Wayland Group (CSE:WAYL) (FRANKFURT: 75M) (OTCQB:MRRCF) (“Wayland,” formerly known as Maricann Group Inc.)
Wayland Group is a vertically-integrated cannabis cultivator and processor. Founded in 2013, the company is based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada and Munich, Germany, and has production facilities and operations in Canada (Langton, Ontario), Germany (Dresden, Saxony, Germany), and Switzerland (Regensdorf).
In early November 2018, Wayland announced an acquisition in Colombia and a joint venture in Italy, adding to its impressive EU footprint which also includes a production license in Malta.
Building on its robust established platform in Canada, Wayland is strategically assembling an array of valuable international assets in key leading Western European countries, giving Wayland a critical early-mover advantage in enormous but largely-untapped EU markets.
Wayland arrived early to the Canadian market, receiving its first license from Health Canada in March 2014. At its Langton, Ontario facility scheduled to be fully operational in Q4 2018, the company has 189,000 square feet of grow and production with annual capacity to grow up to 66,000 kg, with a phase 2 expansion of an additional 635,000 square feet of grow space to bring annual capacity to over 100,000 kg, to a phase 3 full buildout of 942,000 total square feet of cultivation and support facilities.
The company has entered agreements to supply and has allocated capacity in four Canadian provinces: British Columbia (3,622 kg), Alberta (3,375 kg), Manitoba (550 kg) and Ontario (37 Ontario Cannabis Store listings). The Langton facility is a low-cost, high-energy facility with a natural gas well and cogeneration facility on site, and all water recycled through a bio-pond.
On October 17, 2018, Wayland announced the release of its brand portfolio. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, the company took a purposeful, consumer-centric approach validated by consumer research and created brands designed to address various segments of the market. Wayland’s brands include KIWI (light users looking to better understand cannabis), HIGH TIDE (high-THC cannabis strains for experienced medium to heavy users), and NORTHERN HARVEST (light to medium users who enjoy cannabis), and soon-to-come LOST AT SEED (meticulously curated collection of the finest and most rare cannabis genetics), SOLARA C (highest quality CBD products), and RARA DANKNESS (selection of premium award-winning limited-edition strains).
Wayland is an exclusive provider of medical cannabis to Lovell Drugs, Ontario’s oldest pharmacy supply chain. The company also has a Canada-wide pharmacy partnership, which includes a comprehensive online education platform that will be available to pharmacists in over 2,100 Canadian pharmacies.
In 2017, Wayland entered a joint venture with Colorado-based Evolab Extraction Technologies, a leading extraction technology company, to produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabis concentrates. Wayland also acquired NanoLeaf, a biotech company with licensing rights to a number of patented drug delivery formulations, including Vesisorb, the first cannabinoid standardized-dose soft gel capsule in a nano-dispersed drug, developed at the Zurich Institute of Technology, that improves the bioavailability of cannabinoids without molecular structure changes.
Looking Beyond Canada
Building on its success in Canada, Wayland has focused on Europe as an important market for cannabis with over 742 million people and combined gross domestic product of EUR 15.3 trillion with the cannabis market forecast to be worth EUR 115.7 billion by 2028. Drawing on its experience with EU-GMP certification of its Canadian facilities, Wayland is familiar with and able to navigate the strict European regulatory framework and complex licensing process. Wayland is using its experience in Canada to position itself as a market leader in Europe.
Wayland was one of the first Canadian companies involved in the German market. Wayland is developing a facility in Ebersbach, near Dresden, with a proposed 820,000 square feet of clean-room cultivation, processing, and extraction, including up to 300,000 square feet of cultivation. Cultivation and production licensing are subject to German government approval.
On October 15, 2018, Wayland announced an agreement to supply a minimum of 9,000 kg of EU-GMP certified cannabis dry flower over a three-year term to Cannamedical Pharma GmbH, an importer and distributor of cannabis in Germany to over 2,200 pharmacies. The first shipment is scheduled for December of 2018.
Wayland is also engaged in hemp operations in Germany through its European nutraceutical subsidiary MariPlant. On August 3, 2018, MariPlant commenced the harvest of approximately 405 acres of hemp.
Wayland recognized that Switzerland will also be a key market for the European cannabis industry. On May 10, 2018, the company announced the acquisition of Haxxon AG, positioning Wayland to operate in the Swiss market through Haxxon’s production of feminized high-CBD cannabis plants. Haxxon has a 64,500 square foot facility in Regensdorf, Switzerland, a suburb of Zurich. According to CEO Ben Ward: “A phenomenon has occurred in Switzerland, where people are substituting or modifying tobacco consumption with low THC cannabis (less than 1% THC).”
In Italy, Wayland entered a strategic partnership to take advantage of the country’s increasing acceptance of medical cannabis. On November 9, 2018, the company announced a joint venture agreement with CBD Italian Factory S.S., a company of Group San Martino, for the production of high-quality cannabis products in Italy. Pairing world-leading technology by Rockwell Automation with existing infrastructure in Piedmont , which includes agricultural expertise and biogas electricity, the company can sustainably produce CBD and THC products from a naturally-derived fuel source.
The joint venture will be split between Wayland (50.1%) and CBD Italian Factory (49.9%). A key aspect of the joint venture is a relationship with the University of Eastern Piedmont, which will develop a research center focusing on producing high-CBD products for medical purposes, and further studies of high-THC content and medical uses.
As lowering cannabis production costs becomes increasingly important with increased competition, Wayland has entered Colombia as a low-cost source for its cannabis offerings in Europe. On November 6, 2018, the company announced an agreement to acquire Colma Pharmaceutical SAS, a licensed producer of THC cannabis in Colombia, holding four licenses for cultivation and processing in Ibague.
Wayland expects to cultivate THC cannabis outdoor and year-round with an infrastructure investment including 415,000 square feet of processing and clone and vegetation greenhouse facilities to support outdoor cannabis flower production on 300 acres. Wayland plans for initial crude extraction to be completed in Colombia and exported for further distillation in Wayland’s facilities in Germany, allowing Wayland to create a complete range of isolates of cannabinoids adding a sustainable supply for extraction and further distillation of cannabinoids.
CEO Ben Ward explained the Company’s move to low-cost, high-yield production in Colombia: “Our move to outdoor cultivation in Colombia is the first step in creating a reliable and consistent mass supply of cannabinoid isolates for the global market, including THC and CBD, and importantly commercial quantities of lesser known CBG and CBN.”
Mr. Ward further explained that Wayland’s acquisition in Colombia reflects the company global ambitions centered in Germany: “We will be establishing a robust outdoor flowering operation as a source of products to be manufactured for global distribution from Ebersbach, Germany. We continue to move aggressively in the international market, creating a global presence, built on a rational business platform of geographic cost centers.”
To complement its Western European assets, Wayland also received a license in Malta to manufacture finished-dose medical cannabis. This license allows Wayland to supply its Maltese operation with raw materials that will then undergo advanced post processing to create pure cannabis distillates, allowing for pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Chart appears to show solid support around $1.20 and steady climb to next resistance point around $1.68
Any push past $1.68 could trigger massive gains.
Positioned for Growth
The valuations of Canadian licensed producers have been recently facing a reckoning. With the hype of impending legalization in the rear-view mirror, companies will need to distinguish themselves with real earnings and by executing on thoughtful strategies for the future. Wayland has recognized the early-mover opportunity to use its early success in Canada as a springboard for global ambitions. The company is executing on those ambitions.
Wayland presently trades at less than 30 percent of its January 23, 2018 high of $4.25 CAD, and significantly lower than its 200-day, 100-day, 50-day, and 20-day moving averages. As the market continues to distinguish between Canadian cannabis companies competing for slices of a relatively small Canadian market and those with global growth strategies and executable international footprints, Wayland is positioned for significant upside. Wayland’s focus on strategic expansion from its European hub in Germany and its tremendous Dresden-area facility to enter other significant EU markets bodes well for long-term significant growth.
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