VIVO Cannabis™ Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results

  • Net revenue was $6.3 million in the quarter, a 19% increase, quarter-over-quarter, and 175% increase over Q3 2018, and $16.6 million year-to-date, a 328% increase over the same period last year.
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) was ($2.1) million in Q3 2019 compared to ($1.2) million in Q2 2019, primarily attributable to one-time expenses, including the ramp-up of new licenced capacity.
  • Healthy balance sheet with $50.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and $6.1 million in strategic investments.
  • Maintained leadership pricing of $7.15 per gram of dry flower in Q3 2019 (compared with $6.96 in Q2 2019), with VIVO brands earning top position in the ultra-premium category in several Canadian provinces.
  • Received conditional approval to graduate from the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSXV") and list common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX").
  • Completed first harvest at the new 86,000 square foot Kimmetts airhouse facility in Napanee, Ontario, following the issuance of a standard cultivation licence by Health Canada in August 2019.
  • Received a licence amendment to begin selling cannabis edibles, concentrates and topicals, with sales of premium cannabis chocolates, bubble hash, rosin, shatter, wax, vape pens and cartridges expected to commence in Ontario and other Canadian markets later this year or early in 2020.
  • Announced a partnership with Linneo Health, an EU-GMP certified cultivator based in Spain, and received a narcotics licence in Germany that allows for the commercialization of narcotic pharmaceutical products (which includes medical cannabis) in Germany.
  • Construction of Canna Farms Phase 5 is on track for completion in early Q1 2020, which will add incremental production capacity.

NAPANEE, ON, Nov. 14, 2019 /CNW/ – VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX-V: VIVO, OTCQX: VVCIF) ("VIVO" or the "Company") today released its third quarter 2019 financial and operating results.

VIVO Cannabis Inc. (CNW Group/VIVO Cannabis Inc.)

VIVO’s net revenue increased to $6.3 million during Q3 2019, a 19% increase relative to Q2 2019, reflecting the ramp-up of the Company’s increased licenced capacity which is expected to result in further revenue growth in Q4 2019. VIVO also continued to sustain top-tier prices for its dry flower products, with a net average selling price of $7.15 per gram in Q3 2019.

Adjusted EBITDA was ($2.1) million in Q3 2019 compared to ($1.2) million in Q2 2019, primarily attributable to some one-time expenses, including those associated with VIVO’s ramp-up of increased licenced capacity. As at September 30, 2019, cash and cash equivalents (excluding strategic equity investments) were approximately $50 million.

"Our focus for the first half of the year was to satisfy the needs of the evolving adult-use market, provide consistent supply of quality products to medical patients, and execute our plans for cannabis 2.0," commented Barry Fishman, Chief Executive Officer of VIVO. "We continue to execute against our four strategic priorities and are sharply focused on accelerating our path to profitability."

The Company also announced completion of the first harvest from its Kimmetts facility in Napanee, Ontario, approximately three months after initial planting at the facility, following receipt of a cultivation licence from Health Canada in August 2019. The Kimmetts facility includes four seasonal airhouse structures (air-supported greenhouses), spanning 86,000 square feet. VIVO is the only Canadian licenced cannabis cultivator employing this innovative technology, which has been incorporated in several US states to produce high-quality cannabis at low cost, without the significant capital investment required to build traditional greenhouses or indoor grows. VIVO will begin full-scale planting activities in the spring of 2020, which is expected to allow for a longer period of vegetative growth prior to flowering as compared to the 2019 pilot crop, and significantly higher output.

VIVO also received approval of licence amendments from Health Canada, allowing it to begin selling cannabis edibles. VIVO and the founders of award-winning chocolate producer, ChocolaTas, have commenced production of premium cannabis chocolates at the Canna Farms facility in Hope, BC, with sales of premium cannabis chocolates in Ontario and other markets anticipated to begin over the next few months. In addition, the Company has had many formulations of its cannabis concentrates accepted by several Canadian provinces for launch in 2020. These concentrates include wax, shatter, bubble hash, kief, live rosin, vape pens and cartridges.

Strategic Priority Update

After much progress in the first half of 2019, VIVO continued to execute against its four strategic priorities in the third quarter of 2019. The Company believes that focusing on these four priorities will generate long-term shareholder value.

VIVO’s four strategic priorities are as follows:

1.  Enhance supply and production capabilities

Highlights:

  • Granted a standard cultivation licence from Health Canada for the Kimmetts facility that significantly increases VIVO’s annual internal cultivation capacity.
  • Completed first harvest at the Kimmetts facility, approximately three months after being granted Health Canada approval.
  • Received Health Canada approval to begin extraction operations at the Vanluven facility, broadening VIVO’s production capabilities.
  • Increased packaging efficiency with the introduction of high-speed packaging equipment and a night shift at VIVO’s Hope, BC facility. Installation of automated pre-rolling equipment is anticipated to take place in Q1 2020. These initiatives are expected to have a positive impact on reducing production costs.

During the third quarter of 2019, VIVO was granted a standard cultivation licence from Health Canada for its Kimmetts facility in Napanee, Ontario. Health Canada also approved the commencement of extraction operations at VIVO’s Vanluven facility, including an in-house supercritical CO2 extraction suite and a distillation system. In the first half of 2020, the Company expects to commission a larger-scale ethanol extraction system to accommodate the expected increased output from the Kimmetts airhouses and input from other sources. Once these systems are fully operational, it is anticipated that the Vanluven facility will be capable of processing more than 50,000 kilograms of cannabis per year. VIVO has also invested in automated packaging and labelling equipment, expected to significantly increase finished goods throughput and lower manufacturing costs.

Construction of Phase 5 of VIVO’s Canna Farms facility is ongoing and is expected to be completed in early 2020. This expansion will cost approximately $3.5 million and will primarily house a variety of production work centres.

Total current internal cultivation capacity is approximately 12,000 kilograms annually and VIVO has agreements in place with third-party cultivators to supply up to 5,000 additional kilograms.

2.  Create a broad and loyal customer network

Highlights:

  • Entered into a strategic partnership with CB2 Insights Inc. ("CB2") to enhance patient care and support future medical cannabis product development.
  • Aqualitas joined the Canna Farms medical cannabis platform with its organic line of premium cannabis products.
  • The Company’s medical cannabis platform now has almost 50 products, providing industry leading choices for medical cannabis patients.

VIVO continues to serve both the medical and adult-use markets through its collection of premium, trusted brands, including Canna Farms™, Beacon Medical™, Fireside™, Lumina™ and Harvest Medicine.

Canna Farms operates a medical cannabis platform (https://www.cannafarms.ca) that allows patients to access one of the widest selections of cannabis products in the Canadian medical market. It also allows licenced producers to sell their quality products through this marketplace while avoiding the complex processes necessary for medical cannabis fulfillment. The platform, which has increased patient registrations by over 10% in the past three months, now has over 21,000 registered patients and provides access to products cultivated by five different licenced producers. Aqualitas, a Nova Scotia-based licenced producer of organically grown cannabis using both organic living soil and a proprietary aquaponics system, is the latest addition to the Company’s medical cannabis platform. 

In the adult-use market, VIVO has entered into strategic partnership agreements with leading Canadian cannabis retailers, National Access Cannabis Corp., Choom Holdings Inc., and Westleaf Cannabis Inc. In the second quarter of 2019, VIVO entered into a strategic partnership with Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp., a very well-known brand in the cannabis accessory and lifestyle market, expected to rapidly move forward with establishing a retail cannabis footprint to complement its existing offerings. VIVO currently has adult-use supply agreements with the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, PEI and the Yukon.

Canna Farms is the #1 selling premium dry flower brand in several provinces, gaining consumer loyalty with award-winning, BC indoor-grown craft products.

Harvest Medicine has conducted over 50,000 patient visits through its brick and mortar clinics, clinic-in-clinic partnerships, and its HMED Connect telemedicine application, making it one of the top clinic networks in Canada. Harvest Medicine owns and operates five medical cannabis clinics located in the provinces of Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, and continues to evaluate new clinic locations. Harvest Medicine’s business is expected to expand, focusing on providing cannabis education to patients along with other complementary health services and support.

In Q4 2019, VIVO entered into a partnership with CB2 Insights, to integrate CB2’s Data Management Software into its current business practices. This partnership will better leverage VIVO’s current medical patient data, enhance patient care and health outcomes and provide insights that support the deployment of future cannabis-based medicines.

3.  Build an innovation-driven branded organization

Highlights

  • Received licence amendments to begin selling cannabis edibles, expected to commence in late 2019 or early Q1 2020.
  • Completing the development and production scaling of a wide range of premium cannabis chocolates, and a line of concentrates, including vape pens and cartridges, wax, shatter, live rosin, kief and bubble hash and topicals.
  • VIVO’s three-year research project: "Controlled Environment Production of Medicinal Cannabis", being conducted in partnership with the University of Guelph, is well underway and is expected to provide tangible results relating to crop yield and other efficiency improvements.
  • VIVO’s research project with Loyalist College’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis is ongoing. The research provides support to VIVO’s development efforts relating to commercialized cannabis products, including extraction, distillation and formulation.

VIVO and the founders of ChocolaTas (including a Belgian-trained Master Chocolatier) are producing premium cannabis chocolates at the Canna Farms facility in Hope, B.C. The Company has received its licence to sell cannabis edibles and intends to begin selling its premium Fireside™ cannabis chocolates in Ontario and other markets later this year or in early 2020. VIVO also has new product lines centered on the concentrates market and has submitted and received approval for a number of these products in various provinces in response to provincial product calls.

Through partnerships with several pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, VIVO continues to advance the development of innovative cannabis products, incorporating novel formulations and delivery formats. The Company actively accesses scientific advances in the cannabinoid field to shape its product development efforts. The Company’s goal is to expand its offering of disease targeted, high-quality and precisely-dosed cannabis products for medical patients and health care professionals. VIVO expects to launch one or more of these novel products in Canada during 2020.

4.  Accelerate international medical business growth

Highlights

  • Announced partnership with Linneo Health, an EU-GMP certified producer based in Spain, to supply VIVO’s international affiliates with medical cannabis for Europe, subject to required approvals.
  • Granted a narcotics licence from BfArM, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices in Germany, a key step needed for the commercialization of medical cannabis products in Germany.

During the third quarter of 2019, VIVO continued to make inroads with its European expansion strategy by announcing its partnership with Linneo Health S.L. ("Linneo Health"), a subsidiary of Alcaliber S.A., as its European medical cannabis supply partner. Linneo Health is a leading EU-GMP certified Spanish-based cultivator of pharma-grade cannabis.

By having an EU-GMP certified source of medical cannabis within Europe, VIVO expects to be able to supply the unmet medical needs of the European high-growth, high margin market with premium medical cannabis products.

Subsequent to quarter-end, VIVO’S German subsidiary received its narcotics licence from Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, a key licence to commercialize narcotic pharmaceutical products. It is now fully licenced to sell cannabis in Germany.  An import licence, the final permit necessary to facilitate imports from VIVO’s Vanluven facility, is dependent on receiving EU-GMP certification, now expected in early 2020.

Using VIVO’s internal supercritical CO2 extraction technology in Napanee, the Company expects to be able to ship extracted cannabis products internationally for medical purposes, subject to the receipt of EU-GMP certification and other approvals.

Near-term Catalysts

VIVO has identified the following positive investment catalysts that it is on track to achieve in the near- term:

  • Accelerating the path to profitability – Management is working diligently to ensure cash stewardship and reaching positive operating cash flow in 2020.
  • First sales of premium cannabis chocolates – Following the receipt of its licence amendment to begin selling cannabis edibles, VIVO anticipates launching sales of its premium cannabis chocolates in Ontario and other markets later this year or in early 2020.
  • First sales of premium concentrates – VIVO will begin shipping cannabis concentrates to Canadian customers later this year or in early 2020. These products are expected to include wax, shatter, rosin, bubble hash, kief and vape pens and cartridges.
  • EU-GMP certification – EU-GMP certification for VIVO’s Vanluven facility is ongoing. This certification is the global gold standard in the pharmaceutical industry and speaks to VIVO’s commitment to a quality-first culture for its facilities and products. A quality and compliance focus are part of VIVO’s DNA.
  • Approval of German import licence Following the receipt of its narcotics licence and pharmaceutical wholesale licence, VIVO expects its import licence to be approved in early 2020. This is the final permit necessary to facilitate imports of cannabis products to the European medical market from other countries, including Canada.
  • Observational study in chronic pain The number of patients enrolled in the ongoing Australian pain study is expected to exceed 100 people and interim results will be available over the next few months.
  • Completion of Phase 5 of the Canna Farms facility – Construction of Phase 5 of the Canna Farms facility, primarily focused on expanding production capabilities, is ongoing and is expected to be completed in early 2020.
  • Expanding production capability – Automated pre-roll equipment at the Canna Farms facility and ethanol extraction capability at the Vanluven facility are expected to increase production output and reduce unit costs.

Recent Developments

Subsequent to quarter-end, VIVO received conditional approval to graduate from the TSXV and list its common shares on the TSX. Final approval of the listing is subject to VIVO meeting certain conditions required by the TSX. Upon completion of the listing requirements, VIVO will be delisted from the TSXV and begin trading on the TSX under the symbol "VIVO." The uplisting to the TSX will result in the accelerated release from escrow of securities issued in connection with the Company’s reverse takeover of ABcann Medicinals in 2017. Although the TSX has stated that all conditions to listing must be completed by February 6, 2020, the Company is working to satisfy the conditions as soon as practicable.

Also subsequent to quarter-end, VIVO re-appointed Daryl Kramp to the Company’s Board of Directors. In August 2019, Mr. Kramp resigned from the Board pending review and approval of his security clearance submission. He has since received his security clearance and resumed his full duties as a board member.

(1)

Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure of financial performance under IFRS. The definition of Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes unrealized gains and losses related to strategic investments, can be found in the Company’s management’s discussion and analysis for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com

Q3 2019 Results Conference Call and Webcast

DATE:

Friday, November 15, 2019

TIME:

10:00 am ET

DIAL-IN NUMBER:

647-427-7450 or 1-888-231-8191

CONFERENCE ID:

8630429

LIVE WEBCAST:

https://bit.ly/31k4aGU

About VIVO Cannabis™

VIVO, based in Napanee, Ontario, is recognized for trusted, premium cannabis products and services. It holds production and sales licences from Health Canada and operates world-class indoor cultivation facilities with proprietary plant-growing technology at its Canna Farms facility in Hope, B.C., and at its Vanluven facility in Napanee, Ontario. VIVO has a collection of premium brands targeting unique customer segments, including Canna Farms™, Beacon Medical™, Fireside™, and Lumina™. The Company is significantly expanding its production capacity and distribution channels; growing its domestic medical cannabis platform, including Harvest Medicine, its patient-centric, highly scalable network of specialty medical cannabis clinics and services; promoting production and cultivation innovation and pursuing partnership and product development opportunities; and actively focusing on growth in select international markets, including Germany and Australia. VIVO has a healthy balance sheet and is well-positioned to accelerate its growth in Canada and internationally. For more information visit: www.vivocannabis.com

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Barry Fishman
CEO and Director

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information

All dollar amounts in this news release are in Canadian dollars. Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements, which are statements that are not purely historical, including statements regarding the beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions of VIVO and its management regarding the future. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding: the Company’s plans to expand capacity; expected future capacity; expected timing of completion of expansion projects and GMP certification; expected timing of receipt of regulatory approvals, both domestically and internationally; proposed future product lines, including edibles, beverages, concentrates, topicals and other next-generation cannabis products for the recreational market, and expected timing regarding initial sales of such products; the Company’s objectives to grow its product line and distribution network, including through the creation and maintenance of key strategic partnerships and securing supply agreements with provinces across Canada; anticipated benefits from the Company’s ongoing cannabis research projects with third-party educational institutions; the expected timing and size of future harvests at the Kimmetts facility; the Company’s objective to create novel cannabis formulations and delivery formats in conjunction with its development partners and expectations in respect thereof; the expectation that the extraction systems will be fully operational in the months ahead and the anticipated cannabis processing potential of the extraction systems;  expected timing regarding installation of automated pre-rolling equipment at the Canna Farms facility; potential opportunities for cannabis products in Europe and the Company’s ability to successfully target and meet the medical needs of the European market; the ability of the Company to successfully implement its business and expansion strategies and execute its strategic priorities;  the Company’s intent to pursue opportunities domestically and internationally; expectations of future results and increased net revenue; and management’s expectations regarding the cannabis industry in Canada generally and consumer demand for certain products. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including: that the Company may not be able to achieve its production capacity targets at some or all of its facilities; that the Company may not be able to launch new products in the time expected or at all; that the Company may not be able to achieve competitive margins or attain positive operating cashflow; that the Company may not be able to increase the sales of its products in the current domestic market or to successfully develop and launch new product lines in the time expected or at all; that new products, if launched, may not be accepted by the market or may become subject to product liability claims; that the Company may not be able to obtain necessary licenses; that the Company may not be able to serve larger and broader markets as a result of its production increase; that the Company may be unable to retain its key talent; that the Company may not be able to execute on its strategic partnerships; that the Company’s expansion plans may not be completed in the time expected or at all; that the Company may not obtain necessary regulatory approvals; and other factors beyond the Company’s control. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if they do occur, what benefits the Company will obtain from them. Readers are urged to consider these factors, and the more extensive risk factors included in the Company’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2018, which is available on SEDAR, carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE VIVO Cannabis Inc.

VIVO is a family of premium brands and businesses, building a world-class cannabis company through the acquisition and development of specialty brands.