London cannabis company Indiva secures $22M investment

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Cannabis company Indiva has secured a $22-million investment from an Alberta pot producer wanting access to the London firm’s product offerings.

Sundial Growers, an Alberta-based licensed pot producer, is lending Indiva $11 million and also buying $11 million in Indiva shares to give the Alberta firm more access to the lucrative edibles market, the companies said.

“Our core business is really edibles. Eighty to 90 per cent of our revenue is now edibles, so this gives them exposure,” Indiva chief executive Niel Marotta said.

While many cannabis companies focused on building growing capacity when Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2018, Indiva set its sights on marijuana-infused edibles, even though the products weren’t approved for sale until a year later.

The move paid off when Canada experienced an oversupply of cannabis as provinces struggled to open enough retail stores and compete with the black market on price and product selection, leading to industry-wide layoffs and slumping stock prices.

But Indiva appears to have bucked that sector-wide trend, hiring more workers at its Hargrieve Road plant in south London, where more than 100 employees now work. Its selection of products – chocolates, gummies, sugars and salt – are now sold in nine provinces and two territories.

“We are the leader by quite a margin in the country in the edibles space,” Marotta said.

Sundial’s offer, if approved, will help Indiva launch new products, including a Sweetart-like candy, and improve automation at its London operation, Marotta said.

The announcement comes amid an infusion of capital in the cannabis industry, partially fuelled by the election of U.S. President Joe Biden, whose Democratic party has mulled legalizing marijuana at a federal level. More than a dozen states already have legalized recreational pot.

“We’re definitely seeing investors come back to the cannabis space and a lot of companies raising money,” Marotta said, noting Biden’s election has improved investor confidence.

Some pot stocks also have soared in recent weeks after becoming the subject of speculation on WallStreetBets, the Reddit forum that fuelled an investing frenzy in Gamestock, a brick-and-mortar video game retailer whose stock shot up 2,400 per cent last month before crashing.

Sundial’s stock also was promoted on the forum, sending it share price soaring nearly 550 per cent at its peak earlier this month.

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