10-K 1 chuc20231231_10k.htm FORM 10-K chuc20231231_10k.htm
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, DC 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT UNDER SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023

or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

Commission file No. 001-32420

 

CHARLIE’S HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Nevada

 

84-1575085

(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)

 

(IRS Employer Identification No.)

 

1007 Brioso Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(949) 531-6855

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

None

 

Securities registered under Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act: 

 

Title of Each Class

 

Trading Symbol

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock ($0.001 par value)

 

CHUC

 

OTC Markets

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐  No

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐  No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒  No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

   

Emerging growth company 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes ☐ No

 

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

 

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No ☒

 

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, June 30, 2023 was approximately $5.8 million based on a closing market price of $0.10 per share, as reported on the OTCQB Venture Market.

 

There were 229,349,388 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding as of April 15, 2024.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

CHARLIES HOLDINGS, INC.

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2023

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

   

Page

PART I

   

Item 1.

Description of Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

15

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

27

Item 1C.

Cybersecurity

27

Item 2.

Properties

28

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

28

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

28

     

PART II

   

Item 5.

Market for Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

29

Item 6.

[Reserved]

29

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

30

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

39

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

39

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

39

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

39

Item 9B.

Other Information

40

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspection

40

     

PART III

   

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

40

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

43

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

43

Item 13.

Certain Relationships, Related Transactions, and Director Independence

43

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

43

     

PART IV

   

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

44

Item 16.

10-K Summary

44

     

Signatures

 

45

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. We intend to identify forward-looking statements in this report by using words such as believes, intends, expects, may, will, should, plan, projected, contemplates, anticipates, estimates predicts, potential, continue or similar terminology. These statements are based on our beliefs as well as assumptions we made using information currently available to us. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Because these statements reflect our current views concerning future events, these statements involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Actual future results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks include changes in production and demand for our products, changes in the level of operating expense, our ability to expand our network of customers, changes in general economic conditions that impact consumer behavior and spending, product supply, the availability, amount, and cost of capital to us and our use of such capital, and other risks discussed in this report. Additional risks that may affect our performance are discussed below under the section entitled Risk Factors.

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

ITEM 1. DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS

 

As used in this Annual Report, unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires, references to the “Company”, “we”, “us”, “our” or similar references mean Charlie’s Holdings, Inc. (formerly True Drinks Holdings, Inc.), its subsidiaries and consolidated variable interest entity on a consolidated basis. References to “Charlies” and “CCD” refer to Charlie’s Chalk Dust, LLC, a California limited liability company and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, and “Don Polly” refers to Don Polly, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company that is owned by an entity controlled by Ryan Stump, the Company’s current Chief Operating Officer, and a consolidated variable interest for which the Company is the primary beneficiary.

 

On April 26, 2019, the Company (then known as True Drinks Holdings, Inc.), entered into a Securities Exchange Agreement with each of the members of Charlie’s on that date (the “Charlies Members”), pursuant to which the Company acquired all outstanding membership interests beneficially owned by the Charlie’s Members in exchange for certain units consisting of the Company’s securities (the “Share Exchange”). As a result, Charlie’s became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. Following the consummation of the Share Exchange, the primary business operations of the Company consisted of those of Charlie’s and, more recently, Don Polly.

 

Overview

 

The Company’s objective is to become a leader in three broad product categories: (i) non-combustible nicotine-related products, (ii) alternative alkaloid vapor products, and (iii) hemp-derived vapor and edible products. Through our Charlie’s subsidiary, we formulate, market, and distribute premium, nicotine-based and alternative alkaloid vapor products. Charlie’s products are produced through contract manufacturers for sale through select distributors, specialty retailers, and third-party online resellers throughout the United States, and in select international markets including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Through Don Polly, we develop, market and distribute products containing compounds derived from hemp.

 

-2-

 

 

Our Products

 

Charlies Product Line

 

Our business efforts consist primarily of formulating, marketing and distributing our portfolio of premium nicotine and alternative alkaloid vapor products, which we collectively refer to as the “Charlies Product Line” or “Charlies Products”.  

 

Alternative Alkaloid Products

 

Metatine™ (“Metatine” or “Alternative Alkaloid”) is a synthetically derived molecule that is structurally similar to, but chemically different from, other vaping alkaloids. Notably, even though Metatine is a non-nicotine compound, vape devices that contain Metatine provide adult users with a strong sense of satisfaction, pleasure and enjoyment that is largely indistinguishable from traditional nicotine-based vape products. Metatine is currently sold in SPREE BAR branded disposable pods and in bulk supply to contract manufacturers and third-party alternative products brands.

 

SPREE BAR vapes, with Metatine, are available with rechargeable, reusable batteries. Reusable batteries, combined with flavor pods, make Metatine vapor products highly affordable. The 6,000-puff SPREE BAR flavor pods offer a competitive retail price that is typically more attractive than the leading 5,500-puff, nicotine-based disposables.

 

Nicotine-Based Disposables

 

Disposable vapes, also referred to as (“Disposables”), are pre-filled and pre-charged vapor delivery systems. These single-use electronic vaporizers offer a draw-activated mouthpiece and are infused with e-liquid, making them ready to use immediately after purchase. Our Disposables are available in a variety of sizes (2ml, 4ml, 8ml and 12ml) and flavors, including some of our award-winning proprietary blends.

 

Charlie’s disposable products are produced under two brand names distinguished by their size and intended market, and offer users a variety of premium flavors containing synthetic nicotine (not derived from tobacco), tobacco derived nicotine (2ml products), or alternative alkaloids in a compact, discrete format. All disposables are shipped in flavor-specific consumer display units (“CDU”) which hold ten individually packaged disposables for quick and convenient retail sales. 

 

 

Pacha 4mL Disposable. Pacha 4mL Disposables were designed for the US market with the objective of providing a convenient and satisfying user experience.

 

 

Pacha 8mL Disposable. Pacha 8mL Disposables offer customers a moderately higher puff count and are available in a variety of flavors ranging from our innovative “Clear” (flavorless) offering, to novel fruit blends and distinctive dessert flavors.

     
 

Pacha 12mL Disposable. Pacha 12mL Disposables offer customers Charlie’s highest puff count, and are available in fruit and “Ice” varieties.

 

E-Liquids

 

E-liquids used to produce vapor in vaping devices are sold separately for use in refillable tanks of open system vaporizers. Liquids are available in variable nicotine concentrations (0 mg, 3 mg, and 6 mg per milliliter) to suit user preferences. Liquids are available in a variety of our proprietary-blended flavors. The liquid solution consists of flavoring and/or nicotine dissolved in one or several hygroscopic components, which turns the water in the solution into the smoke-like vapor when heated. The most commonly used hygroscopic components are propylene glycol (“PG”), vegetable glycerin (“VG”) or polyethylene glycol 400. VG imparts sweetness and produces vapor clouds, while PG produces more “throat hit,” which simulates the feeling of smoking. Our proprietary e-liquid brands are manufactured by ISO Class 7 certified manufacturers in the United States, which helps ensure their purity and quality.

 

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Charlie’s e-liquid products are produced under five brand names distinguished by their flavor profiles, packaging art and ingredient transparency.

 

 

Pacha (domestic) and Pachamama (international markets)™. A line launched in 2016 consisting of eclectic mixes of natural fruit flavors such as passion fruit raspberry yuzu, blood orange banana gooseberry, and huckleberry pear acai.

 

 

Black Label and White Label. Charlie’s original black and white product line launched in 2015. Black Label is currently available in five flavors and White Label is currently available in four flavors for sale in international markets.

 

 

Meringue. The third brand launched in 2016, based on creative character stories, currently includes three flavors.

 

Nicotine Salt Products

 

Nicotine salt e-liquids (“NIC salts”) are formulated for use in lower wattage open, semi-open and closed system vaporizers and are available in higher nicotine concentrations (25mg and 50mg per milliliter) than traditional e-liquids. Nicotine salts consist of nicotine dissolved in an acid that results in a lower PH level than other e-liquids. This form of nicotine has a higher bioavailability resulting in faster blood stream absorption and more closely mimics the effects of combustible tobacco products. We broadly released Pachamama™ Salts, an extension of the Pachamama™ line, which now includes 17 flavors domestically and 31 internationally, packaged in 10ml, 30ml, 50ml 60ml, and 100ml bottles. We will continue to evaluate our product offering in this category as demand continues to evolve.

 

Don Polly

 

Don Polly is a company under common ownership with the Company, and was established in April 2019 for the specific purpose of developing, marketing, and distributing proprietary and innovative hemp-derived, non-THC, products which we refer to the “Don Polly Products” and “Don Polly Product Line”. In June 2019, we introduced, through Don Polly, full-spectrum hemp extract and CBD isolate wellness products across a variety of formats and with different strengths. The Company’s current portfolio also includes products containing compounds that are derived from hemp, including Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (“Delta-8-THC”) and other novel cannabinoids , all of which are offered by way of a licensing agreement between Don Polly and Charlie’s, entered on April 25, 2019 (the “Licensing Agreement”).

 

Don Polly is owned by one limited liability company, wholly-owned by Ryan Stump, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. Pursuant to the Licensing Agreement, Charlie’s granted Don Polly a limited right and license to use certain of Charlie’s trademarks, copyrights, and original artwork, in connection with Don Polly’s branded hemp products, as well as a Services Agreement pursuant to which Charlie’s provides certain services to Don Polly related to the sales, marketing, and brand development of Don Polly products.

 

Full Spectrum CBD Products

 

Our full spectrum hemp extract comes from whole plant extraction which retains the plant’s natural compounds. This extraction method ensures each product preserves the holistic benefits of the plant including minimal amounts of THC (0.3% or less), which allows for optimal absorption of the plant’s nutrients. While CBD alone is a beneficial cannabinoid, full spectrum products provide the body access to all the plant’s cannabinoids, allowing the end user to achieve a wide range of benefits. The full spectrum products are formulated with single-source and single strain hemp extracts. Don Polly believes this sourcing practice yields various compounds that work synergistically to heighten the effects of the products, making them superior to single-compound CBD isolates. In June 2019, we introduced the Pachamama™ tincture and topical full spectrum products. Currently, the tincture offering includes two flavors Black Pepper Turmeric and Kava Kava Valerian, which are available in 30ml bottle sizes and both 750mg and 1750mg strengths.

 

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Broad Spectrum CBD Products

 

In addition to isolate and full spectrum CBD products, we believe broad spectrum hemp-derived CBD products can be developed to provide the same benefits of full spectrum CBD products. Through additional processing of hemp-derived extracts, we can eliminate the presence of THC. This category of THC-free, broad spectrum products will provide consumers with the same level of quality and the same nutrients we value in our full spectrum products, without the concern of consuming minimal amounts of THC. In Q4 of 2019, we released three very dynamic broad spectrum topicals; our Pain Cream 850mg, Icy Muscle Gel 500mg and Body Lotion 300mg. The Pain Cream, offered in a 100ml bottle, offers a combination of broad-spectrum CBD, menthol, MSM, arnica and capsaicin to provide quick, effective relief. The Icy Muscle Gel roll-on has a blend of ancient Chinese herbs along with cooling menthol and camphor to temporarily relieve nagging pains, and provide anti-inflammatory treatment to muscles and joints. Don Polly’s Body Lotion rounds out the initial broad spectrum topical portfolio offerings with 300mg of CBD and an ultra-nourishing blend of botanical oils for soft, radiant, and balanced skin. The Icy Muscle Gel and Body Lotion are not currently offered for sale. In March 2021 we launched Sleep Well Gummies, specifically formulated with a unique blend of cannabinol (“CBN”), CBD, melatonin, and Elderberry extract to support the immune system and to encourage better sleep. Sleep Well Gummies have grown to become the Company’s best-selling product in the broad-spectrum category.

 

Other Cannabinoids

 

Offered to adult consumers under the PINWEEL™ brand name, our Other Cannabinoid products are formulated from proprietary live resin blends of hemp-derived cannabinoids. Since our PINWEEL product line contains only cannabinoids made from 100% hemp extract, we are able to legally manufacture, distribute and sell to consumers in the United States. As a result of the Agriculture Improvement Act (the “Farm Bill”), ratified and signed into law in December 2018, cannabis containing less than 0.3% Delta 9-THC is legally classified as hemp and is thus legal under federal law. All Other Cannabinoid products are shipped in flavor specific CDUs which hold five individually packaged disposables for quick and convenient retail sales.

 

 

PINWEEL Disposable is a vaping device that is designed to be used until empty; then it is discarded. The device comes pre-charged, pre-filled, and provides the ultimate convenience, giving the user an effortless vaping experience that requires no knowledge of vapor products. It is as simple as taking a puff and enjoying the proprietary blend of hemp-derived cannabinoids with which the device is filled. While most disposable vaping devices come filled with vape juice, PINWEEL Disposables are filled with hemp-derived cannabinoids with an infusion of terpenes. The distillate blend provides the many benefits and effects the cannabinoid Is known for, while the variety of terpenes act as diluents and also provide unique, award-winning flavor profiles. 

 

 

PINWEEL Carts are similar to disposables in the sense that they are designed to be used until they are empty and then discarded. PINWEEL carts work just like standard vape carts, which means the user can attach the cartridge to a standard 510-threaded battery and then use the device. A cart is made up of a cylindrical container that houses the distillate blend, a wick, an atomizer, and a mouthpiece. When the user attaches the cart to the battery, the battery delivers power to the atomizer to heat up the extract until it vaporizes for inhalation. PINWEEL carts are designed for the more advanced, regular user of hemp-derived cannabinoids who do not require a ready-to-use product right out of the box. By having the end user supply the battery for the cart we are able to market and sell PINWEEL Carts at a relatively low price point. 

 

 

PINWEEL Edibles are products that are infused with hemp derived cannabinoids and intended to be ingested by adult consumers. Edibles are a popular alternative to the traditional form of smoking or vaping a hemp product. PINWEEL Edibles are made with a proprietary blend of hemp-derived cannabinoids, natural and artificial flavoring, and terpenes.

 

Manufacturing and Distribution

 

Manufacturing

 

Charlies Product Line. We work closely with contract manufacturing partners in the United States, Ireland, Scotland and China to manufacture our products. Our e-liquid and NIC salts products are manufactured to meet our proprietary formula specifications in facilities that are ISO Class 7 certified, which helps ensure their purity and quality. In 2020, we added an additional supplier and sourced over 90% of our e-liquid finished goods from three manufacturers in the United States. During 2021, we launched our Pacha line of synthetic nicotine disposable vapor products, which required expansion of our vendor network. Our SPREE BAR line of products is produced through a contract manufacturing arrangement in China. The Company closely monitors the supply-chain process for SPREE BAR to ensure amble supply and quality. While we have developed long-standing relationships with our manufacturing sources and take great care to ensure that they share our commitment to quality, we do not have any long-term term contracts with these parties for the production of our product lines. We maintain redundancies in our supply chain and are aware of several alternative sources for our products.

 

Don Polly Product Line. Our hemp-derived, Don Polly Products are manufactured with contract manufacturers to meet our formula specifications. While we do not have any long-term contracts with these parties, we are strengthening our supplier partnerships as well as identifying additional supplier and contract manufacturing opportunities.

 

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Distribution

 

Charlies Product Line. Once manufactured, Charlie’s Products are directly distributed throughout the United States and in select countries internationally including, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. The products are carried by more than 3,000 specialty retailers that are serviced through direct sales and through distributors and wholesalers both in the United States and internationally. While growing the base of specialty retailers, the Company has also increased distribution of products in convenience stores, liquor stores, and gas stations.  With respect to products that Charlie’s sells through third-party distributors and wholesalers, the Company typically sells its products to these customers for their re-sale. In select markets Charlie’s maintains exclusive arrangements with distributors and, when warranted, will memorialize these agreements contractually.

 

Don Polly Product Line. Don Polly Products are currently distributed to distributor and retail accounts in the United States and United Kingdom. Like the Charlie’s Product Line, the Company sells Don Polly Products directly to retailers, as well as through distributors, third-party wholesalers, and independent brokers. The Company currently sells certain Don Polly Products through multiple internally managed e-commerce platforms.

 

Online Sales

 

Charlies Product Line and Don Polly Product Line. We do not currently sell our Charlie’s Products on an e-commerce platform. However, we market Charlie’s Products and sell branded merchandise through our website, charlieschalkdust.com, spreebar.comand pacha.co. A portion of the Don Polly Product Line is offered for sale directly to consumers under our Pachamama brand through our in-house, e-commerce platforms on our websites, pachamamacbd.com, and donpolly.com.

 

Sales and Marketing

 

Charlies and Don Polly Product Lines. We have an experienced, ten-person sales team, based in the United States, that promotes our Charlie’s and Don Polly Products globally. Salespeople seek to form long-term “360 degree” collaborative relationships with their clients, partnering with them on sell-through efforts, providing access to our marketing and creative teams, and advising and educating them on not only the Charlie’s and Don Polly Product Lines but also on industry-related issues. In 2021, we expanded our sales and marketing strategy to include use of “Brand Advocates” who are responsible for canvassing for potential new customers, while raising general awareness of both the Charlie’s and Don Polly product lines. Currently, we advertise our products primarily through customer engagement through social media channels, print media, directed internet marketing, industry tradeshows and, collaborative events with retail partners. Participation at industry-specific tradeshows has traditionally played a large role in our marketing and distribution strategy. In addition, we have allocated resources to collaborative events; our marketing team is now focusing its efforts on fostering relationships with key distributors and retailers by launching customer-specific marketing campaigns, in-person visits to new customer accounts, and other forms of direct customer engagement. In 2023 and 2022, approximately 10% and 16%, respectively, of our sales were made to customers outside of the United States. 

 

Source and Availability of Raw Materials

 

Charlies Product Line. Our manufacturing partners source the ingredients for our proprietary vapor products from a variety of sources, in accordance with our formulations and quality specifications. The Company’s SPREE BAR line of products is manufactured in China through collaboration with a contract manufacturer. The proprietary ingredient Metatine™ (an alkaloid that is patented in the United States and in China by the Company’s chemical supplier), is procured through a domestic supply and distribution agreement and shipped to China to be used in the manufacturing process. We source our proprietary e-liquids from multiple ISO Class 7 certified manufacturers in the United States, which helps ensure their purity and quality. Our disposable vapor products are designed in collaboration with our Chinese manufacturer; however, the manufacturer is responsible for procurement of all raw materials necessary to complete our purchase orders. In an effort to maintain consistency across our supply chain, we purchase directly certain product packaging and are responsible for managing various third-party supplier relationships.

 

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Don Polly Product Line. For our hemp-derived, alternative cannabis and CBD products, we currently source the individual components and oils from several suppliers. Each is delivered to our primary manufacturer for storage prior to manufacturing. We source hardware components from China for certain of our other hemp-derived products, which are then combined with ingredients sourced domestically to create finished goods.

 

Although we own the formulas for the Charlie’s Products and the Don Polly Products, we obtain certain components, such as packaging, flavors and certain raw materials, from third party suppliers. None of the third-party suppliers are considered to be material to the business on a standalone basis and the components are readily available from other suppliers on the market. However, given the rapid growth of the vaping, e-cigarette and hemp-derived products industries, there may be fluctuations in the availability of certain of the materials we obtain from third-parties due to high demand from our competitors. If any given supplier or distributor is lost or unavailable in a specific region, and we are unable to contract with alternative suppliers or distributors to provide the requisite service(s) and product(s), we may be unable to fulfill customer orders and our business could be materially harmed. Charlie’s SPREE BAR line of products depends on its ability to maintain a steady supply of Metatine™. Currently, the Company holds a supply and distribution agreement for the alkaloid that is Metatine™ in vapor products meant for resale in the United States. Should the availability of the alkaloid that is Metatine™ become constrained, or the Company’s supply and distribution agreement be terminated, it would significantly affect Charlie’s ability to continue selling the SPREE BAR line of products in their current form.

 

Competition

 

The industries in which we operate are highly competitive.

 

Charlies Product Line. Our Charlie’s Product Line competes in a highly-fragmented and rapidly evolving industry. Some identifiable competitors of Charlie’s include Coastal Clouds, Juice Head, Elf Bar, Flum, Lost Mary, Geek Bar, and Raz. Other brands such as Juul, Vuse, Group Mark Ten, Green Smoke, Blu, Vaporfi, Njoy, and Logic all participate in a different but related segment of the electronic cigarette market which focuses heavily on distribution in national and regional chain stores (primarily convenience, gas, and grocery stores).

 

In the vapor products space, due to low barriers to entry, and despite FDA regulations for many products, new brands and products emerge frequently. The market is highly fragmented and the barriers to entry are relatively low. Recently, the rapid emergence of disposable vapor products from companies such as Elf Bar have become popular in the market. Charlie’s new line of SPREE BAR vapor products does not contain compounds that meet the definition of nicotine set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 387(12) and therefore does not require FDA approval for sale in the United States. Currently, there are no known competitors with significant market share for this product category.

 

Part of our business strategy focuses on the establishment of relationships with distributors and prominent branding focused on performance and quality. We are aware that e-cigarette competitors in the industry are also seeking to enter into such relationships to try and create brand loyalty. In many cases, competitors for such relationships may have greater management, human, and financial resources than we do for attracting and maintaining distributor accounts. Furthermore, certain of our electronic cigarette competitors may have better control of their supply and distribution, are more established, larger and better financed than our Company.

 

We compete primarily on the basis of innovation, product quality, brand recognition, brand loyalty, service, marketing, and the development of intellectual property. We are subject to highly competitive conditions in all aspects of our business. The competitive environment and our competitive position can be significantly influenced by weak economic conditions, erosion of consumer confidence, competitors’ introduction of low-priced products or innovative products, excise taxes, higher absolute costs, larger gaps between price categories, and product regulation that diminishes a company’s ability to differentiate its products.

 

We also compete against “Big Tobacco” – U.S. cigarette manufacturers of both conventional tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes like Altria Group, Inc., Lorillard, Inc. and Reynolds American, Inc. We compete with Big Tobacco companies that offer not only conventional tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes but also smokeless tobacco products such as “snus” (a form of moist ground smokeless tobacco that is usually sold in sachet form that resembles small tea bags), chewing tobacco and snuff. Big tobacco has virtually limitless resources, existing global distribution networks, and a customer base that is fiercely loyal to their brands. Furthermore, we believe that Big Tobacco will devote more attention and resources to developing and offering electronic cigarettes as the market for electronic cigarettes continues to grow. Because of their well-established sales and distribution channels, marketing expertise, and significant resources, Big Tobacco companies may be better positioned than small competitors like Charlie’s to capture a larger share of the electronic cigarette market.

 

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Intellectual Property

 

Patents and Trademarks

 

We are the registered owner of a several federal trademarks for our Charlie’s and Don Polly product lines. We also maintain registrations in several international markets and will work with our international distributors to manage intellectual property and trademark registrations when necessary. 

 

We plan to continue to expand our brand names and our proprietary trademarks and designs worldwide as our business grows and plan to seek patent and/or trademark protection as we deem appropriate.

 

Licensing Agreements

 

Charlies Product Line. The Company occasionally evaluates and enters into licensing opportunities to expand its footprint in the global nicotine-based products marketplace. On December 8, 2023, the Company was granted a five-year license to sell Metatine™ in the United States.

 

Don Polly Product Line. On April 25, 2019, the Company and Charlie’s entered into a Licensing Agreement with Don Polly. Don Polly is classified as a variable interest entity for which the Company is the primary beneficiary and is owned by an entity controlled by Ryan Stump, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. Pursuant to the Licensing Agreement, Charlie’s provides Don Polly with a limited right and license to use certain of Charlie’s intellectual property rights, including certain trademarks, copyrights and original artwork, in connection with certain of Don Polly’s branded CBD products. In exchange for such license, Don Polly (i) pays Charlie’s monthly royalties amounting to 75% of its net profits, (ii) uses its best efforts to market, promote and advertise its products, (iii) provides Charlie’s with most favored nations pricing in the event that Charlie’s wishes to sell products sold by Don Polly, (iv) provide Charlie’s with the exclusive right of first refusal to purchase Don Polly, including all of its assets and liabilities, for a purchase price of $111,618 on or before December 31, 2025, and (v) will not license any intellectual property from any other source other than Charlie’s in connection with its design, manufacture, advertisement, promotion distribution, and sale of CBD infused products within the agreed upon territory. The Licensing Agreement will continue in perpetuity unless terminated in accordance with its terms.

 

Concurrently with the execution of the Licensing Agreement, Charlie’s and Don Polly also entered into a Services Agreement (the “Services Agreement”), pursuant to which Charlie’s provides certain services to Don Polly, including, without limitation, (i) the development and creation of Don Polly’s sales, marketing, brand development, and customer service strategies and (ii) performing sales, branding, marketing, and other business functions at the request of Don Polly. Charlie’s will perform such services in the capacity of a contractor, and all materials and work product created by Charlie’s in its capacity as such will be the property of Don Polly. As consideration for the Services provided by Charlie’s, Don Polly (i) pays Charlie’s 25% of its net profits on a quarterly basis, and (ii) reimburse Charlie’s for all out-of-pocket business expenses that are preapproved in writing by Don Polly. The Services Agreement will continue in perpetuity unless terminated in accordance with its terms.

 

Government Regulations

 

Nicotine Products

 

The U.S. tobacco industry faces a number of business and legal challenges that have materially adversely affected and may continue to materially adversely affect our business and results of operations, including:

 

 

restrictions and requirements imposed by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“FSPTCA”), and restrictions and requirements (and related enforcement actions) that have been, and in the future will be, imposed by the FDA;

 

 

actual and proposed excise tax increases;

 

 

bans and restrictions on tobacco use imposed by governmental entities and private establishments and employers;

 

 

other federal, state and local government actions, including:

 

 

o

restrictions on the sale of certain tobacco products, the sale of tobacco products by certain retail establishments, the sale of tobacco products with characterizing flavors and the sale of tobacco products in certain package sizes;

 

 

o

additional restrictions on the advertising and promotion of tobacco products;

 

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o

other actual and proposed tobacco-related legislation and regulation;

 

 

o

reductions in consumption levels of nicotine products;

 

 

increased efforts by tobacco control advocates and other private sector entities (including retail establishments) to further restrict the availability and use of tobacco products and

 

 

additional regulation over synthetic nicotine products.

 

FSPTCA and FDA Regulation

 

The FSPTCA, its implementing regulations and its 2016 deeming regulations establish broad FDA regulatory authority over all tobacco products and, among other provisions:

 

 

o

impose restrictions on the advertising, promotion, sale and distribution of tobacco products (see Final Tobacco Marketing Rule below);

 

 

o

establish pre-market review pathways for new and modified tobacco products;

 

 

o

prohibit any express or implied claims that a tobacco product is or may be less harmful than other tobacco products without FDA authorization;

 

 

o

authorize the FDA to impose tobacco product standards that are appropriate for the protection of the public health; and

 

 

o

equip the FDA with a variety of investigatory and enforcement tools, including the authority to inspect product manufacturing and other facilities.

 

The FSPTCA also bans descriptors such as “light,” “low” or “mild” when used as descriptors of modified risk, unless expressly authorized by the FDA.

 

In March 2022, the U.S. Congress expanded the statutory definition of tobacco products to include products containing nicotine derived from any source, including synthetic nicotine. The amendment became effective in April 2022.

 

Final Tobacco Marketing Rule: As required by the FSPTCA, in March 2010, the FDA promulgated a wide range of advertising and promotion restrictions for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products (the “Final Tobacco Marketing Rule”). The May 2016 deeming regulations amended the Final Tobacco Marketing Rule to expand specific provisions to all tobacco products, including cigars, pipe tobacco and e-vapor and oral nicotine products containing tobacco-derived nicotine or other tobacco derivatives.

 

The Final Tobacco Marketing Rule, as amended, among other things:

 

 

o

restricts the use of non-tobacco trade and brand names on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products;

 

o

prohibits sampling of all tobacco products except that sampling of smokeless tobacco products is permitted in qualified adult-only facilities;

 

o

prohibits the sale or distribution of items such as hats and tee shirts with cigarette or smokeless tobacco brands or logos;

 

o

prohibits cigarettes and smokeless tobacco brand name sponsorship of any athletic, musical, artistic or other social or cultural event, or any entry or team in any event; and

 

o

requires the development by the FDA of graphic warnings for cigarettes, establishes warning requirements for other tobacco products, and gives the FDA the authority to require new warnings for any type of tobacco product.

 

Subject to certain limitations arising from legal challenges, the Final Tobacco Marketing Rule took effect in June 2010 for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, in August 2016 for all other tobacco products, including e-vapor and oral nicotine pouch products containing tobacco-derived nicotine, and in April 2022 for tobacco products, including e-vapor and oral nicotine pouch products, that contain synthetic nicotine.

 

Rulemaking and Guidance: From time to time, the FDA issues proposed regulations and guidance, which may be issued in draft or final form, generally involve public comment, and may include scientific review. The FDA’s implementation of the FSPTCA and related regulations and guidance also may have an impact on enforcement efforts by states, territories and localities of their laws and regulations. Such enforcement efforts may adversely affect our operating companies’ ability to market and sell regulated tobacco products in those states, territories and localities.

 

FDAs Comprehensive Plan for Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation: In July 2017, the FDA announced a “Comprehensive Plan for Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation” (“Comprehensive Plan”) designed to strike a balance between regulation and encouraging the development of innovative tobacco products that may be less risky than cigarettes. Since then, the FDA has issued additional information about its Comprehensive Plan in response to concerns associated with the rise in the use of e-vapor products by youth and the potential youth appeal of flavored tobacco.

 

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Pre-Market Review Pathways for Tobacco Products and Market Authorization Enforcement: The FSPTCA permits the sale of tobacco products on the market as of February 15, 2007 and not subsequently modified (“Pre-existing Tobacco Products”) and new or modified products authorized through the pre-market tobacco application (“PMTA”), Substantial Equivalence (“SE”) or SE Exemption pathways. Subsequent FDA rules also provide a Supplemental PMTA pathway designed to increase the efficiency of submission and review for modified versions of previously authorized products. Through these processes, a manufacturer could receive (i) a “not substantially equivalent” determination, (ii) a denial of a PMTA or (iii) a marketing order withdrawal by the FDA on one or more products, which would require the removal of the product or products from the market.

 

Since there were virtually no e-liquid, e-cigarettes or other vaping products on the market as of February 15, 2007, there is no way to utilize the less onerous substantial equivalence or substantial equivalence exemption pathways that traditional tobacco corporations can utilize. In order to obtain premarket approval, practically all e-liquid, e-cigarettes or other vaping products would have to follow the PMTA pathway which would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per application. Upon submission of a PMTA, such products would be permitted to be sold pending the FDA’s review of the submitted PMTAs.

 

During the quarter ended September 30, 2020, the FD’'s Center for Tobacco Products informed us that our PMTA received a valid submission tracking number, passed the FDA’s filing review phase, and recently entered the substantive review phase. To date, the Company has invested more than $5.1 million for our PMTA submissions. We engaged a team of more than 200 professionals, including doctors, scientists, biostatisticians, data analysts, and numerous contract research organizations to create our comprehensive PMTA submission. During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the FDA began issuing Marketing Denial Orders (“MDOs”) for electronic nicotine delivery system (“ENDS”) products that lack evidence to demonstrate that permitting the marketing of such products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.

 

On March 15, 2022, a new rider to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed granting the FDA authority over synthetic nicotine.  These regulations make synthetic nicotine products subject to the same FDA rules as tobacco-derived nicotine products.  As such, the Company was required to file a PMTA for its existing synthetic nicotine products marketed under the Pacha brands by May 14, 2022 or be subject to FDA enforcement.  The Company filed new PMTAs for its synthetic Pacha products, on May 13, 2022, prior to the May 14, 2022, deadline. On November 3, 2022, FDA accepted for scientific review certain of our PMTAs for synthetic nicotine products and, on November 4, 2022, FDA refused to accept certain other PMTAs for these products, rendering the latter products subject to FDA enforcement.  The Company submitted an administrative appeal with FDA regarding its refusal to accept certain of the PMTAs, and has resubmitted PMTAs for, and continues to sell, the affected synthetic nicotine products while the administrative appeal process is pending.

 

As December 31, 2023, Charlie’s 2020 PMTA remains among the select minority of applications submitted to the FDA for a tobacco-derived nicotine ENDS product that has not received an MDO or Refuse-to-File designation.

 

During the fourth quarter of 2023 the Company launched new disposable vape products, under the “SPREE BAR™” brand, that the Company hopes will (i) replace most of its legacy products and (ii) become the single largest, most important commercial opportunity in Charlie’s history. The Company and its attorneys believe SPREE BAR products are not subject to FDA review. Based on the information provided by the Company’s contracted chemical suppliers and its consultants, the proprietary Metatine™ (patented in the United States and in China by the Company’s chemical supplier) in the Company’s SPREE BAR products does not meet the definition of nicotine set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 387(12) and therefore its products containing Metatine, as their active ingredient, are not subject to regulation as “tobacco products” under 21 U.S.C. § 321(rr). Further, according to information verified by the Company’s chemists, the other ingredients in the Company’s SPREE BAR vape liquid are not made or derived from tobacco, nor do they contain nicotine from any source.

 

FDA Regulatory Actions

 

 

o

Graphic Warnings: In March 2020, the FDA issued a final rule requiring 11 textual warnings accompanied by color graphics depicting certain negative health consequences of smoking on cigarette packaging and advertising. The final rule was set to become effective on October 6, 2023. In December 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found in favor of cigarette manufacturers in one such suit and blocked the rule, finding it unconstitutional on the basis that it compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment. The FDA has appealed the decision.

 

 

o

Underage Access and Use of Certain Tobacco Products: The FDA announced regulatory actions in September 2018 to address underage access and use of e-vapor products. Additionally, the FDA issued final guidance in April 2020, stating that it intends to prioritize enforcement action against certain product categories, including cartridge-based, flavored e-vapor products and products targeted to minors.

 

 

o

Potential Product Standards

 

 

o

Nicotine in Cigarettes and Other Combustible Tobacco Products: In March 2018, the FDA issued an ANPRM seeking comments on the potential public health benefits and any possible adverse effects of lowering nicotine in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive or minimally addictive levels. In January 2023, the Biden Administration published its Fall 2022 Unified Regulatory Agenda, which includes the FDA’s plans to propose, by October 2023, a product standard that would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products.

 

 

o

Flavors in Tobacco Products: In April 2022, the FDA issued two proposed product standards: (i) banning menthol in cigarettes and (ii) banning all characterizing flavors (including menthol) in cigars.

 

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Excise Taxes

 

Tobacco products are subject to substantial excise taxes in the United States. Significant increases in tobacco-related taxes or fees have been proposed or enacted (including with respect to e-vapor products) and are likely to continue to be proposed or enacted at the federal, state and local levels within the United States. The frequency and magnitude of excise tax increases can be influenced by various factors, including the composition of executive and legislative bodies.

 

International Treaty on Tobacco Control

 

The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (the “FCTC”) entered into force in February 2005. The FCTC is the first international public health treaty and its objective is to establish a global agenda for tobacco regulation with the purpose of reducing initiation of tobacco use and encouraging cessation. The treaty recommends (and in certain instances, requires) signatory nations to enact legislation that would address various tobacco-related issues. There are a number of proposals currently under consideration by the governing body of the FCTC, some of which call for substantial restrictions on the manufacture, marketing, distribution and sale of tobacco products.

 

Other International, Federal, State and Local Regulation

 

Various states and localities have enacted or proposed legislation that imposes restrictions on tobacco products (including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, e-vapor products and oral nicotine pouches), such as legislation that (i) prohibits the sale of all tobacco products or certain tobacco categories, such as e-vapor, (ii) prohibits the sale of tobacco products with characterizing flavors, such as menthol cigarettes and flavored e-vapor products, (iii) requires the disclosure of health information separate from or in addition to federally mandated health warnings and (iv) restricts commercial speech or imposes additional restrictions on the marketing or sale of tobacco products. The legislation varies in terms of the type of tobacco products, the conditions under which such products are or would be restricted or prohibited, and exceptions to the restrictions or prohibitions. For example, a number of proposals involving characterizing flavors would prohibit smokeless tobacco products with characterizing flavors. The legislation in California, which became effective in December 2022, bans the sale of most tobacco products with characterizing flavors. Massachusetts passed legislation capping the amount of nicotine in e-vapor products. Similar legislation is pending in other states.

 

It is not possible to predict what, if any, additional legislation, regulation, or other governmental action will be enacted or implemented (and, if challenged, upheld) relating to the manufacturing, design, packaging, marketing, advertising, sale or use of tobacco products, or the tobacco industry generally. Any such legislation, regulation or other governmental action could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial position.

 

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Companys efforts to mitigate risks associated with new and evolving regulation

 

The Company is consistent in its efforts to remain in compliance with all existing and reasonably expected future regulations. The Company, through its internal compliance team, market consultants, technicians, and testing labs plans to stay in accordance with all standards whether set forth in the New Tobacco Products Directive or the Deeming Regulations. Making sure that all vapor products meet and exceed the standards set forth by each market’s regulatory body is of the highest concern for the Company. Staying in compliance with all marketing and packaging directives is imperative to maintaining access to the markets. Although these processes are costly and time consuming, it is imperative for the Company’s success that these steps are taken and kept up to date. These regulations may limit our ability to enter certain markets outside the U.S. Similar to the costs of regulatory compliance in the U.S., foreign regulations require significant financial and operational resources to ensure compliance, and we cannot assure that we will always be in compliance despite our best efforts to do so. Failure to comply in a timely fashion to any particular directive or regulation could have material adverse effects on the results of business operations.

 

Don Polly Product Line

 

Don Polly’s CBD products are subject to various state and federal laws regarding the production and sales of hemp-based products. Section 12619 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”) removed “hemp”, as defined in the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (the “1946 Agricultural Act”), from the classification of “marijuana,” which is generally prohibited as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (“CSA”). Under the 1946 Agricultural Act (as amended by the 2018 Farm Bill), the term “hemp” means “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis”. As a result of the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, and since the Company believes the Don Polly Products contain parts of the cannabis plant with a THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, the Company believes that Don Polly Products are not governed by the CSA and, ergo, would not be subject to prosecution thereunder because the Company believes Don Polly Products contain “hemp” within the meaning of the 1946 Agricultural Act (as amended by the 2018 Farm Bill) and do not contain any “marijuana” as prohibited under the CSA (as amended by the 2018 Farm Bill); provided, however, there is a lack of legal protection for hemp-based products that contain more than 0.3 percent THC and there is a risk that the Company would be subject to prosecution under the CSA in the event that its CBD products are found to contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

 

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Furthermore, the 1946 Agricultural Act (as amended by the 2018 Farm Bill) provides additional regulations regarding the production of hemp-based products and there is the risk that Don Polly Products may be found to be in violation of these regulations. Specifically, the 1946 Agricultural Act (as amended by the 2018 Farm Bill) contains provisions relating to the shared state-federal jurisdiction over hemp cultivation and production, whereby states and Indian tribes have been delegated the broad authority to regulate and limit the production and sale of hemp and hemp products within their borders. Under the 1946 Agricultural Act (as amended by the 2018 Farm Bill), a plan under which a State or Indian tribe monitors and regulates the production of hemp shall only be required to include “(i) a practice to maintain relevant information regarding land on which hemp is produced in the State or territory of the Indian tribe, including a legal description of the land, for a period of not less than three calendar years; (ii) a procedure for testing, using post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration levels of hemp produced in the State or territory of the Indian tribe; (iii) a procedure for the effective disposal of—(I) plants, whether growing or not, that are produced in violation of this subtitle; and (II) products derived from those plants; (iv) a procedure to comply with enforcement procedures; (v) a procedure for conducting annual inspections of, at a minimum, a random sample of hemp producers to verify that hemp is not produced in violation of this subtitle; (vi) a procedure for submitting the information, as applicable, to the Secretary of Agriculture (the “Secretary”) not more than 30 days after the date on which the information is received; and (vii) a certification that the State or Indian tribe has the resources and personnel to carry out the practices and procedures described in clauses (i) through (vi)”. Further, a hemp producer in a State or the territory of an Indian tribe for which a State or Tribal plan is approved shall be determined to have negligently violated the State or Tribal plan, including by negligently— “(i) failing to provide a legal description of land on which the producer produces hemp; (ii) failing to obtain a license or other required authorization from the State department of agriculture or Tribal government, as applicable; or (iii) producing Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9 THC concentration of more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” A hemp producer that negligently violates a State or Tribal plan 3 times in a 5-year period shall be ineligible to produce hemp for a period of 5 years beginning on the date of the third violation. If the State department of agriculture or Tribal government in a State or the territory of an Indian tribe for which a State or Tribal plan, as applicable, determines that a hemp producer in the State or territory has violated the State or Tribal plan with a culpable mental state greater than negligence— “(i) the State department of agriculture or Tribal government, as applicable, shall immediately report the hemp producer to —(I) the Attorney General; and (II) the chief law enforcement officer of the State or Indian tribe, as applicable.” In the case of a State or Indian tribe for which a State or Tribal plan is not approved, the production of hemp in that State or the territory of that Indian tribe shall be subject to a plan established by the Secretary to monitor and regulate that production. A plan established by the Secretary under shall include— “(A) a practice to maintain relevant information regarding land on which hemp is produced in the State or territory of the Indian tribe, including a legal description of the land, for a period of not less than 3 calendar years; (B) a procedure for testing, using post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration levels of hemp produced in the State or territory of the Indian tribe; (C) a procedure for the effective disposal of—(i) plants, whether growing or not, that are produced in violation of this subtitle; and (ii) products derived from those plants; (D) a procedure to comply with the enforcement procedures; and (E) a procedure for conducting annual inspections of, at a minimum, a random sample of hemp producers to verify that hemp is not produced in violation of this subtitle; and (F) such other practices or procedures as the Secretary considers to be appropriate. The Secretary shall also establish a procedure to issue licenses to hemp producers. In the case of a State or Indian tribe for which a State or Tribal plan is not approved under applicable law, it shall be unlawful to produce hemp in that State or the territory of that Indian tribe without a license issued by the Secretary. A violation of a plan established by the Secretary shall be subject to enforcement and the Secretary shall report the production of hemp without a license issued by the Secretary to the Attorney General.” If the Company’s hemp-derived products are found to be in violation of these regulations, the Company may become subject to enforcement action as provided for in the 1946 Agricultural Act (as amended by the 2018 Farm Bill) and may become subject to prosecution thereunder.

 

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Research and Development

 

Our research and development activities consist of development and testing of new flavors, formulations, formats, and delivery methods for our existing products, as well as development of new products for the Charlie’s Product Line and the Don Polly Product Line. Costs related to the completion and submission of PMTAs to the FDA also constitute research and development activities. For the years ended December 31, 2023, and 2022, respectively, research and development costs primarily consisted of product development and testing fees.

 

For the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, Charlie’s recorded research and development expense of $169,000 and $804,000, respectively.

 

Employees

 

We had 30 full-time employees across Charlie’s Holdings Inc., Charlie’s Chalk Dust LLC and Don Polly LLC as of March 31, 2024. We believe that we maintain a good working relationship with our employees, and we have not experienced any labor disputes. None of our employees are represented by labor unions.

 

Cost of Compliance with Environmental Laws

 

We have not incurred any costs associated with compliance with environmental regulations, nor do we anticipate any future costs associated with environmental compliance; however, no assurances can be given that we will not incur such costs in the future.

 

Available Information

 

As a public company, we are required to file our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements on Schedule 14A and other information (including any amendments) with the SEC. You can also find the Company’s SEC filings at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

 

We are a Nevada corporation originally incorporated in 2001. Our principal executive offices are located at 1007 Brioso Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 and our phone number is (949) 531-6855. Our Internet address is www.charliesholdings.com. Information contained on our website is not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our SEC filings (including any amendments) will be made available free of charge on www.charliesholdings.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.

 

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

We are subject to various risks that could have a negative effect on the Company and its financial condition. These risks could cause actual operating results to differ from those expressed in certain “forward looking statements” contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as well as in other communications.

 

Risks Related to the Company

 

Our ability to achieve and maintain positive cash flow is uncertain.

 

Although Charlie’s generated net revenue of approximately $16.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2023 and $26.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, there can be no guarantee that the Company will grow revenue or achieve positive cash flow in the future. Cash used in operating activities was approximately $0.8 million and $1.7 million during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. Generating positive cash flows in the future will depend on our ability to successfully create, sell and market nicotine, nicotine alternative and hemp-derived products. There is no guarantee that we will be able to achieve or sustain positive cash flows and profitability in the future. Our inability to successfully achieve positive cash flows and profitability will decrease our long-term viability and prospects.

 

We have limited cash resources and may require additional financing.

 

As of December 31, 2023, we had working capital of approximately $0.3 million, which consisted of current assets of approximately $5.1 million and current liabilities of approximately $4.8 million. If needed, our ability to obtain additional financing will be subject to many factors, including limitations on incurring debt in with respect to our Series A convertible preferred stock (“Series A Preferred”), market conditions, our operating performance and investor sentiment. If we are unable to raise additional capital when required or on acceptable terms, we may have to significantly restrict our operations or obtain funds by entering into agreements on unattractive terms, which would likely have a material adverse effect on our business, stock price and our relationships with third parties with whom we have business relationships, at least until additional funding is obtained. These conditions lead the Company to conclude there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. If we do not have sufficient funds to continue operations, we could be required to seek bankruptcy protection or other alternatives that would likely result in our stockholders losing some or all their investment in us.

 

As of December 31, 2023, the Company has substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.

 

Our financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company operates in a rapidly changing legal and regulatory environment; new laws and regulations or changes to existing laws and regulations could significantly limit the Company’s ability to sell its products, and/or result in additional costs. Additionally, the Company was required to apply for FDA approval to continue selling and marketing its products used for the vaporization of nicotine in the United States. There was significant cost associated with the application process and there can be no assurance the FDA will approve previous and/or future application. The issuance of one or several Marketing Denial Orders (“MDO”) from the FDA would increase the potential for inventory obsolescence and uncollectable accounts receivables. These regulatory risks, as well as other industry-specific challenges and our low working capital and cash position, remain factors that lead the Company to conclude that there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The financial statements do not include any adjustments to the carrying amount and classification of recorded assets and liabilities should the Company be unable to continue operations.

 

If we are unable to generate sufficient funds to continue operations, we could be required to seek bankruptcy protection or other alternatives that would likely result in our stockholders losing some or all their investment in us.

 

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Our products could fail to attract or retain users or generate revenue and profits.

 

Our ability to develop, increase, and engage our customer base and to increase our revenue depends heavily on our ability to continue to evolve our existing products and to create successful new products, both independently and in conjunction with developers or other third parties. We may introduce significant changes to our existing products or acquire or introduce new and unproven products, including using technologies with which we have little or no prior development or operating experience. If new or enhanced products fail to engage our customers, or if we are unsuccessful in our monetization efforts, we may fail to attract or retain customers or to generate sufficient revenue, operating margin, or other value to justify our investments, and our business may be adversely affected.

 

The loss of one or more of our key personnel or our failure to attract and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future, could harm our business.

 

We currently depend on the continued services and performance of key members of our management team, particularly Ryan Stump, one of Charlie’s founders and our Chief Operating Officer, and Henry Sicignano III, our President. If we cannot call upon them or other key management personnel for any reason, our operations and development could be harmed. We have not yet developed a succession plan. Furthermore, as we grow, we will be required to hire and attract additional qualified professionals such as accounting, legal, finance, production, market and sales experts. We may not be able to locate or attract qualified individuals for such positions, which will affect our ability to grow and expand our business.

 

We rely on contractual arrangements with Don Polly, our consolidated variable interest entity for our hemp-related business operations, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control.

 

We have relied and expect to continue to rely on contractual arrangements with Don Polly and its shareholder, an entity controlled by Ryan Stump, for the operation of our hemp-derived operations. These contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over our consolidated variable interest entity. For example, Don Polly and its shareholders could breach their contractual arrangements with us by, among other things, failing to conduct their operations, including maintaining our website and using the domain names and trademarks, in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to our interests.

 

If we had direct ownership of Don Polly, we would be able to exercise our rights as a shareholder to effect changes in the board of directors of Don Polly, which in turn could implement changes, subject to any applicable fiduciary obligations, at the management and operational level. However, under the current contractual arrangements, we rely on the performance by Don Polly, and its shareholders of their obligations under the contracts. The shareholders of Don Polly may not act in the best interests of our Company or may not perform their obligations under these contracts. Such risks exist throughout the period in which we intend to operate our business through the contractual arrangements with Don Polly. Therefore, our contractual arrangements with Don Polly, our consolidated variable interest entity (”VIE"), may not be as effective in ensuring our control over the relevant portion of our business operations as direct ownership would be.

 

The shareholders of Don Polly, our consolidated variable interest entity, may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

 

The equity interests of Don Polly, our consolidated VIE, are held by an entity controlled by Ryan Stump, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer and member of our Board of Directors. Their interests in Don Polly may differ from the interests of our company as a whole. These shareholders may breach, or cause Don Polly to breach, the existing contractual arrangements we have with them and Don Polly, which would have a material adverse effect on our ability to effectively control Don Polly and receive economic benefits from it. For example, the shareholders may be able to cause our agreements with Don Polly to be performed in a manner adverse to us by, among other things, failing to remit payments due under the contractual arrangements to us on a timely basis. We cannot assure you that when conflicts of interest arise, any or all of these shareholders will act in the best interests of our Company or such conflicts will be resolved in our favor.

 

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Currently, we do not have any arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest between these shareholders and the Company. If we cannot resolve any conflict of interest or dispute between us and the shareholders of Don Polly, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which could result in the disruption of our business and subject us to substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

 

We have no commercial manufacturing capacity and rely on third-party contract manufacturers to produce commercial quantities of our products.

 

We do not have the facilities, equipment or personnel to manufacture commercial quantities of our products and therefore must rely on qualified third-party contract manufactures with appropriate facilities and equipment to contract manufacture commercial quantities of products. Any performance failure on the part of our contract manufacturers could delay commercialization of any of our products, depriving us of potential product revenue.

 

Failure by our contract manufacturers to achieve and maintain high manufacturing standards could result in product recalls or withdrawals, delays or failures in testing or delivery, cost overruns or other problems that could materially adversely affect our business. Contract manufacturers may encounter difficulties involving production yields, quality control and quality assurance. If for some reason our contract manufacturers cannot perform as agreed, we may be required to replace them. Although we believe there are a number of potential replacements, we may incur added costs and delays in identifying and obtaining any such replacements.

 

The inability of a manufacturer to ship orders of our products in a timely manner or to meet quality standards could cause us to miss the delivery date requirements of our customers for those items, which could result in cancellation of orders, refusal to accept deliveries or a reduction in purchase prices, any of which could have a material adverse effect as our revenue would decrease and we would incur net losses as a result of sales of the product, if any sales could be made.

 

We are subject to cyber-security risks, including those related to customer, employee, vendor or other company data and including in connection with integration of acquired businesses and operations.

 

We use information technologies to securely manage operations and various business functions. We rely on various technologies, some of which are managed by third parties, to process, transmit and store electronic information, and to manage or support a variety of business processes and activities, including reporting on our business and interacting with customers, vendors and employees. In addition, we collect and store certain data, including proprietary business information, and may have access to confidential or personal information that is subject to privacy and security laws, regulations and customer-imposed controls. Our systems are subject to repeated attempts by third parties to access information or to disrupt our systems. Despite our security design and controls, and those of our third-party providers, we may become subject to system damage, disruptions or shutdowns due to any number of causes, including cyber-attacks, breaches, employee error or malfeasance, power outages, computer viruses, telecommunication or utility failures, systems failures, service providers, natural disasters or other catastrophic events. It is possible for such vulnerabilities to remain undetected for an extended period. We may face other challenges and risks as we upgrade and standardize our information technology systems as part of our integration of acquired businesses and operations. We have contingency plans in place to prevent or mitigate the impact of these events, however, these events could result in operational disruptions or the misappropriation of sensitive data, and depending on their nature and scope, could lead to the compromise of confidential information, improper use of our systems and networks, manipulation and destruction of data, defective products, production downtimes and operational disruptions and exposure to liability. Such disruptions or misappropriations and the resulting repercussions, including reputational damage and legal claims or proceedings, may adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, and the trading price of our Common Stock.

 

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The business that we conduct outside the United States may be adversely affected by international risk and uncertainties.

 

Although our operations are based in the United States, we conduct business outside of the United States and expect to continue to do so in the future. Any business that we conduct outside of the United States is subject to additional risks that may have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue conducting business in certain international markets, including, without limitation:

 

 

Potentially reduced protection for intellectual property rights;

 

 

Unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers and regulatory requirements;

 

 

Economic weakness, including inflation or political instability, in particular foreign economies and markets;

 

 

Business interruptions resulting from geo-political actions, including war and terrorism or natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, floods and fires; and

 

 

Failure to comply with Office of Foreign Asset Control rules and regulations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).

 

These factors or any combination of these factors may adversely affect our revenue or our overall financial performance.

 

A future outbreak of COVID-19 or another pandemic could adversely affected our business.

 

In the event of a pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of an infectious disease, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic, our business may be adversely affected. Such events may result in a period of business and travel disruption, and in reduced sales and operations, any of which could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, the spread of COVID-19 in the United States resulted in travel restrictions that impacted our sales professionals and caused disruptions to our manufacturing supply chain. These conditions previously negatively affected our sales and revenue. However, if another outbreak of COVID-19 or another pandemic occurs, it could have an adverse impact on our business.

 

The extent to which COVID-19 or another pandemic impacts our business will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted.

 

Regulatory and Market Risks

 

Our business is primarily involved in the sales of products that contain nicotine, alternative alkaloids, and/or hemp-derived ingredients, all of which face significant regulation and actions that may have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Our current business is primarily the sale of products that contain nicotine, alternative alkaloids and/or hemp-derived ingredients. The general market in which our products are sold faces significant governmental and private sector actions, including efforts aimed at reducing the incidence of use in minors and efforts seeking to hold the makers and sellers of these products responsible for the adverse health effects associated with them. More broadly, new regulatory actions by the FDA and other federal, state or local governments or agencies, may impact the consumer acceptability of or access to our products, including regulations promulgated by the FDA which will require us to file PMTA(s) for any of our products that are identified as “Deemed Tobacco Products” by the FDA. Additionally, on January 2, 2020 the FDA issued an enforcement policy effectively banning the sale of flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes marketed primarily by large manufacturers in the United States without prior authorization from the FDA. Any ban on flavored e-cigarettes, or similar enforcement action by the FDA, or any order by the FDA requiring us to cease selling any of our products, would have a significant adverse impact on Charlie’s products, which would, in turn, have a material adverse impact on our overall business material.

 

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Additional regulatory challenges may come in future months and years, including the FDA’s publication of new product standards or additional rule making that may impact vape shops or other small manufacturers, limit adult consumer choices, delay or prevent the launch of new or modified risk tobacco products or products with claims of reduced risk, require the recall or other removal of certain products from the marketplace, restrict communications including marketing, advertising, and educational campaigns regarding the product category to adult consumers, restrict the ability to differentiate products, create a competitive advantage or disadvantage for certain companies, impose additional manufacturing, labeling or packaging requirements, interrupt manufacturing or otherwise significantly increase the cost of doing business, or restrict or prevent the use of specified products in certain locations or the sale of products by certain retail establishments. Any of these actions may also have a material adverse effect on our business. Each of our products are also subject to intense competition and changes in adult consumer preferences, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We are affected by extensive laws, governmental regulations, administrative determinations, court decisions and similar other constraints, which can make compliance costly and subject us to enforcement actions by governmental agencies.

 

The formulation, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, holding, storage, distribution, advertising and sale of our products are affected by extensive laws, governmental regulations and policies, administrative determinations, court decisions and similar constraints at the federal, state and local levels, both within the United States and in any country where we conduct business. Moreover, the current trend is toward increasing regulation of the tobacco industry and vapor products alike, which is likely to differ between the various U.S. states in which we currently conduct the majority of our business. Extensive and inconsistent regulation by multiple states and at different governmental levels could prove to be particularly disruptive to our business as we may be unable to accommodate such regulations in a cost-effective manner that allows us to continue to compete in an economically viable way. Regulations are often introduced without the tobacco industry’s input and have been a significant reason behind reduced industry sales volumes and increased illicit trade.

 

There can be no assurance that we, or our independent distributors, will be in compliance with all of these regulations. A failure by us or our distributors to comply with these laws and regulations could lead to governmental investigations, civil and criminal prosecutions, administrative hearings and court proceedings, civil and criminal penalties, injunctions against product sales or advertising, civil and criminal liability for us and/or our principals, bad publicity, and tort claims arising out of governmental or judicial findings of fact or conclusions of law adverse to us or our principals. In addition, the adoption of new regulations and policies or changes in the interpretations of existing regulations and policies may result in significant new compliance costs or discontinuation of product sales, and may adversely affect the marketing of our products, resulting in decreases in revenue.

 

In 1986, federal legislation was enacted regulating smokeless tobacco products (including dry and moist snuff and chewing tobacco) by, among other things, requiring health warnings on smokeless tobacco packages and prohibiting the advertising of smokeless tobacco products on media subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). Since 1986, other proposals have been made at the federal, state, and local levels for additional regulation of tobacco products. It is likely that additional proposals will be made in the coming years. For example, the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (“PACT Act”) initially prohibited the use of the U.S. Postal Service to mail cigarette and smokeless tobacco products and also amended the Jenkins Act, which established cigarette sales reporting requirements for state excise tax collection, to require individuals and businesses that make interstate sales of certain cigarette or smokeless tobacco comply with state tax laws. The PACT Act was recently amended expanding the definition of “cigarette” to include “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” “r ("NDS"), and requires that the United States Postal Service ("”SPS") promulgate regulations clarifying the applicability of the prohibition on delivery sales of cigarettes to ENDS. This amendment to the PACT Act applies to certain products manufactured and sold by the Company, which has impacts at the federal and state levels. Failure to comply with the PACT Act could result in significant financial or criminal penalties. To the extent we are unable to respond to, or comply with, these new requirements, there could be a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

On June 22, 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (the “Tobacco Control Act”) granted the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products. The Act also amended the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, which governs how cigarettes can be advertised and marketed, as well as the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act (“CSTHEA”), which governs how smokeless tobacco can be advertised and marketed. In addition to the FDA and FCC, we are subject to regulation by numerous other federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) Office on Smoking and Health. There have also been adverse legislative and political decisions and other unfavorable developments concerning cigarette smoking and the tobacco industry, which we believe have received widespread public attention. The FDA has, and other governmental entities have, expressed concerns about the use of flavors in tobacco products and an interest in significant regulation of such use, up to and including de facto bans in certain products. There can be no assurance as to the ultimate content, timing or effect of any regulation of tobacco products by governmental bodies, nor can there be any assurance that potential corresponding declines in demand resulting from negative media attention would not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Recently enacted legislative changes to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act could materially affect sales of our Pacha branded products, and if we do not receive acceptance filings from the FDA for these products, we will not be able to market them which could materially affect our revenue and financial results. 

 

During, 2022, a new rider to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed granting the FDA authority over synthetic nicotine.  These regulations make synthetic nicotine products subject to the same FDA rules as tobacco-derived nicotine products.  As such, the Company filed a PMTA for its existing synthetic nicotine products marketed under the Pacha brand by May 14, 2022.  If the PMTA is ultimately unsuccessful, or if the FDA issues a warning letter, or takes other action against the Company resulting in us not being able to distribute our Pacha branded products in the United States, our revenues and, thereby our financial results and condition, could be materially adversely affected.

 

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The regulation of tobacco products by the FDA in the United States and the issuance of Deeming Regulations may materially adversely affect the Company.

 

The “Deeming Regulations” issued by the FDA in May 2016 require any e-liquid, e-cigarettes, and other vaping products considered to be Deemed Tobacco Products that were not commercially marketed as of the grandfathering date of February 15, 2007, to obtain premarket approval by the FDA before any new e-liquid or other vaping products can be marketed in the United States. However, any Deemed Tobacco Products such as certain products from our Charlie’s Chalk Dust product lines that were on the market in the United States prior to August 8, 2016 have a grace period to continue to market such products, ending on September 9, 2020 whereby a premarket application, likely though the PMTA pathway, must have been filed with the FDA. Upon submission of a PMTA, products are able to be marketed pending the FDA’s review of the submission. Without obtaining marketing authorization by the FDA prior to the September 9, 2020 deadline or having submitted a PMTA by such date, non-authorized products were be required to be removed from the market in the United States until such authorization could be obtained, although such products may continue to be sold if a PMTA was pending as of the September 9, 2020 deadline.

 

As at the date of this Report, we have submitted PMTAs for certain of our nicotine vapor products, including, but not limited to menthol and/or tobacco products with the assistance of Avail, pursuant to the terms of the Avail Agreement, as well other vendors to assist with our May 13, 2022 submissions. The costs to date associated with these PMTAs are approximately $5.1 million in total. We are also evaluating the potential market perception and clinical studies that may be required in connection with each PMTA. If we do not submit a PMTA for any Charlie’s products considered to be Deemed Tobacco Products prior to the lapse of the grace period or if any PMTA submitted by the Company is denied, we will be required to cease the marketing and distribution of such Charlie’s products, which, in turn, would have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that if the Company were to complete a PMTA for any of the affected Charlie’s products, that any application would be approved by the FDA and any non-approval would require us to remove products from the marketplace, which would have an adverse impact on our business.

 

The regulation of SPREE BAR by the FDA or others could materially adversely affect us.

 

We recently launched new disposable vape products, under the “SPREE BAR™” brand, that we expect will (i) replace most of our legacy products and (ii) become the single largest, most important commercial opportunity our history. As SPREE BAR is not made from or derived from tobacco, we believe that SPREE BAR products are not subject to regulation as “tobacco products” under 21 U.S.C. § 321(rr). In the event that our SPREE BAR products were to be deemed by the FDA to be “tobacco products” or if the FDA or another regulatory authority were to otherwise assume regulatory control of such products, we could be required to cease selling such products (including recalling existing products), subject to an enforcement action or otherwise be required to comply with various regulations that could be expensive. More generally, FDA’s regulatory initiatives and enforcement authority regarding our products are unpredictable and continue to evolve and we cannot predict whether FDA’s priorities and/or potential jurisdiction over our products will require us to remove our products from the market and to cease selling them. As a result, any regulation over SPREE BAR could material adversely affect us.

 

Certain of our products contain nicotine, which is considered to be a highly addictive substance.

 

Certain of our products contain nicotine, a chemical found in cigarettes, e-cigarettes, certain other vapor products and other tobacco products, which is considered to be highly addictive. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act empowers the FDA to regulate the amount of nicotine found in vapor products, but may not require the reduction of nicotine yields of a vapor product to zero. Any FDA regulation may require us to reformulate, recall and or discontinue certain of the products we may sell from time to time, which may have a material adverse effect on our ability to market our products and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and or future prospects.

 

Recent bans on the sales of flavored e-cigarettes directly impacts the markets in which we may sell Charlies products, and significant increases in state and local regulation of Charlies products have been proposed or enacted and are likely to continue to be proposed or enacted in numerous jurisdictions.

 

On January 2, 2020 the FDA issued an enforcement policy effectively banning the sale of flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes marketed primarily by large manufacturers in the United States without prior authorization from the FDA. There has been increasing activity on the state and local levels with respect to scrutiny of Charlie’s products, and many states, provinces, and some cities have passed laws restricting or banning the sale of e-cigarettes and certain other nicotine vaporizer products, including flavored e-liquids. State and local governmental bodies across the U.S. have indicated Charlie’s products may become subject to new laws and regulations at the state and local levels. Further, some states and cities, have enacted regulations that require obtaining a tobacco retail license in order to sell electronic cigarettes and vaporizer products. If one or more states from which we generate or anticipate generating significant sales of Charlie’s products bring actions to prevent us from selling Charlie’s products unless we obtain certain licenses, approvals or permits, and if we are not able to obtain the necessary licenses, approvals or permits for financial reasons or otherwise and/or any such license, approval or permit is determined to be overly burdensome to us, then we may be required to cease sales and distribution of our products to those states, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Certain states and cities have already restricted the use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizer products in smoke-free venues, imposed excise taxes, or limited sales of flavored Charlie’s products. Additional city, state or federal regulators, municipalities, local governments and private industry may enact additional rules and regulations restricting electronic cigarettes and vaporizer products. Because of these restrictions, our customers may reduce or otherwise cease using Charlie’s products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Changes to the application of existing laws and regulations, and/or the implementation of any new laws or regulations that may be adopted in the future, at a federal, state, or local level, directly or indirectly implicating or banning flavored e-cigarette liquid and products used for the vaporization of nicotine would materially limit our ability to sell such products, result in additional compliance expenses, and require us to change our labeling and methods of distribution, any of which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

-20-

 

 

There is substantial concern regarding the effect of long-term use of vaping products. Despite the recent outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries, the medical profession does not yet definitively know the cause of such injuries. Should vapor products, such as Charlies products, be determined conclusively to pose long-term health risks, including a risk of vaping-related lung injury, our business will be negatively impacted.

 

Because vapor products have been developed and commercialized recently, the medical profession has not yet had a sufficient period of time to fully realize the long-term health effects attributable to vapor product use. On November 8, 2019 officials at the CDC reported a breakthrough in the investigation into the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries. The CDC's principal deputy director, Dr. Anne Schuchat, stated that vitamin E acetate is a known additive used to dilute liquid in e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC”, suggesting the possible culprit for the series of lung injuries across the U.S. As a result, there is currently no way of knowing whether or not vapor products are safe for their intended use. If the medical profession were to determine conclusively that vapor product usage poses long-term health risks, the use of such products, including Charlie’s products, could decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

The marketing and sale of Delta-8-THC, other cannabinol and/or CBD products by the Company could subject it to limitations or restrictions imposed by the FDA, the states or other regulatory authorities.   

 

The Company’s production of Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinl ("Delta-8 THC"), other cannabinol and/or CBD products derived from hemp could subject it to limitations or restrictions, which could result in an outright ban on such marketing or sale.  Regulatory uncertainties regarding potential adverse changes in Federal and state laws may have a materially adverse effect on our business and the trading price of our common stock. These risks are heightened as they relate to the nicotine, marijuana, Delta-8-THC, Synthetic THC, CBD and other cannabinoid varieties, derivatives and /or equivalents which are controversial socially, scientifically and legally.  In addition, although we believe that Delta-8-THC is legal under the Farm Bill, certain states have moved to ban Synthetic THC or have moved to regulate Synthetic THC as marijuana. 

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the legality of hemp derived Synthetic THC is in a gray area and varies from state-to-state, with some states allowing Synthetic THC, others not addressing Synthetic THC specifically, while others have banned Synthetic THC due to its similarity to tetrahydrocannabinol. The Federal legality of Synthetic THC is still unknown, and the Federal government has yet to take a definitive position. Additionally, the FDA has indicated its view that certain types of products containing CBD may not be permissible under the FDCA. The FDA’s position is related to its approval of Epidiolex, a marijuana-derived prescription medicine to be available in the United States. The active ingredient in Epidiolex is CBD. On December 20, 2018, after the passage of the 2018 Farm Act, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a statement in which he reiterated the FDA’s position that, among other things, the FDA requires a cannabis product (hemp-derived or otherwise) that is marketed with a claim of therapeutic benefit, or with any other disease claim, to be approved by the FDA for its intended use before it may be introduced into interstate commerce and that the FDCA prohibits introducing into interstate commerce food products containing added CBD, and marketing products containing CBD as a dietary supplement, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived.

 

Should the Company become subject to enforcement action by Federal, state or other regulatory agencies, it could be forced to spend significant sums defending against such enforcement action and ultimately could be forced to stop marketing and selling some or all of its  products and/or be subject to other sanctions, which would have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and shareholders’ investments.

 

The market for vapor products is a niche market, subject to a great deal of uncertainty, and is still evolving.

 

Vapor products, having recently been introduced to market, are still at an early stage of development, represent a niche market, are evolving rapidly and are characterized by an increasing number of market entrants. Our future sales and any future profits are substantially dependent upon the widespread acceptance and use of vapor products. Rapid growth in the use of, and interest in, vapor products is recent, and may not continue on a lasting basis. The demand and market acceptance for these products is subject to a high level of uncertainty. Therefore, we are subject to all of the business risks associated with a new enterprise in a niche market, including risks of unforeseen capital requirements, failure of widespread market acceptance of vapor products, in general or, specifically our products, failure to establish business relationships and competitive disadvantages as against larger and more established competitors.

 

-21-

 

 

Sources of hemp-derived CBD depend upon legality of cultivation, processing, marketing and sales of products derived from those plants under state law.

 

Hemp-derived CBD can only be legally produced in states that have laws and regulations that allow for such production and that comply with the 2018 Farm Act, apart from state laws legalizing and regulating medical and recreational cannabis or marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law and regulations. We purchase all of our hemp-derived CBD from licensed growers and processors in states where such production is legal. As described in the preceding risk factor, in the event of repeal or amendment of laws and regulations which are now favorable to the cannabis/hemp industry in such states, we would be required to locate new suppliers in states with laws and regulations that qualify under the 2018 Farm Act. If we were to be unsuccessful in arranging new sources of supply of our raw ingredients, or if our raw ingredients were to become legally unavailable, our intended business plan with respect to such products could be adversely impacted.

 

We have limited supply sources for industrial hemp, and price increases or supply shortages of key raw materials could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our hemp-based cannabinoid products are composed of certain key raw materials. If the prices of such raw materials increase significantly, it could result in a significant increase in our product development costs. If raw material prices increase in the future, we may not be able to pass on such price increases to our customers. A significant increase in the price of industrial hemp or other raw materials that cannot be passed on to customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our success will depend upon the availability of industrial hemp and other raw materials that permit us to meet our labeling claims and quality control standards. The supply of our industrial hemp is subject to the same risks normally associated with agricultural production, such as climactic conditions, insect infestations and availability of manual labor or equipment for harvesting. Any significant delay in or disruption of the supply of raw materials could substantially increase the cost of such materials, could require product reformulations, the qualification of new suppliers and repackaging and could result in a substantial reduction or termination by us of our sales of certain products, any of which could have a material adverse effect upon us. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the disruption of our supply sources will not have a material adverse effect on us.

 

Because our distributors may only sell and ship our products containing hemp-derived CBD in states that have adopted laws and regulations qualifying under the 2018 Farm Act, a reduction in the number of states having such qualifying laws and regulations could limit, restrict or otherwise preclude the sale of intended products containing hemp-derived CBD.

 

The interstate shipment of hemp-derived CBD from one state to another is legal only where both states have laws and regulations that allow for the production and sale of such products and that qualify under the 2018 Farm Act. Therefore, the marketing and sale of our intended products containing hemp-derived CBD is limited by such factors and is restricted to such states. Although we believe we may lawfully sell any of our finished products, including those containing CBD, in a majority of states, a repeal or adverse amendment of laws and regulations that are now favorable to the distribution, marketing and sale of finished products we intend to sell could significantly limit, restrict or prevent us from generating revenue related to our products that contain hemp-derived CBD. Any such repeal or adverse amendment of now favorable laws and regulations could have an adverse impact on our business plan with respect to such products.

 

Due to recent expansion into the CBD industry, we may have a difficult time obtaining the various insurances that are desired to operate our business, which may expose us to additional risk and financial liability.

 

Insurance that is otherwise readily available, such as general liability, and directors and officer’s insurance, may become more difficult for us to find, and more expensive, due to our recent launch of certain products containing hemp-derived CBD. There are no guarantees that we will be able to find such insurances in the future, or that the cost will be affordable to us. If we are forced to go without such insurances, it may prevent us from entering into certain business sectors, may inhibit our growth, and may expose us to additional risk and financial liabilities.

 

-22-

 

 

We face significant competition from existing suppliers of products similar to ours. If we are not able to compete with these companies effectively, we may not be able to achieve profitability.

 

We face intense competition from numerous resellers, manufacturers and wholesalers of vapor products similar to those developed and sold by us, from both retail and online providers. We face competition from direct and indirect competitors, which arguably includes “big tobacco”, “big pharma”, and other known and established or yet to be formed vapor product manufacturing companies, each of whom pose a competitive threat to our current business and future prospects. We compete against “big tobacco”, who offers not only conventional tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, but also smokeless tobacco products such as “snus” (a form of moist ground smokeless tobacco that is usually sold in sachet form that resembles small tea bags), chewing tobacco and snuff. “Big tobacco” has nearly limitless resources, global distribution networks in place and a customer base that is fiercely loyal to their brands. Furthermore, we believe that “big tobacco” is likely to devote more attention and resources to developing and offering electronic cigarettes or other vapor products as the market for electronic cigarettes grows. Because of their well-established sales and distribution channels, marketing depth, financial resources, and proven expertise navigating complex regulatory landscapes, “big tobacco” is better positioned than small competitors like us to capture a larger share of the vapor markets. We also face competition from companies in the vapor market that are much larger, better funded, and more established than us.

 

Companies with greater capital and research capabilities could re-formulate existing products or formulate new products that could gain wide marketplace acceptance, which could have a depressive effect on our future sales. In addition, aggressive advertising and promotion by our competitors may require us to compete by lowering prices because we do not have the resources to engage in marketing campaigns against these competitors, and the economic viability of our operations likely would be diminished.

 

Adverse publicity associated with our products or ingredients, or those of similar companies, could adversely affect our sales and revenue.

 

Adverse publicity concerning any actual or purported failure by us to comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding any aspect of our business could have an adverse effect on the public perception of the Company. This, in turn, could negatively affect our ability to obtain financing, endorsers and attract distributors or retailers for our products, which would have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate sales and revenue.

 

Our distributors’ and customers’ perception of the safety and quality of our products or even similar products distributed by others can be significantly influenced by national media attention, publicized scientific research or findings, product liability claims and other publicity concerning our products or similar products distributed by others. Adverse publicity, whether or not accurate, that associates consumption of our products or any similar products with illness or other adverse effects, will likely diminish the public’s perception of our products. Claims that any products are ineffective, inappropriately labeled or have inaccurate instructions as to their use, could have a material adverse effect on the market demand for our products, including reducing our sales and revenue.

 

Our products may not meet health and safety standards or could become contaminated.

 

We have adopted various quality, environmental, health and safety standards. We do not have control over all of the third parties involved in the manufacturing of our products and their compliance with government health and safety standards. Even if our products meet these standards, they could otherwise become contaminated. A failure to meet these standards or contamination could occur in our operations or those of our manufacturers, distributors or suppliers. This could result in expensive production interruptions, recalls and liability claims. Moreover, negative publicity could be generated from false, unfounded or nominal liability claims or limited recalls. Any of these failures or occurrences could negatively affect our business and financial performance.

 

There is limited availability of clinical studies related to hemp-based products.

 

Although hemp plants have a long history of human consumption, there is little long-term experience with human consumption of certain of these innovative product ingredients or combinations thereof in concentrated form. Although we perform research and/or tests the formulation and production of our products, there is limited clinical data regarding the safety and benefits of ingesting industrial hemp-based products. Any instance of illness or negative side effects of ingesting industrial hemp-based products would have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.

 

The sale of our products involves product liability and related risks that could expose us to significant insurance and loss expense.

 

We face an inherent risk of exposure to product liability claims if the use of our products results in, or is believed to have resulted in, illness or injury. Our products contain combinations of ingredients, and there is little long-term experience with the effect of these combinations. In addition, interactions of these products with other products, prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs have not been fully explored or understood and may have unintended consequences. While our third-party manufacturers perform tests in connection with the formulations of our products, these tests are not designed to evaluate the inherent safety of our products.

 

Any product liability claim may increase our costs and adversely affect our revenue and operating income. Moreover, liability claims arising from a serious adverse event may increase our costs through higher insurance premiums and deductibles and may make it more difficult to secure adequate insurance coverage in the future. In addition, our product liability insurance may fail to cover future product liability claims, which, if adversely determined, could subject us to substantial monetary damages.

 

-23-

 

 

The success of our business will depend upon our ability to create and expand our brand awareness.

 

The market we compete in is highly competitive, with many well-known brands leading the industry. Our ability to compete effectively and generate revenue will be based upon our ability to create and expand awareness of our products distinct from those of our competitors. It is imperative that we are able to convey to consumers the benefits of our products. However, advertising and packaging and labeling of such products will be limited by various regulations. Our success will be dependent upon our ability to convey to consumers that our products are superior to those of our competitors.

 

The presence of trace amounts of THC in our products may cause adverse consequences to users of such products that will expose us to the risk of litigation, liability and other consequences.

 

Some of our products that contain hemp-derived CBD, or other hemp-derived cannabinoids, may contain trace amounts of THC. THC is a controlled substance in many jurisdictions, including under the federal laws of the U.S. Whether or not ingestion of THC (at low levels or otherwise) is permitted in a particular jurisdiction, there may be adverse consequences to consumers of our products who test positive for any amounts of THC because of the presence of trace amounts of THC in our hemp products. In addition, certain metabolic processes in the body may negatively affect the results of drug tests. Positive tests for THC may expose us to litigation from our consumers, adversely affect our reputation, our ability to obtain or retain customers and individuals’ participation in certain athletic or other activities. A claim or regulatory action against us based on such positive test results could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, operating results, liquidity, cash flow and operational performance.

 

We must develop and introduce new products to succeed.

 

Our industry is subject to rapid change. New products are constantly introduced to the market. Our ability to remain competitive depends in part on our ability to enhance existing products, to develop and manufacture new products in a timely and cost-effective manner, to accurately predict market transitions, and to effectively market our products. Our future financial results will depend to a great extent on the successful introduction of several new products. We cannot be certain that we will be successful in selecting, developing, manufacturing and marketing new products or in enhancing existing products.

 

The success of new product introductions depends on various factors, including, without limitation, the following:

 

 

proper new product selection;

 

 

successful sales and marketing efforts;

 

 

timely delivery of new products;

 

 

availability of raw materials;

 

 

pricing of raw materials;

 

 

regulatory allowance of the products; and

 

 

customer acceptance of new products.

 

Competition from the illicit cannabis market could impact our ability to succeed.

 

We face competition from illegal market operators that are unlicensed and unregulated including illegal dispensaries and illicit market suppliers selling cannabis and cannabis-based products. As these illegal market participants do not comply with the regulations governing the cannabis industry, their operations may have significantly lower costs. The perpetuation of the illegal market for cannabis may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, as well as the perception of cannabis use.

 

If we are not able to adequately protect our intellectual property, then we may not be able to compete effectively, and we may not be profitable.

 

Our existing proprietary rights may not afford remedies and protections necessary to prevent infringement, reformulation, theft, misappropriation and other improper use of our products by competitors. We own the formulations for our products and we consider these product formulations our critical proprietary property, which must be protected from competitors. We do not currently have any patents for our product formulations. Although trade secret, trademark, copyright and patent laws generally provide a certain level of protection, and we attempt to protect ourselves through contracts with manufacturers of our products, we may not be successful in enforcing our rights. In addition, enforcement of our proprietary rights may require lengthy and expensive litigation. We have attempted to protect some of the trade names and trademarks used for our products by registering them with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but we must rely on common law trademark rights to protect our unregistered trademarks. Common law trademark rights do not provide the same remedies as are granted to federally registered trademarks, and the rights of a common law trademark are limited to the geographic area in which the trademark is actually used. Our inability to protect our intellectual property could have a material adverse impact on our ability to compete and could make it difficult for us to achieve a profit.

 

-24-

 

 

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

 

A limited trading market currently exists for our securities, and we cannot assure you that an active market will ever develop, or if developed, will be sustained.

 

There is currently a limited trading market for our Common Stock on the OTCQB Venture Market and an active trading market for our Common Stock may not develop. Consequently, we cannot assure you when and if an active-trading market in our shares will be established, or whether any such market will be sustained or sufficiently liquid to enable holders of shares of our Common Stock to liquidate their investment in our Company. If an active public market should develop in the future, the sale of unregistered and restricted securities by current stockholders may have a substantial impact on any such market.

 

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Common Stock, or the perception that such sales may occur, may adversely impact the price of our Common Stock.

 

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Common Stock in the public market could occur at any time. These sales, or the perception that such sales may occur, may adversely impact the price of our Common Stock, even if there is no relationship between such sales and the performance of our business. As of December 31, 2023, we had 228,535,886 shares of Common Stock outstanding, as well as outstanding options to purchase an aggregate of 5,271,637 shares of our Common Stock at a weighted average exercise price of $0.58 per share, up to 28,926,313 shares of Common Stock issuable upon conversion of outstanding shares of Series A Preferred and outstanding warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 40,424,136 shares of our Common Stock at a weighted average exercise price of $0.44313 per share that expire on April 26, 2024 unless exercised. The exercise and/or conversion of such outstanding derivative securities may result in further dilution to our stockholders.

 

If we issue additional shares of Common Stock in the future, it will result in the dilution of our existing stockholders.

 

Our Charter currently authorizes the issuance of up to 500.0 million shares of Common Stock, of which approximately 228.8 million shares are issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2024. In addition, we have reserved approximately 74.0 million shares for issuance upon conversion and/or exercise of our outstanding shares of Series A Preferred, warrants and stock options, as well as for issuance as awards under our 2019 Omnibus Incentive Plan. The issuance of any additional shares of our Common Stock, including those shares issuable upon conversion and/or exercise of our outstanding derivative securities, will result in significant dilution to our stockholders and a reduction in value of our outstanding Common Stock. Further, any such issuance may result in a change of control of our corporation.

 

Holders of Series A Convertible Preferred have substantial rights and it ranks senior to our Common Stock.

 

Our Common Stock ranks junior as to dividend rights, redemption rights, conversion rights and rights in any liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of the Company to the Series A Preferred. Upon liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of the Company, the holders of the Series A Preferred are entitled to a liquidation preference equal to the original purchase price of Series A Preferred prior to and in preference to any distribution to the holders of our Common Stock. Such rights could cause dilution of our Common Stock or limit our cash.

 

Our outstanding Series A Preferred contains anti-dilution provisions that, if triggered, could cause substantial dilution to our then-existing holders of Common Stock which could adversely affect our stock price.

 

Our outstanding Series A Preferred contains certain anti-dilution provisions that benefit the holders thereof. As a result, if we, in the future, issue Common Stock or grant any rights to purchase our Common Stock or other securities convertible into our Common Stock for a per share price less than the then existing conversion price of the Series A Preferred, an adjustment to the then current conversion price would occur. This reduction in the conversion price could result in substantial dilution to our then-existing holders of Common Stock as well as give rise to a beneficial conversion feature reported on our statement of operations. Either or both of which could adversely affect the price of our Common Stock.

 

-25-

 

 

The price of our securities could be subject to wide fluctuations and your investment could decline in value.

 

The market price of the securities of a company such as ours with little name recognition in the financial community can be subject to wide price swings. The market price of our Common Stock may be subject to wide changes in response to quarterly variations in operating results, our working capital and cash position, our ability to continue as a going concern, FDA regulatory actions, announcements of new products by us or our competitors, reports by securities analysts, volume trading, or other events or factors. In addition, the financial markets have experienced significant price and volume fluctuations for a number of reasons, including the failure of certain companies to meet market expectations. These broad market price swings, or any industry-specific market fluctuations, may adversely affect the market price of our securities.

 

Companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been the subject of securities class action litigation. If we were to become the subject of securities class action litigation, it could result in substantial costs and a significant diversion of our management’s attention and resources.

 

Because our Common Stock may be classified as “penny stock”, trading may be limited, and the share price could decline. Moreover, trading of our Common Stock, if any, may be limited because broker-dealers would be required to provide their customers with disclosure documents prior to allowing them to participate in transactions involving our Common Stock. These disclosure requirements are burdensome to broker-dealers and may discourage them from allowing their customers to participate in transactions involving our Common Stock.

 

We have issued Preferred Stock with rights senior to our Common Stock, and may issue additional Preferred Stock in the future.

 

Our Charter authorizes the issuance of up to 5.0 million shares of Preferred Stock without stockholder approval and on terms established by our Board of Directors, of which 300,000 shares have been designated as Series A Preferred and 1.5 million shares have been designated as Series B Preferred. We may issue additional shares of Preferred Stock in the future in order to consummate a financing or other transaction, in lieu of the issuance of shares of our Common Stock. The rights and preferences of any such class or series of Preferred Stock would be established by our Board of Directors in its sole discretion and may have dividend, voting, liquidation and other rights and preferences that are senior to the rights of the Common Stock.

 

Our Amended and Restated Bylaws designate courts within the state of Nevada as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents.

 

Our Amended and Restated Bylaws (“Bylaws”) require that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, and unless the Company consents in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, a state court located within the State of Nevada (or, if no state court located within the State of Nevada has jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Nevada), will, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for each of the following:

 

 

any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of the Company;

 

 

any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director or officer or other employee of the Company to the Company or the Company’s stockholders;

 

 

any action asserting a claim against the Company or any director or officer or other employee of the Company arising pursuant to any provision of the Nevada Revised Statutes or the Company’s Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, as amended, or the Amended and Restated Bylaws; or

 

 

any action asserting a claim against the Company or any director or officer or other employee of the Company governed by the internal affairs doctrine.

 

Because the applicability of the exclusive forum provision is limited to the extent permitted by law, we believe that the exclusive forum provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Exchange Act, or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction, and that federal courts have concurrent jurisdiction over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”). We note that there is uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce the provision and that investors cannot waive compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. Although we believe this provision benefits us by providing increased consistency in the application of Nevada law in the types of lawsuits to which it applies, the provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers. 

 

-26-

 

 

You may not be able to hold our securities in your regular brokerage account.

 

In the case of publicly traded companies, it is common for a broker to hold securities on your behalf, in “street name” (meaning the broker is shown as the holder on the issuer’s records and then you show up on the broker’s records as the person the broker is holding for). Due to regulatory uncertainties, certain brokers may not agree to hold securities of companies whose products include hemp-derived CBD for their customers, meaning that you may not be able to take advantage of the convenience of having all your holdings reflected in one place.

 

You should not rely on an investment in our Common Stock for the payment of cash dividends.

 

Because of our previous significant operating losses and because we intend to retain future profits, if any, to expand our business, we have never paid cash dividends on our Common Stock and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. You should not make an investment in our Common Stock if you require dividend income. Any return on investment in our Common Stock would only come from an increase in the market price of our stock, which is uncertain and unpredictable.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

ITEM 1C. CYBERSECURITY

 

The Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) recognizes the importance of maintaining the trust and confidence of our customers, clients, business partners and employees. The Board is responsible for overseeing the Company’s risk management process, and cybersecurity represents a component of the Company’s overall approach to enterprise risk management (“ERM”). In general, the Company seeks to address cybersecurity risks through an approach that is focused on preserving the confidentiality, security and availability of the information that the Company collects and stores by identifying, preventing and mitigating cybersecurity threats and effectively responding to cybersecurity incidents when they occur.

 

The Company’s cybersecurity program is focused on the following key areas:

 

Collaborative Approach: The Company has implemented a cross-functional approach to identifying, preventing and mitigating cybersecurity threats and incidents, while also implementing controls and procedures that provide for the prompt escalation of certain cybersecurity incidents so that decisions regarding the public disclosure and reporting of such incidents can be made by management in a timely manner.

 

Technical Safeguards: The Company deploys technical safeguards that are designed to protect the Company’s information systems from cybersecurity threats, including firewalls, intrusion prevention and detection systems, anti-malware functionality and access controls, which are evaluated and improved through vulnerability assessments and cybersecurity threat intelligence.

 

Incident Response and Recovery Planning: The Company has established and maintains incident response and recovery plans that address the Company’s response to a cybersecurity incident.

 

The Company engages in the occasional assessment and testing of the Company’s policies, standards, processes and practices that are designed to address cybersecurity threats and incidents. The results of such assessments, audits and reviews are reported to management and the Board when necessary, and the Company adjusts its cybersecurity policies, standards, processes and practices as necessary based on the information provided by these assessments, audits and reviews.

 

The Board, in coordination with management, oversees the Company’s ERM process, including the management of risks arising from cybersecurity threats. Key members of the management team monitor and assess a wide range of topics including recent developments, evolving standards, vulnerability assessments, third-party and independent reviews, the threat environment, technological trends and information security considerations arising with respect to the Company’s peers and third parties. The Board and key executives discuss the Company’s approach to cybersecurity risk management.

 

The Company’s Chief Operating Officer (“COO”), Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and retained third party cybersecurity providers work collaboratively across the Company to protect the Company’s information systems from cybersecurity threats and to promptly respond to any cybersecurity incidents in accordance with the Company’s incident response and recovery plans. Through ongoing communications, this group monitors the prevention, detection, mitigation and remediation of cybersecurity threats and incidents in real time and report such threats and incidents to the Board when appropriate.

 

Cybersecurity threats, including any previous cybersecurity incidents, have not materially affected or are reasonably likely to affect the Company, including its business strategy, results of operations or financial condition. See the Risk Factor titled “We are subject to cyber-security risks, including those related to customer, employee, vendor or other company data and including in connection with integration of acquired businesses and operations” for a discussion of risk associated with cybersecurity.

 

-27-

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Facilities

 

The Company leases office space that expires on various dates through 2025. All of the Company’s lease liabilities result from the lease of its warehouse space in Huntington Beach, California, which expires in 2025, and its corporate headquarters in Costa Mesa, California which expires in 2024. Management believes that the Company’s sites are adequate to support the business and suitable for present purposes and the properties and equipment have been well maintained.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

From time to time, claims are made against the Company in the ordinary course of business, which could result in litigation. Claims and associated litigation are subject to inherent uncertainties, and unfavorable outcomes could occur. In the opinion of management, the resolution of these matters, if any, will not have a material adverse impact on the Company’s financial position or results of operations. There are no pending or legal proceedings at this time.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

None.

 

-28-

 

 

PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR COMMON EQUITY AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

Our common stock is traded on the OTCQB Venture Marketplace under the symbol “CHUC”. The prices of our common stock on the OTCQB Venture Marketplace represent quotations between dealers without adjustment for retail markup, markdown, or commission and may not represent actual transactions.

 

Holders

 

As of April 15, 2024, there were 229,349,388 shares of our common stock outstanding and 199 stockholders of record and 128,181 shares of our Series A Preferred outstanding held by 92 stockholders of record.

 

Transfer Agent

 

Our Transfer Agent and Registrar for our common stock is Continental Stock Transfer and Trust located in New York, New York.

 

Dividend Policy

 

We have not previously and do not plan to declare or pay any dividends on our common stock. Our current policy is to retain all funds and any earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business. Payment of future dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors, including current financial condition, operating results and current and anticipated cash needs.

 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

 

None.

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

None.

 

Shares authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans

 

The stockholders previously approved the Charlie’s Holdings Inc. 2019 Omnibus Incentive Plan, as amended (the “Plan”). The Plan allows for the granting of equity awards to eligible individuals over the life of the Plan, including the issuance of up to 26,072,542 shares of the Company’s common stock. As of December 31, 2023, we had available 4,495,571 shares remaining for future awards under the Plan.

 

The following table summarizes the number of shares of common stock to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options and vesting of restricted stock units under the Plan, the weighted-average exercise price of such stock options, and the number of securities available to be issued under the Plan as of December 31, 2023:

 

                 

Number of securities

 
   

Number of securities to

         

remaining available for

 
   

be issued upon exercise

         

issuance under equity

 
   

of outstanding options,

 

Weighted average

   

compensation plans

 
   

and restricted stock

 

exercise price of

   

(excluding securities

 
   

units,

 

outstanding options

   

reflected in column (a))

 
   

(a)

 

(b)

   

(c)

 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

   

21,576,971

(1) 

$

0.58

     

4,495,571

 

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

   

   

N/A

     

 

Total

   

21,576,971

   

     

4,495,571

(2)

 

(1)

The number of outstanding options is 5,271,637 and the number of outstanding restricted stock units is 16,305,334.

 

(2)

Consists of shares available for award under the Plan.

 

ITEM 6. [RESERVED]

 

-29-

 

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENTS DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

You should read the following discussion and analysis in conjunction with our financial statements, including the notes thereto contained in this Annual Report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of certain factors, including those set forth under Risk Factors Associated with Our Business and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

 

Overview

 

The Company’s objective is to become a leader in three broad product categories: (i) non-combustible nicotine-related products, (ii) alternative alkaloid vapor products, and (iii) hemp-derived vapor and edible products. Through our Charlie’s subsidiary, we formulate, market, and distribute premium, nicotine-based and alternative alkaloid vapor products. Charlie’s products are produced through contract manufacturers for sale through select distributors, specialty retailers, and third-party online resellers throughout the United States and select international markets. Through Don Polly, we develop, market and distribute products containing compounds derived from hemp.

 

Operational Plan

 

Considering industry-specific hurdles, as well as the potential for future regulatory changes, management has targeted opportunities for growth and has adopted the following operational plan.

 

Priority 1: In 2022, we initiated a plan and began to invest substantial time and resources to develop various proprietary products and new technologies in order to achieve competitive advantages in the vapor and alternative products marketplace. In conjunction with internal and external research and development resources, we endeavored to identify a nicotine substitute (“Metatine™”) to be used in lieu of tobacco-based and synthetically derived nicotine. We believe adult consumers will enjoy Metatine vapor products in much the same way that they enjoy traditional vapor products. However, because Metatine is not made or derived from tobacco, and because Metatine does not consist of or contain nicotine from any source, the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products does not have jurisdiction to regulate Metatine. Accordingly, if the Company is successful utilizing Metatine in a viable commercial product, such a product would allow us additional flexibility in offering both flavored and non-flavored vapor products to adult consumers looking to transition away from traditional combustible and smokeless tobacco products.

 

In late 2023 the Company began shipping its new Metatine-based, SPREE BAR™ disposable vape products to master distributors, in preparation for launch (and sales to be recognized) in late 2023. We believe that our transition to the SPREE BAR product line will give Charlie's an extraordinary opportunity to capture significant sales and market share in the vapor products marketplace in 2024 and beyond.

 

 

SPREE BAR, with Metatine, is indistinguishable from a conventional disposable vape; SPREE BAR provides adult consumers with the same satisfaction that typical nicotine disposables provide, but without nicotine.

 

 

As a disposable pod system - with a reusable battery - 6,000-puff SPREE BAR flavor pods have a retail price that is significantly more cost-effective than that of the industry-leading 5,500-puff disposables.

 

 

Because Metatine is not made or derived from tobacco, and because Metatine does not consist of or contain nicotine from any source, SPREE BAR is not subject to FDA Pre-Market Tobacco Application ("PMTA") requirements.

 

As of the end of the 2023, we have awarded SPREE BAR Master Distributor and Distributor contracts to eleven large customers. As part of these agreements, we have accepted purchase orders, and corresponding 50% up-front deposits, for each distributor’s initial order. It is our plan to sign additional Master Distributor agreements with as many as ten additional SPREE BAR Distributors before the end of 2024. Given the novelty of the product, its compelling value in the marketplace as a disposable pod system (with a reusable battery), and its very significant regulatory advantages, SPREE BAR represents the single largest, most important commercial opportunity in Charlie's history.

 

The Company has also begun to develop intellectual property around technologies designed to prevent youth access to nicotine vapor products. Edward Carmines, Ph.D., a member of Charlie’s Board of Directors and an accomplished scientist and regulatory affairs expert, is spearheading Charlie's development of patented "age-gating technology" for both Charlie's and potential licensees of the Company. Currently, there is a need for age-gated product technologies that can satisfy or accommodate concerns the FDA has related to under-age youth access in the ENDS market. If our age-gated e-cigarettes-in-development are recognized as "products of merit" by the FDA, Charlie's e-cigarettes could emerge among the select minority of flavored nicotine disposables able to be sold legally in the $7 billion U.S. vapor products market.

 

Underlining the importance of Charlie’s work with age-gating technology is an initiative taken by JUUL Labs, one of the largest competitors in our industry. In July JUUL announced that it has submitted a PMTA with the FDA for a new e-cigarette device that also included information on novel, data-driven technologies to restrict underage access. JUUL’s chief product officer explained, “With our next-generation platform, we have designed a technological solution for two public-health problems: improving adult-smoker switching from combustible cigarettes and restricting underage access to vapor products...” Similar to the age-gating technology under development at Charlie’s, the JUUL device includes a mobile and web-based app that enables age-verification technology, including device-locking, and real-time product information and usage insights for age-verified consumers with industry-leading data-privacy protections.

 

-30-

 

Priority 2: With a new focus on the SPREE BAR product line and on the Master Distributors with whom we have awarded SPREE BAR distribution agreements, we will cost-effectively expand and strategically refocus our sales team. An expanded sales team will more effectively manage key customer relationships across a larger number of reps, mitigating concentration risks and assuring adequate coverage. The sales team is organized into two groups, each with a specific mandate for targeting unique classes of customers. One group will focus on direct-to-retail (smoke shops, chain stores, adult beverage/liquor stores, gas stations, and grocery stores) with the goal of acquiring 1,000 new customer accounts in 2024. The second group will focus on satisfying the requirements of mega-distributors (McLane, Coremark, HT Hackney, Eby-Brown) in order to sell into the nation’s largest chain store accounts. Additionally, to broaden our footprint with customers and to minimize order size variability, sales reps will rebalance their product sales mix, placing enhanced focus on SPREE BAR.

 

Priority 3: In order to mitigate FDA regulatory risk in the domestic market and to capture what management continues to believe is a significant commercial opportunity, we have dedicated additional resources to efforts focused on growing our market share internationally. Presently, approximately 16% of our vapor product sales come from the international market and we are well positioned to increase sales in countries where we already have presence and, in additional overseas markets, as we have already built an international distribution platform. To facilitate this plan, we recently hired an Account Executive who is dedicated to driving our efforts in international expansion. Further, in late 2023 and throughout 2024 we plan to build-out a dedicated international team, including country managers and marketing coordinators, to market and sell a suite of custom-made products to new and existing international customers.

 

Risks and Uncertainties and Ability to Continue as a Going Concern

 

The Company operates in an environment that is subject to rapid changes and developments in laws and regulations that could have a significant impact on the Company’s ability to sell its products. Beginning in September 2019, certain states temporarily banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, and several states and municipalities are considering implementing similar restrictions. Federal, state, and local governmental bodies across the United States have indicated that flavored e-cigarette liquid, vaporization products and certain other consumption accessories may become subject to new laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. In addition, in June 2022, the FDA announced a plan to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels. The application of any new laws or regulations that may be adopted in the future, at a federal, state, or local level, directly or indirectly implicating nicotine, flavored e-cigarette liquid, and other electronic nicotine delivery system (“ENDS”) products, could significantly limit the Company’s ability to sell such products, result in additional compliance expenses, and/or require the Company to change its labeling and/or methods of distribution. Any ban of the sale of flavored e-cigarettes directly limits the markets in which the Company may sell its products. In the event the prevalence of such bans and/or changes in laws and regulations increase across the United States, or internationally, the Company’s business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely impacted. In addition, the Company is presently seeking to obtain marketing authorization for certain of its tobacco-derived nicotine e-liquid products. The Company’s applications were submitted in September 2020 on a timely basis, which if approved, will allow the Company to continue to sell its approved products in the United States. Beginning in August 2021, the FDA began issuing Marketing Denial Orders (“MDO”) for ENDS products that lack evidence to demonstrate that permitting the marketing of such products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health. The Company has not received an MDO for any of its submissions; however, there is no assurance that regulatory approval to sell our products will be granted or that we would be able to raise additional financing if required, which could have a significant impact on our sales. On March 15, 2022, a new rider to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed granting the FDA authority over synthetic nicotine.  These regulations make the Company’s synthetic nicotine products subject to the same FDA rules as tobacco-derived nicotine products.  As such, the Company was required to file a PMTA for its existing synthetic nicotine products marketed under the Pacha brands by May 14, 2022 or be subject to FDA enforcement.  The Company filed new PMTAs, for its synthetic Pacha products on May 13, 2022, prior to the May 14, 2022 deadline. On November 3, 2022, FDA accepted for scientific review certain of our PMTAs for synthetic nicotine products and, on November 4, 2022, FDA refused to accept certain other PMTAs for these products, rendering the latter products subject to FDA enforcement. The Company submitted an administrative appeal with FDA regarding its refusal to accept certain of the PMTAs, and has resubmitted PMTAs for, and continues to sell, the affected synthetic nicotine products while the administrative appeal process is pending. There can be no guarantee that FDA will grant our administrative appeal, and the FDA may bring an enforcement action against our synthetic nicotine products for lack of premarket authorization and/or issue an MDO to our pending applications at any time.  More generally, FDA’s regulatory initiatives and enforcement priorities regarding ENDS products are unpredictable and continue to evolve, and we cannot predict whether FDA’s priorities and review of our premarket submissions will impact our products to a greater degree than our competitors in the industry. In the event the FDA denies our PMTAs, we would be required to remove products and cease selling them.

 

The Company recently launched new disposable vape products, under the “SPREE BAR™” brand, that the Company expects will (i) replace most of its legacy products and (ii) become the single largest, most important commercial opportunity in Charlie’s history. The Company and its attorneys believe SPREE BAR products are not subject to FDA review. Based on the information provided by the Company’s contracted chemical suppliers and its consultants, the proprietary Metatine™ (patented in the United States and in China by the Company’s chemical supplier) in the Company’s SPREE BAR products does not meet the definition of nicotine set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 387(12) and therefore its products containing Metatine, as their active ingredient, are not subject to regulation as “tobacco products” under 21 U.S.C. § 321(rr).  Further, according to information provided by the Company’s chemists, the other ingredients in the Company’s SPREE BAR vape liquid are not made or derived from tobacco, nor do they contain nicotine from any source.  The documentary support for these facts, including a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for the Metatine used in the Company’s SPREE BAR products, corroborates these conclusions. However, should any of these understandings be incorrect, the Company’s position on Metatine not qualifying as a “tobacco product” would need to be revisited. Further, should Congress bestow regulatory control over Metatine to the FDA, or should the FDA deem Metatine disposable vape devices “tobacco products” despite the facts that Metatine is not a salt or complex of nicotine, and is not itself derived from nicotine or tobacco, SPREE BAR products might then be subject to the FDA tobacco requirements, including, but not limited to, the requirement that all newly deemed tobacco products obtain premarket authorization before entering the U.S. market. If this were to happen, the FDA could bring an enforcement action against our Metatine products for lack of premarket authorization. More generally, FDA’s regulatory initiatives and enforcement authority regarding our products are unpredictable and continue to evolve and we cannot predict whether FDA’s priorities and/or potential jurisdiction over our products will require us to remove our products from the market and to cease selling them.

 

-31-

 

As discussed below, our financial statements and working capital raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Our financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. See Liquidity and Capital Resources below for additional information.

 

Recent Developments

 

Synthetic Nicotine PMTA Update. On November 4, 2022, FDA issued two Refuse to Accept Letters (“RTAs”) covering multiple PMTA submissions for certain of the Company’s synthetic nicotine products. The Company exercised its right to appeal the decision with the FDA and on March 6, 2023, the Company filed a request for supervisory review with FDA's Center for Tobacco Products. On October 30, 2023, the Company received notification from the FDA that its supervisory review appeal had been granted. Therefore, the FDA has rescinded the RTAs, notified the Company that Acceptance Letters for the PMTAs will be issued, and will place these applications into filing review.

 

New Executive Employment Agreement. On June 15, 2023, the Company entered into a new employment agreement with Ryan Stump (the “New Agreement”). Pursuant to the New Agreement, Mr. Stump will earn a base salary of $300,000 per year and serve as Chief Operating Officer for a term of two years, renewable on an annual basis unless earlier terminated by the Company or Mr. Stump. If Mr. Stump is terminated by the Company without Cause (as defined therein) or for Good Reason (as defined therein), he will be entitled to receive his base salary and benefits for a period of one year. In the event of a change in control, all unvested equity awards will immediately vest. Notwithstanding his contracted annual salary, to cut costs during a time when the Company is striving to launch the SPREE BAR line, Mr. Stump has elected to reduce his current compensation to the rate of $225,000 annually. As a point of reference, all the Company’s other executives have also elected to reduce their current compensation. It is anticipated that, after the launch of SPREE BAR, executive base salaries will revert to their previous levels.

 

New Director. In June 2023, at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders, the Company’s stockholders appointed Michael D. King as a director. Mr. King is the Founder and current Chief Executive Officer of OEM Solutions, a private company that has developed a supply network in Asia with world-class manufacturing companies that offer a wide variety of custom-made medical products, scientific instruments, consumer products, and food service devices. Operating OEM Solutions has been Mr. King’s sole occupation and employment for the past 22 years. From 1998 until 2001, Mr. King worked as a Sales Representative at Allied Enterprises in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1991 through 1998, Mr. King worked for the Ford Motor Company in the Finance Department as an analyst and eventually supervisor. Mr. King graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1991. 

 

-32-

 

 

Basis of Presentation

 

The consolidated financial statements contained within this Annual Report and the disclosure in this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations with respect to the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 have been prepared pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). In the opinion of the Company, all adjustments, including normal recurring adjustments necessary to present fairly the financial position, results of operations, and cash flows of the Company for the interim period have been included.

 

Results of Operations for the Year Ended December 31, 2023 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2022

 

   

For the years ended

                 
   

December 31,

   

Change

 
   

2023

   

2022

   

Amount

   

Percentage

 

($ in thousands)

                               

Revenues:

                               

Product revenue, net

  $ 16,250     $ 26,424     $ (10,174 )     -38.5 %

Total revenues

    16,250       26,424       (10,174 )     -38.5 %

Operating costs and expenses:

                               

Cost of goods sold - product revenue

    10,206       16,439       (6,233 )     -37.9 %

General and administrative

    6,970       8,381       (1,411 )     -16.8 %

Sales and marketing

    1,107       2,605       (1,498 )     -57.5 %

Research and development

    169       804       (635 )     -79.0 %

Total operating costs and expenses

    18,452       28,229       (9,777 )     -34.6 %

Loss from operations

    (2,202 )     (1,805 )     (397 )     22.0 %

Other income (expense):

                               

Interest expense

    (477 )     (155 )     (322 )     207.4 %

Debt extinguishment gain

    36       -       36       100 %

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

    550       270       280       103.8 %

Other income, net

    -       6       (6 )     -100.0 %

Total other income

    109       121       (12 )     -9.7 %

Loss before income taxes

    (2,093 )     (1,684 )     (409 )     24.3 %

Provision for income taxes

    -       (92 )     92       -100.0 %

Net loss

  $ (2,093 )   $ (1,592 )   $ (501 )     31.5 %

 

-33-

 

 

Revenue

 

Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023, decreased approximately $10,174,000, or 38.5%, to approximately $16,250,000, as compared to approximately $26,424,000 for the year ended December 31, 2022, due to a $8,553,000 decrease in our nicotine-based product sales, and a $1,621,000 decrease in sales of our hemp-derived products. The decrease in our nicotine-based vapor product sales is directly related to a decline in sales of our Pacha Disposable line, which was launched during the first half of 2022. Pacha Disposables became Charlie’s first-ever entrant into the rapidly expanding, disposable e-cigarette market and offers users a variety of premium flavors containing synthetic nicotine (not derived from tobacco) in a compact, discrete format. The nicotine-based disposable category faced significant pressure during the year ended December 31, 2023 due to increased competition from lower-priced Chinese products being sold direct, as well as further shortening of product lifecycles, making it challenging to market effectively. Uncertainty regarding FDA’s position on flavored nicotine products, specifically disposable vapes, continued to drive the market underground, creating significant challenges for brands like Charlie’s who choose to fully adhere to state and Federal legislation.

 

Sales in our hemp-derived products business declined due to regulatory challenges with specific product formulations as well as an intentional reallocation of resources to the launch of evergreen product categories such as SPREE BAR. During the second half of 2023, we decided to strategically contract our hemp-derived products business and utilize working capital to fund the SPREE BAR line of non-nicotine vapor products that launched in November 2023.

 

Cost of Revenue

 

Cost of revenue, which consists of direct costs of materials, direct labor, third party subcontractor services, and other overhead costs decreased approximately $6,233,000 or 37.9%, to approximately $10,206,000, or 62.8% of revenue, for the year ended December 31, 2023, as compared to approximately $16,439,000, or 62.2% of revenue, for the year ended December 31, 2022. This cost, as a percent of revenue, remained relatively flat due to a relatively consistent sales mix year over year.

 

General and Administrative Expense

 

For the year ended December 31, 2023, total general and administrative expense decreased approximately $1,411,000 to approximately $6,970,000, or 42.9% of revenue, as compared to approximately $8,381,000, or 31.7% of revenue, for the year ended December 31, 2022. This decrease was primarily comprised of reductions of approximately $710,000 of non-commission wages and benefits, $209,000 of merchant processing fees, $156,000 of bad debt expense, as well as $461,000 in other general and administrative expenses, offset by an increase of $125,000 in stock-based compensation. The decrease in payroll and benefits expense during the year ended December 31, 2023, was primarily due to strategic headcount reduction, salary reductions and cancelled bonuses for Company officers and senior managers. The decreases in provision for bad debt and merchant processing fees were primarily related to lower sales achieved during the year ended December 31, 2023. The increase in non-cash stock-based compensation is primarily related to the additional 9.1 million restricted awards granted during the year ended 2023.

 

Sales and Marketing Expense

 

For the year ended December 31, 2023, total sales and marketing expense decreased to approximately $1,107,000 as compared to approximately $2,605,000 for the year ended December 31, 2022, which was primarily due to lower sales commissions paid as well as a significant reduction in tradeshow and customer event related costs. Commissions decreased due to a combination of reduced sales and a modified commission program for sales reps.

 

-34-

 

 

Research and Development Expense

 

For the year ended December 31, 2023, total research and development expense decreased approximately $635,000, to $169,000 as compared to approximately $804,000 for the year ended December 31, 2022. During the year ended December 31, 2023, further investment in our outstanding PMTAs, originally submitted during 2022 and 2020, was not necessary which led to decreased research and development costs relative to the year ended December 31, 2022.

 

Loss from Operations

 

We generated loss from operations of approximately $2,202,000 for the year ended December 31, 2023, as compared to loss from operations of approximately $1,805,000 for the year ended December 31, 2022. Net loss is determined by adjusting loss from operations by the following items:

 

 

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities. For the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, the gain in fair value of derivative liabilities was approximately $550,000 and $270,000, respectively. The derivative liability is associated with the issuance of the Investor Warrants and the Placement Agent Warrants (see Note 3) in connection with the Share Exchange. The gain for the year ended December 31, 2023, reflects the effect of the decrease in stock price as of December 31, 2023 compared to December 31, 2022. Due to the limited supply of shares currently freely trading, our stock price may experience volatility and therefore, considerable fluctuations in the value of our warrant derivative liability may occur in the future. We had warrants to purchase approximately 40,424,000 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2023 that expire unless exercised on or before April 26, 2024.

 

 

Interest Expense. For the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, we recorded interest expense related to notes payable of $477,000 and $155,000, respectively.

 

 

Other Income. For the years ended December 31, 2022, we recorded other income related to interest and sublease income of $6,000.

 

Income Taxes Benefit

 

The Company did not record income tax for the year ended December 31, 2023. The Company’s income tax benefit was $92,000 for the year ended December 31, 2022.

 

Net Loss

 

For the years ended December 31, 2023, and 2022, we had a net loss of $2,093,000 and net loss of $1,592,000, respectively.

 

Effects of Inflation

 

Inflation has not had a material impact on our business.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

As of December 31, 2023, we had working capital of approximately $332,000, which consisted of current assets of approximately $5,086,000 and current liabilities of approximately $4,754,000, as compared to working capital of approximately $1,067,000 at December 31, 2022. The current liabilities include approximately $2,846,000 of accounts payable and accrued expenses, notes payable of $716,000, note payable from related parties of $700,000, approximately $58,000 of deferred revenue associated with product shipped but not yet received by customers, approximately $355,000 of current lease liabilities, and $79,000 of derivative liability associated with the Investor Warrants and Placement Agent Warrants.

 

Our cash and cash equivalents balance at December 31, 2023 was approximately $367,000. As of December 31, 2023, we have the following notes outstanding:

 

 

July 2023 Note Financing. Between July 17, 2023 and August 1, 2023, the Company issued unsecured promissory notes (the “Notes”) to several of its executives and employees, Ryan Stump, Henry Sicignano III, Keith Stump, and Jessica Greenwald, and to three of its largest stockholders, Brandon Stump, Red Beard Holdings LLC, and Michael King (the “Lenders"), in the cumulative principal amount of $1,400,000. Notes shall bear interest at twenty-one percent (21%) per annum and have maturity dates ranging from November 17, 2023 to December 10, 2023. As of December 31, 2023, $400,000 was remained outstanding and the maturity dates of the outstanding notes have been extended to May 17, 2024.

 

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April 2022 Note Financing. On April 6, 2022, the Company issued a secured promissory note (the “Note”) to one of its individual stockholders, and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since June 13, 2023, Michael King (the ”Lender"), in the principal amount of $1,000,000, which Note is secured by accounts receivable of the Company pursuant to the terms of a Security Agreement entered into by and between the Company and the Lender (the "Note Financing"). The Note initially required the payment of principal in full and guaranteed interest in an amount the greater of 18% per annum, or $90,000, on or before the earlier date of (i) a Liquidity Event, as defined under the terms of the Note; or (ii) September 28, 2022. On September 28, 2022, the Company and the Lender entered into a modification to the Note to extend the maturity date to March 28, 2023 and the Company paid all accrued interest under the Note through such date.

 

On March 28, 2023, the Company entered into a second modification to the Note to extend the maturity date to April 28, 2024, contingent upon the payment of all interest accrued under the Note through March 28, 2023 and certain other modifications to the Note. Principal shall be payable on the 28th day of each month in installments of $25,000, commencing April 28, 2023, continuing up to and including April 28, 2024 whereby a balloon payment for the remaining principal balance will be paid. Immediately following the second modification, the Company entered into a third modification agreement to further extend the maturity date to March 28, 2025. The third modification agreement was effective on March 28, 2023 and superseded the second modification. Interest shall accrue on the aggregate outstanding principal amount at a rate equal to 20% simple interest per annum and shall be payable on the same day as installments of principal are payable. The Company may prepay all or any portion of the principal amount, together with all accrued but unpaid interest thereon, at any time without premium or penalty. All outstanding principal and interest are due earlier of March 28, 2025, or a liquidity event. The third modification was recognized as a debt extinguishment, resulting in a gain on debt extinguishment of approximately $35,000. The Company used the proceeds from the Note for general corporate purposes, and its working capital requirements, pending the availability of alternative debt financing.

 

 

August 2022 Note Financing. On August 17, 2022, the Company and its Chief Operating Officer and Director, Ryan Stump (the "Stump Lender") entered into a loan agreement (the “Loan”) in the principal amount of $300,000. The Loan will be due in full in 120 days or sooner if, before the end of term, the Company secures (i) new debt financing or (ii) sufficient PMTA strategic partnership funds. The Loan bears an annual interest rate of 10%. The Company also incurred an additional $3,000 issuance cost resulting from the payment of the Stump Lender’s legal fees. On December 17, 2022, the Company and Stump Lender entered into a modification to the Loan to extend the maturity date to April 16, 2023 and the Company has paid all accrued interest under the Loan through such date. On April 13, 2023, the Company and Stump Lender entered into a second modification to the Loan to extend the maturity date to August 14, 2023. On August 7, 2023, the Company and Stump Lender entered into a third modification to the Loan to extend the maturity date to December 15, 2023. On December 15, 2023, the Company and Stump Lender entered into a fourth modification to the Loan to extend the maturity date to April 15, 2024.

 

 

January 2023 Receivables Financing. On January 19, 2023 the Company entered into a future receivables sale agreement (“Receivables Financing” or “Receivables Financing Agreement”) with Austin Business Finance (“Austin Purchaser”) by which Austin Purchaser purchases from the Company, its future accounts and contract rights arising from the sale of goods or rendition of services to the Company’s customers. The purchase price, as defined by the Receivables Financing Agreement, was $650,000 which was paid to the Company on January 19, 2023, net of a 3% origination fee. The Receivables Financing Agreement required twenty-six equal payments of $29,250 to be paid weekly for a total repayment of $760,500 over the term of the agreement. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had fully repaid the outstanding principal balance and accrued interest totaling $760,500 on its Receivables Financing Agreement.

 

 

December 2023 Receivables Financing. On December 13, 2023 the Company entered into a second future receivables sale agreement (“Second Receivables Financing or Receivables Financing Agreement”) with Austin Business Finance (“Austin Purchaser”) by which Austin Purchaser purchases from the Company, its future accounts and contract rights arising from the sale of goods or rendition of services to the Company’s customers. The purchase price, as defined by the Second Receivables Financing Agreement, was $750,000 which was paid to the Company on December 13, 2023, net of a 3% origination fee. The Second Receivables Financing Agreement requires fifty-two equal payments of $17,740 to be paid weekly for a total repayment of $922,500 over the term of the agreement.

 

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For the year ended December 31, 2023, net cash used in operating activities was approximately $783,000, resulting from a net loss of $2,093,000, offset by a change in operating assets and liabilities of $811,000 and a net non-cash activity of $499,000. For the year ended December 31, 2022, net cash used in operating activities was approximately $1,720,000, resulting from a net loss of $1,592,000 and a change in operating assets and liabilities of $996,000, offset by net non-cash activity of $868,000.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2023, we did not incur any expenditures for investment activities. We used cash for investment activities of approximately $189,000 during the year ended December 31, 2022. The cash used for investment activities is primarily for the development and configuration of enterprise resource planning software as well as the disposal of fixed assets related to the permanent closure of our Denver, Colorado location.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2023, we generated approximately $893,000 cash from financing activities, resulting from the issuance of $2,769,000 notes payable and offset by repayment $1,876,000 of certain notes. For the year ended December 31, 2022, we generated approximately $1,300,000 cash from financing activities related to the issuance of a promissory note to a large shareholder and a short-term loan from our chief operating officer and director, Ryan Stump, each as discussed above.

 

Substantial Doubt to Continue as a Going Concern Regarding the Legal and Regulatory Environment, Liquidity and Managements Plan of Operation

 

Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company operates in a rapidly changing legal and regulatory environment; new laws and regulations or changes to existing laws and regulations could significantly limit the Company’s ability to sell its products, and/or result in additional costs. Additionally, the Company was required to apply for FDA approval to continue selling and marketing its products used for the vaporization of nicotine in the United States. Currently, a substantial portion of the Company’s sales are derived from products that are subject to approval by the FDA. There was a significant cost associated with the application process and there can be no assurance the FDA will approve previous and/or future applications. For the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company’s revenue declined, the Company generated a loss from operations of approximately $2,202,000, and a consolidated net loss of approximately $2,093,000 and used cash from operations of approximately $783,000. The Company had a stockholders’ deficit of $107,000 at December 31, 2023. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company’s working capital position decreased to $332,000 from $1,067,000, as of December 31, 2022. Considering these facts, the issuance of one or several Marketing Denial Orders ("MDOs”) from the FDA would increase the potential for inventory obsolescence and uncollectable accounts receivables and the removal of certain products for sale. These regulatory risks, as well as other industry-specific challenges and our low working capital and cash position, remain factors that raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

Our plans and growth depend on our ability to increase revenues, procure cost-effective financing, and continue our business development efforts, including cumulative expenditures of approximately $5,100,000 as of December 31, 2023, to support our PMTA process for the Company’s submissions to the FDA. The Company has undergone cost-cutting measures including salary reductions of up to 25% for officers and certain managers and a reduction in headcount for certain departments. During the fourth quarter of 2023, the Company launched SPREE BAR, a non-nicotine, disposable vapor product which is not subject to FDA review or covered under the Agriculture Improvement Act (the “Farm Bill”). The Company may require additional financing in the future to support the development of new product categories as well as subsequent PMTA filings, and/or in the event the FDA requests additional testing for one, or several, of the Company’s prior PMTA submissions. There can be no assurance that additional financing will be available on acceptable terms, or at all, and there can be no assurance that any such arrangement, if required or otherwise sought, would be available on terms deemed to be commercially acceptable and, in the Company’s best interests. The financial statements do not include any adjustments to the carrying amount and classification of recorded assets and liabilities should the Company be unable to continue operations. If we do not have sufficient funds to continue operations, we could be required to seek bankruptcy protection or other alternatives that would likely result in our stockholders losing some or all their investment in us.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

The Company has no off-balance sheet arrangements other than operating lease commitments.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

Included below is a discussion of critical accounting policies used in the preparation of our financial statements. While all these significant accounting policies impact our financial condition and results of operations, we view certain of these policies as critical. Policies determined to be critical are those policies that have the most significant impact on our financial statements and require management to use a greater degree of judgment and estimates. Actual results may differ from those estimates.

 

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We believe that given current facts and circumstances, it is unlikely that applying any other reasonable judgments or estimate methodologies would cause a material effect on our consolidated results of operations, financial position or liquidity for the periods presented in this report.

 

The accounting policies identified as critical are as follows:

 

Revenue Recognition

 

The Company recognizes revenues in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606 – Contracts with Customers. Revenues are generated from contracts with customers that consist of sales to retailers and distributors. Contracts with customers are generally short term in nature with the delivery of product as a single performance obligation. Revenue from the sale of product is recognized at the point in time when the single performance obligation has been satisfied and control of the product has transferred to the customer. In evaluating the timing of the transfer of control of products to customers, The Company considers several indicators, including significant risks and rewards of products, the right to payment, and the legal title of the products. Based on the assessment of control indicators, sales are generally recognized when products are received by customers. Shipping generally occurs prior to the transfer of control to the customer and is therefore accounted for as a fulfillment expense. In circumstances where shipping and handling activities occur after the customer has obtained control of the product, the Company has elected to account for shipping and handling activities as a fulfillment cost rather than an additional promised service. Contract durations are generally less than one year, and therefore costs paid to obtain contracts, which generally consist of sales commissions, are recognized as expense in the period incurred. Revenue is measured by the transaction price, which is defined as the amount of consideration expected to be received in exchange for providing goods to customers. The transaction price is adjusted for estimates of known or expected variable consideration, which includes refunds and returns as well as incentive offers, volume rebates, and promotional discounts on current orders. Our volume rebates are short-term in nature and reset on a quarterly basis. Sales returns are generally not material to the financial statements, and do not comprise a significant portion of variable consideration. Estimates for sales returns are based on, among other things, an assessment of historical trends, information from customers, and anticipated returns related to current sales activity. These estimates are established in the period of sale and reduce revenue in the period of the sale. Variable consideration related to incentive offers and promotional programs are recorded as a reduction to revenue based on amounts the Company expects to collect. Estimates are regularly updated and the impact of any adjustments are recognized in the period the adjustments are identified. In many cases, key sales terms such as pricing and quantities ordered are established at the time an order is placed and incentives have very short-term durations.

 

Amounts billed and due from customers are short term in nature and are classified as receivables since payments are unconditional and only the passage of time related to credit terms is required before payments are due. The Company does not grant payment financing terms greater than one year. Payments received in advance of revenue recognition are recorded as deferred revenue.  

 

Accounts receivable is recorded at the invoiced amount and does not bear interest. We determine the allowance for doubtful accounts by regularly evaluating individual customer receivables and considering a customer’s financial condition, credit history and current economic conditions and set up an allowance for doubtful accounts when collection is uncertain. Customers’ accounts are written off against the allowance when all attempts to collect have been exhausted. Recoveries of accounts receivable previously written off are recorded as income when received. As of December 31, 2023, and 2022, the allowance for bad debt totaled $24,000 and $158,000, respectively.

 

Inventories

 

Inventories primarily consist of finished goods and are stated at the lower of cost (determined by the average cost method) or net realizable value. We calculate estimates of excess and obsolete inventories determined primarily by reviewing inventory on hand, historical sales activity, industry trends and expected net realizable value. As of December 31, 2023, and 2022, the reserve for excess and obsolete inventories totaled $1,100,000 and $733,000, respectively.

 

Stock-Based Compensation

 

We account for all stock-based compensation using a fair value-based method. The fair value of equity-classified awards granted to employees is estimated on the date of the grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, or it is based on valuation observed from publicly traded companies in a similar industry, often with a discount for lack of marketability applied. The related stock-based compensation expense is recognized over the vesting period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award.

 

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Income Taxes

 

Income taxes are computed under the liability method. This method requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for temporary differences between the financial reporting basis and the tax basis of our assets and liabilities. The impact on deferred taxes of changes in tax rates and laws, if any, are applied to the years during which temporary differences are expected to be settled and are reflected in the consolidated financial statements in the period of enactment. A valuation allowance is recorded when it is more likely than not that some of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.

 

Financial statement effects of a tax position are initially recognized when it is more likely than not, based on the technical merits, that the position will be sustained upon examination by a taxing authority. A tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold is initially and subsequently measured as the largest amount of tax benefit that meets the more-likely-than-not threshold of being realized upon ultimate settlement with a taxing authority. We recognize potential accrued interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits as income tax expense.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

Not required for smaller reporting companies.

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

The audited consolidated financial statements of Charlie’s Holdings, Inc., including the notes thereto, together with the report thereon of Mazars USA LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, are included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as a separate section beginning on page F-1.

 

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None.

 

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

(a)

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures.

 

Our management, with the participation of our President, the principal executive officer, and Chief Financial Officer, evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures pursuant to Rule 13a-15 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) as of the end of the period covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In designing and evaluating the disclosure controls and procedures, management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving the desired control objectives. In addition, the design of disclosure controls and procedures must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints and that management is required to apply its judgment in evaluating the benefits of possible controls and procedures relative to their costs.

 

Based on our evaluation, our President, the principal executive officer, and Chief Financial Officer concluded that, as of December 31, 2023, our disclosure controls and procedures are designed at a reasonable assurance level and are effective to provide reasonable assurance that information we are required to disclose in reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in Securities and Exchange Commission rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our President, the principal executive officer, and Chief Financial Officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

 

(b)

Managements Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting.

 

Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires that management document and test the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and include in this Annual Report on Form 10-K a report on management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting.

 

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Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Rule 13a-15(f) of the Exchange Act. Under the supervision of our principal executive and financial officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based upon the framework in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”). Based on that evaluation, our principal executive and financial officer concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2023.

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K does not include an attestation report of the Company’s registered public accounting firm regarding internal control over financing reporting because we are not an “accelerated filer” or a “large accelerated filer”. Our management’s report was not subject to attestation by the Company’s registered public accounting firm pursuant to rules of the SEC that permit us to provide only management’s report in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

(c) Changes in internal control over financial reporting.

 

There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting identified in connection with the evaluation required by Rule 13a-15 of the Exchange Act that occurred during the quarter ended December 31, 2023, that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

 

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

 

None.

 

 

ITEM 9C. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTION

 

Not applicable.

 

 

PART III

 

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Information concerning our executive officers, directors and corporate governance is incorporated herein by reference to our definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K with respect to its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

 

Set forth below is information regarding our directors, executive officers, and key personnel as of March 1, 2024:

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position

Henry Sicignano

 

56

 

President (Principal Executive Officer)

Matthew P. Montesano

 

38

 

Chief Financial Officer

Ryan Stump

 

35

 

Chief Operating Officer and Director

Scot Cohen

 

54

 

Director

Jeffrey Fox

 

60

 

Director

Edward Carmines

 

69

 

Director

Michael King

 

54

 

Director

 

The following biographical information regarding the foregoing directors and officers of the Company is presented below:

 

Henry Sicignano, III, President (Principal Executive Officer). Mr. Sicignano was appointed as President of the Company on April 1, 2021. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Sicignano held multiple positions, including Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:  XXII), a plant-based biotechnology company that is focused on tobacco harm reduction, very low nicotine content tobacco, and hemp/cannabis research from March 2015 through July 2019. He also served as President and as a member of the Board of Directors with 22nd Century from January 2011 through July 2019. In addition, from December 2014 to August 2018, Mr. Sicignano served on the Board of Directors of Anandia Laboratories, Inc., a cannabis-focused science company that was sold to Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB). Mr. Sicignano holds a B.A. Degree in Government from Harvard College and an M.B.A. Degree from Harvard University.

 

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Matthew P. Montesano, Interim Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Montesano was appointed as Chief Financial officer of the Company on May 10, 2021. Prior to his appointment, and since 2014, Mr. Montesano has served as Chief Financial Officer of Charlie’s Chalk Dust, LLC, the Company’s largest and most profitable operating division. Beginning in 2019, he also began serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Don Polly, LLC, the Company’s hemp-derived products division. Mr. Montesano is the Founder and Managing Partner for MPM Advisors, LLC, an outsourced accounting, and business process firm. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Montesano worked for L’Oreal USA in a variety of corporate finance positions for the company’s Professional Products and Salon Centric divisions. Prior to L’Oreal USA, Mr. Montesano worked for KeyBanc Capital Markets as an investment banker where he focused on debt, equity and merger and acquisitions transactions in the industrials space.

 

Ryan Stump, Director and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Stump was appointed as a director and the Company’s Chief Marketing Officer on April 26, 2019 in connection with the Share Exchange. Mr. Stump has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Charlie’s since 2014, during which time he has been responsible for all global operations of Charlie’s. Prior to joining Charlie’s, Mr. Stump worked as an Associate Territory Manager and then as a Territory Manager for ConMed, a medical sales device company, from 2010 to 2013. Mr. Stump also co-founded and continues to be engaged with multiple companies, including The Ohio House since 2011, the Buckeye Recovery Network since 2017, and The Mend California since 2018. Mr. Stump earned a B.S. and B.A. in Sports Marketing and Marketing from Duquesne University

 

The Board of Directors believes that Mr. Stump’s experience operating high growth companies, as well as entrepreneurial experience, is valuable to the Board as it manages the Company’s anticipated continued growth.

 

Scot Cohen, Director. Mr. Cohen was appointed to the Board in March 2013 and is the Founder and Managing Partner of V3 Capital Partners, a private investment firm focused on early-stage companies primarily in the consumer products industry, and Co-Manager of Red Fortune Fund, a private equity fund based in Hong Kong. Mr. Cohen also is the Founder of Petro River Oil, LLC and Chairman of Petro River Oil Corp. (OTCBB: PTRC), a publicly traded oil and gas producer with assets in Kansas and Oklahoma, and Petro Spring, a global oil and gas technology solutions provider. Prior to creating V3 Capital Partners, Mr. Cohen was the Founder and Managing Partner at Iroquois Capital Opportunity Fund, a special situations private equity investment fund, and a Co-Founder of Iroquois Capital, a hedge fund with investments in small and micro-cap private and public companies. Mr. Cohen currently serves as a director on the Board of Directors of Wrap Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: WRTC), and is active in philanthropic activities with numerous charities including the Jewish Enrichment Council. Mr. Cohen received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University in 1991.

 

The Board of Directors believes Mr. Cohen’s success with multiple private investment firms, his extensive contacts within the investment community, and his financial expertise are a valuable resource to the Company’s efforts to expand and implement its business plan.

 

Jeffrey Fox, Director. Mr. Fox was appointed to the Board effective July 16, 2019. He has been a leading business strategist, brand marketing authority and general management executive for some of the’ world's largest restaurant and consumer companies including roles as Chief Brand & Concept Officer for Pizza Hut, Co-founder of Collider LLC, a cultural marketing strategy firm, Managing Director of the California office of advertising agency Foote, Cone and Belding (FCB), various positions with the Yum! Brands and within Sony's interactive and PlayStation video game divisions, and Hill & Knowlton Public Relations. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Cici’s Pizza and Flix Brewhouse. Mr. Fox holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and received a master's degree in Mass Communications from California State University, Northridge. 

 

The Board of Directors believes that Mr. Fox’s strong experience in brand building across several diverse Fortune 100 consumer product companies will be significantly valuable to the Company as it continues to rapidly grow its product offerings and launch new brands and products around the world.

 

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Dr. Edward Carmines, Director. Dr. Carmines was appointed to the Board effective March 2, 2022. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer of Chemular, Inc., where he designs and directs scientific and regulatory programs for PMTAs for a host of contract clients across a wide range of tobacco product categories. He also currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of Sparq Life, Inc, focusing on the science of inhalation of non-tobacco products, and Principal for Carmines Consulting, LLC, where Dr. Carmines consults to the regulated tobacco industry in the field of toxicology and regulatory affairs. Previously, Dr. Carmines managed the safety of novel and oral tobacco products as a scientist with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. From 1996-2009, Dr. Carmines served as a principal scientist for Philip Morris USA (Altria Client Services, Inc.), where he developed guidelines for safely testing cigarette ingredients and components based on the FDA Red Book. Dr. Carmines received a B.S. degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. degree in Toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University).

 

The Board of Directors believes that Dr. Carmines extensive experience within the nicotine industry and navigating the regulatory process relating to the nicotine industry is significantly valuable to the Company due to the ongoing and evolving nature of the Company’s industry.

 

Michael D. King, Director. Mr. King was appointed as a director in June 2023 pursuant to the terms of a nomination and standstill agreement dated April 26, 2023. Mr. King is the Founder and current Chief Executive Officer of OEM Solutions, a private company that has developed a supply network in Asia with world-class manufacturing companies that offer a wide variety of custom-made medical products, scientific instruments, consumer products, and food service devices.  Operating OEM Solutions has been Mr. King’s sole occupation and employment for the past 22 years. From 1998 until 2001, Mr. King worked as a Sales Representative at Allied Enterprises in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1991 through 1998, Mr. King worked for the Ford Motor Company in the Finance Department as an analyst and eventually supervisor.  Mr. King graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1991. 

 

The Board of Directors believes that Mr. King’s experience (i) sourcing, purchasing, and shipping products in China and other Asian countries; (ii) reducing costs of goods and improving quality; and (iii) operating a high growth company is valuable to the Board as it manages the Company’s anticipated continued growth.

 

Other than as described above, there have been no events under any bankruptcy act, no criminal proceedings and no judgments or injunctions material to the evaluation of the ability and integrity of any director or nominee set forth above during the past ten years.   

 

Code of Ethics

 

We have adopted a Code of Ethics that applies to all of our directors, officers and employees, a copy of which is attached as an exhibit to our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on April 1, 2019.

 

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ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

Information is incorporated herein by reference to our definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K with respect to its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders 

 

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS 

 

Information is incorporated herein by reference to our definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K with respect to its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

 

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS, RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

Information is incorporated herein by reference to our definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K with respect to its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

 

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

Information is incorporated herein by reference to our definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K with respect to its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

 

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PART IV

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SCHEDULES

 

Exhibit

No.

 

Description

3.1

 

Amended and Restated Bylaws of Charlie's Holdings, Inc., incorporated by reference from Exhibit 3.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed on September 11, 2019.

3.2

 

Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation of Charlie’s Holdings, Inc., incorporated by reference from Exhibit 3.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed July 2, 2019

3.2.1

 

Certificate of Change for Charlie’s Holdings, Inc., effective as of June 14, 2021, incorporated by reference from Exhibit 3.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed on June 16, 2021.

4.1

 

Certificate of Designations, Preferences and Rights of the Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, dated April 25, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.7 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed April 30, 2019.

4.2

 

Form of Investor Warrant, dated April 26, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.8 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed April 30, 2019.

4.3

 

Description of Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12 (filed herewith)

4.4

 

Certificate of Amendment dated April 4, 2023 to Series A preferred stock, incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed on April 4, 2023. 

10.1

 

Form of Exchange Agreement, dated April 26, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed April 30, 2019.

10.2

 

Form of Registration Rights Agreement, dated April 26, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed April 30, 2019.

10.3

 

Subscription Agreement, dated April 26, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.6 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed April 30, 2019.

10.4

 

Employment Agreement by and between the Company and Ryan Stump, dated June 15, 2023, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed June 20, 2023.

10.5

 

License Agreement by and between the Company and Don Polly, LLC, dated June 5, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed June 11, 2019.

10.6

 

Services Agreement by and between the Company and Don Polly, LLC, dated June 5, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed June 11, 2019.

10.7

 

Commercial Lease Agreement, by and between Charlie’s Chalk Dust, LLC and Brandon Stump, Ryan Stump and Keith Stump, dated November 19, 2019, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed November 22, 2019.

10.8

 

Employment Agreement, dated April 1, 2021, by and between Charlie's Holdings, Inc. and Henry Sicignano, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed April 6, 2021.

10.9

 

2019 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan, as amended, incorporated by reference to Appendix B to the Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 28, 2019

10.10

 

Amendment to 2019 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to the Definitive Information Statement on Schedule 14C filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 4, 2022

10.11

 

Promissory Note with Michael King dated April 6, 2022, incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed on April 17, 2023

10.11.1

 

Modification Agreement dated September 29, 2022 related to Promissory Note with Michael King dated April 6, 2022, incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed on April 17, 2023

10.11.2

 

Modification Agreement dated March 28, 2022 related to Promissory Note with Michael King dated April 6, 2022, incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed on April 17, 2023

10.12

 

Loan Agreement with Ryan Stump dated August 17, 2022, incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed on April 17, 2023

10.12.1

 

Amendment dated December 17, 2022 to Loan Agreement with Ryan Stump dated August 17, 2022, incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed on April 17, 2023

10.12.2

 

Amendment dated April 13, 2023 to Loan Agreement with Ryan Stump dated August 17, 2022,

10.13

 

Form of July 2023 Promissory Note, incorporated by reference to Form 10-Q filed on November 14, 2023

10.14

 

Nomination and Standstill Agreement with Michael King dated April 26, 2023 (filed herewith)

14.1

 

Code of Ethics filed with Form 10-K on March 31, 2011 and incorporated herein by reference.

19.1   Charlie's Holdings, Inc. Insider Trading Policy, filed herewith.

21.1

 

Subsidiaries of Charlie's Holdings, Inc., filed herewith.

23.1

 

Consent of Mazars USA LLP filed herewith.

23.2   Consent of Baker Tilly US, LLP filed herewith.

31.1

 

Certification of Principal Executive Officer as Required by Rule 13a-14(a)/15d-14, filed herewith.

31.2

 

Certification of Principal Financial Officer as Required by Rule 13a-14(a)/15d-14, filed herewith.

32.1

 

Certification of Principal Executive Officer as Required by Rule 13a-14(a) and Rule 15d-14(b) (17 CFR 240.15d-14(b)) and Section 1350 of Chapter 63 of Title 18 of the United States Code, filed herewith.

32.2

 

Certification of Principal Financial Officer as Required by Rule 13a-14(a) and Rule 15d-14(b) (17 CFR 240.15d-14(b)) and Section 1350 of Chapter 63 of Title 18 of the United States Code, filed herewith.

101.INS

 

Inline XBRL Instance Document - the instance document does not appear in the Interactive Data File because its XBRL tags are embedded within the Inline XBRL document.

101.SCH

 

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema

101.CAL

 

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase

101.DEF

 

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase

101.LAB

 

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase

101.PRE

 

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase

104

 

Cover Page Interactive Data File (formatted as Inline XBRL and contained in Exhibit 101)

 

ITEM 16. FORM 10-K SUMMARY

 

None.

 

-44-

 
 

SIGNATURES

 

In accordance with Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the Registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, there unto duly authorized.

 

Date: April 15, 2024

 

CHARLIE’S HOLDINGS, INC.  

       
   

By:

/s/ Henry Sicignano III

     

Henry Sicignano III

President

(Principal Executive Officer)

       
     

/s/ Matthew P. Montesano

     

Matthew P. Montesano

Chief Financial Officer

(Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)

     

 

In accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, this Report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the Company and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

Signature

 

Title

 

Date

/s/ Henry Sicignano III

Henry Sicignano III

 

President

(Principal Executive Officer)

 

April 15, 2024

         

/s/ Matthew P. Montesano

Matthew P. Montesano

 

Chief Financial Officer

(Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)

 

April 15, 2024

         

/s/ Ryan Stump

Ryan Stump

 

Chief Operating Officer and Director

 

April 15, 2024

         

/s/ Scot Cohen

Scot Cohen

 

Director

 

April 15, 2024

         

/s/ Jeffrey Fox

Jeffrey Fox

 

Director

 

April 15, 2024

         

/s/ Edward Carmines

Edward Carmines

 

Director

 

April 15, 2024

         

/s/ Michael King

Michael King

 

Director

 

April 15, 2024

 

 

 

    

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the stockholders and the board of directors of Charlie’s Holdings, Inc:

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Charlie’s Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries (the "Company") as of December 31, 2022, the related consolidated statements of operations, changes in stockholders' equity, and cash flows, for the year then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the "consolidated financial statements"). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's consolidated financial statements based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audit we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

Going Concern Uncertainty

 

The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming the Company will continue as a going concern. As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company has continued to experience financial and regulatory issues. These matters raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s plans in regard to these matters are also described in Note 1. The consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of these uncertainties.

 

/s/ Baker Tilly US, LLP

PCAOB ID: 23

 

We have served as the Company's auditor from 2018 to 2023.

 

Irvine, California

April 17, 2023

 

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

 

To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of Charlie’s Holdings, Inc.

 

 

Opinion on the Consolidated Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Charlie’s Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2023, and the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders’ equity (deficit), and cash flows, for the year then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2023, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Substantial Doubt about the Companys Ability to Continue as a Going Concern

 

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As discussed in Note 2 to the financial statements, the Company has incurred significant operating losses, has negative cash flows from operations, and has an accumulated deficit. The Company is dependent on its ability to increase revenues and obtain financing to execute its development plans and continue operations. These conditions raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s plans regarding those matters are also described in Note 1. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audit, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

Critical Audit Matter

 

The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

 

Reserve for Excess and Slow-Moving Inventory

 

The Company provides valuation allowances for excess and slow-moving inventory on hand that are not expected to be sold to reduce the carrying amount of slow-moving inventory to its estimated net realizable value. The valuation allowances are based on upon estimates about future demand from its customers and distributors and market conditions.

 
F-2

 

 

We determined the reserve for excess and slow-moving inventory to be a critical audit matter because it requires especially subjective auditor judgment. These reserves are sensitive to changes in the Company’s operations and assumptions used to estimate the reserve including management’s assumptions with regards to projections of future product demand and market conditions, which includes historical usage and on-hand quantities.

 

The primary procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter included:

 

 

Inquiring with management to obtain an understanding of management’s process of determining the reserve for excess and slow-moving inventories, including obtaining an understanding of the key assumptions used in the estimate;

 

 

Evaluating and recalculating the methodology used in connection with the Company’s reserve analysis;

 

 

Performing a retrospective review analysis to assess the adequacy of the prior year reserve in comparison to inventory write-offs during the current year;

 

 

Reviewing the significant assumptions used related to the reserve assigned to each item in inventory, and evaluating whether management’s reserve assumptions are appropriate based on historical results;

 

 

Testing selected inventory items to evaluate whether the applied reserve percentages were appropriate based on the movement of the item within the past year, as well as the most recent sales price of the inventory item to evaluate its net realizable value;

 

 

 

/s/ Mazars USA LLP

PCAOB ID: 339

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2023.

 

 

Fort Washington, PA

April 15, 2024

 

F-3

 

 

 

CHARLIES HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

   

December 31,

   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

 

ASSETS

               

Current assets:

               

Cash

  $ 367     $ 257  

Accounts receivable, net

    289       1,161  

Inventories, net

    3,826       3,652  

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

    604       780  

Total current assets

    5,086       5,850  
                 

Non-current assets:

               

Property, plant and equipment, net

    157       311  

Right-of-use asset, net

    424       799  

Other assets

    101       101  

Total non-current assets

    682       1,211  
                 

TOTAL ASSETS

  $ 5,768     $ 7,061  
                 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY (DEFICIT)

               

Current liabilities:

               

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

  $ 2,846     $ 2,333  

Notes payable, net

    716       1,000  

Notes payable - related parties

    700       300  

Derivative liability

    79       629  

Lease liabilities

    355       373  

Deferred revenue

    58       148  

Total current liabilities

    4,754       4,783  
                 

Non-current liabilities:

               

Note payable, net of current portion

    150       150  

Note payable, net - related party, net of current portion

    898       -  

Lease liabilities, net of current portion

    73       428  

Total non-current liabilities

    1,121       578  
                 

Total liabilities

    5,875       5,361  
                 

COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES (see Note 12)

               
                 
Stockholders' (deficit) equity:                
Convertible preferred stock ($0.001 par value); 1,800,000 shares authorized                

Series A, 300,000 shares designated; 128,181 and 133,423 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively

    -       -  

Series B, 1,500,000 shares designated; 0 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively

    -       -  

Common stock ($0.001 par value); 500,000,000 shares authorized; 228,535,886 and 219,163,631 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively

    229       219  

Additional paid-in capital

    8,204       7,928  

Accumulated deficit

    (8,540 )     (6,447 )

Total stockholders' (deficit) equity

    (107 )     1,700  

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' (DEFICIT) EQUITY

  $ 5,768     $ 7,061  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

F-4

 

 

 

CHARLIES HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

   

For the years ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

 

Revenues:

               

Product revenue, net

  $ 16,250     $ 26,424  

Total revenues

    16,250       26,424  

Operating costs and expenses:

               

Cost of goods sold - product revenue

    10,206       16,439  

General and administrative

    6,970       8,381  

Sales and marketing

    1,107       2,605  

Research and development

    169       804  

Total operating costs and expenses

    18,452       28,229  

Loss from operations

    (2,202 )     (1,805 )

Other income (expense):

               

Interest expense

    (477 )     (155 )

Debt extinguishment gain

    36       -  

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

    550       270  

Other income

    -       6  

Total other income

    109       121  

Loss before income taxes

    (2,093 )     (1,684 )

Income taxes benefit

    -       (92 )

Net loss

  $ (2,093 )   $ (1,592 )
                 
Net loss per share                

Basic

  $ (0.01 )   $ (0.01 )

Diluted

  $ (0.01 )   $ (0.01 )

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding

               

Basic

    216,053,743       212,269,453  

Diluted

    216,053,743       212,269,453  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

F-5

 

 

 

CHARLIES HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY (DEFICIT)

(in thousands)

 

   

Series A

                    Additional             Total Stockholders'   
   

Convertible Preferred Stock

   

Common Stock

    Paid-in    

Accumulated

   

 Equity

 
   

Shares

   

Par value

   

Shares

   

Par value

   

Capital

   

Deficit

    (Deficit)   

Balance at January 1, 2022

    142     $ -       210,890     $ 211     $ 7,775     $ (4,855 )   $ 3,131  

Conversion of Series A convertible preferred stock

    (9 )     -       1,907       2       (2 )     -       -  

Stock compensation

    -       -       6,366       6       155       -       161  

Net loss

    -       -       -       -       -       (1,592 )     (1,592 )

Balance at December 31, 2022

    133       -       219,163       219       7,928       (6,447 )     1,700  

Conversion of Series A convertible preferred stock

    (5 )     -       1,183       2       (2 )     -       -  

Forfeiture of restricted stock awards

    -       -       (911 )     (1 )     (14 )     -       (15 )

Stock compensation

    -       -       9,100       9       292       -       301  

Net loss

    -       -       -       -       -       (2,093 )     (2,093 )

Balance at December 31, 2023

    128     $ -       228,535     $ 229     $ 8,204     $ (8,540 )   $ (107 )

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

F-6

 

 

 

CHARLIES HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(in thousands)

 

   

For the years ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

 

Cash Flows from Operating Activities:

               

Net (loss) income

  $ (2,093 )   $ (1,592 )
Reconciliation of net (loss) income to net cash used in operating activities:                

Allowance for doubtful accounts

    113       269  

Depreciation and amortization

    154       296  

Accretion of debt discount

    157       3  

Loss on disposal of fixed assets

    -       13  

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

    (550 )     (270 )

Debt extinguishment gain

    (36 )     -  

Amortization of operating lease right-of-use asset

    375       396  

Stock based compensation

    286       161  

Subtotal of non-cash charges

    499       868  

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

               

Accounts receivable

    759       (62 )

Inventories

    (174 )     1,353  

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

    176       20  

Other assets

    -       (33 )

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

    513       (1,783 )

Deferred revenue

    (90 )     (90 )

Lease liabilities

    (373 )     (401 )

Net cash used in operating activities

    (783 )     (1,720 )

Cash Flows from Investing Activities:

               

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

    -       (189 )

Net cash used in investing activities

    -       (189 )

Cash Flows from Financing Activities:

               

Proceeds from issuance of notes payable

    1,569       1,000  

Proceeds from issuance of notes payable to related party

    1,200       300  

Repayment of notes payable

    (996 )     -  

Repayment of notes payable to related party

    (880 )     -  

Net cash provided by financing activities

    893       1,300  

Net increase (decrease) in cash

    110       (609 )
                 

Cash, beginning of the year

    257       866  

Cash, end of the year

  $ 367     $ 257  
                 

Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information

               

Cash paid for interest

  $ 114     $ 90  

Cash paid for interest to related party

  $ 279     $ 10  

Cash paid for income taxes

  $ 4     $ 106  
                 

Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information

               

Conversion of Series A convertible preferred stock

  $ 2     $ 2  

Recognize minimum accrued interest

  $ -     $ 45  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements. 

 

F-7

 

 

CHARLIES HOLDINGS, INC.

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

 

 

 

NOTE 1 DESCRIPTION OF THE BUSINESS AND BASIS OF PRESENTATION

 

Description of the Business

 

Charlie’s Holdings, Inc., a Nevada corporation, together with its wholly owned subsidiaries and consolidated variable interest entity (collectively, the “Company”, “we”), currently formulates, markets and distributes premium, non-combustible nicotine-related products, alternative alkaloid vapor products, and hemp-derived vapor and edible products. The Company’s products are produced through contract manufacturers for sale through select distributors, specialty retailers, and third-party online resellers throughout the United States, and in select international markets including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.

 

Charlie’s Chalk Dust, LLC (“Charlies” or “CCD”), is the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary which produces and sells nicotine-based and alternative alkaloid vapor products. Don Polly is a consolidated variable interest entity, for which the Company is the primary beneficiary, which develops, markets and distributes products containing cannabinoids derived from hemp.

 

The Company's Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share (the "Common Stock"), trades under the symbol "CHUC" on the OTCQB Venture Market.

 

Basis of Presentation

 

The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).

 

Substantial Doubt about the Companys Ability to Continue as a Going Concern, Liquidity and Managements Plan of Operation

 

The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company operates in a rapidly changing legal and regulatory environment; new laws and regulations or changes to existing laws and regulations could significantly limit the Company’s ability to sell its products, and/or result in additional costs. Additionally, the Company was required to obtain approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") to continue selling and marketing certain of products used for the vaporization of nicotine in the United States. Currently, a substantial portion of the Company’s sales are derived from products that are subject to approval by the FDA. There was a significant cost associated with the application process and there can be no assurance the FDA will approve previous and/or future applications. For the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company’s revenue declined, the Company generated a loss from operations of approximately $2,202,000, and a consolidated net loss of approximately $2,093,000. Cash used in operations was approximately $783,000. The Company had a stockholders’ deficit of $107,000 at December 31, 2023. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company’s working capital position decreased to $332,000 from $1,067,000, as of December 31, 2022. Considering these facts, the issuance of one or several Marketing Denial Orders ("MDOs”) from the FDA would increase the potential for inventory obsolescence and uncollectable accounts receivables and potentially require us to remove products from circulation. These regulatory risks, as well as other industry-specific challenges, our low working capital and cash position remain factors that raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

 

F-8

 

 

Our plans and growth depend on our ability to increase revenues, procure cost-effective financing, and continue our business development efforts, including the expenditure of approximately $5,100,000 as of December 31, 2023, to support our PMTA process for the Company’s submissions to the FDA. The Company has undergone cost-cutting measures including salary reductions of up to 25% for officers and certain managers and a reduction in headcount for certain departments. During the fourth quarter of 2023, the Company launched SPREE BAR, a non-nicotine, disposable vapor product which is not subject to FDA review or covered under the Agriculture Improvement Act (the “Farm Bill”). The Company may require additional financing in the future to support the development of new product categories as well as subsequent PMTA filings, and/or in the event the FDA requests additional testing for one, or several, of the Company’s prior PMTA submissions. There can be no assurance that additional financing will be available on acceptable terms, or at all, and there can be no assurance that any such arrangement, if required or otherwise sought, would be available on terms deemed to be commercially acceptable and, in the Company’s best interests. The financial statements do not include any adjustments to the carrying amount and classification of recorded assets and liabilities should the Company be unable to continue operations. If we do not have sufficient funds to continue operations, we could be required to seek bankruptcy protection or other alternatives that would likely result in our stockholders losing some or all their investment in us.

 

Risks and Uncertainties

 

The Company operates in an environment that is subject to rapid changes and developments in laws and regulations that could have a significant impact on the Company’s ability to sell its products. Beginning in September 2019, certain states temporarily banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, and several states and municipalities are considering implementing similar restrictions. Federal, state, and local governmental bodies across the United States have indicated that flavored e-cigarette liquid, vaporization products and certain other consumption accessories may become subject to new laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. In addition, in June 2022, the FDA announced a plan to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels. The application of any new laws or regulations that may be adopted in the future, at a federal, state, or local level, directly or indirectly implicating nicotine, flavored e-cigarette liquid and other electronic nicotine delivery system (“ENDS”) products, could significantly limit the Company’s ability to sell such products, result in additional compliance expenses, and/or require the Company to change its labeling and/or methods of distribution. Any ban of the sale of flavored e-cigarettes directly limits the markets in which the Company may sell its products. In the event the prevalence of such bans and/or changes in laws and regulations increase across the United States, or internationally, the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted. In addition, the Company is presently seeking to obtain marketing authorization for certain of its tobacco-derived nicotine e-liquid products. The Company’s applications were submitted in September 2020 on a timely basis, which if approved, will allow the Company to continue to sell its approved products in the United States. Beginning in August 2021, the FDA began issuing Marketing Denial Orders (“MDO”) for ENDS products that lack evidence to demonstrate that permitting the marketing of such products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health. The Company has not received an MDO for any of its submissions; however, there is no assurance that regulatory approval to sell our products will be granted or that Charlie’s would be able to raise additional financing if required, which could have a significant impact on our sales. On March 15, 2022, a new rider to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed granting the FDA authority over synthetic nicotine. These regulations make the Company’s synthetic nicotine products subject to the same FDA rules as tobacco-derived nicotine products. As such, the Company was required to file a PMTA for its existing synthetic nicotine products marketed under the Pacha brands by May 14, 2022 or be subject to FDA enforcement. The Company filed new PMTAs, for its synthetic Pacha products on May 13, 2022, prior to the May 14, 2022 deadline. On November 3, 2022, FDA accepted for scientific review certain of our PMTAs for synthetic nicotine products and, on November 4, 2022, FDA refused to accept certain other PMTAs for these products, rendering the latter products subject to FDA enforcement. The Company intends to pursue an administrative appeal with FDA regarding its refusal to accept certain of the PMTAs Charlie’s submitted for our synthetic nicotine products, and in parallel the Company intends to resubmit PMTAs for, and to continue to sell, the affected products while the administrative appeal process is pending. There can be no guarantee that FDA will grant our administrative appeal, and the FDA may bring an enforcement action against our synthetic nicotine products for lack of premarket authorization and/or issue an MDO to our pending applications at any time. More generally, FDA’s regulatory initiatives and enforcement priorities regarding ENDS products are unpredictable and continue to evolve, and the Company cannot predict whether FDA’s priorities and review of our premarket submissions will impact our products to a greater degree than our competitors in the industry.

 

F-9

 

During the fourth quarter of 2023 the Company launched new disposable vape products, under the “SPREE BAR™” brand. The Company and its attorneys believe SPREE BAR products are not subject to FDA review. Based on the information provided by the Company’s contracted chemical suppliers and its consultants, the proprietary Metatine™ (patented in the United States and in China by the Company’s chemical supplier) in the Company’s SPREE BAR products does not meet the definition of nicotine set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 387(12) and therefore its products containing Metatine, as their active ingredient, are not subject to regulation as “tobacco products” under 21 U.S.C. § 321(rr). Further, according to information provided by the Company’s chemists, the other ingredients in the Company’s SPREE BAR vape liquid are not made or derived from tobacco, nor do they contain nicotine from any source. The documentary support for these facts, including a Certificate of Analysis (“COA”) for the Metatine used in the Company’s SPREE BAR products, corroborates these conclusions. However, should any of these understandings be incorrect, the Company’s position on Metatine not qualifying as a “tobacco product” would need to be revisited. Further, should Congress bestow regulatory control over Metatine to the FDA, or should the FDA deem Metatine disposable vape devices “tobacco products” despite the facts that Metatine is not a salt or complex of nicotine, and is not itself derived from nicotine or tobacco, SPREE BAR products might then be subject to the FDA tobacco requirements, including, but not limited to, the requirement that all newly deemed tobacco products obtain premarket authorization before entering the U.S. market. If this were to happen, the FDA could bring an enforcement action against our Metatine products for lack of premarket authorization. More generally, FDA’s regulatory initiatives and enforcement authority regarding our products are unpredictable and continue to evolve and we cannot predict whether FDA’s priorities and/or potential jurisdiction over our products will require us to remove our products from the market and to cease selling them.

 

 

 

NOTE 2 SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

Principles of Consolidation

 

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its 100% wholly owned subsidiary, Charlie’s Chalk Dust, LLC and Don Polly, LLC, a consolidated variable interest for which the Company is the primary beneficiary. All inter-company balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

 

Use of Estimates

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the dates of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

 

F-10

 

 

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

 

U.S. GAAP requires disclosing the fair value of financial instruments to the extent practicable for financial instruments which are recognized or unrecognized in the balance sheet. The fair value of the financial instruments disclosed herein is not necessarily representative of the amount that could be realized or settled, nor does the fair value amount consider the tax consequences of realization or settlement.

 

In assessing the fair value of financial instruments, the Company uses a variety of methods and assumptions, which are based on estimates of market conditions and risks existing at the time. The fair value of derivative liabilities was estimated using a Monte Carlo simulation method, based on both observable and unobservable inputs. For certain instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued expenses, it was estimated that the carrying amount approximated fair value because of the short maturities of these instruments. The Company determined that the carrying amounts of the current portion of outstanding notes payable approximate fair value due to the short-term nature of borrowings and current market interest rates. The Company determined the carrying amounts of the non-current portion of outstanding notes payable approximate fair value due to the current interest rates payable in relation to current market conditions.

 

Revenue Recognition

 

The Company recognizes revenues in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606 – Contracts with Customers. Revenues are generated from contracts with customers that consist of sales to retailers and distributors. Contracts with customers are generally short term in nature with the delivery of product as a single performance obligation. Revenue from the sale of product is recognized at the point in time when the single performance obligation has been satisfied and control of the product has transferred to the customer. In evaluating the timing of the transfer of control of products to customers, the Company considers several indicators, including significant risks and rewards of products, the right to payment, and the legal title of the products. Based on the assessment of control indicators, sales are generally recognized when products are received by customers. Shipping generally occurs prior to the transfer of control to the customer and is therefore accounted for as a fulfillment expense.

 

In circumstances where shipping and handling activities occur after the customer has obtained control of the product, the Company has elected to account for shipping and handling activities as a fulfillment cost rather than an additional promised service. Contract durations are generally less than one year and, therefore, costs paid to obtain contracts, which generally consist of sales commissions, are recognized as expenses in the period incurred. Revenue is measured by the transaction price, which is defined as the amount of consideration expected to be received in exchange for providing goods to customers. The transaction price is adjusted for estimates of known or expected variable consideration, which includes refunds and returns as well as incentive offers, volume rebates and promotional discounts on current orders. Our volume rebates are short-term in nature and reset on a quarterly basis. Estimates for sales returns are based on, among other things, an assessment of historical trends, information from customers, and anticipated returns related to current sales activity. These estimates are established in the period of sale and reduce revenue in the period of the sale. Variable consideration related to incentive offers and promotional programs are recorded as a reduction to revenue based on amounts the Company expects to collect. Estimates are regularly updated and the impact of any adjustments are recognized in the period the adjustments are identified. In many cases, key sales terms such as pricing and quantities ordered are established at the time an order is placed and incentives have very short-term durations.

 

Amounts billed and due from customers are short term in nature and are classified as receivables since payments are unconditional and only the passage of time related to credit terms is required before payments are due. The Company does not grant payment financing terms greater than one year. Payments received in advance of revenue recognition are recorded as deferred revenue.

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

The Company considers all liquid investments purchased with original maturities of ninety days or less to be cash equivalents.

 

Accounts Receivable

 

Accounts receivable are recorded at the invoiced amount and do not bear interest. We determine the allowance for doubtful accounts by regularly evaluating historical customer information and individual customer receivables and considering a customer’s financial condition, credit history and current economic conditions and establish an allowance for doubtful accounts when collection is uncertain. Customers’ accounts are written off against the allowance when all attempts to collect have been exhausted. Recoveries of accounts receivable previously written off are recorded as income when received. As of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the allowance for bad debt totaled $24,000 and $158,000, respectively.

 

F-11

 

 

Inventories

 

Inventories primarily consist of finished goods and are stated at the lower of cost (determined by the average cost method) or net realizable value. We calculate estimates of excess and obsolete inventories determined primarily by reviewing inventory on hand, historical sales activity, industry trends and expected net realizable value. As of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the reserve for excess and obsolete inventories totaled $1,100,000 and $733,000, respectively.

 

Plant, Property and Equipment

 

Property and equipment are stated at cost. Depreciation and amortization are provided for using the straight-line method, in amounts sufficient to charge the cost of depreciable assets to operations over their estimated service lives. Repairs and maintenance costs are charged to operations as incurred.

 

Costs for capital assets not yet placed into service are capitalized as construction in progress on the consolidated balance sheets and will be depreciated once placed into service.

 

The Company assesses its long-lived assets for impairment whenever facts and circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts may not be fully recoverable. To analyze recoverability, the Company projects undiscounted net future cash flows over the remaining lives of such assets. If these projected undiscounted net future cash flows are less than the carrying amounts, an impairment loss would be recognized, resulting in a write-down of the assets with a corresponding charge to earnings. The impairment loss is measured based upon the difference between the carrying amounts and the fair values of the assets.

 

Leases

 

The Company recognizes a lease asset for its right to use the underlying asset and a lease liability for the corresponding lease obligation. The Company determines whether an arrangement contains a lease at contract inception. Operating leases with a duration greater than one year are included in right-of-use assets, lease liabilities, and lease liabilities, net of current portion in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets. Right-of-use assets and liabilities are recognized at the lease commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term. In determining the net present value of lease payments, the Company uses its incremental borrowing rate based on the information available at the lease commencement date. The incremental borrowing rate represents the interest rate the Company would incur at lease commencement to borrow an amount equal to the lease payments on a collateralized basis over the term of a lease. The Company considers a lease term to be the noncancelable period that it has the right to use the underlying asset.

 

The operating lease right-of-use assets also include any lease payments made and exclude lease incentives. Lease expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the expected lease term. Variable lease expenses are recorded when incurred.

 

Stock-Based Compensation

 

The Company accounts for all stock-based compensation using a fair value-based method. The fair value of equity-classified awards granted to employees is estimated on the date of the grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model and the related stock-based compensation expense is recognized over the vesting period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award.

 

Income Taxes

 

Income taxes are computed under the asset and liability method. This method requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for temporary differences between the financial reporting basis and the tax basis of our assets and liabilities. The impact on deferred taxes of changes in tax rates and laws, if any, are applied to the years during which temporary differences are expected to be settled and are reflected in the consolidated financial statements in the period of enactment. A valuation allowance is recorded when it is more likely than not that some, or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.

 

F-12

 

 

Financial statement effects of a tax position are initially recognized when it is more likely than not, based on the technical merits, that the position will be sustained upon examination by a taxing authority. A tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold is initially and subsequently measured as the largest amount of tax benefit that meets the more-likely-than-not threshold of being realized upon ultimate settlement with a taxing authority. The Company recognizes potential accrued interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits as income tax expense.

 

Research and Development

 

We expense the cost of research and development as incurred. Research and development expenses include costs incurred in funding research and development activities, license fees, and other external costs. Nonrefundable advance payments for goods and services that will be used in future research and development activities are expensed when the activity is performed or when the goods have been received, rather than when payment is made.

 

Segments

 

Operating segments are identified as components of an enterprise about which separate discrete financial information is available for evaluation by the chief operating decision-maker in making decisions regarding resource allocation and assessing performance. The Company views its operations and manages its business in one operating segment.

 

The following table disaggregates revenue from our single operating segment by geographic market and customer type for the periods ending December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively:

 

   

December 31,

2023

   

December 31,

2022

 

Geographic Market

               

International

    10 %     16 %

United States

    90 %     84 %
                 

Customer Type

               

Retailer

    30 %     30 %

Distribution

    70 %     70 %

 

Recently Adopted Accounting Standards

 

Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments

 

In June 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update ASU No. 2016‑13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, which was codified with its subsequent amendments as ASC Topic 326, Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (“ASC 326”). ASC 326 seeks to provide financial statement users with more decision-useful information about the expected credit losses on financial instruments, including trade receivables, and other commitments to extend credit held by a reporting entity at each reporting date. The amendments require an entity to replace the incurred loss impairment methodology in other GAAP with a methodology that reflects current expected credit losses and requires consideration of a broader range of reasonable and supportable information to inform credit loss estimates. The adoption of this guidance on January 1, 2023 did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and disclosures.

 

F-13

 

 

Debt Debt with conversion and Other Options

 

In August 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-06, Debt—Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging—Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40): Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity, which simplifies accounting for convertible instruments by removing major separation models required under current GAAP. The ASU removes certain settlement conditions that are required for equity contracts to qualify for the derivative scope exception and it also simplifies the diluted earnings per share calculation in certain areas. The ASU is effective for the Company on December 1, 2022, Early adoption is permitted, but no earlier than December 1, 2021. The Company elected to early adopt this guidance on January 1, 2022 with no impact on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.

 

Earnings per Share

 

In May 2021, the FASB issued ASU 2021-04, Earnings Per Share (Topic 260), Debt-Modifications and Extinguishments (Subtopic 470-50), Compensation-Stock Compensation (Topic 718), and Derivatives and Hedging-Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40). This ASU reduces diversity in an issuer’s accounting for modifications or exchanges of freestanding equity-classified written call options (for example, warrants) that remain equity classified after modification or exchange. This ASU provides guidance for a modification or an exchange of a freestanding equity-classified written call option that is not within the scope of another Topic. It specifically addresses: (1) how an entity should treat a modification of the terms or conditions or an exchange of a freestanding equity-classified written call option that remains equity classified after modification or exchange; (2) how an entity should measure the effect of a modification or an exchange of a freestanding equity-classified written call option that remains equity classified after modification or exchange; and (3) how an entity should recognize the effect of a modification or an exchange of a freestanding equity-classified written call option that remains equity classified after modification or exchange. This ASU will be effective for all entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021. An entity should apply the amendments prospectively to modifications or exchanges occurring on or after the effective date of the amendments. Early adoption is permitted, including adoption in an interim period. On October 1, 2022, the Company adopted this standard with no impact on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.

 

Recently Issued Accounting Standards Not Yet Adopted

 

Improvements to Reportable Segment Disclosures

 

In November 2023, the FASB issued ASU 2023-07, Segment Reporting (Topic 280): Improvements to Reportable Segment Disclosures (“ASU 2023-07”). ASU 2023-07 updates segment reporting disclosure requirements and brings about significant changes, particularly in the realm of transparency and accountability within organizations. The primary thrust of ASU 2023-07 is the inclusion of detailed disclosures regarding significant reportable segment expenses. These are expenses regularly provided to the Chief Operating Decision Maker (“CODM”) and are integral components of each reported measure reflecting a segment's profit or loss. Furthermore, the ASU mandates disclosure of the CODM's title, position, and a comprehensive explanation of how the reported measures of segment profit or loss factor into assessing segment performance and resource allocation decisions. This transparency aims to provide stakeholders with a clearer understanding of the decision-making processes within an organization and how segment performance is evaluated.

 

Improvements to Income Tax Disclosures

 

In December 2023, the FASB issued ASU No. 2023-09, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Improvements to Income Tax Disclosures (ASU 2023-09), which improves the transparency of income tax disclosures by requiring consistent categories and greater disaggregation of information in the effective tax rate reconciliation and income taxes paid disaggregated by jurisdiction. It also includes certain other amendments to improve the effectiveness of income tax disclosures. This guidance will be effective for the annual periods beginning the year ended December 31, 2025. Early adoption is permitted. Upon adoption, the guidance can be applied prospectively or retrospectively. The Company does not expect the adoption of this guidance to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.

 

 

NOTE 3 FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS

 

In accordance with ASC 820 (Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures), the Company uses various inputs to measure the outstanding warrants on a recurring basis to determine the fair value of the liability. ASC 820 also establishes a hierarchy categorizing inputs into three levels used to measure and disclose fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority to quoted prices available in active markets and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs. An explanation of each level in the hierarchy is described below:

 

Level 1 – Unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical instruments that are accessible by the Company on the measurement date

 

Level 2 – Quoted prices in markets that are not active or inputs which are either directly or indirectly observable

 

Level 3 – Unobservable inputs for the instrument requiring the development of assumptions by the Company

 

F-14

 

 

The following table classifies the Company’s liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis into the fair value hierarchy as of December 31, 2023 and 2022 (amounts in thousands):

 

   

Fair Value at December 31, 2023

 
   

Total

   

Level 1

   

Level 2

   

Level 3

 

Liabilities:

                               

Derivative liability - Warrants

    79       -       -       79  

Total liabilities

  $ 79     $ -     $ -     $ 79  

 

   

Fair Value at December 31, 2022

 
   

Total

   

Level 1

   

Level 2

   

Level 3

 

Liabilities:

                               

Derivative liability - Warrants

    629       -       -       629  

Total liabilities

  $ 629     $ -     $ -     $ 629  

 

There were no transfers between Level 1, 2 or 3 during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022.

 

The following table presents changes in Level 3 liabilities measured at fair value for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022. Both observable and unobservable inputs were used to determine the fair value of positions that the Company has classified within the Level 3 category. Unrealized gains and losses associated with liabilities within the Level 3 category include changes in fair value that were attributable to both observable (e.g., changes in market interest rates) and unobservable (e.g., changes in unobservable long- dated volatilities) inputs (amounts in thousands).

 

   

Derivative liability - Warrants

 

Balance at January 1, 2022

  $ 899  

Change in fair value

    (270 )

Balance at December 31, 2022

    629  

Change in fair value

    (550 )

Balance at December 31, 2023

  $ 79  

 

A summary of the weighted average (in aggregate) significant unobservable inputs (Level 3 inputs) used in the Monte Carlo simulation measuring the Company’s derivative liabilities that are categorized within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy as of December 31, 2023 and 2022 is as follows:

 

   

December 31,

   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

 

Exercise price

  $ 0.4431     $ 0.4431  

Contractual term (years)

    0.32       1.32  

Volatility (annual)

    90.0 %     100.0 %

Risk-free rate

    5.4 %     4.6 %

Dividend yield (per share)

    0 %     0 %

 

On April 26, 2019 (the “Closing Date”), the Company entered into a Securities Exchange Agreement (“Share Exchange”) with each of the former members (“Members”) of Charlie’s, and certain direct investors in the Company (“Direct Investors”), pursuant to which the Company acquired all outstanding membership interests of Charlie’s beneficially owned by the Members in exchange for the issuance by the Company of units. Immediately prior to, and in connection with, the Share Exchange, Charlie’s consummated a private offering of membership interests that resulted in net proceeds to Charlie’s of approximately $27.5 million (the “Charlies Financin