Markets across Europe opened lower this morning as ongoing and increasingly severe reports of a looming economic crisis pushed the FTSE 100, German DAX, French CAC 40 and the pan-European Stoxx 600 into the red.
Though a report from The World Bank warning of a global recession next year dragged on stock values, the death of Queen Elizabeth II has also had an unexpected impact, seeing the Bank of England postpone its key rate-setting monetary policy committee until the period of national mourning is over next week.
This uncertainty has placed further pressure on London-listed stocks, which are also due to cease trading on Monday 19th during the Queen’s funeral.
This week Akanda announced that it has signed a major new agreement with prominent US cannabis brand Cookies, which now operates in over 17 markets.
As part of its new multi-year ‘exclusive licence agreement’, Akanda is due to make that 18 markets and bring Cookies branded products to Portugal, where it owns EU GMP certified cultivator, manufacturer and distributor Holigen.
The deal will give Akanda the exclusive rights to ‘cultivate, manufacture and sell’ Cookies branded products in the country, as well as open and operate Cookies branded pharmacy outlets.
According to Akanda, it will initially produce EU GMP certified Cookies products at its facility in Sintra to ‘pursue the current medical’ opportunities in Europe, with an eye on ‘future adult-use opportunities’.
Akanda’s CEO Tek Virk said: “It is further evidence that Akanda has secured one of the most prized cannabis assets in Europe. With brands and strains like Cookies, I’ve never been more confident about Akanda’s promising future.”
While the deal is expected to help Akanda’s stock price recover from historic lows of $0.67, its poor stock performance since May is being questioned by national securities law firm KlaymanToskes.
Late last month KlaymanToskes, which specialises in arbitration and litigation on behalf of retail and institutional investors, sent out a press release calling for ‘current and former customers of Boustead Securities that participated in IPOs’ to get in touch.
According to the law firm, Boustead Securities, the company which took Akanda public onto the NASDAQ in March, has offered 10 IPOs that ‘have significantly declined in price’.
While the details of KlaymanToskes investigation into Boustead is not yet clear, any future litigation against Boustead could have a significant impact on Akanda’s share price.
BusinessCann will be reporting on this case in more detail in the near future.
IM Cannabis (IMC) was one of the few companies to see its stock price increase this week, rising around 10% at the time of writing.
The uptick in price came off the back of a number of announcements from the international medical and adult-use cannabis operator.
On September 13, IMC announced that it had appointed two new directors to its board, replacing medical cannabis consultant Vivian Bercovici and law professional Haleli Barath, who’ve both stepped down to ‘pursue other opportunities’, with fresh blood from much more business-focused backgrounds.
Einat Zakariya, CEO and Partner of Ewave Nadlan International Investments, is one of the two new directors taking their place, bringing ‘vast experience in CEO roles and strategic consulting’.
Elsewhere Moti Marcus, CEO of Israel’s Packer Quality Materials, will also join the board, bringing a ‘strong track record of CFO roles, management, and mergers and acquisitions.’
These hires come as the company undergoes a ‘thorough restructuring’ of its operations in an effort to plug the stream of money pouring out of the company, seeing it report a 278% rise in net losses to $19m during its second quarter.
Days later IMC announced that Canada’s largest regulated products platform SNDL has completed its first international export to IMC in Israel as part of its international expansion efforts.
The 167kg delivery is part of an agreement between the two companies for SNDL to export a total of 1000kg of ‘high-quality dried flower products’ to IMC to distribute to the Israeli medical cannabis market.
IMC CEO Oren Shuster said: “The medical cannabis market in Israel has shifted towards premium and ultra-premium cannabis products. By forming an international partnership with SNDL, we are improving our global supply chain and enhancing our ability to provide the Israeli market with the high-quality products it has come to expect.”
Despite the uptick, IM Cannabis is still a long way from saving itself from a possible delisting from the NASDAQ, which is likely to see the business need to double its share price over the coming quarter, no mean feat for a company with such substantial losses.
In mid-July, BusinessCann reported that IM Cannabis had received a ‘notification letter’ from the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC warning that if its stock price did not return above $1 by January next year, it could face delisting.
Futura Medical saw its stock price dip slightly this week after the release of its interim results, after revealing a near 60% rise in net losses.
The company, which specialises in treatments for erectile dysfunction using CBD, reported net losses of £2.5m in the six months to June 30 2022, up from £1.59m in the same period a year earlier.
Some £700k of its increased losses were attributed to ‘research and development costs’ during the period, specifically those related to the phase 3 clinical trial of its flagship MED3000 product in order to be granted FDA approval for sale in the US.
According to Futura, which remains pre-revenue, this ‘FM71’ study produced ‘highly positive results’, and it is on track to ‘file a full regulatory dossier with the FDA by the end of September 2022’.
It intends to achieve market authorisation in the US by Q1 2023, which will see MED3000 become the first and only over-the-counter erectile dysfunction treatment available in the market.
Looking ahead, Futura says that its £6.68m of cash reserves, alongside a further £910k tax credit expected to be received later this year, will be enough to take it beyond the launch of MED3000 in Europe, where it already has approval, and in the US.
Despite the slight dip in share price this week, Futura’s stock performance has been significantly more positive than a number of its peers, nearly doubling since March.
“We are looking forward to launching MED3000 as a priority under the Eroxon brand with multiple commercial agreements in place in key markets and where regulatory approval allows.
“We are also firmly focussed on gaining marketing authorisation in the key market of the USA and finalising commercial arrangements to enable the marketing of MED3000 as a clinically proven topical treatment for ED with a rapid speed of onset. We look forward to updating shareholders further on regulatory and commercial progress on MED3000.”