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Canopy Growth Drops Drake From Roster Amid Pushback from Celebrity Endorsements

On June 2, BNN Bloomberg reported that Canopy Growth confirmed its relationship with Drake is over. Canopy Growth terminated a joint venture with rapper Drake’s More Life Growth Co. to sell cannabis in Canada and abroad recently, company regulatory filings indicate.

On November 7, 2019, Canopy Growth Corp. released a press release indicating a partnership between the cannabis producer juggernaut and Drake’s More Life Company. But the joint venture would prove to be short-term.

“We have indeed divested from More Life and the facility in Scarborough which had been intended to be part of that agreement is now Canopy Growth’s R&D facility, where we will work on plant science and science development projects,” Jennifer White, director of communications at Canopy Growth, told BNN Bloomberg.

Toronto, Canada-based More Life was 60 percent owned by Drake, while Canopy Growth held a 40 percent share. It was previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth. The strange thing is—it was already licensed to cultivate, process and sell cannabis in Canada.

According to company filings, Canopy Growth took a C$10.3 million ($8.6 million) “impairment charge” on the joint venture in the fiscal fourth quarter that ended March 31. The company said it also “derecognized the remaining minimum royalty obligations owing to More Life” in the ballpark of C$33.7 million.

Given Drake’s past enthusiasm for entering the cannabis industry, it’s unclear why the joint venture has been terminated. “The opportunity to partner with a world-class company like Canopy Growth on a global scale is really exciting,” Drake said at the time. “The idea of being able to build something special in an industry that is ever growing has been inspiring. More life and more blessing.”

 

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Canopy Growth was already forced to remove Snoop Dogg’s name from some of its labeling—changing Leafs by Snoop to “LBS”. It could be due to the fact that Health Canada is pushing against celebrity endorsements for cannabis, with a statement in June 2020—after the announcement from Canopy Growth and Drake. “Health Canada discourages any federal cannabis licence holder, cannabis retailer or any other regulated party from undertaking any celebrity-affiliated promotions or packaging and labeling,” wrote Health Canada spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau.

 

 

 

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