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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

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

 

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021

Or

 

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

 

For the transition period from ___________ to ___________

 

Commission file number: 000-55751

 

STEM HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

 

Nevada   61-1794883
(State or other jurisdiction of   (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization)    Identification No.)

 

2201 NW Corporate Blvd., Suite 205

Boca Raton, FL 33431

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone Number: (561) 948-5410

 

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

 

Title of each class   Trading Symbol   Name of exchange on which registered
Common Stock par value $0.001   STMH   OTCQX

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. ☐ YesNo

 

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

 

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

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

 

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

 

Large Accelerated Filer ☐ Accelerated Filer ☐
   
Non-accelerated Filer Smaller Reporting Company
   
  Emerging Growth Company

 

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

 

State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter. $112,532,221 at $0.649 per share.

 

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date: 223,452,741 shares of common stock par value $0.001 as of January 6, 2022.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE: NONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

    Page
  PART I  
Item 1. Business 2 
Item 1A Risk Factors 32
Item 1B Unresolved Staff Comments 32
Item 2. Properties 32
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 33
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 34
     
  PART II  
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchase of Equity Securities 35
Item 6 Selected Financial Data 36
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation 36
Item 7A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 51
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 51
Item 9. Changes In and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 52
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 52
Item 9B. Other Information 53
     
  PART III  
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers, Promoters and Corporate Governance 54
Item 11. Executive Compensation 60
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 62
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 63
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services 63
     
  PART IV  
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 64
   
SIGNATURES 65

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

This Form 10-K contains some forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give our current expectations or forecasts of future events. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding, among other things, (a) our projected sales, profitability, and cash flows, (b) our growth strategies, (c) anticipated trends in our industries, (d) our future financing plans and (e) our anticipated needs for working capital. They are generally identifiable by use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plans,” “potential,” “projects,” “continuing,” “ongoing,” “expects,” “management believes,” “we believe,” “we intend” or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. These statements may be found under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” as well as in this Form 10-K generally. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective products or product approvals, future performance or results of current and anticipated products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, and financial results.

 

Any or all of our forward-looking statements in this report may turn out to be inaccurate. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions we might make or by known or unknown risks or uncertainties. Consequently, no forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Actual future results may vary materially as a result of various factors, including, without limitation, the risks outlined under “Risk Factors” and matters described in this Form 10-K generally. In light of these risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained in this filing will in fact occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

 

The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and, except to the extent required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 

ITEM 1. DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS.

 

Corporate Structure

 

Stem Holdings, Inc. was organized on June 7, 2016, as a Nevada corporation under Chapter 78 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. The Company’s principal office is located at 2201 NW Corporate Blvd, Suite 205, Boca Raton, FL 33431.

 

The following chart illustrates the Companies corporate structure including details of the jurisdiction of formation of each subsidiary. Stem, through its subsidiaries, is currently in the process of finalizing the investment in and acquisition of entities that engage directly in the production and sale of cannabis.

 

Diagram

Description automatically generated

 

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Overview of the Business

 

Stem is a multi-state, vertically integrated, cannabis company that, through its subsidiaries and its investments, is engaged in the manufacture, possession, use, sale, distribution or branding of cannabis and/or holds licenses in the adult use and/or medical cannabis marketplace in the states of Oregon, Nevada, California, and Massachusetts. Stem has ownership interests in 29 state issued cannabis licenses including nine (9) licenses for cannabis cultivation, three (3) licenses for cannabis processing, two (2) licenses for cannabis wholesale distribution, three (3) licenses for hemp production, five (5) adult-use medical retailers (non-storefront) which were subsequently divested and seven (7) cannabis dispensary licenses.

 

The Company is also currently working towards acquiring one additional entity and assisting certain joint ventures with obtaining licenses and permits for cannabis production, distribution and sale in additional US states. Should it be successful in these endeavors, the Company will transform into a multi-state, vertically integrated, cannabis company that purchases, improves, leases, operates and invests in properties for use in the production, distribution and sales of cannabis and cannabis-infused products licensed under the laws of the states of Oregon, Nevada, California, and Colorado.

 

Stem’s partner consumer brands are award-winning, nationally known and include: cultivators, TJ’s Gardens, Travis X James, and Yerba Buena; retail brands, Stem and TJ’s; infused product manufacturers, Cannavore and Supernatural Honey; and a CBD company, Dose-ology. As of September 30, 2021, the Company owns five properties and leases eight other properties, located in Oregon, Nevada and California. As of September 30, 2021, the buildout of these properties to support cannabis related operations was either complete or near completion.

 

The Company has ten wholly-owned subsidiaries, including Driven Deliveries, Inc. (subsequently divested on December 17, 2021), Stem Holdings Oregon, Inc., Stem Holdings IP, Inc., Opco, LLC, Stem Agri, Inc., Stem Holdings Oregon Acquisitions 1, Corp., Stem Holdings Oregon Acquisitions 2, Corp., Stem Holdings Oregon Acquisitions 3, Corp., Stem Holdings Oregon Acquisitions 4 Corp., 2336034 Alberta Ltd., Stem, through its subsidiaries, is currently in the process of finalizing the investment in and acquisition of entities that engage directly in the production and sale of cannabis.

 

The Company’s stock is publicly traded and is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol “STEM” and the OTCQX exchange under the symbol “STMH”.

 

Recent Developments

 

COVID-19

 

On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) declared a global pandemic as a result of the spread of a virus known as COVID-19. The impacts on global commerce are expected to be far reaching. This has largely limited the Company’s workforce from travelling to its various state specific jurisdictions. This will likely impact demand for the Company’s products in the near term and will also likely impact the Company’s supply chains. It may also impact expected credit losses on trade receivables and may cause staffing shortages and increased government regulations or interventions, which may negatively impact the financial condition or results of the Company. The Company has taken effective steps to ensure frequent sanitization, social distancing, and abstention from duty for employees with illnesses.

 

As of the date of this report, the Company has experienced minimal disruptions in staffing and one of the Company’s facilities have been forced to close for a shortened period of time. The Company experienced significant retail revenue growth during 2021 despite this crisis. Overall demand in Oregon has been consistent through the date of this report and the Company expects that, without further restrictions from the government, its Oregon business will continue to remain open and service its customers. To date the Company has proven to be compliant with the Governors Guidelines and the updated OSHA requirements in response to COVID-19.

 

Oregon is utilizing a 4-tiered risk level rubric, based on hospitalizations and percent increase in 7-day positive test rates. The levels are Lower Risk, Moderate Risk, High Risk, and Extreme Risk. As of the date of this report, 1 of the companies 5 dispensaries are located in counties with a “High Risk” rating. This will not affect the Company’s retail stores and the Company does not anticipate a significant impact in demand due to these ratings; however, the existence of more widespread cases of COVID-19 generally increases the risk of infection at a Company facility which could require downtime resulting in lost revenue, supply chain disruptions, testing and sanitization costs, and other potential unforeseen liabilities.

 

3

 

 

The Company has to date demonstrated resilience in managing its business through the pandemic by taking all recommended safety precautions including personal protective equipment, sanitization, working from home when possible and periodic testing. The Company also demonstrated strength by increasing headcount in its retail stores at the beginning of the pandemic rather than trimming headcount and shutting down stores. This decision significantly contributed to the Company’s growth and success in its Oregon business during the first half of 2021.

 

Industrial Hemp

 

Industrial hemp is now legal in the U.S., which advocates hope could eventually loosen laws around the popular marijuana extract CBD.

 

The 2018 farm bill which legalized hemp including a variety of cannabis that does not produce the psychoactive component of marijuana, paved the way to legitimacy for an agricultural sector that has been operating on the fringe of the law. Industrial hemp has made investors and executives swoon because of the potential multibillion-dollar market for cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound that has started to turn up in beverages, health products and pet snacks, among other products.

 

Currently, it appears that CBD will remain largely off-limits for ingestible products. The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement saying that despite the new status of hemp, CBD is still considered a drug ingredient and remains illegal to add to food or health products without the agency’s approval, disappointing many hemp advocates, who said they will continue to work to convince the FDA to loosen its CBD rules. The FDA said some hemp ingredients, such as hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil, are safe in food and won’t require additional approvals.

 

The farm bill places industrial hemp, which is defined as a cannabis plant with under 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, under the supervision of the Agriculture Department and removes CBD from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act, which covers marijuana. The law also “explicitly” preserved the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate products containing cannabis, or cannabis-derived compounds.

 

Regulation of Cannabis in the United States Federally

 

The cultivation, production, distribution and sale of cannabis and cannabis extracts is illegal under U.S. federal law, and it is listed as a Schedule I substance under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. A Schedule I drug or substance is deemed to have a high potential for abuse, to have no accepted medical use in the United States, and to lack an acceptable safe use of the drug under medical supervision. The Company believes the U.S. Controlled Substances Act categorization as a Schedule I drug is not reflective of cannabis’ medicinal properties and numerous related studies support rescheduling. Over the past decade, cannabis policy has been moving towards legalization and liberalization of cannabis laws.

 

In September 2018, Congress approved the Medical Cannabis Research Act. This bill requires the Department of Justice to issue additional cultivation licenses to grow marijuana for federal research. The bill also clarifies that Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) doctors can discuss medical marijuana with their patients and can refer them to participate in scientific studies on the drug’s effects.

 

4

 

 

The District of Columbia (“D.C.”) and 36 U.S. states, including the states of Oregon, Nevada and California, have legalized cannabis for medical use. D.C. and 15 U.S. states, including the states of Oregon, Nevada and California, have also legalized adult recreational use of cannabis.

 

As discussed above, marijuana remains a Schedule I substance under U.S. federal law. However, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) has issued guidance advising prosecutors of money laundering and other financial crimes not to focus their enforcement efforts on banks that serve marijuana-related businesses (“MRBs”), so long as that business is legal in the bank’s respective 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). This guidance was published on February 14, 2014 and requires banks providing such services to monitor strict compliance with FinCEN’s guidance. This requires investment in monitoring and compliance staff, and large national banks don’t appear to want to make such an investment, nor expose themselves to potential risk of prosecution from non-compliant businesses they might serve. At the end of 2020 FinCEN reported 684 banks and financial institutions doing business with MRB’s.

 

The few credit unions who have agreed to service marijuana businesses are limiting those accounts to no more than 5% of their total deposits to avoid creating a liquidity risk. Because the federal government could change the banking laws as it relates to marijuana 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 marijuana businesses in a single day, while also servicing the needs of their other customers.

 

In March 2019, a congressional committee approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. Draft legislation of the SAFE Banking Act received a historic hearing in the House Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee in February 2019, where the National Cannabis Industry Association submitted written testimony along with the personal stories about the burdens and safety concerns created by the current banking situation from nearly 100 cannabis industry professionals. On September 25, 2019 the U.S House of Representatives passed the landmark legislation to reform federal cannabis laws and reduce the public safety risk in communities across the country. H.R. 1595, the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 passed by a vote of 321 to 103. This bill generally prohibits a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legitimate marijuana-related business. The Company believes this progressive banking reform for the U.S. cannabis industry reflects a positive trajectory for marijuana banking reform.

 

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, also known as the MORE Act, is a proposed 2019 United States federal legislation to legalize cannabis and expunge prior cannabis related convictions that was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives on July 23, 2019. This would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and impose a 5% tax on cannabis and cannabis products manufactured in or imported into the United States. This tax will be collected by the Treasury of the United States to create a trust fund to be known as the Opportunity Trust Fund. The trust funds the Act would create include the Community Reinvestment Grant, which would provide funding for services such as job training, re-entry services and legal aid; the Cannabis Opportunity Grant, which would provide funds to assist small businesses in the cannabis industry; and the Equitable Licensing Grant, which minimizes barriers to gain access to marijuana licensing and employment for those most impacted by the so-called war on drugs. The act would also establish a Cannabis Justice Office within the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, responsible for administering the grants. On December 4, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed this legislation by a vote of 228-164.

 

Both the MORE and SAFE Banking Acts have yet to receive action in the U.S. Senate. However, in late 2020 incoming Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer made multiple comments suggesting that passage of these bills and large-scale federal legalization of cannabis are on his agenda. The Company continues to monitor both of these bills and the general status of cannabis legalization at the U.S. federal level.

 

On December 14, 2020, former President Trump announced that William Barr would be resigning from his post as Attorney General, effective December 23, 2020. Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee to succeed Mr. Barr, has served as the current attorney since March 2021. 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.

 

5

 

 

The Company believes it is too soon to determine if any prosecutorial policy at the federal level will be forthcoming or if the Biden administration will reinstitute the prior posture of the Department of Justice or a similar guidance document for United States attorneys or by executive order. The sheer size of the cannabis industry, in addition to various level of legalization at the State and local governments, suggests that a largescale enforcement operation would possibly create unwanted political backlash for the Department of Justice. Moreover, State and local tax revenues generated by the cannabis business has become an increasingly important source of funding for State and local government programs.

 

Regulation of the Cannabis Market at State and Local Levels

 

The following chart sets out, for each of the subsidiaries and other entities through which the Company conducts is operations, the U.S. state(s) in which it operates, the nature of its operations (adult-use/medicinal), whether such activities carried on are direct, indirect or ancillary in nature (as such terms are defined in Staff Notice 51-352), the number of sales, cultivation and other licenses held by such entity and whether such entity has any operational cultivation or processing facilities.

 

State   Entities  

Adult-Use /

Medical

 

Direct / Indirect /

Ancillary

 

Dispensary

Licenses

   

Cultivation /

Processing /

Distribution

Licenses

 
California   7LV USA   Medical   Direct (1)   1     N/A  
Massachusetts   CGP   Adult-Use   Indirect(2)   1        
Nevada   YMY   Both   Indirect(3)   N/A     4  
Oregon   Various   Both   Direct and Ancillary(4)   5     5  

 

Notes:

 

(1) The Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, 7LV USA, operates a cannabis dispensary in Sacramento, California.
   
(2) The Company holds a 13% interest in CGP, which operates a cannabis dispensary in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. CGP is also building a cannabis facility in Northampton, Massachusetts.
   
(3) The Company holds a 50% interest in YMY, which operates a cannabis facility in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
   
(4) The Company holds all licenses in Oregon directly, through wholly-owned subsidiaries.

 

California

 

History

 

In 1996, California voters passed a medical cannabis law allowing physicians to recommend cannabis for an inclusive set of qualifying conditions including chronic pain and providing immunity/defense to criminal proceedings. The law was amended in 2003 to expand the criminal defense to groups of patients/caregivers, but there was no state licensing authority to oversee the businesses that emerged as a result of the system. In September 2015, the California legislature passed three bills, collectively known as the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” (“MMRSA” later referred to as MCRSA after an amendment changed the word “Marijuana” to “Cannabis”). In 2016, California voters passed the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (“AUMA”), which legalized adult-use cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older and created a licensing system for commercial cannabis business. On June 27, 2017, Governor Brown signed SB-94 into law. SB-94 combines California’s medicinal and adult-use regulatory framework into one licensing structure under the Medicinal and Adult-Use of Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”).

 

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Regulatory Summary

 

Pursuant to MAUCRSA: (i) the California Department of Food and Agriculture, via CalCannabis, issues licenses to cannabis cultivators, (ii) the California Department of Public Health, via the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (the “MCSB”) issues licenses to cannabis manufacturers and (iii) the California Department of Consumer Affairs, via the Bureau of Cannabis Control (the “BCC”), issues licenses to cannabis distributors, testing laboratories, retailers, and micro-businesses. These agencies also oversee the various aspects of implementing and maintaining California’s cannabis landscape, including the statewide track and trace system. All three agencies released their emergency rulemakings at the end of 2017 and have begun issuing licenses.

 

In July, 2017, the State of California established the MCSB to develop statewide standards, regulations, and licensing procedures in relation to cannabis, and is addressing policy issues in support of cannabis manufacturers. MCSB is responsible for issuing licenses to manufacturers of cannabis products.

 

To operate legally under state law, cannabis operators must obtain the requisite state licensure and local approval. Local authorization is a prerequisite to obtaining state licensure, and local governments are permitted to prohibit or otherwise regulate the types and number of cannabis businesses allowed in their locality. The state license approval process is not competitive and there is no limit on the number of state licenses an entity may hold. Although vertical integration across multiple license types is allowed under the MAUCRSA, testing laboratory licensees may not hold any other licenses aside from a laboratory license. However, a licensee is not prohibited from performing testing on the licensee’s premises for the purposes of quality assurance of a cannabis product in conjunction with reasonable business operations (testing conducted on a licensee’s premises by the licensee does not meet the testing requirements required under the MAUCRSA). There are also no residency requirements for ownership under MAUCRSA.

 

California License Types

 

Once an operator obtains local approval, the operator must obtain state licenses before conducting any commercial cannabis activity. There are 12 different license types that cover all commercial activity. License types 1-3 and 5 authorize the cultivation of medical and/or adult use cannabis plants. Type 4 licenses are for nurseries that cultivate and sell clones and “teens” (immature cannabis plants that have established roots but require further vegetation prior to being sent into the flowering period). Type 6 and 7 licenses authorize manufacturers to process cannabis biomass into certain value-added products such as shatter or cannabis distillate oil with the use of volatile or non-volatile solvents, depending on the license type. Type 8 licenses are held by testing facilities who test samples of cannabis products and generate “certificates of analysis,” which include important information regarding the potency of products and whether products have passed or failed certain threshold tests for pesticide and microbiological contamination. Type 9 licenses are issued to “non-storefront” retailers, commonly called delivery services, who bring cannabis products directly to customers and patients at their residences or other chosen deliver location. Type 10 licenses are known as “Transport-Only” distribution licenses, and they allow the distributor to transport cannabis and cannabis products between licensees, but not to retailers. Type 12 licenses are issued to distributors who move cannabis and cannabis products to all license types, including retailers.

 

Company Licenses

 

On March 29, 2019, the Company executed a definitive agreement to acquire Western Coast Ventures, Inc. (“WCV”), an arm’s length private corporation incorporated under the laws of Nevada. Other than approximately $2,000,000 in cash, WCV’s sole asset was a 51% ownership interest in ILCA. ILCA was issued a limited conditional use permit for a cannabis production facility by the City of San Diego. Upon issuance of the final cannabis production facility permit and the completed construction of the facility, the ILCA will: (i) operate an advanced cannabis facility to grow and cultivate cannabis; (ii) manufacture cannabis-derived products; and (iii) distribute cannabis and cannabis-derived products state-wide throughout California. During the year ended September 30, 2021 the Company determined the investment in ILCA was impaired and recognized an impairment expense of $2.2 million for the year ended September 30, 2021.

 

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On March 6, 2020, the Company closed the acquisition of Seven Leaf Ventures Corp. (“7LV”), an arm’s length private corporation incorporated under the laws of Alberta, and its subsidiaries, pursuant to the terms of a share purchase agreement dated March 6, 2020. A subsidiary of 7LV, 7LV USA, owns Foothills Health and Wellness, a medical dispensary, in the greater Sacramento, California area.

 

The table below lists the licenses directly and indirectly held by the Company in the State of California:

 

Holding Entity   Permit/License   City, State   Expiration Date   Description
7LV USA   C10-0000679-LIC   Sacramento, California   January 14, 2023   Medicinal Retailer License

 

California Agencies Regulating the Commercial Cannabis Industry

 

From 2015 through July 2021, three agencies were tasked with regulating the cannabis industry in California. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (“CDFA”) which oversaw nurseries and cultivators; the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) which oversaw manufacturers, and the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) which oversaw distributors, retailers, delivery services and testing laboratories.

 

In an effort to centralize and simplify regulatory and licensing oversight of the cannabis market, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB-141 into law on July 12, 2021, creating the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). Assembly Bill 141 consolidates three state cannabis programs – the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, and the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch into the DCC. The law transfers to the DCC all of the “powers, duties, purposes, functions, responsibilities, and jurisdiction” of the BCC, CDFA and CDPH.

 

California Transportation

 

Transporting cannabis goods between licensees and a licensed facility may only be performed by persons holding a distributor license. The vehicle or trailer used must not contain any markings or features on the exterior which may indicate or identify the contents or purpose. All cannabis products must be locked in a box, container, or cage that is secured to the inside of the vehicle or trailer. When left unattended, vehicles must be locked and secured. At a minimum, the vehicle must be equipped with an alarm system, motion detectors, pressure switches, duress, panic, and hold-up alarms.

 

California Inventory/Storage

 

Each licensee is required to assign an account manager to oversee the track and trace system. The account manager is fully trained on the system and is accountable to record all commercial cannabis activities accurately and completely. The licensee is expected to correct any data that is entered into the track and trace system in error within three business days of discovery of the error. The licensee is required to report information in the track and trace system for each transfer of cannabis or non-manufactured cannabis products to, or cannabis or non-manufactured cannabis products received from, other licensed operators. Licensees must use the track and trace system for all inventory tracking activities at a licensed premise, including, but not limited to, reconciling all on-premise and in-transit cannabis or non-manufactured cannabis product inventories at least once every 14 business days. The licensee must store cannabis and cannabis products in a secure place with locked doors.

 

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California Record-keeping/Reporting

 

The cultivation, processing, and movement of cannabis within the state is tracked by the METRC system, into which all licensees are required to input their track and trace data (either manually or using another software that automatically uploads to METRC). Immature plants are assigned a Unique Identifier number (UID), and this number follows the flowers and biomass resulting from that plant through the supply chain, all the way to the consumer. Each licensee in the supply chain is required to meticulously log any processing, packaging, and sales associated with that UID.

 

Retail Compliance in California

 

California requires that certain warnings, images and content information be printed on all cannabis packaging. BCC regulations also include certain requirements about tamper-evident and child-resistant packaging. Distributors and retailers are responsible for confirming that products are properly labeled and packaged before they are sold to a customer.

 

Consumers aged 21 and up may purchase cannabis in California from a dispensary with an “adult-use” license. Some localities still only allow medicinal dispensaries. Consumers aged 18 and up with a valid physician’s recommendation may purchase cannabis from a medicinal-only dispensary or an adult-use dispensary. Consumers without valid physician’s recommendations may not purchase cannabis from a medicinal-only dispensary. All cannabis businesses are prohibited from hiring employees under the age of 21.

 

California Security

 

Each local government in California has its own security requirements for cannabis businesses, which usually include comprehensive video surveillance, intrusion detection and alarms and limited-access areas where only employees and other authorized individuals may enter. All licensee employees must wear employee badges. The limited-access areas must be locked with “commercial-grade, non-residential door locks on all points of entry and exit to the licensed premises.”

 

Each licensed premises must have a digital video surveillance system that can “effectively and clearly” record images of the area under surveillance. Cameras must be “in a location that allows the camera to clearly record activity occurring within 20 feet of all points of entry and exit on the licensed premises.” The regulations list specific areas which must be under surveillance, including places where cannabis goods are weighed, packed, stored loaded and unloaded, security rooms and entrances and exits to the premises. Retailers must record point of sale areas on the video surveillance system.

 

Licensed retailers must hire security personnel to provide on-site security services for the licensed retails premises during hours of operation. All security personnel must be licensed by the Bureau of Security and Investigate Services.

 

California Inspections

 

All licensees are subject to annual and random inspections of their premises. Cultivators may be inspected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Manufacturers are subject to inspection by the California Department of Public Health, and Retailers, Distributors, Testing Laboratories, and Delivery services are subject to inspection by the Department of Cannabis Control. Inspections can result in notices to correct, or notices of violation, fines, or other disciplinary action by the inspecting agency.

 

Cannabis taxes in California

 

Several taxes are imposed at the point of sale and are required to be collected by the retailer. The State imposes an excise tax of 15%, and a sales and use tax is assessed on top of that. Cities and Counties apply their sales tax along with the State’s sales and use tax, and many cities and counties have also authorized the imposition of special cannabis business taxes which can range from 2% to 10% of gross receipts of the business.

 

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U.S. Attorney Statements in California

 

To the knowledge of management of Stem, other than as disclosed in this Document, there have not been any statements or guidance made by federal authorities or prosecutors regarding the risk of enforcement action in California. See “Risk Factors”.

 

Massachusetts

 

History

 

The Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program (the “MA Program”) was formed pursuant to the Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana (the “MA ACT”). The MA Program allows registered persons to purchase medical cannabis and applies to any patient, personal caregiver, Registered Marijuana Dispensary (each, a “RMD”), and RMD agent that qualifies and registers under the MA Program. To qualify, patients must suffer from a debilitating condition as defined by the MA Program. Currently there are eight conditions that allow a patient to acquire cannabis in Massachusetts, including AIDS/HIV, ALS, cancer and Crohn’s disease. The MA Program is administrated by the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality. In November 2016, Massachusetts voted affirmatively on a ballot petition to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult-use. The Massachusetts legislature amended the law on December 28, 2016, delaying the date adult-use cannabis sales would begin by six months. The delay allowed the legislature to clarify how municipal land-use regulations would treat the cultivation of cannabis and authorized a study of related issues. After further debate, the state House of Representatives and state Senate approved H.3818 which became Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, An Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana, and established the Cannabis Control Commission (the “MA CCC”). The MA CCC consists of five commissioners and regulates the Massachusetts Recreational Marijuana Program. Adult-use of cannabis in Massachusetts started in July 2018.

 

Regulatory Summary (Medical)

 

Under the MA Program, RMDs are heavily regulated. Vertically integrated RMDs grow, process, and dispense their own cannabis. As such, each RMD is required to have a retail facility as well as cultivation and processing operations, although retail operations may be separate from grow and cultivation operations. A RMD’s cultivation location may be in a different municipality or county than its retail facility. RMD’s are required to be Massachusetts non-profit corporations.

 

The MA Program mandates a comprehensive application process for RMDs. Each RMD applicant must submit a Certificate of Good Standing, comprehensive financial statements, a character competency assessment, and employment and education histories of the senior partners and individuals responsible for the day-to-day security and operation of the RMD. Municipalities may individually determine what local permits or licenses are required if an RMD wishes to establish an operation within its boundaries.

 

Each Massachusetts dispensary, grower and processor license is valid for one year and must be renewed no later than 60 calendar days prior to expiration. As in other states where cannabis is legal, the MA CCC can deny or revoke licenses and renewals for multiple reasons, including (a) submission of materially inaccurate, incomplete, or fraudulent information, (b) failure to comply with any applicable law or regulation, including laws relating to taxes, child support, workers compensation and insurance coverage, (c) failure to submit or implement a plan of correction (d) attempting to assign registration to another entity, (e) insufficient financial resources, (f) committing, permitting, aiding, or abetting of any illegal practices in the operation of the RMD, (g) failure to cooperate or give information to relevant law enforcement related to any matter arising out of conduct at an RMD, and (h) lack of responsible RMD operations, as evidenced by negligence, disorderly or unsanitary facilities or permitting a person to use a registration card belonging to another person. Additionally, license holders must ensure that no cannabis is sold, delivered, or distributed by a producer from or to a location outside of this state.

 

Regulatory Summary (Adult-Use)

 

Many of the same application requirements exist for a marijuana establishment license as a RMD application, and each owner, officer or member must undergo background checks and fingerprinting with the CCC. Applicants must submit the location and identification of each site, and must establish a property interest in the same, and the applicant and the local municipality must have entered into a host agreement authorizing the location of the adult-use marijuana establishment within the municipality and said agreement must be included in the application. Applicants must include disclosure of any regulatory actions against it by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as the civil and criminal history of the applicant and its owners, officers, principals or members. The application must include the RMD applicant’s plans for separating medical and adult-use operations, proposed timeline for achieving operations, liability insurance, business plan, and a detailed summary describing and/or updating or modifying the RMD’s existing medical marijuana operating policies and procedures for adult-use including security, prevention of diversion, storage, transportation, inventory procedures, quality control, dispensing procedures, personnel policies, record keeping, maintenance of financial records and employee training protocols.

 

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No person or entity may own more than 10% or “control” more than three licenses in each marijuana establishment class (i.e., marijuana retailer, marijuana cultivator, marijuana product manufacturer). Additionally, there is a 100,000 square foot cultivation canopy for adult-use licenses; however, there is no canopy restriction for RMD license holders relative to their cultivation facility.

 

Company Licenses

 

The Company holds a minority interest in an entity that holds one cultivation and one dispensary license in the State of Massachusetts. The table below lists the licenses indirectly held by the Company:

 

Holding Entity   Permit/License   City, State   Expiration Date   Description
CGP(1)   MR282695   Massachusetts   January 13, 2022   Dispensary and Cultivation License

 

Note:

 

(1) The Company holds a 13% interest in CGP, which operates a cannabis dispensary in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. CGP is also building a cannabis facility in Northampton, Massachusetts.

 

Massachusetts Transportation

 

A licensee transporting cannabis must ensure the product is in a secure, locked storage compartment. If a cannabis establishment, pursuant to a cannabis transporter license is transporting cannabis products for more than one cannabis establishment at a time, the cannabis products for each cannabis establishment must be kept in separate locked storage compartments during transportation and separate manifests are required for each cannabis establishment. Vehicles transporting cannabis must be equipped with an approved alarm system and functioning heating and air conditioning systems appropriate for maintaining correct temperatures for storage of cannabis products.

 

Massachusetts Inventory

 

Through the track and trace system, licensees are required to record all actions related to each individual cannabis plant. This robust inventorying requirement includes tracking how each plant is handled and processed from seed and cultivation, through growth, harvest and preparation of cannabis infused products, if any, to final sale of finished products. To meet this tracking requirement, the inventory tracking process is mandated to utilize unique plant and batch identification numbers. Besides capturing all processes associated with each cannabis plant, licensees must also establish and abide by inventory controls and procedures for conducting inventory reviews and comprehensive inventories of cultivating, finished, and stored cannabis products.

 

Massachusetts Security

 

Adequate security systems that prevent and detect diversion, theft, or loss of cannabis are required of each licensee.

To ensure licensees meet the rigorous security standards, use of surveillance cameras is mandated. Video cameras must be appropriate for the lighting conditions of the area under surveillance. Interior video cameras must be directed at all safes, vaults, sales areas, and areas where cannabis is cultivated, harvested, processed, prepared, stored, handled, or dispensed.

 

Massachusetts Record-keeping/Reporting

 

Massachusetts uses METRC as the track and trace system. Individual licensees, whether directly or through a third-party application programming interface, are required to push data to the state to meet all reporting requirements.

 

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Massachusetts Inspections

 

The CCC or its agents may inspect a licensee and affiliated vehicles at any time without prior notice. A licensee shall immediately upon request make available to the CCC information that may be relevant to a CCC inspection, and the CCC may direct a licensee to test cannabis for contaminants.

 

U.S. Attorney Statements in Massachusetts

 

On July 10, 2018, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, issued a statement regarding the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts. Mr. Lelling stated that since he has a constitutional obligation to enforce the laws passed by Congress, he would not immunize the residents of Massachusetts from federal law enforcement. He did state, however, that his office’s resources would be primarily focused on combating the opioid epidemic. He stated that considering those factors and the experiences of other states that have legalized adult-use cannabis, his office’s enforcement efforts would focus on the areas of (i) overproduction, (ii) targeted sales to minors and (iii) organized crime and interstate transportation of drug proceeds.

 

To the knowledge of management of the Company, other than as disclosed in this Document, there have not been any statements or guidance made by federal authorities or prosecutors regarding the risk of enforcement action in Massachusetts.

 

Nevada

 

History

 

Nevada’s medical cannabis market was introduced in June 2013 when the legislature passed SB374, legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis for certified patients. The first dispensaries opened to patients in August 2015.

 

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health licensed medical cannabis establishments up until July 1, 2017, when the State’s medical cannabis program merged with adult-use cannabis enforcement under the State of Nevada Department of Taxation, Marijuana Enforcement Division (the “Nevada Taxation Department”). In 2014, Nevada accepted medical cannabis 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 cannabis 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. 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 other States to purchase cannabis from Nevada dispensaries. Nevada also allows for dispensaries to deliver medical cannabis to patients.

 

Each medical cannabis establishment must register with the Nevada Taxation Department and apply for a medical cannabis establishment registration certificate. As noted above, the application process is competitive, and, among other requirements, there are minimum liquidity requirements and restrictions on the geographic location of a medical cannabis establishment as well as restrictions relating to the age and criminal background of employees, owners, officers and board members of the establishment. All employees must be over 21 and all owners, officers and board members must not have any previous felony convictions or had a previously granted medical cannabis registration revoked. Additionally, each volunteer, employee, officer, board member, and owner of an effective 5% or greater interest of a medical cannabis establishment must be individually registered with the Nevada Taxation Department as a medical cannabis agent and hold a valid medical cannabis establishment agent card. The establishment must have adequate security measures and use an electronic verification system and inventory control system. If the proposed medical cannabis establishment will sell or deliver edible cannabis products or cannabis-infused products, the proposed establishment must establish operating procedures for handling such products, which must be preapproved by the Nevada Taxation Department.

 

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In response to the rescission of the Cole Memo, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt had issued a public statement, pledging to defend the law after it was approved by voters. Then-Governor Brian Sandoval also stated, “Since Nevada voters approved the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2016, I have called for a well-regulated, restricted and respected industry. My administration has worked to ensure these priorities are met while implementing the will of the voters and remaining within the guidelines of both the Cole and Wilkinson federal memos,” and that he would like for Nevada to follow in the footsteps of Colorado, where the U.S. attorneys do not plan to change the approach to prosecuting crimes involving recreational cannabis.

 

In determining whether to issue a medical cannabis establishment registration certificate pursuant to NRS 453A.322, the Nevada Taxation Department, in addition the application requirements set out, considers the following criteria of merit:

 

  the total financial resources of the applicant, both liquid and illiquid;
     
  the previous experience of the persons who are proposed to be owners, officers of board members of the proposed medical cannabis establishment at operating other businesses or non-profit organizations;
     
  the educational achievements of the persons who are proposed to be owners, officers of board members of the proposed medical cannabis establishment;
     
  any demonstrated knowledge or expertise on the part of the persons who are proposed to be owners, officers or board members of the proposed medical cannabis establishment with respect to the compassionate use of cannabis to treat medical conditions;
     
  whether the proposed location of the proposed medical cannabis establishment would be convenient to serve the needs of persons who are authorized to engage in the medical use of cannabis;
     
  whether the applicant has an integrated plan for the care, quality and safekeeping of medical cannabis from seed to sale;
     
  the amount of taxes paid to, or other beneficial financial contributions made to, the State of Nevada or its political subdivisions by the applicant or the persons who are proposed to be the owners, officers or board members of the proposed medical cannabis establishment; and
     
  any other criteria of merit that the Nevada Taxation Department determines to be relevant.

 

A medical cannabis establishment registration certificate expires 1 year after the date of issuance and may be renewed upon resubmission of the application information and renewal fee to the Nevada Taxation Department.

 

The sale of cannabis for adult-use in Nevada was approved by ballot initiative on November 8, 2016, and Nevada Revised Statute 453D exempts a person who is 21 years of age or older from state or local prosecution for possession, use, consumption, purchase, transportation or cultivation of certain amounts of cannabis and requires the Nevada Taxation Department to begin receiving applications for the licensing of cannabis establishments on or before January 1, 2018. The legalization of retail cannabis does not change the medical cannabis program.

 

In February 2017, the Nevada Taxation Department announced plans to issue “early start” recreational cannabis establishment licenses in the summer of 2017. These licenses, which began on July 1, 2017, allowed cannabis establishments holding both a retail cannabis store and dispensary license to sell their existing medical cannabis inventory as either medical or adult-use cannabis, and expired at the end of the year. As of July 1, 2017, medical and adult-use cannabis have incurred a 15% excise tax on the first wholesale sale (calculated on the fair market value) and adult-use cannabis has incurred an additional 10% special retail cannabis sales tax in addition to any general State and local sales and use taxes.

 

On January 16, 2018, the Nevada Taxation Department issued final rules governing its adult-use cannabis program, pursuant to which up to sixty-six (66) permanent adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses will be issued. Existing adult-use cannabis licensees under the “early start” regulations must re-apply for licensure under the permanent rules in order to continue adult-use sales.

 

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Under Nevada’s adult-use cannabis law, the Nevada Taxation Department licenses cannabis cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, distributors, retail stores and testing facilities. For the first 18 months, applications to the Nevada Taxation Department for adult-use distribution establishment licenses can only be accepted from existing medical cannabis establishments and existing liquor distributors.

 

In September 2018, the Nevada Taxation Department accepted applications from existing Nevada medical cannabis establishment certificate owners to be awarded licenses for approximately 65 retail cannabis stores throughout the State. The application period closed on September 20, 2018, and the additional retail store licenses were awarded by the Nevada Taxation Department on December 5, 2018.

 

Regulatory Overview

 

The State of Nevada utilizes Metrc as its statewide seed-to-sale tracking system for all cannabis and cannabis products. All licensees within the State system are required, either directly or through third-party software systems that are capable of data integration, to report to the State all creation and transfers of such inventory to other licensees and sales to consumers. CSAC intends to designate a third-party computerized seed-to-sale inventory software tracking system designed to integrate with Metrc via an application programming interface.

 

Licensing Requirements

 

There are five certificate/license types issued in the State of Nevada:

 

“Marijuana cultivation facility” means an entity licensed to cultivate, process, and package cannabis, to have cannabis tested by a cannabis testing facility, and to sell cannabis to retail cannabis stores, to cannabis product manufacturing facilities, and to other cannabis cultivation facilities, but not to consumers. NRS 453D.030(9).

 

“Marijuana product manufacturing facility” means an entity licensed to purchase cannabis, manufacture, process, and package cannabis and cannabis products, and sell cannabis and cannabis products to other cannabis product manufacturing facilities and to retail cannabis stores, but not to consumers. NRS 453D.030(12).

 

“Retail marijuana store” means an entity licensed to purchase cannabis from cannabis cultivation facilities, to purchase cannabis and cannabis products from cannabis product manufacturing facilities and retail cannabis stores, and to sell cannabis and cannabis products to consumers. NRS 453D.030(18).

 

“Marijuana distributor” means an entity licensed to transport cannabis from a cannabis establishment to another cannabis establishment. NRS 453D.030(10).

 

“Marijuana testing facility” means an entity licensed to test cannabis and cannabis products, including for potency and contaminants. NRS 453D.030(15).

 

Administration of the regular retail program in Nevada is governed by Nevada Revised Statutes Section 453D and the Adopted Regulation of the Nevada Department of Taxation, LCB File R092-17 (the “Nevada Adult-Use Regulation”). The Nevada Adult-Use Regulation was adopted on February 27, 2018 and is a regulation relating to cannabis responsible for: (i) revising requirements relating to independent testing laboratories; (ii) providing for the licensing of cannabis establishments and registration of cannabis establishment agents; (iii) providing requirements concerning the operation of cannabis establishments; (iv) providing additional requirements concerning the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana distributors, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities and retail marijuana stores; (v) providing standards for the packaging and labeling cannabis and cannabis products; (vi) providing requirements relating to the production of edible cannabis products and other cannabis products; (vii) providing standards for the cultivation and production of cannabis; (viii) establishing requirements relating to advertising by cannabis establishments; (ix) establishing provisions relating to the collection of excise taxes from cannabis establishments; (x) establishing provisions relating to dual licensees; and (xi) providing other matters properly relating thereto.

 

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In the State of Nevada, only cannabis that is grown or produced in the state by a licensed establishment may be sold in the state. The Nevada regulatory regime does not mandate or prohibit vertically integrated facilities and only permits the holder of a retail dispensary license and registration certificate to purchase cannabis from cultivation facilities, cannabis and cannabis products from product manufacturing facilities and cannabis from other retail stores, for the sale of such products to consumers.

 

A medical cultivation license permits its holder to acquire, possess, cultivate, deliver, transfer, have tested, transport, supply or sell cannabis and related supplies to medical cannabis dispensaries, facilities for the production of edible medical cannabis products and/or medical cannabis-infused products, or other medical cannabis cultivation facilities.

 

The medical product manufacturing license permits its holder to acquire, possess, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, or sell edible cannabis products or cannabis infused products to other medical cannabis production facilities or medical cannabis dispensaries.

 

Medical marijuana establishment certificates and recreational cannabis facility licenses are issued independently to specific owners and at identified locations. Ownership of certificates and licenses is transferable in accordance with the Nevada Taxation Department’s policies and procedures, including completion of a background investigation. Establishment certificates and facility licenses may only be relocated to a new location within the identified local jurisdiction.

 

All licenses expire one year after the date of issue. The Nevada Taxation Department shall issue a renewal license within 10 days after the receipt of a renewal application and applicable fee if the license is not then under suspension or has not been revoked.

 

Company Licenses

 

YMY, in which the Company owns a 50% interest, holds one medical cultivation license and one recreational cultivation license and one medical product manufacturing license and one recreational product manufacturing license in the State of Nevada. The table below lists the licenses indirectly held by the Company:

 

Holding Entity   Permit/License   City, State   Expiration Date   Description
YMY(1)   18897864143987354009   Las Vegas, Nevada   June 30, 2022   Medical Cultivation License
YMY(1)   49988620104464639364   Las Vegas, Nevada   June 30, 2022   Recreational Cultivation License
YMY(1)   78715576282428558550   Las Vegas, Nevada   June 30, 2022   Medical Product Manufacturing License
YMY(1)   32704290606712932888   Las Vegas, Nevada   June 30, 2022   Recreational Product Manufacturing License

 

Note:

 

(1) The Company holds a 50% interest in YMY, which operates a cannabis facility in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

Nevada Transportation

 

In Nevada, cannabis may only be transported from a licensed cultivation or production facility to a licensed retail cannabis establishment by a licensed marijuana distributor. Prior to transporting the cannabis or cannabis products, the distributor must complete a trip plan which includes: the agent name and registration number providing and receiving the cannabis; the date and start time of the trip; a description, including the amount, of the cannabis or cannabis products being transported; and the anticipated route of transportation.

 

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During the transportation of cannabis or cannabis products, the licensed marijuana distributor agent must: (a) carry a copy of the trip plan with him or her for the duration of the trip; (b) have his or her cannabis establishment agent card in his or her immediate possession; (c) use a vehicle without any identification relating to cannabis and which is equipped with a secure lockbox or locking cargo area which must be used for the sanitary and secure transportation of cannabis, or cannabis products; (d) have a means of communicating with the cannabis establishment for which he or she is providing the transportation; and (e) ensure that all cannabis or cannabis products are not visible. After transporting cannabis or cannabis products a licensed marijuana distributor agent must enter the end time of the trip and any changes to the trip plan that was completed.

 

Each licensed marijuana distributor agent transporting cannabis or cannabis products must report any: (a) vehicle accident that occurs during the transportation to a person designated by the marijuana distributor to receive such reports within two (2) hours after the accident occurs; and (b) loss or theft of cannabis or cannabis products that occurs during the transportation to a person designated by the marijuana distributor to receive such reports immediately after the cannabis establishment agent becomes aware of the loss or theft. A marijuana distributor that receives a report of loss or theft pursuant to this paragraph must immediately report the loss or theft to the appropriate law enforcement agency and to the Nevada Taxation Department. The distributor must report any unauthorized stop that lasts longer than two (2) hours to the Nevada Taxation Department.

 

A marijuana distributor shall maintain the required documents and provide a copy of the documents required to the Nevada Taxation Department for review upon request. Each marijuana distributor shall maintain a log of all received reports.

 

Employees of licensed marijuana distributors, including drivers transporting cannabis and cannabis products, must be 21 years of age or older and must obtain a valid cannabis establishment agent registration card issued by the Nevada Taxation Department. If a marijuana distributor is co-located with another type of business, all employees of co-located businesses must have cannabis establishment agent registration cards unless the co-located business does not include common entrances, exits, break room, restrooms, locker rooms, loading docks, and other areas as are expedient for business and appropriate for the site as determined and approved by Nevada Taxation Department inspectors. While engaged in the transportation of cannabis and cannabis products, any person that occupies a transport vehicle when it is loaded with cannabis or cannabis products must have their physical cannabis establishment agent registration card in their possession.

 

All drivers must carry in the vehicle valid driver’s insurance at the limits required by the State of Nevada and the Nevada Taxation Department. All drivers must be bonded in an amount sufficient to cover any claim that could be brought or disclose to all parties that their drivers are not bonded. Cannabis establishment agent registration cardholders and the licensed marijuana distributor they work for are responsible for the cannabis and cannabis product once they take control of the product and leave the premises of the cannabis establishment.

 

There is no load limit on the amount or weight of cannabis and cannabis products that are being transported by a licensed marijuana distributor. Cannabis distributors are required to adhere to Nevada Taxation Department regulations and those required through their insurance coverage. When transporting by vehicle, cannabis and cannabis product must be in a lockbox or locked cargo area. A trunk of a vehicle is not considered secure storage unless there is no access from within the vehicle and it is not the same key access as the vehicle. Live plants can be transported in a fully enclosed, windowless locked trailer or secured area inside the body/compartment of a locked van or truck so that they are not visible to the outside. If the value of the cannabis and cannabis products being transported by vehicle is in excess of $10,000 (the insured value per the shipping manifest), the transporting vehicle must be equipped with a car alarm with sound or have no less than two (2) of the marijuana distributor’s cannabis establishment agent registration cardholders involved in the transportation. All cannabis and cannabis product must be tagged for purposes of inventory tracking with a unique identifying label as required by the Nevada Taxation Department and remain tagged during transport. This unique identifying label should be similar to the stamp for cigarette distribution. All cannabis and cannabis product when transported by vehicle must be transported in sealed packages and containers and remain unopened during transport. All cannabis and cannabis product transported by vehicle should be inventoried and accounted for in the inventory tracking system. Loading and unloading of cannabis and cannabis products from the transporting vehicle must be within view of existing video surveillance systems prior to leaving the origination location. Security requirements are required for the transportation of cannabis and cannabis products.

 

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Nevada Inventory

 

Each cannabis establishment must maintain an inventory control system to monitor and report on chain of custody of cannabis in real-time, from the point of harvest at a cultivation facility until it is sold at a dispensary, or it is processed at a facility for the production of edible cannabis products or cannabis-infused products. For this purpose, Nevada tracks information through METRC which maintains the name of each person or cannabis establishment to cannabis is sold, for dispensaries, the date of sales, quantity, and potency. Cannabis establishments must exercise vigilance to ensure personal identifying information contained in the inventory control system is encrypted, protected and not divulged for any purpose not specifically authorized by law.

 

Nevada Security

 

To prevent unauthorized access to cannabis at a Nevada-licensed cannabis establishment, the cannabis establishment must have security equipment to deter and prevent unauthorized entrance into limited access areas. This includes devices or a series of devices interconnected with a radio frequency, such as cellular or private radio signals, or other mechanical device, covering the entirety of the facility. Exterior lighting to facilitate surveillance, video cameras with a recording rate of at least 15 frames per second covering all entrances and exits of the building, any room or area that hold a vault or point-of-sale location and which records 24 hours per day. Recordings must be accessible remotely by law enforcement in real time upon request. Video quality providing coverage of a point-of-sale location must allow for the identification of any person purchasing cannabis. Video recording must be restored for at least 30 days in a secure off-site location or other service that provides on-demand access to the Department Nevada Taxation Department.

 

Department Inspections

 

Each establishment that has been granted a provisional operating certificate by the Nevada Taxation Department must undergo facility and audit inspections by the Nevada Taxation Department prior to the issuance of a final registration certificate. Additionally, the issuance of a registration certificate is considered provisional until the establishment is in compliance with all applicable local government requirements including, without limitation, the issuance of a local business licenses.

 

After an establishment registration certificate has been issued, the cannabis establishment is subject to reasonable inspection from the Nevada Taxation Department and a licensee must make himself or herself, or an agent, available and present for any inspection required by the Nevada Taxation Department.

 

Delivery and Online Distribution

 

There are specific situations in which the delivery of cannabis to customers is allowed under the Nevada Taxation Department regulations. Delivery services to customers may only be carried out by retail stores that are licensed properly by the Nevada Taxation Department. Deliveries can only be brought to the residential addresses of customers and only within the State of Nevada. Delivery was allowed as soon as retail cannabis sales began on July 1, 2017, although those regulations were only temporary. Drivers may not deliver more than the legal amount of cannabis, which is currently one ounce, in compliance with the existing seed-to-sale tracking system. Cannabis or cannabis products may not be shipped via the US Postal Service or via any private courier.

 

U.S. Attorney Statements in Nevada

 

In response to the rescission of the Cole Memo, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt had issued a public statement, pledging to defend the law after it was approved by voters. Then-Governor Brian Sandoval also stated, “Since Nevada voters approved the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2016, I have called for a well-regulated, restricted and respected industry. My administration has worked to ensure these priorities are met while implementing the will of the voters and remaining within the guidelines of both the Cole and Wilkinson federal memos,” and that he would like for Nevada to follow in the footsteps of Colorado, where the U.S. attorneys do not plan to change the approach to prosecuting crimes involving recreational cannabis.

 

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In June 2019, incoming U.S. Attorney of the District of Nevada Nicholas Trutanich stated to the Reno Gazette Journal that he would not rule out the possibility of prosecuting cases related to cannabis, but did emphasize that it also was not a priority. He stated cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and his job is to enforce federal law. He stated, however, that one of his main priorities was to tackle the opioid crisis and human trafficking. He further stated that he is following orders from the DOJ.

 

To the knowledge of management of Stem, other than as disclosed in this Document, there have not been any statements or guidance made by federal authorities or prosecutors regarding the risk of enforcement action in Nevada. See “Risk Factors”.

 

New York (Industrial Hemp)

 

In December 2014, New York State enacted legislation authorizing a research-based industrial hemp program pursuant to authority granted in the Original Farm Bill (as defined herein) (predecessor to the Farm Bill in which industrial hemp was initially legalized in the U.S., though legalization extended to research-related activities only). The state of New York subsequently launched an Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program regulated by the New York Department of Agriculture (“NY DOH”). In December 2018, the state of New York opened an application period for “hemp cannabis,” or industrial hemp grown and processed for cannabinoid content, and particularly for CBD. In late 2019, the state of New York enacted legislation that made sweeping, structural changes to the hemp program. As is relevant to the Company, processing hemp for the purpose of extracting cannabinoids and manufacturing hemp-derived cannabinoid products was removed from NY DOA regulatory oversight and moved to the New York Department of Health (“NY DOA”), which regulates medical cannabis. State regulators have initiated the process of transitioning licensees, such as Sound Wellness, from NY DOA to NY DOH. This process is expected to continue through calendar year 2020. Once the transition is complete, NY DOH is expected to promulgate hemp regulations. No significant changes to the hemp program are expected between now and when NY DOH issues new regulations.

 

Company Licenses

 

The table below lists the licenses directly held by the Company:

 

Holding Entity   Permit/License   City, State   Expiration Date   Description
Stem Holdings Agri, Inc.   HEMP-G-000478   New York   September 30, 2022   Industrial Hemp Research Partner Authorization

 

Oregon

 

History

 

Oregon’s medical cannabis program was introduced in November 1998 when voters approved Measure 67, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, with 55% of the vote. In November 2014, voters approved Measure 91, the ‘Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative,’ which legalized adult-use cannabis in the state. In October 2015, the first adult-use dispensaries opened for sale.

 

Regulatory Summary

 

There are four types of adult-use cannabis licenses: producer, processor, wholesaler and retail. Additionally, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) grants a certificate for research and a hemp certificate. A producer is permitted to cultivate cannabis. A processor is permitted to transform raw cannabis into another product (topicals, edibles, concentrates, or extracts). A wholesaler is permitted to buy cannabis in bulk and sell to licensees but not to consumers. A retailer is permitted to sell cannabis to consumers. A laboratory is permitted to test cannabis based on rules established by the Oregon Health Authority. To receive a laboratory license, the lab must be accredited by the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation program. The hemp certificate allows persons that are registered with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to transfer hemp flower, extracts, or concentrates to OLCC licensed processors who hold an industrial hemp processor endorsement.

 

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Company Licenses

 

Pursuant to the purchase of the Operating Companies by the Company, Stem has acquired an interest in five retail licenses, five producer licenses, two wholesaler license and three processing licenses.

 

The table below lists the licenses that are: (i) directly held by the Company; and (ii) held by the Company’s operating partners:

 

Holding Entity  Permit/License  City, State  License Expiration Date  Description
JV Foods LLC  030-1014658322F  Eugene, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Processor
JV Extraction LLC  030-1014657D1EC  Eugene, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Processor
JV Extraction LLC/JV Wholesale LLC  030-101742659A2  Eugene, Oregon  September 16, 2022  Recreational Processor
JV Applegate LLC  020-10146602629  Jacksonville, Oregon  November 11, 2022  Recreational Producer
JV Wholesale LLC  060-10146555C41  Eugene, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Wholesaler
JV Extraction LLC/JV Wholesale LLC  060-1017430C9B0  Eugene, Oregon  September 16, 2022  Recreational Wholesaler
JV Wholesale LLC  060-10118468E74  Eugene, Oregon  June 2, 2022  Recreational Wholesaler
JV Production 3 LLC  020-1014656E7A7  Eugene, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Producer
OpCo Production 2 LLC  020-10146517BD5  Mulino, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Producer
OpCo Production 1 LLC  020-10146613F29  Springfield, Oregon  September 5, 2022  Recreational Producer
JV Retail 3 LLC  050-1017428AB09  Eugene, Oregon  September 16, 2022  Recreational Retailer
JV Retail 4 LLC  050-1017432812F  Salem, Oregon  September 16, 2022  Recreational Retailer
OPCO Retail 1 LLC  050-10146522DCF  Portland, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Retailer
JV Retail 2 LLC  050-1014653D811  Eugene, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Retailer
Kind Care, LLC  050-10146546503  Eugene, Oregon  September 3, 2022  Recreational Retailer
Stem Holdings Oregon, Inc.  020-1013432D099  Hillsboro, Oregon  June 23, 2022  Recreational Producer

 

Oregon Transportation

 

Licensed producers which transport cannabis to licensed retailers must comply with the following: (a) a licensee must keep cannabis items in transit shielded from public view, (b) the cannabis items must be of secured (locked-up) during transport, (c) the transport must be equipped with an alarm system, (d) the transport must be temperature controlled if perishable cannabis items are being transported, (e) the transport must provide arrival date and estimated time of arrival information, (f) all cannabis items must be packaged in shipping containers and labeled with a unique identifier, and (g) the transport must provide a copy of the printed manifest and any printed receipts for cannabis items delivered to law enforcement officers or other representatives of a government agency if requested to do so while in transit.

 

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Oregon Inventory/Storage

 

OLCC licensees must report the following to Oregon’s Cannabis Tracking System (“CTS”) (a) a reconciliation of all on-premise and in-transit cannabis item inventories each day, (b) all information for seeds, usable cannabis, CBD concentrates and extracts by weight, (c) the wet weight of all harvested cannabis plants immediately after harvest, (d) all required information for CBD products by unit count, and (e) for retailer license holders, the price before tax and amount of each item sold to consumers and the date of each transaction. The data must be transmitted for each individual transaction before the retailer opens the next business day. All cannabis items on a licensed retailer’s premises must be held in a safe or vault. All usable cannabis, cut and drying mature cannabis plants, CBD concentrates, extracts or products on the licensed premises of a licensee other than a retailer are to be kept in a locked, enclosed area within the licensed premises that is secured with at a minimum, a steel door with a steel frame or equivalent, and a commercial grade, non-residential door lock. All licensees must keep all video recordings and archived required records not stored electronically in a locked storage area. Current records may be kept in a locked cupboard or desk outside the locked storage area during hours when the licensed business is open.

 

Oregon Record-keeping/Reporting

 

Oregon uses the METRC trace and tracking system and allows other third-party system integration via an API to track cannabis. The Subsidiaries in Oregon use a third-party trace and tracking system to push the data to the state through an API to meet all reporting requirements. All cannabis products dispensed are documented at point of sale via the track and trace system. License holders must maintain the documentation from the track and trace system in a secure locked location at each dispensing or growing location for three years as required by the OLCC. The OLCC requires all cannabis licensees to have and maintain records that clearly reflect all financial transactions and the financial condition of the business. The following records may be kept in either paper or electronic form and must be maintained for a three year period and be made available for inspection if requested by the OLCC: (a) purchase invoices and supporting documents for items and services purchased for use in the production, processing, research, testing and sale of cannabis items that include from whom the items were purchased and the date of purchase, (b) bank statements for any accounts, (c) accounting and tax records, (d) documentation of all financial transactions, including contracts and agreements for services performed or received, and (e) all employee records, including training.

 

Oregon Security

 

A licensed premise must have a fully operational security alarm system, activated at all times when the licensed premises is closed for business. Among other features the security alarm system for the licensed premises must (a) be able to detect unauthorized entry onto the licensed premises and unauthorized activity within any limited access area where mature cannabis plants, usable cannabis, CBD concentrates, extracts or products are present, (b) be programmed to notify the licensee, a licensee representative or other authorized personnel in the event of an unauthorized entry, and (c) either have at least two operational “panic buttons” located inside the licensed premises that are linked with the alarm system that immediately notifies a security company or law enforcement, or have operational panic buttons physically carried by all employees present on the licensed premises that are linked with the alarm system that immediately notifies a security company or law enforcement.

 

A licensed premise must have a fully operational video surveillance recording system. Among other requirements, a licensed premise must have cameras that continuously record, 24 hours a day, seven days a week: (a) in all areas where mature cannabis plants, usable cannabis, CBD concentrates, extracts or products may be present on the licensed premises; and (b) all points of ingress and egress to and from areas where mature cannabis plants, usable cannabis, CBD concentrates, extracts or products are present. A licensee must keep all surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 calendar days and have the surveillance room or surveillance area with limited access.

 

Oregon Inspections

 

All cannabis licensees may be subject to safety inspections of licensed premises by state or local government officials to determine compliance with state or local health and safety laws. The OLCC also may conduct an inspection at any time to ensure that a registrant, licensee or permittee is in compliance with Oregon state laws. A licensee, licensee representative, or permittee must cooperate with the OLCC during an inspection. If licensee, licensee representative or permittee fails to permit the OLCC to conduct an inspection the OLCC may seek an investigative subpoena to inspect the premises and gather books, payrolls, accounts, papers, documents or records.

 

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U.S. Attorney Statements in Oregon

 

To the knowledge of management of Stem, other than as disclosed in this Document, there have not been any statements or guidance made by federal authorities or prosecutors regarding the risk of enforcement action in Oregon. See “Risk Factors”.

 

Compliance with Applicable State Law in the United States

 

The Company is classified as having both a direct and indirect involvement in the U.S. cannabis industry and is in compliance with applicable state law, licensing requirements and the regulatory framework enacted by each U.S. state in which it operates. The Company is not subject to any citations or notices of violation with applicable licensing requirements and the regulatory framework enacted by each applicable U.S. state which may have an impact on its licenses, business activities or operations.

 

The Company has in place a detailed compliance program, which oversees, maintains, and implements the compliance program and personnel. In addition to the Company’s robust internal legal and compliance departments, the Company has state and local regulatory/compliance counsel engaged in every jurisdiction in which it operates.

 

The Company’s compliance department oversees training for all employees, including on the following topics: (i) compliance with state and local laws; (ii) safe cannabis use; (iii) dispensing procedures; (iv) security and safety policies and procedures; (v) inventory control; (vi) quality control; and (vii) transportation procedures. The Company’s compliance department includes the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the Company, as well as the Company’s managers in charge of cultivation, branding and sales.

 

The Company monitors all compliance notifications from the regulators and inspectors in each market, timely resolving any issues identified. The Company keeps records of all compliance notifications received from the state regulators or inspectors and how and when the issue was resolved.

 

To ensure compliance with the U.S. federal laws and the regulatory framework enacted by each U.S. state in which the Company operates, the Company adheres to the following procedures and controls:

 

  The Company ensures the operations of its subsidiaries are compliant with all licensing requirements that are set forth by applicable state, county or municipal law by retaining appropriately experienced legal counsel;
     
  The Company ensures that its activities adhere to the scope of the licensing obtained; and
     
  The Company only works through licensed operators, which must pass a range of requirements, adhere to strict business practice standards and be subjected to strict regulatory oversight whereby sufficient checks and balances ensure that no revenue is distributed to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels.

 

The Company will continue to monitor compliance on an ongoing basis in accordance with its compliance program and standard operating procedures. While the Company’s operations are in full compliance with all applicable state laws, regulations and licensing requirements, such activities remain illegal under United States federal law. For the reasons described above and the risks further described under “Risk Factors” in this Document, there are significant risks associated with the business of the Company. Readers are strongly encouraged to carefully read all of the risk factors described under “Risk Factors” in this Document

 

Ability to Access Public and Private Capital

 

While the Company is not able to obtain traditional bank financing in the U.S. or financing from other U.S. federally regulated entities, the Company currently has access to equity financing through the private markets in Canada and the U.S. Since the use of cannabis is illegal under U.S. federal law, and in light of concerns in the banking industry regarding money laundering and other federal financial crime related to cannabis, U.S. banks have been reluctant to accept 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 its business. Likewise, cannabis businesses have limited access, if any, to credit card processing services. As a result, cannabis businesses in the U.S. are largely cash-based. This complicates the implementation of financial controls and increases security issues.

 

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Commercial banks, private equity firms and venture capital firms have approached the cannabis industry cautiously to date. However, there are increasing numbers of high-net-worth individuals and family offices that have made meaningful investments in companies and businesses similar to the Company. Although there has been an increase in the amount of private financing available over the last several years, there is neither a broad nor deep pool of institutional capital that is available to cannabis license holders and license applicants. There can be no assurance that additional financing, if raised privately, will be available to the Company when needed or on terms which are acceptable to the Company. The Company’s inability to raise financing to fund capital expenditures or acquisitions could limit its growth and may have a material adverse effect upon future profitability. See “Risk Factors”.

 

History of the Business

 

The Company was formed to purchase, lease, and improve certain real estate properties (the “Properties”), initially in the State of Oregon, which are or will be utilized as either state-licensed cannabis selling retail establishments or state-licensed cannabis growing and processing facilities. The Company previously operated primarily as a real estate holding company, and now engages in direct operations with respect to its properties and activities other than the leasing of properties, funding of capital improvements, and administration of its leases and provision of financing to certain lessees.

 

The initial business of the Company was detailed in a multiparty agreement dated as of August 4, 2016, as revised on October 24, 2016 (“Multiparty Agreement”), by and among the Company and the following entities, which are affiliates of the founders of the Company: Oregon Acquisitions, JV LLC, Gated Oregon Holdings LLC, Kind Care Holdings, LLC, and Never Again Real Estate, LLC.

 

The Multiparty Agreement contemplated that the initial Properties owned by the Company and identified in the Multiparty Agreement (and as further described below) would be leased by the Company to subsidiaries of OpCo Holdings, Inc. (“OpCo”). Opco is a company formed in 2016 by the Company’s founders and their affiliates for the purpose of operating multiple cannabis-related businesses initially in the State of Oregon, and the Company’s founders and their affiliated entities directly and indirectly collectively own approximately 24.06% of the outstanding stock of Opco.

 

The following is an overview of acquisitions completed by the Company:

 

In September 2016, the Company entered into a 10-year lease with respect to certain property located in Springfield, OR (the “42nd Street Property”) with the landlord that commenced in November 2016. In July 2017, the Company entered into a lease agreement for the 42nd Street Property.

 

On November 1, 2016, the Company acquired certain property located in Eugene, OR (the “Willamette Property”). In July 2017, the Company entered into an operating lease agreement with a marijuana dispensary to move into the Willamette Property.

 

On February 6, 2017, the Company acquired certain real property located at 7827 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97206 (the “Powell Property”). In July 2017, the Company entered into a lease agreement for the Powell Property.

 

In January 2018 the Company consummated a “Contract for Sale” whereby it purchased a Farm Property in Mulino OR (the “Mulino Property”) which will be used for the cultivation of cannabis. In July 2017, the Company entered into a lease agreement with a third party for the Mulino Property.

 

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Investments in Subsidiaries

 

In April 2018, the Company acquired a 37.5%, which was increased in fiscal 2020 to 50%, interest in NVD RE Corp. (“NVD”). In May 2020, the Company entered into a Share Exchange Agreement with the NVDRE shareholders to exchange their shareholdings that represent an additional 26.25% of NVDRE in exchange for the issuance of the Company’s common stock. The exchange amounted to the issuance of 386,035 shares of the Company’s common stock valued and recorded to investment at $196,000. As a result of the Share Exchange Agreement, the Company has an investment of 63.75% of NVD. NVD used its available funding to acquire an under- construction cannabis indoor grow building in Nevada and to continue the buildout of the property. NVD leases the property to YMY Ventures LLC (“YMY”).

 

In September 2018, the Company entered into an agreement to acquire 50% of the membership interest of YMY. YMY is a startup operation located near Las Vegas, Nevada and owns a license to cultivate and produce cannabis products. The purchase was conditioned upon the receipt of approval of the transfer of ownership by the State of Nevada Department of Taxation. On February 21, 2019, YMY received the approval of the transfer of ownership by the State of Nevada Department of Taxation. Thereafter, on March 1, 2019, the Company closed its acquisition of 50% of YMY. YMY has licenses that allow it to cultivate and produce cannabis and related products, but the Company failed in its attempt to acquire a retail sales license. As of March 31, 2020, YMY had commenced operations and begun generating revenues in the wholesale market.

 

On October 8, 2018, the Company and Yerba Buena Oregon, LLC (“Yerba”) entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement which provided for the Company to purchase certain assets and assume certain liabilities of Yerba. Yerba is a wholesale producer of recreational marijuana flower, by-product and pre-roll product in the state of Oregon.

 

On June 24, 2019, Stem received regulatory approval from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and closed the previously announced acquisition of Yerba. Yerba operates an award-winning state-of-the-art cultivation facility equipped with an in-house genetics program and a cannabis library consisting of a few hundred strains.

 

On March 29, 2019, the Company executed a definitive agreement to acquire Western Coast Ventures, Inc. (“WCV”). WCV had a working capital surplus of approximately $2,000,000 and had negotiated a joint venture (the “JV”) with ILCA Holdings, Inc. (“ILCA”). ILCA has been issued a limited Conditional Use Permit for a Marijuana Production Facility (a “MPF”) by the City of San Diego, California, which will only be initially granting a total of 40 MPFs. Upon issuance of the final MPF permit and the completed construction, the JV will: (1) operate an advanced cannabis facility to grow and cultivate cannabis; (2) manufacture cannabis-derived products; and (3) distribute cannabis and cannabis-derived products state-wide throughout California. The Conditional Use Permit expires on August 30, 2023 and is subject to various terms and conditions detailed in the Permit. The Company determined the investment in ILCA was impaired and recognized an impairment expense of $2.2 million for the year ended September 30, 2021.

 

The MPF encompasses 10,700 square feet and will feature state-of-the-art technology for cultivation, production, and distribution. A complex, sophisticated, portable racking system will create a 10,000 square foot canopy that has the potential to produce over 6,000 pounds of product per year with the help of high efficiency LED lights. The production sector of the MPF will deliver a large variety of cannabis-derived offerings such as flowers, pre-rolls, infused edibles, and topicals. In September 2021, we fully impaired our investment of $2.8 million in ILCA.

 

Tilstar Medical, LLC

 

In April 2019, the Company entered into an agreement to acquire 48% of the membership interest of Tilstar Medical, LLC (“TIL”). TIL is a startup operation located in Laurel, Maryland and owns a project management company which assists in procuring licenses for the production and sale of cannabis. The purchase price for the 48% interest was $550,000 to capitalize TIL which under the operating agreement occurs upon the execution of the agreement. As of September 30, 2019, the Company had funded the $550,000 and accounted for its investment using the equity method of accounting. During the year ended September 30, 2019, the Company recorded a loss on investment of approximately $279,000. The Company was not made aware at time of its investment in the type and magnitude of expenses that would be funded with its investment capital and is currently in the process of renegotiating the terms of the operating agreement. During the year ended September 30, 2019, Tilstar Medical along with its partner, Stem Holdings, Inc, received a letter from the Maryland Medical Cannabis commission with notification that we received stage one pre-approval for a processor license. The Companies application ranked amongst the top nine highest scoring applications for a medical cannabis processor license. Final awards will be issued during calendar year 2020. As of September 30, 2021, and 2020, the difference between the investment and the percentage of net assets attributable to the Company’s investment was approximately $288,000 and $287,000, respectively.

 

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Community Growth Partners, INC

 

On January 6, 2020, the Company entered into a joint venture with Community Growth Partners, Inc. (“CGP”), a vertically-integrated cannabis company with provisional licensed operations in Massachusetts.

 

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission recently awarded CGP three provisional cannabis licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, and retail – making CGP one of the Commonwealth’s first women- and minority-founded and owned businesses to become approved as a vertically-integrated cannabis operation. A new state-of-the-art indoor cultivation and manufacturing facility will be constructed in Northampton, MA for completion by Fall 2022, which will provide extraction and distribution capability.

 

Stem acquired 13% of CGP’s common stock and provided CGP with a revolving line of credit for expansion into Massachusetts. Stem also provides CGP with administrative, cultivation, and manufacturing support services.

 

Seven Leaf Ventures Corp. (“7LV”)

 

On March 6, 2020, the Company closed the acquisition of Seven Leaf Ventures Corp. (“7LV”), a private Alberta, Canada corporation, and its subsidiaries, pursuant to the terms of a share purchase agreement dated March 6, 2020. 7LV owns Foothills Health and Wellness, a medical dispensary, in the greater Sacramento, California area (the “Sacramento Dispensary”). Company management believes that the Sacramento Dispensary is expected to drive synergies with Stem’s premium branded dispensaries in Eugene and Portland, OR. Stem also expects that the Sacramento Dispensary will receive its recreational license in the next 45 days.

 

Company purchase of Opco businesses

 

As long as the Company has fully satisfied all of its obligations and milestones pursuant to the Multiparty Agreement, the Company had the obligation to acquire the business operations of Opco Holdings and its subsidiaries, and Oregon Acquisitions, Gated Oregon and Kind Care (the “Operating Companies”) has the obligation to sell such operations to the Company, within a reasonable time after the Company receives a legal opinion that the operation of the Opco marijuana businesses in the State of Oregon by Stem will not violate any federal or state laws. On August 12, 2019, the parties agreed to waive this condition with the Company proceeding with the purchase of the operating companies.

 

Pursuant to the terms of a merger agreement between the parties, Stem acquired Opco Holdings and its subsidiaries, and Oregon Acquisitions, Gated Oregon and Kind Care for a deemed aggregate purchase price of 12.5 million shares of the Company’s common stock. The purchase price was satisfied by releasing the shares which were being held in escrow, to the beneficial owners of above-mentioned entities. As previously disclosed, certain beneficial owners of these entities are also directors, officers and/or shareholders of Stem. The transaction was subject to receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals from government entities of the State of Oregon. Definitive agreements have been executed and filed with the regulatory agency. On September 4, 2020, the Company received all of the necessary regulatory approvals from government entities of the State of Oregon and, pursuant to the Merger Agreements, the transaction was consummated on that date.

 

Merger with Driven

 

On October 5, 2020, Stem, Driven Deliveries, Inc. (“Driven”) and Stem Driven Acquisition, Inc. (“SDA”) entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) wherein Driven agreed to merge with and into SDA, with Driven being the surviving entity. Following completion of the merger transaction contemplated by the Merger Agreement (the “Merger”), Driven became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stem on December 29, 2020.

 

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Driven is an e-commerce and DaaS (delivery-as-a-service) provider with proprietary logistics and omni-channel user experience/customer experience (“UX/CX”) technology. At the closing of the Merger, it is anticipated Stem will be re-named Driven by Stem. Management of both Driven and Stem believe that following completion of the Merger, Driven by Stem will be the first vertically-integrated cannabis company with a DaaS platform. See “Information Concerning Driven” and “Description of the Company – Post-Merger”.

 

The shares of common stock of Driven trade on the OTCQB market under the symbol “DRVD”. At the effective date of the closing of the Merger, all of the then issued and outstanding shares of Driven will be converted into the right to receive shares of common stock of the Company (the “Merger Consideration”). The Merger Agreement includes interim covenant provisions applicable prior to the earlier of the (i) closing of the Merger, or (ii) termination of the Merger Agreement that, among other things, restrict the Company’s ability to take certain actions with respect to the Company’s organizational documents, including but not limited to amending the Certificate of Incorporation of the Company.

 

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, Driven shareholders will receive one share of Company common stock for each share of Driven owned at the Effective Date. It is currently anticipated that shareholders of Stem and shareholders of Driven will hold approximately 47.4% and 52.6% of the Company following completion of the Merger. The Merger does not constitute a “significant acquisition” for the Company under Part 8 of National Instrument 51-102 – Continuous Disclosure Obligations (“NI 51-102”).

 

Following the effective date of the Merger, the shares of Driven were be delisted from the OTCQB market. The shares of Company common stock issued in exchange for the shares of Driven Deliveries, Inc. commenced trading on the OTCQX and on the CSE under Stem’s current symbols (OTCQX: STMH, CSE: STEM) following the closing of the Merger.

  

On December 17, 2021, pursuant to a Share Exchange Agreement the Company divested Driven Deliveries and its subsidiaries from the Company. Included in the terms of the Share Exchange Agreement, Driven Deliveries and its subsidiaries founders will return 11.5 million shares of the Company’s common stock and assume $7.1 million of the Company’s liabilities. Additionally, the Company will continue to be responsible for $210,753 of accounts payable acquired in the original acquisition.

 

Principal Products and Markets

 

The Company’s principal operations have historically related to the leasing of properties, funding of capital, tenant improvements, and administration of its leases and provision of financing to certain lessees, engaged in the production and sale of cannabis. While the Company originally operated primarily as a real estate holding company, it is now engaged in direct operations, primarily the production and sale of cannabis in states where it is legal to do so, with respect to its properties and activities other than the leasing of properties, funding of capital improvements and administration of its leases and provision of financing to certain lessees. Historically, the Company’s principal market has been in the State of Oregon, but it is now engaged in expansion into other markets where sale of marijuana is legal, including California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

 

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Production and Sales

 

The Company’s business requires that it possess or be in a position to access specialized knowledge and expertise regarding the state-licensed cannabis industry and those persons and entities who are involved in the industry. The Company believes that its management has such specialized expertise and experience, and the Company retains legal counsel that has recognized expertise in the industry. The Company does not believe that any aspect of its business is either: (i) cyclical or seasonal; or (ii) dependent on any particular franchise or license or other agreement to use a patent, formula, trade secret, process or trade name. The Company has not identified any specific environmental protection issues which will affect its business. The Company does not own significant identifiable intangible properties outside of its cannabis licenses.

 

The Company does not believe that its operations are dependent on any factors within the general economy. However, any material changes in either U.S. federal law enforcement priorities or the law of the State of California, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maryland or other states where the Company operates affecting the cultivation and sale of cannabis could have a material impact on the Company’s business, particularly since the growth, marketing, sale, and use of marijuana is illegal under federal law.

 

Company Funding

 

Private Placement Transactions

 

The Company has sold shares of its common stock in private placement transactions under the exemption provided by Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Regulation D promulgated thereunder and certain exemptions of the laws of the jurisdictions where any offering is made. In the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, the Company raised gross proceeds of approximately $2,695,000 and $450,000, respectively.

 

The securities issued in the above-mentioned transactions were issued in connection with private placements exempt from the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, pursuant to the terms of Section 4(2) of that Act and Rule 506 of Regulation D. Investors who acquired shares of our common stock in the foregoing private placement transactions were all accredited investors and were required to complete, execute and deliver a subscription agreement and related documentation, which included customary representations and warranties, certain covenants and restrictions and indemnification provisions.

 

Promissory Note

 

In January 2020, the Company issued two promissory notes with a principal balance of $500,000 to accredited investors (the “Note Holders”). The notes mature in July 2020 and has an annual rate of interest of 12%. In connection with the issuance of the promissory notes, the Company issued the Note Holders 100,000 common stock purchase warrants with a five-year term from the issuance date, $0.85 per share. As of July 2020, in consideration of the warrants being amended to $0.45 per share with an extended the term from five to a ten-year term, the maturity date has been extended to December 13, 2020. In May 2020, the Company made a principal payment of $20,000. As of September 30, 2021, these obligations were converted into equity.

 

In January 2020, the Company issued two promissory notes with a principal balance of $500,000 to accredited investors (the “Note Holders”). The note matures in October 2020 and has an annual rate of interest of 12%. In connection with the issuance of the promissory note, the Company issued the Note Holders 100,000 common stock purchase warrants with a five-year term from the issuance date, $0.85 per. As of July 2020, in consideration of the warrants being amended to $0.45 per share with an extended the term from five to a ten-year term, the maturity date has been extended to December 13, 2020. As of September 30, 2020, the obligation outstanding is $500,000 and $440,403, net of debt discount of $59,597. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding is $425,000 and the balance is $358,996, net of debt discount of $66,004. The Company was notified that the maturity dates on these notes have been extended for the near-term.

 

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The below Promissory Notes evidencing the PPP Loans are entered into subject to guidelines applicable to the program and contains customary representations, warranties, and covenants for this type of transaction, including customary events of default relating to, among other things, payment defaults and breaches of representations and warranties or other provisions of the Promissory Notes. The occurrence of an event of default may result in, among other things, the Company becoming obligated to repay all amounts outstanding. We continue to evaluate and may still apply for additional programs under the CARES Act, there is no guarantee that we will meet any eligibility requirements to participate in such programs or, even if we are able to participate, that such programs will provide meaningful benefit to our business. The Company plans to use the PPP funds received in a manner to obtain debt forgiveness. The Company will use the funds for payroll, rent, and utilities.

 

In July 2020, the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary in Oregon received loan proceeds of $220,564 pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act. The Loan, which was in the form of a promissory note, dated July 09, 2020, between the Company and Cross River Bank as the lender, matures on July 09, 2022 and bears interest at a fixed rate of 1% per annum, payable monthly commencing in six months. Under the terms of the PPP, the principal may be forgiven if the Loan proceeds are used for qualifying expenses as described in the CARES Act, such as payroll costs, benefits mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. No assurance can be provided that the Company will obtain forgiveness of the Loan in whole or in part. In addition, details of the PPP continue to evolve regarding which companies are qualified to receive loans pursuant to the PPP and on what terms, and the Company may be required to repay some or all of the Loan due to these changes or different interpretations of the PPP requirements. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding of $220,565 was forgiven and recorded as other income.

 

The Company received loan proceeds of $266,820 pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act. The Loan, which was in the form of a promissory note, dated May 01, 2020, between the Company and Transportation Alliance Bank as the lender, matures on May 01, 2022, and bears interest at a fixed rate of 1% per annum, payable monthly commencing in six months. Under the terms of the PPP, the principal may be forgiven if the Loan proceeds are used for qualifying expenses as described in the CARES Act, such as payroll costs, benefits mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. No assurance can be provided that the Company will obtain forgiveness of the Loan in whole or in part. In addition, details of the PPP continue to evolve regarding which companies are qualified to receive loans pursuant to the PPP and on what terms, and the Company may be required to repay some or all of the Loan due to these changes or different interpretations of the PPP requirements. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding of $266,820 was forgiven and recorded as other income.

 

The Company’s related entity received loan proceeds of $245,400 pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act. The Loan, which was in the form of a promissory note, dated June 03, 2020, between the Company and Coastal States Bank as the lender, matures on June 03, 2022, and bears interest at a fixed rate of 1% per annum, payable monthly commencing in six months. Under the terms of the PPP, the principal may be forgiven if the Loan proceeds are used for qualifying expenses as described in the CARES Act, such as payroll costs, benefits mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. No assurance can be provided that the Company will obtain forgiveness of the Loan in whole or in part. In addition, details of the PPP continue to evolve regarding which companies are qualified to receive loans pursuant to the PPP and on what terms, and the Company may be required to repay some or all of the Loan due to these changes or different interpretations of the PPP requirements. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding of $245,400 was forgiven and recorded as other income.

 

The Company’s subsidiary received loan proceeds of $62,500 pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act. The Loan, which was in the form of a promissory note, dated June 25, 2020, between the Company and First Home Bank as the lender, matures on June 25, 2022, and bears interest at a fixed rate of 1% per annum, payable monthly commencing in six months. Under the terms of the PPP, the principal may be forgiven if the Loan proceeds are used for qualifying expenses as described in the CARES Act, such as payroll costs, benefits mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. No assurance can be provided that the Company will obtain forgiveness of the Loan in whole or in part. In addition, details of the PPP continue to evolve regarding which companies are qualified to receive loans pursuant to the PPP and on what terms, and the Company may be required to repay some or all of the Loan due to these changes or different interpretations of the PPP requirements. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding of $62,500 was forgiven and recorded as other income.

 

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The Company’s subsidiary received loan proceeds of $140,407 pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act. The Loan, which was in the form of a promissory note, dated July 15, 2020, between the Company and Cross River Bank as the lender, matures on December 30, 2020 and bears interest at a fixed rate of 1% per annum, payable monthly commencing in six months. Under the terms of the PPP, the principal may be forgiven if the Loan proceeds are used for qualifying expenses as described in the CARES Act, such as payroll costs, benefits mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. No assurance can be provided that the Company will obtain forgiveness of the Loan in whole or in part. In addition, details of the PPP continue to evolve regarding which companies are qualified to receive loans pursuant to the PPP and on what terms, and the Company may be required to repay some or all of the Loan due to these changes or different interpretations of the PPP requirements. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding of $140,407 was forgiven and recorded as other income.

 

Convertible Promissory Notes and Mortgages

 

Finance liability

 

On January 16, 2018, the Company consummated a “Contract for Sale” for a Farm Property in Mulino Oregon (the “Mulino Property”). The purchase price was $1,700,000 which was reduced by a rental credit of approximately $135,000 which is equivalent to nine months’ rent at $15,000 a month and an additional credit of $9,500 for additional work done on the property. In connection with the purchase of the property, the Company made a cash payment as down payment plus payment of closing costs in the amount of $370,637 and issued a promissory note in the amount of $1,200,000 with a maturity of January 2020. The Company will pay monthly installments of principal and interest (at a rate of 2% per annum) in the amount of $13,500, commencing in July 2018 through the maturity date (January 2020), at which time the entire unpaid principal balance and any remaining accrued interest shall be due and payable in full. No amount was recorded for the premium for the below market rate feature of the note as it was immaterial. The note is secured by a deed of trust on the property. The Company performed an analysis and determined that the rate obtained was below market, however, no premium was recorded as the Company determined it was immaterial. As of September 30, 2020, the balance due is $922,500. On November 23, 2020, the Company executed a real estate purchase agreement related to the Mulino Property which included the sale of the property and payoff of the mortgage. Additionally, the Company entered into a lease agreement whereas the amount of $13,750 required as a rent payment through the lease is being recorded as interest expense and the Company recorded a finance liability of $1,094,989 related to the lease under the guidance of ASC 842 as a failed sale and leaseback transaction.

 

Long-term debt, mortgages

 

In January 2020, the Company refinanced a mortgage payable on property located in Oregon to acquire additional funds. The mortgage bears interest at 15% per annum. Monthly interest only payments began February 1, 2020, payments will continue each month thereafter until paid. The entire unpaid balance is due on January 31, 2022, the maturity date of the mortgage, and is secured by the underlying property. The mortgage terms do not allow participation by the lender in either the appreciation in the fair value of the mortgaged real estate project or the results of operations of the mortgaged real estate project. The note has been cross guaranteed by the CEO and Director of the Company. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding is $400,000.

 

In March 2020, the Company executed a $1,585,000 mortgage payable on property located in Oregon to acquire additional funds. The mortgage bears interest at 11.55% per annum. Monthly interest only payments began April 1, 2020, payments will continue each month thereafter until paid. The entire unpaid balance is due on April 1, 2023, the maturity date of the mortgage, and is secured by the underlying property. The Company paid costs of approximately $120,000 to close on the mortgage. The mortgage terms do not allow participation by the lender in either the appreciation in the fair value of the mortgaged real estate project or the results of operations of the mortgaged real estate project. The note has been cross guaranteed by the CEO and Director of the Company. On May 14, 2021, the Company exercised the purchase leaseback option of the original lease and sold the property back to the original owner. As of September 30, 2021, there was no obligation related to this property.

 

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In March 2020, the Company executed a $400,000 mortgage payable on property located in Oregon to acquire additional funds. The mortgage bears interest at 11.55% per annum. Monthly interest only payments began May 1, 2020, payments will continue each month thereafter until paid. The entire unpaid balance is due on April 1, 2022, the maturity date of the mortgage, and is secured by the underlying property. The Company paid costs of approximately $38,000 to close on the mortgage. The mortgage terms do not allow participation by the lender in either the appreciation in the fair value of the mortgaged real estate project or the results of operations of the mortgaged real estate project. The note has been cross guaranteed by the CEO and Director of the Company. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding is $400,000.

 

In March 2020, the Company refinanced a mortgage payable on property located in Oregon to acquire additional funds. The mortgage bears interest at 15% per annum. Monthly interest only payments began April 1, 2020, payments will continue each month thereafter until paid. The entire unpaid balance is due on March 31, 2022, the maturity date of the mortgage, and is secured by the underlying property. The mortgage terms do not allow participation by the lender in either the appreciation in the fair value of the mortgaged real estate project or the results of operations of the mortgaged real estate project. The note has been cross guaranteed by the CEO and Director of the Company. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding is $700,000.

 

In July 2020, the Company executed a mortgage payable on property located in Oregon to acquire additional funds. The mortgage bears interest at 14% per annum. Monthly interest only payments began August 1, 2020, payments will continue each month thereafter until paid. The entire unpaid balance is due on July 31, 2023, the maturity date of the mortgage, and is secured by the underlying property. The mortgage terms do not allow participation by the lender in either the appreciation in the fair value of the mortgaged real estate project or the results of operations of the mortgaged real estate project. The note has been cross guaranteed by the CEO and Director of the Company. As of September 30, 2021, the obligation outstanding is $200,000.

 

In April 2018, the Company received a 37.5% interest in NVD RE Corp. (“NVD”) upon its issuance to NVD of a commitment to contribute $1.275 million to NVD which included the purchase price of $600,000 and an additional commitment to pay tenant improvement costs of $675,000. In the year ended September 30, 2019, NVD obtained $300,000 in proceeds from a mortgage on its property. The funds from this mortgage were advanced to the Company. The advance is undocumented, non-interest bearing and due on demand. As of September 30, 2019, the balance due totals $300,000. In August 2020, the Company refinanced this obligation and paid the $300,000 balance. The refinanced mortgage term is 36 months and includes and interest rate of 14% and monthly interest only payments of $4,667. As of September 30, 2021, the balance due totals $400,000.

 

CD Special Warrant Offering

 

On December 27, 2018, the Company entered into an Agency Agreement (the “Agency Agreement”) for a private offering of up to 10,000 convertible debenture special warrants of the Company (the “CD Special Warrants”) for aggregate gross proceeds of up to CDN$10,000,000 (the “Offering”). The net proceeds of the Offering were used for expansion initiatives and general corporate purposes. The Company’s functional currency is U.S. dollars.

 

In December 2018 and January 2019, the Company issued 3,121 CD Special Warrants in the first closing of the Offering, at a price of CDN $1,000 per CD Special Warrant, and received aggregate gross proceeds of CDN $3.1 million or $2.3 million USD. In connection with this offering, the Company issued the agents in such offering 52,430 convertible debenture special warrants (the “Broker CD Special Warrants”) as partial satisfaction of a selling commission.

 

On March 14, 2019, the Company issued 962 CD Special Warrants in the second and final closing of the Offering, at a price of CDN $1,000 per CD Special Warrant, and received aggregate gross proceeds of CDN $1.0 million or $0.7 million USD. In connection with this offering, the Company issued the agents in such offering 5,600 convertible debenture special warrants (the “Broker CD Special Warrants”) as partial satisfaction of a selling commission.

 

The total aggregate proceeds of the Offering totaled $4.1 million CDN or $3.1 million USD.

 

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Each CD Special Warrant will be exchanged (with no further action on the part of the holder thereof and for no further consideration) for one convertible debenture unit of the Company (a “Convertible Debenture Unit”), on the earlier of: (i) the third business day after the date on which both (A) a receipt (the “Receipt”) for a (final) document (the “Qualification Document”) qualifying the distribution of the Convertible Debentures (as defined below) and Warrants (as defined below) issuable upon exercise of the CD Special Warrants has been issued by the applicable securities regulatory authorities in the Canadian jurisdictions in which purchasers of the CD Special Warrants are resident (the “Canadian Jurisdictions”), and (B) a registration statement (the “Registration Statement”) registering the resale of the common shares underlying the Convertible Debentures and Warrants has been declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Registration”); and (ii) the date that is six months following the closing of the Offering. The Company has also provided certain registration rights to purchasers of the CD Special Warrants. The CD Special Warrants were exchanged for Convertible Debenture Units after six months as U.S. and Canadian registrations were not effective at that time.

 

Each Convertible Debenture Unit is comprised of CDN $1,000 principal amount 8.0% senior unsecured convertible debenture (each, a “Convertible Debenture”) of the Company and 167 common share purchase warrants of the Company (each, a “Warrant”). Each Warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share of the Company (each, a “Warrant Share”) at an exercise price of CDN $3.90 per Warrant Share for a period of 24 months following the closing of the Offering.

 

The Company has agreed to use its best efforts to obtain the Receipt and Registration within six months following the closing of the Offering. If the Receipt and Registration have not been obtained on or before 5:00 p.m. (PST) on the date that is 120 days following the closing of the Offering, each unexercised CD Special Warrant will thereafter entitle the holder thereof to receive, upon the exercise thereof and at no additional cost, 1.05 Convertible Debenture Units per CD Special Warrant (instead of 1.0 Convertible Debenture Unit per CD Special Warrant). Until the Receipt and Registration have been obtained, securities issued in connection with the Offering (including any underlying securities issued upon conversion or exercise thereof) will be subject to a six (6)-month hold period from the date of issue. Since the CD Special Warrants were exchanged for Convertible Debenture Units after six (6) months as U.S. and Canadian registrations were not effective at that time, the holders received 1.05 Convertible Debenture Units per CD Special Warrant.

 

The brokered portion of the Offering (CDN $2.5 million, $1.9 million USD) was completed by a syndicate of agents (collectively, the “Agents”). The Company paid the Agents a cash commission equal to 7.0% of the gross proceeds raised in the brokered portion of the Offering. As additional consideration, the Company issued the Agents such number of non-transferable broker convertible debenture special warrants (the “Broker CD Special Warrants”) as is equal to 7.0% of the number of CD Special Warrants sold under the brokered portion of the Offering. Each Broker CD Special Warrant shall be exchanged, on the same terms as the CD Special Warrants, into broker warrants of the Company (the “Broker Warrants”). Each Broker Warrant entitles the holder to acquire one Convertible Debenture Unit at an exercise price of CDN $1,000, until the date that is 24 months from the closing date of the Offering. The distribution of the Broker Warrants issuable upon the exchange of the Broker CD Special Warrants shall also be qualified under the Qualification Document and the resale of the common shares underlying the Broker Warrants will be registered under the Registration Statement. The Company also paid the lead agent a commission noted above of CDN$157,290, corporate finance fee equal to CDN $50,000 in cash and as to $50,000 in common shares of the Company at a price per share of CDN$3.00 plus additional expenses of CDN$20,000. In addition, the Company paid the trustees legal fees of CDN$181,365. In total the Company approx. USD $0.32 million in fees and expenses associated with the offering.

 

The issuance of the securities was made in reliance on the exemption provided by Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), for the offer and sale of securities not involving a public offering, Regulation D promulgated under the Securities Act, Regulation S, in Canada to “accredited investors” within the meaning of National Instrument 45106 and other exempt purchasers in each province of Canada, except Quebec, and/or outside Canada and the United States on a basis which does not require the qualification or registration. The securities being offered have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.

 

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Merger with Driven Deliveries, Inc.

 

On October 13, 2020, Stem Holdings, Inc. (“STEM”), Driven Deliveries, Inc. (“DRVD”) and Stem Driven Acquisition, Inc. (“SDA”) and entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) wherein DRVD would merge with and into SDA, with DRVD being the surviving entity and, following closing of the merger transaction, would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of STEM. Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, STEM exchanged one newly-issued share of STEM common stock for each issued and outstanding share of DRVD. The merger transaction closed on December 29, 2020 upon satisfaction of all terms and conditions of the Merger Agreement and completion of due diligence by all entities.

 

STEM is a vertically-integrated cannabis and hemp branded products company with state-of-the-art cultivation, processing, extraction, retail, and distribution operations throughout the United States. DRVD is an e-commerce and DaaS (delivery-as-a-service) provider with proprietary logistics and omnichannel UX/CX technology. At the closing, STEM would be re-named Driven by Stem and would maintain its corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. Management of both DRVD and STEM believe that following completion of the merger transaction, Driven by Stem will be the first vertically-integrated cannabis company with a DaaS platform, which will meet the needs of all cannabis consumers in markets served.

 

Presently, STEM is traded on the OTCQX market and Canadian Stock Exchange under the symbols STMH and STEM, respectively. DRVD is presently traded on the OTCQB market. At the effective date of the closing of the merger transaction, all shares of DRVD will be converted into the right to receive shares of STEM Common Stock (the “Merger Consideration”). The Merger Agreement includes interim covenant provisions applicable prior to the earlier of the (i) closing of the Merger or (ii) termination of the Merger Agreement that, among other things, restrict our ability to take certain actions with respect to the Company’s organizational documents, including but not limited to amending the Certificate of Incorporation.

 

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, DRVD shareholders received (based on closing share prices as of October 13, 2020) an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$27.5M. Based on the October 13, 2020 closing prices of both DRVD and STEM, Driven by Stem would had a combined market capitalization of approximately US$54 million, based on to closing market price of the Stem Shares and Driven Shares on the OTCQX and the OTCQB, respectively, on October 13, 2020 and 65M Stem Shares and 75M Driven Shares being outstanding on October 13, 2020.

 

The intent of the merger was to integrate DRVD’s delivery capability and technology in every state in which STEM currently operates. During the later part of 2021, it became obvious to the Company’s management and Board of Directors that the business model of the combined STEM and DRVD entities was not working and, in fact, was generating substantial ongoing losses which could not be ameliorated. Within any reasonable time frame.

 

As a result, on December 17, 2021, pursuant to a Share Exchange Agreement, the Company sold Driven Deliveries and its subsidiaries to the shareholders of Budee, Inc. in a transaction which STEM fully divested its interest in Driven Deliveries and its subsidiaries. Included in the terms of the Share Exchange Agreement, the shareholders of Budee, and a prior officer of Driven Deliveries returned approximately 11.5 million shares of the Company’s common stock and assumed approximately $7.1 million of the Company’s liabilities. Notwithstanding, the Company will continue to be responsible for $210,753 of accounts payable assumed in the acquisition of Driven Deliveries.

 

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Employees

 

As of September 30, 2021, the Company had approximately four hundred fifty (450) employees, most of whom devote their full time to the Company’s operations. The Company expects that the number of employees will substantially decrease as a result of the divestiture of Driven Deliveries. No employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

 

Website.

 

The Company operates a website at www.stemholdings.com

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Smaller reporting companies are not required to provide the information required by this item.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

In July 2016, the Company entered into a 10-year lease for a commercial building from an unrelated third party in Springfield, Oregon. At the time the original lease was entered into, the Company had expected to close on significant subscriptions from its private placement. However, when those did not immediately materialize, the Company entered into an agreement with the landlord to cancel the lease and in addition, paid the landlord $15,000 not to rent out the property until such time the Company could enter into a new lease. In September 2016, the Company entered into a new 10-year lease with the landlord that commenced in November 2016. The lease requires the Company to pay a starting base rental fee of $7,033 plus an additional estimated $315 per month in real estate taxes in which the base rental fee escalates each year by approximately 2%. All taxes (including reconciling real estate taxes), maintenance and utilities are included at the end of each year as a one-time payment. In addition, the Company also remitted $14,000 for a security deposit to the landlord. No amounts have been recorded for deferred rent in these financial statements as the amount was deemed immaterial by the Company. The Company has subleased this space pursuant to a 10-year lease. On February 22, 2018, both parties executed a lease addendum that adds contiguous property for 12,322 square feet. The term commences November 1, 2017, and continues through November 31, 2026 at a starting rate of $3,525 a month that escalates after the first year. The Company subleases this property to a related party (see disclosures below under “Springfield Suites”). As of September 30, 2021, Company eliminates this rental income in consolidation.

 

In March 2018, the Company entered into a 3-year lease for the occupancy of the Company’s corporate office located in Boca Raton, Florida. The lease requires the Company to pay a base rental fee of $3,024 per month with yearly increases thereafter. All taxes, maintenance and utilities are billed separately. This space was subleased through January 31, 2021. The lease terminated in February 2021.

 

In September 2019, the Company entered into a 4-year lease for the occupancy of the Company’s new corporate office located in Boca Raton, Florida. The lease requires the Company to pay a starting base rental fee of $4,285 per month with yearly increases thereafter. As of November 23, 2020, the Company added an additional 2,000 rentable square feet to its current lease under the same terms and conditions.

 

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In January 2019, the Company entered into a 5-year lease for the occupancy of real estate and a building located in Hillsboro, Oregon. The lease requires the Company to pay a starting base rental fee of $9,696 per month with yearly increases thereafter.

 

Pursuant to the execution of a sale lease back agreement with the Company’s Wallis property, a/k/a Never Again, the Company in May 2021, entered into a 15-year lease for the Wallis commercial building from an unrelated third party located in New York, NY. The lease requires the Company to pay a starting base rental fee of $31,500 plus an additional estimated triple net charges per month including real estate taxes in which the base rental fee escalates each year by approximately 2.5%. All taxes (including reconciling real estate taxes), maintenance and utilities are included and paid monthly and reserved until payments are due. In addition, the Company also remitted $60,000 for a security deposit to the landlord.

 

In November 2020, the Company executed a mortgage payable on property located in Mulino, Oregon to acquire additional funds. The mortgage bears interest at 15% per annum. Monthly interest only payments began December 1, 2020, payments will continue each month thereafter until paid. The entire unpaid balance is due November 2022, the maturity date of the mortgage, and is secured by the underlying property. The mortgage terms do not allow participation by the lender in either the appreciation in the fair value of the mortgaged real estate project or the results of operations of the mortgaged real estate project. The note has been cross guaranteed by the CEO and Director of the Company. On November 23, 2020, the Company executed a real estate purchase agreement related to the Mulino Property which included the sale of the property and payoff of the mortgage. Additionally, the Company entered into a 2-year lease agreement whereas the amount of $13,750 required as a rent payment through the lease is being recorded as interest expense and the Company recorded a finance liability of $1,094,989 related to the lease under the guidance of ASC 842 as a failed sale and leaseback transaction.

 

In March 2020, as part of the acquisition of 7LV, the Company assumed a 4-year lease agreement that 7LV executed in February 2019 for the occupancy of a retail location in the greater Sacramento, California area. As of March 2020, the lease requires the Company to pay a starting base rental fee of $3,820 per month with annual increases of 3% per the commencement date of February 2019.

 

On September 17, 2021, as part of an Assignment and Assumption of Lease agreement and Plan of Reorganization, the Company assumed a Commercial Lease Agreement dated June 16, 2016. The lease has a remaining term of 44 months with a base monthly rent of $5,516 with an annual increase of 2%. The lease term ends on April 30, 2025.

 

On September 17, 2021, as part of an Assignment and Assumption of Lease agreement and Plan of Reorganization, the Company assumed a Commercial Real Estate Lease Agreement dated January 11, 2017. The lease has a remaining term of 34 months with a base monthly rent of $4,520 with an annual increase of 3% in June. The lease term ends on June 1, 2024.

 

Concurrent with the Plan of Reorganization dated September 17, 2021, the Company executed a Real Property Lease Agreement with a term of 62 months. Pursuant to this Agreement, no rent payments will be due the first two months and rental payments will commence in November, 2021 in the amount of $4,505 per month. There will be an annual 3% rental increases each November for the term of the lease. The lease term ends on October 1, 2026.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

D.H. Flamingo, Inc. v. Department of Taxation, et. al.

 

On February 27, 2020, a subsidiary of the Company (YMY Ventures, LLC) was served with a Summons and Second Amended Complaint in a matter pending in the District Court of Clark County Nevada (Case # A-19-787004-B) which is styled “D.H. Flamingo, Inc. v. Department of Taxation, et. al.” (the DOT Litigation”). In this matter, the Plaintiff is alleging that certain parties (including YMY Ventures, LLC) received Conditional Recreational Marijuana Establishment Licenses, while certain other parties (including Plaintiff) were denied licenses. In the matter, Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief, relief from violation of procedural and substantive due process, violation of equal protection, unjust enrichment, judicial review of the entire matter, together with a Petition for Writ of Mandamus. The Plaintiff seeks damages in an unspecified amount. Thereafter, on April 20, 2020, YMY Ventures, LLC filed a Notice of Non-Participation and Request for Dismissal. The Company believes it will ultimately be dismissed from the action without any liability exposure. Notwithstanding, there is no guarantee at this time that this will occur, and the ultimate result of the matter could potentially be the loss of YMY Ventures, LLC’s Conditional Recreational Marijuana Establishment License. This matter has now been fully resolved without any financial exposure on the part of the Company.

 

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Chord Advisors, LLC v. Stem Holdings, Inc., et. al.

 

On June 5, 2020 Chord Advisors, LLC (“Chord”) filed a Complaint in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial District in and for Palm Beach County, Florida (Case # 502020CA006097) alleging that Stem Holdings, Inc. owes Chord approximately $260,000 on account of fees for accounting services accrued pursuant to a Letter of Agreement dated October 2019. On July 6, 2020, the Company filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the Complaint. This matter has now been fully resolved without any material financial exposure to of the Company.

 

Lili Enterprises, LLC adv. YMY Ventures and OPCO, LLC

 

In July 2020, a dispute arose with the Company’s joint venture partner in connection with the Company’s operations in the State of Nevada. In this regard, the Company’s joint venture partner claims that it is owed certain amounts totaling approximately $307,500 pursuant to the joint venture Operating Agreement. On the other hand, the Company claims that the joint venture partner is in breach of its agreements with the Company and that the Company has heretofore advanced over $1 million in excess of its commitments under the Operating Agreement. This matter has now been fully resolved without any material financial exposure on the part of the Company.

 

TrueFarma

 

This arbitration arose from the plaintiff’s claim that Driven adversely impacted their business. This matter was settled and the arbitration was dismissed on September 29, 2021 in consideration of mutual general releases among the parties. As a result, the matter has now been fully resolved without any financial exposure on the part of the Company.

 

Additionally, the Company is subject from time to time to litigation, claims and suits arising in the ordinary course of business. To the best of our knowledge, as of December 22, 2021, the Company was not a party to any other material litigation, claim or suit whose outcome could have a material effect on the Company’s financial statements.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not applicable

 

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PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.

 

The Company’s common stock commenced trading on the OTCQB on May 23, 2018 under the symbol “STMH” and the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) on July 13, 2018 under the symbol “STEM”. On October 3, 2019, the Company commenced trading on the OTCQX.

 

The following table shows the high and low prices of our common shares on the OTCQB/OTCQX for each quarter for quarter from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2021. The following quotations reflect inter-dealer prices, without retail mark-up, mark-down or commission and may not necessarily represent actual transactions:

 

Period   High     Low  
October 1, 2019-December 31, 2019   $ 1.20     $ 0.79  
January 1, 2020-March 31, 2020   $ 1.10     $ 0.31  
April 1, 2020-June 30, 2020   $ 0.60     $ 0.38  
July 1, 2020-September 30, 2020   $ 0.50     $ 0.21  
October 1, 2020-December 31, 2020   $ 0.67     $ 0.34  
January 1, 2021-March 31, 2021   $ 1.39     $ 0.41  
April 1, 2021-June 30, 2021   $ 0.75     $ 0.34  
July 1, 2021-September 30, 2021   $ 0.40     $ 0.23  

 

The market price of our common stock, like that of other early-stage cannabis-related companies, is highly volatile and is subject to fluctuations in response to variations in operating results, announcements of technological innovations or new products, or other events or factors. Our stock price may also be affected by broader market trends unrelated to our performance.

 

Holders

 

As of January 6, 2022, there were 223,452,741 shares of common stock par value $0.001 and there were approximately 438 shareholders of record.

 

Transfer Agent and Registrar

 

Our transfer agent is Odyssey Stock Transfer, Inc., located at Suite 702, 67 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1J8.

 

Dividend Policy

 

We have never paid any cash dividends on our Common Stock and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our Common Stock in the foreseeable future. We intend to retain future earnings to fund ongoing operations and future capital requirements of our business. Any future determination to pay cash dividends will be at the discretion of the Board of Directors and will be dependent upon our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements and such other factors as the Board of Directors deems relevant.

 

RECENT SALES OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES

 

The following table sets forth all securities issued by Stem between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021:

 

  Security  No. Shares 
Services  Common Stock   4,880,979 
Compensation  Common Stock   3,914,509 
Issuance of common stock related to cash sales  Common Stock   1,465,117 
Issuance of common stock related to option exercise  Common Stock   10,000 
Interest and converted notes  Common Stock   10,327,376 
Issuance of common stock in connection with deposit for an asset acquisition  Common Stock   300,000 
Issuance of common stock related to settlement payment  Common Stock   500,000 
Issuance of common stock in connection with Prospectus  Common Stock   19,276,340 
Issuance of common stock in connection with Private Placement Memorandum  Common Stock   5,322,136 
Issuance of common stock in connection with asset acquisitions  Common Stock   110,178,122 
Cancelled  Common Stock   (1,277,773)
Total     154,896,806 

 

The securities issued in the abovementioned transactions were issued in connection with private placements exempt from the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, pursuant to the terms of Section 4(2) of that Act and Rule 506 of Regulation D.

 

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Share Issuances to Consultants, Employees and Directors for Compensation and Severance

 

During the year ended September 30, 2021, the Company issued 3,914,509 shares of its common stock and recorded compensation expense of $1.68 million.

 

During the year ended September 30, 2021, the Company granted options to acquire 1,875,000 shares of its common stock at an exercise price ranging from $0.15 to $1.00 per share. During the year ended September 30, 2021, the Company granted warrants to acquire 59,451,853 shares of its common stock at exercise prices ranging from $0.40 to $0.53 per share.

 

During the year ended September 30, 2020, the Company issued 1,635,422 shares of its common stock and recorded compensation expense of $1.1 million.

 

During the year ended September 30, 2020, the Company granted options to acquire 2,362,500 shares of its common stock at an exercise price ranging from $0.29 to $1.25 per share. During the year ended September 30, 2020, the Company granted warrants to acquire 2,872,813 shares of its common stock at exercise prices ranging from $0.36 to $2.96 per share.

 

The securities issued in the above-mentioned transactions were issued in connection with private placements exempt from the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, pursuant to the terms of Section 4(2) of that Act and Rule 506 of Regulation D.

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

Pursuant to permissive authority under Regulation S-K, Rule 301, we have omitted Selected Financial Data.

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results

 

This annual report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements regarding our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) encourages companies to disclose forward-looking information so that investors can better understand a company’s future prospects and make informed investment decisions. This annual report on Form 10-K and other written and oral statements that we make from time to time contain such forward-looking statements that set out anticipated results based on management’s plans and assumptions regarding future events or performance. We have tried, wherever possible, to identify such statements by using words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “will” and similar expressions in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, future performance or results of current and anticipated sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies, such as legal proceedings, and financial results. Factors that could cause our actual results of operations and financial condition to differ materially are set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of this annual report on Form 10-K.

 

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We caution that these factors could cause our actual results of operations and financial condition to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements we make and that investors should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all such factors. Further, we cannot assess the impact of each such factor on our results of operations or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.

 

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our audited financial statements and the related notes that appear elsewhere in this annual report on Form 10-K.

 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following comparative analysis on results of operations was based primarily on the comparative consolidated financial statements, footnotes and related information for the periods identified below and should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and the notes to those statements for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, which are included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 10-K. The results discussed below are for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020 (in thousands).

 

   Years Ended September 30,   Change 
($ in thousands)  2021   2020   $   % 
Gross Revenue  $41,784   $16,371   $25,413    155%
Discounts and returns   (6,015)   (2,397)   (3,618)   151%
Net Revenue   35,769    13,974    21,795    156%
Cost of goods sold   (28,183)   (10,306)   (17,877)   173%
Consulting fees   (2,978)   (2,546)   (432)   17%
Professional fees   (3,537)   (2,526)   (1,011)   40%
General and administration   (16,445)   (8,262)   (8,183)   99%
Impairment of intangible assets   (52,490)   -    (52,490)   100%
Other income (expenses), net   3,492    (1,574)   5,066    322%
Loss from equity method investees   (234)   (253)   19    (8)%
Net loss  $(64,606)  $(11,493)  $(53,113)   462%

 

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Revenues

 

In years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, the Company engages directly in the cultivation, production and sale of cannabis and related products.

 

In 2020 and 2021, the Company’s revenue was generated in the states of Oregon, Nevada, and California.

 

Cost of Revenues

 

Cost of revenues for the year ended September 30, 2021, and 2020 totaled approximately $28.2 million and $10.3 million, respectively. The cost of revenue consisted of cannabis product cost, which includes contracted labor, growing, and trimming expenses, and product testing. The Company expects its cost of revenues to grow in line with its future revenue growth.

 

Operating Expenses

 

Consulting Fees

 

Consulting fees for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020 totaled approximately $3.0 million and $2.5 million, respectively. The increase of $432 thousand is primarily related to stock-based compensation expenses recognized during the year ended September 30, 2021, for restricted stock awards and warrants to acquire the Company’s common stock issued to consultants.

 

Professional Fees

 

Professional fees for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020 totaled approximately $3.5 million and $2.5 million, respectively. The increase of $1.0 million is primarily related to legal, accounting, and other professional fees incurred as a result of acquisitions during the year ended September 30, 2021. We expect our professional fees to increase as we continue to grow our business.

 

General and Administrative

 

General and administrative expenses for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020 totaled approximately $16.4 million and $8.3 million, respectively. The increase of $8.2 million is primarily related to an increase in stock-based compensation for employees and officers and an increase in option expense for employees, directors, and officers.

 

Impairment of Property and Equipment and Intangibles

 

Impairment expenses related to property and equipment totaled approximately $52.5 million for the year ended September 30, 2021. The Company recorded an impairment expense of $2.2 million related to investment in WCV. The Company also recorded impairment expense of $50.3 million related to the intangible assets and a related party receivable of Driven.

 

The Company did not incur impairment expense for the year ended September 30, 2020.

 

Other Income (Expense)

 

Other income for the year ended September 30, 2021, totaled approximately $3.5 million. Other expense for the year ended September 30, 2020, totaled approximately $1.6 million. The increase in other income was primarily the result the change in fair value of warranty and derivative liabilities coupled with the forgiveness of PPP loans and a gain on the sale of a property.

 

Loss from Equity Method Investees

 

Related to the year ended September 30, 2021, the Company recognized a loss $0.2 million from equity method investees as compared to a loss of $0.3 million in 2020.

 

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Below is a presentation of Non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“non-GAAP”) presentation of Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization (“EBITDA”) for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020.

 

Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization (“EBITDA”):

 

   Years Ended September 30, 
($ in thousands)  2021   2020 
Revenue  $41,784   $16,371 
Discounts and returns   (6,015)   (2,397)
Cost of goods sold   28,183    10,306 
Consulting fees   2,978    2,546 
Professional fees   3,537    2,526 
General and administration   16,445    8,262 
Impairment of intangible assets   52,490    - 
Other income (expenses), net   3,492    (1,574)
Loss from equity method investees   234    253 
Net loss- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”)   (64,606)   (11,493)
Add Backs:          
Interest   1,881    2,434 
Taxes   -    - 
Depreciation and amortization   5,389    2,366 
EBITDA (non-GAAP)   (57,336)   (6,693)
Other Add Backs:          
Stock-based compensation   2,082    2,073 
Impairment of intangible assets   52,490    - 
Change in fair value of derivative liability   (577)   190 
Change in fair value of warrant liability   (2,401)   (1,065)
Foreign currency translation adjustment   (91)   15 
Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP)  $(5,833)  $(5,480)

 

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

 

On September 30, 2021, we had negative working capital of approximately $3 million, which included cash and cash equivalents of $5.6 million. We reported a net loss of approximately $65 million and our net cash used in operating expenses totaled $9.2 million, our cash used in investing activities was $0.2 million and cash flows from financing activities totaled $12.4 million.

 

Subsequent to September 30, 2021, we received gross proceeds of approximately $40,000 from the exercise of warrants and $238,000 from subscription agreements in connection with private placements.

 

Going Concern

 

On September 30, 2021, the Company had approximate balances of cash and cash equivalents of $5.6 million, negative working capital of $3 million, total stockholders’ equity of $34.2 million and an accumulated deficit of $115.8 million.

 

These audited consolidated financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, which assumes that the Company will be able to realize its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.

 

While the recreational use of cannabis is legal under the laws of certain States, where the Company has and is working towards further finalizing the acquisition of entities or investment in entities that directly produce or sell cannabis, the use and possession of cannabis is illegal under United States Federal law for any purpose, by way of Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, otherwise known as the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (the “ACT”). Cannabis is currently included under Schedule 1 of the Act, making it illegal to cultivate, sell or otherwise possess in the United States.

 

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On January 4, 2018, the office of the Attorney General published a memo regarding cannabis enforcement that rescinds directives promulgated under former President Obama that eased federal enforcement. In a January 8, 2018 memo, Jefferson B. Sessions, then Attorney General of the United States, indicated enforcement decisions will be left up to the U.S. Attorney’s in their respective states clearly indicating that the burden is with “federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute by weighing all relevant considerations, including federal law enforcement priorities set by the Attorney General, the seriousness of the crime, the deterrent effect of federal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community.” Subsequently, in April 2018, then President Trump promised to support congressional efforts to protect states that have legalized the cultivation, sale and possession of cannabis; however, a bill has not yet been finalized in order to implement legislation that would, in effect, make clear the federal government cannot interfere with states that have voted to legalize cannabis. Further in December 2018, the US Congress passed legislation, which the President signed on December 20, 2018, removing hemp from being included with Cannabis in Schedule I of the Act.

 

On February 8, 2018 the Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) published a revised staff notice setting out the CSA’s disclosure expectations for specific risks facing issuers with cannabis-related activities in the United States (“Staff Notice 51-352”). Staff Notice 51-352 confirms that a disclosure-based approach remains appropriate for issuers with U.S. cannabis-related activities. Staff Notice 51-352 includes additional disclosure expectations that apply to all issuers with U.S. cannabis-related activities, including those with direct and indirect involvement in the cultivation and distribution of cannabis, as well as issuers that provide goods and services to third parties involved in the U.S. cannabis industry. The Company views Staff Notice 51-352 favorably, as it provides increased transparency and greater certainty regarding the views of its exchange and its regulation of existing operations and strategic business plan as well as the Company’s ability to pursue further investment and opportunities in the United States.

 

In December 2019, an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) originated in Wuhan, China, and has since spread to several other countries, including the United States. On June 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. In addition, as of the time of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, several states in the United States have declared states of emergency, and several countries around the world, including the United States, have taken steps to restrict travel. The existence of a worldwide pandemic, the fear associated with COVID-19, or any, pandemic, and the reactions of governments in response to COVID-19, or any, pandemic, to regulate the flow of labor and products and impede the travel of personnel, may impact our ability to conduct normal business operations, which could adversely affect our results of operations and liquidity. Disruptions to our supply chain and business operations disruptions to our retail operations and our ability to collect rent from the properties which we own, personnel absences, or restrictions on the shipment of our or our suppliers’ or customers’ products, any of which could have adverse ripple effects throughout our business. If we need to close any of our facilities or a critical number of our employees become too ill to work, our production ability could be materially adversely affected in a rapid manner. Similarly, if our customers experience adverse consequences due to COVID-19, or any other, pandemic, demand for our products could also be materially adversely affected in a rapid manner. Global health concerns, such as COVID-19, could also result in social, economic, and labor instability in the markets in which we operate. Any of these uncertainties could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

On December 14, 2020, former President Trump announced that William Barr would be resigning from his post as Attorney General, effective December 23, 2020. Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee to succeed Mr. Barr, has served as the current Attorney General since March 2021. It is unclear what specific impact the Biden administration will have on reinstituting the prior U.S. federal government enforcement policy directives promulgated under former President Obama that eased federal enforcement. 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.

 

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The sheer size of the cannabis industry, in addition to various level of legalization at the State and local governments, suggests that a largescale enforcement operation would possibly create unwanted political backlash for the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Biden administration. Moreover, State and local tax revenues generated by the cannabis business is an increasingly important source of funding for State and local government programs.

 

These conditions raise substantial doubt as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Should the United States Federal Government choose to begin enforcement of the provisions under the Act, the Company through its wholly owned subsidiaries could be prosecuted under the Act and the Company may have to immediately cease operations and/or be liquidated upon their closing of the acquisition or investment in entities that engage directly in the production and or sale of cannabis.

 

Management believes that the Company has access to capital resources through potential public or private issuances of debt or equity securities. However, if the Company is unable to raise additional capital, it may be required to curtail operations and take additional measures to reduce costs, including reducing its workforce, eliminating outside consultants, and reducing legal fees to conserve its cash in amounts sufficient to sustain operations and meet its obligations. These matters raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that might become necessary should the Company be unable to continue as a going concern.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) requires management to make estimates and assumptions about future events that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Future events and their effects cannot be determined with absolute certainty. Therefore, the determination of estimates requires the exercise of judgment. Actual results inevitably will differ from those estimates, and such differences may be material to the financial statements. The most significant accounting estimates inherent in the preparation of our financial statements include estimates associated with revenue recognition, investments, intangible assets, stock-based compensation, and business combinations.

 

The Company’s financial position, results of operations and cash flows are impacted by the accounting policies the Company has adopted. In order to get a full understanding of the Company’s financial statements, one must have a clear understanding of the accounting policies employed. A summary of the Company’s critical accounting policies follows:

 

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

 

The Company reviews the carrying value of its long-lived assets, which include property and equipment, for indicators of impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable. The Company considers the following to be some examples of important indicators that may trigger an impairment review: (i) significant under-performance or losses of assets relative to expected historical or projected future operating results; (ii) significant changes in the manner or use of assets or in the Company’s overall strategy with respect to the manner or use of the acquired assets or changes in the Company’s overall business strategy; (iii) significant negative industry or economic trends; (iv) increased competitive pressures; (v) a significant decline in the Company’s stock price for a sustained period of time; and (vi) regulatory changes. The Company evaluates assets for potential impairment indicators at least annually and more frequently upon the occurrence of such events. The Company does not test for impairment in the year of acquisition of properties, as long as those properties are acquired from unrelated third parties.

 

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The Company assesses the recoverability of its long-lived assets by comparing the projected undiscounted net cash flows associated with the related long-lived asset or group of long-lived assets over their remaining estimated useful lives against their respective carrying amounts. In cases where estimated future net undiscounted cash flows are less than the carrying value, an impairment loss is recognized equal to an amount by which the carrying value exceeds the fair value of the asset or asset group. Fair value is generally determined using the assets expected future discounted cash flows or market value, if readily determinable. If long-lived assets are determined to be recoverable, but the newly determined remaining estimated useful lives are shorter than originally estimated, the net book values of the long-lived assets are depreciated and amortized prospectively over the newly determined remaining estimated useful lives.

 

An impairment expense of $52.5 million was recorded in the year ended September 30, 2021. During the year ended September 30, 2020, the Company determined that no impairment was required as of that date.

 

Capitalization of Project Costs

 

The Company’s policy is to capitalize all costs that are directly identifiable with a specific property, would be capitalized if the Company had already acquired the property, and when the property, or an option to acquire the property, is being actively sought after, and either funds are available or will likely become available to exercise their option. All amounts shown capitalized prior to acquisition of a property are included under the caption of Project Costs within the “Prepaid expenses and other current assets” line item in the consolidated balance sheet.

 

Equity Method Investments

 

Investments in unconsolidated affiliates are accounted for under the equity method of accounting, as appropriate. The Company accounts for investments in limited partnerships or limited liability corporations, whereby the Company owns a minimum of 5.0% of the investee’s outstanding voting stock, under the equity method of accounting. These investments are recorded at the amount of the Company’s investment and adjusted each period for the Company’s share of the investee’s income or loss, and dividends paid.

 

During the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, the Company recognized its share of investee losses of approximately $234 thousand and 253 thousand, respectively. The losses related to its investment in the year ended September 30, 2021, in Community Growth Partners Holdings, Inc. (“CGP”) was approximately $233 thousand and Tilstar Medical, LLC (“TIL”) of approximately $1 thousand. The losses related to its investment in the year ended September 30, 2020, in East Coast Packers LLC (“ECP”) was approximately $240 thousand and Tilstar Medical, LLC (“TIL”) of approximately $13 thousand.

 

Asset Acquisitions

 

The Company has adopted ASU 2017-01, which clarifies the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as businesses acquisitions. As a result of adopting ASU 2017-01, acquisitions of real estate and cannabis licenses do not meet the definition of a business combination and were deemed asset acquisitions, and the Company therefore capitalized these acquisitions, including its costs associated with these acquisitions.

 

Goodwill and Intangible Assets

 

Goodwill. Goodwill represents the excess acquisition cost over the fair value of net tangible and intangible assets acquired. Goodwill is not amortized and is subject to annual impairment testing on or between annual tests if an event or change in circumstance occurs that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying value. In testing for goodwill impairment, the Company has the option to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether the existence of events or circumstances lead to a determination that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If, after assessing the totality of events and circumstances, the Company concludes that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then performing the two-step impairment test is not required. If the Company concludes otherwise, the Company is required to perform the two-step impairment test. The goodwill impairment test is performed at the reporting unit level by comparing the estimated fair value of a reporting unit with its respective carrying value. If the estimated fair value exceeds the carrying value, goodwill at the reporting unit level is not impaired. If the estimated fair value is less than the carrying value, further analysis is necessary to determine the amount of impairment, if any, by comparing the implied fair value of the reporting unit’s goodwill to the carrying value of the reporting unit’s goodwill.

 

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Intangible Assets. Intangible assets deemed to have finite lives are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives, where the useful life is the period over which the asset is expected to contribute directly, or indirectly, to our future cash flows. Intangible assets are reviewed for impairment on an interim basis when certain events or circumstances exist. For amortizable intangible assets, impairment exists when the carrying amount of the intangible asset exceeds its fair value. At least annually, the remaining useful life is evaluated.

 

An intangible asset with an indefinite useful life is not amortized but assessed for impairment annually, or more frequently, when events or changes in circumstances occur indicating that it is more likely than not that the indefinite-lived asset is impaired. Impairment exists when the carrying amount exceeds its fair value. In testing for impairment, the Company has the option to first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that an impairment exists. If it is determined that it is not more likely than not that an impairment exists, a quantitative impairment test is not necessary. If the Company concludes otherwise, it is required to perform a quantitative impairment test. To the extent an impairment loss is recognized, the loss establishes the new cost basis of the asset that is amortized over the remaining useful life of that asset, if any. Subsequent reversal of impairment losses is not permitted.

 

During the year ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, the Company determined that there were $52.5 million and $0 losses related to the impairment of related to intangible, respectively.

 

Business Combinations

 

The Company applies the provisions of ASC 805 in the accounting for acquisitions. ASC 805 requires the Company to recognize separately from goodwill the assets acquired, and the liabilities assumed at their acquisition date fair values. Goodwill as of the acquisition date is measured as the excess of consideration transferred over the net of the acquisition date fair values of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed. While the Company uses its best estimates and assumptions to accurately apply preliminary value to assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the acquisition date as well as contingent consideration, where applicable, these estimates are inherently uncertain and subject to refinement. As a result, during the measurement period, which may be up to one year from the acquisition date, the Company records adjustments in the current period, rather than a revision to a prior period. Upon the conclusion of the measurement period or final determination of the values of the assets acquired or liabilities assumed, whichever comes first, any subsequent adjustments are recorded in the consolidated statements of operations. Accounting for business combinations requires management to make significant estimates and assumptions, especially at the acquisition date, including estimates for intangible assets, contractual obligations assumed, restructuring liabilities, pre-acquisition contingencies, and contingent consideration, where applicable. Although the Company believes the assumptions and estimates made have been reasonable and appropriate, they are based in part on historical experience and information obtained from management of the acquired companies and are inherently uncertain. Unanticipated events and circumstances may occur that may affect the accuracy or validity of such assumptions, estimates, or actual results.

 

Contingent Consideration

 

The Company accounts for “contingent consideration” according to FASB ASC 805, “Business Combinations” (“FASB ASC 805”). Contingent consideration typically represents the acquirer’s obligation to transfer additional assets or equity interests to the former owners of the acquiree if specified future events occur or conditions are met. FASB ASC 805 requires that contingent consideration be recognized at the acquisition-date fair value as part of the consideration transferred in the transaction. FASB ASC 805 uses the fair value definition in Fair Value Measurements, which defines fair value as 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. As defined in FASB ASC 805, contingent consideration is (i) an obligation of the acquirer to transfer additional assets or equity interests to the former owners of an acquiree as part of the exchange for control of the acquiree, if specified future events occur or conditions are met or (ii) the right of the acquirer to the return of previously transferred consideration if specified conditions are met.

 

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Warrant Liability

 

The Company accounts for certain common stock warrants outstanding as a liability at fair value and adjusts the instruments to fair value at each reporting period. This liability is subject to re-measurement at each balance sheet date until exercised, and any change in fair value is recognized in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations. The fair value of the warrants issued by the Company has been estimated using a Black Scholes model.

 

Embedded Conversion Features

 

The Company evaluates embedded conversion features within convertible debt to determine whether the embedded conversion feature(s) should be bifurcated from the host instrument and accounted for as a derivative at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in the statement of operations. If the conversion feature does not require recognition of a bifurcated derivative, the convertible debt instrument is evaluated for consideration of any beneficial conversion feature (“BCF”) requiring separate recognition. When the Company records a BCF, the intrinsic value of the BCF is recorded as a debt discount against the face amount of the respective debt instrument (offset to additional paid-in capital) and amortized to interest expense over the life of the debt.

 

Income Taxes

 

The provision for income taxes is determined in accordance with ASC 740, “Income Taxes”. The Company files a consolidated United States federal income tax return. The Company provides for income taxes based on enacted tax law and statutory tax rates at which items of income and expense are expected to be settled in our income tax return. Certain items of revenue and expense are reported for Federal income tax purposes in different periods than for financial reporting purposes, thereby resulting in deferred income taxes. Deferred taxes are also recognized for operating losses that are available to offset future taxable income. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount expected to be realized. The Company has incurred net operating losses for financial-reporting and tax-reporting purposes. As of September 30, 2021, and 2020, such net operating losses were offset entirely by a valuation allowance.

 

The Company recognizes uncertain tax positions based on a benefit recognition model. Provided that the tax position is deemed more likely than not of being sustained, the Company recognizes the largest amount of tax benefit that is greater than 50.0% likely of being ultimately realized upon settlement. The tax position is derecognized when it is no longer more likely than not of being sustained. The Company classifies income tax related interest and penalties as interest expense and selling, general and administrative expense, respectively, on the consolidated statements of operations.

 

In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA or the Act) was enacted, which significantly changes U.S. tax law. In accordance with ASC 740, “Income Taxes”, the Company is required to account for the new requirements in the period that includes the date of enactment. The Act reduced the overall corporate income tax rate to 21.0%, created a territorial tax system (with a one-time mandatory transition tax on previously deferred foreign earnings), broadened the tax base and allowed for the immediate capital expensing of certain qualified property.

 

In December 2020, the Company issued a significant number of new shares in its acquisition of Driven Deliveries (see Note 10). The effect of these issuances is most likely, the Company and Driven have experienced the requisite change of control as promulgated under the US Internal Revenue Code section 382. The effect of this will be that going forward, the ability of the Company and Driven Deliveries to utilize their respective U.S. Federal net operating loss carryforwards from prior to December 29, 2020, will be limited in its usage. In order to determine the specific effect, the Company must perform the computations required under the Internal Revenue Code, which have not yet been performed. The Company expects it will perform the required computations in the coming fiscal year.

 

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Revenue Recognition

 

The Company recognizes revenue when its customer obtains control of promised goods or services, in an amount that reflects the consideration which the entity expects to receive in exchange for those goods or services. To determine revenue recognition for arrangements that an entity determines are within the scope of Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), the entity performs the following five steps: (i) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (iii) determine the transaction price; (iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and (v) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. The Company only applies the five-step model to contracts when it is probable that the entity will collect the consideration it is entitled to in exchange for the goods or services it transfers to the customer. At contract inception, once the contract is determined to be within the scope of Topic 606, the Company assesses the goods or services promised within each contract and determines those that are performance obligations and assesses whether each promised good or service is distinct. The Company then recognizes as revenue the amount of the transaction price that is allocated to the respective performance obligation when (or as) the performance obligation is satisfied.

 

Revenue for the Company’s product sales has not been adjusted for the effects of a financing component as the Company expects, at contract inception, that the period between when the Company’s transfers control of the product and when the Company receives payment will be one year or less. Product shipping and handling costs are included in cost of product sales.

 

Effective October 1, 2019, the Company adopted the requirements of ASU 2014-09 (ASC 606) and related amendments, using the modified retrospective method. The adoption of ASC 606 did not have a significant impact on the Company’s revenue recognition policy as revenues related to wholesale and retail revenue are recorded upon transfer of merchandise to the customer, which was the effective policy under ASC 605 previously.

 

The following policies reflect specific criteria for the various revenue streams of the Company:

 

Cannabis Dispensary, Cultivation and Production

 

Revenue is recognized upon transfer of retail merchandise to the customer upon sale transaction, at which time its performance obligation is complete. Revenue is recognized upon delivery of product to the wholesale customer, at which time the Company’s performance obligation is complete. Terms are generally between cash on delivery to 30 days for the Company’s wholesale customers.

 

The Company’s sales environment is somewhat unique, in that once the product is sold to the customer (retail) or delivered (wholesale) there are essentially no returns allowed or warranty available to the customer under the various state laws.

 

Delivery

 

1) Identify the contract with a customer

 

The Company sells retail products directly to customers. In these sales there is no formal contract with the customer. These sales have commercial substance and there are no issues with collectability as the customer pays the cost of the goods at the time of purchase or delivery.

 

2) Identify the performance obligations in the contract

 

The Company sells its products directly to consumers. In this case these sales represent a performance obligation with the sales and any necessary deliveries of those products.

 

3) Determine the transaction price

 

The sales that are done directly to the customer have no variable consideration or financing component. The transaction price is the cost that those goods are being sold for plus any additional delivery costs.

 

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4) Allocate the transaction price to performance obligations in the contract

 

For the goods that the Company sells directly to customers, the transaction price is allocated between the cost of the goods and any delivery fees that may be incurred to deliver to the customer.

 

5) Recognize revenue when or as the Company satisfies a performance obligation

 

For the sales of the Company’s own goods the performance obligation is complete once the customer has received the product.

 

Leases

 

The Company recognizes rental revenue from tenants, including rental abatements, lease incentives and contractual fixed increases attributable to operating leases, on a straight-line basis over the term of the related leases when collectability is reasonably assured.

 

The Company makes estimates of the collectability of its tenant receivables related to base rents, straight-line rent, and other revenues. In the current fiscal year, the Company began significant rental operations. The Company considers such things as historical bad debts, tenant creditworthiness, current economic trends, facility operating performance, lease structure, developments relevant to a tenant’s business, and changes in tenants’ payment patterns in its analysis of accounts receivable and its evaluation of the adequacy of the allowance for doubtful accounts. Specifically, for straight-line rent receivables, the Company’s assessment includes an estimation of a tenant’s ability to fulfill its rental obligations over the remaining lease term.

 

On October 1, 2020, the Company adopted ASC 842 and elected to apply the new standard at the adoption date and recognize a cumulative effect as an adjustment to retained earnings. Upon calculation the effect on retained earnings was immaterial and no adjustment was deemed necessary. Leases with an initial term of twelve months or less are not recorded on the balance sheet. For lease agreements entered into or reassessed after the adoption of Topic 842, we combine the lease and non-lease components in determining the lease liabilities and right of use (“ROU”) assets.

 

Our lease agreements generally do not provide an implicit borrowing rate; therefore, an internal incremental borrowing rate is determined based on information available at lease commencement date for purposes of determining the present value of lease payments. We used the incremental borrowing rate on September 30, 2021, for all leases that commenced prior to that date. In determining this rate, which is used to determine the present value of future lease payments, we estimate the rate of interest we would pay on a collateralized basis, with similar payment terms as the lease and in a similar economic environment.

 

Under Topic 842, operating lease expense is generally recognized evenly over the term of the lease. Lease costs were $839 thousand and $927 thousand for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, respectively. There was sublease rental income of $17 thousand and $35 thousand, respectively for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020. The Company has thirteen operating leases consisting with remaining lease terms ranging from 23 months to 180 months.

 

Lease Costs

 

   Year Ended 
   September 30, 
   2021 
Components of total lease costs:     
Operating lease expense  $839 
Total lease costs  $839 

 

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Lease positions as of September 30, 2021

 

ROU lease assets and lease liabilities for our operating leases were recorded in the consolidated condensed balance sheet as follows:

 

   September 30, 
   2021 
Assets     
Right of use asset  $4,562 
Total assets  $4,562 
      
Liabilities     
Operating lease liabilities – short term  $685 
Operating lease liabilities – long term   3,963 
Total lease liability  $4,648 

 

Lease Terms and Discount Rate

 

Weighted average remaining lease term (in years) – operating lease   9  
Weighted average discount rate – operating lease   12.18 %

 

Cash Flows

 

   Year Ended 
   September 30, 
   2021 
Cash paid for amounts included in the measurement of lease liabilities:     
ROU amortization  $839 
Cash paydowns of operating liability  $(839)
Supplemental non-cash amounts of lease liabilities arising from obtaining:     
ROU asset  $4,562 
Lease Liability  $4,648 

 

The future minimum lease payments under the leases are as follows:

 

2022  $1,228 
2023   1,088 
2024   797 
2025   687 
2026   653 
Thereafter   4,676 
Total future minimum lease payments   9,129 
Less: Lease imputed interest   (4,481)
Total  $4,648 

 

47

 

 

Disaggregation of Revenue

 

In the year ended September 30, 2020, and 2021, revenue reported was primarily from the sale of cannabis and related products accounted for under ASC 606.

 

The following table illustrates our revenue by type related to the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020:

 

   September 30, 
   2021   2020 
Revenue          
Wholesale  $5,270   $3,832 
Retail   35,805    12,389 
Rental   17    35 
Other   692    115 
Total revenue   41,784    16,371 
Discounts and returns   (6,015)   (2,397)
Net Revenue  $35,769   $13,974 

 

Geographical Concentrations

 

As of September 30, 2021, the Company is primarily engaged in the production and sale of cannabis, which is only legal for recreational use in 15 states and D.C., with lesser legalization, such as for medical use in an additional 21 states and D.C., as of the time of these consolidated financial statements. In addition, the United States Congress has passed legislation, specifically the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the “Farm Bill”) that has removed production and consumption of hemp and associated products from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.

 

Cost of Goods Sold

 

Cost of sales represents costs directly related to manufacturing and distribution of the Company’s products. Primary costs include raw materials, packaging, direct labor, overhead, shipping and handling and the depreciation of manufacturing equipment and production facilities. Manufacturing overhead and related expenses include salaries, wages, employee benefits, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. The Company recognizes the cost of sales as the associated revenues are recognized.

 

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

 

As defined in the authoritative guidance, fair value 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.

 

To estimate fair value, the Company utilizes market data or assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability, including assumptions about risk and the risks inherent in the inputs to the valuation technique. These inputs can be readily observable, market corroborated or generally unobservable.

 

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The authoritative guidance establishes a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs used to measure fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority to unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (“Level 1” measurements) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (“Level 3” measurements). The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are as follows:

 

Level 1 — Observable inputs such as quoted prices in active markets at the measurement date for identical, unrestricted assets or liabilities.

 

Level 2 — Other inputs that are observable, directly, or indirectly, such as quoted prices in markets that are not active, or inputs which are observable, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability.

 

Level 3 — Unobservable inputs for which there is little or no market data and which the Company makes its own assumptions about how market participants would price the assets and liabilities.

 

In instances in which multiple levels of inputs are used to measure fair value, hierarchy classification is based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety. The Company’s assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement in its entirety requires judgment and considers factors specific to the asset or liability.

 

Stock-based Compensation

 

The Company accounts for share-based payment awards exchanged for services at the estimated grant date fair value of the award. Stock options issued under the Company’s long-term incentive plans are granted with an exercise price equal to no less than the market price of the Company’s stock at the date of grant and expire up to ten years from the date of grant. These options generally vest on the grant date or over a one-year period.

 

The Company estimates the fair value of stock option grants using the Black-Scholes option pricing model and the assumptions used in calculating the fair value of stock-based awards represent management’s best estimates and involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management’s judgment.

 

Expected Term - The expected term of options represents the period that the Company’s stock-based awards are expected to be outstanding based on the simplified method, which is the half-life from vesting to the end of its contractual term.

 

Expected Volatility - The Company computes stock price volatility over expected terms based on its historical common stock trading prices.

 

Risk-Free Interest Rate - The Company bases the risk-free interest rate on the implied yield available on U. S. Treasury zero-coupon issues with an equivalent remaining term.

 

Expected Dividend - The Company has never declared or paid any cash dividends on its common shares and does not plan to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future, and, therefore, uses an expected dividend yield of zero in its valuation models.

 

Effective January 1, 2017, the Company elected to account for forfeited awards as they occur, as permitted by Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-09. Ultimately, the actual expenses recognized over the vesting period will be for those shares that vested. Prior to making this election, the Company estimated a forfeiture rate for awards at 0%, as the Company did not have a significant history of forfeitures.

 

49

 

 

Earnings (Loss) per Share

 

ASC 260, Earnings Per Share, requires dual presentation of basic and diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) with a reconciliation of the numerator and denominator of the basic EPS computation to the numerator and denominator of the diluted EPS computation. Basic EPS excludes dilution. Diluted EPS reflects the potential dilution that could occur if securities or other contracts to issue common stock were exercised or converted into common stock or resulted in the issuance of common stock that then shared in the earnings of the entity.

 

Basic net loss per share of common stock excludes dilution and is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period. Diluted net loss per share of common stock reflects the potential dilution that could occur if securities or other contracts to issue common stock were exercised or converted into common stock or resulted in the issuance of common stock that then shared in the earnings of the entity unless inclusion of such shares would be anti-dilutive. Since the Company has only incurred losses, basic and diluted net loss per share is the same. Securities that could potentially dilute loss per share in the future that were not included in the computation of diluted loss per share as of September 30, 2021, and 2020 are as follows:

 

Potentially dilutive share-based instruments:        
   2021   2020 
Convertible notes   3,696,311    5,763,210 
Options to purchase common stock   7,140,447    5,572,916 
Unvested restricted stock awards   -    2,471,317 
Warrants to purchase common stock   62,965,833    5,053,078 
    73,802,591    18,860,521 

 

Advertising Costs

 

The Company follows the policy of charging the cost of advertising to expense as incurred. Advertising expense was $1 million and $66,000 for the year ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, respectively.

 

Related parties

 

Parties are related to the Company if the parties, directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, control, are controlled by, or are under common control with the Company. Related parties also include principal owners of the Company, its management, members of the immediate families of principal owners of the Company and its management and other parties with which the Company may deal with if one party controls or can significantly influence the management or operating policies of the other to an extent that one of the transacting parties might be prevented from fully pursuing its own separate interests.

 

Segment reporting

 

Operating segments are defined as components of an enterprise about which separate financial information is available that is evaluated regularly by the chief operating decision maker, or decision–making group in deciding how to allocate resources and in assessing performance. The Company’s chief operating decision–maker is its chief executive officer. The Company currently operates in one segment.

 

Recently issued and adopted accounting pronouncements

 

In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350)—Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. ASU 2017-04 simplifies the accounting for goodwill impairments by eliminating the requirement to compare the implied fair value of goodwill with its carrying amount as part of step two of the goodwill impairment test referenced in Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 350, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (“ASC 350”). As a result, an entity should perform its annual, or interim, goodwill impairment test by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. An impairment charge should be recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value. However, the impairment loss recognized should not exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit. ASU 2017-04 is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.

 

50

 

 

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13, “Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework - Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement” (“ASU 2018-13”). ASU 2018-13 removes, modifies and adds certain disclosure requirements in Topic 820 “Fair Value Measurement”. ASU 2018-13 eliminates certain disclosures related to transfers and the valuations process, modifies disclosures for investments that are valued based on net asset value, clarifies the measurement uncertainty disclosure, and requires additional disclosures for Level 3 fair value measurements. ASU 2018-13 is effective for the Company for annual and interim reporting periods beginning January 1, 2020. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.

 

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases. The standard amends the existing lease accounting guidance and requires lessees to recognize a lease liability and a right-of-use asset for all leases (except for short-term leases that have a duration of one year or less) on their balance sheets. Lessees will continue to recognize lease expense in a manner similar to current accounting. For lessors, accounting for leases under the new guidance is substantially the same as in prior periods but eliminates current real estate-specific provisions and changes the treatment of initial direct costs. Entities are required to use a modified retrospective approach for leases that exist or are entered into after the beginning of the earliest comparable period presented, with an option to elect certain transition relief. Full retrospective application is prohibited. The standard was adopted as of October 1, 2020. As of September 30, 2021, the Company recognized additional operating liabilities of approximately $4.6 million, with corresponding ROU assets of approximately $4.6 million.

 

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (“ASU 2016-13”). ASU 2016-13 provides guidance for recognizing credit losses on financial instruments based on an estimate of current expected credit losses model. The amendments are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. Recently, the FASB issued the final ASU to delay adoption for smaller reporting companies to calendar year 2023. The Company is currently assessing the impact of the adoption of this ASU on its financial statements.

 

In January 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-01, Investments - Equity Securities (Topic 321), Investments - Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323), and Derivative and Hedging (Topic 815), which clarifies the interaction of rules for equity securities, the equity method of accounting, and forward contracts and purchase options on certain types of securities. The guidance clarifies how to account for the transition into and out of the equity method of accounting when considering observable transactions under the measurement alternative. The ASU is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2020, including interim reporting periods within those annual periods, with early adoption permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact of the new guidance on our consolidated financial statements.

 

In August 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-06, Debt—Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging—Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40): Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity. This ASU amends the guidance on convertible instruments and the derivatives scope exception for contracts in an entity’s own equity, and also improves and amends the related EPS guidance for both Subtopics. The ASU will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2021 and interim periods within those annual periods and early adoption is permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact of the new guidance on our consolidated financial statements.

 

OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

 

The Company does not have any off-balance sheet arrangements.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

As a “smaller reporting company” as defined by Item 10 of Regulation S-K, the Company is not required to provide this information.

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.

 

The financial information required by Item 8 begins on the following page.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

  Page
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm F-2
   
Consolidated Balance Sheets F-3
   
Consolidated Statements of Operations F-4
   
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity F-5
   
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows F-6
   
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements F-7

 

F-1

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors

of Stem Holdings, Inc.

 

OPINION ON THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Stem Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of September 30, 2021 and September 30, 2020, the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the years then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of September 30, 2021 and September 30, 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the each of the years then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

EXPLANATORY PARAGRAPH – GOING CONCERN

 

The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As more fully explained in Note 1, the Company, and its affiliates, had net losses of $64.4 million and $11.5 million, negative working capital of $2.954 million and $9.235 million and accumulated deficits of $115.750 million and $51.386 million as of and for the year ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. In addition, the Company has commenced operations in the production and sale of cannabis and related products, an activity that is illegal under United States Federal law for any purpose, by way of Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, otherwise known as the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (the “ACT”). These facts raise substantial doubt as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

EXPLANATORY PARAGRAPH – CHANGE IN ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLE

 

As discussed in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company has adopted the new lease accounting principle under ASC 842 – Leases.

 

BASIS FOR OPINION

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

/s/ LJ Soldinger Associates, LLC

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2017.

 

Deer Park, IL

January 13, 2022

 

F-2

 

 

STEM HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands except for share and per share amounts)

 

   September 30,