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Recruiting Industry Experts is Key to Success for Cannabis Companies

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The cannabis industry is seen by professionals as one of the most exciting fields to participate in, with many companies attracting some of the brightest industry experts to join them. Agraflora Organics International (CSE:AGRA) (OTC:PUFXF), National Access Cannabis Corp (CSE:META) (OTC:NACNF), CBD Unlimited, Inc (CSE:EDXC) (OTC:EDXC), FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTC:FSDDF) and Chemistree Technology Inc(OTC:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM) have all been working hard to sign on cannabis experts in an effort to gain a competitive advantage over their competition.

As the relatively young cannabis industry continues to mature, one of the best predictors of whether a company will survive in the years to come is the strength of its management team. With becoming increasingly fierce, companies led by management teams with plenty of experience – drawn from both within and outside the cannabis industry – have historically had the best likelihood of success. While every company strives to enlist top cannabis industry veterans – the truth of the matter is, these individuals are a rare find. The addition of experts to any cannabis company not only is a big deal in terms of publicity, but also a strong indicator of future success.

The Importance of Experienced Management Teams

The sheer growth potential of the cannabis industry has attracted some of the best executive talents across the world. According to Grand View Research, marijuana is predicted to become a $146.4 billion market globally by 2025, representing a 34.6 percent increase every year. With such growth opportunities available, it’s not surprising why many executives from Fortune 500 companies chose to leave their safe and conventional career paths to take a risk in the cannabis sector.

Recent Expert Partnerships

Cannabis companies are bringing in experts from diverse backgrounds. Depending on the type of cannabis company, the list of experts includes professionals ranging from cannabis market veterans to retail and healthcare professionals, and even law enforcement. The board of Agraflora Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCMKTS:PUFXF) boasts twolongtime Toronto Police officers on their management team. While, FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTCMKTS:FSDDF) is headed by physician turned entrepreneur, Dr. Dr Raza Bokhari, Executive Co-Chairman & Interim CEO.

As such, it’s not surprising that cannabis companies go out of their way to partner with high profile figures. Last month, Aurora Cannabis Inc announced it was partnering with billionaire Nelson Peltz. The relationship would help the cannabis giant better position itself for potential retail partnerships.

A much smaller company, Chemistree Technology Inc (OTCQB:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM), recently made news as well when it signed on legendary cannabis industry veteran Nicholas J. Zitelli – known within the industry by his pen name “Nico Escondido”. As one of the most knowledgeable experts in the cannabis space, Nico Escondido has written hundreds of articles about the cannabis industry and best practices. He also founded the Cannabis Genetics Institute (CGI) in AmsterdamHolland, helping create custom cannabis strains to treat various medical conditions. Besides all of this, Nico Escondido is best known for being a principal at the High Times brand.

With a monthly magazine in publication since 1974, High Times is one of the best-known groups promoting and developing the cannabis culture. Publishing numerous books and documentaries, High Times also hosts the most prestigious marijuana-related competition in the world. The “Cannabis Cup” brings together industry experts, cannabis enthusiasts, and marijuana companies together across the world and holds contests in various product categories.

“I am very excited to join the Chemistree team” said Nico Zitelli in a press release. “Having known and worked with many of the team members in the past, I am confident we will be able build significant value in the Company and help define the future of the cannabis industry.”

For a company like Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM), getting Zitelli on board is a big deal. As an early investor in the international cannabis sector that’s expanding their vertically integrated operations, the addition of Nico Zitelli to Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM) will give the company the industry clout it needs to stand out in the market.

“As Chemistree continues its focus on building one of the world’s leading cannabis companies, it is critical to have an experienced board to put us in the best possible position to achieve success.  These are exciting times for Chemistree and Nico represents another outstanding addition to our board of directors on our path of rapid growth,” added Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM) President Karl Kottmeier. “The High Times Cannabis Cup is the most prestigious and extensive cannabis-related competition in the world and having his broad knowledge/specialized expertise, impressive network and reputation will be invaluable assets to the Company’s strategic direction.”

It’s common for massive, multi-billion-dollar cannabis companies to boast impressive hires within the industry. Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM), on the other hand, is a company with less than $20 million in market capitalization. The fact that this small cannabis company has signed on one of the top industry experts in cannabis is a major accomplishment for the firm. In comparison, few other companies of a similar size can expect such a major name to come on board – something that will propel Chemistree Technology Inc (OTCQB:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM) to a class well above its peers.

Further Cannabis Developments

Back in late March, Agraflora Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCPK:PUFXF) announced they had fully invested a $40 million equity participation agreement with Delta Organic Cannabis Corp. The agreement would see Agra own a 50 percent stake in the second largest cannabis greenhouse in Canada.

In a recent press release, National Access Cannabis Corp (CSE:META) (OTCPK:NACNF)  announced their financial figures for their operations since federal legalization. The company achieved over $20 million in retail sales since October 17, 2018. National Access Cannabis has 23 stores across Alberta and Manitoba and is the largest private cannabis retailer in the country. The company is headed by a team with years of experience in retail and healthcare.

Todd A. Davis, Co-Founder and CEO of CBD Unlimited, Inc (CSE:EDXC) (OTCPK:EDXC), formerly known as Endexx Corporation,  brings to the team years of experience in investment banking and entrepreneurship. The company has recently employed a private sales group to help expand the company’s product reach both in Canada as well as internationally. Initially launching as a 25-person sales team, CBD Unlimited is expected to grow this salesforce to up to 500 in the next two years.

Another cannabis company that made a major management team announcement was FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTCQB:FSDDF). In a recent press release, the company announced that Dr. Charles Pollack would be joining FSD as the Chairman of their Scientific Board. He brings a long history of clinical research in the areas of pain treatment, thrombosis, and reversing anticoagulation.

For a free research report on Chemistree (CSE:CHM) (OTC:CHMJF), visit potstocknews.com

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SOURCE Potstocknews.com

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Suning Finance Receives AAA Rating for Domestic Credit

Vlad Poptamas

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On February 14th, Suning Finance entered the ranks of the highest domestic credit rating for the first time. Its long-term credit rating was determined as AAA, and its rating outlook was “stable”. Currently, only 52 private enterprises nationwide have received AAA ratings. It means that Suning Finance has obtained the same credit rating as large state-owned commercial banks and national joint-stock commercial banks.

Regarding the above decision, United Credit believes that Suning Finance has a strong shareholder background and capital strength. After years of development, it has now established a diversified financial main business structure, relying on the resource advantages of the Suning ecosystem and the omni-channel layout of O2O integration. The financial business scale and income continued to grow rapidly.

As a pioneer of online-to-offline (O2O) finance in China, Suning Finance is positioned as a fintech company featuring O2O integration and development. It has always adhered to and practiced the development model of “scenario finance + fintech = inclusive finance”, focusing on supply chain finance, commercial finance, consumer finance, payments, wealth management, and fintech export “5 + 1” core businesses.

In 2019, Suning Finance successfully completed the C round of tens of billions of financing, the post-investment valuation reached 56 billion, the transaction volume exceeded the trillion marks for three consecutive years, and the number of active customers exceeded 70 million. Suning Pay daily offline scan code breakthrough 100,000 transactions, the supply chain financial investment exceeded 100 billion. And has successfully obtained 2 international syndicated loans, and successively issued 6 phases of supply chain finance ABS and 1 phase of consumer finance ABS, which fully demonstrates that Suning Finance’s business capabilities, asset quality, and market reputation have been highly recognized by domestic and foreign financial institutions.

Based on the root ‘innovative financial technology leads the development’, Suning Finance keeps enhancing its technological capabilities, especially the block chain techs to apply in many scenarios, such as data sharing, payment, mortgage and BaaS. In the future, Suning Finance will continue to provide premium financial services and operate under the concept of integrity, stable and discretion to become a reliable and widely influential comprehensive financial service company.

 

SOURCE Suning Holdings Group

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SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in Opera Limited of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – OPRA

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Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Opera Limited (“Opera” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:  OPRA) and certain of its officers.  The class action, filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and indexed under 20-cv-00674, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants who purchased or otherwise acquired: (a) Opera American depositary shares (“ADSs”) pursuant and/or traceable to the Company’s initial public offering commenced on or about July 27, 2018 (the “IPO” or “Offering”); and/or (b) Opera securities between July 27, 2018 and January 15, 2020, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”).  Plaintiff pursues claims against the Defendants under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).

If you are a shareholder who purchased Opera securities pursuant and/or traceable to the IPO and/or during the Class Period, you have until March 24, 2020, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com.   To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.

[Click here for information about joining the class action]

Opera was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway.  The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides mobile and Personal Computer web browser applications in IrelandRussia, and internationally, under the Opera Mini, Opera for Android, Opera Touch, and Opera for Computers brand names. 

Opera has also increasingly invested in its fintech businesses, providing mobile loan and financing applications marketed to KenyaNigeria, and India, under the OKash, OPesa, CashBean, and OPay brand names, which are offered on Google LLC’s (“Google”) Play Store marketplace, as downloadable applications.

On August 9, 2018, Opera completed its IPO, issuing 9,600,000 ADSs priced at $12.00 per share, raising approximately $115.2 million in proceeds before underwriting discounts and commissions, and other expenses.

The Complaint alleges that the offering documents were negligently prepared and, as a result, contained untrue statements of material fact or omitted to state other facts necessary to make the statements made not misleading and were not prepared in accordance with the rules and regulations governing their preparation.  Additionally, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies.  Specifically, the Offering Documents and Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Opera’s sustainable growth and market opportunity for its browser applications was significantly overstated; (ii) Defendants’ funded, owned, or otherwise controlled loan services applications and/or businesses relied on predatory lending practices; (iii) all the foregoing, once revealed, were reasonably likely to have a material negative impact on Opera’s financial prospects, especially with respect to its lending applications’ continued availability on the Google Play Store; and (iv) as a result, the Offering Documents and Defendants’ statements were materially false and/or misleading and failed to state information required to be stated therein.

On January 16, 2020, Hindenburg Research (“Hindenburg”) published a report asserting that Hindenburg had “a 12-month price target of $2.60 on Opera, representing a 70% downside.”  Among other issues, Hindenburg reported that Opera’s “browser market share is declining rapidly, down ~30% since its IPO”; that Opera was involved in “predatory short-term loans in Africa and India, deploying deceptive ‘bait and switch’ tactics to lure in borrowers and charging egregious interest rates ranging from ~365-876%”; that Opera’s lending business applications, many of which are offered on Google’s Play Store—particularly, OKash, OPesa, CashBean, and Opay—were “in black and white violation of numerous Google rules” aimed at “curtail[ing] predatory lending”; and that consequently, Opera’s entire lending business was “at risk of disappearing or being severely curtailed when Google notices” Opera’s alleged violation of its rules.

On this news, Opera’s ADS price fell $1.69 per share, or 18.74%, to close at $7.33 per share on January 16, 2020.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New YorkChicagoLos Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

 

SOURCE Pomerantz LLP

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Addepar Broadens Reach with Expanded Offerings for RIAs

Vlad Poptamas

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Addepar, Inc., a leading technology platform for wealth management, announced a number of releases aimed at helping RIAs that serve a variety of client types excel in an increasingly competitive market. The new capabilities and features make it easier than ever for firms to adopt Addepar’s modern technology stack, streamline their operations and offer a truly differentiated client experience powered by best in class data, analytics and reporting.

“As the wealth management industry continues to undergo a dramatic transformation, we’re making good on our goal to meet wealth advisors where they are. We’re delivering new functionality in our platform that empowers RIAs to navigate these changes with purpose-built, intuitive solutions so that they can deliver lasting value to clients and grow their business for years to come,” said Addepar CEO Eric Poirier.

Making it easier for RIAs to modernize their tech stack
For established RIAs who want to modernize their reporting technology but find it daunting to make the switch, Addepar is introducing a broader and more flexible set of data migration options to efficiently and precisely fulfill each client’s data onboarding needs. This includes a newly introduced “Advent Converter,” which streamlines migrating data from Advent’s APX and Axys systems into Addepar. Addepar will continue investing in additional data management and conversion solutions to make it easy for any firm to upgrade to Addepar’s technology.

Addressing emerging demand and delivering more client value
Addepar’s strong traction with large RIA firms, banks and broker-dealers has exposed a previously unmet need in the market: the power to use Addepar’s platform for all advisor teams, from those with ultra-high net worth clients to those who serve the mass affluent. Today, the company is introducing AddeparGoSM, an offering that tailors Addepar’s software to the specific needs of these larger firms. AddeparGo is designed with a set of features, capabilities and custodial data feeds that optimize for speedy implementation and make it easy for larger firms who have a range of advisor teams to adopt. The company is making AddeparGo available to key partners and clients now, and will continue shaping this offering based on feedback.

Helping the back-office streamline operations and scale productivity
Many well-established firms have turned to Addepar for its ability to support sizable and complex implementations and provide data aggregation, analytics and reporting at scale. To offer even greater support, the company is pleased to announce the release of Addepar Teams. Teams is a set of advanced controls and permissions to serve firms that need to grant varying access by team, branch, role and functional responsibility. This set of digital capabilities dramatically simplifies the previously time-intensive and error-prone operational process of managing reporting controls, while achieving legal, risk and compliance goals.

 

SOURCE Addepar

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