This week was another difficult week for cannabis stocks across global markets, with a number of external factors seeing both the NASDAQ and LSE succumb to pressures, bringing many cannabis stocks down in tandem.
The FTSE 100 took a triple digit drop at the start of the week, thanks to concerns that China’s increasingly strict Covid lockdowns could once again hammer global supply chains. Meanwhile the NASDAQ was weighed down by similar concerns over China’s growing Covid crisis, while major announcements from a number of its biggest tech hitters drove more volatility, resulting in the steepest one-day drop since September 2020.
This meant that Cannabis-based ETFs were trading at all time lows this week, while the UK’s recently NASDAQ listed Akanda saw its stock decline over 25%.
Ananda Developments (ANA.PL)
For the first time in a number of weeks cannabis stocks on the Aquis stock exchange have seen some movement, with Ananda’s share price shooting to levels not seen since March.
This sharp uptick followed the company’s first significant announcement since planting its first seeds in February this year, as it revealed a number of key hires at its subsidiary DJT.
This includes Mark Spurdens, who will take charge of developing Ananda’s production facilities and supply chains as the company’s new Chief Operations Officer.
Steve Murray, who is credited with having set up and run large scale farming and pharmaceutical grade production systems, as well as managing medical cannabis growth for a cultivator under contract to GW Pharma, will also join as Head of Cultivation.
Elsewhere, Ananda has hired former Master Grower at Canadian cannabis giant Hexo Corp Dr Mark Gale as its new Head of Plant Science.
The trio of industry heavyweights are understood to have already commenced working at Ananda’s site, and are preparing to begin trialling plants from its research facility in commercial cultivation conditions.
Back in September 2021, before the company had planted its first seeds, DJT was granted a licence to import cannabis flower by the Government of Israel.
While Ananda readily admits this was a seemingly premature development, it added this was to ‘ensure it had a clear understanding of all requirements for moving cannabis flower’, so that it is ready to export as soon as its crops are ready.
Chill Brands (LON: CHLL)
Following two months of relative calm for Chill Brands investors, who have seen the value of their holdings divebomb over the past year, its stock fell off a cliff once again this week, dropping by over 30%.
While investors had been largely optimistic about the appointment of new young CEO Callum Sommerton last week, welcoming the fresh blood and possibility of a new direction for the company, a capital raise launched this week served to dampen this positive sentiment.
On April 26, Chill Brands announced that it had conditionally raised £3.5m from new and existing investors, including its largest shareholders the Schrader family, and Dame Ann Gloag, DBE.
The raise consisted of two parts. £583,344 has been raised by a subscription of 29m new ordinary shares at a price of just 2p each, while the remaining £2.9m will come from convertible loan notes, with both being conditional on the passing of a number of resolutions.
While investors welcomed the input of Gloag, who is worth around £730m, others were ‘livid’ at the 2p offering price, dubbing it ‘outrageous’.
The resolutions that need to be passed in order for the funds to be granted include giving ‘authority to the directors to allot Ordinary Shares and grant rights to subscribe for or to convert any security into Ordinary Shares’.
In its call for a general meeting to vote on these resolutions, set to take place on May 10, Chill said the proceeds will ‘provide sufficient capital to fund a turnaround plan for the Company to restore and support its sales channels’.
In an RNS, it added: “The Company remains in a growth phase and revenues do not currently support operational expenditure, as a result of which the Company has historically raised funds on a periodic basis.”
Akanda (NASDAQ: AKAN)
Akanda was one of this week’s poorest performers, seeing its runaway growth streak come to an abrupt end.
Since its IPO in mid-March, Akanda’s stock has gone from strength to strength, rising from $7.4 just days after its initial IPO rush to $11.81 last week.
Its peak followed news that Akanda was set to purchase Portuguese cultivator, manufacturer and distributor Holigen, solidifying the young company’s foothold in the region, giving it access to a multi-million square foot cultivation facility.
However, with Akanda’s share price fast approaching three times its listing value, and its market cap significantly overtaking Halo Collective, which owns a 40% stake in Akanda, its value seems to have fallen back down to earth, dropping 25% this week.
While some investors believe the levelling out of its stock is overdue, Akanda was also contending with a difficult week for the NASDAQ.
On Tuesday the S&P 500 saw its largest decline in seven weeks, marking a near 8% monthly decline, while the NASDAQ Composite dropped to its lowest levels since December 2020, amid oncerns over inflation and global economic growth.