Israeli Cannabis Industry
A number of Israel’s leading cannabis companies have issued updates regarding the rapidly evolving situation in the country, which declared war with Hamas last week.
Following the tragic events of October 07, which saw Hamas terrorists break through Israel’s defences, kill more than 1400 Israeli citizens and kidnap nearly 200 more, the state itself has made a number of interventions on cannabis.
Last week, the Israeli Ministry of Health confirmed an extension to patients’ medical cannabis prescription licences amid fears over supplies of medication.
In Israel, cannabis prescriptions are issued bi-monthly for limited amounts, but with some patients consuming more than usual due to the ‘stress’ of the situation, they feared running out before it could be renewed.
Meanwhile, a number of companies are also distributing medical cannabis for free for patients living in the south, and particularly in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Cannabis Magazine reported.
One such company was Israeli market leader Intercure, whose main facility is located just 2km from the border with Gaza.
According to a statement issued by the company yesterday, the site was hit hard in the attack, and two of the company’s employees were kidnapped by Hamas militants.
As the site has been designated a ‘closed military area’ by the Israeli Defence Forces, Intercure says it is ‘unable to assess the extent of the damage’ to the site.
“At this point, the duration of the war, and its direct and indirect damages are highly uncertain,” it said in a statement.
“While the company has estimated in high certainty that the Israeli government will compensate the company for damages that were caused by the terrorist attack and the war, the company is currently unable to estimate the impact on its financial results.”
Meanwhile IM Cannabis, which has operations in both Israel and Germany, issued a statement on the situation while announcing that it had secured a new C$1.3m short-term loan for ‘working capital’.
This was split into a number of smaller loans, including a C$170k contribution from the company’s CEO Oren Shuster.
Mr Shuster said in a statement: “There are no words to describe the scale of the horrors that are starting to come to light. Israel is a small country, every single one of us is directly impacted, either personally or through our family and loved ones.
“In Israel, Cannabis is defined as a critical infrastructure sector, just like any other pharmaceutical business. I am very proud of how the team is coming together to work through this horrific situation.”
Four of the aforementioned loans, accounting for around C$1m of the total proceeds, bear an annual interest rate of 18% and mature in six months.
A fifth loan from Rosen High Way totalling roughly C$340k has an interest rate of 20% and also matures in six months, and is secured against certain company assets.
Cellular Goods saw its stock price tick up by around 10% last week after announcing that its wholly owned subsidiary King Tide Carbon (KTC) had signed a new joint venture.
However, the cannabinoid cosmetics retailer’s stock soon fell back to an all-time low at the time of writing, despite announcing that its tie-up with Sephora has been partly expanded.
On October 11, the company announced its carbon sequestration subsidiary KTC had signed a formal agreement with Springtide Seaweed to form a joint venture focused on ‘carbon sequestration and removal services through sustainable kelp farming’.
Maine-based Springtide will grow, cultivate and harvest kelp, while Kind Tide will provide ‘investigatory, analytical and advisory services with respect to determining carbon sequestration levels’.
While Cellular Goods is far from the only cannabis company to diversify its operations in the face of dwindling share prices and lack of available funding throughout the sector, its acquisition of Kind Tide continues to raise many questions among investors who are yet to be convinced of operational synergies.
Earlier this week, Cellular Goods also announced that its CBD products will now be included in beauty retailer Sephora UK’s ‘pick and mix’ and ‘check out’ sampling promotions from ‘late October onwards’.
Cellular’s CEO Darcy Taylor said its participation in the sampling programme is ‘part of our continued customer acquisition strategy to increase awareness of our products and grow existing sales channels’.
“Being included across all the promotional materials for Sephora UK’s Fall campaign will be a strong catalyst for sales and revenue growth,” he added.
SEED Innovations’ share buyback programme, which was first announced on September 19, is continuing at pace.
The buyback initiative is set to see the AIM-listed cannabis investment company repurchase up to 21.5m shares, and is set to run until February 29, 2024.
According to the company, its board decided to launch the programme ‘following a consultation with certain key shareholders’ having considered the current discount in share price of nearly 60% ‘relative to the company’s last reported NAV along with the strong cash and receivables of £7.1million’.
To date, the company has repurchased nearly 4m shares, funded by its ‘existing cash resources’, with purchases being made nearly every day of trading since October 03.
Share buyback schemes are often used to help enhance shareholder value. With fewer shares available, earnings per share (EPS) often increases, which can make the company’s stock more attractive to investors.
While the programme is still in its early stages, it has yet to have a positive impact on its stock price.
The price of the share repurchases has fallen from around 4p in early October to 2.75p in its most recent sale.