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Buzz on the Bullboards: In the COVID Fallout, New Players Emerge


Stockhouse Editorial
18 Comments| March 4, 2021

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Back in early March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was still not much of a concern for the markets.

While investors were keeping an eye on it, compared to other geopolitical factors at the time, it was mostly an afterthought of little consequence.

Fast-forward a year and it seems we are still seeing the unraveling effects of the reality of COVID-19. Markets, health services, and politicians continue to struggle, as the pandemic spreads in scope and fear, with none the wiser as to whether the full impact will be relatively calm or worse than expected as new variants emerge.

But as new strains appear, so to do new plays; some are brand new companies, others have pivoted to capitalize on a variety of solutions the COVID problem has created.

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Investors are shifting their correction investment strategies alongside market selloffs at large. A significant part of this strategy is to stay safe, calm, and diversified, but another key factor for many investors on the Stockhouse Bullboards is to gauge which companies will be able to recover, and when.

This week, we highlight two sides of the impact the markets have faced so far, by looking at the most-viewed companies in resources, as well as healthcare, specifically cannabis.

Starting with a look at what is happening in cannabis and the companies operating in and around that market, Kalytera Therapeutics Inc. (TSX-V:KLY, Forum) is now going by the name Claritas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and this week, the CBD biotech company touted the potential of its proprietary nitric oxide releasing compound, R-107, as a therapy for coronavirus and COVID-19 infection, citing new data by Massachusetts General Hospital. Claritas has concentrated its focus on the development on R-107. The nitric oxide-releasing compound. Following administration orally in a capsule, or by nasal spray, or by injection, R-107 enters the bloodstream, where it slowly releases nitric oxide systemically over 24 hours.



After launching its first three integrated health centres in Ontario with multimillion dollar revenue implications, Empower Clinics Inc. (CSE: CBDT, Forum) announced that Dustin Klein, a director and the senior VP of business development of the company has reportedly left the company effective immediately, to “pursue other interests”. He joined the company in May 2019, when his own company, Sun Valley Certification Clinics, which he had founded five years prior, was acquired by Empower for $3.9 million.

Sugarbud Craft Growers Corp. (TSX-V: SUGR, Forum) reported that it had received an initial purchase order for the its craft cannabis products and will begin shipping to the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch in this month and should be available to purchase online via the BC Cannabis Store soon.

Sugarbud’s Chief Executive Officer, John Kondrosky stated, “British Columbia continues to rapidly expand consumer access to legal cannabis, and we look forward to being a part of this exciting and dynamic market.”

This builds upon Sugarbud’s recent expanse deeper into the medical cannabis market and entrance into Canada’s largest cannabis market – Ontario.

The Alberta-based craft cannabis company recently partnered with Velvet Management Inc. to be its exclusive national sales and distribution agent for the Company’s Craft Cannabis Collection. This will involve Velvet’s presence in store level sales representation, brand advocacy and budtender education to drive wider distribution of the Company’s Craft Cannabis Collection in key target markets nationally.

CEO Kondrosky explained that Velvet has a rich history representing leading and iconic luxury brands in the wine and spirits industry as well as the emerging cannabis sector.

“As a leading full-service cannabis sales agency with deep industry knowledge, and an established sales team nationwide, our collaboration with Velvet will no doubt have a significant impact on our ability to rapidly accelerate consumer visibility and consumption of the Sugarbud brand. Increasing our reach and connection to retailers, budtenders and the end user consumer is a priority for Sugarbud and critical to our revenue growth objectives. We are thrilled to be partnering with Velvet to expand our reach and capabilities in this regard.”



Shifting to the Industrial Bullboards and we have a new entrant into the “Top Six” to highlight - Cielo Waste Solutions (CSE: CMC, Forum), a waste to renewable fuel company with a game changing technology engineered to help solve the world’s garbage crisis.

CMC just made its first significant sale of renewable fuels with a purchase commitment for 900,000 litres of renewable diesel at $1.67 (CAD) / litre for an aggregate purchase price of $1.5 million (CAD). The purchaser will also have an option to purchase another 600,000 litres of renewable diesel at the same price for a period of six months.

The positive news flow as translated to a positive trend for CMC stock to kick off the year.


(Cielo Waste Solutions stock – December 2020 to March 2021. Click to enlarge.)

Xebec Adsorption Inc. (TSX-V: XBC, Forum) continues to make waves among investors’ newsfeeds after it secured $59 million (CAD) in credit facilities with National Bank of Canada’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group. The expanded facilities will provide Xebec with support for its strategy of developing a North American and European Cleantech Service Network for its increasing renewable natural gas and hydrogen installations.

A provider of intelligent video solutions for public transport and smart cities, Gatekeeper Systems Inc. (TSX-V: GSI, Forum) is also seeing heightened recognition, going as far as to be recognized as one of the top 10 technology companies in the 2021 TSX Venture 50. The TSX: V 50 ranks the top performers on the exchange over the last year, comprised of 10 companies from each of five industry sectors. GSI was selected based on three equally weighted criteria which are: market capitalization growth, share price appreciation and trading volume.



In a similar vein over in the Metals and Mining sector, Canadian oil and gas company Reconnaissance Energy Africa Ltd. (TSX-V: RECO, Forum) touted that it had qualified as the Canadian TSX Venture 50 Exchanges 2021 as a top performing energy company.

RECO added in its news that it had set and cemented 17 ½” surface casing at its drilling operation in the Kavango sedimentary basin in the Kalahari Desert of North East Namibia. The cementing operation is a key element of all oil well drilling and the company intends to recommence drilling to the planned depth of 12,500’, with the objective of reaching total depth before the end of the month.


What the "Buzz"

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Montréal-based producer of innovative silicon solutions HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSX-V: HPQ, Forum) made headlines when it received the TREKHY system, a portable hydrogen-based mini-power generator, jointly developed by the French companies Apollon Solar SAS and Pragma Industries SAS. While continuing to work with Apollon on the development of new generations of more efficient silicon powders for hydrogen production, HPQ signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Apollon and Pragma to study the commercial potential of the TREKHY autonomous power generator in Canada.

Speaking on this news, HPQ’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Bernard Tourillon explained that, in addition to continuing research, development and commercialization of advanced nanoscale silicon materials, HPQ continues to look for synergistic opportunities in order to remain at the forefront of innovative processes for the storage and delivery of clean renewable energy.

“This new collaboration with Apollon and Pragma represents another unique opportunity to combine the expertise of HPQ in the low-cost manufacturing of silicon nanomaterials, Apollon in the manufacturing of hydrogen reactors, and Pragma in the manufacturing of fuel cells.”

Finally, we look at Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX: TV, Forum), who just entered into a binding term sheet that sets out the terms for an exploration joint venture with Arrow Minerals (ASX: AMD), where both companies will receive reciprocal exploration rights to their exploration permits in the highly prospective Boromo gold belt in Burkina Faso which is underexplored for base metals. The area hosts the Poura, Batie West and Bissa gold mines and Trevali's Perkoa mine along a highly favourable structural corridor. Within the 1,024 km2 combined permit package, known gold mineralization includes the Dassa, Divole East, Poa and Guido advanced gold prospects.

Taking a look at our Investor Pulse Poll from last week, most investors who responded say they are bullish on energy and tech when it comes to current plays in the late winter of 2021.



This week, we want to know how you diversify your portfolio. Click the image below to cast your vote.


(Click image to vote.)

Next week we’ll shift focus to other sectors with a better understanding of how governments on both sides of the border will help out people and the economy, along with what challenges still await.

Stockhouse keeps you in the loop on the hottest small-cap stocks, keeping you ready for the shift to a recovery, and with it, a buyer’s market. For previous editions of Buzz on the Bullboards: click here.


Get "Buzz on the Bullboards" delivered to your inbox every Thursday!

Buzz on the Bullboards | Sign Up Here




FULL DISCLOSURE: Sugarbud Craft Growers Corp. and Gatekeeper Systems Inc. are clients of Stockhouse Publishing.



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