies. During a public war of words before agreeing to talks, CanniMed argued that Aurora’s earlier all-stock offer valued at up to $24 per share was too low, given the wild swings in marijuana stocks. The deal also means CanniMed abandoned plans to acquire Newstrike Resources Ltd., paying a $9.5-million break fee . Minimum Wage Costs Licensed medical marijuana producer Aphria calculated that Ontario’’s 21-per-cent minimum pay jump from $11.60 to $14 per hour would add another $600,000 to its overall wage costs each year. “If this increase had been in effect in the current quarter, the company’s ‘all-in’ cost of sales of dried cannabis per gram would have increased by approximately $0.12 per gram,’’ stated the Leamington, Ont., company in recent financial documents. That’s an increase of nearly six per cent from its all-in cost of $2.13 per gram during the quarter ended in November 2017. Aphria and Nuuvera Combine Expertise Licensed marijuana producer Aphria Inc. reached an agreement to buy medical cannabis firm Nuuvera in a cash-and-stock deal that it says values the company at $826 million. The deal builds on a partnership between the companies as it combines Aphria’s production with Nuuvera’s expertise in cannabis processing and extraction. The combination will also help grow Aphria’s international footprint. Analysts expect consolidation to accelerate in the sector ahead of the legalization for recreational use of marijuana this summer. Feds Change Access to Cannabis Security Requirements On January 25, Health Canada announced two important changes to the physical security requirements under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) that impact licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes. Health Canada explains these changes are based on nearly 1,000 physical inspections since 2013. First, LPs will no longer be required to meet the vault and storage measures outlined in the existing Directive on Physical Security Requirements for Controlled Substances. Previously, LPs had to maintain a high-security vault for the storage of cannabis products. Secondly, LPs will no longer be required to maintain 24/7 video surveillance inside the rooms where cannabis is being cultivated, propagated or harvested. All access points to these rooms, however, must be under 24/7 video surveillance in order to record all entries and exits. Jeff Hannah,owner of JH & Associates, a risk management consulting company, believes these changes are a step in the right direction. “Really what [Health Canada] did is they acknowledged the fact that cannabis that is in the growing cycle, what we call ‘wet cannabis’, is not attractive to people to steal because you can’t do anything with it, and they’re acknowledging that,” Hannah explains. “So they’re taking away a good amount of the security around that because it was never really practical.” Visit us online Discover the latest news, ideas, blogs and business analysis for Licensed Producers across Canada.
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