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Arlene Dickinson joins board of medical marijuana player Aphria

Arlene Dickinson Aphria

Arlene Dickinson AphriaMedical marijuana pubco Aphria (TSX:APH) today announced that former Dragons Den star Arlene Dickinson has joined its board.

“We are very pleased to have Arlene join the board. The former Dragon will provide valuable marketing experience and a no holds barred approach to future strategic directions,” said Vic Neufeld, Chief Executive Officer of Aphria.

Dickinson is the CEO of Venture Communications. Under her leadership, the Toronto-based firm has become one of Canadas biggest marketing and communication firms. She is the author of two books, “Persuasion” and, the more recent “All In..”.

Arlene Dickinson: Aphria gets a heavily decorated board member…

Dickinson is the recipient of honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She sits on the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and is the recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Today’s news follows on a report earlier this week from Clarus Securities analyst Noel Atkinson, who says Aphria is the company best positioned to serve the potential pharmacy market in Canada. On Tuesday, Shoppers Drug Mart submitted a Licensed Producer (LP) sales license application to Health Canada to dispense medical cannabis prescriptions.

“We see Aphria as the best-situated of the publicly-traded LPs to thrive as a wholesaler in a pharmacy dominated medical cannabis market,” said Atkinson. “The Company has the lowest known production costs per gram in the industry, has been able to scale successfully to 43,000 sq. ft. of production with zero crop failures, its management has extensive experience in selling large quantities of health products to Canadian pharmacy chains, and the Company appears to be at least as focused on the medical market as the rec market. Canopy Growth is at a much larger production scale than Aphria and its Bedrocan and Tweed units have been selling into the medical market for quite a while, but it remains to be seen whether Canopy would be willing to allocate a large portion of capacity to wholesale for pharmacies when it has the largest direct-to-patient revenue of the public LPs and is so heavily investing in its recreational strategy. We know of no other public LPs producing at scale in-house. Of the privately-held LPs, only a few appear to be successfully growing at high capacity utilization in larger facilities and focused on the medical market, most notably MedReleaf, CanniMed and CannTrust.”

Atkinson has a “Buy” rating and one-year price target of $5.00 on Aphria, which closed Friday at $3.65.


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