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Canopy Growth (CGC): CBD Expansion Rolls on with the Acquisition of KeyLeaf Life Sciences

Canopy Growth (CGC) announced this morning that it has completed a transaction to acquire Saskatoon-based bio-product extractor KeyLeaf Life Sciences, related entities, and intellectual property. Canopy Growth has been working closely with KeyLeaf – formerly known as POS Bio-Sciences – as a trusted partner building out extraction processes and technology for the past year as it refines its scale extraction model for Canadian and global markets. As previously disclosed, Canopy Growth assumed control of KeyLeaf for accounting purposes in November 2018. As such, KeyLeaf’s financial results were consolidated in the Company’s fiscal 2019 financial statements. Through the transaction the Company is acquiring a large-scale Canadian extraction facility as well as an extraction-related facility in the United States to support the Company’s U.S. CBD expansion.

With over 45 years of experience in the canola, nutraceutical, cosmetic, and bio-product industries, KeyLeaf is a recognized leading authority with significant intellectual property relating to plant-based extraction and ingredients. The extensive experience of KeyLeaf’s chemists, engineers, and operators will remain within the organization to further refine the cannabinoid extraction process and will support Canopy Growth in the design, training, oversight, and implementation of additional extraction sites around the world.

KeyLeaf has been working closely with Canopy Growth over the past year to retrofit its Saskatchewan facility to advance technology development and commercialization, in order to process hemp and cannabis biomass, and to conduct pre- and post-extraction processes.  It is anticipated the facility, which is currently in the Health Canada licensing process, will be able to process up to 5,000 kg of input materials daily when operational.

Canopy Growth intends to leverage this facility, along with other owned and partner extraction options, to process its over 5,000 acres of Canadian CBD hemp production, over 160 acres of outdoor cannabis production, as well as any extraction materials outputted from its over 4 million square feet of greenhouse growing operations.  Then it’s off to Smiths Falls to produce the best possible, IP-protected products out there!

Additionally, the acquisition includes KeyLeaf’s ingredient science and innovation industrial scale facility in Batavia, Illinois. The Batavia facility focuses on short path distillation and the concentration of key compounds, ensuring that the output is free of impurities in products intended for consumption and currently holds several certifications, including a US FDA Food Facility Registration, as well as a state hemp processing licence, and Silliker GMP and Food Safety Systems Audit. As the Company builds its U.S. operations, this facility will be key in executing our program to bring CBD products to market in the U.S. by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 and will process the extract required to provide Canopy Growth with the supply needed to sustain these products.

“The KeyLeaf operations and team deliver instant scale at a pivotal stage in our growth, with brand new products coming to market later this year requiring sophisticated extraction capabilities at scale,” said Bruce Linton, Chairman & co-CEO, Canopy Growth Corporation. “This acquisition is the result of a year’s worth of work with a trusted partner, and part of our commitment to always staying a step ahead as leaders in a nascent industry, focused on the long-game one piece at a time.”

Analyst Ratings

Wall Street sizes up CGC as a ‘Moderate Buy’ stock, as the bulls edge out the cautious on the cannabis giant. In the last 3 months, CGC has received 8 bullish ratings versus 5 analysts hedging their bets. Although CGC shares have risen as much as 45% year-to-date, the consensus price target of $58 hints there could be about 50% upside for investors, with the stock fetching $39.24. (See CGC’s price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)


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