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Tilray stock jumps on collaboration agreement with Sandoz

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Tilray Inc. shares jumped Tuesday after the B.C.-based company took another step to strengthen its medical marijuana business outside Canada through a new collaboration with Novartis pharmaceutical group’s Sandoz AG.

“Tilray is a global company and we’re thrilled to build upon the success and momentum from our existing agreement with Sandoz Canada by taking our partnership global,” Tilray chief executive Brendan Kennedy said Tuesday.

Under its original agreement, announced in January 2018 after several months of talks, the companies began shipping non-combustible medical products with the Tilray and Sandoz/Novartis brands to customers in Canada last June.

The new global arrangement allows Tilray to use the Sandoz supply chain, sales force and global distribution network to distribute Tilray medical cannabis products, Kennedy said.

The number of countries that have legalized medical cannabis has more than doubled to 35 from 15 in 2010, when Kennedy got into the business.

“It’s very clear to me how we go from 35, to 40, to 50, 60 countries globally … and this agreement enables us to ensure that our products get into the hands of more patients around the world,” Kennedy said.

Tilray Inc., shares were up 17 per cent or $11.33 US at $77.22 U.S. as of 1:30 p.m. on the Nasdaq market, but remained well below their 2018 high of $300 US set on Sept. 19.

More U.S. states legalize medical cannabis

Kennedy thinks Germany — with a larger population and economy than Canada — is a major opportunity because any doctor in that country is allowed to write a prescription to any patient for any illness with insurance coverage for medical cannabis products.

The United States is more difficult because its federal law is more restrictive, but Kennedy said there are also encouraging trends in that country. These include the electoral defeat of a staunch House of Representatives opponent of medical marijuana in November and the removal of Jeff Sessions as the U.S. attorney general.

In addition, there are now 33 states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes, 10 that have legalized it for recreational use by adults, and favourable revisions to the U.S. Farm Bill that have been passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress.

Jean Marc checks out a sample at a cannabis store in Winnipeg on October 17. Interest in publicly traded cannabis companies has been stoked by Canada’s legalization of recreational use of marijuana and its plan to make consumable forms of the drug legal next year. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

“We are hopeful that President Trump will sign it this week. That will provide an excellent opportunity for Tilray to capitalize on … hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) in the U.S.”

CBD has significant medical benefits with little to no psychoactive effects — unlike THC, which is scientifically known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and generally known as the ingredient in pot that gives users a high.

Kennedy said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Federal Drug Administration have also given approvals for Tilray to export medical cannabis from Canada for a clinical trial in the United States, where Sandoz has a major pharmaceutical sales operation.

High profile partnerships with cannabis companies

The Sandoz announcement follows recent additions to Tilray’s international advisory board, which includes former finance ministers from Canada, Australia and Germany and politically connected representatives from the United States — former Vermont governor Howard Dean and former lieutenant governor of Maryland Michael Steele.

Interest in publicly traded cannabis companies has been stoked by Canada’s legalization of recreational use of marijuana and its plan to make consumable forms of the drug legal next year.

In addition, there have been a number of partnerships and tie-ups between cannabis companies and more established producers of consumer goods including beer makers Molson Coors and Constellation Brands, and cigarette maker Altria Group Inc.

Under the new agreement Tuesday, Sandoz may support Tilray’s commercialization of non-smokable and non-combustible medical cannabis products and work together on developing new products.

They may also partner to educate pharmacists and physicians about medical cannabis products.

Tilray Canada is a subsidiary of Tilray Inc., which is which is listed on the Nasdaq stock market and has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Latin America, Portugal and Canada.

In Canada, Tilray’s operation in Nanaimo, B.C., is licenced to produce dried cannabis and cannabis extracts, including both bottled oil and capsules, for medical purposes in Canada.

The company also has a licenced facility in Enniskillen, Ont., that it intends to use to service the adult market for dried cannabis and it’s seeking a licence for a processing facility in London, Ont.

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Real Estate

7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary

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Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market

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The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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10 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

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Buying a home for the first time is exciting and a commitment to the future. It’s often challenging, too, and the process requires a lot of steps, many of which can be tricky to navigate as a first-time home buyer.

What are some things you should keep in mind as a first-time home buyer?

First-Time Home Buyer Tips

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey toward homeownership.

1. Have Your Finances in Order

It’s wise to begin saving as early as possible once you’ve made the decision to purchase a house. You’ll need to consider the down payment, closing costs (which often range from 2% to 5% of the down payment), as well as move-in expenses.

You also need to understand the other costs of homeownership, such as mortgage insurance. property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, and more.

2. How Much Can You Afford?

Knowing how much you can realistically afford in a home is another important financial consideration. Look for the home of your dreams that fits your budget.

One way to avoid future financial stress is to set a price range for your home that fits your budget, and then staying within that range. Going through the preapproval process will help you understand what price range is realistic for your budget.

3. Make Sure Your Credit is Good

Another thing to keep in mind as a first-time home buyer is your credit score because it determines whether you qualify for a mortgage and affects the interest rate that lenders offer. 

You can check your credit score from the three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

This is another good reason for getting preapproved before you start your search. Learn more about the preapproval process and your credit score.

4. Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent guides you through the process every step of the way. He or she will help you find a home that fits your needs, help you through the financial processes, and help ease any first-time buyer anxiety you may have.

Interview several agents and request references.

5. Research Mortgage Options

A variety of mortgages are available, including conventional mortgages – which are guaranteed by the government – FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans (for veterans).

You’ll also have options regarding the mortgage term. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is popular among many homebuyers and has an interest rate that doesn’t change over the course of the loan. A 15-year loan usually has a lower interest rate but monthly payments are larger.

6. Talk to Multiple Lenders

It’s worth your time to talk to several lenders and banks before you accept a mortgage offer. The more you shop around, the better deal you’re liable to get – and it may save you thousands of dollars.

7. Get Preapproved First

Getting a mortgage preapproval (in the form of a letter) before you begin hunting for homes is something else to put on your checklist. A lender’s preapproval letter states exactly how much loan money you can get.

Learn more about the preapproval process and how preapproval provides you with a significant competitive advantage in our article How Preapproval Gives You Home Buying Power.

8. Pick the Right House and Neighborhood

Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of the different types of homes based on your budget, lifestyle, etc. Would a condominium or townhome fit your needs better than a house? What type of neighborhood appeals to you?

9. List Your Needs and Must-Haves

The home you purchase should have as many of the features you prefer as possible. List your needs in order of priority; some things may be non-negotiable to you personally.

10. Hire an Inspector

Hiring an inspector is another crucial step in the home buying process. An inspector will tell you about existing or potential problems with the home, and also what’s in good order. You can learn more about home inspections and how to find a home inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors website.

Buying a home for the first time is a challenge, but it’s one you can handle with the right planning and preparation.

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