BioSteel to becomes official sports drink of the Dallas Mavericks (CGC, STZ)

Canopy Growth has announced a multi-year partnership with the Dallas Mavericks as the team’s official sports drink partner.  The multi-year agreement includes prominent BioSteel branding at the American Airlines Center for all Mavericks’ home games, in addition to naming rights and signage at the team’s state-of-the-art BioSteel Practice Facility. Brand integration at these facilities will include various elements such as digital and static signage, practice jersey sponsor, home and visiting team chairbacks, and the courtside LED end pad TV signage. The company’s logo and branding will also be featured on coolers, cups, squirt bottles, and towels on the 2021 season's sidelines.

With this agreement, BioSteel has 150 distribution deals nationwide.  In the NHL, 29 of 31 teams use BioSteel products. In the NBA, BioSteel made a similar multi-year partnership with the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center.  And according to the Dallas Morning News, at least two more NBA team sponsorship agreements are in the works.

Canopy’s all-natural and sugar-free sports hydration brand recently inked distribution deals with mega distributors Reyes Beer Division and Manhattan Beer, alongside several other partnerships through Constellation Brands’ distribution network. Last year, Canopy Growth took a 72% majority stake with an agreed-upon path to total ownership. BioSteel continues to be a bearer of good news for the company’s broader CPG and CBD efforts. It will not be a surprise if sales for BioSteel exceed that of the company's THC beverages in 2021. 

CEO of underperforming Liberty Health Sciences resigns (LHSIF)

CEO Victor Mancebo of Liberty Health Sciences has resigned from the Board of Directors and his role as CEO, effective December 31, 2020. The Florida operator did not offer an explanation in their press release. Macebo was appointed CEO in January 2020 after serving as interim CEO since February 2019.

George J. Gremse, a member of the Board of Directors, has been appointed as Interim CEO during the process of identifying a permanent CEO. Gremse has held senior management positions in both Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. He holds a degree in agriculture from Cornell University and an MBA from Baruch College of the City University of New York. Mancebo will work with Gremse to ensure a smooth transition.

The Florida operator has 26 operating dispensaries in the state, and as of July 30th, had signed lease agreements for ten new locations to open.  The company, despite having a strong presence on a unit basis, has been underperforming – on a 4WMA as of October 23rd, Liberty Health Sciences held a 9.2% share of dispensing locations with just 3.9% share of mgs THC sold, 3.0% of mgs CBD sold, and 2.5% of oz. in flower sold. Mancebo’s departure follows news earlier this week, where the company asked for a year extension on 12% Senior Secured Convertible Debenture in exchange for increasing the interest rate to 13% per annum.

Akerna seeks to raise $12 million in public offering, stock falls (KERN)

Akerna, a regulatory compliance technology company in the cannabis industry, announced it had priced a public offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $2.40 per share.  The offering is expected to close on October 30th. The company expects that the gross proceeds of the offering of the shares will be approximately $12,000,000. In its press release, the company noted that it expects to use the net proceeds to fund its growth initiatives, including product development, sales and marketing, strategic acquisitions, working capital, and general corporate purposes.

In December 2019, Akerna announced its acquisition of Canada-based Ample Organics, a seed-to-sale software company that said it served more than 70% of Canadian cannabis license holders at the time of acquisition. However, in September 2020, just months after closing its acquisition, Ample CEO and founder John Prentice departed from the company. On his personal website, Prentice stated, “I believe Akerna's current leadership is unlikely to make it a preeminent leader of anything. Except, possibly, serial layoffs, customer and revenue churn, and dilutive deals that are bad for investors -- all of which are currently happening there.”

The stock fell 18% on yesterday’s news.