SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
||REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|For fiscal year ended
||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|For the transition period from ____ to ______|
||SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|Date of event requiring this shell company report:|
|Commission file number
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(Address of principal executive offices)
C21 Investments Inc.
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: Not applicable.
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report: As at January 31, 2022,
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
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.
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.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of "large accelerated filer, "accelerated filer," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ☐
Accelerated filer ☐
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, 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.
|†||The term "new or revised financial accounting standard" refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.|
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.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
||International Financial Reporting Standards as issued ☐
by the International Accounting Standards Board
If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow:
Item 17 ☐ Item 18 ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes ☐ No
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||5|
|Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers||6|
|Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable||6|
|Item 3. Key Information||6|
|Item 4. Information on the Company||24|
|Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments||34|
|Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects||34|
|Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees||52|
|Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions||60|
|Item 8. Financial Information||61|
|Item 9. The Offer and Listing||62|
|Item 10. Additional Information||63|
|Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk||70|
|Item 12. Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities||71|
|Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies||71|
|Item 14. Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds||71|
|Item 15. Controls and Procedures||71|
|Item 16. [Reserved]||73|
|Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert||73|
|Item 16B. Code of Ethics||73|
|Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services||73|
|Item 16D. Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees||73|
|Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers||74|
|Item 16F. Changes in Registrant's Certifying Accountant||74|
|Item 16G. Corporate Governance||74|
|Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure.||74|
|Item 17. Financial Statements||74|
|Item 18. Financial Statements||74|
|Item 19. Exhibits||75|
In this annual report on Form 20-F, which we refer to as the "Annual Report", except as otherwise indicated or as the context otherwise requires, the "Company", "we", "our" or "us" or "C21" refers to C21 Investments Inc. The Company is a "foreign private issuer" as defined in Rule 3b-4 under the United States Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 405 under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Equity securities of the Company are accordingly exempt from Sections 14(a), 14(b), 14(c), 14(f) and 16 of the Exchange Act pursuant to Rule 3a12-3 thereunder.
Unless otherwise indicated, all dollar amounts in this Annual Report are in United States dollars. The exchange rate of Canadian dollars into United States dollars, on January 31, 2022 based upon the daily exchange rate as quoted by the Bank of Canada was U.S.$1.00 = Cdn.$1.2719.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report includes "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws and United States securities laws collectively, "forward-looking information"). All information, other than statements of historical facts, included in this Annual Report that addresses activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, information regarding: statements relating to the business and future activities of, and developments related to, the Company, including such things as the impact of the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic with reductions of operating (including marketing) and capital expenses and revenues, future business strategy, competitive strengths, goals, expansion and growth of the Company's business, operations and plans, including information concerning the completion and timing of the completion of contemplated acquisitions or dispositions, expectations whether such proposed transactions will be consummated on the current terms or otherwise and contemplated timing, expectations and effects of such proposed transactions, including the potential number and location of cultivation and production facilities and dispensaries or licenses therefor to be acquired or sold and markets to be entered into or exited by the Company as a result of completing such proposed transactions, the ability of the Company to successfully achieve its business objectives as a result of completing such proposed acquisitions or dispositions, estimates of future cultivation, manufacturing and extraction capacity, expectations as to the development and distribution of the Company's brands and products, the expansion into additional U.S. and international markets, any potential future legalization of adult-use and/or medical cannabis under U.S. federal law, expectations of market size and growth in the United States and the states in which the Company operates or contemplates future operations and the effect such growth will have on the Company's financial performance, expectations for other economic, business, regulatory and/or competitive factors related to the Company or the cannabis industry generally, and other events or conditions that may occur in the future.
Readers are cautioned that forward-looking information are based on reasonable assumptions, estimates, analysis and opinions of management of the Company at the time they were provided or made in light of their experience and their perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information.
Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and are based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management at the date the statements are made including among other things assumptions about: the contemplated acquisitions and dispositions being completed on the current terms and current contemplated timeline; development costs remaining consistent with budgets; ability to manage anticipated and unanticipated costs; favorable equity and debt capital markets; the ability to raise sufficient capital to advance the business of the Company; favorable operating and economic conditions; political and regulatory stability; obtaining and maintaining all required licenses and permits; receipt of governmental approvals and permits; sustained labor stability; favorable production levels and costs related to the Company's operations; the pricing of various cannabis products; the level of demand for cannabis products; the availability of third party service providers and other inputs for the Company's operations; the Company's ability to conduct operations in a safe, efficient and effective manner; the ability of the Company to restructure and service its secured debt; the availability of securitized debt financing on terms acceptable to the Company, or at all; and the ability of the Company's operations to perform and continue in the ordinary course in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable, the assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, social, economic, political, regulatory, competitive and other risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that could cause actual performance, achievements, actions, events, results or conditions to be materially different from those projected in the forward-looking information. Many assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of the Company and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information and statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
The Company may elect to update such forward-looking information at a future time, it assumes no obligation for doing so except to the extent required by applicable law.
The forward-looking statements or information contained in this Form 20-F are made as of the date of this filing.
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3. Key Information
B. Capitalization and Indebtedness
C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
D. Risk Factors
The following are certain factors relating to the business and securities of the Company. The Company will face a number of challenges and significant risks in the development of its business due to the nature of and present stage of its business. These risks and uncertainties are not the only ones facing the Company. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to the Company or currently deemed immaterial by the Company, may also impair the operations of or materially adversely affect the securities of the Company. If any such risks occur, the Company's shareholders could lose all or part of their investment and the business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects of the Company could be materially adversely affected. Some of the risk factors described herein are interrelated and, consequently, readers should treat such risk factors as a whole.
The acquisition of any of the securities of the Company is speculative, involving a high degree of risk and should be undertaken only by persons whose financial resources are enough to enable them to assume such risks and who have no need for immediate liquidity in their investment. An investment in the securities of the Company should not constitute a major portion of a person's investment portfolio and should only be made by persons who can afford a total loss of their investment.
Risks Related to the Cannabis Industry
While certain U.S. states have enacted medical and/or adult-use cannabis legislation, cannabis continues to be illegal under U.S. federal law, which may subject us to regulatory or legal enforcement, litigation, increased costs and reputational harm.
More than half of the U.S. states have enacted legislation to regulate the sale and use of cannabis on either a medical or adult- use level. However, notwithstanding the permissive regulatory environment of cannabis at the state level, cannabis continues to be categorized as a controlled substance under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 ("CSA"), and as such, activities within the cannabis industry are illegal under U.S. federal law. It is also illegal to aid or abet such activities or to conspire to attempt to engage in such activities. Financing businesses in the cannabis industry may be deemed aiding and abetting an illegal activity under federal law. If such an action were brought, we may be forced to cease operations and our investors could lose their entire investment. Such an action would have a material negative effect on our business and operations.
Individual U.S. state laws do not always conform to U.S. federal regulatory standards, or to other U.S. state laws. A number of states have decriminalized marijuana to varying degrees, other states have created exemptions specifically for medical cannabis, and several have both decriminalized and/or created medical marijuana exemptions. Several states have also legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Variations exist among states that have legalized, decriminalized or created medical marijuana exemptions. For example, Oregon and Colorado have limits on the number of marijuana plants that can be home grown. In most states, the cultivation of marijuana for personal use continues to be prohibited except for those states that allow small-scale cultivation by the individual in possession of a medical marijuana license or that person's caregiver. Even in those states in which the use and commercialization of marijuana has been legalized, its use remains a violation of U.S. federal law.
The Company is currently aware of 37 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, and four out of five U.S. territories, that have laws and/or regulations that recognize, in one form or another, legitimate medical uses for cannabis and consumer use of cannabis in connection with medical treatment. Many other states are considering similar legislation. Additionally, the sale and adult-use of recreational cannabis is legal in 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, including: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. At the federal level, however, cannabis currently remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the CSA. Under U.S. federal law, a Schedule I drug or substance has a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug under medical supervision. As such, even in those states in which marijuana is legalized under state law, the manufacture, importation, possession, use or distribution of cannabis remains illegal under U.S. federal law.
Although the Company's activities are in compliance with applicable state and local law, strict compliance with state and local laws with respect to cannabis may neither absolve the Company of liability under U.S. federal law, nor may it provide a defense to any federal proceeding which may be brought against the Company. Any such proceedings brought against the Company may adversely affect the Company's operations and financial performance.
The Company could face a number of operational risk and may not be adequately insured for such risks.
The Company will be affected by a number of operational risks and may not be adequately insured for certain risks, including: labor disputes, catastrophic accidents, fires, blockades or other acts of social activism, changes in the regulatory environment, impact of non-compliance with laws or regulations, natural phenomena, such as inclement weather conditions, floods, earthquakes and ground movements. There is no assurance that the foregoing risks and hazards will not result in damage to, or destruction of, the Company's properties, grow facilities and extraction facilities, personal injury or death, environmental damage, adverse impacts on the Company's operations, costs, monetary losses, potential legal liability and adverse governmental action, any of which could have an adverse impact on the Company's future cash flows, earnings and financial condition.
Proceeds from the Company's financings could be considered proceeds of crime which may restrict the Company's ability to pay dividends or effect other distributions to its shareholders.
Currently, the Company engages in the manufacture, distribution, possession and sale of cannabis in the U.S. medical and recreational cannabis markets, and therefore the enforcement of U.S. federal laws is a significant risk to the Company. Unless and until the U.S. Congress amends the CSA (or the Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA") reschedules or de-schedules cannabis), there is a risk that U.S. federal authorities, including the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon and the District of Nevada, may enforce current federal law, and the Company may be deemed to be possessing, manufacturing, and trafficking marijuana in violation of U.S. federal law. Such activities also may serve as the basis for the prosecution of other crimes, such as those prohibited by the money laundering statutes, the unlicensed money transmitter statute, and the U.S. Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970 ("Bank Secrecy Act"). Additionally, the Company may be deemed to be facilitating the sale or distribution of drug paraphernalia in violation of U.S. federal law with respect to the Company's current or proposed business operations. As to the timing or scope of any such potential amendments to the CSA, there can be no assurances to when or if any potential amendments will be enacted. Active enforcement of the current federal statutory laws and regulatory rules regarding cannabis may thus directly and/or indirectly and adversely affect the Company's future operations, cash flows, earnings, and financial condition.
The Company could face (i) seizure of its cash and other assets used to support or derived from its cannabis subsidiaries; and (ii) the arrest of its employees, directors, officers, managers and investors, who could face charges of ancillary criminal violations of the CSA for aiding and abetting and conspiring to violate the CSA by virtue of providing financial support to state-licensed or permitted cultivators, processors, distributors, and/or retailers of cannabis. Additionally, as has recently been affirmed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, employees, directors, officers, managers and investors of the Company who are not U.S. citizens face the risk of being barred from entry into the United States for life.
Management may not be able to predict all new emerging risks or how such risks may impact actual results of the Company in the highly regulated, highly competitive and rapidly evolving U.S. cannabis industry.
As a result of the conflicting views between individual state governments and the U.S. federal government regarding cannabis, investments in U.S. cannabis businesses are subject to inconsistent legislation and regulation. The response to this inconsistency was addressed in August 2013 when then U.S. Deputy Attorney General, James Cole, authorized the Cole Memo (as defined herein) addressed to all United States Attorneys acknowledging that, notwithstanding the designation of cannabis as a controlled substance at the federal level in the U.S., several U.S. states have enacted laws relating to cannabis for medical purposes. The Cole Memo outlined certain priorities for the U.S. Department of Justice relating to the prosecution of cannabis offenses. In particular, the Cole Memo noted that in jurisdictions that have enacted laws legalizing cannabis in some form, and that have also implemented strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis, that conduct in compliance with those laws and regulations is less likely to be a priority at the federal level.
On January 4, 2018, Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Attorney General at the time, issued the Sessions Memo (as defined herein) to all United States Attorneys, which rescinded the Cole Memo in its entirety. The Sessions Memo provided that in deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under U.S. federal laws, prosecutors should follow the same well-established principles that govern all U.S. federal prosecutions. Following the release of the Sessions Memo, the fate of state-legal cannabis is uncertain, and the risk of prosecution varies from state to state based on the posture, priorities and resources of each United States Attorney's Office for each applicable state.
Although the Cole Memo was rescinded, one legislative safeguard for the medical cannabis industry, appended to federal appropriations legislation, remains in place. Currently referred to as the "Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment", this so-called "rider" provision has been appended to the Consolidated Appropriations Acts every year since fiscal year 2015. Under the terms of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer rider, the federal government is prohibited from using congressionally appropriated funds to enforce federal cannabis laws against regulated medical cannabis actors operating in compliance with state and local law. On December 20, 2019, then President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 which included the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which prohibits the funding of federal prosecutions with respect to medical cannabis activities that are legal under state law. On December 27, 2020, the omnibus spending bill passed including the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, extending its application until September 30, 2021. The Amendment was then renewed through a series of stopgap spending bills on September 30, 2021, December 3, 2021, February 18, 2022, and March 11, 2022. On March 15, 2022, the Amendment was renewed through the signing of the fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending bill, extending previous funding levels and riders, including the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. There can be no assurances that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment will be included in future appropriations bills to prevent the federal government from using congressionally appropriated funds to enforce federal cannabis laws against regulated medical cannabis actors operating in compliance with state and local law.
On March 11, 2021, Merrick Garland was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney General. During his campaign, President Biden stated a policy goal to decriminalize possession of cannabis at the federal level, but he has not publicly supported the full legalization of cannabis. In response to questions posed by Senator Cory Booker, Merrick Garland stated during a February 2021 congressional testimony that he would reinstitute a version of the Cole Memo. He reiterated the statement that the Justice Department under his leadership would not pursue cases against Americans "complying with the laws in states that have legalized and are effectively regulating marijuana", in written responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee provided around March 1. It is not yet known whether the Department of Justice under President Biden and Attorney General Garland, will re-adopt the Cole Memo or announce a substantive marijuana enforcement policy. Justice Garland indicated at a confirmation hearing before the United States Senate that it did not seem to him to be a useful use of limited resources to pursue prosecutions in states that have legalized and that are regulating the use of marijuana, either medically or otherwise. It is unclear what impact, if any, the current administration will have on U.S. federal government enforcement policy on cannabis.
In October 2021, in a letter from U.S. Senators Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren to Attorney General Garland, the Senators advocated the federal decriminalization of cannabis by removing cannabis from the CSA's list of controlled substances. To date, Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice have not publicly responded to the Senators' letter. Further, there is no guarantee that state laws legalizing and regulating the sale and use of cannabis will not be repealed or overturned, or that local governmental authorities will not limit the applicability of state laws within their respective jurisdictions. Unless and until the United States Congress amends the CSA with respect to cannabis (and as to the timing or scope of any such potential amendments there can be no assurance), there is a risk that federal authorities may enforce current U.S. federal law.
Given the conflict of laws and regulations, there is no certainty as to how the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), Federal Bureau of Investigation and other government agencies will handle cannabis matters in the future. There can be no assurance that the Biden Administration would not change the current enforcement policies, priorities and resources and choose to enforce the subject federal laws. The Company regularly monitors ongoing developments in this regard.
Violations of any laws and regulations could result in significant fines, penalties, administrative sanctions, forfeiture, convictions or settlements arising from civil proceedings conducted by either the federal government or private citizens, or criminal charges, including, but not limited to, disgorgement of profits, cessation of business activities or divestiture. This could have a material adverse effect on the Company, including its reputation and ability to conduct business, its title (directly or indirectly) to cannabis licenses in the United States, the listing of its securities on various stock exchanges, its financial position, its operating results, and profitability or liquidity or the market price of its publicly traded shares. In addition, it is difficult for the Company to estimate the time or resources that would be needed for the investigation of any such matters or the final resolution of such matters because, in part, the time and resources that may be needed are dependent on the nature and extent of any information requested and degree of enforcement by the applicable authorities involved, and such time or resources could be substantial.
As a company listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (the "CSE"), the Company accesses the Canadian capital markets on a public and private basis, and any capital raised may be utilized for the ongoing operations of its U.S. holdings that operate in the U.S. cannabis industry. There is no assurance that the Company will be successful, in whole or in part, in raising funds, particularly if the U.S. federal authorities change their position toward enforcing the CSA. Further, access to funding from residents, citizens, venture capital, private equity and banks in the United States may be limited due to their unwillingness to be associated with activities that violate U.S. federal laws. Notwithstanding the above, the SAFE Banking Act (as defined herein) would be a positive development for the industry and access to move affordable banking and lending.
Changes to current laws and regulation may impose substantial costs on the Company.
Local, state and federal cannabis laws and regulations in the United States are broad in scope and subject to evolving interpretations, which could require the Company to incur substantial costs associated with compliance or alter certain aspects of its business plan. In addition, violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt certain aspects of the Company's business plan and result in a material adverse effect on certain aspects of the Company's planned operations. Furthermore, it is possible that regulations may be enacted in the future that will be directly applicable to certain aspects of the Company's cannabis business. The Company cannot predict the nature of any future laws, rules, regulations, resolutions, declarations, policy positions, interpretations or applications, nor can it determine what affect additional governmental regulations or administrative policies and procedures, when and if promulgated, could have on the Company's business.
Further, there is no guarantee that state laws legalizing and regulating the sale and use of cannabis will not be repealed or overturned, or that local governmental authorities will not limit the applicability of state laws within their respective jurisdictions. If the federal government begins to enforce federal laws relating to cannabis in states where the sale and use of cannabis is currently legal, or if existing applicable state laws are repealed or curtailed, the Company's business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects would be materially adversely affected.
The Company is aware that multiple states are considering special taxes or fees on businesses in the marijuana industry. It is a potential yet unknown risk at this time that other states are in the process of reviewing such additional fees and taxation. This could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Beginning in September 2019, the United States media began reporting on potential vape related illnesses and death based on conditions resembling pneumonia, that consumers of flavored nicotine and flavored THC vaping products were experiencing. Vaping product sales are a material source of revenue for the Company. Although there has been no conclusive medical or scientific determination as to the cause of the subject conditions, management believes that the Company's products do not contain any of the components or chemicals, including but not limited to vitamin E acetate, which were implicated as possible sources of the condition, and which were identified by the CDC based on laboratory findings released on November 8, 2019. Out of an abundance of caution, governors of certain US states took precautionary, short-term actions until a more conclusive link between vaping products and the condition is determined; as mentioned herein, Oregon was one of those states until the State was forced to lift its ban by court order on January 16, 2020.
The cannabis industry is subject to extensive controls and regulations, which may significantly affect the financial condition of market participants, including the Company.
The Company operates in a new industry which is highly regulated, highly competitive and evolving rapidly. As such, new risks may emerge, and management may not be able to predict all such risks. The Company incurs ongoing costs and obligations related to regulatory compliance. Failure to comply with regulations may result in additional costs for corrective measures, penalties or in restrictions of operations. In addition, changes in regulations, more vigorous enforcement thereof or other unanticipated events could require extensive changes to operations, increased compliance costs or give rise to material liabilities, which could have a material adverse effect on the business, results of operations and financial condition of the Company.
Further, the Company may be subject to a variety of claims and lawsuits. Adverse outcomes in some or all of these claims may result in significant monetary damages or injunctive relief that could adversely affect its ability to conduct its business.
Litigation and other claims are subject to inherent uncertainties and management's view of these matters may change in the future. A material adverse impact on the Company's financial statements could also occur for the period in which the effect of an unfavorable outcome becomes probable and reasonably estimable.
The cannabis industry is subject to extensive controls and regulations, which may significantly affect the financial condition of market participants. The marketability of any product may be affected by numerous factors that are beyond the control of the Company and which cannot be predicted, such as changes to government regulations, including those relating to taxes and other government levies which may be imposed. Changes in government levies, including taxes, could reduce the Company's earnings on investments and could make future capital investments or the Company's operations uneconomic.
The cannabis industry is also subject to numerous legal challenges, which may significantly affect the financial condition of market participants in the industry, such as the Company, which cannot be readily predicted.
Regulatory scrutiny of the Company's industry may negatively impact its ability to raise additional capital.
The Company's business activities rely on newly established and/or developing laws and regulations. These laws and regulations are rapidly evolving and subject to change with minimal notice. Regulatory changes may adversely affect the Company's profitability or cause it to cease operations entirely. The cannabis industry may come under the scrutiny or further scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission, the DOJ, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or other federal, applicable state or nongovernmental regulatory authorities or self-regulatory organizations that supervise or regulate the production, distribution, sale or use of cannabis for medical or nonmedical purposes in the United States.
It is impossible to determine the extent of the impact of any new laws, regulations or initiatives that may be proposed, or whether any proposals will become law. The regulatory uncertainty surrounding the Company's industry may adversely affect the business and operations of the Company, including without limitation, the costs to remain compliant with applicable laws and the impairment of its ability to raise additional capital, which could reduce, delay or eliminate any return on investment in the Company.
The Company's operations in the U.S. are subject to applicable anti-money laundering laws and regulations.
The Company is subject to a variety of laws and regulations domestically and in the United States that involve money laundering, financial record keeping and proceeds of crime, including the Bank Secrecy Act, as amended by Title III of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (Canada), as amended and the rules and regulations thereunder, and any related or similar rules, regulations or guidelines, issued, administered or enforced by governmental authorities in the United States and Canada.
In the event that any of the Company's operations, or any proceeds thereof, any dividends or distributions therefrom, or any profits or revenues accruing from such operations in the United States were found to be in violation of money laundering legislation or otherwise, such transactions may be viewed as proceeds of crime under one or more of the statutes noted above or any other applicable legislation. This could restrict or otherwise jeopardize the ability of the Company to declare or pay dividends, effect other distributions or subsequently repatriate such funds back to Canada. Furthermore, while there are no current intentions to declare or pay dividends on C21's common shares in the foreseeable future, in the event that a determination was made that the Company's proceeds from operations (or any future operations or investments in the United States) could reasonably be shown to constitute proceeds of crime, the Company may decide or be required to suspend declaring or paying dividends without advance notice and for an indefinite period of time.
The Company's operations and any proceeds thereof may be considered proceeds of crime since cannabis remains illegal federally in the United States. This restricts the ability of the Company to declare or pay dividends, effect other distributions or subsequently repatriate such funds back to Canada. Furthermore, while the Company has no current intention to declare or pay dividends on its shares in the foreseeable future, the Company may decide or be required to suspend declaring or paying dividends without advance notice and for an indefinite period of time in response to factors outside of the Company's control.
The Company may have difficulty accessing the services of banks and processing credit card payments in the future, which may make it difficult to operate. To mitigate this risk, the Company has maintained banking relations with three private credit unions in states where cannabis has been legalized at the state level, including Partners Colorado Credit Union (Colorado), Salal (Washington State) and Greater Nevada Credit Union (Nevada). Through these private credit unions, the Company is able to access bank services to support its Oregon and Nevada cannabis operations.
Losing access to traditional banking could have a significant effect on our ability to conclude financings and achieve returns.
Since the use of cannabis is illegal under U.S. federal law, there is a strong argument that banks cannot accept for deposit funds from businesses involved with the cannabis industry. Consequently, businesses involved in the cannabis industry often have difficulty finding a bank willing to accept their business. The inability to open or maintain traditional bank accounts may make it difficult to operate the Company's cannabis business. To mitigate this risk, the Company has maintained banking relations with three private credit unions in states where cannabis has been legalized at the state level, including Partners Colorado Credit Union (Colorado), Salal (Washington State) and Greater Nevada Credit Union (Nevada). Through these private credit union banks, the Company can access comprehensive banking services including cash management checking accounts, ACH transfer processing, cash pick-up and delivery services, debit card and credit card processing, online banking, and processing of bank wires and transfers.
The February 2014 U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") Guidance (as defined herein), sets forth certain circumstances whereby it is permissible for banks to provide services to cannabis-related businesses without risking prosecution for violation of federal money laundering laws. However, as discussed above, most banks and other financial institutions do not feel comfortable providing banking services to cannabis-related businesses, or relying on the FinCEN Guidance which could be revoked at any time by the Biden Administration. In addition to the foregoing, banks may refuse to process debit card payments and credit card companies generally refuse to process credit card payments for cannabis-related businesses.
Accordingly, the Company may have limited or no access to banking or other financial services in the U.S. in the future and may have to operate the Company's U.S. business on a cash-only basis. In addition, federal money laundering statutes and Bank Secrecy Act regulations discourage financial institutions from working with any organization that sells a controlled substance, regardless of whether the state it resides in permits cannabis sales. While the United States House of Representatives has passed the SAFE Banking Act, which would permit commercial banks to offer services to cannabis companies that are in compliance with state law, it remains under consideration by the Senate, and if Congress fails to pass the SAFE Banking Act, the Company's inability, or limitations on the Company's ability, to open or maintain bank accounts, obtain other banking services and/or accept credit card and debit card payments, may make it difficult for the Company to operate and conduct its business as planned or to operate efficiently. The prospects of the SAFE Banking Act, or some permutation thereof, becoming law is uncertain as of the date of this Annual Report.
The Company's operations in the United States may be subject to heightened scrutiny.
The Company's existing operations in the United States cannabis market, and any future interests, may become the subject of heightened scrutiny by regulators, stock exchanges, clearing agencies or other authorities in Canada. As a result, the Company may be subject to significant direct and indirect interaction with public officials. There can be no assurance that this heightened scrutiny will not in turn lead to the imposition of certain restrictions on the Company's ability to invest in the United States or any other jurisdiction.
Given the heightened risk profile associated with cannabis in the United States, it was previously reported by certain publications in Canada that the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited may implement policies that would see its subsidiary, CDS Clearing and Depository Services Inc. ("CDS"), refuse to settle trades for cannabis issuers that have investments in the United States. The TMX Group, the owner and operator of CDS, subsequently issued a statement on August 17, 2017, reaffirming that there is no CDS ban on the clearing of securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the United States, despite media reports to the contrary, and that the TMX Group was working with regulators to arrive at a solution that will clarify this matter, which would be communicated at a later time.
On February 8, 2018, following discussions with the Canadian Securities Administrators and recognized Canadian securities exchanges, the TMX Group announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (the "TMX MOU") with Aequitas NEO Exchange Inc., the CSE, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSXV"). The TMX MOU outlines the parties' understanding of Canada's regulatory framework applicable to the rules, procedures and regulatory oversight of the exchanges and CDS as it relates to issuers with cannabis-related activities in the United States.
The TMX MOU confirms, with respect to the clearing of listed securities, that CDS relies on the exchanges to review the conduct of listed issuers. As a result, there is no CDS ban on the clearing of securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the United States. However, there can be no guarantee that this approach to regulation will continue in the future. If such a ban were to be implemented, it would have a material adverse effect on the ability of holders of common shares to make and settle trades. In particular, the common shares would become highly illiquid and until an alternative was implemented investors would have no ability to affect a trade of common shares through the facilities of a stock exchange.
Unfavorable publicity or consumer perception of cannabis may have an adverse effect on the demand for our products.
The Company believes the adult-use and medical cannabis industries are highly dependent upon consumer perception regarding the safety, efficacy and quality of the cannabis produced. Consumer perception can be significantly influenced by scientific research or findings, regulatory investigations, litigation, media attention and other publicity regarding the consumption of cannabis products. There can be no assurance that future scientific research or findings, regulatory investigations, litigation, media attention or other publicity will be favorable to the cannabis market or any particular product, or consistent with earlier publicity. Future research reports, findings, regulatory investigations, litigation, media attention or other publicity that are perceived as less favorable than, or that question, earlier research reports, findings or other publicity could have a material adverse effect on the demand for adult-use or medical cannabis and on the business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows or prospects of the Company. Further, adverse publicity reports or other media attention regarding the safety, efficacy and quality of cannabis in general, or associating the consumption of adult-use and medical cannabis with illness or other negative effects or events, could have such a material adverse effect. There is no assurance that such adverse publicity reports, findings or other media attention will not arise.
Public opinion may result in a significant influence over the regulation of the cannabis industry in Canada, the United States or elsewhere. A negative shift in the public's perception of cannabis in the United States, or any other applicable jurisdiction could affect future legislation or regulation. Among other things, such a shift could cause state jurisdictions to abandon initiatives or proposals to legalize medical cannabis, thereby limiting the number of new state jurisdictions into which the Company could expand. Any limits on future expansion may have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition, and results of operations.
State and local laws and regulations may heavily regulate brands and forms of cannabis products and there is no guarantee that the Company's current and proposed brands and products will remain or be approved for sale and distribution in any state.
States generally only allow the manufacture, sale and distribution of cannabis products that are grown in that state and may require advance notice of such products. Certain states and local jurisdictions have promulgated certain requirements for approved cannabis products based on the form of the product and the concentration of the various cannabinoids in the product. While the Company will continue to follow the guidelines and regulations of each applicable state and local jurisdiction in preparing products for sale and distribution, there is no guarantee that such future products will be approved to the extent necessary. For the products that are approved, there is a risk that any state or local jurisdiction may revoke its approval for such products based on changes in laws or regulations or based on its discretion or otherwise.
The business premises of the Company are a target for theft, which may have an adverse impact on its financial condition and results of operations.
The business premises of the Company are a target for theft. While the Company has implemented security measures and continues to monitor and improve its security measures, its cultivation, processing, distribution and dispensary facilities could be subject to break-ins, robberies and other breaches in security. If there was a breach in security and the Company fell victim to a robbery or theft, the loss of cannabis plants, cannabis oils, cannabis flowers, cannabis products, cultivation and processing equipment, and cash could have a material adverse impact on the business, financials condition, results of operation and property of the Company.
As the Company's business involves the movement and transfer of cash which is collected from third parties or deposited into its bank, there is a risk of theft or robbery during the transport of cash. The Company engages security firms to provide armed guards and security in the transport and movement of large amounts of cash. While the Company has taken robust steps to prevent theft or robbery of cash during transport, there can be no assurance that there will not be a security breach during the transport and the movement of cash involving the theft of product or cash.
The Company has historically relied on access to both public and private capital in order to support its continuing operations, and the Company expects to continue to rely on the capital markets to finance its business.
Although such business carries a higher degree of risk, and despite the legal standing of cannabis businesses pursuant to U.S. federal laws, Canadian based issuers involved in the U.S. state-legal cannabis industry have been successful in raising substantial amounts of private and public financing. However, there is no assurance the Company will be successful, in whole or in part, in raising funds in the future, particularly if the U.S. federal authorities change their position toward enforcing the CSA. Further, access to funding from U.S. residents may be limited due to their unwillingness to be associated with activities which violate U.S. federal laws.
As consumer perceptions of cannabis evolve, the Company may face unfavorable publicity or consumer perception.
The state-legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is at an early stage of its development. Cannabis has been, and will continue to be, a controlled substance for the foreseeable future. Consumer perceptions regarding legality, morality, consumption, safety, efficacy and quality of cannabis are mixed and evolving. Consumer perception can be significantly influenced by scientific research or findings, regulatory investigations, litigation, media attention and other publicity regarding the consumption of cannabis products. There can be no assurance that future scientific research, findings, regulatory proceedings, litigation, media attention or other research findings or publicity will be favorable to the cannabis market or any particular product, or consistent with earlier publicity. Future research reports, findings, regulatory proceedings, litigation, media attention or other publicity that are perceived as less favorable than, or that question, earlier research reports, findings or publicity could have a material adverse effect on the demand for cannabis and on the business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows of the Company. Further, adverse publicity reports or other media attention regarding cannabis in general or associating the consumption of cannabis with illness or other negative effects or events, could have such a material adverse effect. Public opinion and support for medical and adult-use cannabis use has traditionally been inconsistent and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. While public opinion and support appears to be rising for legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis, it remains a controversial issue subject to differing opinions surrounding the nature of legalization (for example, support for legalization of medical versus recreational cannabis). The Company's ability to maintain and increase market acceptance of its company and products may require substantial expenditures on investor relations, strategic relationships and marketing initiatives. There can be no assurance that such initiatives will be successful, and their failure may have an adverse effect on the Company.
Product liability claims or regulatory actions against the Company could result in increased costs, could adversely affect the Company's reputation with its clients and consumers generally, and could have a material adverse effect on the business.
As a manufacturer and distributor of products designed to be ingested by humans, the Company faces an inherent risk of exposure to product liability claims, regulatory action and litigation if its products are alleged to have caused significant loss or injury. This is particularly true in light of the United States media news, beginning in September 2019, regarding potential vaporizer (vape) related illnesses and deaths. The Company closely monitors the news reports on this topic, including results from the investigations being conducted by the CDC, and put out a statement over its social media feed on September 11, 2019 confirming its commitment to consumer safety, discussing the rigorous quality control and testing of its products, and explaining that none of its vape products are manufactured with vitamin E acetate, or any other additives, thickeners or agents. The Company further disclosed its complete ingredient list for all of its vape products. In addition, the manufacture and sale of marijuana involve the risk of injury to consumers due to tampering by unauthorized third parties or product contamination. Previously unknown adverse reactions resulting from human consumption of marijuana alone or in combination with other medications or substances could occur. As a manufacturer, distributor and retailer of adult-use and medical marijuana, or in its role as an investor in or service provider to an entity that is a manufacturer, distributor and/or retailer of adult-use or medical marijuana, the Company may be subject to various product liability claims, including, among others, that the marijuana product caused injury or illness, include inadequate instructions for use or include inadequate warnings concerning possible side effects or interactions with other substances. A product liability claim or regulatory action against the Company could result in increased costs, could adversely affect the Company's reputation with its clients and consumers generally, and could have a material adverse effect on the business, results of operations, financial condition or prospects of the Company. There can be no assurances that the Company will be able to maintain product liability insurance on acceptable terms or with adequate coverage against potential liabilities. Such insurance is expensive and may not be available in the future on acceptable terms, or at all. The inability to maintain sufficient insurance coverage on reasonable terms or to otherwise protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of the Company's potential products or otherwise have a material adverse effect on the business, results of operations, financial condition or prospects of the Company.
As the cannabis industry is nascent, expectations regarding the development of the market may not be accurate and may change.
Due to the early stage of the state-legal cannabis industry, forecasts regarding the size of the industry and the sales of products are inherently subject to significant unreliability. A failure in the demand for products to materialize as a result of competition, technological change or other factors could have a material adverse effect on the business, results of operations and financial condition of the Company.
The cultivation, extraction and processing of cannabis and derivative products is dependent on a number of key inputs and their related costs which relies on a health supply chain.
Any significant interruption or negative change in the availability or economics of the supply chain for key inputs could materially impact the business, financial condition and operating results of an operator. Some of these inputs may only be available from a single supplier or a limited group of suppliers. If a single source supplier were to go out of business, an operator might be unable to find a replacement for such source in a timely manner or at all. Any inability to secure required supplies and services or to do so on appropriate terms could have a materially adverse impact on the business, financial condition and operating results of an operator, and consequently, the Company. Given the recent, systemic issues with the global supply chain, there is an increased risk of interruption or negative change in the availability of key inputs the Company relies upon which could materially adversely impact the Company in the current supply chain environment and into the foreseeable future.
Operational and General Business Risks
The Company's business, operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected by outbreaks of epidemics or pandemics or other health crises, including the ongoing impacts and implications of COVID-19.
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization ("WHO") declared the outbreak a public health event of international concern, and on March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been a large number of temporary business closures, quarantines and a general reduction in consumer activity worldwide. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused companies and various international jurisdictions to impose significant travel, gathering and other public health restrictions. The impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains has evolved over the last two years and continues to evolve. The speed and extent of the spread of COVID-19 (which for purposes of this Annual Report, where applicable, includes any variants thereof), and the duration and intensity of resulting business disruption, local and international, and related financial and social impact, remain uncertain. Further, the extent and manner to which COVID-19, and measures taken by governments, the Company or others to attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19, may affect the Company cannot be predicted with certainty. The Company cannot estimate whether any additional restrictions will be imposed on its activities or whether any additional measures will be taken by governments (including measures that result in the suspension or reduction of the Company's operations) and the potential financial and operational impact thereof, including impact on employee health, workforce productivity and availability, travel restrictions, supply availability, ability to sell or deliver product and the availability of insurance and the cost thereof. COVID-19 may continue to materially impact the Company, including its ability, and the ability of its suppliers and distributors, to effectively manage the restrictions, limitations and health issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to continue its production, distribution and wholesale sale of its products and the demand for and use of its products by consumers, disruptions to the global and local economies due to related stay-at-home orders, quarantine policies and restrictions on travel, trade and business operations and a reduction in discretionary consumer spending.
Such public health crises can result in volatility and disruptions in global supply chains and financial markets, as well as declining trade and market sentiment and reduced mobility of people, all of which could affect commodity prices, interest rates, credit ratings, credit risk and inflation. The risks to the Company of such public health crises also include risks to employee health and safety, a slowdown or temporary suspension of operations, increased labor costs, regulatory changes, political or economic instabilities or civil unrest. Similarly, the Company's ability to obtain financing and the ability of the Company's vendors, suppliers, consultants and partners to meet their obligations to the Company may be impacted as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continued efforts to contain the virus, most notably in China. Consequently, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic or potential future public health crises may have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, results of operations and financial condition. The extent to which COVID-19 and any other pandemic or public health crisis impacts the Company's business, affairs, operations, financial condition, liquidity, availability of credit and results of operations will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be accurately predicted, including new information which may emerge concerning the severity of and the actions required to continue to contain COVID-19 or mitigate its impact.
The Company may pursue strategic acquisitions in the future, which may be unsuccessful or result in other costs to the Company.
As part of the Company's overall business strategy, the Company may pursue select strategic acquisitions which would provide additional product offerings, vertical integrations, additional industry expertise, and a stronger industry presence in both existing and new jurisdictions. Future acquisitions may expose the Company to potential risks, including risks associated with (a) the integration of new operations, services and personnel; (b) unforeseen or hidden liabilities; (c) the diversion of resources from the Company's existing business and technology; (d) potential inability to generate sufficient revenue to offset new costs; (e) the expenses of acquisition; or (f) the potential loss of or harm to relationships with both employees and existing users resulting from its integration of new business. In addition, any proposed acquisitions may be subject to regulatory approval.
While the Company intends to conduct reasonable due diligence in connection with such strategic acquisitions, there are risks inherent in any acquisition. Specifically, there could be unknown or undisclosed risks or liabilities of such entities or assets for which the Company is not sufficiently indemnified. Any such unknown or undisclosed risks or liabilities could materially and adversely affect the Company's financial performance and results of operations. The Company could encounter additional transaction and integration related costs or other factors such as the failure to realize all of the benefits from the acquisition. All of these factors could cause dilution to the Company's revenue per share or decrease or delay the anticipated accretive effect of the acquisition and cause a decrease in the market price of C21's common shares.
The Company may face litigation, formal or informal complaints, enforcement actions, and inquiries by various federal, state, or local governmental authorities.
The Company's participation in the cannabis industry may lead to litigation, formal or informal complaints, enforcement actions, and inquiries by various federal, state, or local governmental authorities against the Company. Litigation, complaints and enforcement actions involving the Company could consume considerable amounts of financial and other corporate resources, which could have an adverse effect on the Company's future cash flows, earnings, results of operations and financial condition.
Should any litigation in which the Company is or becomes involved be determined against the Company, such a decision could adversely affect the Company's ability to continue operating and the market price for its common shares. Even if the Company wins current or future litigation, such litigation can redirect significant resources.
The Company has identified a material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, and if we are unable to achieve and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting or effective disclosure controls, we may be at risk to accurately report financial results or detect fraud, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
As directed by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC adopted rules requiring an annual assessment by management of the effectiveness of a public company's internal controls over financial reporting and an attestation report by the Company's independent auditors addressing this assessment, if applicable. As discussed in Item 15 "Controls and Procedures" based on a review of our internal controls over financial reporting, management concluded that our internal controls over financial reporting was not effective due to the existence of a material weakness inadequate segregation of duties in certain financial reporting processes, including accounting for convertible debentures, leases and deferred income taxes, partly because of the Company's small size and insufficient personnel with an appropriate level of technical accounting knowledge, experience and training commensurate with the Company's complexity and its financial accounting and reporting requirements. A material weakness is defined as a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of a company's annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis by the Company's internal controls. Management intends on expanding the scope of services with the Company's independent outside accounting consulting firm in order to remediate this weakness, among other measures. For additional information, see Item 15 "Controls and Procedures."
We cannot assure you that we will be able to remediate our existing material weakness in a timely manner, if at all, or that in the future additional material weaknesses will not exist, reoccur or otherwise be discovered, a risk that is significantly increased in light of the complexity of our business. If our efforts to remediate this material weakness, as described in Item 15 "Controls and Procedures", is not successful or if other deficiencies occur, our ability to accurately and timely report our financial position, results of operations, cash flows or key operating metrics could be impaired, which could result in late filings of our annual or interim reports under the Exchange Act, restatements of our consolidated financial statements or other corrective disclosures. Our failure to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 on an ongoing, timely basis could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of its financial statements, which in turn could harm our business and negatively impact the trading price of the common shares. In addition, future changes in our accounting, financial reporting, and regulatory environment may create new areas of risk exposure. Failure to modify our existing control environment accordingly may impair our controls over financial reporting and cause our investors to lose confidence in the reliability of our financial reporting, which may adversely affect our share price, suspension of trading or removal of our common shares from the OTCQX International Market, or other material adverse effects on our business, reputation, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity. Furthermore, if we continue to have this existing material weakness, other material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in the future, it could create a perception that our financial results do not fairly state our financial condition or results of operations. Any of the foregoing could have an adverse effect on the value of our shares.
The Company's operations are subject to environmental regulation in the various jurisdictions in which it operates, which may adversely affect the Company's operations.
The Company's operations are subject to environmental regulation in the various jurisdictions in which it operates. These regulations mandate, among other things, the maintenance of air and water quality standards and land reclamation. They also set forth limitations on the generation, transportation, storage and disposal of solid and hazardous waste. Environmental legislation is evolving in a manner which will require stricter standards and enforcement, increased fines and penalties for non-compliance, more stringent environmental assessments of proposed projects and a heightened degree of responsibility for companies and their officers, directors (or the equivalent thereof) and employees. There is no assurance that future changes in environmental regulation, if any, will not adversely affect the Company's operations.
The Company is dependent on governmental approvals, licenses and permits to operate, and failure to obtain or maintain such approvals, licenses and permits may adversely affect the Company's operations.
Government approvals and permits are currently, and may in the future, be required in connection with the Company's operations or future operations. To the extent such approvals are required and not obtained or maintained, the Company may be curtailed or prohibited from its current or proposed production, manufacturing, processing, distribution or sale of cannabis or from proceeding with the development of its operations as currently proposed.
Failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations and permitting requirements may result in enforcement actions thereunder, including orders issued by regulatory or judicial authorities causing operations to cease or be curtailed, and may include corrective measures requiring capital expenditures, installation of additional equipment, or remedial actions. The Company may be required to compensate those suffering loss or damage by reason of its operations and may have civil or criminal fines or penalties imposed for violations of applicable laws or regulations.
Amendments to current laws, regulations and permits governing the production or manufacturing of cannabis, or more stringent implementation thereof, could have a material adverse impact on the Company and cause increases in expenses, capital expenditures or production or manufacturing costs or reduction in levels of production or manufacturing or require abandonment or delays in development.
Further, the Company may not be able to obtain or maintain the necessary licenses, permits, authorizations or accreditations, or may only be able to do so at great cost, to operate its marijuana business. In addition, the Company may not be able to comply fully with the wide variety of laws and regulations applicable to the marijuana industry. Failure to comply with or to obtain the necessary licenses, permits, authorizations or accreditations could result in restrictions on the Company's ability to operate the marijuana business, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business. Further, should any state in which the Company considers a license important not grant, extend or renew such license or should it renew such license on different terms or decide to grant more than the anticipated number of licenses, the business, financial condition and results of operations of the Company could be materially adversely affected.
The Company's limited operating history makes evaluating its business and prospects difficult.
The Company has a limited operating history on which to base an evaluation of its business, financial performance and prospects. As such, the Company's business and prospects must be considered in light of the risks, expenses and difficulties frequently encountered by companies in the early stage of development. As the Company is in an early stage and is introducing new products, the Company's revenues may be materially affected by the decisions, including timing decisions, of a relatively consolidated customer base. The Company has had limited experience in addressing the risks, expenses and difficulties frequently encountered by companies in their early stage of development, particularly companies in new and rapidly evolving industries such as the cannabis industry. There can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in addressing these risks, and the failure to do so in any one area could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
The Company is dependent upon existing management, its key research and development personnel and its growing and extraction personnel, and its business may be severely disrupted if it loses their service.
The Company's future success depends substantially on the continued services of its executive officers, its key research and development personnel and its key growing and extraction personnel. If one or more of its executive officers or key personnel were unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, the Company might not be able to replace them easily or at all. In addition, if any of its executive officers or key employees joins a competitor or forms a competing company, the Company may lose know-how, key professionals and staff members. These executive officers and key employees could compete with and take customers away.
The Company will need to hire additional personnel in order to grow its business.
As the Company grows, it will need to hire additional human resources to continue to develop the business. However, experienced talent is difficult to source, and there can be no assurance that the appropriate individuals will be available or affordable to the Company. Without adequate personnel and expertise, the growth of the Company's business may suffer.
The Company may be exposed to infringement or misappropriation claims by third parties, which, if determined adversely to the Company, could subject the Company to significant liabilities and other costs.
The Company's success may likely depend on its ability to use and develop new extraction technologies, recipes, know-how and new strains of marijuana without infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties. The Company cannot assure that third parties will not assert intellectual property claims against it. The Company is subject to additional risks if entities licensing to its intellectual property do not have adequate rights in any such licensed materials. If third parties assert copyright or patent infringement or violation of other intellectual property rights against the Company, it will be required to defend itself in litigation or administrative proceedings, which can be both costly and time consuming and may significantly divert the efforts and resources of management personnel. An adverse determination in any such litigation or proceedings to which the Company may become a party could subject it to significant liability to third parties, require it to seek licenses from third parties, to pay ongoing royalties or subject the Company to injunctions prohibiting the development and operation of its applications.
The Company may need to incur significant expenses to enforce its proprietary rights, and if the Company is unable to protect such rights, its competitive position could be harmed.
The Company regards proprietary methods and processes, domain names, trade names, trade secrets, recipes and other intellectual property as critical to its success. The Company's ability to protect its proprietary rights is critical for the success of its business and its overall financial performance. The Company has taken certain measures to protect its intellectual property rights. However, the Company cannot assure that such measures will be sufficient to protect its proprietary information and intellectual property. Policing unauthorized use of proprietary information and intellectual property is difficult and expensive. Any steps the Company has taken to prevent misappropriation of its proprietary technology may be inadequate. The validity, enforceability and scope of protection of intellectual property in the marijuana industry is uncertain and still evolving. In particular, the laws and enforcement procedures in some developing countries are uncertain and may not protect intellectual property rights in this area to the same extent as do the laws and enforcement procedures in Canada, the United States and other developed countries.
The Company may face increased competition in the marketplace for cannabis.
There can be no assurance that significant competition will not enter the marketplace and offer some number of similar products and services or take a similar approach. An increase in the companies competing in this industry could limit the ability of the Company to expand its operations. Current and new competitors may be better capitalized, have a longer operating history, have more expertise and be able to develop higher quality equipment or products, at the same or a lower cost. The Company cannot provide assurances that it will be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors. Such competition could have a material adverse effect on the growth potential of the Company's business by effectively dividing the existing market for its products. In addition, despite Canadian federal and U.S. state-level legislation of marijuana, illicit or "black market" operations remain abundant and present substantial competition to the Company. In particular, illicit operations, despite being largely clandestine, are not required to comply with the extensive regulations that the Company must comply with to conduct business and, accordingly, may have significantly lower costs of operations.
There is no assurance of the Company's profitability.
The Company cannot give assurances that it will not incur losses in the future. The limited operating history makes it difficult to predict future operating results. The Company is subject to the risks inherent in the operation of a new business enterprise in an emerging and uncertain business sector, and there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to successfully address these risks.
The success of the Company will be dependent on its ability to manage growth.
The Company may experience a period of significant growth in the number of personnel that will place a strain upon its management systems and resources. Its future will depend in part on the ability of its officers and other key employees to implement and improve financial management controls, reporting systems and procedures on a timely basis and to expand, train, motivate and manage the workforce. The Company's current and planned personnel, systems, procedures and controls may be inadequate to support its future operations.
The Company's operations are impacted by general economic trends.
Any worldwide economic slowdown and tightening of credit in the financial markets may impact the business of the Company's customers, which could have an adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition, or results of operations. Adverse changes in general economic or political conditions in the United States and elsewhere could adversely affect the Company's business, financial condition, results of operations and property.
The Company faces significant costs in order to gain and increase market acceptance of its products.
The Company's ability to gain and increase market acceptance of its products depends on its ability to educate the public on the benefits of its marijuana products. It also requires the Company to establish and maintain its brand name and reputation. In order to do so, substantial expenditures on product development, strategic relationships and marketing initiatives may be required. There can be no assurance that these initiatives will be successful, and their failure may have an adverse effect on the Company's operations.
The Company may not have adequate insurance coverage, which may adversely impact the Company's business, results of operations and profitability.
The Company requires insurance coverage for a number of risks, including business interruption, environmental matters and contamination, product liability, personal injury and property damage. Although the Company believes that the events and amounts of liability covered by its insurance policies will be reasonable, considering the risks relevant to its business, and the fact that agreements with users contain limitations of liability, there can be no assurance that such coverage will be available or sufficient to cover claims to which the Company may become subject. If insurance coverage is unavailable or insufficient to cover any such claims, the Company's financial resources, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected. Further, because the Company is engaged in the cannabis industry, there may be additional difficulties and complexities associated with such insurance coverage that could cause the Company to suffer uninsured losses, which could adversely impact the Company's business, results of operations and profitability.
The Company faces risks related to tax credits and deductions.
The provisions of the Section 280E of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code") are being applied by the United States Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") to businesses operating in the U.S. medical and adult-use marijuana industry. Section 280E of the Code provides that no deduction or credit shall be allowed for any amount paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business if such trade or business (or the activities which comprise such trade or business) consists of trafficking in controlled substances (within the meaning of schedule I and II of the CSA) which is prohibited by Federal law or the law of any State in which such trade or business is conducted.
Even though several states have medical and adult-use marijuana laws, the IRS is applying Section 280E of the Code to deny business deductions. Businesses operating legally under state law argue that Section 280E of the Code should not be applied because Congress did not intend the law to apply to businesses that are legal under state law. The IRS asserts that it was the intent of Congress to apply the provision to anyone "trafficking" in a controlled substance, as defined under Federal law (as stated in the text of the statute). Section 280E of the Code is at the center of the conflict between Federal and state laws with respect to medical and retail marijuana which applies to the business conducted by the Company. Section 280E of the Code may adversely impact the Company and cause it to be subject to higher effective U.S. federal income tax rates than similar companies in other industries.
Results of future clinical research may negatively impact demand for the Company's products.
Research in Canada, the U.S. and internationally regarding the medical benefits, viability, safety, efficacy, dosing and social acceptance of cannabis or isolated cannabinoids (such CBD and THC) remains in early stages. There have been relatively few clinical trials on the benefits of cannabis or isolated cannabinoids (such as CBD and THC). Although the Company believes that the articles, reports and studies to date support its beliefs regarding the medical benefits, viability, safety, efficacy, dosing and social acceptance of cannabis, future research and clinical trials may prove such statements to be incorrect, or could raise concerns regarding, and perceptions relating to, cannabis. Given these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, investors should not place undue reliance on such articles, reports and studies. Future research studies and clinical trials may draw opposing conclusions to those stated herein or reach negative conclusions regarding the medical benefits, viability, safety, efficacy, dosing, social acceptance or other facts and perceptions related to cannabis, which could have a material adverse effect on the demand for the Company's products with the potential to lead to a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects.
The Company faces risks inherent in an agricultural business, including adverse weather conditions and rising energy costs.
Adult-use and medical marijuana are agricultural products. There are risks inherent in the agricultural business, such as insects, plant diseases and similar agricultural risks. Although the products are usually grown indoors under climate-controlled conditions, with conditions monitored, there can be no assurance that natural elements will not have a material adverse effect on the production of the Company's products. The occurrence of severe adverse weather conditions, especially droughts, fires, storms or floods is unpredictable and may have a potentially devastating impact on agricultural production and may otherwise adversely affect the supply of cannabis. Adverse weather conditions may be exacerbated by the effects of climate change and may result in the introduction and increased frequency of pests and diseases. The effects of severe adverse weather conditions may reduce the Company's yields or require the Company to increase its level of investment to maintain yields. Additionally, higher than average temperatures and rainfall can contribute to an increased presence of insects and pests, which could negatively affect cannabis crops. Future droughts might reduce the yield and quality of the Company's cannabis production, which could materially and adversely affect the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations.
Adult-use and medical marijuana growing operations consume considerable energy, making the Company potentially vulnerable to rising energy costs. Rising or volatile energy costs may adversely impact the business, results of operations, financial condition or prospects of the Company.
The Company relies on third-party contractors to maintain its information technology systems.
We rely on information technology ("IT") systems and networks in our operations which are provided and maintained by third-party contractors. The availability, capacity, reliability and security of these IT systems could be subject to network disruptions caused by a variety of malicious sources, including computer viruses, security breaches, cyber-attacks and theft, as well as network and/or hardware disruptions resulting from unexpected failures such as human error, software or hardware defects, natural disasters, fire, flood or power loss. Our operations also depend on the timely maintenance, upgrade and replacement of networks, equipment, IT systems and software, as well as pre-emptive expenses to mitigate the risks of failures.
The ability of the IT function to support our business in the event of any such failure and the ability to recover key systems from unexpected interruptions cannot be fully tested. There is a risk that if such an event were to occur, our response may not be adequate to immediately address all of the potential repercussions of the incident. In the event of a disaster affecting our head office, key systems may be unavailable for a number of days, leading to inability to perform some business processes in a timely manner. The failure of our IT systems or a component thereof could, depending on the nature, materially impact our financial condition, results of operations, reputation and share price.
Unauthorized access to our IT systems as a result of cyber-attacks could lead to exposure, corruption or loss of confidential information, and disruption to our communications, operations, business activities or our competitive position. Further, disruption of critical IT services, or breaches of information security, could expose us to financial losses and regulatory or legal action. Our risk and exposure to these matters cannot be fully mitigated because of, among other things, the evolving nature of these threats. As a result, cyber- security and the continued development and enhancement of controls, processes and practices designed to protect systems, computers, software, data and networks from attack, damage or unauthorized access remain a priority.
We apply technical and process controls in line with industry-accepted standards to protect information, assets and systems. Although these measures are robust, they cannot possibly prevent all types of cyber-threat. There is no assurance that we will not suffer losses associated with cyber-security breaches in the future, and we may be required to expend significant additional resources to investigate, mitigate and remediate any potential vulnerabilities. As cyber-threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend additional resources to continue to modify or enhance protective measures or to investigate and remediate any security vulnerabilities.
The size of the Company's target market is difficult to quantify, and investors will be reliant on their own estimates on the accuracy of market data.
Because the cannabis industry is in an early stage with uncertain boundaries, there is a lack of information about comparable companies available for potential investors to review in deciding about whether to invest in the Company and, few, if any, established companies whose business model the Company can follow or upon whose success the Company can build. Accordingly, investors will have to rely on their own estimates in deciding about whether to invest in the Company. There can be no assurance that the Company's estimates are accurate or that the market size is sufficiently large for its business to
The Company is a British Columbia corporation governed by the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) ("BCBCA") and, as such, our corporate structure, the rights and obligations of shareholders and our corporate bodies may be different from those of the home countries of international investors.
Substantially all of the Company's assets are located outside of Canada, and certain of its directors are resident outside of Canada, and their assets are outside of Canada. Serving process on those directors may prove to be difficult or excessively time consuming. Non-Canadian residents may find it more difficult and costlier to exercise shareholder rights. Additionally, it may be difficult to enforce a judgment obtained in Canada against the Company, its subsidiaries and any directors and officers residing outside of Canada.
The success of the Company may depend, in part, on the ability of an operator to maintain and enhance trade secret protection over its various existing and potential proprietary techniques and processes, or trademark and branding developed by it.
Each operator may also be vulnerable to competitors who develop competing technology, whether independently or as a result of acquiring access to the proprietary products and trade secrets of the operator. In addition, effective future patent, copyright and trade secret protection may be unavailable or limited in certain foreign countries and may be unenforceable under the laws of certain jurisdictions.
The Company may experience difficulty implementing its business strategy.
The growth and expansion of the Company is heavily dependent upon the successful implementation of its business strategy. There can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in the implementation of its business strategy.
Conflicts of interest involving the Company's directors and officers may arise and may be resolved in a manner that is unfavorable to the Company.
Certain of the Company's directors and officers are, and may continue to be, involved in other business ventures through their direct and indirect participation in corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, etc. that may become potential competitors of the technologies, products and services the Company intends to provide. Situations may arise in connection with potential acquisitions or opportunities where the other interests of these directors and officers may conflict with or diverge from the Company's interests. In accordance with applicable corporate law, directors who have a material interest in or who is a party to a material contract or a proposed material contract with the Company are required, subject to certain exceptions, to disclose that interest and generally abstain from voting on any resolution to approve the contract. In addition, the directors and officers of the Company are required to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the Company's best interests. However, in conflict-of-interest situations, the Company's directors and officers may owe the same duty to another company and will need to balance their competing interests with their duties to the Company. Circumstances (including with respect to future corporate opportunities) may arise that may be resolved in a manner that is unfavorable to the Company.
Prolonged periods of inflation could increase costs, have an adverse effect on general economic conditions and impact consumer spending, which could impact our profitability and have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Inflation has risen on a global basis and countries around the world have recently experienced historically high levels of inflation. If the inflation rate continues to increase, it can also push up the costs of labor and other expenses. There is no assurance that our revenues will increase at the same rate to maintain the same level of profitability. Inflation and government efforts to combat inflation, such as raising the benchmark interest rate, could increase market volatility and have an adverse effect on the financial market and general economic conditions. Such adverse conditions could negatively impact demand for our products, which could adversely affect our profitability, results of operations and cash flow.
Currency fluctuations may have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition and operating results.
Due to the Company's present operations in the United States, and its intention to continue future operations outside Canada, the Company is expected to be exposed to significant currency fluctuations. All or substantially all of the Company's revenue will be earned in U.S. dollars, but operating expenses are incurred in both U.S. and Canadian dollars. The Company does not have currency hedging arrangements in place, and there is no expectation that the Company will put any currency hedging arrangements in place in the future. Fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar may have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition and operating results. The Company may, in the future, establish a program to hedge a portion of its foreign currency exposure with the objective of minimizing the impact of adverse foreign currency exchange movements. However, even if the Company develops a hedging program, there can be no assurance that it will effectively mitigate currency risks.
Risks Associated With The Securities Of The Company
The Company may not be able to meet its obligations as they become due, and the Company will require additional funding to continue as a going concern.
Liquidity risk is the risk that the Company will not be able to meet its obligations as they become due. The Company's ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on management's ability to raise required funding through future equity or debt issuances. The Company manages its liquidity risk by forecasting cash flows from operations and anticipating any investing and financing activities. While the Company experiences positive cash flow from operations, such cash flow will not be sufficient on its own to fund payments on the short-term debt obligations owing to the Company's President and CEO, and other unsecured creditors. These material uncertainties cast significant doubt upon the Company's ability to continue as a going concern.
The Company will require additional financing, which may not be available.
The continued development of the Company will require additional financing. There is no guarantee that the Company will be able to achieve its business objectives. The Company intends to fund its business objectives by way of additional offerings of equity and/or debt financing. The failure to raise or procure such additional funds could result in the delay or indefinite postponement of current business objectives. There can be no assurance that additional capital or other types of financing will be available if needed or that, if available, will be on terms acceptable to the Company. If additional funds are raised by offering equity securities or convertible debt, existing shareholders could suffer significant dilution. Any debt financing secured in the future could involve the granting of security against assets of the Company and also contain restrictive covenants relating to capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for the Company to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. The Company will require additional financing to fund its operations until positive cash flow is achieved.
Investors in the Common Shares may experience dilution from future financings.
The Company may issue additional securities in the future, which may dilute a shareholder's holdings in the Company. The Company's articles permit the issuance of an unlimited number of common shares, and the Company's shareholders will have no pre-emptive rights in connection with such further issuances. C21's Board of Directors ("Board") has discretion to determine the price and the terms of further issuances. Moreover, additional common shares will be issued by the Company on the exercise, conversion or redemption of certain outstanding securities of the Company in accordance with their terms. The Company may also issue common shares to finance future acquisitions. The Company cannot predict the size of future issuances of common shares or the effect that future issuances and sales of common shares or other securities will have on the market price of its common shares. Issuances of a substantial number of additional common shares, or the perception that such issuances could occur, may adversely affect prevailing market prices for the common shares. With any additional issuance of common shares, investors will suffer dilution and the Company may experience dilution in its revenue per share.
Company indebtedness could have a number of adverse impacts on the Company, including reducing the availability of cash flows to fund working capital and capital expenses.
Any indebtedness of the Company could have significant consequences on the Company, including: increase the Company's vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions; require the Company to dedicate a substantial portion of its cash flow from operations to making interest and principal payments on its indebtedness, reducing the availability of the Company's cash flow to fund capital expenditures, working capital and other general corporate purposes; limit the Company's flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in the business and the industry in which it operates; place the Company at a competitive disadvantage compared to its competitors that have greater financial resources; and limit the Company's ability to complete fundamental corporate changes or transactions or to declare or pay dividends.
There is a limited market for resale of the Company's common shares.
Notwithstanding that the Company's common shares are listed on the CSE, there can be no assurance that an active and liquid market for such securities will develop or be maintained and securityholders may find it difficult to resell any securities of the Company.
There can be no assurance that the publicly traded price of the Company's common shares will be high enough to create a positive return for investors. Further, there can be no assurance that the common shares will be sufficiently liquid so as to permit investors to sell their position in the Company without adversely affecting the stock price. In such event, the probability of resale of the common shares would be diminished.
As well, the continued operations of the Company will be dependent upon its ability to procure additional financing in the short term and to generate operating revenues in the longer term. There can be no assurance that any such financing can be obtained or that revenues can be generated. If the Company is unable to obtain such additional financing or generate such revenues, investors may be unable to sell their common shares and any investment in the Company may be lost.
The price of the Common Shares has been and may continue to be volatile.
The market price of C21's common shares cannot be predicted and has been and may be volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control. This volatility may affect the ability of shareholders or holders of other securities to sell their securities at an advantageous price. Market price fluctuations in the securities may be due to the Company's operating results failing to meet expectations of securities analysts or investors in any period, downward revision in securities analysts' estimates, adverse changes in general market conditions or competitive, regulatory or economic trends, adverse changes in the economic performance or market valuations of companies in the industry in which the Company operates, acquisitions, dispositions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, capital commitments or other material public announcements by the Company or its competitors or government and regulatory authorities, operating and share price performance of the companies that investors deem comparable to the Company, addition or departure of the Company's executive officers and other key personnel, along with a variety of additional factors. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of the Company's securities.
Financial markets have at times historically experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that have particularly affected the market prices of equity and convertible securities of companies and that have often been unrelated to the operating performance, underlying asset values or prospects of such companies. Accordingly, the market price of C21's common shares and other securities may decline even if the Company's operating results, underlying asset values or prospects have not changed. Additionally, these factors, as well as other related factors, may cause decreases in asset values that are deemed to be other than temporary, which may result in impairment losses. There can be no assurance that continuing fluctuations in price and volume will not occur. If such increased levels of volatility and market turmoil continue or arise, the Company's operations may be adversely impacted, and the trading price of the common shares and other securities may be materially adversely affected.
Maintaining a public listing is costly and will add to the Company's legal and financial compliance costs.
As a public company, there are costs associated with legal, accounting and other expenses related to regulatory compliance. Securities legislation and the rules and policies of the CSE require listed companies to, among other things, adopt corporate governance and related practices, and to continuously prepare and disclose material information, all of which add to a company's legal and financial compliance costs. The Company may also elect to devote greater resources than it otherwise would have on communication and other activities typically considered important by publicly traded companies.
The Company has not paid dividends and does not anticipate paying dividends for the foreseeable future.
The Company has not paid dividends to shareholders in the past and does not anticipate paying dividends in the foreseeable future. The Company expects to retain its earnings to finance growth, and where appropriate, to pay down debt.
The Company's Foreign Private Issuer status under U.S. Securities Laws.
The Company is a "foreign private issuer", under applicable U.S. federal securities laws, and is, therefore, not subject to the same requirements that are imposed upon U.S. domestic issuers by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Under the Exchange Act, the Company is subject to reporting obligations that, in certain respects, are less detailed and less frequent than those of U.S. domestic reporting companies. As a result, the Company does not file the same reports that a U.S. domestic issuer would file with the SEC, although the Company is required to file with or furnish to the SEC the continuous disclosure documents that it is required to file in Canada under Canadian securities laws. In addition, the Company's officers, directors, and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and short-swing profit recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. Therefore, the Company's shareholders may not know on as timely a basis when the Company's officers, directors and principal shareholders purchase or sell Common Shares, as the reporting periods under the corresponding Canadian insider reporting requirements are longer.
In order to maintain its status as a foreign private issuer, a majority of the Company's common shares must be either directly or indirectly owned by non-residents of the U.S. unless the Company also satisfies one of the additional requirements necessary to preserve this status. The Company may in the future lose its foreign private issuer status if a majority of its common shares are held in the U.S. and if the Company fails to meet the additional requirements necessary to avoid loss of its foreign private issuer status. The regulatory and compliance costs under U.S. federal securities laws as a U.S. domestic issuer may be significantly more than the costs incurred as a Canadian foreign private issuer using the standard foreign form or as Canadian foreign private issuer eligible to use the multi-jurisdictional disclosure system adopted by the securities regulatory authorities in United States and Canada ("MJDS"). If the Company is not a foreign private issuer, it would not be eligible to use the MJDS or other foreign issuer forms and would be required to file periodic and current reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms with the SEC, which are more detailed and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer.
The Company is an emerging growth company and relies on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements which may make its common shares less attractive to investors.
The Company is an "emerging growth company" as defined in section 3(a) of the Exchange Act (as amended by the JOBS Act, enacted on April 5, 2012), and the Company will continue to qualify as an emerging growth company until the earliest to occur of: (a) the last day of the fiscal year during which the Company has total annual gross revenues of US$1,070,000,000 (as such amount is indexed for inflation every five years by the SEC) or more; (b) the last day of the fiscal year of the Company following the fifth anniversary of the date of the first sale of common equity securities of the Company pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act, as amended; (c) the date on which the Company has, during the previous three year period, issued more than US$1,000,000,000 in non-convertible debt; and (d) the date on which the Company is deemed to be a "large accelerated filer", as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act. The Company will qualify as a large accelerated filer (and would cease to be an emerging growth company) at such time when on the last business day of its second fiscal quarter of such year the aggregate worldwide market value of its common equity held by non-affiliates will be US$700,000,000 or more.
For so long as the Company remains an emerging growth company, it is permitted to and intends to rely upon exemptions from certain disclosure requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies. These exemptions include not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Company cannot predict whether investors will find its common shares less attractive because the Company relies upon certain of these exemptions. If some investors find the Common Shares less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for the Common Shares and the Common Share price may be more volatile. On the other hand, if the Company no longer qualifies as an emerging growth company, the Company would be required to divert additional management time and attention from the Company's development and other business activities and incur increased legal and financial costs to comply with the additional associated reporting requirements, which could negatively impact the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations.
Item 4. Information on the Company
A. History and Development of the Company
The Company was incorporated in the Province of British Columbia under the Company Act (British Columbia) on January 15, 1987 as Empire Creek Mines Inc. On May 11, 1987, the Company changed its name to Curlew Lake Resources Inc. Effective November 24, 2017, the Company changed its name to C21 Investments Inc.
On June 15, 2018, the common shares of the Company were delisted from the TSXV and on June 18, 2018 the common shares of the Company commenced trading on the CSE under the symbol "CXXI". The Company registered its common shares in the United States and on May 6, 2019, its common shares were cleared by FINRA for trading on the OTC Markets platform under the U.S. trading symbol "CXXIF". On August 23, 2019 the Company announced it had been approved for trading on the OTCQB Venture Market, and on September 28, 2020 the Company commenced trading on the OTCQX Best Market.
The Company's corporate office and principal place of business is 19th Floor, 885 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6C 3H4. The Company's telephone number is +1 833-289-2994 and its corporate website is www.cxxi.ca. The information contained on its website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report on Form 20-F. The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding registrants that make electronic filings with the SEC using its EDGAR system.
Since the Company changed its focus to the cannabis market on January 29, 2018, the Company has aggressively grown its business, completing five acquisitions in Nevada and Oregon in 2018 and 2019, and thereafter thoughtfully improved upon its Nevada operations and optimized its operations in Oregon.
As of January 31, 2022, the Company has closed its acquisitions of Silver State Relief LLC (retail) and Silver State Cultivation LLC (cultivation and extraction) located in Nevada, and Eco Firma Farms LLC (cultivation), Megawood Enterprises Inc (retail), Phantom Venture Group, LLC and Phantom Brands, LLC (cultivation, extraction and wholesale) and Swell Companies Limited (extraction and wholesale) located in Oregon.
In the current phase of C21's strategic plan, the Company is focused primarily on improving and expanding its retail footprint in Nevada and is liquidating its Oregon assets. The Company may also entertain strategic opportunities in other jurisdictions, as such opportunities may arise.
The Company funded its acquisitions through private placement financings and convertible debentures.
Completed Acquisitions and Dispositions
Silver State Cultivation LLC and Silver State Relief LLC - Nevada, USA
On January 15, 2019, the Company completed the acquisition of 100% of the membership interests of both Silver State Relief LLC and Silver State Cultivation LLC (collectively "Silver State"), which are Nevada limited liability companies. The acquisition was made effective January 1, 2019. Silver State operates indoor cannabis cultivation and processing in a licensed facility in Sparks, Nevada, and owns two retail licenses that operate cannabis dispensaries in Sparks and Fernley, Nevada. Silver State is the flagship operation of C21.
In consideration for 100% of the membership interests of Silver State, the Company paid total consideration of $49,105,048, which included a secured promissory note to the vendor, Sonny Newman, for $30,000,000 (the "Newman Note").
Mr. Newman was subsequently engaged by the Company to act as its President and Chief Executive Officer.
Promissory Note to Sonny Newman
Effective November 21, 2019, Mr. Newman and the Company agreed to amend the terms of the Newman Note, with a remaining principal balance of $21,800,000. The December 1, 2019 principal payment of $800,000 was cancelled and the principal monthly payments thereafter were reduced to $600,000 per month. Further, the annual interest rate on the note was reduced from 10% to 9.5%. The remaining balance on the note was then due and payable on July 1, 2020.
Effective June 25, 2020, Mr. Newman and the Company agreed to further amend the terms of the Newman Note, with the remaining principal balance of $18,200,000. The maturity date of the Note was extended from July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021, and all other terms of the Newman Note remained the same, including the monthly payment obligations of principal and interest.
Effective November 19, 2020, Mr. Newman and the Company agreed to further amend the terms of the Newman Note, with the remaining balance of $15,200,000. The remaining balance of the Note was termed out 30 months to May 1, 2023, and the monthly payments reduced to $506,666 per month; all other terms of the Newman Note remained the same. As at January 31, 2022, the outstanding balance of the Newman Note was $8,106,666, and is $4,560,000 as of the date of this Annual Report.
Silver State buildings
The Silver State Relief dispensary in Sparks, Nevada was the first dispensary in Nevada and opened in July 2015 selling medical cannabis. In July 2017, the sale of recreational cannabis commenced, and in January 2019 a second dispensary location was opened in Fernley, Nevada.
The Silver State businesses operate in three buildings, a cultivation/production warehouse and a dispensary, both located in Sparks, Nevada. The third building is the Fernley dispensary in Fernley, Nevada, which opened on January 15, 2019. The Company has the option, exercisable during the term of its leases, to acquire all three of the real estate assets of Silver State including: the land and 158,000 square-foot building ("Stanford Way") located in Sparks, Nevada that houses its cultivation and extraction facility; the land and 8.000 square foot retail dispensary building ("Greg Street") located in Sparks, Nevada, servicing more than 30,000 customers per month; and the 6,000 square foot dispensary and land located in Fernley, Nevada ("Fernley"), servicing more than 15,000 customers per month. The option price for Stanford Way is $12,700,000, payable in cash or common shares of the Company at $3.50 per common share, at the election of the landlord. The option price for Greg Street is $3,300,000, payable in cash. The option price for Fernley, extended on June 30, 2020, along with the lease term, to July 31, 2023, is $2,228,000, payable in cash.
On November 19, 2020 the Company and the landlord agreed that the purchase options for the Greg Street and Fernley dispensaries would be extinguished. The leases on each of the 3 properties were extended to December 31, 2027, with a 5-year renewal option.
Today there are 19 grow rooms at the Silver State cultivation and extraction facility producing approximately 8,200 pounds of flower and 3,400 pounds of trim. Most of this production is sold through the two Silver State dispensaries. Excess production is sold into the wholesale market.
Megawood Enterprises Inc - Oregon, USA
On January 23, 2019, the Company completed the acquisition of 100% of the common shares of Megawood Enterprises Inc ("Pure Green"), an Oregon corporation, which includes its retail location at 3738 Sandy Blvd. NE, Portland, OR. In consideration for 100% of the common shares of Pure Green, the Company paid total consideration of $794,888.
On February 28, 2020, the Company restructured the final payment due to the vendors of Pure Green. The final payment consisted of a cash payment of $130,000 and the issuance of 95,849 common shares of the Company at a deemed price of C$0.6225/share.
The Pure Green operations were temporarily shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The operations were reopened under new third-party management pursuant to a management agreement dated June 1, 2020, whereby the management company has assumed all leasehold liabilities and costs at the facility including the triple net real property lease.
On January 7, 2021, the Company entered into the Oregon Agreement (as defined herein), pursuant to which, among other things, involved the sale of the Pure Green assets, and the assumption by the buyer of the lease at the Pure Green facility. Subsequent to the sale of the Pure Green assets, Pure Green was dissolved and is no longer in operation. See "Sale of Non-Core Oregon Assets" below.
Phantom Venture Group, LLC and Phantom Brands, LLC - Oregon, USA
On February 4, 2019, the Company completed its acquisition of 100% of the membership interests of Phantom (as defined below), which encompasses the following limited liability companies: Phantom Venture Group, LLC, Phantom Distribution, LLC, 63353 Bend, LLC, 20727-4 Bend, LLC, 4964 BFH, LLC, and Phantom Brands, LLC (collectively "Phantom"). Phantom operates two outdoor cannabis cultivation facilities totaling 80,000 square feet in Southern Oregon. Phantom also operates a 5,600 square foot facility which includes a wholesale distribution warehouse and an extraction laboratory and a 7,700 square foot state-of-the-art indoor grow facility in Central Oregon.
In consideration for 100% of the membership interests of Phantom, the Company paid total consideration of $10,539,260 as follows:
(i) cash deposits on closing of $3,200,000
(ii) a promissory note for $290,000;
(iii) issuance of 2,670,000 common shares of the Company valued at C$1.23/common share;
(iv) issuance of 1,700,000 share purchase warrants of C21, each warrant exercisable for one common share at a price of C$1.50 per common share; and,
(v) issuance of earnout shares of up to a maximum of 4,500,000 common shares of C21 (the "Phantom Earn-Out Shares"), to be issued over a period of seven years, contingent upon the achievement of certain stock price targets of C21 or change of control of C21 at certain stock price valuation targets (50% of the Phantom Earn-Out Shares issuable upon change of control of the Company at a valuation of C$3.00 per C21 common share or more; 100% of the Phantom Earn-Out Shares issuable upon change of control of the Company at a valuation of at least C$5.00 per C21 common share).
In an agreement signed contemporaneously, the Company committed to purchase SDP Development Group, LLC ("SDP") on October 15, 2020, which owned six real estate properties used in connection with Phantom Farms' cannabis cultivation, processing and wholesale distribution operations. The aggregate purchase price was $8,010,000 payable in cash, or, at the election of the vendors, in whole or in part by the issue of 2,670,000 common shares at a deemed price of $3.00 per common share. Subsequently, the Company and SDP agreed to modify the terms of the SDP agreement as well as modify the leases subject to Phantom Farms' operations. On February 12, 2020, the parties agreed to the following modified terms: the Company purchased two Southern Oregon farms, constituting over 60 acres of real property housing the two outdoor cannabis cultivation facilities totaling 80,000 square feet of canopy, rent reduction on the three Phantom properties in Central Oregon to 7% of the assessed value (a reduction of the Company's total forward lease obligations in Phantom Farms locations by $370,000 per year), and a release from the obligation to purchase the sixth property in Southern Oregon. In exchange, the SDP vendors received 7,132,041 common shares of the Company at a deemed issue price of C$0.804 per share.
On November 18, 2021, C21 entered into an agreement (the "Earn-Out Share Agreement") in connection with the Phantom Earn-Out Share entitlements of the Phantom vendors. Pursuant to the Earn-Out Share Agreement, individuals who were entitled to receive 4,500,000 Earn-Out Shares agreed to collectively receive 1,300,000 million common shares of C21 in exchange for their entitlement to receive the Phantom Earn-Out Shares (the "Settlement Transaction"). The Settlement Transaction closed on January 24, 2022.
On January 19, 2022, the Company entered in the Southern Oregon Agreement (as defined herein), pursuant to which, among other things, involved the sale of the two Phantom outdoor cannabis cultivation facilities in Southern Oregon. On April 28, 2022, the Company entered into the Central Oregon Agreement (as defined herein), pursuant to which, among other things, the Company sold three (3) Bend, Oregon cannabis licenses. The Company has remaining lease payment obligations in connection with the Phantom Tier I indoor cultivation facility, the processing facility and the wholesale distribution facility in Central Oregon until January 2024. Phantom is no longer in operation; however the Company has retained the Phantom Farms and Hood Oil brands. See "Sale of Non-Core Oregon Assets" below.
Swell Companies Limited - Oregon, USA
On May 24, 2019, the Company completed its acquisition of 100% of the common shares of Swell Companies Limited ("Swell"), an Oregon corporation. Swell is a processor and wholesaler of THC and CBD products. Swell is recognized as a leader in the extraction and manufacturing of THC and CBD derived products. Swell's commitment to quality, innovation, and execution has established Swell as an early and dominant player in the competitive Oregon market. Raw oil, encapsulates and vape pens are distributed under its in-house brands: Dab Society Extracts and Hood Oil. The capacity of Swell's processing facility is 350,000 grams of high-quality raw oil per month.
In consideration for 100% of the common shares of Swell, the Company paid or agreed to pay total consideration of $18,812,683 as follows:
(i) cash deposits on closing of $5,050,000;
(ii) liabilities assumed of $1,070,907;
(iii) $1,000,000 in the form of a 2-year convertible note at 10% interest, upon close;
(iv) 1,266,667 common shares of C21 on closing;
(v) 1,200,000 warrants to purchase common shares of C21 with an exercise price of C$1.50 per common share;
(vi) 456,862 common shares issuable on November 24, 2020;
(vii) 2,450,000 common shares issuable on May 24, 2021. Upon the vendors' election, up to $5 million in cash to be received 24 months from the closing date if the average closing price of the Company's shares over the 15 trading days immediately preceding the payment date is less than C$3.75 per share. If the vendors elect to take cash, common shares issuable would be reduced to 783,333; and,
(viii) issuance of up to a maximum of 6,000,000 earn out common shares (the "Swell Earn-Out Shares"), to be issued over a period of seven years, contingent upon the achievement of certain stock price targets of C21, and 50% of the Swell Earn-Out Shares issuable upon change of control of C21 and 100% of the Swell Earn-Out Shares issuable upon change of control of C21 at a C21 valuation of at least C$5.00 per C21 common share.
The Company subsequently finalized an agreement with the former owners of Swell Companies Limited (the "Swell Vendors") to amend the terms of the Company's forward-cash obligations to the Swell Vendors. Pursuant to the terms of the amended agreement: (a) the cash sum due to the Swell Vendors through September 2019 under the original agreement, in the amount of $850,000, would be paid by the Company on or before November 15, 2019; and (b) the sum of $7,350,000 due to the Swell Vendors on May 24, 2021 under the original agreement (vii above), including the Swell Vendors' option to receive $5,000,000 of such sum in cash, was satisfied in full by the issuance of 7,015,238 common shares of C21 at a deemed issue price of $1.047 per share. The shares were issued into escrow December 27, 2019 and were released as follows: (a) twenty-five percent (25%) four-months-and-a-day from the date of issue; and (b) the remainder of the shares in three equal instalments of one-third every four months thereafter. Effective November 15, 2019, the parties executed an amendment with respect to the cash payment of $850,000, by which the maturity date was extended from November 15, 2019 to on or before July 1, 2020 with interest accruing from November 15, 2019 at 9.5%. Effective June 30, 2020, the parties executed a further amendment with respect to the cash payment of $850,000, by which the maturity date was extended from July 1, 2020 to on or before January 1, 2021, with all other terms to remain unchanged.
In April 2020 some equipment and inventory were moved to other locations, manufacturing of some products was taken over by our Bend location as part of the Oregon restructuring and day to day operations was stopped. A third party commenced operating the Swell facility under a management agreement effective June 15, 2020 whereby the management company has assumed all leasehold liabilities and costs at the facility including the triple net real property lease.
On January 7, 2021, the Company entered into the Oregon Agreement, which included, among other things, the sale of the Swell assets, the Dab Society brand, and the assumption by the buyer of the lease at the Swell facility. Subsequent to the sale of the Swell assets, Swell was dissolved and is no longer in operation. See "Sale of Non-Core Oregon Assets" below.
The contingent obligation of the Company to issue the Swell Earn-Out Shares as described above remains outstanding as of the date of this Annual Report.
Eco Firma Farms LLC - Oregon, USA
On June 13, 2018, the Company completed the acquisition of 100% of the membership interests of Eco Firma Farms LLC ("EFF"), an Oregon limited liability company (former subsidiary of Proudest Monkey Holdings LLC), which owned and operated a 22,000 square-foot cannabis production facility, and related assets, in Oregon. On June 28, 2018 and July 6, 2018, the Company announced certain post-closing adjustments with respect to the acquisition of EFF. In consideration for 100% of the membership interests of EFF, the Company paid total consideration of $7,849,684.
The vendors of Eco Firma Farms LLC can also earn up to 6,500,000 common shares of C21, at a deemed issue price of $1.00 per common share, over a maximum seven-year period, if the EBITDA earned by the Company in relation to EFF satisfies certain agreed upon amounts ("EFF Earn Out"). Management has determined that the EFF Earn Out has no value.
On December 28, 2018, the Company restructured certain real estate rights connected with its EFF operations. Under the restructured arrangement, for a $3,800,000 purchase price, the Company formally acquired the real estate assets housing EFF's cultivation operations under a vendor finance arrangement that converted rental payments into mortgage interest payments. As part of the restructuring, two of the vendors of EFF agreed, among other things, to assign the rights to their 39.25% share of the EFF Earn Out to a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company.
On May 10, 2019, the Company issued 3,983,886 common shares (the common shares were issued subject to escrow release in four consecutive monthly installments of 25% each commencing on September 14, 2019), at a deemed price of $0.825 per common share, to settle the $3,800,000 purchase price for the real property used in EFF's operations, in addition to assuming the $513,294 balance under the first mortgage for the property.
Cultivation activities at the EFF facility were temporarily shuttered in October 2019. The EFF facility was under third-party management pursuant to a management agreement dated June 15, 2020, whereby the management company has assumed all costs at the facility including real property taxes and costs. On March 8, 2022 the Company terminated the management agreement, with the intention of placing the EFF facility up for sale. EFF is no longer in operation.
The Company secured an equity commitment from three investment managers and Sonny Newman, to guarantee the repayment of all 10% of the Company's convertible debentures which remain outstanding at maturity on December 31, 2020 and January 30, 2021, respectively. In consideration for the equity guarantee, three investment managers, Wasatch Global Investors, JW Asset Management and CB1 Capital Management, and Sonny Newman, would receive 6.2 million warrants to purchase common shares in the Company at C$1.00 per common share for a period of three years.
Sale of Non-Core Oregon Assets
On January 7, 2021, the Company announced entering into a definitive agreement (the "Oregon Agreement") for the sale of select non-core assets in Oregon, currently under third-party management agreements for $1.3 million. These assets included the Company's Portland licenses and BHO processing equipment and the Dab Society brand, including an assumption by the buyer of the respective leases at the Swell and the Pure Green facilities. The parties received Oregon Liquor Control Commission ("OLCC") approval to the transfer of the licenses and effective April 23, 2021, the funds were received and the sale was closed.
On January 19, 2022, the Company announced entering into a definitive agreement (the "Southern Oregon Agreement") for the sale of select assets, including its real property located in Southern Oregon and associated outdoor production licenses and equipment, for $2.0 million. The Company has received a $100,000 cash down payment with an additional $400,000 to be paid upon the buyer's receipt of the OLCC approval of the license transfer and closing. The Company will receive interest-only monthly installments starting in July 2022 at an annual interest rate of 8%, including annual principal payments of $100,000, on a $1.5 million secured promissory note maturing on the fifth (5th) anniversary of the agreement.
On April 28, 2022, the Company entering into a definitive agreement (the "Central Oregon Agreement") for the sale of select assets, including its indoor production license, wholesale license and processing license located in Bend, Oregon, and certain nominal equipment, for $87,500. The Company has received full payment under the Central Oregon Agreement and the licenses are in the process of being transferred.
The Company's strategic initiatives over the next 12 months include extending our Nevada retail footprint where we have a proven track record of success, continuing our disciplined approach to growth and financing, and internally producing product to expand our Nevada retail footprint. The Nevada cultivation expansion was completed at a total cost of $3.0 million dollars. The total completed expansion more than doubled the Company's annual production capacity to 8,200 pounds of high-quality flower.
B. Business Overview
The Company is a vertically integrated cannabis company that cultivates, processes, distributes and sells quality cannabis and hemp-derived consumer products in the United States. The Company is focused on value creation through the disciplined acquisition and integration of core retail, manufacturing, and distribution assets in strategic markets, leveraging industry-leading retail revenues together with high-growth potential and multi-market branded consumer packaged goods ("CPG").
The Company focuses on scalable opportunities in key markets that take advantage of its core competencies, including: (i) retail operational excellence and expanding its retail footprint through value-add acquisitions in existing markets, and (ii) branded CPG expansion through both captive retail and wholesale channels. The Company focuses on acquiring businesses that provide immediate contribution to overall profitability, or have a path to profitability within twelve months, where it can leverage existing assets, brands, and domain expertise.
The Company currently holds licenses in Oregon, including production, processing and wholesale, and Nevada, spanning the entire cannabis supply chain.
The Company is operated by a management team that has significant professional experience, including deep experience both within the cannabis industry and other fast-paced growth industries like technology, healthcare, and venture capital. The Company's management team also includes experts from more traditional industries like forestry, manufacturing, real estate, and capital markets.
Cultivation and Processing
Through Silver State Cultivation in Nevada, the Company operates indoor cultivation and processing out of a 104,000 square foot facility with 37,000 square feet utilized for cultivation and 1,200 square feet dedicated to volatile extraction. Silver State produces approximately 8,200 pounds of flower and 3,400 pounds of trim annually which is mainly sold within the Company's Silver State Relief dispensaries. The Company has expanded Silver State's extraction capacity to support branded CPG expansion in both captive retail and wholesale channels. Hood Oil cartridges were released to the Nevada market in June 2019. Phantom Farms pre-rolls, new Phantom flower strains and Phantom Farms CBD products were released at Silver State Relief dispensaries in January 2021. Together with the Silver State branded products, these in-house brands make up over 60% of sales in the dispensaries.
Nevada wholesale sales amounted to $0.6 million in sales during the year ended January 31, 2022 ($0.6 million in 2021). Silver State had total sales of $33.0 million during the year ended January 31, 2022 as compared to $33.5 million in the prior year.
Through Silver State in Nevada, the Company operates two dispensaries, an 8,000-square foot retail dispensary, located in Sparks, and a 6,000-square foot dispensary located in Fernley, collectively servicing a total of more than 540,000 recreational and medical cannabis customers during the year ending January 31, 2022, with over 700 SKUs in each store and averaging more than $60.00 per transaction.
Consistent quality, market-leading pricing, and superior customer service translate to industry-leading sales per square foot ($2,684/sq. ft. in Q4). Likewise, because of its substantial purchasing leverage, Silver State consistently offers customers among the lowest prices within the state. The Sparks dispensary captured 16% of Washoe County, Nevada sales during the year ending January 31, 2022, and sales from Silver State represented 3.4% of the entire Nevada market, with more than 1,400 customer transactions per day.
Branding and Marketing
The Company utilizes consistent branding and messaging across its retail and wholesale channels under Phantom Farms, Hood Oil, and Silver State Relief. The Company currently sells over 700 distinct SKUs, including the following product categories: CO2 vaporizer pens, live resin vaporizer pens, distillate vaporizer pens, live resin extract, cured resin extract, bulk flower, packaged flower, pre-rolls, CBD cured resin vaporizer pens, CBD CO2 vaporizer pens, and CBD cured resin extracts.
Banking and Processing
In Nevada, the Company deposits funds from its operations into its credit union accounts held Greater Nevada Credit Union (Nevada) and at Partner Colorado Credit Union through Safe Harbor Private Banking services (Colorado). The Company is fully transparent with its credit union partners regarding the nature of its business.
Product Selection and Offerings
Product selection decisions are currently made by the Company's buyers, who negotiate with potential vendors across all product categories including packaged and wholesale flower, vaporizer pens, cured extracts, edibles and pre-rolls. The Company bases its product selection decisions on product quality, margin potential, and scalability.
The Company's branded CPG and flower-based products are sold primarily through captive retail and wholesale channels in Oregon and Nevada. The Company's retail locations in Nevada also offer third party branded CPG and flower-based products including a wide variety of THC and CBD based products, including vaporizer pens, cured resin extracts, bulk flower, packaged flower, pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures, and topicals.
The Company's wholesale and retail pricing strategies are regularly adjusted in accordance with individual market dynamics. Generally speaking, when pricing adjustments are made within a given market, such adjustments are applied, and held consistent, across all business lines and channel partners.
The state of Oregon does not regulate pricing and licensed dispensing organizations within the state may set their own prices for cannabis and cannabis products. However, products sold at dispensaries in Oregon are subject to a 17% state sales tax and a 3% local sales tax applicable in most local jurisdictions (cities and counties).
The state of Nevada also does not regulate pricing and licensed dispensing organizations within the state may also set their own prices for cannabis and cannabis products. However, products sold at dispensaries in Nevada are subject to a 10% cannabis excise and sales tax.
In-Store Pickup, Curbside Delivery and Delivery
In addition to traditional point-of-sale retail as modified due to COVID-19, the Company's Nevada retail locations offer in-store pickup, curbside delivery and delivery utilizing the leading third-party service providers, a leading cannabis sales and fulfillment web-based application. The Company actively monitors the continued growth of a number of cannabis web-based sales and fulfillment platforms and is well poised to utilize strategic third-party service providers during the ongoing pandemic.
The Company has comprehensive inventory management procedures, which are compliant with all applicable state and local laws, regulations, ordinances, and other requirements. These procedures ensure strict controls over the Company's cannabis flower and CPG inventory from its production, processing and distribution licensees through to ultimate sale to end consumers (or rare cases disposal as cannabis waste). Such inventory management procedures also include strong quality control and quality assurance measures to prevent in-process contamination and maintain the safety and quality of the products. The Company is committed to supplying safe, consistent, and high-quality cannabis flower and CPG products at a value-oriented price.
Research and Development
Through its research and development activities, the Company expects to create proprietary genetics, processes, technologies, and products from its existing Nevada operations, as well as from future expansion in new markets. The Company may license these genetics, processes, technologies, and products as part of its future business. The Company may also seek appropriate federal patent, trademark, copyright, and other customary intellectual property protections when the same become available and/or are appropriate.
Across a modified and strategic cannabis value chain, the Company expects to continue to vigorously compete with other licensees in Oregon and Nevada. Because Oregon is an "open" license state (arguably one of the more free-market states with respect to both barriers to entry and regulation), the competitive landscape has been challenging since the inception of recreational cannabis. Nevada is a "limited" license state, therefore competition to date has been less challenging and the broader market dynamics are more favorable. While many of the Company's direct competitors continue to be small-scale local operators, market rationalization through consolidation is increasingly a trend. Of note is the increased participation of multi-state operators with national growth aspirations in both the Oregon and Nevada marketplaces. As more U.S. jurisdictions pass state legislation allowing the recreational use and sale of cannabis, the Company is assured an increased level of competition in U.S. markets. These increasingly competitive U.S. markets may adversely affect the financial condition and operations of the Company.
The Company's employees are highly talented individuals who have educational achievements ranging from Ph.D., Masters, and undergraduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines, as well as staff who have been trained on the job to uphold the highest standards as set by the Company. The Company hires and promotes individuals who are best qualified for each position, priding itself on using a process that identifies people who are trainable, cooperative and share the Company's core values.
The Company takes all reasonable steps to ensure staff are appropriately informed and trained to ensure a culture of health, safety, and continuous improvement, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Wherever possible, the Company will continue to adopt generally accepted health and safety best practices from non-cannabis-related industries and follows all health and safety guidelines issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control ("CDC") and all orders from relevant provincial, state and local jurisdictions and authorities.
The Company has developed numerous proprietary genetics, processes, technologies and products. These assets include genetics, ERP and other software applications, cultivation and extraction technologies, as well as consumer brands. Whenever available and appropriate, the Company undertakes reasonable intellectual property protections to secure these assets.
To date, absent the availability of customary federal patent, trademark, and copyright protections for cannabis applications, the Company has relied on non-disclosure/confidentiality arrangements, common law trade secrets, and state-based trademark protections. The Company actively monitors and responds to all potentially material intellectual property infringements and maintains strict standards and controls regarding the use and dissemination of its intellectual property.
Please see Item 5.D. "United States Regulatory Environment", for a discussion of the material effects of government regulations on the Company's business.
In addition, the Company owns four (4) website domains including: www.cxxi.ca, www.phantom-farms.com, www.silverstaterelief.com and c21supply.co, along with numerous social media accounts across all major platforms.
C. Organizational Structure
The Company conducts its business through its fourteen (14) subsidiaries in the United States:
Name of Subsidiary
|320204 US Holdings Corp.||USA||100%||USD||Holding Company|
|320204 Oregon Holdings Corp.||USA||100%||USD||Holding Company|
|320204 Nevada Holdings Corp.||USA||100%||USD||Holding Company|
|320204 Re Holdings, LLC||USA||100%||USD||Holding Company|
|Eco Firma Farms LLC||USA||100%||USD||Cannabis producer|
|Silver State Cultivation LLC||USA||100%||USD||Cannabis producer|
|Silver State Relief LLC||USA||100%||USD||Cannabis retailer|
|Phantom Venture Group, LLC||USA||100%||USD||Holding Company|
|Phantom Brands, LLC||USA||100%||USD||Holding Company|
|Phantom Distribution, LLC||USA||100%||USD||Cannabis distributor|
|63353 Bend, LLC||USA||100%||USD||Cannabis producer|
|20727-4 Bend, LLC||USA||100%||USD||Cannabis processor|
|4964 BFH, LLC||USA||100%||USD||Cannabis producer|
|Workforce Concepts 21, Inc.||USA||100%||USD||Payroll and benefits services|
The following organization chart of the Company sets out the primary subsidiaries of the Company. Unless otherwise noted, all lines represent 100% ownership of outstanding securities of the applicable subsidiary.
D. Property, Plants and Equipment
Our executive offices are located at 19th Floor, 885 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 3H4.
Our Canby, Oregon production facility is located at 24700 S Mulino Road, Canby, OR 97013. This facility is a total of 22,000 square feet, but there is no current production activity. The Canby property is owned by the Company and the Company intends to list the real estate and production license for sale.
Our Bend, Oregon indoor production facility is located at 63353 Nels Anderson Road, Bend, Oregon, 97701. This facility includes 7,700 square feet for cultivation of cannabis; however, the facility is no longer operational, and the associated license is included for sale in the Central Oregon Agreement.
Our Bend, Oregon distribution facility is located at 20727 High Desert Court, Suite 5, Bend, Oregon, 97701. Our Bend, Oregon processing facility is located at 20727 High Desert Court, Suite 4, Bend, Oregon, 97701. These facilities include a total of 5,600 square feet for wholesale distribution and processing of cannabis; however, the facility is no longer operational, and the associated license is included for sale in the Central Oregon Agreement.
Our Southern Oregon outdoor cannabis production facilities are located at 4962 and 4964 Butte Falls Highway, Eagle Point, Oregon, 97524. The associated real estate is approximately 60 acres, and the facilities include a total of 80,000 square feet of production capacity; however, the facilities are currently under third-party management, and the real estate and production licenses are included in the Southern Oregon Agreement, which will close upon receipt of OLCC approval of the subject license transfers.
Our Sparks, Nevada dispensary is located at 175 E Greg Street, Sparks, NV 89431. This retail building is 8,000 square feet and services more than 30,000 customers per month, primarily selling the Company's cannabis flower and products and third-party cannabis products.
Our Fernley, Nevada dispensary is located at 1301 Financial Way, Fernley, NV 89408. This retail building is 6,000 square feet, primarily selling the Company's cannabis flower and products and third-party cannabis products.
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
A. Operating Results
The Company previously presented its financial statements in conformity with the International Financial Reporting Standards, as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IFRS"). Beginning for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2022, the Company changed the accounting principles governing the presentation of its consolidated financial statements to the U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("U.S. GAAP").
Financial statements included in this Annual Report for the fiscal years ended January 31, 2022 and January 31, 2021 were prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP. In addition, financial statements included in this Annual Report for the fiscal years ended January 31, 2021 and January 31, 2020 were prepared in conformity with IFRS.
Financial Information for FY 2022 and FY 2021 in accordance with U.S. GAAP
The following table presents selected financial information for the three and twelve months ended January 31, 2022 and January 31, 2021.
|PROFIT AND LOSS||3 months ended January 31,||12 months ended January 31,|
|Inventory expensed to cost of sales||3,687,256||3,720,752||14,172,991||15,418,717|
|General and administration||1,681,043||1,709,814||6,733,113||6,303,700|
|Sales, marketing, and promotion||23,611||27,737||83,770||138,547|
|Operating lease cost||147,844||142,849||591,376|
|Depreciation and amortization||319,445||318,863||1,280,446||1,321,686|
|Share based compensation||44,902||97,327||366,469||494,435|
|Income from operations||1,750,465||2,793,704||9,754,811||9,239,947|
|Other Income (loss)||(29,268||)||(5,315||)||108,470||35,275|
|Change in fair value of derivative liabilities||315,943||(6,047,489||)||8,576,290||(5,756,195||)|
|Income (loss) before undernoted||1,831,024||(6,095,703||)||17,132,041||(1,633,439||)|
|Net income (loss) from discontinued operations||(1,914,577||)||170,228||(2,242,644||)||(3,228,056||)|
|Provision for income taxes||(948,152||)||(1,388,709||)||(3,973,246||)||(2,968,133||)|
|Net income (loss)||$||(1,031,705||)||(7,314,184||)||10,916,151||(7,829,628||)|
|Cumulative translation adjustment||87,439||(122,547||)||(766,841||)||(613,609||)|
|Income (loss) and comprehensive income (loss)
for the period
The Company has prepared its financial statements in accordance with the U.S. GAAP as of January 31, 2022. All the current and comparative figures are in U.S. GAAP.
"Revenue" includes retail revenues from our two stores and wholesale revenue from our cultivation operations. Financial Year ("FY") 2022 revenues decreased versus FY 2021 by 1.4% to $33.0 million. For the fourth quarter ("Q4") 2022, revenue decreased versus Q4 2021 by 13% to $7.7 million consistent with industry trends since the easing of pandemic restrictions. This trend is consistent with the Nevada industry figures.
"Cost of Sales" includes the costs directly attributable to cultivating and processing cannabis plus the cost of product purchases from third parties, for sale in our stores. With the expansion of our cultivation facility our cost of production has started to come down due to economies of scale. We use an average costing model which captures and averages costs over several quarters.
"Gross profit" rose in FY 2022 versus FY 2021 from 54% to 57%, mainly due to strong demand in the first half of FY 2022. The Q4 FY 2022 gross profit fell versus Q4 2021 from 58% to 52% due to the current market weakness.
"Income from operations" for FY 2022 increased to $9.8 million, up 6% versus FY 2021 of $9.2 million. Q4 2022 was $1.8 million versus 2.8 million in Q4 2021.
Expenses for FY 2022 and FY 2021 in U.S. GAAP
"General and administration" includes all overhead costs that have not otherwise been allocated to cost of sales. These include salaries and wages, professional fees including legal and accounting, insurance and some local taxes. FY 2022 costs increased by $429,412 as compared to FY 2021 due to $229,069 of one-time professional fees in Q3 2022 which were incurred and written off. These expenses have fallen $28,771 in Q4 2022 versus Q4 2021.
"Operating lease cost" is the cost of our leases not included in cost of sales and was $591,376 in FY 2022 versus $549,031 in FY 2021, and $147,844 in Q4 2022 versus $142,849 in Q4 2021.
"Depreciation and amortization" include provisions for fixed assets and intangibles not included in cost of sales. The total depreciation and amortization in FY2022 was $1.28 million versus $1.32 million in FY 2021. In Q4 2022, depreciation and amortization was $319,445 versus 318,863 in Q4 2021.
"Share based compensation" is a non-cash item and reflects the issuance of stock options to employees, officers and directors.
Other Items in FY 2022 and FY 2021 in U.S. GAAP
"Interest expense" in FY 2022 was $1.1 million versus $4.0 million in FY 2021. In Q4 2022, interest expense was $206,116 versus $2.6 million in Q4 2021.
"Change in fair value of derivative liabilities" is a periodic revaluation of the earn out shares outstanding to vendors of businesses purchased by the Company. These earn out shares are revalued using a Monte Carlo simulation. The fair value of this liability will increase with an increase in the stock price of the Company and vice-versa. The change in fair value must be recorded through the Company's profit or loss statement. As a result, a share price increase period-over-period, will result in a reduction in net income and vice-versa. In Q4 2022, the Company closed the Settlement Transaction by the issuance of 1.3 million Phantom Earn-Out Shares. The Swell Earn-Out Share obligation currently remains outstanding. This also includes smaller amounts related to the derivative value of convertible and promissory notes.
"Net income (loss) from discontinued operations" the Company has classified all figures pertaining to its Oregon operations to 'discontinued operations' as of the issuance of the financial statements for the year ended January 31, 2022. The revenues and expenses pertaining to the Oregon operations are now all shown here. This treatment has been applied to all the current and comparative figures above. The effect of this is to lower our revenues and increase our gross profit, income from operations, and Net income. Discontinued operations had loss of $2.2 million in FY 2022 versus a loss of $3.2 million in FY 2021. There was a loss of $1.9 million in Q4 2022 versus income of $170,228 in Q4 2021. The loss in Q4 2022 includes write-downs of inventory being liquidated upon the closing of Oregon operations.
"Provision for income taxes" for FY 2022 of $4.0 million is up compared to the previous year due to increased taxable income. FY 2021 of $3.0 million.
"Other comprehensive income (loss)," specifically the cumulative translation adjustment, comes about in U.S. GAAP when translating the balances between the parent company (investments made in C$) and the US subsidiaries (US$). These foreign exchange gains or losses at each reporting date result from the translation of C$ amounts to US$ (which is our reporting currency).
|Three months ended January 31||Twelve months ended January 31|
|Net Income (loss)||$||(1,031,705||)||$||(7,314,184||)||$||10,916,151||$||(7,829,628||)|
|Interest expenses, net||206,116||2,836,603||1,307,530||5,152,466|
|Provision for income taxes||948,152||1,388,709||3,973,246||2,968,133|
|Depreciation and amortization||319,445||318,863||1,280,446||1,321,686|
|Depreciation and interest in cost of sales||203,093||194,655||812,368||732,060|
|Change in fair value of derivative liabilities||(315,943||)||6,047,489||(8,576,290||)||5,756,195|
|Share based compensation||44,902||97,327||366,469||494,435|
|Loss from discontinued operations||1,914,577||(170,228||)||2,242,644||3,228,056|
|One-time Special project costs||-||-||229,069||-|
Non-U.S. GAAP Measures for FY 2022 and FY 2021
"Adjusted EBITDA" is supplemental, non-U.S. GAAP financial measures. The Company defines EBITDA as earnings before depreciation and amortization, depreciation and interest in cost of sales, income taxes, and interest. Additionally, the Company's Adjusted EBITDA presented above excludes accretion, loss from discontinued operations, one-time transaction costs and all other non-cash items. The Company has presented "Adjusted EBITDA" because its management believes these are useful measures for investors when assessing and considering the Company's continuing operations and prospects for the future. Furthermore, "Adjusted EBITDA" is a commonly used measurement in the financial community when evaluating the market value of similar companies. "Adjusted EBITDA" is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP, and these metrics should not be considered in isolation of, or as a substitute for, the measurement of the Company's performance prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. "Adjusted EBITDA," as calculated and reconciled in the table above, may not be comparable to similarly titled measurements used by other issuers and is not necessarily a measure of the Company's ability to fund its cash needs. Figures have been restated to match current presentation.
For further information, see Management's Discussion and Analysis, attached hereto as Exhibit 15.1, and incorporated by reference herein.
|SUMMARY OF QUARTERLY RESULTS|
|Working capital (deficiency)||$||(4,444,076||)||$||(5,133,865||)||(4,632,617||)||(4,014,559||)|
|Shareholders' equity (deficiency)||$||34,983,192||$||35,204,614||32,321,225||28,043,749|
|Net income (loss)||$||(944,266||)||2,815,995||$||3,947,598||$||4,329,983|
|Net income (loss) per share||(0.01||)||0.02||0.03||0.04|
|Working capital (deficiency)||$||(3,914,024||)||(26,298,511||)||(30,181,880||)||(30,560,884||)|
|Shareholders' equity (deficiency)||$||23,256,148||16,384,432||13,776,062||13,890,707|
|Net income (loss)||$||(7,436,731||)||1,511,568||(141,696||)||(2,376,378||)|
|Net income (loss) per share||(0.08||)||0.02||(0.00||)||(0.02||)|
Year ended January 31, 2022 compared to January 31 2021 in U.S. GAAP- Additional Metrics
Total assets decreased slightly during FY 2022. There was a small increase in fixed assets from the $2.6 million capital project in cultivation grow rooms in Nevada, an increase in inventory resulting from the expansion, and a decrease in cash.
Working capital deficiency fell slightly to $4.4 million during FY 2022, and operations cash flow was offset by debt and interest payments. There was $2.6 million of cash spent on the capital project.
Shareholders equity improved from $23.3 million to $35.0 million during FY 2022. Income added $10.9 million, common stock added $1.6 million.
Revenue and Net income discussed above in Item 5.A. "Operating Results".
Financial Information for FY 2021 and FY 2020 in accordance IFRS
The following table presents selected financial information for the three and twelve months ended January 31, 2021 and January 31, 2020.
|PROFIT AND LOSS||3 months ended January 31,||12 months ended January 31,|
|Inventory expensed to cost of sales||4,229,415||9,728,867||19,052,681||25,810,389|
|Net FV adjustments||(606,964||)||(3,196,864||)||(1,577,550||)||(1,243,340||)|
|General and administration||1,908,957||1,871,076||6,971,742||9,300,447|
|Sales, marketing, and promotion||38,977||110,547||166,479||1,120,929|
|Depreciation and amortization||458,285||512,115||2,112,264||3,405,116|
|Share based compensation||97,327||153,184||494,435||492,631|
|Income (loss) from operations||3,019,987||333,300||7,522,313||(1,181,107||)|
|Acquisition reorganisation cost||-||-||(1,204,740||)||-|
|Other Income (loss)||18,894||140,364||279,299||(87,795||)|
|Impairment of goodwill/intangibles & capital assets||-||(23,911,485||)||(116,881||)||(28,051,007||)|
|Change in fair value of derivative liabilities||(5,996,641||)||4,807,705||(5,731,839||)||4,779,693|
|Income (loss) before income taxes||(5,663,817||)||(19,732,874||)||(3,739,971||)||(28,840,937||)|
|Current income tax expense||(917,823||)||(1,574,959||)||(2,366,046||)||(3,714,666||)|
|Net income (loss)||$||(6,581,640||)||(21,307,833||)||(6,106,017||)||(32,555,603||)|
|Other comprehensive income|
|Cumulative translation adjustment||34,117||(506,070||)||(405,332||)||(684,336||)|
|Income (loss) and comprehensive income (loss) for the period||(6,547,523||)||(21,813,903||)||(6,511,349||)||(33,239,939||)|
The Company prepared its financial statements in accordance with the IFRS as of January 31, 2021. All the comparative figures above are in IFRS.
"Revenue" for the fourth quarter ("Q4") of 2021 decreased versus Q4 of 2020 due to a 74% fall in revenues from the restructuring of the Oregon operations. Nevada dispensary revenues in Q4 of 2021 rose 9% year-over-year but fell 1% sequentially from record sales in Q3 of 2021 (after adjusting for number of business days in each quarter).
"Gross profit" rose in FY 2021 mainly due to improvements in Oregon operations and a one-time non-cash charge made in the prior year related to the FV of inventory acquired in the Silver State acquisition, which closed on January 1, 2019.
Oregon sales in FY 2021 amounted to $2.66 million, and were down from FY 2020 for a total of $5.50 million. The Oregon FY 2021 gross profit was $718k versus FY 2020 gross profit (loss) of ($1.01 million).
Expenses for FY 2021 and FY 2020 in IFRS
The expenses in "General and administration" and "Sales, marketing and promotion" are further broken down individually, and by quarter., in the table below. These expenses dropped significantly through the restructure and reorganization of Oregon and corporate operations from Q2 2020 to Q4 2021. The largest savings can be seen in salaries and wages, sales marketing and promotion, and travel and entertainment.
From Q2 2020 to Q4 2021, total selling, general and administration costs decreased from a peak of $3,363,000 in Q2 2020 to a low of $1,624,000 in Q2 2021. The savings are a result of consolidating our Oregon operations and streamlining corporate overhead.
|Selling, general & administration|
|000' s||Q4 2021||Q3||Q2||Q1||Q4 2020||Q3||Q2||Q1|
|Salaries and wages||$||721||$||899||$||635||$||792||$||1,006||$||1,025||$||1,390||$||1,281|
|Travel and entertainment||18||20||27||37||71||70||171||118|
|License fees, taxes and insurance||628||331||560||329||428||452||496||385|
|Office facilities, administrative||119||50||128||120||56||127||197||171|
|Sales, marketing and promotion||39||22||31||75||111||213||429||368|
Some figures were reclassified to reflect current presentation. The total costs were unchanged.
"Depreciation and amortization" include provisions for fixed assets, intangibles and amortization of right-of-use assets (leases of buildings, warehouses and offices). The total depreciation and amortization during FY 2021 was $3.37 million , of which $2.11 million was included in expenses, with the remainder of $1.26 million included in inventory and therefore is included as part of "Inventory expensed to cost of sales" in table contained under the "Financial Review of Fiscal Year-End 2022" above. "Share based compensation" is a non-cash item and reflects the issuance of stock options to employees, officers and directors.
"Inventory impairment" is a non-cash item and reflects the write-down of Swell inventories.
Other Items in FY 2021 and FY 2020 in IFRS
"Interest expense" results from the charges on debt instruments, and in Q4 of FY 2021, also included the cost of the warrants paid to the debenture guarantors in November 2020, which was $2.1 million on the 6.2 million warrants, which vested on maturity of the convertible debentures on December 31, 2020 and January 30, 2021. The Company also reversed an accrual of interest expense of $710,954.
"Acquisition reorganization costs" is a charge for the February 19, 2020 restructuring of the Phantom Farms/SDP purchase agreement of $1.2 million.
"Change in fair value of derivative liabilities" is a periodic revaluation of the earn out shares outstanding to vendors of businesses purchased by the Company. These earn out shares are revalued using a Monte Carlo simulation. The fair value of this liability will increase with an increase in the stock price of the Company and vice-versa. The change in fair value must be recorded through the Company's profit or loss statement. As a result, a share price increase period-over-period, will result in a reduction in net income. Therefore, the increase in the share price during Q4 of FY 2021 from C$0.78 to C$1.60 resulted in a charge in Q4 of FY 2021 to the income statement of $5.99 million.
"Current income taxes" for FY 2021 includes a recovery of an over accrual from FY 2020 of $0.56 million.
"Other comprehensive income (loss)," specifically the cumulative translation adjustment, comes about in IFRS when translating the balances between the parent company (investments made in C$) and the US subsidiaries (US$). These foreign exchange gains or losses at each reporting date result from the translation of C$ amounts to US$ (which is our reporting currency).
|Three months ended January 31||Twelve months ended January 31|
|Income (loss) from operations||$||3,019,987||$||333,300||$||7,522,313||$||(1,181,107||)|
|Net impact, fair value on biological assets||(606,964||)||803,136||(1,577,550||)||2,756,660|
|Depreciation and amortization||458,285||512,115||2,112,264||3,405,116|
|Share based compensation||97,327||153,184||494,435||492,631|
|Lease interest included in interest exp||(78,155||)||(25,534||)||(157,201||)||(102,133||)|
YE January 31, 2021 compared to YE January 31, 2020 - Additional Metrics
Total assets increased from $59.3 million to $68.8 million during FY 2021. There was an increase in net cash of $3.1 million. Right of Use assets increased from $3.3 million to $9.3 million due to the renegotiation of certain leases including extending the term.
Working capital deficiency fell from $30.9 million to $3.9 million during FY 2021. We termed out a maturing promissory note of 30 months which resulted in an improvement of $9.7 million. We entered into a debenture backstop agreement with investors which resulted in the conversion to common shares of almost all the maturing convertible debentures (debt reduced by $6.6 million). The debenture backstop agreement may have resulted in an increase of share price, causing investors to exercise warrant debentures which resulted in the realization of $5.5 million in cash.
Shareholders equity improved from $13.6 million to $23.3 million during FY 2021. The net loss of $7.9 million, offset by common stock, added $18.1 million mainly from the conversion of debentures to common shares.
Revenue and Net income discussed above in Item 5.A. "Operating Results".
B. Liquidity and Capital Resources
Liquidity risk is the risk that the Company will not be able to meet its obligations as they become due. The Company's ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on management's ability to raise required funding through future equity or debt issuances. The Company manages its liquidity risk by forecasting cash flows from operations and anticipating any investing and financing activities. Management and the Board are actively involved in the review, planning and approval of significant expenditures and commitments.
The Company's consolidated financial statements for year ended January 31, 2022 have been prepared on a going concern basis, which assumes that the Company will be able to continue its operations and realize its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business for the foreseeable future.
At January 31, 2022, the Company had cash of $3,067,983, a working capital deficit of $4,444,076, and an accumulated deficit of $68,510,333. However, for the year ended January 31, 2022, the Company generated net income and positive cash flows from operations.
Management has taken several actions to ensure that the Company will continue as a going concern through January 31, 2023, including selling its assets and closing its operations in Oregon, reducing headcount and reducing discretionary expenditures. The Company is in the process of seeking additional financing in the form of debt and expects to consolidate current debt on its balance sheet for more favorable terms. Management believes that these actions will enable the Company to continue as a going concern through August 15, 2023. However, there is no assurance that the Company will be able to secure financing on acceptable terms or at all to cover its current obligations.
Further, there remains uncertainty about the U.S. federal government's position on cannabis with respect to cannabis-legal states. A change in its enforcement policies could impact the ability of the Company to continue as a going concern and have a material adverse impact on the business.
The following table is a summary of C21's balance sheet exposure to U.S. cannabis-related activities as of January 31, 2022:
The following represents the portion of certain assets on C21's consolidated balance sheet that pertain to U.S. Cannabis activity as of January 31, 2022:
Property plant & equipment: 100%
Intangible assets and goodwill: 100%
Notes receivable and deposits: 99%
The Company's objectives when managing its capital are to ensure there are enough capital resources to continue operating as a going concern and maintain the Company's ability to ensure sufficient levels of funding to support its ongoing operations and development. The purpose of these objectives is to provide continued returns and benefits to the Company's shareholders. The Company's capital structure includes items classified in debt and shareholders' equity.
The Company manages its capital structure and makes adjustments to it in light of economic conditions and financial needs. The Company, upon approval from its Board, will balance its overall capital structure through new share issues or by undertaking other activities as deemed appropriate under the specific circumstances.
The Board does not establish quantitative return on capital criteria for management, but rather relies on the expertise of the Company's management to sustain future development of the business considering changes in economic conditions and the risk characteristics of the Company's underlying assets.
The Company works with its capital advisors, Needham & Company, LLC. based in New York, and CB1 Capital Advisors, LLC ("CB1"), organized in Delaware and based in New York, to identify the best strategic options to execute our corporate growth plans, as well as increasing financial flexibility in managing our debt.
The continued development of the Company will require additional financing. There is no guarantee that the Company will be able to achieve its business objectives. The Company intends to fund its business objectives by way of additional offerings of equity and/or debt financing. The failure to raise or procure such additional funds could result in the delay or indefinite postponement of current business objectives. There can be no assurance that additional capital or other types of financing will be available if needed or that, if available, will be on terms acceptable to the Company. If additional funds are raised by offering equity securities or convertible debt, existing shareholders could suffer significant dilution. Any debt financing secured in the future could involve the granting of security against assets of the Company and also contain restrictive covenants relating to capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for the Company to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. The Company will require additional financing to fund its operations until positive cash flow is achieved.
For further information, see Management's Discussion and Analysis, attached hereto as Exhibit 15.1, and incorporated by reference herein.
C. Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, etc.
Through its research and development activities, the Company expects to create proprietary genetics, processes, technologies, and products from its existing Oregon and Nevada operations, as well as from future expansion in new markets. The Company may license these genetics, processes, technologies, and products as part of its future business. The Company may also seek appropriate federal patent, trademark, copyright, and other customary intellectual property protections when the same become available and/or are appropriate.
D. Trend Information
United States Industry Background and Trends
The emergence of the legal cannabis sector in the United States, both for medical and adult use, has been rapid as more states adopt regulations for its production and sale. Today 60% of Americans live in a state where cannabis is legal in some form and almost a quarter of the population lives in states where it is fully legalized for adult use.
The use of cannabis and cannabis derivatives to treat or alleviate the symptoms of a wide variety of chronic conditions has been generally accepted by a majority of citizens with a growing acceptance by the medical community as well. A review of the research, published in 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found evidence that cannabis can treat pain and muscle spasms. The pain component is particularly important, because other studies have suggested that cannabis can replace patients' use of highly addictive, potentially deadly opiates - meaning cannabis legalization literally improves lives.
Polls throughout the United States consistently show overwhelming support for the legalization of medical cannabis, together with strong majority support for the full legalization of recreational adult-use cannabis. According to an April 2021 Pew Research Center survey, around nine-in-ten Americans favor some form of cannabis legalization, with only 8% saying cannabis should not be legal in any form. In that survey, 91% of U.S. adults support legalizing cannabis either for medical and recreational use (60%) or medical use only (31%). These are large increases in public support over the past 40 years in favor of legalized cannabis use.
Notwithstanding that 36 states and the District of Columbia have now legalized adult-use and/or medical cannabis, cannabis remains illegal under U.S. federal law with cannabis listed as a Schedule I drug under the CSA.
Currently the Company only operates in the states of Oregon and Nevada. The Company may expand into other states within the United States that have legalized cannabis use either medicinally or recreationally.
United States Regulatory Environment
U.S Federal Regulatory Environment
Under U.S. federal law, marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug. The CSA has five different tiers or schedules. A Schedule I drug means the DEA considers it to have a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical treatment, and lack of accepted safety for the use of it even under medical supervision. Other Schedule I drugs are heroin, LSD and ecstasy. The Company believes the CSA categorization as a Schedule I drug is not reflective of the medicinal properties of marijuana or the public perception thereof, and numerous studies show cannabis is not able to be abused in the same way as other Schedule I drugs, has medicinal properties, and can be safely administered. Additionally, while some studies show cannabis is less harmful than alcohol, alcohol is not classified under the CSA.
Thirty-six (36) states and the District of Columbia, have now legalized adult-use and/or medical marijuana. The federal government sought to provide guidance to enforcement agencies and banking institutions with the introduction of the U.S. Department of Justice Memorandum drafted by former Deputy Attorney General James Michael Cole in 2013 (the "Cole Memo") and FinCEN guidance in 2014.
The Cole Memo offered guidance to federal enforcement agencies as to how to prioritize civil enforcement, criminal investigations and prosecutions regarding marijuana in all states. The memo put forth eight prosecution priorities:
preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
preventing the state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
preventing the violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
preventing the drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and,
preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
In January 2018, the then United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, by way of issuance of a new U.S. Department of Justice Memorandum (the "Sessions Memo"), rescinded the Cole Memo and thereby created a vacuum of guidance for U.S. enforcement agencies and the DOJ. Rather than establish national enforcement priorities particular to marijuana-related crimes in jurisdictions where certain marijuana activity was legal under State law, the Sessions Memo instructs that "[i]n deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute... with the [DOJ's] finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions." Namely, these include the seriousness of the offense, history of criminal activity, deterrent effect of prosecution, the interests of victims, and other principles.
Former United States Attorney General Sessions resigned on November 7, 2018 and was replaced by William Barr on February 14, 2019. On December 14, 2020, former President Trump announced that Mr. Barr would be resigning from his post as Attorney General, effective December 23, 2020. Merrick Garland, President Biden's nominee to succeed Mr. Barr, was sworn in as the current United States Attorney General on March 11, 2021. During his campaign, President Biden stated a policy goal to decriminalize possession of cannabis at the federal level, but he has not publicly supported the full legalization of cannabis. In response to questions posed by Senator Cory Booker, Merrick Garland stated during February 2021 congressional testimony that he would reinstitute a version of the Cole Memo. He reiterated the statement that the Justice Department under his leadership would not pursue cases against Americans "complying with the laws in states that have legalized and are effectively regulating marijuana", in written responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee provided around March 1. It is not yet known whether the Department of Justice under President Biden and Attorney General Garland, will re-adopt the Cole Memo or announce a substantive marijuana enforcement policy. Justice Garland indicated at a confirmation hearing before the United States Senate that it did not seem to him to be a useful use of limited resources to pursue prosecutions in states that have legalized and that are regulating the use of marijuana, either medically or otherwise. It is unclear what specific impact the new Biden administration will have on U.S. federal government enforcement policy. There is no guarantee that state laws legalizing and regulating the sale and use of cannabis will not be repealed or overturned, or that local governmental authorities will not limit the applicability of state laws within their respective jurisdictions. Unless and until the United States Congress amends the CSA with respect to cannabis (and as to the timing or scope of any such potential amendments there can be no assurance), there is a risk that federal authorities may enforce current U.S. federal law.
Due to the CSA categorization of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, U.S. federal law makes it illegal for financial institutions that depend on the Federal Reserve's money transfer system to take any proceeds from marijuana sales as deposits. Banks and other financial institutions could be prosecuted and possibly convicted of money laundering for providing services to cannabis businesses under the Bank Secrecy Act. Under U.S. federal law, banks or other financial institutions that provide a cannabis business with a checking account, debit or credit card, small business loan, or any other service could be found guilty of money laundering or conspiracy.
While there has been no change in U.S. federal banking laws to account for the trend towards legalizing medical and recreational marijuana by U.S. states, FinCEN has issued guidance advising prosecutors of money laundering and other financial crimes not to focus their enforcement efforts on banks and other financial institutions that serve marijuana-related businesses, so long as that business is legal in their state and none of the federal enforcement priorities are being violated (such as keeping marijuana away from children and out of the hands of organized crime). The "FinCEN Guidance" also clarifies how financial institutions can provide services to marijuana-related businesses consistent with the Bank Secrecy Act obligations, including thorough customer due diligence, but makes it clear that they are doing so at their own risk.
The customer due diligence steps include:
verifying with the appropriate state authorities whether the business is duly licensed and registered;
reviewing the license application (and related documentation) submitted by the business for obtaining a state license to operate its marijuana-related business;
requesting from state licensing and enforcement authorities available information about the business and related parties;
developing an understanding of the normal and expected activity for the business, including the types of products to be sold and the type of customers to be served (e.g., medical versus recreational customers);
ongoing monitoring of publicly available sources for adverse information about the business and related parties;
ongoing monitoring for suspicious activity, including for any of the red flags described in this guidance; and
Due to the fear by financial institutions of being implicated in or prosecuted for money laundering, cannabis businesses are often forced into becoming "cash-only" businesses. As banks and other financial institutions in the U.S. are generally unwilling to risk a potential violation of federal law without guaranteed immunity from prosecution, most refuse to provide any kind of services to cannabis businesses. Despite the attempt by FinCEN to legitimize cannabis banking, in practice its guidance has not made banks much more willing to provide services to cannabis businesses. This is because, as described above, the current law does not guarantee banks immunity from prosecution, and it also requires banks and other financial institutions to undertake time-consuming and costly due diligence on each cannabis business they take on as a customer. Recently, some banks that have been servicing cannabis businesses have been closing accounts operated by cannabis businesses and are now refusing to open accounts for new cannabis businesses for the reasons enumerated above.
The few credit unions who have agreed to work with cannabis businesses are limiting those accounts to no more than 5% of their total deposits to avoid creating a liquidity risk. Since the federal government could change the banking laws as it relates to cannabis businesses at any time and without notice, these credit unions must keep sufficient cash on hand to be able to return the full value of all deposits from cannabis businesses in a single day, while also servicing the need of their other customers. Those state-chartered banks and credit unions that do have customers in the cannabis industry charge marijuana businesses high fees to pass on the added cost of ensuring compliance with the FinCEN Guidance. Unlike the Cole Memo, however, the FinCEN Guidance from 2014 has not been rescinded.
The U.S. Treasury Department has publicly stated they were not informed of the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions' desire to rescind the Cole Memo and do not have a desire to rescind the FinCEN Guidance for financial institutions. The former Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Stephen Mnuchin, publicly stated that he did not have a desire to rescind the FinCEN Guidance. The newly appointed Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, has not yet articulated an official Treasury Department position with regard to the FinCEN Guidance and thus as an industry best practice and consistent with its standard operating procedures, the Company adheres to all customer due diligence steps in the FinCEN Guidance.
Because the DOJ memorandums serve as discretionary agency guidance and do not constitute a force of law, cannabis related businesses have worked to continually renew the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment (originally the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment) that has been included in federal annual spending bills since 2014. This amendment restricts the DOJ from using federals funds to prevent states with medical cannabis regulations from implementing laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical cannabis. In 2017, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) introduced a parity amendment to H.R.1625 - a vehicle for the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, preventing federal prosecutors from using federal funds to impede the implementation of medical cannabis laws enacted at the state level, subject to Congress restoring such funding.
An additional challenge to cannabis-related businesses is that the provisions of Section 280E of the Code are being applied by the IRS to businesses operating in the medical and adult use cannabis industry. Section 280E of the Code prohibits cannabis businesses from deducting their ordinary and necessary business expenses, forcing them to pay higher effective federal tax rates than similar companies in other industries. The effective tax rate on a cannabis business depends on how large its ratio of non-deductible expenses is to its total revenues. Therefore, businesses in the legal cannabis industry may be less profitable than they would otherwise be.
Another aspect of federal law is that it provides that cannabis and cannabis products may not be transported across state lines in the United States. As a result, all cannabis consumed in a state must be grown and produced in that same state. This dynamic could make it more difficult for the Company, in the short term, to maintain a balance between supply and demand. If excess cultivation and production capacity is created in any given state and this is not matched by increased demand in that state, then this could exert downward pressure on the retail price for the products the Company sells. If too many retail licenses are offered by state authorities in any given state, then this could result in increased competition and exert downward pressure on the retail price for the products the Company sells. On the other hand, if cultivation and production in a state fails to match growing demand then, in the short term, there could be insufficient supply of product in a state to meet demand and while the Company may be able to raise its prices there could be inadequate product availability in the short term, causing the Company's revenue in that state to fall.
Progressive federal legislation has been both introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and received positive votes in recent years. On September 26, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (commonly known as the "SAFE Banking Act"), which aims to provide safe harbor and guidance to financial institutions that work with legal U.S. cannabis businesses. On May 11, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (the "HEROES Act"), an economic stimulus package which included the language of the SAFE Banking Act. On September 28, 2020, the House introduced a revised version of the HEROES Act, including the text of the SAFE Act for a second time. The revised bill was passed by the House of Representatives on October 1, 2020 before going to the Senate. On December 21, 2020, Congress reached a deal for a different $900 billion stimulus package. On April 19, 2021, the House again passed the SAFE Banking Act. On July 14, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to include the SAFE Act in the fiscal year 2023 defense budget bill (the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act - "NDAA"), but it is unclear how the U.S. Senate will vote or whether the U.S. Senate will strip the SAFE Act from the NDAA, as it has done in the past. While Congress may consider legislation in the future that may address these issues, there can be no assurance of the content of any proposed legislation or that such legislation will ever be passed.
Further, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, also known as the "MORE Act", is a proposal to legalize cannabis and expunge prior cannabis related convictions. On November 20th, 2019 the MORE Act was passed by the House Judiciary Committee, and although the House of Representatives voted to pass the MORE Act on December 4, 2020, it failed to pass in the Senate prior to the end of the 2020 legislative session. There can be no assurance that it will be passed in its current form or at all.
The Joseph R. Biden Administration and balance of power in U.S. Congress may impact the likelihood of any legal developments regarding cannabis at the national level, including the passage of the SAFE Banking Act and the MORE Act, as well as potential executive action to clarify federal policy toward the industry, although it is uncertain whether and in what manner any such federal changes will occur. On a federal level, President Biden campaigned on a platform that included cannabis decriminalization. Democrats, who are generally more supportive of federal cannabis reform than Republicans, maintained their majority in the House of Representatives, although at a smaller margin than initially expected, and have gained sufficient seats in the Senate to control a majority by a single vote. As of this writing, both the SAFE Banking and MORE Acts have yet to receive action in the U.S. Senate, however, in late 2020, incoming Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer made comments on multipole occasions suggesting that passage of these bills and potential additional favorable federal legislation are on his agenda. The Company continues to monitor U.S. federal law and the law in all jurisdictions where it is active, with respect to (a) compliance with applicable state regulatory frameworks, and (b) potential exposure and implications arising from U.S. federal law.
On July 21, 2022, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) formally filed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act ("CAOA"), a much-anticipated bill to federally legalize marijuana and promote social equity. On July 22, 2022, Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) signed onto the CAOA. The CAOA would legalize cannabis nationwide, ending federal prohibition and expunging records of some cannabis offenders, and it also lays out a framework to establish a federal cannabis tax and FDA regulations for cannabis products. It is unclear if the bill has any chance of passing the U.S. Senate during the 2022 legislative session (i.e., the 117th Congress). Regardless, the Company will monitor the CAOA bill, and its progress.
The following sections describe the legal and regulatory landscape in Oregon and Nevada, states in which the Company operates. The Company believes that its operations are in full compliance with all applicable state laws, regulations and licensing requirements. Nonetheless, for the reasons described above and the risks further described under the heading "Risk Factors" herein, there are significant risks associated with the business of the Company. Readers are strongly encouraged to carefully read all of the risk factors contained under the heading "Risk Factors" herein.
Oregon Regulatory Environment
Oregon has both medical and adult-use marijuana programs. In 1998, Oregon voters passed a limited, non-commercial patient/caregiver medical marijuana law with an inclusive set of qualifying conditions that included chronic pain. In 2013, the legislature passed, and the governor signed, House Bill 3460 to create a regulatory structure for existing unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries. However, the original regulations created by the Oregon Health Authority ("OHA") after the passage of House Bill 3460 were minimal and only regulated storefront dispensaries, leaving cultivators and manufacturers within the unregulated patient/caregiver system.
On June 30, 2015, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3400 into law, which improved on the existing regulatory structure for medical marijuana businesses and created a registration process for processors. In November of 2014, Oregon voters passed Measure 91, "Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act", creating a regulatory system for individuals 21 years of age and older to purchase marijuana for personal use from licensed marijuana businesses.
The OHA registers and regulates medical marijuana businesses and OLCC licenses and regulates adult-use marijuana businesses. There are six (6) distinct types of license types available for medical and adult-use businesses: Producer (cultivation), Processing (manufacturing), Wholesale, Retail, Laboratory (testing), and Research. Vertical integration between cultivation, processing, and retail is permissible, but not required, for both medical and adult-use.
The law does not impose a limit on the number of licenses. Local governments may enact local ordinances and rules to place reasonable zoning and time, place and manner restrictions, including restrictions on the number of both medical and adult-use marijuana businesses, on licensees within their jurisdiction. Further, House Bill 3400 also allowed for a "local option," to permit local city councils and county commissions to pass an ordinance prohibiting adult-use marijuana businesses if a subject jurisdiction voted against Measure 91 by greater than fifty-five percent (55%), and if after December 2015, such ordinance were then referred to the voters in the next general election. Approximately 80 Oregon cities and 16 counties prohibit adult-use marijuana businesses. Subsequent bills passed during the 2016 legislative session removed the two-year residency requirement that existed within House Bill 3400.
Governor Kate Brown's Executive Order 19-09 was issued October 3, 2019, to address the vaping public health crisis and alleged vaping-associated lung injury. As directed by the Governor, OHA adopted a rule banning the sale of flavored vaping products, but the Oregon Court of Appeals stayed enforcement of the rule. Due to the court ruling, on January 16, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority suspended the temporary rule banning sales of flavored vaping products.
On April 4, 2022, the Governor signed into law House Bill 4016 ("HB 4016") establishing a licensing moratorium on all marijuana license types except laboratories. The HB 4016 moratorium applies only to marijuana licenses and does not affect worker permits, research certificates, or hemp certificates. The moratorium is in effect from January 1, 2022, through March 31, 2024.
Oregon Regulatory Framework
Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 475 B (Cannabis Regulation) provides the regulatory framework for both the recreational and medical cannabis industries in Oregon. The OLCC implementation of the recreational cannabis statutes are found in Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 845, Division 25. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program ("OMMP") implementation of the medical cannabis statutes are found in Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 333, Division 8. Chapter 333, Division 7 provides the packaging, labelling and dosage limits for both programs, and Chapter 333, Division 64 governs the accreditation of laboratories for testing.
Both the OLCC and the OMMP rules include licensing requirements and materials, as well as criteria for approval or denial of license applications.
Oregon Licensing Requirements
Licenses issued by OLCC may be renewed annually so long as the licensee meets the requirements of the law and pays the renewal fee. There is no maximum number of licenses per owner, except for cultivation licenses located at the same address.
Applicants must demonstrate (and license holders must maintain) that: (i) they are registered with the Oregon Secretary of State to do business in Oregon; (ii) they have the operational expertise required by the individual license type, demonstrated by submission of an operation plan; (iii) they have the documented ability to secure the premises, as well as resources and personnel necessary to operate the license; (iv) they have the ability to maintain accountability of all cannabis and cannabinoid products and by-products via the state mandated "seed-to-sale" Cannabis Tracking System ("CTS") software, to prevent diversion or unlawful access to these materials; (v) all applicants, owners and those with the requisite control have passed background screening, inclusive of fingerprinting; and (vi) they comply with all local ordinances, including local land use and planning in the development of the licensed site.
Oregon Security Requirements
A licensee must always maintain a fully operational alarm and video monitoring system. Commercial grade, non-residential door locks and steel doors are required on every external door. The alarm system must detect unauthorized entry into the licensed premises. The 24-hour video surveillance system must record at a high-resolution format approved by the OLCC and have camera coverage which covers all areas of the facility without any blackout areas, including camera coverage requirements for ingress and egress. Video footage must be backed-up for a minimum of 90 days and be available upon request. Additionally, the camera system must have the ability to print still photos.
Oregon Transportation and Storage Requirements
Recreational and medicinal cannabis and cannabis products must be stored in a secured, locked room or vault. Vaults that are large enough to allow a person to walk in must have cameras inside so that there is no blind spot. Smaller safes must be bolted to the floor. When products are transferred between licensees, they must first be fully manifested through the state mandated "seed-to-sale" CTS. This written manifest must include: (i) departure date and time, (ii) name, address, and license number of the originating licensee, (iii) name, address, and license number of the recipient, (iv) quantity and form of any cannabis or cannabis delivery device being transported, (v) arrival date and time, (vi) delivery vehicle make and model and license plate number; and (vii) name and signature of the employee delivering the product. A copy of this manifest is provided to the receiving licensee for their verification. Upon receiving the transfer, the licensee must immediately verify the shipment versus the manifest and accept it electronically within the "seed-to-sale" CTS. This completes the inventory transfer. OLCC licensees must maintain these records for a minimum of three years. During transport, all product is packaged individually by order, and maintained within a locked receptacle within the vehicle. All deliveries must be completed within 24 hours.
OLCC Department Inspections
The OLCC conducts announced and unannounced inspections of all licensed facilities to determine compliance with laws and rules. The OLCC will inspect a licensee upon receiving a complaint or notice that the licensee has violated any existing rules. The OLCC will also conduct an annual license renewal inspection at the time of application approval. Inspections can cover all records, personnel, equipment, security and operational methodologies.
The Company is currently licensed to operate cultivation, processing, distribution and retail operations within Oregon, however it is in the process of divesting all of its Oregon licenses. To date, the Company has not experienced any compliance or enforcement actions against the above-mentioned licenses, and the Company has not been served any notices of non-compliance by any state regulatory body.
The Company maintains credit union banking relationships which provide the Company the ability to safely and lawfully pay for all expenses that should arise from the day-to-day operations of its license. The Company monitors all licensed activities and performs site visits to validate compliance with local statutes. This monitoring includes but is not limited to "seed-to-sale" CTS records and accuracy, standard operating procedures, required signage and public health warnings, local permitting and zoning, license approvals and renewals, and all communication with regulatory bodies. Each employee is instructed on the most recent standard operating procedures. All sites have 24-hour video surveillance of the entire premises. The Company also utilizes the state-mandated CTS system in all jurisdictions in which it operates. State inspections, for any reason, including initial application, renewal or change of ownership, have not resulted in any compliance related issues to date.
Nevada Regulatory Environment
Nevada has a medical marijuana program and passed an adult-use (21 and older) legalization through the ballot box in November 2016. In 2000, Nevada voters passed a medical marijuana initiative allowing physicians to recommend cannabis for an inclusive set of qualifying conditions, including severe pain and created a limited non-commercial medical marijuana patient/caregiver system. Senate Bill 374, which passed the legislature and was signed by the Governor in 2013, expanded this program and established a for-profit regulated medical marijuana industry.
The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health licensed medical marijuana establishments up until July 1, 2017 when the state's medical marijuana program merged with adult-use marijuana enforcement under the Nevada Department of Taxation ("NDOT"). In 2014, Nevada accepted medical marijuana business applications and a few months later the Division approved 182 cultivation licenses, 118 licenses for the production of edibles and infused products, 17 independent testing laboratories, and 55 medical marijuana dispensary licenses. The number of dispensary licenses was then increased to 66 by legislative action in 2015. The application process is merit-based, competitive, and is currently closed. Nevada residency is not required to own or invest in a Nevada medical cannabis business. In addition, vertical integration is neither required nor prohibited. Nevada's medical law includes patient reciprocity, which permits medical patients from certain other states to purchase medical marijuana from Nevada dispensaries. Nevada also allows for dispensaries to deliver medical marijuana to patients.
Under Nevada's adult-use marijuana law, the NDOT licensed marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, distributors, retail stores and testing facilities. After merging medical and adult-use marijuana regulation and enforcement, the single regulatory agency is now known as the Marijuana Enforcement Division of the NDOT. Until November 2018, applications to the NDOT for adult-use establishment licenses were being accepted from existing medical marijuana establishments and existing liquor distributors for the adult-use distribution license.
In February 2017, the NDOT announced plans to issue "early start" adult use marijuana establishment licenses in the summer of 2017. These licenses, beginning on July 1, 2017, allowed marijuana establishments holding both a retail marijuana store and dispensary license to sell their existing medical marijuana inventory as either medical or adult-use marijuana, and expired 90 days after January 1, 2018 (per Sec. 24 of LCB File No. T002-17). Starting July 1, 2017, medical and adult-use marijuana have incurred a 15% excise tax on the first wholesale sale (calculated on the fair market value) and adult-use cannabis have incurred an additional 10% special retail marijuana sales tax in addition to any general state and local sales and use taxes.
On January 16, 2018, the Marijuana Enforcement Division of the NDOT issued final rules governing its adult-use marijuana program, pursuant to which up to sixty-six (66) permanent adult-use marijuana dispensary licenses will be issued. Existing adult-use marijuana licensees under the "early start" regulations must re-apply for licensure under the permanent rules in order to continue adult-use sales.
In May of 2019, Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law Senate Bill 32, that increased transparency in the licensing process by releasing certain information about license applicants, as well as methods used to issue licenses. In June 2019, Governor Sisolak approved Assembly Bill 132 making Nevada the first state to ban employers from refusing to hire job applicants who test positive for marijuana during the hiring process.
As of August 23, 2019, as a result of discrepancies discovered in the application process by the State of Nevada, a court issued a partial preliminary injunction against the State of Nevada from moving forward with the numerous holders of provisional licenses awarded under the December 5, 2018, provisional license awards. In addition to the preliminary injunction, the State of Nevada and various intervenors remain subject to ongoing litigation.
In early 2019, Nevada legislature passed Nevada Assembly Bill 533 ("AB 533"), which authorized the formation of the Cannabis Compliance Board (the "CCB") to be vested with the authority to license and regulate persons and establishments engaged in cannabis activities within Nevada. The CCB consists of an executive director and five board members appointed by the Governor Steve Sisolak. Board members must have expertise in a range of fields, including financial and accounting, law enforcement, medicine, regulatory and legal compliance, and cannabis. AB 533 also established the Cannabis Advisory Commission (the "CAC") which serves to study cannabis-related issues and make recommendations to the CCB. The CAC consists of 12-members appointed by the governor representing relevant state agencies and members of the cannabis industry and the public. Pursuant to AB 533, the CCB is mandated with studying the feasibility and safe implementation of licensing for lounges, in addition to their general authority and oversight of cannabis operations in Nevada. The CCB held its first meeting in July 2021, and regularly meets regarding public health and safety, license suspensions, and has recently held public workshops regarding cannabis consumption lounges.
Nevada Regulatory Framework
Nevada Revised Statues 678C and 678D regulate the Medical and Adult Use of cannabis in Nevada. Nevada Administrative Code 453D provides a regulatory framework that outlines the function of the CCB Marijuana program. Subsections of this chapter outline licensing and enforcement guidelines which guide the CCB.
Nevada Licensing Requirements
Licenses issued by CCB can be renewed annually so long as the licensee continues to demonstrate compliance with local and state law and pays the renewal fee. Dispensary/Retail store licenses have a set statutory "cap" (per NRS 453D.210 & NRS 453A.324), other license types do not. Moreover, statutory license caps can only be changed by the Nevada legislature, which meets bi-annually. Marijuana businesses in Nevada may also be governed by local ordinances, which can include caps on the number of marijuana businesses, zoning limitations, and additional screening of business owners and investors. Applicants must demonstrate (and license holders must maintain) that: (i) they are registered with the Nevada Secretary of State to do business in Nevada, (ii) they have contributed to the advancement of the State of Nevada via regular tax payments, (iii) they do not have interests in the Casino or Alcohol industries, (iv) they have the operational expertise required by the individual license type, demonstrated by submission of an operation plan, (v) they have the ability to secure the premises, resources, and personnel necessary to operate the license, (vi) they have the ability to maintain accountability of all cannabis and cannabinoid products and by-products via the state mandated "seed-to-sale" CTS to prevent diversion or unlawful access to these materials, (vii) they have the financial ability to maintain operations for the duration of the license, (viii) all owners have passed background screening, inclusive of fingerprinting, and (ix) all local land use, zoning, and planning notices have been followed in the development of the licensed site.
Nevada Security Requirements
A licensee must maintain a fully operational alarm and video monitoring system at all times. The alarm system must secure all points of ingress and egress and be equipped with motion detectors. The 24-hour video surveillance system must record at a high-resolution format approved by the CCB and have camera coverage which covers all areas of the facility without any blind spots. Video footage must be backed-up for a minimum of 30 days in hard-form. Cultivation and product manufacturing sites are not open to the public.
Nevada Transportation and Storage Requirements
Cannabis and cannabis goods must be stored in a lockable safe or vault at any time that employees are not on location. Any storage container that is large enough to allow an employee to walk into it must have cameras placed inside. Goods to be transported to another licensee must be fully manifested via the state mandated "seed-to-sale" CTS prior to being transported.
Nevada Department of Taxation Inspections
The CCB conducts announced and unannounced inspections of all licensed facilities to determine compliance with laws and rules. The CCB will inspect a licensee in the event of a complaint indicating that the licensee has or is actively violating existing statute. The CCB will also inspect at the time of any modification, as well as at the time of annual renewal.
Nevada Product Testing and Packaging Requirements
Both medical and adult-use marijuana and marijuana products are subject to stringent testing and packaging requirements. Before usable marijuana, concentrated marijuana, or marijuana products may be packaged for further processing or for transfer to a dispensary or retail store, an independent testing laboratory licensed by the CCB must collect samples from each homogenized lot or production run for testing. These samples are tested by the independent testing laboratory for compliance with specified limits on contaminants such as yeast and mold, heavy metals and pesticides, and microbes. Testing is also done to determine the potency of the sample. Cultivation and product manufacturing facilities are also subject to random quality assurance compliance testing at the discretion of the CCB. Generally, if a sample fails any of the tests conducted by the testing laboratory, the entire lot or production run must be destroyed.
All marijuana or marijuana products intended to be sold to consumers must be individually packaged, sealed, and labeled. Edible products must be packaged in opaque, child-resistant containers. Depending on the type of marijuana product, the CCB places limit on the amount of THC that a single package of marijuana may contain or the number of ounces of product a package may contain. All packages of marijuana or marijuana product sold to consumers must have detailed labels that include, inter alia, various warnings about the effects and risks of marijuana use; the name, license number, and contact information of the dispensary or retail store conducting the sale; the name and license number of the cultivation or product manufacturing facility that harvested or produced the marijuana or marijuana product; the potency levels of the marijuana or marijuana product; and the date the marijuana or marijuana product was harvested or produced.
The increase in state legalization of cannabis use is largely a result of changing public opinion in the United States. According to an October 2017 poll conducted by Gallup, 64% of Americans think that the use of cannabis should be made legal, the highest level in the 48 years that Gallup has conducted the poll. Further, in the 2016 Gallup poll, support among adults aged 18 to 34 increased from 35% to 77% between 2005 and 2016 and support among adults aged 35 to 54 increased from 35% to 61% over the same period. According to an April 2017 Quinnipiac University Poll, 94% of U.S. voters support the medical use of cannabis if recommended by a physician. An April 2021 Pew Research Center poll found that 91% of U.S. voters support legal marijuana for either medical or recreational use; only 8% of U.S. voters say marijuana should not be legal for use by adults. As of July 21, 2022, by a margin of more than 2 to 1, Americans favor a federal mandate legalizing the adult use of marijuana nationwide, according to polling data compiled by The Economist and YouGov.com.
Due to increases in state legalization and shifting public opinion, state-legal cannabis industry sales have grown substantially in recent years. According to a recent study by MJBiz, a division of Emerald X, LLC, and leading business-to-business industry resources, legal sales of marijuana are expected to reach $33 billion by the end of 2022, a 32% increase over 2021's total of $25 billion. By 2026, MJBiz estimates annual sales will exceed $52 billion.
E. Critical Accounting Estimates
The preparation of the Company's financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities at the date of the financial statements and reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Estimates and assumptions are continuously evaluated and are based on management's experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from those estimates and judgments.
Areas requiring a significant degree of estimation and judgment relate to the determination of business combinations, impairment of long-lived assets and inventory, fair value measurements, useful lives, depreciation and amortization of property, equipment and intangible assets, the recoverability and measurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities and share-based compensation.
i. Business combinations
Judgment is used in determining whether the Company's acquisition is considered a business combination or an asset acquisition. Additionally, judgment is required to assess whether any amounts paid on the achievement of agreed upon milestones represents contingent consideration or compensation for post-acquisition services. Judgment is also required to assess whether contingent consideration arising from an acquisition should be classified as a liability or equity. Contingent consideration classified as equity is not remeasured at subsequent reporting dates and its subsequent settlement by the Company is accounted for within equity. Contingent consideration classified as a liability is remeasured at reporting period ends in accordance with the Company's accounting policies for financial liabilities.
ii. Impairment of long-lived assets
When there are indications that an asset may be impaired, the Company is required to estimate the asset's recoverable amount. The recoverable amount is the greater of carrying value and fair value less costs of disposal. Determining the recoverable amount requires the Company to estimate expected future cash flows associated with the assets and a suitable discount rate in order to calculate present value. Irrespective of indicators of impairment, management conducts an annual impairment test of goodwill by comparing its recoverable amount to its carrying amount. For the years ended January 31, 2022 and 2021, the recoverable amount of goodwill allocated to the Nevada reporting unit exceeded its carrying amount and as such, no impairment was noted.
Inventory consists of raw materials, consumables and packaging supplies used to prepare inventory for sale, work in process consisting of pre-harvested cannabis plants, by products to be extracted, oils and terpenes, and finished goods. Inventory is valued at the lower of cost and net realizable value, with cost determined using the weighted average cost method. The net realizable value of inventory represents the estimated selling price for inventory in the ordinary course of business, less all estimated costs of completion and selling costs. The determination of net realizable value requires significant judgment, including consideration of factors such as shrinkage, demand for inventory, and expected selling price, reserves, if any, for excess and obsolete inventory are based upon quantities on hand, projected volumes from demand forecasts and net realizable value. The estimates are judgmental in nature and are made at a point in time, using available information, expected business plans and expected market conditions.
iv. Fair value measurements
Certain assets and liabilities held by the Company are measured at fair value. In estimating fair value, the Company uses market-observable data to the extent that such data is available. In certain situations where Level 1 inputs are not available, the Company makes an estimate or engages qualified, third-party valuators to perform the valuation.
v. Estimated useful lives and depreciation and amortization of property, equipment and intangible assets
The Company's depreciation and amortization of property, equipment and intangible assets are dependent on the estimation of the assets' useful lives, which requires management to exercise judgment. The Company's assessment of any impairment of assets is dependent on its estimation of recoverable amounts that consider various factors, including market and economic conditions and the assets' useful lives.
vi. Share-based compensation
The Company uses the Black-Scholes option pricing model to measure share-based compensation. The Company's estimate of share-based compensation is dependent on measurement inputs including the share price on measurement date, exercise price of the option, volatility, risk-free rate, expected dividends, and the expected life.
vii. Convertible notes
The identification of convertible note components is based on interpretations of the substance of the contractual arrangement and therefore requires judgement from management.
viii. Financial Instruments
Financial instruments are contracts that give rise to a financial asset of one party and a financial liability or equity instrument of another party. Financial instruments are recorded initially at fair value, which is the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Subsequent measurement depends on how the financial instrument has been classified and may be at fair value or amortized cost. For financial instruments subsequently measured at fair value, the Company calculates the estimated fair value of financial instruments using quoted market prices whenever available. When quoted market prices are not available, the Company uses standard pricing models including the Black-Scholes option pricing model.
Financial instruments measured at fair value are classified into one of three levels in the fair value hierarchy according to the relative reliability of the inputs used to estimate the fair values. The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are:
Level 1 - Unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities;
Level 2 - Inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset or liability either directly (i.e. as prices) or indirectly (i.e. derived from prices); and
Level 3 - Inputs that are not based on observable market data.
There have been no transfers between fair value hierarchy levels during the years ended January 31, 2022 and 2021.
The Company's measures the derivative liability at fair value using Level 3 inputs.
The Company's cash, receivables, accounts payable and accrued liabilities, and income taxes payable are recorded at cost. The carrying values of these financial instruments approximate their fair value due to their short-term maturities. Unless otherwise noted, it is management's opinion that the Company is not exposed to significant interest or credit risks arising from these financial instruments.
Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees
A. Directors and Senior Management
The size of the Company's Board is currently set at four. The Company's directors are elected annually by the shareholders and hold office until the net annual general meeting or until their successors are duly elected and qualified, unless their office is earlier vacated in accordance with the BCBCA and the Company's articles of incorporation. The Company's current directors and officers, and their respective current positions, are as follows:
President and Chief Executive Officer.
Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary and Director.
|Director, Audit Committee Member and Corporate Governance and Compensation Committee Member|
D. Bruce Macdonald
Chairman of the Board, Director, Audit Committee Member, Corporate Governance and Compensation Committee Member and Financial Expert.
Leonard (Will) Werden
Director, Audit Committee Member, and Corporate Governance and Compensation Committee Member.