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MMJ Group updates on industry trends as federal legalisation of cannabis in the US now a question of when and not if

MMJ Group Holdings Ltd’s (ASX:MMJ) (OTCMKTS:MMJJF) net asset value (NAV) has outshined the benchmark Alternative Harvest ETF during the four months ended October 31 2020.

MMJ NAV generated a negative return of 14% which compared to a negative 17% for the benchmark return for the same period.

It is a different story for the cannabis industry following the US elections with a potential Joe Biden win causing a major rally in cannabis stocks.

Most US states have passed some form of medical or recreational cannabis legalisation and MMJ believes federal legalisation of cannabis is now a question of when and not if.

The following is an update from Embark Ventures, the asset manager of MMJ’s cannabis investment portfolio:

Election news from the United States appears very promising with Joe Biden poised to win the presidency.

This has caused a major rally in cannabis stocks. As of this writing, many of the major bellwether stocks have been up almost 50% or more in some cases over the past..

MMJ Group Holdings Ltd’s (ASX:MMJ) (OTCMKTS:MMJJF) net asset value (NAV) has outshined the benchmark Alternative Harvest ETF during the four months ended October 31 2020.

MMJ NAV generated a negative return of 14% which compared to a negative 17% for the benchmark return for the same period.

It is a different story for the cannabis industry following the US elections with a potential Joe Biden win causing a major rally in cannabis stocks.

Most US states have passed some form of medical or recreational cannabis legalisation and MMJ believes federal legalisation of cannabis is now a question of when and not if.

The following is an update from Embark Ventures, the asset manager of MMJ’s cannabis investment portfolio:

Election news from the United States appears very promising with Joe Biden poised to win the presidency.

This has caused a major rally in cannabis stocks. As of this writing, many of the major bellwether stocks have been up almost 50% or more in some cases over the past several days.

Further good news came in the form of voters in individual states choosing cannabis legalisation via ballot proposition measures including New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, Montana and Mississippi.

Oregon even chose the dramatic step of voting to have all recreational drugs be decriminalized.

These additional US states represent several billion dollars in potential tax revenue that can be collected by state governments in these COVID-hit hard times.

These five states alone could add $2.5bln a year in annual top line sales for the industry.

New Jersey in particular is fascinating due to its proximity to New York state – if cannabis legalisation is a success there then we imagine New York state can’t be too far behind.

They would be highly incented to collect those tax dollars directly instead of having their residents line the tax coffers of a neighbouring state.

Factoring in these latest changes and looking top down, we can see that a majority of US states have passed some form of medical or recreational cannabis legalisation.

Some of these states have been historically quite conservative in their attitude towards cannabis so the cultural change is quite real.

In our view, it’s a fait accompli that we will see federal legalisation in the US. It’s now a question of when and not if.

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Australia

Indoor dance floors banned, Victorian government to mandate booster shots for workers in high-risk sectors

The Victorian government has announced deadlines for when workers in certain high-risk settings must have received a third dose of a COVID vaccine under a new vaccine mandate to be approved on Monday.

Indoor dance floors at hospitality and entertainment venues will also be closed from 11:59pm on January 12 in an attempt to limit the spread of the Omicron variant.

Indoor dancing at weddings will still be permitted, however, Victorian officials have urged attendees to take it outside.

Health Minister Martin Foley announced the “sensible” measures on Monday, saying they came in response to a “profound” rise in the number of people in hospital with COVID and soaring case numbers across the state.

Victoria reported 34,808 new cases on Monday alongside two additional deaths as the number of people in hospital rose to 818, up from 491 in the previous week.

The booster shot will be mandated for workers in the following settings:

  • Healthcare
  • Aged care
  • Disability care
  • Emergency services
  • Correctional facilities
  • Hotel quarantine
  • Food distribution including manufacturing, warehousing and transport
  • Abattoirs, meat, poultry and seafood processing

“All of these groups are already covered by existing mandates for those first two vaccinations, and this is a sensible addition for the relatively high-risk nature that these sectors operate when it comes to vaccine protection and of course their critical contribution to keeping Victoria operating,” Mr Foley told reporters.

He said he expected to sign-off on the new mandate on Monday afternoon.

The booster mandate has not yet been extended to supermarket and retail workers, with further announcements on additional workers to be made in the future, the Health Minister confirmed.

If eligible to receive a third dose of a vaccine on or before January 12, the impacted workers must receive a third dose by February 12 or show proof of a valid medical exemption from the vaccine in order to keep working.

If by January 12 some workers are not yet eligible they will have a window of three months plus two weeks to receive a third dose.

This means that all residential aged care workers will be required to get their third jab by March 1 – as the pre-existing mandate requires the second dose to have been received by November 15, 2021.

All disability, quarantine, correctional facility, emergency services, abattoir, meat, poultry and seafood workers will need to have their third dose of a vaccine by March 12 – with the deadline for the second dose coming into effect on November 26.

Healthcare workers must have received three doses of a vaccine by March 29 – with the cutoff for the second dose set for December 15.

Victorians have also been advised to work from home where possible.

The changes to restrictions come a day after Premier Daniel Andrews announced the pandemic declaration would be extended by three months – after it was due to expire on January 15.

“Extending the pandemic declaration ensures we are able to put the measures in place to slow the rate of transmission and protect the community’s health and our health system,” Mr Andrews said in the statement.

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Alice Queen’s strong drill results reveal potential to extend Horn Island gold resource

Alice Queen Ltd (ASX:AQX) has received consistent gold results in resource extension drilling at the 100%-owned component of Horn Island Gold Project in Torres Strait, Queensland, with potential to increase the current inferred resource.

Six diamond drill holes for 1,356 metres were completed to test a strike length of around 230 metres, with all holes returning zones of greater than 0.5 g/t gold mineralisation.

The furthest intercept is about 100 metres south and down dip from the previous drilling which informs the current Horn Island inferred resource of around 500,000 ounces.

This resource and adjacent area is excluded from the company’s joint venture with St Barbara Ltd (ASX:SBM), is retained solely by Alice Queen and is able to be further progressed independently from the JV.

“Consistent results”
The drilling tested a section of the Tatooine Dipole Dipole Induced Polarisation (DDIP) chargeability target and indicates this anomaly is associated with mineralised gold-bearing sh..

Alice Queen Ltd (ASX:AQX) has received consistent gold results in resource extension drilling at the 100%-owned component of Horn Island Gold Project in Torres Strait, Queensland, with potential to increase the current inferred resource.

Six diamond drill holes for 1,356 metres were completed to test a strike length of around 230 metres, with all holes returning zones of greater than 0.5 g/t gold mineralisation.

The furthest intercept is about 100 metres south and down dip from the previous drilling which informs the current Horn Island inferred resource of around 500,000 ounces.

This resource and adjacent area is excluded from the company’s joint venture with St Barbara Ltd (ASX:SBM), is retained solely by Alice Queen and is able to be further progressed independently from the JV.

“Consistent results”

The drilling tested a section of the Tatooine Dipole Dipole Induced Polarisation (DDIP) chargeability target and indicates this anomaly is associated with mineralised gold-bearing sheeted and stockwork veining.

Alice Queen managing director Andrew Buxton said: “It is very encouraging that our recent drilling to test the extensions to our existing resource continues to deliver consistent results and we are hopeful that this may potentially add further tonnes and ounces to our resource in the future.

“The extension drilling confirms that the mineralisation remains open towards the south and northwest.

“This is coincidental with the overall trend of the Tatooine anomaly that extends into the St Barbara JV area.”

Mineralisation remains open towards the south and northwest, coincidental with the overall trend of the Tatooine DDIP CHG anomaly and covers a total area of around 1 square kilometre.

Best gold intercepts from recent diamond drilling.

Ongoing exploration programs

The St Barbara JV diamond drilling program is in progress across the section of the Tatooine DDIP anomaly contained within the JV and will shortly begin at the Naboo DDIP target.

Buxton said: “Simultaneously to Alice Queen carrying out drilling in the excluded areas of the JV, St Barbara has also commenced drilling, so we are effectively hitting this target from both sides.

“With future RC infill drilling planned, it is key to remember that the existing Horn Island inferred resource could be increased both by volume and ounces from either or both of the two (the exclusive Alice Queen and the St Barbara JV) programs currently being carried out.”

Infill RC drilling at the current Horn Island inferred resource excluded area will commence in late November to progress resource definition activity.

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Great Southern sets development pathway for Mon Ami gold operation

Great Southern Mining Ltd (ASX:GSN) has set a development pathway for gold operations at Mon Ami in Western Australia after completing an in-house preliminary economic evaluation of the potential for an open-pit development.

Results are sufficiently positive for the company to initiate the full suite of requisite preliminary activities targeted at obtaining a mining approval under the Mining Act 1978 (WA) in 2021.

This progression towards development is expected to add significant underlying value to Mon Ami and the company’s gold strategy.

Development of the deposit offers a potential source of cash flow for ongoing funding of aggressive exploration plans across the gold portfolio – including Cox’s Find, at depth at Mon Ami and the Edinburgh Park Gold Project in North Queensland.

Testing high-grade extensions
Great Southern Mining chief executive officer Sean Gregory said: “We are pleased to announce that our in-house preliminary economic review has identified a potential low-cost..

Great Southern Mining Ltd (ASX:GSN) has set a development pathway for gold operations at Mon Ami in Western Australia after completing an in-house preliminary economic evaluation of the potential for an open-pit development.

Results are sufficiently positive for the company to initiate the full suite of requisite preliminary activities targeted at obtaining a mining approval under the Mining Act 1978 (WA) in 2021.

This progression towards development is expected to add significant underlying value to Mon Ami and the company’s gold strategy.

Development of the deposit offers a potential source of cash flow for ongoing funding of aggressive exploration plans across the gold portfolio – including Cox’s Find, at depth at Mon Ami and the Edinburgh Park Gold Project in North Queensland.

Testing high-grade extensions

Great Southern Mining chief executive officer Sean Gregory said: “We are pleased to announce that our in-house preliminary economic review has identified a potential low-cost development pathway for an open-pit mining operation at Mon Ami.

“The planned drilling program seeks to expand on this opportunity and test for higher grade extensions to the deposit at depth.

“Rapid development at Mon Ami has the potential to deliver a robust source of cash flow for GSN, allowing the further acceleration of the aggressive exploration plans across our Australian gold portfolio.”

Near-surface high-grade gold hits

Recent drill results at Mon Ami included several near-surface high-grade results – 11 metres at 7.9 g/t gold from 26 metres including 4 metres at 15.9 g/t and 4 metres at 12.4 g/t from 80 metres.

Initial technical studies have been scoped at the project to support a mining approval and include a review of the existing drill core and optical televiewer data by the company’s geotechnical consultants to recommend pit design parameters.

GSN believes that the high grades could extend to depth in an analogous fashion to the Ida H deposit 14 kilometres to the north of Mon Ami along the same regional shear zone, the Barnicoat Shear.

Upcoming drilling

The metallurgical characteristics of Mon Ami were tested in 2018 where the recoveries averaged 95% in the fresh and transitional rock, which will be the focus of any open pit development.

The maiden inferred resource of 1.1 million tonnes at 1.7 g/t for 59,000 ounces was estimated in 2018 and since then 2,073 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling has been conducted with further drilling is planned.

As a part of upcoming drilling, GSN plans to upgrade the resource to the indicated status based on an improved understanding of the deposit from the quality assured drilling and improved confidence around modifying factors.

Drill rig secured

The company has secured the services of its preferred RC drilling contractor to resume drilling operations at Laverton from the first week of December 2020.

Drilling will test these targets at Mon Ami as well as the targets at Cox’s Find.

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