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Cannabis CEO Clueless About R&D, and the Stock Proves It

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:54 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:54 PM

By CCN.com: Canopy Growth’s stock may be showing some green today, but it’s down an eye-popping 48 percent from its best levels of 2019. No wonder investors can’t sell fast enough, with the exception of Bruce Linton, who last month was fired as the company’s chief executive but who is reportedly scooping up shares anyway. The cannabis company in recent days reported its earnings, which were pretty much so bad they sent the cannabis stock to its worst level of the year. In case you missed the earnings call, there was one piece of evidence as to why the company might be underperforming.

Cannabis analyst Howard Penney pointed out on Twitter that Canopy Growth’s current CEO, Mark Zekulin, isn’t too well versed in all things cannabis, R&D, and the company’s own patent filings. Penney described a Canopy Growth earnings conference call in which the top executive brushed off the discussion surrounding “bio-fermentation of cannabinoids” because he didn’t know what it means. Now if you’re an investor in the stock or an analyst covering it, the last thing you want to hear is that the CEO doesn’t have his pulse on the business, or worse, doesn’t have a handle on it. Unfortunately, that’s the message that this cannabis CEO sent when he said the following about intellectual property:

“During Q1, Canopy filed 56 patent applications across its various R&D areas. including several related to pre-roll joint production, cannabinoid isolation – whatever that means – vape oil, and vape devices.”

To be fair, nearly five-dozen patents sounds like a lot, but did Zekulin even go over the prepared remarks before giving the presentation? Investors weren’t impressed and sent the stock lower by roughly 13 percent since Aug. 14.

cgc chart
Canopy Growth stock is flat year-to-date. | Source: Yahoo Finance

Fired Cannabis CEO Says Company Is Misunderstood. He Is Scooping Up Shares

As investors unload shares of this cannabis stock, one investor is piling up on it. Bruce Linton, who previously shared the CEO title with Zekulin at the cannabis company, is going on a buying spree. Linton told CNBC  that while he was ousted and the stock is under pressure, there is a lot to like about the stock.

“I think by the end of the year, a lot of the good stocks will go up and a lot of the bad ones are going to be dead.”

Ironically, one of the things he likes about Canopy Growth is the IP and patents filed, which is precisely what got his peer Zekulin into trouble.