In less than four months -- Oct. 17, 2018, to be precise -- Canada will do something that no other developed country in the world has ever done before. It'll be opening its doors to legalized adult-use marijuana, and the estimated $5 billion in added annual sales that goes with legalization.
Marijuana production capacity is highly fluid in Canada
With passage of the Cannabis Act looking like a sure thing for the past couple of months, Canadian growers have been busy expanding their production as quickly as their wallets will allow. For example, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) began the year looking at just over 100,000 kilograms in peak annual production. However, at last check, and inclusive of its $2.5 billion all-share proposal to acquire Ontario-based MedReleaf (NASDAQOTH:MEDFF), Aurora Cannabis expects to yield as much as 570,000 kilograms of cannabis at full capacity. That's quite the jump in less than six months.
But Aurora Cannabis is far from alone. Practically every major and mid-tier grower has announced strategic partnerships, acquisitions, or organic builds designed to bolster their peak production. For instance, Canopy Growth Corporation is building out 5.7 million square feet of grow space for production in British Columbia, while OrganiGram Holdings announced further expansion at its single Moncton, New Brunswick facility that'll see 113,000 kilograms of marijuana produced at peak capacity, up from a previous forecast of 65,000 kilograms earlier this year.
Everywhere investors look, there's capacity growth. But this penchant for deals, partnerships, and organic greenhouse construction has also led to a lot of fluidity among the growers. I can attest that any attempt I've made to rank these growers by annual production has proven obsolete within a matter of days or weeks. Last week, though, was a new record, with The Green Organic Dutchman (NASDAQOTH:TGODF) announcing new production just hours after I proclaimed that it had a chance to become Canada's fourth-largest annual cannabis producer.
Canada's fourth-largest pot producer announced an intriguing new line of products
For those of you who may not recall, The Green Organic Dutchman is the largest IPO ever in the cannabis space. Between the money raised from its initial public offering, as well as two direct investments from Aurora Cannabis totaling 112 million Canadian dollars ($84.3 million U.S.) and CA$23.1 million ($17.4 million), The Green Organic Dutchman, or TGOD as it's also known, has more than enough cash to expand its capacity and product line.
Last Thursday, June 21, the company announced plans to add a 287,245-square-foot facility on its 72.4-acre Valleyfield property that'll be primarily dedicated to the development and production of cannabis-infused beverages and edible products. Once complete and fully operational, TGOD believes this will increase its fully funded cannabis-equivalent capacity to 170,000 kilograms, up from a previous forecast of 130,000 kilograms.
Last week, I'd suggested that TGOD might work its way to the No. 4 spot if Aurora Cannabis indeed went through with its acquisition of MedReleaf. With an estimated 140,000 kilograms of annual production, MedReleaf topped TGOD by about 10,000 kilograms. However, with the addition of its new Innovation Centre, TGOD will easily leapfrog MedReleaf to become the fourth-largest producer in the country, regardless of whether MedReleaf gets purchased by Aurora Cannabis or not.
It's worth mentioning that edibles aren't legal in Canada now, nor will they be as of Oct. 17. However, amendments placed in the Cannabis Act allow the Canadian federal government to address edibles in the future. TGOD's management team firmly believes that cannabinoid-infused beverages and edibles will eventually represent the heart and soul of the Canadian cannabis market. Not to mention, alternative marijuana-based products, such as oils, extracts, edibles, and beverages, should yield considerably better margins than dried cannabis, which may be susceptible to commoditization over time.
The Green Organic Dutchman just got a whole lot more intriguing
While I want to be crystal clear that I don't believe TGOD is worth your investment dollars at the moment, I will say that unlike a number of pot stocks that are on my "avoid at all costs" list, this company suddenly became a lot more intriguing.
The reason? Look no further than its expanding product line and unique ways of differentiating itself from the rest of its peers. For instance, Green Organic Dutchman's use of genetic breeding in an effort to create improved cannabis strains that flower faster, and are more pest and disease resistant, is encouraging.
Of course, I'm pretty much intrigued as a result of its efforts to develop cannabis-infused beverages. With Molson Coors looking to partner with a Canadian pot grower, and TGOD suddenly finding itself as the nation's fourth-largest grower by annual yield, this could be a strategic partnership that makes a lot of sense.
What might worry investors here is The Green Organic Dutchman's "tardiness" to the party. Though the company has its 820,000-square-foot flagship facility in Quebec well under way -- this facility is expected to be responsible for 102,000 kilograms of annual marijuana production -- TGOD has yet to generate any revenue, as of its most recent quarterly report. Quite a few of TGOD's competitors will have production to offer when the proverbial green flag waves on Oct. 17. With TGDO's production trailing some of its peers, it could miss out on lucrative long-term supply deals, as well as the ability to forge emotional attachments with consumers.
Still, even being late to the party, The Green Organic Dutchman's production differentiation speaks for itself. It's a marijuana stock I'd encourage investors to get on their watchlist.