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June 12, 2019, 3:10 p.m. EDT

Neptune Wellness stock gains after another 3-year cannabis extraction deal

Shares’ strength comes despite weakness in broader marijuana sector, stock market

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By Tomi Kilgore, MarketWatch


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Shares of Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. rallied Wednesday, after the Canada-based company announced a second 3-year extraction agreement with a cannabis company in a week.

Neptune /zigman2/quotes/207537677/composite NEPT +8.00%   said before the open that it reached an agreement with Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204266798/composite TGODF +0.77%   /zigman2/quotes/229419907/delayed CA:TGOD 0.00% to extract and purify cannabinoids and terpenes, for use in premium certified organic consumer wellness products, from cannabis.

Under terms of the deal, Green Organic has committed to supply more than 230,000 kilograms of cannabis and hemp biomass to Neptune over three years, with the first shipment expected in September 2019.

Neptune’s U.S.-listed stock jumped up as much as 9.3% just after the open before paring gains to be up 3.4% in afternoon trading, as it bucked weakness in the broader cannabis sector and stock market.

/zigman2/quotes/207537677/composite NEPT 0.81, +0.06, +8.00%

Neptune said its expects volumes to be “back-end-loaded,” as first-year volumes are expected to be about 20% of the total volume of the contract.

Most of the active ingredients extracted will be transformed into delivery forms on-site at Neptune’s Sherbrooke facility. Neptune said it would make, package and provide formulation assistance for products that will be sold under Green Organic’s brands.

“[Green Organic’s] commitment to organic and sustainability is inspiring; Neptune is proud to become a part of their success story,” said Michel Timperio, president of Neptune’s cannabis division.

Green Organic said Wednesday that it will work closely with Neptune to assist the company in obtaining its organic certification. Green Organic’s stock slipped 0.8%.

The deal comes less than a week after Neptune announced a 3-year extraction and purification agreement with another cannabis company Tilray Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209129655/composite TLRY +0.45%  That news had propelled Neptune’s stock to the highest close — $5.07 — since it went public in the U.S. in August 2007. Read more about Tilray.

Under terms of that deal, Neptune will receive a minimum volume of 125,000 kilograms of cannabis and hemp biomass, with the first-year shipments also expected to be 20% of the total. And the first shipment is also expected in September.

Neptune’s stock gains despite weakness in the ETFMG Alternative Harvest exchange-traded /zigman2/quotes/204332491/composite MJ +1.71%  , which fell 0.3%, and the S&P 500 index’s /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.38%  0.2% decline. The Canada-listed Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF /zigman2/quotes/208856346/delayed CA:HMMJ +1.54%  dropped 0.4%.

Among the more-active cannabis stocks, Aurora Cannabis Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB +3.21%   /zigman2/quotes/203734337/delayed CA:ACB +1.37%  fell 1.4%, Tilray climbed 2.1%, Aphria Inc. lost 1.6%, Canopy Growth Crop. /zigman2/quotes/200603886/composite CGC +2.21%   /zigman2/quotes/202205609/delayed CA:WEED +2.70%  gave up 0.6% and Cronos Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206842762/composite CRON +2.99%   /zigman2/quotes/206842762/composite CRON +2.99%  tacked on 0.6%.

Elsewhere, shares of GW Pharmaceuticals PLC declined 1.6%, Hexo Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206508254/composite HEXO +3.99%   /zigman2/quotes/200008967/delayed CA:HEXO +4.69%  slumped 3.1% and Namaste Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205997820/composite NXTTF -1.14%   slid 5.8%.

In other cannabis company news, True Leaf Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202596755/composite TRLFF 0.00%   /zigman2/quotes/209681259/delayed CA:MJ 0.00%  , a cannabis and hemp wellness brand for pets, which was formerly known as True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., announced its first distribution agreement in Asia with pet-care distributor Eagle Vet.

Under terms of the deal, Eagle Vet will start by introducing True Leaf products to its 5,000 retail stores in Korea.

True Leaf’s U.S.-listed stock reversed earlier gains to lose 1.3%.

The ETFMG ETF has lost 11% over the past three months and the Horizons ETF has shed 14%, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.

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Tomi Kilgore is MarketWatch's deputy investing and corporate news editor and is based in New York. You can follow him on Twitter @TomiKilgore.

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