NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: It should come as no surprise that one of the strongest trends in the health care space is the rising wave of natural wellness and natural alternatives categories. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the momentum, the movement had begun well before people around the world were sent home, where self-care and well-being became watch words. A natural extension of this focus on self is cannabis, as growing research seems to support the potential benefits this natural plant may provide. Dubbed cannabis 3.0, the next phase of cannabis market maturation features exciting innovation, high-quality offerings and growing investor interest in a space with seemingly unlimited potential. Companies already operating in the space are taking a close look at the opportunities to identify their next best move. BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE: BEV) (OTCQB: BVNNF) (FSE: 7BC) (Profile) has chosen to expand and diversify its business, moving from a high-capacity cannabis beverage company into a compelling health and wellness company through a number of accretive acquisitions. Other companies making significant moves in the world of cannabis include Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC), Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) and Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF).
- A recent report estimates the 2021 market will reach $19.89 billion with 27% CAGR projected as the sector moves forward.
- After two milestone acquisitions, BevCanna now boasts two cannabis-related licenses and a global presence in natural wellness markets.
- BevCanna operations include a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art beverage production facility with annual capacity of 210 million bottles.
- Its Embark Health acquisition gives BevCanna added revenue, IP and a second production facility to increase its asset base to more than $100 million.
A recent Quince Market Insights reports that the global cannabis market appears ready to take off, “attributed to the rising awareness among customers concerning the health advantages of cannabis and its increasing medical application.” The report estimates the 2021 market will reach $19.89 billion and forecasts that the sector is now positioned to see 27% compound annual growth.
Cannabis 1.0 was the legalization of cannabis, followed by 2.0, which involved the introduction of derivatives such as edibles and other consumables into an eager market. With cannabis 3.0 and U.S. legalization on the horizon, cannabis is gaining popular acceptance with consumers introducing it into their everyday lives, as a component in mainstream products in everything from drinks and pharmaceuticals to personal hygiene and beauty products.
Such widespread application has created the undergirding for market activity as smart companies strategically plan for the future. In the hustle, BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE: BEV) (OTCQB: BVNNF) (FSE: 7BC) has emerged as a leader, diversifying its already strong operations in accretive acquisition activity involving a range of wellness brands and companies designed to expand both its product offerings and manufacturing capabilities. This deliberate expansion has included new channels such as direct to consumer e-commerce, high-growth adult-use cannabis products, hemp-derived CBD products, and wellness-focused non-cannabis products bridging the intersection of two of the fastest-growing consumer categories: wellness and cannabis.
BevCanna’s growth has been carefully led by executives with decades of expertise in creating, branding, and manufacturing iconic brands. These veteran players boast resumes touting positions of leadership at such well-known entities as Rogers, Best Buy, SC Johnson, Walmart, Pepsi, Costco, Colgate, and more.
In addition to its distinguished executive team, BevCanna’s portfolio is equally compelling. The company owns in-house brands Anarchist Mountain, Pure Therapy and the innovative TRACE water & supplement brand, along with partner brands Keef Brands. As the nation progresses in both popular acceptance and government support, the Keef collaboration offers exposure to more than 1,000 U.S. dispensaries. On top of that, with the acquisitions of Naturo Group and Pure Therapy wrapped up, BevCanna completed another company-maker-type of deal.
Expanding into Wellness
BevCanna began its expansion into the wellness space in November 2020 when it initially announced its plans to purchase Naturo Group, a partner company since 2017. The acquisition resulting in the addition of an estimated $38 million in assets, including a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, HACCP-certified beverage manufacturing facility with capacity of 210 million bottles annually in PET/RPET, aluminum and glass formats; a pure alkaline spring water source located onsite; 315 acres of outdoor cultivation possibility; and proprietary Health Canada-approved fulvic and humic plant-based mineral formulation.
The land and alkaline spring water source alone are valued at more than $28 million, a true value proposition for a company with a market capitalization around $56 million. Along with that, BevCanna has also obtained requisite government approval to expand its facility to 170,000 square feet for CPG and cannabis purposes.
Through the Naturo Group acquisition, BevCanna added the TRACE brand to its growing portfolio. The leading mineralized water and supplement brand is sold in more than 3,000 Canadian retail locations, with active expansion into the U.S. market with initial efforts focused on California, Illinois and New York. Fulvic acid has gained popular anecdotal attention as a natural supplement and immune system enhancer for warding off a variety of diseases and conditions such as allergies, eczema and even Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the Naturo Group’s product catalog features a diverse array of alkaline and natural spring waters, plant-based mineral concentrate and mineralized shots and more.
A U.S. Head Start
The Naturo Group acquisition had followed on the heels of BVNNF’s announcement that it planned to acquire Pure Therapy, a natural health product company known for meticulously crafted goods, including nutraceutical and hemp-based cannabidiol products, through its e-commerce platform across North America and Western Europe. Pure Therapy had a base of approximately 23,000 customers at the time; BevCanna has already increased that customer base by about 15%, adding 3,270 new active customers. The company is also working to accelerate growth by capitalizing on the decades of marketing expertise that the Pure Therapy offers.
BVNNF has a forward-looking strategy in place that includes plans to add its own nutraceuticals and CBD product line to the global health and wellness market, with a focus on the growing U.S. CBD space. Through its Pure Therapy lines and its partnership with Keef Brands, a top U.S. cannabis-infused beverage company, BevCanna appears to have a head start in those efforts.
Working on Advancements
The company is working on other advancements too. BevCanna signed on the line to enter a definitive agreement to acquire Embark Health Inc. The all-stock, C$21-million transaction valued BEV stock at C$0.45, a 33% premium to the average price of the stock for the five days leading into the deal being disclosed.
Embark brings extensive manufacturing and intellectual property assets related to high-end solventless cannabis extracts such as bubble hash, traditional pressed hash, rosin, dry sift and its best-selling Hazel Hash Stick. Embark also increases BevCanna’s capacity to manufacture cannabis concentrates, liquids, powder beverage mixes, topicals and edible products. In addition, in the last three months Embark generated C$790,000 in revenue at ~65% gross margin through its four adult-use brands. The potential outlined in the agreement includes earn-out payments to Embark shareholders if revenue reaches $92.18 million within three years.
The acquisition also adds ProteinQuest, for which Embark is the majority shareholder, to BevCanna growing health and wellness portfolio. This strategic move could benefit BevCanna in multiple ways, not the least of which involves adding the combined company total of more than $100 million in assets the BVNNF balance sheet.
Furthermore, BevCanna’s already strong management team become even more impressive with the addition of Bruce Dawson-Scully (founder and CEO of WeedMD); Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson (best known for being the founding pioneer of bubble hash); Michael West (global extraction expert who has developed, designed, and built more than a dozen world-class extraction facilities for companies such as Cresco Labs (CL:CSE); and Curtis Leifso, an expert in enhanced bioavailability drug-delivery technology.
Making Moves in Cannabis
Other smart companies are making significant moves in the cannabis space, by way of product innovation and/or acquisition. The activity is not going unnoticed as investors and consumers alike are turning their attention to this burgeoning sector.
Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC) completed its acquisition of the Supreme Cannabis Company, a move that further strengthens Canopy’s overall leadership position within the Canadian recreational market and creates a pro forma Q4 FY 2021 market share of 18.1. As Canopy continues to focus on the premium flower segment, the addition of 7ACRES and the 7ACRES Craft Collective enhances Canopy’s leading market share position and supplements its production capacity through the acquisition of Supreme’s low-cost, scalable cultivation facility in Kincardine, Ontario. This facility has a proven capability for producing high-quality flower from sought-after strains that have earned Supreme’s brands their loyal consumer followings.
Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) launched a line of medical cannabis edibles in THC and CBD-rich varieties of chocolates and soft chew gummies. The medical cannabis edibles are now available for patients across Canada and add to Tilray’s comprehensive offering of cannabis medicines, including whole flower, oils, vapes, and pre-rolls developed with patient health and well-being in mind. “Whether it’s pain management, anxiety treatment, or everything in between, patients are asking for more choices in the medical cannabis category, and Tilray remains committed to the innovations that improve patient well-being,” said Tilray chair and CEO Irwin D. Simon.
In the last two months alone, Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) has announced a series of acquisitions and openings that has expanded the company’s presence in four different states. Last month, Cresco opened a Fort Lauderdale dispensary, the company’s ninth Florida location. Only a day later, the company announced plans to acquire Blair Wellness Center, a top-performing dispensary in Maryland. Earlier this month, Cresco closed on the acquisition of Cultivate, which operates three cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts. And most recently, the company announced plans to acquire three high-performing Pennsylvania dispensaries. One of the largest vertically integrated multistate cannabis operators in the United States, Cresco is on a mission to normalize and professionalize the cannabis industry.
Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) opened Curaleaf Bordentown, the company’s third dispensary in New Jersey and 109th dispensary nationwide. In addition, the company launched its Select brand in New Jersey, expanding the brand’s reach to 19 states. Select Bites, which feature the brand’s award-winning, concentrated broad-spectrum oil and science-based formulations that offer precise, consistent cannabis experiences for any occasion, are now available at all Curaleaf New Jersey locations. All three of Curaleaf’s New Jersey dispensaries are strategically located near the New York and Pennsylvania borders, allowing the company to better serve the growing East Coast adult-use market
The cannabis market, including the health and wellness spaces, appear to be on the verge of major disruption as consumers clamor for government support and changes in legislation. Companies with strong operations and high-quality products in place will be in prime position to benefit.
For more information about BevCanna Enterprises Inc., please visit BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE: BEV) (OTCQB: BVNNF) (FSE: 7BC).
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