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Molson Coors Beverage Co. says it has launched CBD drinks in Colorado through Truss CBD USA, its joint venture with Hexo Corp.
The beverage line will be available in three flavors – Grapefruit Tarragon, Strawberry Hibiscus and Blueberry Lavender under the name, “Verywell,” Molson Coors and Hexo said Wednesday.
The companies first partnered in 2018 to launch beverages in Canada through another joint venture called Truss Beverages, which sells non-alcoholic cannabis-infused drinks.
“Our joint venture with Molson Coors Canada saw Truss Beverage Brands become the No. 1 choice for consumers in Canada, and we are expecting similarly great results in the U.S.,” said Hexo CEO and co-founder Sebastien St-Louis.
Production and distribution for the Colorado CBD beverages will be kept within state lines because Colorado is one of the few states with an established regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD in food and beverages, the companies previously said.
The companies did not elaborate on where in Colorado the drinks would be sold. Pete Marino, president of the emerging growth division for Molson Coors, told Bloomberg that Colorado will be a testing ground for the new brand.
Molson Coors trades on the New York Stock Exchange as TAP. Hexo Corp. trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange as HEXO.
“This analysis made it possible to identify inconsistencies and non-conformities in the declarations of which the manufacturers were informed so that they could take the appropriate corrective measures. In the light of this first assessment, ANSES is making recommendations with a view to improving the declaration process at European level,” reported the ANSES on its page.
“Between May 2019 and June 2020, 3,173 tobacco products and 33,813 vaping products were declared present or intended for the French market.”
Since the infamous European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) came into force in May 2016, e-cigarette manufacturers are obliged to declare the composition, emissions, toxicity or even the sales volume of their products before marketing them. However, this report makes France the first Member State to analyse the contents of the products and compare this information to what is declared.
“The Agency has analyzed the declarations since May 2016. Between May 2019 and June 2020, 3,173 tobacco products and 33,813 vaping products were declared present or intended for the French market,” reported the ANSES. “… for vaping products, an unprecedented reference list has been established, with nearly 1,200 substances.”
The average nicotine content declared is of 6 mg/ml
The document pointed out that the average nicotine content declared by manufacturers is of around 6 mg/ml and e-liquids can contain up to fifteen flavouring substances. “The majority of vaping e-liquids declared for the French market contain a dilution medium such as propylene glycol (PG) and/or glycerol (vegetable glycerin, VG), an average nicotine content of around 6 mg/ml and can contain up to fifteen flavoring substances. The most frequent are derivatives of vanillin, maltol, menthol, esters with fruity odors. There are also sugars and sweeteners (glucose/fructose, sucralose), acids used in nicotine salts and plant extracts.”
The Vaporesso Together We Can campaign has been launched and hopes to bring ‘confidence and unity‘ to the world of vaping.
Vaporesso believes vape shops are the ‘pillars‘ of the vaping global community and as such the company wants shops to have their voices heard through better communication.
They’ve created the Power Shop scheme and want to forge better links between manufacturers, shops, and consumers.
Vaporesso say it will support all vape shops within the scheme offering advice on sales and marketing and in these trying COVID-19 times, be on hand to offer help on supplies and other issues facing business owners.
It’s hoped that vape shops in the scheme will team up offering support to each other too.
Simon Lai, Vaporesso’s CEO, said the past year has been especially tough on vape shops with many closed down or gone bust and says he hopes the video explains what they’re trying to do adding:
The video reflects the journey we’ve gone through with our vape shop partners in the past year.
There are pain and gain, tough times and achievements.
However, our vape shop partners are never alone.
There are thousands of friends and partners supporting and empowering each other in the Vaporesso Power Shop community.
We’ve gone through 2020 by supporting each other, and we firmly believe that our community will become even stronger and see a brighter year in 2021.
Fantastic idea and great to see Vaporesso doing this 🙂
RELX is China’s largest vape company and is now selling its stock on the US stock exchange.
The company is selling single stocks at between $8 to $10 each and is hoping to raise an incredible $1.17bn from the initial launch.
It’s an interesting move given recent bad relationships between the USA and China – may the new Biden Government will be ‘friendlier‘…*coughs*
RELX is behind the RELX Infinity pod kit that Jonny loved and is linked to Smoore Technology the company behind the FEELM ceramic coil system.
SMOORE Chairman and CEO Chen Zhiping, was recently named as the first vaping billionaire – a company moving up in the world to say the least!
Milan Outdoor Smoking Ban
Vapers in Milan Italy breathed a huge sigh of relief last week.
The local government had brought in a new outdoor smoking ban, however e-cigarettes are exempt!
The no smoking rule means smokers won’t be able to light up in parks – bus stops or even cemeteries!
The council says the ban has come in to:
…reduce PM10 fine particles, which are harmful to the lungs, and protect the health of citizens against active and passive smoking in public places.
Good to see common sense at work by not banning vaping in public spaces – proof positive once again there’s no such thing as ‘passive vaping‘.
Flavour Bans – Canadian Vapers WILL Return To Smoking
The mission creep of proposed flavour bans in Canada will mean vapers returning to smoking says one advocacy group.
The Consumers’ Association of Canada says it’s ‘adamant‘ that any e-liquid flavours play a crucial role in getting smokers to quit and removing them will have ‘devastating effects‘ on individual and public health.
Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, said:
Governments are right to be concerned about our youth’s attraction to vaping devices, but they should not penalize adult ex-smokers who do not want to return to smoking.
Vapers need support to quit smoking and to avoid going back to cigarettes.
The flavours in vaping devices play a key role in the daily efforts of the smoking-to-vaping transition.
Therefore, we ask the Quebec government to exercise caution, to listen carefully to the harm-reduction experts and to remain sensitive to what vaping product consumers have to say.
These ex-smokers were able to kick the habit with vaping, but thousands of ex-smokers could start smoking again if governments ban the flavours, with devastating impacts on our health care system.
There’s a flavour ban due in Quebec and advocates fear it could spread countrywide.
A new report echoes the worrying effect a flavour ban could have noting:
Quebec alone accounts for 1.3 million smokers each year.
According to Quebec Public Health, smokers who want to quit need at least three tries to quit successfully.
Tobacco harm reduction experts point out that vaping is the most effective alternative to traditional tools such as patches, gum and inhalers as a way to quit smoking.
Health Canada states on its website that there is a clear link between the use of a vaping device and improved success rates for quitting smoking.
Various scientific studies show that vaping is a safer way to consume nicotine and that the more smokers turn to vaping, the more the harms associated with smoking decrease.
The group points out that many other adult flavoured products apparently attractive to youngsters remain untouched:
…the Association remains perplexed as to why governments seek to address the policy challenge of youth vaping through blanket product restrictions affecting all consumers, when that is not the case for other products.
We have previously written to governments listing a vast array of flavoured alcohol and cannabis products which are not banned, despite youth drinking and cannabis use.
We do not understand why then flavour bans are the approach for youth vaping, especially given potential benefits of vaping for adult smokers who switch.
It’s a question many of us have been asking for an age…
and finally…Would You Like Fries With That Big Mac Vape Juice..?
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder…how about the McDonald’s Big Mac Vape Juice..?
Yes really lol…
It took UK vaper Dave Sykes 25 attempts to mix the Big Mac e-liquid but says the recipe will remain a secret…
What we do know is he used x3 food flavourings to create to concoction and said:
I’ve had so many McDonald’s over the years I knew exactly what taste I was looking for — sort of a thousand island dressing with a beefy undertone.
The first attempt was awful so I binned it.
But I kept trying different flavourings in different proportions until it was exactly right.
Dave only began vaping during the lockdown after quitting smoking and says his local McDonald’s was shut and he craved a big burger.
Now he’s perfected the recipe his next project is a KFC flavour lol.
The cynic in me is wondering if the company’s lawyers will be sniffing around very soon…
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Some $13 billion in additional agricultural aid for pandemic-impacted farmers should start going out by end of month.
Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey says the funds could go out even before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.
“We certainly have some things we would like to be able to get out very quickly,” Northey said in comments reported last week by Successful Farming.
Eligible farmers would receive payments of $20 an acre, roughly $5 billion in all, according to the $900 billion coronavirus relief package signed late last year by President Donald Trump.
Hemp farmers were excluded from the first round of COVID-19 assistance, but the crop was later deemed eligible. Hemp is classified as a “flat-rate” crop, a category set up for crops that don’t meet the 5% price decline trigger or don’t have data available to calculate a price change.
Biden has said he will propose additional pandemic assistance after he takes office.
Martin said that this study pointed out the connection between health and our natural environment. “Its findings support the need to protect and invest in natural resources, in both urban and more rural communities, in order to maximise the public health benefits they may afford.”
“If our findings are substantiated by further work, nature-based interventions could be prescribed to assist individuals attempting to give up smoking,” added Martin.
Greenery had the same positive effect on people struggling with other unhealthy cravings
The green effect was also found to positevely impact physical and mental wellbeing in general.
An article on Science Focus pointed out that research by the same research team, has indicated that green spaces have the same positive effect on people struggling with alcohol and unhealthy foods cravings. Similarly, the green effect was also found to positevely impact physical and mental wellbeing in general.
More specifically, the data compiled by the researchers indicated that people living in greener neighbourhoods were 20% less likely to be current smokers than those who did not. Moreover, the former were 12% more successful at quitting smoking.
The importance of including accessibility to green areas in public health strategies
To this effect, concluded the researchers, authorities should factor in accessibility to green areas as part of public health strategies tackling smoking. “Despite a decline in prevalence within the general population over the last decade, smoking remains a devastating and global public health issue,” said study co-author Dr Mathew White, senior scientist at the University of Vienna and honorary associate professor at the University of Exeter.
“Governments across the world spend billions each year trying to tackle it, both in an attempt to improve public health and reduce the strain on health services. This study emphasises the need to preserve existing green spaces and expand the development of new ones.”
RLX Technology has filed proposed terms for its $1 billion U.S. IPO.
The firm develops and sells e-cigarettes and related products in China.
RLX has grown impressively and is a leading company in the world’s largest market, so the IPO is worth close consideration.
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RLX Technology (RLX) has filed to raise $1.05 billion from the sale of ADSs representing underlying Class A stock in an IPO, according to an amended registration statement.
The company is a large provider of e-cigarette devices and related products to Chinese consumers.
RLX faces future regulatory risks, and the IPO isn’t cheap, but the firm’s growth potential, breakeven financial result and strong free cash flow generation mean the IPO is worth consideration.
Company & Technology
Beijing, China-based RLX, was founded to develop closed system e-vapor smoking products. According to management, it is the number one seller in China, achieving a market share of 62.6% in retail sales for the nine months ended September 30, 2020.
Management is headed by co-founder, Chairperson, and CEO Ms. Ying [Kate] Wang, who was previously head of Didi Youxiang and head of Uber China at Didi Chuxing.
RLX has received at least $139 million from investors, including Relx Holdings, BJ BJ Limited, Deep Technology Linkage Fund, and Sequoia Capital China.
The firm has developed an offline distribution and ‘branded store plus’ retail model that uses over 100 authorized distributors covering more than 250 cities in China.
The firm leverages its RELX Branded Partner Stores to provide further reach into a variety of retail stores such as electronics, convenience, and e-vapor specialty stores.
The firm counts more than 100,000 retail store locations as carrying at least one of its products, helping the firm to attain a number one ranking in brand awareness, according to a study by CIC, which was commissioned and paid for by RLX.
Selling expenses as a percentage of total revenue have been dropping sharply as revenues have increased, as the figures below indicate:
Expenses vs. Revenue
Nine Mos. Ended Sept. 30, 2020
Source: Company registration statement
The Selling efficiency rate, defined as how each dollar of Selling spend generates many dollars of additional new revenue, rose to 4.3x in the most recent reporting period, as shown in the table below:
Nine Mos. Ended Sept. 30, 2020
Source: Company registration statement
RLX’s recent financial results can be summarized as follows:
Strong topline revenue growth
Increased gross profit but lower trending gross margin
Growing operating profit and net income
Sharply increased cash flow from operations
Below are relevant financial results derived from the firm’s registration statement:
As of September 30, 2020, RLX had $40.2 million in cash and $514.3 million in total liabilities.
Free cash flow during the twelve months ended September 30, 2020, was $181.5 million.
Market & Competition
According to a 2018 market research report by ResearchAndMarkets, the Chinese market for e-cigarettes grew from an estimated RMB1 billion to RMB4 billion from 2013 to 2017.
According to the report, ‘if 10% of 30 million to 35 million Chinese smokers (out of up to an estimated 350 million total smokers in China) turn to electronic cigarettes, the potential market size will be above $15 billion.’
The main drivers for this expected growth are government initiatives to reduce smoking and younger demographic smokers who wish to transition to potentially less unhealthy forms of smoking and prefer diversified tastes.
Also, the Chinese government has a complicated relationship with smoking, as it is selling traditional tobacco products to the population.
It prohibits the importation and online sale of heat-not-burn electronic cigarettes.
The company competes against traditional cigarette sellers, including the Chinese government and other e-cigarette firms, in a fragmented industry.
In 2019, the government banned the online advertising and sale of e-cigarettes, so the firm is subject to regulatory changes that may adversely impact its ability to operate.
RLX intends to sell 116.5 million ADSs representing Class A shares at a proposed midpoint price of $9.00 per ADS for gross proceeds of approximately $1.05 billion, not including the sale of customary underwriter options.
Class A shareholders will be entitled to one vote per share and Class B shareholders will have ten votes per share.
The S&P 500 Index no longer admits firms with multiple classes of stock into its index.
Assuming a successful IPO at the midpoint of the proposed price range, the company’s enterprise value at IPO would approximate $13.9 billion.
Excluding effects of underwriter options and private placement shares or restricted stock, if any, the float to outstanding shares ratio will be approximately 7.5%.
Per the firm’s most recent regulatory filing, the firm plans to use the net proceeds as follows:
Approximately 30% for development of products and technologies and scientific research;
Approximately 25% for enhancement of distribution and retail network;
Approximately 25% for improvement of supply chain capabilities; and
The balance for general corporate purposes and working capital.
Listed underwriters of the IPO are Citigroup and China Renaissance.
RLX is seeking U.S. public capital market investment for its expansion plans within China.
The company’s financials show strong topline revenue growth, slight earnings, and significant cash flow from operations and free cash flow.
Selling expenses as a percentage of total revenue have dropped as revenues have increased, and its Selling efficiency ratio has improved. Both signals are positive as to the firm’s capital efficiency in this important area.
The market opportunity for selling e-cigarettes in China is approximately 290 million smokers, and management says this is the largest single such market in the world.
Citigroup is the lead left underwriter, and IPOs led by the firm over the last 12-month period have generated an average return of 31.7% since their IPO. This is a middle-tier performance for all major underwriters during the period.
As to valuation, RLX seeks a significant valuation premium over U.S. comparable Turning Point Brands (TPB).
However, in its favor is RLX’s strong topline revenue growth rate and leading position in a huge market.
The company business’s main risk is the potential for negative government regulation since the Chinese government is itself in a competitive position, selling legacy cigarettes to consumers.
However, I view this threat as only moderate, as the government also seeks to reduce the health care costs associated with legacy cigarette consumption.
Like many Chinese firms seeking to tap U.S. markets, the firm operates within a VIE structure or Variable Interest Entity. U.S. investors would only be interested in an offshore firm with contractual rights to the firm’s operational results but would not own the underlying assets.
This is a legal gray area that brings the risk of management changing the terms of the contractual agreement or the Chinese government altering such arrangements’ legality. Prospective investors in the IPO would need to factor in this important structural uncertainty.
While there are regulatory risks the company faces and the IPO isn’t cheap, its growth potential, breakeven financial result, and strong free cash flow generation mean the IPO is worth a close look.
Expected IPO Pricing Date: January 20, 2021.
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