Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: HMMJ ETF Drops 7 Stocks

This week, a flagship cannabis ETF announced a critical rebalance and Australis Capital’s saga of conflict with investors continued.

A flagship cannabis exchange-traded fund (ETF) revealed its latest quarterly changes this week, including the removal of seven stocks from its index.

Meanwhile, a cannabis investment company made official the announcement of a new CEO and board member as it tries to resolve a disagreement with a core group of shareholders.

Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.

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Cannabis ETF cuts seven stocks

Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) announced this week the most recent rebalancing of its two cannabis ETFs, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) and the Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF (NEO:HMUS).

According to Horizons ETFs, securities in the HMMJ index should have market capitalizations of over C$75 million. President and CEO Steve Hawkins said he’s seen momentum shift from Canada-based names to the US side of the market with the performance of multi-state operators below the border.

“Despite a strong recovery in Q2 2020 following the market volatility in March, Canada’s marijuana industry struggled in the third quarter in the face of COVID-19’s continued pressure on businesses and a lack of positive news to buoy the sector,” Hawkins said.

Amid these changes, seven cannabis stocks were demoted from the HMMJ index:

  • Agraflora Organics International (CSE:AGRA,OTC Pink:AGFAF)
  • The Supreme Cannabis Company (TSX:FIRE,OTCQX:SPRWF)
  • Khiron Life Sciences (TSXV:KHRN,OTCQX:KHRNF)
  • Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N,OTCQB:NXTTF)
  • Pharmacielo (TSXV:PCLO,OTCQX:PCLOF)
  • Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL)
  • WeedMD (TSXV:WMD,OTCQX:WDDMF)

Investment company appoints new CEO as it faces dispute

Australis Capital (CSE:AUSA,OTCQB:AUSAF), an investment arm spinoff of Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB,TSX:ACB), is facing a standoff with a group of disgruntled shareholders who are asking the company meet its demands regarding changes in leadership.

After various back-and-forth statements, Australis has now told the market it has made Harry DeMott, former founding investor of Columbia Care (NEO:CCHW,OTCQX:CCHWF), its new CEO.

“Having witnessed the opportunities firsthand as an investor and operator in the space, I truly believe that the time to invest in and build branded cannabis assets is now,” DeMott said in a statement.

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Back in August, the investors issued a statement demanding the company made changes given what they called mismanagement regarding a missed acquisition deal by Australis.

Eventually, the company held a meeting with the investors who wanted the changes. However, the meeting failed to create a resolution as both parties claimed bad faith from one another in the gathering.

Alongside the new executive is the appointment of Rick Cutler as an independent member of the Australis board of directors. Cutler comes in as the company confirmed the resignation of John Dover from its board. Earlier this year, the company also saw its former CFO Michael Carlotti depart.

“Having known Rick for well over a decade, I feel confident that he adds a level of experience with branded products that is unmatched at AUSA, and that he will be a valuable addition to the team,” DeMott added in the release.

Cannabis company news

  • Inner Spirit Holdings (CSE:ISH) opened two new stores in the provinces of Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, boosting its total of Spiritleaf-branded stores to 60 in the country.
  • Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA,TSX:APHA) confirmed the first delivery of an unspecified medical cannabis shipment from its facility to its German distributor subsidiary, CC Pharma.
  • TerrAscend (CSE:TER,OTCQX:TRSSF) told investors it has launched sales from the new San Francisco cultivation facility of its investee company, State Flower.
  • Neptune Wellness Solutions (NASDAQ:NEPT,TSX:NEPT) gave its shareholders an extensive update on its business amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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