CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. is a Canadian public licensed producer of
medical cannabis. It is primarily focused on cannabis oil. The
company's predecessor, Prairie Plant Systems, was established in 1988
and is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 2013
CanniMed became the
first cannabis producer to be licensed under Health
that were issued that year. It went public in 2016, and in March 2018
almost all of its stock was acquired by a rival producer, Aurora
Cannabis, following a hostile takeover to which company management
The predecessor to CanniMed, Prairie Plant Systems, was established in
1988. PPS began its business by providing fruit trees to orchards.
Fruit products include
Saskatoon berries, haskap (blue honeysuckle)
and dwarf sour cherries. In 1990, it entered a joint venture with
Hudson Bay Mining to establish an underground growth chamber in the
Trout Lake mine in Flin Flon, Manitoba.
In 2000, PPS received a contract from Health
Canada to grow medical
cannabis. It used its facility in
Flin Flon for this purpose.
From that time until 2013, PPS was the only company given a Health
Canada license to grow cannabis, although as of 2012 only 12% of
medical cannabis users used PPS, with most of the rest growing their
own cannabis. In 2000 PPS set up a US subsidiary called SubTerra,
and in 2003, it acquired the
White Pine mine
White Pine mine in Michigan, for use in
bio-pharmaceutical research. In 2009, PPR lost its lease to the
Flin Flon facility when a deposit of zinc was discovered below it, and
so the company built its first above-ground cannabis growing
In 2012, PPS through SubTerra announced its intention to grow medical
cannabis in its Michigan mine, based on the 2008 legalization of
medical cannabis in Michigan. In 2014 SubTerra bought an Upper
Michigan power company in order to secure energy supply to its
In 2013, Health
Canada changed its medical cannabis regulations,
banning in-home production and opening up commercial production to
additional companies, and that year PPS and its new subsidiary
CanniMed Ltd. became first producers to be certified under the
In June 2015
CanniMed received Health
Canada approval for clinical
trial of cannabis in adults with osteoarthritis of the knee.
In January 2016,
CanniMed received Health
Canada approval to sell
edible cannabis oil. On December 29, 2016, it held an IPO on the
Toronto Stock Exchange, raising $69 million. The new public
company was named
CanniMed Therapeutics, and had Cannimed Ltd. and
Prairie Plant Systems as subsidiaries. In March 2017, it announced a
deal to distribute its products with PharmaChoice, a Canadian
co-operative pharmacy chain. In April 2017, it announced a $10
million expansion of its facility in Saskatoon.
In November 2017,
Aurora Cannabis started trying to acquire CanniMed,
and claimed it had the support of 38% of shareholders. CanniMed
management responded by rejecting the offer, and proposing an
alternative merger with Newstrike Resources, a recreational cannabis
firm, instead. In January, Newstrike shareholders approved the
proposed merger, but
CanniMed management started to reconsider
Aurora's offer. In January 2018, Cannimed called off its proposed
acquisition of Newstrik and agreed to be bought by Aurora for $1.1
billion in stock and cash to create a larger company than the industry
leader at the time, Canopy Growth Corporation. Aurora had put out
an offer to buy CanniMed's stock from its holders for cash and Aurora
stock; the offer terminated at the end of March and by that time
Aurora owned around 96% of
CanniMed stock, and had paid out around
69.3 million of its shares and $134 million in cash. Aurora said
at that time that it would compel the remaining shareholders to sell
their stock and would formally absorb
CanniMed at a later date. In
April 2018 the CEO of CanniMed, Brent Zettl, resigned and Andre Jerome
was appointed interim CEO. Around the time of acquisition
CanniMed's stock price rose dramatically as people anticipated the
legalization of cannabis in
Canada in the summer of 2018, raising
concerns about a bubble.
^ a b c Egan, Paul (April 22, 2012). "Part 1: Company wants to grow
quality medical marijuana in old mine". Detroit Free Press. Archived
from the original on October 8, 2015. Egan, Paul (April 23,
2012). "Part 2: Underground pot farm could breathe new life into U.P.
mining town". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on April
^ a b Naylor, Jonathon (2012-07-05). "High times over for marijuana
mine". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
^ Crowther, S M; Reynolds, L A; Tansey, E M, eds. (2010). The
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^ "Medical marijuana operation halted in Flin Flon". CBC News.
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^ "Clean Innovation in Focus: Prairie Plant Systems Inc" (PDF).
CETAC-WEST. June 2017.
^ Associated Press (April 23, 2012). "Medical Marijuana Grow-Op".
^ "White Pine Power Plant Sold; Traxys Sale Completed". Keneewa
Report. August 27, 2014.
^ "Veteran medical marijuana provider seizing Canada's open market".
The Globe and Mail.
^ Graham, Jennifer (September 23, 2013). "Ottawa awards first medical
pot licences under new rules to
Saskatoon firm". CTV News.
^ "Authorized Licensed Producers under the Marihuana for Medical
Purposes Regulations". Health Canada. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
^ "More medical research needed to confirm benefits of pot, doctors
say". National Post.
^ "Dalhousie's medical marijuana study to evaluate effect on
arthritis". CBC News.
CanniMed receives approval from Health
Canada to sell cannabis
oil". Global News. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
^ a b "
CanniMed plans $10.5 million expansion at
Saskatoon StarPhoenix. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
Aurora Cannabis considers entering retail market amid uncertainty
it will be allowed". Calgary Herald. 2017-09-06. Retrieved
CanniMed tells shareholders to wait while it reviews Aurora offer".
CBC News. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
^ "Aurora takeover bid 'makes no sense,' based on inflated share
price: CanniMed". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
^ Editorial, Reuters. "Up Cannabis-parent Newstrike's shareholders
approve sale to CanniMed". CA. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
CanniMed postpones shareholder vote, will hold talks with suitor
Aurora Cannabis". business.financialpost.com. Retrieved
^ Saminather, Nichola (January 24, 2018). "Canada's
Aurora Cannabis to
buy rival to create world's most valuable weed firm". Reuters.
^ a b "Press release:
Aurora Cannabis Finalizes
Aurora via New Cannabis Ventures. March 28, 2018.
CanniMed CEO resigns,
Aurora Cannabis SVP takes role in interim".
Canadian Business. 5 April 2018.
^ Murphy, Mike (April 3, 2018). "Getting too high? Canadian marijuana
stocks skyrocket, raising bubble fears". MarketWatch.
Official Prairie Plant Sys