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Strategies for Issuers with Cannabis-Related Activities in the U.S.

On August 17, 2017, the TMX Group issued a statement announcing that it has engaged with the Canadian Securities Administrators regarding the clearing of securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities (including assets and operations) in the U.S. Although the TMX Group’s general position on companies engaging in such activities has been a source of speculation and uncertainty for some time, the announcement highlighted specific uncertainty about whether the TMX Group, which is the parent company of The Canadian Depository for Securities Limited ("CDS"), might make the securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the U.S. ineligible for clearing and settlement through CDSX. Although no such action has been taken or articulated, such action could materially impede the ability to trade in the securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the U.S. and thus have a chilling effect on the listing and financing of such issuers.

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Alternative Financing Options in the Cannabis Industry

The recent developments in Canadian cannabis policy and legislation have sparked significant investment in licensed cannabis producers. Until recently, equity financing has been the primary form of financing, with Canadian cannabis companies raising approximately $1 billion over the past twelve months.

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March 2017 Deal Round-Up

The following is a selection of major deals in the life science space that closed or were announced as closed in March 2017.

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February 2017 Deal Round-Up

The following is a selection of major deals in the life science space that closed or were announced as closed in February 2017.

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Canada’s Cannabis Opportunity in the Era of Trump

Although the United States government’s attitudes toward cannabis have eased in recent years, the election of President Donald Trump has generated renewed uncertainty surrounding the future of the U.S. cannabis market. Canada, conversely, will very likely soon be one of the first industrialized countries with fully legalized recreational and medical cannabis, and investment in the Canadian cannabis market has been unprecedented. Unburdened by the U.S.’s significant political and legal uncertainty, Canada has an opportunity to expedite its already rapid industry development to position itself as a global leader in the market for legal recreational and medical cannabis products.  

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January 2017 Deal Round-Up

The following is a summary of major deals in the life science space that closed or were announced as closed in January 2017. Vancouver-based Quark Venture Inc., through its Global Health Sciences Venture Fund, continued to be an active investor, with investments made both in Canada and the United States in the month of January 2017.

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Key Takeaways from the 2017 Cantech Investment Conference

On January 18, 2017, investors, analysts, and entrepreneurs converged on the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the 2017 Cantech Investment Conference. Exhibitors at the conference spanned a number of industries from cybersecurity to specialty finance to cannabis.

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Cameron Mingay Discusses Divesting for Growth

In the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, strategic acquisitions and consolidation are often pointed to as the prevailing trends. However, divestment of non-core business units has become an important tool to drive strategic growth across all industries, including in the life sciences sector.

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December 2016 Deal Round-Up

The following is a summary of major deals in the life science space that closed or were announced in December 2016. 

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Deciphering the Term Sheet: Valuation

This article is the first in a series of articles that will delve into the most important terms in investment Term Sheets for early-stage companies.

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November 2016 Deal Round-Up

The following is a summary of major deals in the life science space that closed or were announced as closed in November 2016. 

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Tips for First-Time Investment Fundraisers

The first time a venture seeks external fundraising, often from an angel investor or venture capital firm, is a major milestone. The following suggests some tactical tools for reaching out to, and getting the attention and interest of, these investors:

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October 2016 Deal Round-Up

A monthly round-up of a selection of major Canadian deals in the life sciences and healthcare sector.

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New US$500 Million Global Life Sciences Venture Fund Launched

Quark Venture Inc., a Canadian based venture firm, and GF Securities Company Limited, a China based investment bank, have recently launched a US$500 million life sciences venture capital fund. The fund will be based out of Vancouver, and is expected to focus on building a diversified portfolio of innovative biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and life sciences companies. It is now the largest life science fund in Canada and has already committed US$100 million into various life sciences companies.

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The Capital Landscape for Early-Stage Life Science Ventures

As an early-stage start-up, regardless of industry, understanding the players in the investment landscape is important. Over the past several years, the types of investors interested in early-stage life science ventures has diversified, with investors that would normally invest at later stages now often looking to fund companies at earlier stages of commercialization.1  The following is a cross-section of the key players.

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