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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 12, 2020.
Registration No. 333-    
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
5191
81-4895761
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
2249 South McDowell Boulevard Ext.
Petaluma, California 94954
(707) 765-9990
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
Cogency Global Inc.
850 New Burton Road, Suite 201
Dover, Delaware 19904
(800) 483-1140
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
Copies to:
Kenneth R. Koch, Esq.
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Chrysler Center, 666 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10017
Tel: (212) 935-3000
Byron B. Rooney
Deanna L. Kirkpatrick
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
450 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10017
Tel: (212) 450-4000
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
As soon as practicable after this registration statement becomes effective.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box. ☐
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐

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Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ☐ Accelerated filer ☐
Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company ☐
Emerging growth company ☒
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ☐
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
Title of Each Class of Securities to be Registered
Proposed Maximum
Aggregate Offering
Price(1)(2)
Amount of
Registration Fee
Common stock, par value $0.0001 per share
$ 100,000,000 $ 10,910
(1)
Estimated solely for purpose of calculating the registration fee according to Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).
(2)
Includes shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of common stock.
The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED NOVEMBER 12, 2020
Preliminary Prospectus
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Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc.
       Shares of Common stock
This is an initial public offering of common stock of Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc.
Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our common stock. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price per share will be between $     and $    . We have applied to list our common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “HYFM.”
We will be treated as an emerging growth company, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, for certain purposes until we complete this offering. As such, in this prospectus we have taken advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations that apply to emerging growth companies.
Investing in our common stock is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 22 to read about factors you should consider before buying shares of our common stock.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of the disclosures in this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Per Share
Total
Initial public offering price
$       $      
Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)
$ $
Proceeds, before expenses, to Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc.
$ $
(1)
See the section titled “Underwriting” for a description of the compensation payable to the underwriters.
We have granted the underwriter an option for a period of 30 days from the date of this prospectus to purchase up to an additional shares of our common stock to cover over-allotments, if any.
The underwriters expect to deliver the shares against payment in New York, New York, on or about         , 2020.
J.P. Morgan
Stifel
Deutsche Bank Securities
Truist Securities
William Blair
The date of this prospectus is            , 2020

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F-1
Through and including             , 2020 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers effecting transactions in these securities, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to a dealer’s obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as an underwriter and with respect to an unsold allotment or subscription.
 
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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus is accurate on any date subsequent to the date set forth on the front cover of this prospectus even though this prospectus is delivered or shares of common stock are sold or otherwise disposed of on a later date. It is important for you to read and consider all information contained in this prospectus in making your investment decision. You should also read and consider the information in the documents to which we have referred you under “Where You Can Find More Information” in this prospectus.
Neither we nor any of the underwriters have authorized anyone to give any information or to make any representation to you other than those contained in this prospectus. This prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of our shares of common stock other than the shares of our common stock covered hereby, nor does this prospectus constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction. Persons who come into possession of this prospectus in jurisdictions outside the United States are required to inform themselves about, and to observe, any restrictions as to the offering and the distribution of this prospectus applicable to those jurisdictions.
Emerging Growth Company
We are an emerging growth company, as defined under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). The JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.
Subject to certain conditions set forth in the JOBS Act, if, as an “emerging growth company,” we choose to rely on such exemptions we may not be required to, among other things, (i) provide an auditor’s attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404, (ii) provide all of the compensation disclosure that may be required of non-emerging growth public companies under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, (iii) comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s reporting providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (auditor discussion and analysis), and (iv) disclose certain executive compensation related items such as the correlation between executive compensation and performance and comparisons of the CEO’s compensation to median employee compensation.
We could remain an “emerging growth company” for up to five years, or until the earliest of  (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (ii) the date that we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), which would occur if the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, or (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1.07 billion in non-convertible debt during the preceding three-year period.
 
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Presentation of Financial Information
Pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, we are omitting our financial statements for periods prior to the year ended December 31, 2018.
Industry and Market Data
This prospectus includes statistical and other industry and market data that we obtained from industry publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties. Industry publications and third-party research, surveys and studies generally indicate that their information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, although they do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information.
Trademarks
Our primary trademarks include “Hydrofarm”, “PHANTOM BALLAST”, “ACTIVEAQUA”, “ACTIVE AIR” and “PhotoBio” and all of which are registered in the United States with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
 
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Dear Prospective Shareholders,
As a veteran of the consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) industry, I have had the privilege of leading many great companies through transformative periods. Harnessing the power of brands, delivering innovative solutions and achieving supply chain excellence are core principles I have followed over the past 30 plus years. In my experience, these principles were always key to driving superior long-term growth, profitability and shareholder value.
When I joined Hydrofarm in 2019, it was clear that the Company already had world-class brands and a 40-year reputation as a trusted partner in what has been, until the last decade, a cottage industry. Since its inception, Hydrofarm has been at the forefront of bringing together a complex supply chain ecosystem to serve the specialized needs of its customers. Yet today, in many ways, I see that Hydrofarm is just getting started. The right playbook will unlock opportunities to move the Company into a new phase of growth. I took the opportunity to invest my time and resources in Hydrofarm and am deeply proud to have joined the Company on its journey towards realizing its potential.
What got me so excited? Hydrofarm sits at the intersection of two of the most compelling market opportunities of our time: the consumer-led movement towards the legalization of cannabis in the U.S. and its legalization in Canada, and a revolution in controlled environment agriculture (“CEA”). I believe the first of these will result in the formation of the most substantial new consumer category we have seen in a generation. The second is a key pillar for re-engineering the global agricultural supply chain to focus on local, high-quality, equitable and sustainable farming practices through continued innovation in agricultural technologies. Hydroponics is squarely at the core of both.
CEA empowers farmers to operate more efficiently and sustainably. CEA requires less land and less water, and substantially eliminates chemical run-off. The result is superior crop yields with reduced levels of carbon emissions, water usage and environmental impact, while providing for significant optimization throughout the value chain. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and why I believe Hydrofarm is an exciting growth opportunity for investors, and in particular, those focused on environmental, social and governance factors. From indoor production of medical-grade cannabis, to innovative vertical farming techniques in densely populated areas, entrepreneurial farmers are just beginning to explore the vast global potential of CEA, and we anticipate that the global CEA market will grow to $100 billion or more over the next several years.
Cannabis in North America is also at an exciting juncture. The majority of American citizens now support having legal access to medical and/or adult-use cannabis. Legislative momentum has hit an inflection point in 2020, driven by evolving popular opinion and substantial budget shortfalls at all levels of government resulting from the pandemic. With such change and progress underway, the North American cannabis industry is expected to approximately double over the next five years.
Our leadership team often refers to Hydrofarm as a “40 year-old start-up” — we are proud of both our strong heritage and our entrepreneurial culture focused on growth. To bring this to life, we have put in place the right team, comprised of both company veterans and new leaders with fresh perspectives. This team has developed a strategic framework to invest in our competitive strengths and capture the massive opportunity that stands ahead of us. We are in the early innings of this growth plan and are highly energized by the significant progress we’ve made to date. Our leadership team’s broad experience with highly successful CPG and other consumer-facing businesses helped shape our strategic priorities — we believe there is significant opportunity to bring these CPG best practices to this fragmented, rapidly growing industry:
1.
Build trusted brands: Gold standard brands in CPG bring with them a trusted promise of great product quality and consistency. In hydroponics, growers must carefully control all key environmental variables or risk jeopardizing both yield and product quality. When growers find an approach that delivers quality results, they become strong brand loyalists and even advocates. Brands matter in this category, and we need to continue to strategically invest in ours.
2.
Drive innovation: We believe hydroponics is in its early stages, and there remains tremendous opportunity for innovation. Entrepreneurs around the globe are driving game-changing innovations that are delivering meaningful environmental and financial returns. We are investing in product innovation within our leading proprietary brands and through working with our exclusive brand partners. The goal of our
 
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innovation efforts is to provide customers with differentiated agricultural technologies and solutions that keep us at the leading edge of our industry.
3.
Deliver best-in-class service: The core of our business is to provide best-in-class service to hydroponic retailers and growers. We can deliver to almost 90% of the U.S. population within 48 hours of receiving an order. Our retail partners are the backbone of what Hydrofarm has delivered for over 40 years. However, the growth of hydroponics and cannabis is giving birth to a second major customer segment: large-scale, professional multi-state operators. Hydrofarm has built a platform to serve the unique needs of both markets. We have built a dedicated team and a proprietary commercial solution that brings highly efficient supply chain management best practices into an otherwise unstructured and fragmented industry. Our distributor managed inventory platform draws parallels to CPG’s vendor managed inventory system. This technology-enabled solution delivers improved inventory management and better pricing for end customers, while empowering our organization to increase throughput, deepen customer relationships and get early visibility into demand.
4.
Capitalize on fragmentation: Across the value chain, the hydroponics industry remains highly fragmented. With a strong, well-capitalized balance sheet in place, we expect to be able to opportunistically add to our brand portfolio, expand our market share and further strengthen our competitive “moat”. Our leadership team has extensive experience executing M&A, and we are eager to capitalize on our standing as the acquirer of choice in a fragmented industry.
Our mission is clear: bring innovative solutions, trusted brands and gold standard service to the rapidly expanding and complex CEA industry. To do that, we need to invest in our brands, optimize the supply chain and drive innovation while continuing to expand our operating platform and go-to-market model. I am very excited by what we have achieved with respect to these initiatives, but we are just getting started. I believe we will be successful in these efforts and hope you choose to join us on this exciting journey.
With gratitude,
Bill Toler
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
 
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
This summary highlights selected information contained elsewhere in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. Before investing in our common stock, you should carefully read this entire prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto and the information set forth under the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of this prospectus. Unless the context otherwise requires, we use the terms “Hydrofarm,” the “Company,” “we,” “our,” “us,” or similar terms in this prospectus to refer to Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc. and, where appropriate, our consolidated subsidiaries.
Introduction
We are a leading independent distributor and manufacturer of controlled environment agriculture (“CEA”, principally hydroponics) equipment and supplies, including a broad portfolio of our own innovative portfolio of proprietary branded products. We primarily serve the United States and Canadian markets, and believe we are one of the leading competitors by market share in these markets in an otherwise highly fragmented industry. For over 40 years, we have helped growers make growing easier and more productive. Our mission is to empower growers, farmers and cultivators with products that enable greater quality, efficiency, consistency and speed in their grow projects. For the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2020, we had net sales of $308.5 million; from 2005 to 2019, we generated a net sales compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of approximately 16%.
Hydroponics is the farming of plants using soilless growing media and often artificial lighting in a controlled indoor or greenhouse environment. Hydroponics is the primary category of CEA and we use the terms CEA and hydroponics interchangeably. Our products are used to grow, farm and cultivate cannabis, flowers, fruits, plants, vegetables, grains and herbs in controlled environment settings that allow end users to control key farming variables including temperature, humidity, CO2, light intensity spectrum, nutrient concentration and pH. Through CEA, growers are able to be more efficient with physical space, water and resources, while enjoying year-round and more rapid grow cycles as well as more predictable and abundant grow yields, when compared to other traditional growing methods.
We reach commercial farmers and consumers through a broad and diversified network of over 2,000 wholesale customer accounts, who we connect with primarily through our proprietary eCommerce marketplace. Over 80% of our net sales are into the specialty hydroponic retailers, through which growers are able to enjoy specialized merchandise assortments and knowledgeable staff. We also distribute our products across the United States and Canada to a diversified range of retailers of commercial and home gardening equipment and supplies that include garden centers, hardware stores, eCommerce retailers, commercial greenhouse builders, and commercial resellers.
How We Serve Our Customers
Our customer value proposition is centered around two pillars. First, we strive to offer the best selection by being a branded provider of all CEA needs. Second, we seek to be the gold standard in distribution and service, leveraging our infrastructure and reach to provide customers with just-in-time (“JIT”) delivery capabilities and exceptional service across the U.S. and Canada.
Complete Range of Innovative CEA Products
We offer thousands of innovative, branded CEA products that are supported by 24 patents and 60 registered trademarks. Our product offerings span lighting solutions, growing media (i.e., premium soils and soil alternatives), nutrients, equipment and supplies and includes more than 6,000 stock-keeping-units (“SKUs”) sold under leading proprietary, exclusive/preferred brands or non-exclusive/distributed brands. Some of our most well-known brands include Phantom and Active Aqua as well as in-licensed brands such as FoxFarm and Grodan. We estimate that approximately two-thirds of our net sales relate to recurring consumable products, including growing media, nutrients and supplies that require regular replenishment. The remaining portion of our sales relate to durable products such as hydroponic lighting and equipment. The majority of products we offer are produced by us or are supplied to us under exclusive/preferred brand
 
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relationships providing for attractive margins and a significant competitive advantage as we offer retailers and resellers a breadth of products that cannot be purchased elsewhere.
The following graphic illustrates a representative set of our market-leading products across key CEA product categories:
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Infrastructure and Reach for Fast Delivery, High In-Stock Availability and Exceptional Service
Our infrastructure and reach enable us to provide delivery and service capabilities to a highly diverse group of customers across the U.S. and Canada. We believe that our six U.S.-based distribution centers can reach approximately 90% of the U.S. population within 24 to 48 hours and that our two Canadian distribution centers can provide timely coverage to the full Canadian market.
In the U.S., we operate distribution centers in Petaluma, California; Santa Fe Springs, California; Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania; and New Hudson, Michigan. In Canada, we have distribution centers in Langley, British Columbia and Cambridge, Ontario. Outside of North America, we operate a distribution center in Zaragoza, Spain, and we have an office for product quality assurance and supply chain management in Shenzhen, China. We partner with a network of third-party logistics companies that facilitate expeditious delivery to our customers across the globe. The majority of customer orders are received through our business-to-business e-commerce platform. Through our differentiated Distributor Managed Inventory (“DMI”) Program, we partner with our network of retailers and resellers to create customized, JIT supply chain solutions for large commercial end users.
 
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The following illustration provides an overview of our operating footprint.
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Over the past fifteen years, we have grown our net sales at an approximate 17% CAGR. This historical growth is largely due to the growth in CEA growing across several end-markets, including cannabis, and our ability to continuously develop, manufacture and distribute innovative branded products on timely basis.
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We believe our industry is poised to grow significantly. Expanding populations, limited natural resources and a focus on the environment and the security of our agricultural systems have illuminated the benefits of CEA compared to traditional outdoor agriculture. We believe the adoption of CEA will continue to accelerate, particularly in the commercial agriculture industry, where CEA can be deployed to achieve grows that are simultaneously more efficient for the planet and profitable for growers. Furthermore, certain of our end-markets are experiencing significant growth, including cannabis. The global cannabis industry is a rapidly developing business opportunity for us, particularly as the legal market in the United States continues to expand.
To support this significant growth opportunity and to improve our profit margin profile, we recruited a new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, William (“Bill”) Toler, in early 2019. In turn, over the past 18 months, Mr. Toler recruited over five new executives and quickly put in place several management initiatives intended to support growth and improve our profit margins. These initiatives include, but are not limited to,
 
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further developments of proprietary brands, freight cost management and distribution network optimization, and the expansion of our commercial segment and DMI.
Given our strong historical net sales growth, the accelerating growth in our primary end-markets, and the strength of our new management team, we believe that we are well positioned for significant and sustained net sales and earnings growth.
Our Industry is Large and Rapidly Growing
The Expanding Controlled Environment Agriculture Market
Our principal industry opportunity is in the wholesale distribution of CEA equipment and supplies, which generally include grow light systems; advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (“HVAC”) systems; humidity and carbon dioxide monitors and controllers; water pumps, heaters, chillers, and filters; nutrient and fertilizer delivery systems; and various growing media typically made from soil, rock wool or coconut fiber, among others. Today, we believe that a majority of our products are sold for use in CEA applications.
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Pictured: PHOTOBIO LED Light, Active Aqua Grow Flow 5 gal system, Active Aqua Flexible Air Stone, OxyCLONE 20 Site System with Timer and Light Kit, Active Air CO2 System with Timer
CEA is an increasingly significant and fast-growing component of the expansive global commercial agriculture and consumer gardening sectors. According to the USDA and National Gardening Survey, the agriculture, food, and related industries sector produced more than $1 trillion worth of goods in the U.S. alone in 2017, and U.S. households spent a record of approximately $48 billion at retail stores on gardening and growing supplies and equipment.
According to industry publications, the global CEA industry totaled approximately $65 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16% from 2019 to 2023. The rapid growth of CEA crop output will subsequently drive growth in the wholesale CEA equipment and supplies industry. According to industry publications, the global wholesale CEA equipment and supplies industry totaled approximately $8 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.8% from 2019 to 2025.
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Powerful Trends are Driving Significant Industry Growth
We believe that the growth in the wholesale distribution of CEA equipment and supplies is driven by a broad array of factors including:
Significant Growth in the Cannabis Industry
Today, we believe that a majority of the CEA equipment and supplies we sell to our customers is ultimately purchased by participants in the cannabis industry, though we do not sell to participants in the cannabis industry directly. The North American cannabis industry is massive and growing rapidly, driven largely by state-level legalization efforts in the U.S. and federal-level legalization in Canada. The current and expected growth in the size of the cannabis market has and will continue to have a very significant, positive impact on our business.
The following map illustrates the state-level progression of cannabis legalization in the U.S., differentiating states that have fully legalized cannabis for medical and adult-use purposes and states that have partially legalized cannabis for medical purposes only. Importantly, though Canada and several U.S. states have taken significant steps towards cannabis legalization, we believe the North American legal cannabis market is still in the nascent stages of realizing its growth potential. As of the date of this prospectus, only 15 U.S. states and the District of Columbia had legalized cannabis for adult-use. The aggregate population of those states is only around one third of the total U.S. population. Furthermore, in U.S. states that have passed cannabis laws, many such laws remain restrictive to consumer access. As an example, we believe significant suppressed demand would be unlocked in Texas, should the state adopt a medical cannabis law that more closely resembles that of their neighboring state, Oklahoma, where we have seen significant growth since cannabis was legalized for medical use in 2018. In Canada, the governments of every province and territory have enacted laws allowing for the distribution and sale of cannabis for adult-use purposes; however the market remains in early stages of market development.
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According to industry publications, the U.S. cannabis market is projected to reach approximately $31.1 billion by 2024, up from approximately $12.2 billion in 2019, representing a 21% CAGR. In Canada, the cannabis market is projected to reach approximately $6.2 billion by 2024, up from approximately $1.7 billion in 2019, representing a 30% CAGR. The following chart illustrates the forecasted growth of the cannabis industry in the United States and Canada:
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This significant growth in the U.S. cannabis market is expected due to (i) state initiatives for new adult-use and/or medical-use programs in additional U.S. states, (ii) expanded access for patients or consumers in existing state medical or adult-use cannabis programs, and (iii) increased consumption driven by greater product diversity and choice, reduced stigma, and real and perceived health benefits in states with existing adult-use or medical use programs.

State initiatives for new adult-use or medical-use programs.   We believe support for cannabis legalization in the U.S. is gaining momentum. According to a November 2019 poll by Pew Research Center, public support for the legalization of cannabis in the U.S. increased from approximately 41% in 2010 to approximately 67% in 2019.1 According to a 2019 poll by Quinnipiac University, 93% of Americans support patient access to medical-use cannabis if recommended by a doctor. Furthermore, due to the recent socio-economic changes across the U.S. since early 2020, many state government budgets are increasingly under pressure to identify additional revenue sources, such as the potential revenue streams from the taxation and job creation that state legalized adult-use cannabis may offer. Accordingly, a number of states are at various stages of considering implementing laws permitting cannabis use or further liberalizing their existing laws permitting such use. Our sales per capita in U.S. states with legalized adult-use programs are on average several multiples higher than our sales per capita in states without adult-use programs. We believe this fact points to the significant opportunity available to us if or when additional U.S. states legalize adult-use programs.

Expanded access for patients and consumers in existing state medical and adult-use programs.   The cannabis business in states with existing cannabis laws is in nascent stages in many cases and will continue to grow, creating jobs and opportunities for workers and entrepreneurs. Cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries, delivery providers, labs and other cannabis-related businesses will continue to grow in these regions. As these businesses proliferate, consumers will benefit from easier access to cannabis products.

Greater product diversity and choice, reduced stigma and real and perceived health benefits in states with existing adult-use or medical use programs.   Several key developments have contributed to an increase in cannabis product availability and breadth, including the proliferation of CBD and other cannabis-infused products, including edibles, oils, tinctures, and topical treatments. We believe that the historical stigmatization of cannabis use has diminished significantly, driven by a more supportive legislative environment, a rise in progressive sociopolitical views and greater consumer awareness of the potential health benefits of cannabis consumption. According to industry publications, real and perceived health benefits extend into areas including cancer treatment, pain management, the treatment of neurological and mental conditions, and sleep management. According to industry publications, the use of cannabis
1
Daniller, Andrew. “Two-thirds of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (Nov. 14, 2019).
 
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in the U.S. by adults aged 65+ has increased sharply in recent years from 0.4% in 2006 and 2.9% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2018 (JAMA Internal Medicine).2
Acceleration of CEA Adoption
Both the commercial agriculture and cannabis industries are increasingly adopting more advanced agricultural technologies in order to enhance the productivity and efficiency of operations. The benefits of CEA include:

Greater product safety, quality and consistency;

More reliable, climate-agnostic year-round crop supply from multiple, faster harvests per year as opposed to a single, large harvests with outdoor cultivation;

Lower risk of crop loss from pests (and subsequently lower need for pesticides) and plant disease;

Lower required water and pesticide use compared to conventional farming, offering incremental benefits in the form of reduced chemical runoff and lower labor requirements; and

Potentially lower operating expenses from resource-saving technologies such as high-efficiency LED lights, precision nutrient and water systems and automation.
CEA implementation continues to increase globally, driven by the factors listed above as well as growth in fruit and vegetable farming, consumer gardening and the continued adoption of vertical farming. Vertical farming, a subsector of CEA, has gained popularity mainly due to its unique advantage of maximizing yield by growing crops in layers. Industry publications project that the global vertical farming market will reach approximately $6 billion in 2023, up from $3 billion in 2019 and representing a 24% CAGR from 2019 to 2023.3
While a small portion of cannabis cultivation may be grown in non-CEA settings, given the multitude of benefits of CEA cultivation, we believe CEA will continue to be the primary method of growing cannabis, driving demand for our products. The movement towards the legalization of cannabis in the U.S. and its legalization in Canada also comes with a corresponding increase in regulatory oversight and statutory requirements for growers and their products. These regulations enhance product safety and transparency to consumers but usually necessitate the use of CEA in cannabis cultivation in order to meet mandated THC content or impurity tolerances.
Increased Consumer Home Growing
We perceive consumer gardening to be a significant driver of future CEA growth. According to the National Gardening Survey, in 2017, 77% of U.S. households participated in lawn and garden activities, spending on average a record of $503 per household. We expect this growth in consumer gardening and growing spending to continue, driven by both increased participation by millennials and strong continued participation by married households, adults over age 55, and adults without children. We believe that these demographic dynamics will result in an increase in the number of consumer gardening category participants, resulting in the purchase of more CEA products.
Strong Demand for Hemp for CBD Production
Hemp cultivation in North America has grown significantly since the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill in December 2018. Consumers are increasingly using hemp-derived products such as CBD for their therapeutic benefits. According to industry publications, the U.S. hemp-derived CBD market is expected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2019 to $6.9 billion in 2025, representing a six-year CAGR of 33.8%. We have experienced strong demand for our products from growers that solely harvest hemp and from cannabis growers who are adding hemp to their offerings. We are very well positioned to continue to capitalize on the growth of industrial
2
Reproduced with permission from JAMA Intern Med. 2020. 180(4):609-611. Copyright © 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
3
Sinnarkar, Makarand. Allied Market Research Reports. “Green Technology and Sustainability Market is Expected to Reach $44.61 Billion by 2026.” (Feb. 2020).
 
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hemp cultivation in North America especially as cultivation is increasingly done indoors. Both our current product portfolio and our pipeline of new products tailored to the needs of hemp cultivators will help us serve this burgeoning market.
Increased Focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) Issues
We believe the growth and change in our end-markets is in part driven by a variety of ESG trends aimed at preserving resources and enhancing the transparency and safety of our food supply chains. Overall, CEA delivers superior performance characteristics versus traditional agriculture when compared on select key ESG performance criteria:

More efficient land usage.   CEA allows for greater crop production per square foot, reducing the amount of land needed to grow crops. Certain types of vertical farming are 20 times more productive than traditional farming per acre.

More efficient fresh water usage.   CEA allows for the management and recycling of water inside of a closed-loop system and therefore generally require less water than traditional outdoor agriculture. In certain instances, CEA can grow plants with up to 98% less water than soil based agriculture.

Decreased use of fertilizer and pesticides.   As CEA takes place in a controlled, often indoor environments, the need for pesticides application is reduced, allowing growers to apply less pesticide with more precise application compared to traditional outdoor agriculture.

Reduced carbon emissions.   CEA, especially vertical farming, allows large farming operations to be located significantly closer to end-users, thereby reducing the transportation distance of ready-to-use crops.

Reduced food waste.   Similar to the above, since CEA allows for food production significantly closer to end-user, there is less time between production and consumption and therefore reduced product spoilage, damage and waste.

Chemical runoff prevention.   Due to closed-loop nature of CEA systems, CEA significantly decreases the risk of chemical runoff, which is generally more difficult to control in traditional outdoor agriculture.

Supports organic farming.   CEA is well suited for organic farming, the produce of which has been in increasing demand by consumers.
COVID-19
The COVID-19 (“COVID-19”) pandemic has caused significant shifts in consumer sentiment and behavior thereby altering the dynamics of the CEA industry. Its effect on the cannabis industry may also drive a greater volume of sales by our customers, increasing demand for our CEA equipment and supplies. We believe that these changes, as outlined below, will benefit our industry in the long-term:

New entrants into the consumer gardening and growing market.   We believe that a meaningful portion of consumer gardening and growing product spending following the COVID-19 outbreak was driven by first-time users. We expect this to be a tailwind for the consumer gardening and growing market going forward as a portion of these consumers opt to work-from-home more.

Increased focus on food security and sustainable sourcing.   The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified consumer focus on food security and transparency of food production around the world. CEA offers a more sustainable and secure alternative to traditional outdoor agriculture, allowing food to be grown closer to where it is ultimately consumed, thereby reducing supply chain-related risks and food waste.

Pressure on governments to identify additional revenue streams, such as tax revenue from state legalized cannabis industries.   The COVID-19 pandemic has put a significant strain on government budgets, increasing pressure to find revenue from previously unexplored streams including state legalized medicinal or adult-use cannabis.
 
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Home-centric lifestyle increasing use occasion opportunities for cannabis use.   The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to foster a long-term increase in at-home activity. This lifestyle shift may foster growth in the cannabis market by increasing potential occasions for cannabis use as cannabis is often consumed at home.

Essential service designation.   During lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, our manufacturing and distribution operations and a great majority of our key suppliers, retailers and resellers were designated as essential and remained open. This sets a key precedent about the vital importance of our operations and end-markets.
Our Competitive Strengths
We attribute our success to the following competitive strengths.
Leading Market Positions in Attractive Growing Markets
We are a leading independent distributor and manufacturer of CEA equipment and supplies in the U.S. and Canada and one of the two major consolidators in the CEA industry. The broader market is comprised of a fragmented group of smaller competitors. We serve several attractive end-markets, including hemp and indirectly, the cannabis industry. Favorable trends in CEA, including increased adoption of vertical farming methods to increase yields, are projected to drive a 24% CAGR for the vertical farming market through 2023 according to industry publications. Similarly, growers’ increasing preference to reduce water and energy usage, limit pesticide use and risk of environmental runoff, and reduce labor costs coupled with growing consumer demand for fruits and vegetables are expected to drive significant growth in CEA methods. Furthermore, CEA allows farms to be located closer to their consumers, greatly reducing the costs and waste (namely CO2 and spoiled food) related to transportation resulting in an overall smaller carbon footprint. However, we will likely see the most significant growth in cannabis. Increased support for cannabis legalization at the federal level in the U.S., an increase in U.S. states’ implementation of adult-use and medical cannabis programs, continued growth in the Canadian cannabis market following the implementation of the Cannabis Act in 2018, and consumer and commercial awareness of the benefits associated with hemp-derived products will serve as significantly favorable tailwinds that will drive continued growth.
New, Experienced Management Team with Proven Track Record
Our management team possesses significant public market experience, a history of driving long-term organic growth and a track record of successful business consolidations. Bill Toler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has over 35 years of executive leadership experience in supply chain and consumer packaged goods, most recently serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hostess Brands from April 2014 to March 2018. Under his leadership, Hostess Brands transitioned from a private to public company, regained a leading market position within the sweet baked goods category and returned to profitability. Bill also previously served as Chief Executive Officer of AdvancePierre Foods and President of Pinnacle Foods, in addition to holding executive roles at Campbell Soup Company, Nabisco and Procter & Gamble. Terence Fitch, President, possesses significant relevant business experience including more than 20 years of management experience with the Coca-Cola Company and Coke Enterprises, where he was responsible for manufacturing, supply chain, and sales and marketing for the multi-billion-dollar Refreshment Direct and Independent Bottlers business units. For the past six years, Terence has been working on building, managing and designing large CEA operations in Colorado and Arkansas. B. John Lindeman, Chief Financial Officer brings us more than 25 years of finance and leadership experience. Most recently he served as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary at Calavo Growers, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: CVGW), a fresh food company, where he was responsible for the finance, accounting, IT and human resource functions. Prior to joining Calavo, he held various leadership positions within the finance and investment banking industries at Janney Montgomery Scott, Stifel Nicolaus, Legg Mason and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Broad Portfolio with Innovative Proprietary Offerings and Recurring Consumables Sales
We have one of the largest equipment and consumable product offerings in the industry. From lighting solutions to nutrients to grow mediums, we offer nearly everything growers need to ensure their operations are
 
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maximizing efficiency, output and quality. We maintain an extensive portfolio of products which includes 26 internally developed, proprietary brands across approximately 900 SKUs with 24 patents and 60 registered trademarks as well as over 40 exclusive/preferred brands across approximately 900 SKUs. We maintain inventory across over 6,000 SKUs, and approximately 60% of our sales relate to proprietary and exclusive/preferred brands. Our proprietary and exclusive/preferred brands include lighting, equipment, grow media, nutrients and supplements. Our proprietary products command a significant gross margin premium relative to general distributed brands. Our revenue mix continues to shift towards proprietary brands as we continue to innovate, improving overall margins. Further, our revenue stream is highly consistent as, in our estimation, we believe that approximately two-thirds of our net sales are generated from the sale of recurring consumable products including growing media, nutrients and supplies. Our top 20 customers buy over 3,000 SKUs in the aggregate.
Proprietary Sourcing and Supplier Relationships Create Barriers to Entry
Our scale presents a significant barrier to entry as we have developed exclusive distribution relationships, proprietary brands and a geographic footprint that enables us to efficiently service customers across North America. We maintain approximately 900,000 square feet of distribution space across six distribution centers in the U.S. and two distribution centers in Canada. Furthermore, we have cultivated over the last 40 years long-term relationships with a network of approximately 400 suppliers, giving us access to a best-in-class products portfolio and allowing us to provide a full range of CEA solutions to our customers. We source individual components from our diverse supplier base to assemble our products, including utilizing a dedicated on-the-ground purchasing team in China to maintain and develop relationships with suppliers. To maintain competitive pricing, we implement cost sharing with certain of our suppliers. No single supplier makes up more than 9% of our total supplier costs.
Unique Ability to Serve Our Strong Customer Base
We maintain long-standing relationships with a diversified range of leading hydroponic retailers, retailers of commercial and home gardening equipment and supplies that include garden centers, hardware stores, eCommerce retailers, commercial greenhouse builders, and commercial resellers. We serve over 2,000 business-to-business customers across multiple channels in North America, providing customers with the capability to purchase their entire product range from us. Our commercial sales and DMI programs further enhance our customer capabilities, offering consultation, technical expertise, facilitated order fulfillment and JIT delivery of consumables. Our unique distribution capabilities allow us to provide JIT delivery across North America, utilizing six strategically located distribution centers in the U.S. and our two distribution centers in Canada. Our distribution footprint in the U.S. can reach approximately 90% of the population in 24 to 48 hours and our two distribution centers in British Colombia and Ontario can provide timely coverage to the fully Canadian market. We maintain coverage of industry trends and consumer preferences via thirteen sales managers complemented by teams made up of specialized product category experts. Given our ability to provide a comprehensive product offering and excellent customer service, we maintain over seven-year relationships with the majority of our largest customers.
Proven Mergers and Acquisitions (“M&A”) Track Record
Our management team has extensive experience with execution and integration of M&A opportunities. In November 2017, we acquired Eddi’s Wholesale Garden Supplies, Ltd. (“Eddi’s”) and the distribution division of Greenstar Plant Products, Inc. (“GSD”), which we believe were two of the leading CEA and lawn and garden distributors in Canada at the time of the acquisitions. Those acquisitions, combined with our existing infrastructure and experience, have enabled us to become one of the leading CEA equipment distributors in Canada. Additionally, we maintain relationships throughout our markets to identify specific product categories of interest for M&A activity. Our robust understanding of commercial growers’ needs coupled with our experienced M&A team has prepared us to make additional acquisitions in the hydroponics industry, which will help us to continue to grow our market share. We view M&A as a significant driver of potential growth as the hydroponics industry is fragmented and primed for consolidation.
Our Growth and Productivity Strategies
We are well positioned to capitalize on the growth of our underlying markets through the following strategies.
 
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Capitalizing on Rapidly Growing Markets
Our customers benefit from macroeconomic factors driving the growth of CEA, including expanded adoption of CEA and vertical farming by commercial growers and consumers, as well as the growth in cannabis, hemp and other end-markets. As the world population grows and urbanizes, vertical farming is increasingly being used to meet the demand for food crops. Industry publications estimate that the global vertical farming market will expand at a 24% CAGR from 2019 to 2023. In addition, the U.S. and Canadian cannabis markets had an estimated value of approximately $14 billion in 2019, and are projected to grow to $37 billion by 2024. The hemp market has benefited from consumer adoption of hemp-derived CBD products. According to industry publications, the U.S. hemp-derived CBD market is expected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2019 to $6.9 billion in 2025, representing a six-year CAGR of 33.8%. We expect to capitalize on favorable cannabis and hemp growth trends by continuing to expand our operations globally.
Expanding our Proprietary Product Offering
We are expanding the breadth of our product assortment through continued development of our own proprietary brands. Our proprietary brands command a meaningful gross margin premium to our distributed products. Our core competency in new product innovation is in lighting, consumable and equipment categories, and we are enhancing research and development in our other product categories to expand our brand portfolio’s value and further enhance our margins. We have launched several new product lines over the past year, including PhotoBio LED lighting equipment and Phantom Core HID lighting equipment. We also maintain a pipeline of next generation proprietary products and occasionally make investments in suppliers to create strategic relationships around the development of specific products and enhanced distribution agreements.
Adding Strategic Distribution Relationships and Exclusive/Preferred Brands
We can increase revenue with significant cross-selling activity to our current installed customer base by offering a more comprehensive assortment of products required by commercial growers to engage in cultivation. We have identified key suppliers with product solutions that are well established in the grower community for exclusive/preferred brand relationships. Exclusive/preferred brand relationships with leading brands drive sales and margin improvement. We believe we are a highly attractive distribution partner due to our scale and independence in growing media and nutrient categories. We have established sixteen new exclusive/preferred distribution relationships over the past two years including with established equipment and nutrient suppliers.
Enabling Wholesaler Network to Effectively Serve Commercial Growers
Working with our wholesale network, we are leveraging our sophisticated technical sales team to provide our wholesale network the ability to address the needs, demanding requirements and higher volume of their larger-scale commercial customers. Establishing these relationships with our channel provides us with insight and access to growers’ evolving demands, leading to both increased equipment sales and recurring sales of consumables through our wholesale network. Our commercial grower outreach program, our analytically driven supply chain function and DMI capabilities enable our wholesaler network to anticipate customer demand for products and ensure their availability. The goal of these efforts is to maintain long-term relationships with our wholesalers by helping them be successful in providing cultivation square footage savings and access to JIT inventory to their customer base. We believe this can result in profitability for our wholesalers’ customers on consumables and equipment. We also believe that increasing the value to our wholesale network will allow us to grow within key accounts and expand sales of our products and services to new accounts.
Expand our Operating Margins
We have developed and begun to implement specific productivity initiatives across our business as a means of funding growth. Our initiatives include the following:

Enhance Our Brand Mix.   We will continue to increase the percentage of proprietary and exclusive/preferred brands in our product portfolio. Our innovative proprietary and exclusive/preferred brands offer us a significant margin benefit compared to distributed brands.
 
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Drive Supply Chain Efficiencies.   We are implementing multiple supply chain efficiency initiatives, including the review of our carrier sourcing relationships and intra-warehouse shipments for optimization opportunities, reducing the active SKU count by eliminating non-core SKUs, and the deployment enhanced inventory planning tools. For example, we have reduced our SKU count from 5,400 in 2019 to 3,700 in 2020. Additionally, we continually review our distribution network for optimization opportunities, and in doing so consolidated two warehouses to one in 2019.

Optimize the Customer Investment Program.   We have segmented our client accounts to improve our discounting decisions in order to maximize net sales as a percent of gross sales.

Leveraging G&A.   Additional areas of cost savings will come from more efficiently leveraging corporate overhead as our business continues to grow and scale.
Acquiring Value-Enhancing Businesses
The hydroponics industry is highly fragmented which we believe presents a significant opportunity for growth through M&A. Management is continually evaluating M&A targets and we believe, in this fragmented market, there will be continued opportunities for M&A. M&A provides us an opportunity to significantly increase distribution with independent brands and to add new products based on identified needs of commercial growers. We utilize clear investment criteria to make disciplined M&A decisions that will accelerate sales and EBITDA growth, increase competitive strength and market share and expand our proprietary brand portfolio.
Risks Associated With Our Business
Our business is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that you should understand before making an investment decisions. Risks are discussed more fully in the section entitled “Risk Factors” of this prospectus. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:
Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness:

significant risks associated with our outstanding and future indebtedness of certain of our subsidiaries;

restrictions imposed by our Loan Agreement and Encina Credit Facility on our ability to sell products directly to the cannabis industry; and

we may not be entitled to forgiveness under the PPP Loan (as defined below) and our application for the PPP Loan could in the future be determined to be impermissible or could damage our reputation.
Risks Relating to Third Parties:

we rely on a limited base of suppliers for certain products, which may result in disruptions to our business;

if our suppliers are unable to source raw materials or the prices of raw materials increase, this may adversely affect our results of operations; and

if our suppliers decide to sell directly into the retail market that we conduct our current or future business in, we may face increased competition.
Risks Relating to the Cannabis Industry:

we are subject to a number of risks, directly and indirectly, because cannabis and cannabis-related activities are illegal under federal law;

we may be indirectly subject to federal and state controlled substance laws and regulation due to our involvement in the cannabis industry;

federal and state regulations pertaining to the use and cultivation of cannabis may adversely affect our business;

new California regulations have caused licensing shortages and future regulations may create other limitations that decrease demand for our products;
 
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our products are subject to varying, inconsistent and rapidly changing laws;

our indirect involvement in the cannabis industry could adversely affect our public reputation; and

businesses involved in the cannabis industry are subject to a variety of laws and regulations related to money laundering, financial recordkeeping and proceeds of crimes.
Risks Relating to Other Regulations:

we may be restricted by certain state and other regulations pertaining to the use of certain ingredients in growing media and plant nutrients, including the use of pesticides; and

we are subject to certain U.S., state and foreign laws and regulations regarding how we collect, store and process personal information.
Risks Relating to Our Intellectual Property:

recent changes in laws make it difficult to predict how patents will be issued or enforced in our industry;

we may not be able to adequately obtain, maintain, protect our enforce our intellectual property and other proprietary rights;

we may need to rely on licenses to proprietary technologies from time to time, which could be difficult or expensive to obtain; and

we may be subject to intellectual property infringement, misappropriation and other violation claims or claims that our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their former employers.
Risks Relating to Our Capital Stock:

we may incur indebtedness or issue capital stock that ranks senior or equally to our common stock with certain liquidation preference and other rights, which may dilute our stockholders’ ownership interest; and

certain provisions in our corporate charter documents and in our current loan agreement and credit facility and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove current management.
General Risk Factors
Risks Relating to Our Business:

competitive industry pressures;

general economic and financial conditions, specifically in the United States and Canada;

the adverse effects of public health epidemics, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic, on our business, results of operations and financial operations; and

limitations and possible failures of our internal control systems.
Recent Developments
Effects of Coronavirus on Our Business
The World Health Organization recognized COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020 and as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Public health responses have included national pandemic preparedness and response plans, travel restrictions, quarantines, curfews, event postponements and cancellations and closures of facilities including local schools and businesses. The global pandemic and actions taken to contain COVID-19 have adversely affected the global economy and financial markets.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented business continuity plans designed to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, such as restrictions on non-essential business travel,
 
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the institution of work-from-home practices and the implementation of strategies for workplace safety at our facilities. In March 2020, the majority of the employees at our headquarters transitioned to working remotely. For several weeks following the initial outbreak of COVID-19, we experienced a material impact to our supply chain that inhibited growth and results of operations. While we are not currently experiencing material adverse impacts to our supply chain, we intend to continue to source many products from China. It is difficult to predict the extent to which COVID-19 may continue to spread. As of the date of this prospectus, manufacturers in China are generally back in operation; however, a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic could result in the re-closure of factories in China. Quarantine orders and travel restrictions within the U.S. and other countries may also adversely impact our supply chains, the manufacturing of our own products and our ability to obtain necessary materials. Consequently, we may be unable to obtain adequate inventory to fill purchase orders or manufacture our own products, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, potential suppliers or sources of materials may pass the increase in sourcing costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic to us through price increases, thereby impacting our potential future profit margins.
Our customers reside in countries, primarily the U.S. and Canada, that are currently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these customers have experienced shelter-in-place measures in attempts to contain the spread of COVID-19, including general lockdowns, closure of schools and non-essential businesses, bans on gatherings and travel restrictions. Although we cannot precisely quantify in absolute or relative terms, our accelerated rate of growth in net sales for the six months ended September 30, 2020 correlates with shelter-in-place orders issued in many locations in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our sales growth for the six months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately 50% higher than the same period in 2019. A portion of our net sales during this period could be due to pull-through demand for our products due to higher consumption of CEA products from individuals spending more time at home due to shelter-in-place measures. Although uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic remains, and various state budgets remain under economic pressure creating a greater chance of further cannabis legalization, we cannot assure you that such a rate of growth will continue.
Our business has remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 30, 2020, our manufacturing and distribution operations are viewed as essential services and continue to operate. Our key suppliers, retailers and resellers have been designated as essential services and remain open at this time, however, in certain places they are operating under reduced hours and capacity limitations. The majority of U.S. and Canadian cannabis businesses have been designated as essential by U.S. State and Canadian government authorities.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately impact our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows depends on future developments that are highly uncertain, rapidly evolving and difficult to predict at this time. Depending on the length and severity of COVID-19, we may experience an increase or decrease in customer orders driven by volatility in consumer shopping and consumption behavior. While we are not experiencing material adverse impacts at this time, given the global economic slowdown, the overall disruption of global supply chains and distribution systems and the other risks and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected. While we believe that we are well positioned for the future as we navigate the crisis and prepare for an eventual return to a more normal operating environment, we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic as we evolve our business continuity plans and response strategy.
Recent Transactions
PPP Loan
On April 7, 2020, we entered into a U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) promissory note in the principal amount of $3.3 million payable to JP Morgan Chase, N.A. (the “PPP Lender”) evidencing a PPP loan from the SBA (the “PPP Loan”). The PPP Loan will bear interest at a rate of 1% per annum. No payments will be due on the PPP Loan during a ten month deferral period commencing on April 7, 2020. Commencing one month after the expiration of the deferral period, and continuing on the same day of each month thereafter until the maturity date of the PPP Loan, we are obligated to make monthly payments of principal and interest, each in such equal amount required to fully amortize the
 
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principal amount outstanding on the PPP Loan by the maturity date. The maturity date is April 7, 2022. The PPP Loan contains customary borrower default provisions and lender remedies, including the right of the PPP Lender to require immediate repayment in full the outstanding principal balance of the PPP Loan with accrued interest. The principal amount of the PPP Loan is subject to forgiveness under the PPP upon our request to the extent that PPP Loan proceeds are used to pay expenses permitted by the PPP, including payroll, rent, and utilities. The PPP Lender may forgive interest accrued on any principal if the SBA pays the interest. While we believe we have used the PPP Loan proceeds in a manner consistent with obtaining forgiveness, we intend to repay the PPP Loan in connection with the consummation of the offering contemplated hereby.
Preferred Stock Offering
On December 31, 2019, we entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain investors named therein, pursuant to which we issued and sold, in a private placement offering between December 2019 and February 2020, 7,725,045 shares of our Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Series A Preferred Stock”), at an offering price of $3.50 (the “Preferred Stock Offering”). We received gross proceeds of approximately $27 million (which includes proceeds of approximately $8 million raised from the issuances of convertible unsecured subordinated promissory notes issued in September and October 2019 which converted into shares of our Series A Preferred Stock) in connection with the Preferred Stock Offering, before deducting fees and related offering expenses. Our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Toler, purchased 1,428,572 shares of our Series A Preferred Stock. Upon the consummation of the offering contemplated hereby, the Series A Preferred Stock will automatically convert into shares of our common stock.
Encina Refinancing
In July 2019, certain of our subsidiaries (the “Subsidiary Obligors”) entered into a Loan and Security Agreement with Encina Business Credit, LLC (as amended to date, the “Encina Credit Facility”). The Encina Credit Facility provides for revolving borrowings under an asset-based loan commitment of up to $45 million (inclusive of a limit of up to $15 million of borrowings for the Canadian subsidiaries party thereto and a swingline facility of up to $2.0 million), subject to applicable borrowing base availability. The Encina Credit Facility matures on July 11, 2022, or (ii) 90 days prior to the scheduled maturity date of the Term Loan Agreement. The Encina Credit Facility is secured by a first-priority lien on all cash, accounts receivable and inventory of the Subsidiary Obligors and a second-lien priority lien on all other personal property of the Subsidiary Obligors. A portion of the proceeds borrowed under the Encina Credit Facility were used to pay in full the Loan and Security Agreement dated November 8, 2017, as amended from time to time, among Bank of America, N.A. and the obligors party thereto (the “BofA Credit Facility”).
Corporate Structure
We have been in the business of indoor gardening since Hydrofarm, LLC, (originally, Applied Hydroponics, Inc.), one of our wholly-owned subsidiaries, was formed in the State of California on May 4, 1977. We conduct our business through our wholly-owned, direct and indirect subsidiaries. Hydrofarm
 
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Holdings LLC is a shell entity and a subsidiary of Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc.; Hydrofarm Holdings LLC’s subsidiary is Hydrofarm, LLC, our primary operating entity. The chart below depicts our current organizational structure:
[MISSING IMAGE: tm2027341d1-fc_corporbwlr.jpg]
Corporate Information
We were incorporated in Delaware in January 2017 under the name Innovation Acquisition One Corp. Our predecessor company, originally called Applied Hydroponics, Inc., was founded in 1977 in Northern California. We changed our name to Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc. on August 3, 2018 in connection with the Private Placement and Merger described in “Business — History” and “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions — The Merger and Concurrent Offering,” respectively. Our principal executive offices are located at 2249 South McDowell Blvd Ext., Petaluma, California, 94954 (the “Petaluma HQ”) and our telephone number is (707) 765-9990. Our website address is www.hydrofarm.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not, and shall not be deemed to be part of, this prospectus. We have included our website address in this prospectus solely as an inactive textual reference. Investors should not rely on any such information in deciding whether to purchase our common stock.
 
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THE OFFERING
Common stock offered by us
       shares of common stock.
Option to purchase additional shares
The underwriters have an option, exercisable within 30 days of the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to        additional shares of our common stock.
Common stock to be outstanding after this offering
       shares of common stock (or       shares of common stock if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of common stock).
Use of Proceeds
We estimate the net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $     million (or $      million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full), assuming an initial public offering price of $      per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We expect to use the proceeds from this offering to repay existing indebtedness, for acquisitions, for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include the hiring of additional personnel and capital expenditures. We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay borrowings outstanding under the Term Loan Credit Agreement and to paydown and refinance our borrowings outstanding under the Encina Credit Facility. See “Use of Proceeds” and “Description of Our Indebtedness” for more information.
Dividend Policy
We have never declared nor paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business. We do not expect to pay any dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future.
Risk Factors
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 22 of this prospectus for a discussion of certain factors to consider carefully before deciding to invest in our common stock.
Directed Share Program
At our request, the underwriters have reserved up to        shares of our common stock, or   % of the shares offered by this prospectus, for sale at the initial public offering price through a directed share program to our directors, officers and certain of our employees. The number of shares of our common stock available for sale to the general public will be reduced to the extent that such persons purchase such reserved shares. Any reserved shares not so purchased will be offered by the underwriters to the general public on the same basis as the other shares offered by this prospectus. See “Underwriting — Directed Share Program.
Proposed Nasdaq Global Market symbol
“HYFM”
The number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering is based on       shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2020, including        shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock, which occurs automatically upon consummation of this offering, assuming a public offering price of $       per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and excludes:
 
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13,100,069 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding warrants to purchase our common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $4.78 per share;

2,861,900 shares of common stock underlying options to purchase our common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $2.55 per share;

8,893,346 shares of common stock underlying restricted stock awards which have not yet vested;

7,700,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Equity Incentive Plan;

        shares of common stock, which we have the option to issue for accrued dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock rather than paying in cash; and

no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional       shares of our common stock from us.
In addition, unless we specifically state otherwise, the information in this prospectus assumes a 1-for-     reverse stock split of our common stock to be effected prior to the completion of this offering.
 
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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA
The following table presents our summary of consolidated financial and other data for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, and the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019. We have derived the following consolidated financial and other data for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 from our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. We have derived the following consolidated financial and other data for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 from our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of future results of operations and the results of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of results for the full year. You should read the following financial information together with the information under “Capitalization,” “Selected Consolidated Financial and Other Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto, and our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Nine months ended
September 30,
Years ended
December 31,
2020
2019
2019
2018
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
Income statement data for period ended:
Net sales
$ 254,763 $ 181,338 $ 235,111 $ 211,813
Gross profit
47,624 21,576 27,086 24,070
Selling, general and administrative
37,084 30,759 43,784 42,229
Impairment, restructuring and other(a)
276 3,589 10,035 7,169
Income (loss) from operations
10,264 (12,772) (26,733) (25,328)
Interest expense
7,858 9,789 13,467 11,606
Net income (loss)(b)
2,125 (22,372) (40,083) (32,892)
Net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders(b)
135 (22,372) (40,083) (32,892)
Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders – diluted(c)
$ 0.00 $ (0.32) $ (0.57) $ (0.69)
Net income (loss) per common share attributable to common stockholders on pro forma basis – diluted(d)
[    ] n/a [    ] n/a
Cash flows (used in) provided by:
Operating activities
$ (7,777) $ (11,520) $ (13,302) $ 4,437
Investing activities
1,328 (3,572) (3,818) (3,312)
Financing activities
6,408 4,663 19,900 25,516
Net (decrease) increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
(2) (8,082) 4,934 25,717
Other data:
Adjusted EBITDA(e)
$ 16,120 $ (3,812) $ (9,495) $ (7,249)
Adjusted EBITDA as a percent of net sales(e)
6.3% -2.1% -4.0% -3.4%
Gross profit margin (gross profit as % of net sales)
18.7% 11.9% 11.5% 11.4%
Capital expenditures(f)
700 541 768 1,343
Federal net operating loss carryforwards
n/a n/a 58,000 35,000
 
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As of
September 30,
2020
As of December 31,
2019
2018
(In thousands)
Balance sheet data as of end of period:
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
$ 32,855 $ 32,857 $ 27,923
Working capital(g)
52,126 40,547 56,728
Total assets(h)
218,571 185,651 174,411
Long-term debt(i)
111,826 107,932 100,520
Total liabilities
181,310 154,471 126,867
Convertible preferred stock(j)
27,584 21,802
Convertible preferred stock on a pro forma basis(k)
[     ]
Stockholders' equity
9,677 9,378 47,544
Stockholders' equity on a pro forma basis(k)
[     ]
(a)
Impairment, restructuring and other expenses primarily relate to impairment on intangible assets; professional fees related to consultation, due diligence and assistance to research various capitalization strategies related to alternative debt and equity refinancing structures; severance costs; and, costs to early terminate several leases. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Impairment, restructuring and other.”
(b)
Net income (loss) and net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders for the year ended December 31, 2018 reflects a reduction from net loss for an allocation to a non-controlling interest. See our “Consolidated statements of operations” for the year ended December 31, 2018 in our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(c)
Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders for 2018 represents basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, and assumes the non-controlling interest converted to a controlling interest at issuance and accordingly, its share of the net loss and the shares into which it converted are included in the calculations; see Note 4, Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies in our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(d)
Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders on a pro forma basis – diluted gives effect to the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock into shares of common stock, which will occur automatically upon the consummation of this offering. For an explanation of the calculations of our pro forma diluted net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders, see Note 3, Net income (loss) per common share (‘EPS’) to our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus, and Note 4, Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies, under “Net loss per common share (EPS)” in our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(e)
For information regarding our use of adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income (loss) and adjusted EBITDA as a percent of net sales, see “— Non-GAAP financial measures” following this table.
(f)
Capital expenditures relate to purchases of property, equipment and computer software.
(g)
Working capital represents current assets less current liabilities.
(h)
Total assets and total liabilities for 2020 and 2019 include operating lease right-of-use assets and lease liabilities, respectively, upon the adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 842, Leases, adopted as of January 1, 2019.
(i)
Long-term debt represents current and long-term portions of interest bearing debt, net of issuance costs.
(j)
Convertible preferred stock reflects the issuance of Series A Preferred Stock in late 2019 and early 2020. See “Prospectus Summary — Recent Transactions — Preferred Stock Offering” and our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(k)
Convertible preferred stock on a pro forma basis and stockholders’ equity on a pro forma basis as of September 30, 2020, give effect to the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of Series A
 
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Preferred Stock into shares of common stock which will occur automatically upon the consummation of this offering. For an explanation of the calculations, see Note 2, Basis of presentation and significant accounting policies, under “Unaudited pro forma shareholders’ equity” to our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Non-GAAP financial measures
We report our financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”). However, management believes that certain non-GAAP financial measures provide investors of our financial information with additional useful information in evaluating our performance and that excluding certain items that may vary substantially in frequency and magnitude period-to-period from net income (loss) provides useful supplemental measures that assist in evaluating our ability to generate earnings and to more readily compare these metrics between past and future periods. These non-GAAP financial measures may be different than similarly titled measures used by other companies.
To supplement our audited consolidated financial statements which are prepared in accordance with GAAP, we use “Adjusted EBITDA” and “Adjusted EBITDA as a percent of sales” which are non-GAAP financial measures (collectively referred to as “Adjusted EBITDA”). Our non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as substitutes for, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. There are several limitations related to the use of our non-GAAP financial measures as compared to the closest comparable GAAP measures. Some of these limitations include:

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the significant interest expense, or the amounts necessary to service interest or principal payments on our indebtedness;

Adjusted EBITDA excludes depreciation and amortization, and although these are non-cash expenses, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future;

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect our tax provision that adjusts cash available to us;

Adjusted EBITDA excludes the non-cash component of share-based compensation; and

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the impact of earnings or charges resulting from matters we consider not to be reflective, on a recurring basis, of our ongoing operations.
We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) excluding interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, share-based compensation and other unusual and/or infrequent costs, which we do not consider in our evaluation of ongoing operating performance.
The following table presents a reconciliation of net income (loss), the most comparable GAAP financial measure, to Adjusted EBITDA for each of the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 and each of the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019:
Nine months ended
September 30,
Years ended
December 31,
2020
2019
2019
2018
(Dollars in thousands)
Net income (loss)
$ 2,125 $ (22,372) $ (40,083) $ (32,892)
Interest expense
7,858 9,789 13,467 11,606
Income tax expense (benefit)
384 (246) (691) (397)
Depreciation and amortization
5,170 5,198 6,995 8,260
Impairment, restructuring and other
276 3,589 10,035 7,169
Other income, net
(103) (334) (105) (995)
Stock-based compensation
410 173 208
Loss on debt extinguishment
391 679
Adjusted EBITDA
$ 16,120 $ (3,812) $ (9,495) $ (7,249)
Adjusted EBITDA as a percent of net sales
6.3% -2.1% -4.0% -3.4%
 
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RISK FACTORS
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, before deciding whether to invest in our common stock. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of, or that we currently believe are not material, may also become important factors that affect us. If any of the following risks occur, our business, operating results and prospects could be materially harmed. In that event, the price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose part or all of your investment.
Risks Relating to Our Business
Our proprietary brand offerings expose us to various risks.
We expect to continue to grow our portfolio of proprietary brand offerings. We have invested in development and procurement resources and marketing efforts relating to these proprietary brand offerings. Although we believe that our proprietary brand products offer value to our customers at each price point and provide us with higher gross margins than comparable third-party branded products we sell, the expansion of our proprietary brand offerings also subjects us to certain specific risks in addition to those discussed elsewhere in this section, such as:

potential mandatory or voluntary product recalls;

our ability to successfully obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights (including defending against counterfeit, knock offs, grey-market, infringing or otherwise unauthorized goods); and

our ability to successfully navigate and avoid claims related to the proprietary rights of third parties.
An increase in sales of our proprietary brands may also adversely affect our sales of our vendors’ products, which may, in turn, adversely affect our relationship with our vendors. Our failure to adequately address some or all of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our competitors and potential competitors may develop products and technologies that are more effective or commercially attractive than our products.
Our products compete against national and regional products and private label products produced by various suppliers, many of which are established companies that provide products that perform functions similar to our products. Our competitors may develop or market products that are more effective or commercially attractive than our current or future products. Some of our competitors have substantially greater financial, operational, marketing and technical resources than we do. Moreover, some of these competitors may offer a broader array of products and sell their products at prices lower than ours, and may have greater name recognition. In addition, if demand for our specialty indoor gardening supplies and products continues to grow, we may face competition from new entrants into our field. Due to this competition, there is no assurance that we will not encounter difficulties in generating or increasing revenues and capturing market share. In addition, increased competition may lead to reduced prices and/or margins for products we sell. We may not have the financial resources, relationships with key suppliers, technical expertise or marketing, distribution or support capabilities to compete successfully in the future.
We may not successfully develop new products or improve existing products or maintain our effectiveness in reaching consumers through rapidly evolving communication vehicles.
Our future success depends, in part, upon our ability to improve our existing products and to develop, manufacture and market new products to meet evolving consumer needs. We cannot be certain that we will be successful in developing, manufacturing and marketing new products or product innovations which satisfy consumer needs or achieve market acceptance, or that we will develop, manufacture and market new products or product innovations in a timely manner. If we fail to successfully develop, manufacture and market new products or product innovations, or if we fail to reach existing and potential consumers, our ability to maintain or grow our market share may be adversely affected, which in turn could materially adversely affect our
 
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business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the development and introduction of new and products and product innovations require substantial research, development and marketing expenditures, which we may be unable to recoup if such new products or innovations do not achieve market acceptance.
Many of the products we distribute and market, such as our fertilizers and nutrients, contain ingredients that are subject to regulatory approval or registration with certain U.S. state regulators. The need to obtain such approval or registration could delay the launch of new products or product innovations that contain ingredients or otherwise prevent us from developing and manufacturing certain products and product innovations.
Negative economic conditions, specifically in the United States and Canada, could adversely affect our business.
Uncertain global economic conditions could adversely affect our business. Negative global economic trends, particularly in the United States and Canada, such as decreased consumer and business spending, high unemployment levels, reduced rates of home ownership and housing starts, high foreclosure rates and declining consumer and business confidence, pose challenges to our business and could result in declining revenues, profitability and cash flow. Although we continue to devote significant resources to support our brands, unfavorable economic conditions may negatively affect consumer demand for our products. Our most price-sensitive customers may trade down to lower priced products during challenging economic times or if current economic conditions worsen, while other customers may reduce discretionary spending during periods of economic uncertainty, which could reduce sales volumes of our products in favor of our competitors’ products or result in a shift in our product mix from higher margin to lower margin products.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are unpredictable and may materially affect our customers and how we operate our business, and the duration and extent to which the pandemic continues (including any re-emergence of COVID-19) to threaten our future results of operations and overall financial performance remains uncertain.
In December 2019, COVID-19 was identified. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widespread health crisis that has adversely affected businesses, economies and financial markets worldwide and has caused significant volatility in U.S. and international debt and equity markets.
Examples of how COVID-19 may impact our business, results of operations and stock price include, but are not limited to:

COVID-19 may cause consumers to decrease spending, or pause such spending altogether, making it more difficult for us to acquire new customers, as well as retain and upsell existing customers;

COVID-19 may interfere with our ability, or the ability of our employees, workers, contractors, suppliers and other business partners to perform our and their respective responsibilities and obligations relative to the conduct of our business. COVID-19 may also cause disruptions from the temporary closure of third-party suppliers and manufacturers, restrictions on the shipment of our products, restrictions on our employees’ and other service providers’ ability to travel, the decreased willingness or ability of our customers to travel or to utilize our services and shutdowns that may be requested or mandated by governmental authorities;

COVID-19 and related government responses to address the COVID-19 pandemic may cause sudden and extreme changes in our stock price. Since COVID-19 was first reported, the volatility of U.S. equity markets increased to historic levels. This may cause extreme fluctuations in the market price of our stock. We cannot predict if and when these fluctuations will decrease or increase. In addition to general market conditions, the market price of our stock may become volatile or decline due to actual or anticipated impact of COVID-19 on our financial condition and results of operations or if our results of operations do not meet the expectations of the investor community or one or more of the analysts who cover our company change their recommendations regarding our company.
The duration and extent of the impact on our business from the COVID-19 pandemic depends on future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time (e.g., the severity and transmission rate of the virus, the extent and effectiveness of containment measures, and the impact of these and other factors on our employees, customers, vendors and partners, including their respective productivity). Furthermore, our limited operating history combined with the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increases
 
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the difficulty of forecasting operating results and of strategic planning. If we are unable to effectively predict and manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, our results of operations and financial condition may be negatively impacted.
Our business has experienced an accelerated rate of growth which may be due in part to lifestyle changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; if so, our recent accelerated rate of growth may not be sustainable.
Although we cannot precisely quantify in absolute or relative terms, our accelerated rate of growth in net sales for the six months ended September 30, 2020 correlates with shelter-in-place orders issued in many locations in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our sales growth for the six months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately 50% higher as compared to the six months ended September 30, 2019. A portion of our net sales during this period could be due to pull-through demand for our products due to higher consumption of CEA products from individuals spending more time at home due to shelter-in-place measures. Although uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic remains, and various state budgets remain under economic pressure, creating a greater chance of further cannabis legalization, we cannot assure you that such growth will continue.
Our international operations make us susceptible to the costs and risks associated with operating internationally.
We operate some of our distribution centers in Canada and Spain and source products globally. We also operate a registered office in China. Accordingly, we are subject to risks associated with operating in foreign countries, including:

fluctuations in currency exchange rates;

limitations on the remittance of dividends and other payments by foreign subsidiaries;

additional costs of compliance with local regulations;

in certain countries, historically higher rates of inflation than in the United States;

changes in the economic conditions or consumer preferences or demand for our products in these markets;

restrictive actions by multi-national governing bodies, foreign governments or subdivisions thereof;

changes in foreign labor laws and regulations affecting our ability to hire and retain employees;

changes in U.S. and foreign laws regarding trade and investment;

less robust protection of our intellectual property and proprietary rights under foreign laws; and

difficulty in obtaining distribution and support for our products.
In addition, our operations outside the United States are subject to the risk of new and different legal and regulatory requirements in local jurisdictions, potential difficulties in staffing and managing local operations and potentially adverse tax consequences. The costs associated with operating our continuing international business could adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows in the future.
We will incur increased costs as a result of being a public company.
As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting, insurance and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. For example, we will incur increased legal and accounting costs as a result of being subject to the information and reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, and other federal securities laws. The costs of preparing and filing periodic and other reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC and furnishing audited reports to stockholders, will cause significant increase in our expenses than if we remained privately-held. The cost of being a public company will divert resources that might otherwise have been used to develop our business, which could have a material adverse effect on our company.
As a privately held company, we have not been required to comply with certain corporate governance and financial reporting practices and policies required of a public reporting company. If the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective, as a public company, we will be required to file with the SEC annual and quarterly information and other reports pursuant to the Exchange Act. We will also be
 
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required to ensure that we have the ability to prepare financial statements that are fully compliant with all SEC reporting requirements on a timely basis. In addition, we may become subject to other reporting and corporate governance requirements, including the requirements of any national securities exchange on which our common stock is listed, should we so qualify for listing, and certain provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”), and the regulations promulgated thereunder, which will impose significant compliance obligations upon us. As a public company, we will, among other things:

prepare and distribute periodic public reports and other stockholder communications in compliance;

comply with our obligations under the federal securities laws and applicable listing rules;

create or expand the roles and duties of our board of directors and committees of the board of directors;

institute more comprehensive financial reporting and disclosure compliance functions;

enhance our investor relations function;

establish new internal policies, including those relating to disclosure controls and procedures; and

involve and retain to a greater degree outside counsel and accountants in the activities listed above.
These changes will require a significant commitment of additional resources and many of our competitors already comply with these obligations. We may not be successful in complying with these obligations and the significant commitment of resources required for complying with them could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult or costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our committees of our board of directors or as our executive officers.
In addition, if we fail to implement the requirements with respect to our internal accounting and audit functions, our ability to report our results of operations on a timely and accurate basis could be impaired and we could suffer adverse regulatory consequences or violate applicable listing standards. There could also be a negative reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of investor confidence in us and the reliability of our financial statements, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The changes necessitated by becoming a public company require a significant commitment of resources and management supervision that has increased and may continue to increase our costs and might place a strain on our systems and resources. As a result, our management’s attention might be diverted from other business concerns. If we fail to maintain an effective internal control environment or to comply with the numerous legal and regulatory requirements imposed on public companies, we could make material errors in, and be required to restate, our financial statements. Any such restatement could result in a loss of public confidence in the reliability of our financial statements and sanctions imposed on us by the SEC. We cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs. If we are unable to satisfy our obligations as a public company, we could be subject to delisting of our common stock, as applicable, fines, sanctions and other regulatory action and potentially civil litigation.
There may be limitations on the effectiveness of our internal controls, and a failure of our control systems to prevent error or fraud may materially harm us.
Proper systems of internal control over financial accounting and disclosure are critical to the operation of a public company. We may be unable to effectively establish such systems, especially in light of the fact that we expect to operate as a publicly reporting company. This would leave us without the ability to reliably assimilate and compile financial information about us and significantly impair our ability to prevent error and detect fraud, all of which would have a negative impact on us from many perspectives.
Moreover, we do not expect that disclosure controls or internal control over financial reporting, even if established, will prevent all error and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system’s objectives will be met. Further,
 
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the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, have been detected. Failure of our control systems to prevent error or fraud could materially adversely impact us.
We identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, and if we are unable to achieve and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting may be adversely affected.
Prior to this offering, we were a private company with limited accounting and finance personnel, adequate review processes and other resources with which to address our internal controls and procedures. In connection with the audit of our financial statements for fiscal 2019, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified control deficiencies in the design and operation of our internal control over financial reporting that constituted material weaknesses. A “material weakness” is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
We determined that we had two material weaknesses because (i) we did not maintain a sufficient complement of personnel with an appropriate degree of technical knowledge commensurate with our accounting and reporting requirements and (ii) our controls related to the preparation, review, and analysis of accounting information and financial statements were not adequately designed or appropriately implemented to identify material misstatements in our financial reporting on a timely basis for our U.S. entities and Eddi’s. As a result, there were numerous misstatements identified which resulted in certain adjustments to the financial statements, including but not limited to, those described in Note 2, Adjustments to Prior Period Financial Statements in the notes to our 2019 consolidated financial statements. These material weaknesses could result in a misstatement of account balances or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.
During 2020, we have taken several actions towards remediating these material weaknesses. In particular, we (i) hired and continue to hire, additional qualified accounting and financial reporting personnel with technical and/or public company experience and (ii) engaged an external advisor to assist management in completing a Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliant risk assessment, creating detailed control documentation for in-scope business and information technology processes, identify any further control gaps and providing assistance on remediation procedures, and to design and implement a Sarbanes-Oxley Act sub-certification process. We are still in the process of completing the remediation of the material weaknesses; however, we cannot assure you that the steps we are taking will be sufficient to remediate our material weaknesses or prevent future material weaknesses or significant deficiencies from occurring.
We can give no assurance that additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting will not be identified in the future. Our failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in errors in our financial statements that could result in a restatement of our financial statements and cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations.
As a public company, we will be required to further design, document and test our internal controls over financial reporting to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We cannot be certain that additional material weaknesses and control deficiencies will not be discovered in the future. If material weaknesses or control deficiencies occur in the future, we may be unable to report our financial results accurately on a timely basis or help prevent fraud, which could cause our reported financial results to be materially misstated and result in the loss of investor confidence or delisting and cause the market price of our common stock to decline. If we have material weaknesses in the future, it could affect the financial results that we report or create a perception that those financial results do not fairly state our financial position or results of operations. Either of those events could have an adverse effect on the value of our common stock.
Further, even if we conclude that our internal control over financial reporting provides reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with GAAP, because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect fraud or misstatements. Failure to implement required new or improved
 
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controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our future reporting obligations.
Acquisitions, other strategic alliances and investments could result in operating difficulties, dilution, and other harmful consequences that may adversely impact our business and results of operations.
Acquisitions are an important element of our overall corporate strategy, and these transactions could entail material investments by us and be material to our financial condition and results of operations. We expect to evaluate and enter into discussions regarding a wide array of potential strategic transactions. The process of integrating an acquired company, business, or product has created, and will continue to create, unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. The areas where we face risks may include, but are not limited to:

diversion of management’s time and focus from operating our business to acquisition integration challenges;

failure to successfully further develop the acquired business or products;

implementation or remediation of controls, procedures and policies at the acquired company;

integration of the acquired company’s accounting, human resources and other administrative systems, and coordination of product, engineering and sales and marketing functions;

transition of operations, users and customers onto our existing platforms;

reliance on the expertise of our strategic partners with respect to market development, sales, local regulatory compliance and other operational matters;

failure to obtain required approvals on a timely basis, if at all, from governmental authorities, or conditions placed upon approval, under competition and antitrust laws which could, among other things, delay or prevent us from completing a transaction, or otherwise restrict our ability to realize the expected financial or strategic goals of an acquisition;

in the case of foreign acquisitions, the need to integrate operations across different cultures and languages and to address the particular economic, currency, political and regulatory risks associated with specific countries;

cultural challenges associated with integrating employees from the acquired company into our organization, and retention of employees from the businesses we acquire;

liability for or reputational harm from activities of the acquired company before the acquisition or from our strategic partners, including patent and trademark infringement claims, violations of laws, commercial disputes, tax liabilities and other known and unknown liabilities; and

litigation or other claims in connection with the acquired company, including claims from terminated employees, customers, former stockholders or other third parties.
Our due diligence may fail to identify all liabilities associated with acquisitions and we may not assess the relative benefits and detriments of making an acquisition and may pay acquisition consideration exceeding the value of the acquired business. Our failure to address these risks or other problems encountered in connection with our past or future acquisitions and investments or strategic alliances could cause us to fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions, investments or alliances, incur unanticipated liabilities, and harm our business generally.
Our acquisitions could also result in dilutive issuances of our equity securities, the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities or amortization expenses, or impairment of goodwill and purchased long-lived assets, and restructuring charges, any of which could harm our financial condition or results of operations and cash flows.
Although acquisitions are an important element of our overall corporate strategy, there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify appropriate acquisition targets, successfully acquire identified targets or successfully integrate the business of acquired companies to realize the full, anticipated benefits of such acquisitions.
 
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Damage to our reputation could have an adverse effect on our business.
Maintaining our strong reputation is a key component in our success. Product recalls, our inability to ship, sell or transport our products, governmental investigations and other matters may harm our reputation and acceptance of our products, which may materially and adversely affect our business operations, decrease sales and increase costs.
In addition, perceptions that the products we distribute and market are not safe could adversely affect us and contribute to the risk we will be subjected to legal action. We distribute and market a variety of products, such as nutrients, and growing media. On occasion, allegations or news reports may be made that some of these products have failed to perform up to expectations or have caused damage or injury to individuals or property. Public perception that the products we distribute or market are not safe could impair our reputation, involve us in litigation, damage our brand names and have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our marketing activities may not be successful.
We invest substantial resources in advertising, consumer promotions and other marketing activities to maintain, extend and expand our brand image. There can be no assurance that our marketing strategies will be effective or that the amount we invest in advertising activities will result in a corresponding increase in sales of our products. If our marketing initiatives are not successful, we will have incurred significant expenses without the benefit of higher revenues.
Our operations may be impaired if our information technology systems, or those of our third-party vendors, fail to perform adequately or if we or our third-party vendors are the subject of a data breach or cyber-attack.
We rely on information technology systems in order to conduct business, including communicating with employees and our distribution centers, ordering and managing materials from suppliers, selling and shipping products to retail customers and analyzing and reporting results of operations, as well as for storing sensitive, personal and other confidential information. While we have taken steps to ensure the security of our information technology systems, our security measures or those of our third-party vendors may not be effective and our or our third-party vendors’ systems may nevertheless be vulnerable to computer viruses, security breaches and other disruptions from unauthorized users. If our or our third-party vendors’ information technology systems are damaged or cease to be available or function properly for an extended period of time, whether as a result of a significant cyber incident or otherwise, our ability to communicate internally as well as with our retail customers could be significantly impaired, which may adversely impact our business.
Additionally, the techniques used to obtain unauthorized, improper or illegal access to information technology systems are constantly evolving, may be difficult to detect quickly and often are not recognized until after they have been launched against a target. We may be unable to anticipate these techniques, react in a timely manner or implement adequate preventative or remedial measures. Any operational failure or breach of security from these increasingly sophisticated cyber threats could lead to the loss or disclosure of both our and our retail customers’ financial, product, and other confidential information, as well as personally identifiable information about our employees or customers, result in negative publicity and expensive and time-consuming regulatory or other legal proceedings, damage our relationships with our customers and have a material adverse effect on our business and reputation. In addition, we may incur significant costs and operational consequences in connection with investigating, mitigating, remediating, eliminating and putting in place additional tools and devices designed to prevent future actual or perceived security incidents, as well as in connection with complying with any notification or other obligations resulting from any security incidents. Because we do not control our third-party vendors, or the processing of data by our third-party vendors, our ability to monitor our third-party vendors’ data security is limited and we cannot ensure the integrity or security of the measures they take to protect and prevent the loss of our or our consumers’ data. As a result, we are subject to the risk that cyber-attacks on, or other security incidents affecting, our third-party vendors may adversely affect our business even if an attack or breach does not directly impact our systems.
We occupy many of our facilities under long-term non-cancellable leases, and we may be unable to renew our leases at the end of their terms.
Many of our facilities and distribution centers are located on leased premises subject to non-cancellable leases. Typically, our leases have initial terms ranging from three to ten years, with options to renew for
 
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specified periods of time. We believe that our future leases will likely also be long-term and non-cancellable and have similar renewal options. If we close or stop fully utilizing a facility, we will most likely remain obligated to perform under the applicable lease, which would include, among other things, making the base rent payments, and paying insurance, taxes and other expenses on the leased property for the remainder of the lease term. Our future minimum aggregate rental commitments for leases for our facilities and distribution centers, as of December 31, 2019, is approximately $22.5 million for leases classified as operating and $894,000 for leases classified as financing. Our inability to terminate a lease when we stop fully utilizing a facility or exit a market can have a significant adverse impact on our financial condition, operating results and cash flows.
In addition, at the end of the lease term and any renewal period for a facility, we may be unable to renew the lease without substantial additional cost, if at all. If we are unable to renew our facility leases, we may close or relocate a facility, which could subject us to construction and other costs and risks, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results. Further, we may not be able to secure a replacement facility in a location that is as commercially viable, including access to rail service. Having to close a facility, even briefly to relocate, could reduce the sales that such facility would have contributed to our revenues.
The estimates and judgments we make, or the assumptions on which we rely, in preparing our consolidated financial statements could prove inaccurate.
Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of our assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, the amounts of charges accrued by us and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. We cannot assure, however, that our estimates, or the assumptions underlying them, will not change over time or otherwise prove inaccurate. Any potential litigation related to the estimates and judgments we make, or the assumptions on which we rely, in preparing our consolidated financial statements could have a material adverse effect on our financial results, harm our business, and cause our share price to decline.
If we are unable to hire and retain key personnel, we may not be able to implement our business plan and our business may fail.
Our future success depends to a large extent on our ability to attract, hire, train and retain qualified managerial, operational and other personnel. We face significant competition for qualified and experienced employees in our industry and from other industries and, as a result, we may be unable to attract and retain the personnel needed to successfully conduct and grow our operations. Additionally, key personnel, including members of management, may leave and compete against us.
At present, we believe we have the necessary key personnel to carry out our business plans but there can be no assurance that our beliefs will not prove unfounded. If we are unable to hire and retain key personnel, our business will be materially adversely affected.
In order to increase our sales and marketing infrastructure, we will need to grow the size of our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing this growth.
As we continue to work to expand our business, we will need to expand the size of our employee base for managerial, operational, sales, marketing, financial and other resources. Future growth would impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including the need to identify, recruit, maintain, motivate and integrate additional employees. In addition, our management may have to divert a disproportionate amount of its attention away from our day-to-day activities and devote a substantial amount of time to managing these growth activities. Our future financial performance and our ability to continue to grow our operation and compete in the hydroponics industry effectively will depend, in part, on our ability to effectively manage any future growth.
Potential tariffs or a global trade war could increase the cost of our products, which could adversely impact the competitiveness of our products and our financial results.
Since 2018, the United States has imposed tariffs on certain imports from China, including on lighting and environmental control equipment manufactured in China. If the U.S. administration imposes additional
 
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tariffs, or if additional tariffs or trade restrictions are implemented by the United States or other countries the cost of our products manufactured in China and imported into the United States or other countries could increase, which in turn could adversely affect the demand for these products and have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. As of the date of this prospectus, tariffs have not adversely affected the purchase price of our products manufactured in China and imported into the United States.
Unanticipated changes in our tax provisions, the adoption of new tax legislation or exposure to additional tax liabilities could affect our profitability and cash flows.
We are subject to income and other taxes in the United States federal jurisdiction and various local, state and foreign jurisdictions. Our effective tax rate in the future could be adversely affected by changes to our operating structure, changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets (such as net operating losses and tax credits) and liabilities, changes in tax laws and the discovery of new information in the course of our tax return preparation process. In particular, the carrying value of deferred tax assets, which are predominantly related to our operations in the United States, is dependent on our ability to generate future taxable income of the appropriate character in the relevant jurisdiction.
From time to time, tax proposals are introduced or considered by the U.S. Congress or the legislative bodies in local, state and foreign jurisdictions that could also affect our tax rate, the carrying value of our deferred tax assets, or our tax liabilities. Our tax liabilities are also affected by the amounts we charge for inventory, services, licenses and funding. We are subject to ongoing tax audits in various jurisdictions. In connection with these audits (or future audits), tax authorities may disagree with our determinations and assess additional taxes. We regularly assess the likely outcomes of our audits in order to determine the appropriateness of our tax provision. As a result, the ultimate resolution of our tax audits, changes in tax laws or tax rates, and the ability to utilize our deferred tax assets could materially affect our tax provision, net income and cash flows in future periods.
We may be limited in our ability to utilize, or may not be able to utilize, net operating loss carryforwards to reduce our future tax liability.
As of December 31, 2019, we had U.S. federal net operating loss (“NOL”) carryforwards of approximately $58 million, the utilization of which may be limited annually due to certain change in ownership provisions of Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Our NOL carryforwards will begin to expire in 2037. Please refer to Note 15, Income Taxes in the notes to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus for a further discussion of the carryforward of our NOLs. As of December 31, 2019, we maintained a valuation allowance of approximately $35 million on the majority of our net deferred tax assets.
An “ownership change” (generally defined as greater than 50-percentage-point cumulative changes in the equity ownership of certain stockholders over a rolling three-year period) under Section 382 of the Code may limit our ability to utilize fully our pre-change NOL carryforwards to reduce our taxable income in periods following the ownership change. In general, an ownership change would limit our ability to utilize NOL carryforwards to an amount equal to the aggregate value of our equity at the time of the ownership change multiplied by a specified tax-exempt interest rate, subject to increase by certain built-in gains. Similar provisions of state tax law may also apply to our state NOL carryforwards. In addition, future changes in our stock ownership, some of which may be beyond our control, could result in additional ownership changes under Section 382 of the Code.
If we need additional capital to fund our operations, we may not be able to obtain sufficient capital and may be forced to limit the scope of our operations.
In connection with our growth strategies, we may experience increased capital needs and accordingly, we may not have sufficient capital to fund our future operations without additional capital investments. There can be no assurance that additional capital will be available to us. If we cannot obtain sufficient capital to fund our operations, we may be forced to limit the scope of our expansion.
Litigation may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
From time to time in the normal course of our business operations, we may become subject to litigation that may result in liability material to our financial statements as a whole or may negatively affect our operating
 
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results if changes to our business operation are required. The cost to defend such litigation may be significant and may require a diversion of our resources. There also may be adverse publicity associated with litigation that could negatively affect customer perception of our business, regardless of whether the allegations are valid or whether we are ultimately found liable. As a result, litigation may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If product liability lawsuits are brought against us, we may incur substantial liabilities.
We face a potential risk of product liability as a result of any of the products that we offer for sale. For example, we may be sued if any product we sell allegedly causes injury or is found to be otherwise unsuitable during product testing, manufacturing, marketing or sale. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability and a breach of warranties. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities. Even successful defense would require significant financial and management resources. Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in: (i) decreased demand for products that we may offer for sale; (ii) injury to our reputation; (iii) costs to defend the related litigation; (iv) a diversion of management’s time and our resources; (v) substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients; (vi) product recalls, withdrawals or labeling, marketing or promotional restrictions; (vii) a decline in our stock price. Our inability to obtain and retain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of products we develop. We do not maintain any product liability insurance. Even if we obtain product liability insurance in the future, we may have to pay amounts awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts.
Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness
There are significant risks associated with the outstanding and future indebtedness of certain of our subsidiaries. Such subsidiaries’ ability to pay interest and repay the principal on their indebtedness is dependent upon our ability to manage our business operations, generate sufficient cash flows to service such debt and the other factors discussed in this section. There can be no assurance that we will be able to manage any of these risks successfully.
Certain of our subsidiaries are parties to material loan and lease agreements with different financial institutions. Such subsidiaries have used and/or will continue to use, the proceeds from these debt arrangements to fund working capital requirements and for the lease of certain equipment required to conduct our business. As of September 30, 2020, certain of our subsidiaries had an aggregate of $111.8 million of outstanding indebtedness that will mature between calendar year 2020 and calendar year 2023, and we or our subsidiaries may incur additional indebtedness in the future.
Our subsidiaries’ current debt arrangements consist of the following. See “Description of Our Indebtedness” for additional information regarding the debt arrangements of certain of our subsidiaries.

Loan and Security Agreement among Hydrofarm Holdings, LLC, Hydrofarm, LLC, EHH Holdings, LLC (“EHH”), SunBlaster LLC (“SunBlaster”), SunBlaster Holdings ULC (“SunBlaster ULC”), Eddi’s Wholesale Garden Supplies, Ltd. (“EWGS” and, together with SunBlaster ULC, the “Canadian Borrowers”) and Hydrofarm Canada, LLC (“Hydrofarm Canada”) (collectively, the “Subsidiary Obligors”), and Encina Business Credit, LLC (“Encina”), as agent, and the other lenders party thereto, and (as amended and restated to date, the “Encina Credit Facility”). The Encina Credit Facility provides for revolving borrowings under an asset-based loan commitment of up to $45 million (inclusive of a limit of up to $15 million of borrowings for the Canadian Borrowers and a swingline facility of up to $2.0 million), subject to applicable borrowing base availability, which matures on the earlier of  (i) July 11, 2022, or (ii) 90 days prior to the scheduled maturity date of the Term Loan Agreement (as defined below), and is secured by a first-priority lien on all cash, accounts receivable and inventory of the Subsidiary Obligors and a second-lien priority lien on all other personal property of the Subsidiary Obligors. A portion of the proceeds borrowed under the Encina Credit Facility was used to pay in full the BofA Agreement (as defined below). As of September 30, 2020, we have
 
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borrowings outstanding under the Encina Credit Facility of approximately $32.5 million, excluding unamortized deferred financing costs, with approximately $3.6 million available for future borrowings.

Term Loan Credit Agreement among Subsidiary Obligors and Brightwood Loan Services, LLC (“Brightwood”) and the other lenders party thereto (the “Term Loan Lenders”) (as amended to date, the “Term Loan Agreement”). The Term Loan Agreement provides for a term loan in an aggregate principal amount of $75 million, which matures on May 12, 2022, and is secured by a second-priority lien on all cash, accounts receivable and inventory of the Subsidiary Obligors and a first-priority lien on all other assets and personal property of the Subsidiary Obligors, subject to certain exceptions. As of September 30, 2020, we have borrowings outstanding under the Term Loan Agreement of approximately $76.3 million, excluding unamortized deferred financing costs.

As of September 30, 2020, we have a PPP Loan with a principal amount of $3.3 million.

Other indebtedness of approximately $1.4 million as of September 30, 2020, is related to financing leases and term debt.
In addition, we and any current and future subsidiaries of ours may incur substantial additional debt in the future, subject to the specified limitations in the existing agreements governing our subsidiaries’ indebtedness. If new debt is added to our or any of our subsidiaries’ debt levels, the risks described in “Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness” could intensify. See “Description of Our Indebtedness.
Our subsidiaries’ current and future indebtedness could have significant negative consequences for our business, results of operations and financial condition, including:

increasing our or our subsidiaries’ vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions;

limiting our subsidiaries’ ability to obtain additional financing;

requiring the dedication of a substantial portion of our subsidiaries’ cash flow from operations to service their respective indebtedness, thereby reducing the amount of cash flow available for other purposes;

limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business; and

placing us at a possible competitive disadvantage with less leveraged competitors and competitors that may have better access to capital resources.
We cannot assure you that we will continue to maintain sufficient cash reserves or that our business will generate cash flow from operations at levels sufficient to permit us or our subsidiaries to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on the indebtedness of our subsidiaries, or that our or our subsidiaries’ cash needs will not increase. If we or our subsidiaries are unable to generate sufficient cash flow or otherwise obtain funds necessary to make required payments, or if our subsidiaries fail to comply with the various requirements of their respective existing indebtedness or any other indebtedness which we or our subsidiaries may incur in the future, we or our subsidiaries would be in default, which could permit the holders of our or our subsidiaries’ indebtedness to accelerate the maturity of such indebtedness, requiring us or our subsidiaries to pay all obligations then outstanding, and/or to exercise other remedies provided to them under their respective agreements, and any applicable law. Any default under such indebtedness would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Each of the Term Loan Agreement and the Encina Credit Facility have restrictions on our ability to sell our products directly to the cannabis industry.
The Term Loan Agreement prohibits the Subsidiary Obligors from selling our products directly to cannabis growers or cultivators, or to sellers or retailers that sell only to the cannabis industry. The Encina Credit Facility prohibits the Subsidiary Obligors from selling our products to the cannabis industry. As a result, the Subsidiary Obligors do not sell our products directly to the cannabis industry, cannabis growers or cultivators, or to sellers or retailers that sell only to the cannabis industry. We are in compliance with the terms set forth by the Term Loan Agreement and the Encina Credit Facility and maintain policies and procedures that are designed to promote and achieve continued compliance with these requirements.
These compliance requirements may require that we be more selective than our competitors when selecting to whom we sell our products, and in certain situations, may afford our competitors a competitive
 
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advantage compared to us if we are not able to sell our products to a certain customer, and may negatively impact our marketing efforts, sales and reputation in the market. Moreover, any breach of these compliance requirements, could result in the occurrence of an event of default under the Term Loan Agreement and the Encina Credit Facility, which would entitle the Term Loan Lenders and Encina to accelerate the payment of all obligations then outstanding, without any action by them or notice of any kind. The foregoing events would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Substantially all of the Subsidiary Obligors’ assets are pledged to secure obligations under the Subsidiary Obligors outstanding indebtedness.
The Subsidiary Obligors have granted a continuing security interest in substantially all of their assets to certain of our lenders under the agreements governing the Subsidiary Obligors’ indebtedness, as security for the Subsidiary Obligors’ obligations under such applicable loan agreements. If the Subsidiary Obligors default on any of their obligations under these agreements, Encina and the Term Loan Lenders will be entitled to exercise remedies available to them resulting from such default, including increasing the applicable interest rate on all amounts outstanding, declaring all amounts due thereunder immediately due and payable, assuming possession of the secured assets, and exercising rights and remedies of a secured party under the Uniform Commercial Code, as applicable then in the United States, or the Personal Property Security Act, as applicable then in Canada. Our ability to conduct our business may be materially harmed as a result of the exercise of any remedies, in the event that such remedies are exercisable, by any or all of Encina or the Term Loan Lenders.
The Subsidiary Obligors existing debt agreements contain, and our or our subsidiaries’ future debt agreements may contain, restrictions that may limit our flexibility in operating our business.
The Subsidiary Obligors’ existing debt agreements contain, and any documents governing our or our subsidiaries’ future indebtedness may contain, numerous financial and operating covenants that limit the discretion of management with respect to certain business matters. Such restrictive covenants include restrictions on, among others, our or our subsidiaries’ ability to: (1) incur additional indebtedness; (2) create or suffer to exist any liens upon any of our or our subsidiaries’ property; (3) pay dividends and other distributions or enter into agreements restricting our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends; (3) make any restricted investment; (4) make certain loans; make certain dispositions of assets; (5) merge, amalgamate, combine or consolidate; (6) engage in certain transactions with stockholders or affiliates; (7) amend or otherwise alter the terms of our or our subsidiaries’ indebtedness; or (8) alter the business that we conduct. The Subsidiary Obligors’ existing debt agreements also require, and any documents governing our or our subsidiaries’ future indebtedness may require, us to meet certain financial ratios and tests. Noncompliance with the applicable financial ratios and tests are specified defaults under each of the Encina Credit Facility and the Term Loan Agreement. The Subsidiary Obligors have previously failed to comply with such financial ratios and tests, which required us to engage Brightwood to request forbearance and negotiate amendments to the Term Loan Agreement.
The Subsidiary Obligors’ ability to comply with these and other provisions of their existing debt agreements is dependent on our future performance, which will be subject to many factors, some of which are beyond our control. The breach of any of these covenants or noncompliance with any of these financial ratios and tests could result in an event of default under the existing debt agreements, which, if not cured or waived, could result in acceleration of the related debt and the acceleration of debt under other instruments evidencing indebtedness that may also contain cross-acceleration or cross-default provisions. Variable rate indebtedness subjects the Subsidiary Obligors to the risk of higher interest rates, which could cause our future debt service obligations to increase significantly.
The substantial leverage of our subsidiaries could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry, expose us to interest rate risk to the extent of our subsidiaries’ variable rate debt and prevent our subsidiaries from meeting their obligations under their indebtedness.
Certain of our subsidiaries are highly leveraged. As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, indebtedness of our subsidiaries was $111.8 million and $107.9 million, respectively. Our subsidiaries’ high degree of leverage has serious consequences, including the following: (i) a substantial portion of our subsidiaries’ cash flow from operations is dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on indebtedness,
 
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thereby reducing the funds available for operations, future business opportunities and capital expenditures; (ii) our and our subsidiaries’ ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, debt service requirements, acquisitions and general corporate purposes in the future may be limited; (iii) certain of the borrowings are at variable rates of interest, which will increase our subsidiaries’ vulnerability to increases in interest rates; (iv) we are at a competitive disadvantage to lesser leveraged competitors; (v) we may be unable to adjust rapidly to changing market conditions; (vi) the debt service requirements of our subsidiaries’ other indebtedness could make it more difficult for us or our subsidiaries to satisfy our other financial obligations; and (vii) we may be vulnerable in a downturn in general economic conditions or in our business and we may be unable to carry out activities that are important to our growth.
If our and our subsidiaries’ cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our subsidiaries’ debt service obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures, or to sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our subsidiaries’ indebtedness. Our ability to restructure or refinance our subsidiaries’ debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of our subsidiaries’ debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us or our subsidiaries to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. The terms of existing or future debt instruments may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. In addition, any failure to make payments of interest and principal on our subsidiaries’ outstanding indebtedness on a timely basis would likely result in a reduction of our subsidiaries’ credit rating, which could harm our or our subsidiaries’ ability to incur additional indebtedness. In the absence of such operating results and resources, we could face substantial liquidity problems and might be required to dispose of material assets or operations to meet our subsidiaries’ debt service and other obligations required under the respective agreements. The Encina Credit Facility and the Term Loan Agreement each restrict our subsidiaries’ ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from certain such dispositions. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain the proceeds that we could realize from them and these proceeds may not be adequate to meet any payments or fees then due. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit our subsidiaries to meet their obligations.
If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow to service our subsidiaries’ debt or to fund our other liquidity needs, we may need to restructure or refinance all or a portion of our subsidiaries’ debt, which could cause our subsidiaries to default on their obligations and impair our liquidity. We cannot assure you that we will be able to refinance our subsidiaries’ indebtedness. Any refinancing of our subsidiaries’ indebtedness could be at higher interest rates and may require us or our subsidiaries to comply with more onerous covenants that could further restrict our business operations. We from time to time may increase the amount of our subsidiaries indebtedness, modify the terms of our subsidiaries’ financing arrangements, make capital expenditures and take other actions that may substantially increase our subsidiaries’ leverage.
Uncertainty relating to the London interbank offered rate (“LIBOR”) and the potential discontinuation of LIBOR in the future may adversely affect our interest expense.
LIBOR is widely used as a reference for setting the interest rate on loans globally. We use LIBOR as a reference rate for the determination of the interest rates for our Term Loan Agreement and Encina Credit Facility. LIBOR is the subject of recent national, international and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform or discontinuation. In particular, on July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it will no longer persuade or compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. Such announcement indicates that LIBOR is expected to be discontinued after 2021. It is unclear whether or not new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021.
In the circumstance that LIBOR is discontinued, our Term Loan Agreement and our Encina Credit Facility contain alternative methodologies for computing interest rates. In the event that the Term Loan agent determines that LIBOR has been permanently discontinued, the lenders will use the base rate which is a per annum rate equal to the greater of (a) the Prime Rate (as defined therein) for such day; or (b) the Federal Funds Rate (as defined therein) for such day, plus 0.50%. In the event that the Encina Credit Facility agent determines that LIBOR has been permanently discontinued, the lenders will use the base rate which is a per annum rate equal to the greater of (a) the Federal Funds Rate (as defined therein) plus 0.50%, (b) one percent (1.0%), and (c) the Prime Rate (as defined therein).
 
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There is no guarantee that an alternate interest rate will be established for the Term Loan Agreement or the Encina Credit Facility, and even if an alternative interest rate is established, such alternate interest rate may be higher than a corresponding interest rate benchmarked to LIBOR, especially given uncertainty as to the effectiveness of alternative rate-setting methodologies prior to their utilization in practice. Uncertainty as to the nature of any potential modification to or discontinuation of LIBOR, the decline in usefulness of LIBOR as an interest rate reference prior to its discontinuation, the establishment of alternative interest rates or the implementation of any other potential changes may materially and adversely affect our interest expense.
We may not be entitled to forgiveness of our recently received PPP Loan, and our application for the PPP Loan could in the future be determined to have been impermissible or could result in damage to our reputation.
In April 2020, we received proceeds of approximately $3.3 million from a loan with the SBA under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under the CARES Act and pursuant to the PPP Loan, loan forgiveness is available for the sum of covered documented payroll costs, covered rent payments, covered mortgage interest and covered utilities. Under the CARES Act, we will be required to repay any portion of the outstanding principal that is not forgiven, along with accrued interest, and we cannot provide any assurance that we will be eligible for loan forgiveness or that any amount of the PPP Loan will ultimately be forgiven by the SBA. While we believe we have used the PPP Loan proceeds in a manner consistent with obtaining forgiveness, we intend to repay the PPP Loan in connection with the consummation of the offering contemplated hereby.
In order to apply for the PPP Loan, we were required to certify, among other things, that the current economic uncertainty made the PPP Loan request necessary to support our ongoing operations. We made this certification in good faith after analyzing, among other things, our financial situation and access to alternative forms of capital and believe that we satisfied all eligibility criteria for the PPP Loan, and that our receipt of the PPP Loan was consistent with the broad objectives of the CARES Act. The certification described above that we were required to provide in connection with our application for the PPP Loan did not contain any objective criteria and was subject to interpretation. However, on April 23, 2020, the SBA issued guidance stating that it is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith. The lack of clarity regarding loan eligibility under the CARES Act has resulted in significant media coverage and controversy with respect to public companies applying for and receiving loans. If, despite our good-faith belief that we satisfied all eligible requirements for the PPP Loan, we are later determined to have violated any of the laws or governmental regulations that apply to us in connection with the PPP Loan, such as the False Claims Act, or it is otherwise determined that we were ineligible to receive the PPP Loan, we may be subject to penalties, including significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties and could be required to repay the PPP Loan in its entirety. In addition, our receipt of the PPP Loan may result in adverse publicity and damage to our reputation, and a review or audit by the SBA or other government entity or claims under the False Claims Act could consume significant financial and management resources.
Risks Relating to Third Parties
Our reliance on a limited base of suppliers for certain products, such as light ballasts, may result in disruptions to our business and adversely affect our financial results.
Although we continue to implement risk-mitigation strategies for single-source suppliers, we rely on a limited number of suppliers for certain of our light ballasts, used in manufacturing our lighting systems. If we are unable to maintain supplier arrangements and relationships, if we are unable to contract with suppliers at the quantity and quality levels needed for our business, or if any of our key suppliers becomes insolvent or experience other financial distress, we could experience disruptions in production, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
A significant interruption in the operation of our or our suppliers’ facilities could impact our capacity to produce products and service our customers, which could adversely affect revenues and earnings.
Operations at our and our suppliers’ facilities are subject to disruption for a variety of reasons, including fire, flooding or other natural disasters, disease outbreaks or pandemics, acts of war, terrorism, government shut-downs and work stoppages. A significant interruption in the operation of our or our suppliers’ facilities,
 
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especially for those products manufactured at a limited number of facilities, such as fertilizer and liquid products, could significantly impact our capacity to sell products and service our customers in a timely manner, which could have a material adverse effect on our customer relationships, revenues, earnings and financial position.
If our suppliers are unable to source raw materials in sufficient quantities, on a timely basis, and at acceptable costs, our ability to sell our products may be harmed.
The manufacture of some of our products is complex and requires precise high quality manufacturing that is difficult to achieve. We have in the past, and may in the future, experience difficulties in manufacturing our products on a timely basis and in sufficient quantities. These difficulties have primarily related to difficulties associated with ramping up production of newly introduced products and may result in increased delivery lead-times and increased costs of manufacturing these products. Our failure to achieve and maintain the required high manufacturing standards could result in further delays or failures in product testing or delivery, cost overruns, product recalls or withdrawals, increased warranty costs or other problems that could harm our business and prospects.
In determining the required quantities of our products and the manufacturing schedule, we must make significant judgments and estimates based on historical experience, inventory levels, current market trends and other related factors. Because of the inherent nature of estimates, there could be significant differences between our estimates and the actual amounts of products we require, which could harm our business and results of operations.
Disruptions in availability or increases in the prices of raw materials sourced by suppliers could adversely affect our results of operations.
We source many of our product components from outside of the United States. The general availability and price of those components can be affected by numerous forces beyond our control, including political instability, trade restrictions and other government regulations, duties and tariffs, price controls, changes in currency exchange rates and weather.
A significant disruption in the availability of any of our key product components could negatively impact our business. In addition, increases in the prices of key commodities and other raw materials could adversely affect our ability to manage our cost structure. Market conditions may limit our ability to raise selling prices to offset increases in our raw material costs. Our proprietary technologies can limit our ability to locate or utilize alternative inputs for certain products. For certain inputs, new sources of supply may have to be qualified under regulatory standards, which can require additional investment and delay bringing a product to market.
If our suppliers that currently, or in the future, sell directly to the retail market in which we conduct our current or future business, enhance these efforts and cease or decrease their sales through us, our ability to sell certain products could be harmed.
Our distribution and sales and marketing capabilities provide significant value to our suppliers. Distributed brand suppliers sell through us in order to access thousands of retail and commercial customers across the United States and Canada with short order lead times, no minimum order quantity on individual items, free or minimal freight expense and trade credit terms. Based on our knowledge and communication with our suppliers, we believe some of our suppliers sell directly to the retail market. If these suppliers were to cease working with us, or proceed to enhance their direct-to-customer efforts, our product offerings, reputation, operation and business could be materially adversely effected.
Risks Relating to the Cannabis Industry
We sell our products through third-party retailers and resellers which do not exclusively sell to the cannabis industry. It is evident to us that the movement towards the legalization of cannabis in the U.S. and its legalization in Canada has ultimately had a significant, positive impact on our industry. Accordingly, the risks referred to below, to the extent they relate to our customers could impact us indirectly. In addition, if our business is deemed to transact with companies involved in the cannabis business, these risks could apply directly to us. “Cannabis Industry Participants” means the potential customers and end-users of our products who are engaged in the cannabis industry.
 
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We are subject to a number of risks, directly and indirectly through Cannabis Industry Participants, because cannabis is illegal under federal law.
Cannabis is illegal under federal law. Federal law and enforcement may adversely affect the implementation of medical cannabis and/or adult-use cannabis laws, and may negatively impact our revenues and profits.
Under the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (the “CSA”), the U.S. Government lists cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance (i.e., deemed to have no medical value), and accordingly the manufacturing (cultivation), sale, or possession of cannabis is federally illegal. It is also federally illegal to advertise the sale of cannabis or to sell paraphernalia designed or intended primarily for use with cannabis, unless the paraphernalia is authorized by federal, state, or local law. The United States Supreme Court has ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Coop. and Gonzales v. Raich, 532 U.S. 483 (2001), that the federal government has the right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medical purposes. The illegality of cannabis under federal law preempts state laws that legalize its use. Therefore, strict enforcement of federal law regarding cannabis would likely adversely affect our revenues and results of operations.
Other laws that directly impact the cannabis growers that are end users of certain of our products include:

Businesses trafficking in cannabis may not take tax deductions for costs beyond costs of goods sold under Code Section 280E. There is no way to predict how the federal government may treat cannabis business from a taxation standpoint in the future and no assurance can be given to what extent Code Section 280E, or other tax-related laws and regulations, may be applied to cannabis businesses in the future.

Because the manufacturing (cultivation), sale, possession and use of cannabis is illegal under federal law, cannabis businesses may have restricted intellectual property and proprietary rights, particularly with respect to obtaining and enforcing patents and trademarks. In addition, cannabis businesses may face court action by third parties under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Intellectual property and proprietary rights could be impaired as a result of cannabis business, and cannabis businesses could be named as a defendant in an action asserting a RICO violation.

Federal bankruptcy courts cannot provide relief for parties who engage in cannabis or cannabis businesses. Recent bankruptcy rulings have denied bankruptcies for cannabis dispensaries upon the justification that businesses cannot violate federal law and then claim the benefits of federal bankruptcy for the same activity and upon the justification that courts cannot ask a bankruptcy trustee to take possession of, and distribute cannabis assets as such action would violate the CSA. Therefore, cannabis businesses may not be able to seek the protection of the bankruptcy courts and this could materially affect their financial performance and/or their ability to obtain or maintain credit.

Since cannabis is illegal under federal law, there is a strong argument that banks cannot accept for deposit funds from businesses involved in the cannabis industry. Consequently, businesses involved in the cannabis industry often have difficulty finding a bank willing to accept their business. Any such inability to open or maintain bank accounts may make it difficult for cannabis businesses to operate. Under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), banks must report to the federal government any suspected illegal activity, which includes any transaction associated with a cannabis business. These reports must be filed even though the business is operating legitimately under state law.

Insurance that is otherwise readily available, such as general liability and directors and officer’s insurance, may be more difficult to find, and more expensive.
The current Trump administration, or any new administration or attorney general, could change federal enforcement policy or execution and decide to enforce the federal cannabis laws more strongly. On January 4, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum rescinding previous guidance (directing U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorneys’ offices to focus their cannabis enforcement efforts under federal law only in identified priority areas, such as sale to minors, criminal enterprises, and interstate sales). Under the Sessions memorandum, local U.S. Attorneys’ offices retain discretion regarding the prosecution of cannabis activity authorized under state laws and regulations. While current U.S. Attorney General William Barr expressed support for the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (“NORML”) during his Senate testimony on April 10, 2019, further change in the federal approach towards enforcement could
 
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negatively affect the industry, potentially ending it entirely. Any such change in the federal government’s enforcement of current federal laws could cause significant financial damage to us. The legal uncertainty and possible future changes in law could negatively affect our growth, revenues, results of operations and success generally.
Federal authorities may decide to change their current posture and begin to enforce current federal cannabis law and, if they decide to ignore the principles in the Cole Memorandum issued in 2013 (the “Cole Memorandum”) and begin to aggressively enforce such laws, it is possible that they could allege that we violated federal laws by selling products used in the cannabis industry. As a result, active enforcement of the current federal regulatory position on cannabis may thus directly or indirectly adversely affect our revenues and profits.
Violations of any U.S. federal laws and regulations could result in significant fines, penalties, administrative sanctions, convictions or settlements arising from civil proceedings conducted by either the U.S. federal government or private citizens, or criminal charges, including, but not limited to, disgorgement of profits, cessation of business activities or divestiture. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, including our reputation and ability to conduct business, the listing of our securities on any stock exchanges, the settlement of trades of our securities, our ability to obtain banking services, our financial position, operating results, profitability or liquidity or the market price of our publicly traded shares. In addition, it is difficult for us to estimate the time or resources that would be needed for the investigation of any such matters or their final resolution because, in part, the time and resources that may be needed are dependent on the nature and extent of any information requested by the applicable authorities involved, and such time or resources could be substantial.
Cannabis Industry Participants are subject to federal and state controlled substance laws and regulations. As a result, we are indirectly subject to a number of risks related to controlled substances.
We sell our products through third-party retailers and resellers which do not exclusively sell to the cannabis industry. Some of our products are sold to Cannabis Industry Participants and used in connection with cannabis businesses that are subject to federal and state controlled substance laws and regulations. Companies that transact directly or indirectly with cannabis businesses are subject to a number of risks related to controlled substances, which risks could reduce demand for our products by Cannabis Industry Participants. Such risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

Cannabis is a Schedule I drug under the CSA and regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (the “DEA”) as an illegal substance. The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), in conjunction with the DEA, licenses cannabis research and drugs containing active ingredients derived from cannabis. If cannabis were to become legal under federal law, its sale and use could become regulated by the FDA or another federal agency.

If cannabis were to become regulated by the FDA or another federal agency, extensive regulations may be imposed on the sale or use of cannabis. Such regulations could result in a decrease in cannabis sales and have a material adverse impact on the demand for our products. If we or our Cannabis Industry Participants are unable to comply with any applicable regulations and/or registration prescribed by the FDA, we may be unable to continue to transact with retailers and resellers who sell products to cannabis businesses and/or our financial condition may be adversely impacted.

Controlled substance legislation differs between states and legislation in certain states may restrict or limit Cannabis Industry Participants from buying our products. Cannabis Industry Participants may be required to obtain separate state registrations, permits or licenses in order to be able to obtain, handle and/or distribute controlled substances in a state. Such state regulatory requirements may be costly and, the failure of such Cannabis Industry Participants to meet such regulatory requirements could lead to enforcement and sanctions by the states in addition to any from the DEA or otherwise arising under federal law. We could be implicated in such enforcement or sanctions because of the purchase of our products by such Cannabis Industry Participants.

The failure of our Cannabis Industry Participants to comply with applicable controlled substance laws and regulations, or the cost of compliance with these laws and regulations, may adversely affect the demand for our products and, as a result, the financial results of our business operations and our financial condition.
 
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Furthermore, the Encina Credit Facility and the Term Loan Agreement each restrict our ability to sell our products directly to cannabis growers or cultivators, or to sellers or retailers that sell only to the cannabis industry. As a result, the Subsidiary Obligors do not sell our products directly to the cannabis industry, cannabis growers or cultivators, or to sellers or retailers that sell only to the cannabis industry. See “— Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness.
Our growth is highly dependent on the U.S. cannabis market. New California regulations caused licensing shortages and future regulations may create other limitations that decrease the demand for our products. State level regulations adopted in the future may adversely impact our business.
The base of cannabis growers in the U.S. has grown over the past 20 years since the legalization of cannabis for medical uses in states such as California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, with a large number of those growers depending on products similar to those we distribute. The U.S. cannabis market is still in its infancy and early adopter states such as California, Colorado and Washington represent a large portion of historical industry revenues. If the U.S. cannabis cultivation market does not grow as expected, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Cannabis remains illegal under U.S. federal law, with cannabis listed as a Schedule I substance under the CSA. Notwithstanding laws in various states permitting certain cannabis activities, all cannabis activities, including possession, distribution, processing and manufacturing of cannabis and investment in, and financial services or transactions involving proceeds of, or promoting such activities remain illegal under various U.S. federal criminal and civil laws and regulations, including the CSA, as well as laws and regulations of several states that have not legalized some or any cannabis activities to date. Compliance with applicable state laws regarding cannabis activities does not protect us from federal prosecution or other enforcement action, such as seizure or forfeiture remedies, nor does it provide any defense to such prosecution or action. Cannabis activities conducted in or related to conduct in multiple states may potentially face a higher level of scrutiny from federal authorities. Penalties for violating federal drug, conspiracy, aiding, abetting, bank fraud and/or money laundering laws may include prison, fines, and seizure/forfeiture of property used in connection with cannabis activities, including proceeds derived from such activities.
We sell our products through third-party retailers and resellers which do not exclusively sell to the cannabis industry, however, it is evident to us that the movement towards the legalization of cannabis in the U.S. and its legalization in Canada has ultimately had a significant, positive impact on our industry. We are not currently subject directly to any state laws or regulations controlling participants in the legal cannabis industry. However, regulation of the cannabis industry does impact those that we believe represent many end-users for our products and, accordingly, there can be no assurance that changes in regulation of the industry and more rigorous enforcement by federal authorities will not have a material adverse effect on us.
Legislation and regulations pertaining to the use and cultivation of cannabis are enacted on both the state and federal government level within the United States. As a result, the laws governing the cultivation and use of cannabis may be subject to change. Any new laws and regulations limiting the use or cultivation of cannabis and any enforcement actions by state and federal governments could indirectly reduce demand for our products, and may impact our current and planned future operations.
Individual state laws regarding the cultivation and possession of cannabis for adult and medical uses conflict with federal laws prohibiting the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis for any purpose. A number of states have passed legislation legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis for adult-use, other states have enacted legislation specifically permitting the cultivation and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and several states have enacted legislation permitting cannabis cultivation and use for both adult and medicinal purposes. Variations exist among those states’ cannabis laws. Evolving federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to the use or cultivation of cannabis, as well active enforcement by federal or state authorities of the laws and regulations governing the use and cultivation of cannabis may indirectly and adversely affect our business, our revenues and our profits.
The Term Loan Agreement prohibits the Subsidiary Obligors from selling our products directly to cannabis growers or cultivators, or to sellers or retailers that sell only to the cannabis industry. The Encina Credit Facility prohibits the Subsidiary Obligors from selling our products to the cannabis industry. As a
 
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result, the Subsidiary Obligors do not sell our products directly to the cannabis industry, cannabis growers or cultivators, or to sellers or retailers that sell only to the cannabis industry. See “— Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness.
Certain of our products may be purchased for use in new and emerging industries and/or be subject to varying, inconsistent, and rapidly changing laws, regulations, administrative practices, enforcement approaches, judicial interpretations, future scientific research and public perception.
We sell products, including hydroponic gardening products, through third-party retailers and resellers. End users may purchase these products for use in new and emerging industries, including the growing of cannabis that may not achieve market acceptance in a manner that we can predict. The demand for these products is dependent on the growth of these industries, which is uncertain, as well as the laws governing the growth, possession, and use of cannabis by adults for both adult and medical use.
Laws and regulations affecting the U.S. cannabis industry are continually changing, which could detrimentally affect our growth, revenues, results of operations and success generally. Local, state and federal cannabis laws and regulations are broad in scope and subject to evolving interpretations, which could require the end users of certain of our products or us to incur substantial costs associated with compliance or to alter our respective business plans. In addition, violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our results of operation and financial condition.
Scientific research related to the benefits of cannabis remains in its early stages, is subject to a number of important assumptions, and may prove to be inaccurate. Future research studies and clinical trials may reach negative conclusions regarding the viability, safety, efficacy, dosing, social acceptance or other facts and perceptions related to medical cannabis, which could materially impact the demand for our products for use in the cannabis industry.
The public’s perception of cannabis may significantly impact the cannabis industry’s success. Both the medical and adult-use of cannabis are controversial topics, and there is no guarantee that future scientific research, publicity, regulations, medical opinion, and public opinion relating to cannabis will be favorable. The cannabis industry is an early-stage business that is constantly evolving with no guarantee of viability. The market for medical and adult-use of cannabis is uncertain, and any adverse or negative publicity, scientific research, limiting regulations, medical opinion and public opinion (whether or not accurate or with merit) relating to the consumption of cannabis, whether in the United States or internationally, may have a material adverse effect on our operational results, consumer base, and financial results. Among other things, such a shift in public opinion could cause state jurisdictions to abandon initiatives or proposals to legalize medical or adult cannabis or adopt new laws or regulations restricting or prohibiting the medical or adult-use of cannabis where it is now legal, thereby limiting the Cannabis Industry Participants.
Demand for our products may be negatively impacted depending on how laws, regulations, administrative practices, enforcement approaches, judicial interpretations, and consumer perceptions develop. We cannot predict the nature of such developments or the effect, if any, that such developments could have on our business.
Our indirect involvement in the cannabis industry could affect the public’s perception of us and be detrimental to our reputation.
Damage to our reputation can be the result of the actual or perceived occurrence of any number of events, and could include any negative publicity, whether true or not. Cannabis has often been associated with various other narcotics, violence and criminal activities, the risk of which is that our retailers and resellers that transact with cannabis businesses might attract negative publicity. There is also risk that the action(s) of other participants, companies and service providers in the cannabis industry may negatively affect the reputation of the industry as a whole and thereby negatively impact our reputation. The increased use of social media and other web-based tools used to generate, publish and discuss user-generated content and to connect with other users has made it increasingly easier for individuals and groups to communicate and share opinions and views with regard to cannabis companies and their activities, whether true or not and the cannabis industry in general, whether true or not. We do not ultimately have direct control over how the cannabis industry is perceived by others. Reputation loss may result in decreased investor confidence, increased challenges in
 
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developing and maintaining community relations and an impediment to our overall ability to advance our business strategy and realize our growth prospects, thereby having a material adverse impact on our business.
In addition, third parties with whom we may do business could perceive that they are exposed to reputational risk as a result of our retailers’ and resellers’ involvement with cannabis businesses. Failure to establish or maintain business relationships due to reputational risk arising in connection with the nature of our business could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Businesses involved in the cannabis industry, and investments in such businesses, are subject to a variety of laws and regulations related to money laundering, financial recordkeeping and proceeds of crimes.
We sell our products through third-party retailers and resellers which do not exclusively sell to the cannabis industry. Investments in the U.S. cannabis industry are subject to a variety of laws and regulations that involve money laundering, financial recordkeeping and proceeds of crime, including the BSA, as amended by the U.S. PATRIOT Act, other anti-money laundering laws, and any related or similar rules, regulations or guidelines, issued, administered or enforced by governmental authorities in the United States. In February 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department (“FinCEN”) issued a memorandum (the “FinCEN Memo”) providing guidance to banks seeking to provide services to cannabis businesses. The FinCEN Memo outlines circumstances under which banks may provide services to cannabis businesses without risking prosecution for violation of U.S. federal money laundering laws. It refers to supplementary guidance that Deputy Attorney General Cole issued to U.S. federal prosecutors relating to the prosecution of U.S. money laundering offenses predicated on cannabis violations of the CSA and outlines extensive due diligence and reporting requirements, which most banks have viewed as onerous. On June 29, 2020, FinCEN issued additional guidance for financial institutions conducting due diligence and filing suspicious activity reports in connection with hemp-related business customers. While these guidelines clarify that financial institutions are not required to file suspicious activity reports solely based on a customer’s hemp-related business operations, which must be operating lawfully under applicable state law and regulations, these requirements can still present challenges for certain end users of our products to establish and maintain banking connections, and restrictions on cannabis-related banking activities remain. In September 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act, which would permit commercial banks to offer services to cannabis companies that are in compliance with state law, but the Senate has not taken up the SAFE Banking Act or other similar legislation.
Risks Relating to Other Regulations
Certain state and other regulations pertaining to the use of certain ingredients in growing media and plant nutrients could adversely impact us by restricting our ability to sell such products.
One of our leading product lines is growing media and nutrients products. This product line includes certain products, such as organic soils and nutrients that contain ingredients that require the companies that provide us with these products to register the product with certain regulators. The use and disposal of these products in some jurisdictions are subject to regulation by various agencies. A decision by a regulatory agency to significantly restrict the use of such products that have traditionally been used in the cultivation of our leading products could have an adverse impact on those companies providing us with such regulated products, and as a result, limit our ability to sell these products.
We are currently subject to, and may in the future become subject to additional, U.S., state and foreign laws and regulations imposing obligations on how we collect, store and process personal information. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could harm our business.
We are, and may increasingly become, subject to various laws and regulations, as well as contractual obligations, relating to data privacy and security in the jurisdictions in which we operate. The regulatory environment related to data privacy and security is increasingly rigorous, with new and constantly changing requirements applicable to our business, and enforcement practices are likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. These laws and regulations may be interpreted and applied differently over time and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it is possible that they will be interpreted and applied in ways that may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
 
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In the United States, various federal and state regulators, including governmental agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, have adopted, or are considering adopting, laws and regulations concerning personal information and data security. Certain state laws may be more stringent or broader in scope, or offer greater individual rights, with respect to personal information than federal, international or other state laws, and such laws may differ from each other, all of which may complicate compliance efforts. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which increases privacy rights for California residents and imposes obligations on companies that process their personal information, came into effect on January 1, 2020. Among other things, the CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers and provide such consumers new data protection and privacy rights, including the ability to opt-out of certain sales of personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for certain data breaches that result in the loss of personal information. This private right of action may increase the likelihood of, and risks associated with, data breach litigation. In addition, on November 3, 2020, California voters approved a new privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”). The CPRA comes into effect on January 1, 2023, and will significantly modify the CCPA, including by expanding consumers’ rights with respect to certain personal information and creating a new state agency to oversee implementation and enforcement efforts. In addition, laws in all 50 U.S. states require businesses to provide notice to consumers whose personal information has been disclosed as a result of a data breach. State laws are changing rapidly and there is discussion in the U.S. Congress of a new comprehensive federal data privacy law to which we would become subject if it is enacted.
Internationally, laws, regulations and standards in many jurisdictions apply broadly to the collection, use, retention, security, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal information. For example, the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which became effective in May 2018, greatly increased the European Commission’s jurisdictional reach of its laws and adds a broad array of requirements for handling personal data. EU member states are tasked under the GDPR to enact, and have enacted, certain implementing legislation that adds to and/or further interprets the GDPR requirements and potentially extends our obligations and potential liability for failing to meet such obligations. The GDPR, together with national legislation, regulations and guidelines of the EU member states and the United Kingdom governing the processing of personal data, impose strict obligations and restrictions on the ability to collect, use, retain, protect, disclose, transfer and otherwise process personal data. In particular, the GDPR includes obligations and restrictions concerning the consent and rights of individuals to whom the personal data relates, the transfer of personal data out of the European Economic Area or the United Kingdom, security breach notifications and the security and confidentiality of personal data. The GDPR authorizes fines for certain violations of up to 4% of global annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater.
All of these evolving compliance and operational requirements impose significant costs, such as costs related to organizational changes, implementing additional protection technologies, training employees and engaging consultants, which are likely to increase over time. In addition, such requirements may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies, distract management or divert resources from other initiatives and projects, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with any applicable federal, state or similar foreign laws and regulations relating to data privacy and security could result in damage to our reputation, as well as proceedings or litigation by government agencies or other third parties, including class action privacy litigation in certain jurisdictions, which would subject us to significant fines, sanctions, awards, penalties or judgements, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Compliance with, or violation of, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including laws pertaining to the use of pesticides, could result in significant costs that adversely impact our reputation, businesses, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
International, federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations relating to environmental, health and safety matters affect us in several ways in light of the ingredients that are used in products included in our growing media and nutrients product line. In the United States, products containing pesticides generally must be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”), and similar state agencies before they can be sold or applied. The failure by one of our partners to obtain or the cancellation of any such registration, or the withdrawal from the marketplace of such pesticides, could have an adverse effect on our businesses, the severity of which would depend on the products involved, whether other products could be substituted and
 
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whether our competitors were similarly affected. The pesticides we use are either granted a license by the EPA or exempt from such a license and may be evaluated by the EPA as part of its ongoing exposure risk assessment. The EPA may decide that a pesticide we distribute will be limited or will not be re-registered for use in the United States. We cannot predict the outcome or the severity of the effect on our business of any future evaluations, if any, conducted by the EPA.
In addition, the use of certain pesticide products is regulated by various international, federal, state, provincial and local environmental and public health agencies. Although we strive to comply with such laws and regulations and have processes in place designed to achieve compliance, we may be unable to prevent violations of these or other laws and regulations from occurring. Even if we are able to comply with all such laws and regulations and obtain all necessary registrations and licenses, the pesticides or other products we apply or use, or the manner in which we apply or use them, could be alleged to cause injury to the environment, to people or to animals, or such products could be banned in certain circumstances. The costs of compliance, noncompliance, investigation, remediation, combating reputational harm or defending civil or criminal proceedings, products liability, personal injury or other lawsuits could have a material adverse impact on our reputation, businesses, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Failure to comply with the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act could subject us to penalties and other adverse consequences.
As a Delaware corporation, we are subject to the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which generally prohibits United States companies from engaging in bribery or other prohibited payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Some foreign companies, including some that may compete with us, may not be subject to these prohibitions. Corruption, extortion, bribery, pay-offs, theft and other fraudulent practices may occur from time-to-time in countries in which we conduct our business. However, our employees or other agents may engage in conduct for which we might be held responsible. If our employees or other agents are found to have engaged in such practices, we could suffer severe penalties and other consequences that may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Relating to Our Intellectual Property
Recent laws make it difficult to predict how patents will be issued or enforced in our industry.
Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States and other countries may have a significant impact on our ability to protect our technology and enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights. There have been numerous changes to the patent laws and to the rules of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”), which may have a significant impact on our ability to protect our technology and enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights. For example, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which was signed into law in 2011, includes a transition from a “first-to-invent” system to a “first-to-file” system, and changes the way issued patents can be challenged. Certain changes, such as the institution of inter partes review and post-grant and derivation proceedings, came into effect in 2012. Substantive changes to patent law associated with the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act may affect our ability to obtain patents, and, if obtained, to enforce or defend them in litigation or inter partes review, or post-grant or derivation proceedings, all of which could harm our business.
We may not be able to adequately obtain, maintain, protect or enforce our intellectual property and other proprietary rights that are material to our business.
Our ability to compete effectively depends in part on our rights to trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights we own or license. We have not sought to register every one of our trademarks either in the United States or in every country in which such mark is used. Furthermore, because of the differences in foreign trademark, patent and other intellectual property or proprietary rights laws, we may not receive the same protection in other countries as we would in the United States with respect to the registered brand names and issued patents we hold. If we are unable to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights, including our information and/or brand names, we could suffer a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
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The steps we take to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights may be inadequate and despite our efforts to protect these rights, unauthorized third parties, including our competitors, may duplicate, reverse engineer, access, obtain, use or copy the proprietary aspects of our technology, processes, products or services without our permission. In addition, we cannot guarantee that we have entered into confidentiality agreements with each party that has or may have had access to our proprietary information, know-how and trade secrets. Moreover, our contractual arrangements may be breached or otherwise not effectively prevent disclosure of, or control access to, our intellectual property and confidential and proprietary information or provide an adequate remedy in the event of an unauthorized disclosure. If we are unable to obtain, maintain, protect or enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights, including our proprietary information and/or brand names, we could suffer a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Litigation may be necessary to enforce our owned or in-licensed intellectual property rights and proprietary rights and protect our proprietary information against claims by third parties that our products or services infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property rights or proprietary rights. Any litigation or claims brought by us could result in substantial costs and diversion of our resources and may not be successful, even when our rights have been infringed, misappropriated or otherwise violated. Our efforts to enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property and proprietary rights, and if such defenses, counterclaims or countersuits are successful, we could lose valuable intellectual property and proprietary rights. Additionally, the mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property and proprietary rights in foreign jurisdictions may be inadequate.
Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submissions, fee payment and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies, and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated for noncompliance with these requirements.
Periodic maintenance or annuity fees on any issued patents are due to be paid to the USPTO, and foreign patent agencies in several stages over the lifetime of the patent. The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payments and other similar provisions during the patent application process. While an inadvertent or unintentional lapse can in many cases be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Noncompliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application include, but are not limited to, failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits, nonpayment of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents. If we or our licensors fail to maintain the patents and patent applications covering our products, our competitors might be able to enter the market, which would have a material adverse effect on our business. Additionally, patents have a limited lifespan. In the United States, even if all maintenance fees are timely paid, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years from its earliest U.S. non-provisional filing date and the natural expiration of a design patent is generally 14 years after its issue date, unless the filing date occurred on or after May 13, 2015, in which case the natural expiration of a design patent is generally 15 years after its issue date. Even if patents covering our products or services are obtained, once the patent life has expired, we may be open to competition from competitive products or services. If one of our products requires extended development, testing and/or regulatory review, patents protecting such products might expire before or shortly after such products are commercialized. As a result, our patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.
From time to time, we may need to rely on licenses to proprietary technologies, which may be difficult or expensive to obtain or we may lose certain licenses which may be difficult to replace, harming our competitive position.
We may need to obtain licenses to patents and other intellectual property and proprietary rights held by third parties to develop, manufacture and market our products, if, for example, we sought to develop our products, in conjunction with any patented technology. If we are unable to timely obtain these licenses on commercially reasonable terms (or at all) and maintain these licenses, our ability to commercially market our products, may be inhibited or prevented, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
 
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In spite of our best efforts, our licensors might conclude that we have materially breached our license agreements and might therefore terminate the license agreements, thereby removing our ability to develop and commercialize products, services and technology covered by these license agreements. If these in-licenses are terminated, or if the underlying patents fail to provide the intended exclusivity, competitors may have the freedom to market products identical to ours and we may be required to cease using or commercializing our products, services and technology covered by such patents.
Third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.
Our success depends upon our ability to develop, manufacture, market and sell our products, and to use our proprietary technologies without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property or proprietary rights of third parties. We may become party to, or threatened with, future adversarial proceedings or litigation regarding intellectual property or proprietary rights with respect to our products and technology, including interference or derivation proceedings and various other post-grant proceedings before the USPTO and/or non-United States opposition proceedings. Third parties may assert infringement claims against us based on existing patents or patents that may be granted in the future. A successful claim of trademark, patent or other intellectual property or proprietary right infringement, misappropriation or other violation against us, or any other successful challenge to the use of our intellectual property and proprietary rights, could subject us to damages or prevent us from providing certain products or services, or using certain of our recognized brand names, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. As a result of any such infringement claims, or other intellectual property claims, regardless of merit, or to avoid potential claims, we may choose or be compelled to seek intellectual property licenses from third parties. These licenses may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Even if we are able to obtain a license, the license would likely obligate us to pay license fees, royalties, minimum royalties and/or milestone payments and the rights granted to us could be nonexclusive, which would mean that our competitors may be able to obtain licenses to the same intellectual property. Ultimately, we could be prevented from commercializing a product and/or technology or be forced to cease some aspect of our business operations if, as a result of actual or threatened infringement or other intellectual property claims, we are unable to enter into licenses of the relevant intellectual property on acceptable terms. Further, if we attempt to modify a product and/or technology or to develop alternative methods or products in response to infringement or other intellectual property claims or to avoid potential claims, we could incur substantial costs, encounter delays in product introductions or interruptions in sales.
We may be subject to claims that our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their former employers.
Although we try to ensure that our employees do not use the intellectual property and proprietary rights, including proprietary information or know-how, of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that we or these employees have used or disclosed intellectual property or proprietary rights, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any such employee’s former employer. We are not aware of any threatened or pending claims related to these matters or concerning agreements with our employees, but in the future litigation may be necessary to defend against such claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property or proprietary rights or personnel. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.
Intellectual property disputes could cause us to spend substantial resources and distract our personnel from their normal responsibilities.
Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims may cause us to incur significant expenses, and could distract our personnel from their normal responsibilities. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments, and if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the value of our common stock. Such litigation or proceedings could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce the resources available for development activities or any future sales, marketing or distribution activities. We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to adequately conduct such litigation or proceedings. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs
 
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of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent and other intellectual property litigation or other proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete in the marketplace.
If our owned or in-licensed trademarks and trade names are not adequately protected, then we may not be able to build name recognition in our markets of interest and our business may be adversely affected.
We regard our owned and in-licensed trademarks, trade names and service marks as having significant value and as an important factor in the success of our business. The registered or unregistered trademarks, trade names and service marks that we own or in-license from third parties may be challenged, infringed, circumvented, declared generic or determined to be infringing on or dilutive of other marks. Additionally, at times, competitors may adopt trademarks, trade names or service marks similar to the ones we own or in-license, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. In addition, there could be potential trademark, trade name or service mark infringement claims brought against us or our licensors by owners of other trademarks, trade names and service marks. Over the long term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our owned and in-licensed trademarks and trade names, then we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected. We may also license our trademarks, trade names and service marks out to third parties, such as our distributors. Though these license agreements may provide guidelines for how our trademarks, trade names and service marks may be used, a breach of these agreements or misuse of our trademarks, trade names and service marks by our licensees may jeopardize our rights in or diminish the goodwill associated with our trademarks and trade names. Our efforts to enforce or protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights related to trademarks, trade names and service marks may be ineffective and could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Intellectual property and proprietary rights do not necessarily address all potential threats to our competitive advantage.
The degree of future protection afforded by our intellectual property and proprietary rights is uncertain because intellectual property and proprietary rights have limitations, and may not adequately protect our business, or permit us to maintain our competitive advantage. The following examples are illustrative.

Others may be able to construct products that are similar to our products but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we own or have exclusively licensed;

We or our licensors or strategic collaborators, if any, might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by the issued patent or pending patent application that we own or have exclusively licensed;

We or our licensors or strategic collaborators, if any, might not have been the first to file patent applications covering certain of our inventions;

Others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating our intellectual property and proprietary rights;

It is possible that our current and future pending patent applications will not lead to issued patents;

It is possible that our current and future pending trademark or service mark applications will not lead to registrations;

We may fail to identify patentable aspects of our research and development output before it is too late to obtain patent protection;

Issued patents and other intellectual property and proprietary rights that we own or have exclusively licensed may not provide us with any competitive advantages, may not be sufficiently broad in scope or may be held invalid or unenforceable, as a result of legal challenges by third parties, including our competitors;

Our competitors might conduct research and development activities in countries where we do not have patent rights and then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in our major commercial markets;
 
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We may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable; and

The patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business.
Should any of these events occur, they could significantly harm our business, results of operations and prospects.
Risks Relating to Our Capital Stock
We may incur indebtedness or issue capital stock that ranks senior or equally to our common stock as to liquidation preference and other rights and which may dilute our stockholders’ ownership interest.
Shares of our common stock are common equity interests in us and, as such, will rank junior to all of our existing and future indebtedness and other liabilities. Additionally, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation (the “Certificate of Incorporation”) does not prohibit us from issuing any series of preferred stock that would rank senior or equally to our common stock as to dividend payments and liquidation preference. Our Certificate of Incorporation allows for our board of directors to create new series of preferred stock without further approval by our stockholders, which could adversely affect the rights of the holders of our common stock. We have the authority to issue up to 50,000,000 shares of our preferred stock without further stockholder approval. The issuances of any series of preferred stock could have the effect of reducing the amounts available to our holders of common stock in the event of our liquidation. In addition, if we issue preferred stock with voting rights that dilute the voting power of our common stock, the market price of our common stock could decrease. Additional issuances and sales of preferred stock, or the perception that such issuances and sales could occur, may cause prevailing market prices for our common stock to decline and may adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital in the financial markets at times and prices favorable to us. In addition, any additional capital raised through the sale of equity or equity-backed securities may dilute our stockholders’ ownership percentages and could also result in a decrease in the market value of our common stock.
Provisions in our corporate charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company, which may be beneficial to our stockholders, more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.
These provisions might discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company or a change in our management. The existence of these provisions could adversely affect the voting power of holders of common stock and limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock. Furthermore, we have the authority to issue up to 50,000,000 shares of our preferred stock without further stockholder approval, the rights of which will be determined at the discretion of the board of directors and that, if issued, could operate as a “poison pill” to dilute the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer to prevent an acquisition that our board of directors does not approve. In addition, our Certificate of Incorporation and amended and restated bylaws (the “Bylaws”) contain provisions that may make the acquisition of our company more difficult, including the following:

our authorized but unissued and unreserved common stock and preferred stock could make more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise;

our board of directors is classified into three classes of directors with staggered three-year terms and directors are only able to be removed from office for cause;

our stockholders will only be able to take action at a meeting of stockholders and will not be able to take action by written consent for any matter, except in certain circumstances;

a special meeting of our stockholders may only be called by the chairperson of our board of directors or a majority of our board of directors;

advance notice procedures apply for stockholders to nominate candidates for election as directors or to bring matters before an annual meeting of stockholders; and

certain amendments to our Certificate of Incorporation and any amendments to our Bylaws by our stockholders will require the approval of at least two-thirds of our then-outstanding voting power entitled to vote generally in an election of directors, voting together as a single class.
 
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Delaware law contains anti-takeover provisions that could deter takeover attempts that could be beneficial to our stockholders.
Provisions of Delaware law could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so would be beneficial to our stockholders. Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may make the acquisition of our company and the removal of incumbent officers and directors more difficult by prohibiting stockholders holding 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock from acquiring us, without the consent of our board of directors, for at least three years from the date they first hold 15% or more of the voting stock.
Various provisions of our lending agreements with Encina and Brightwood, in addition to our Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws and other corporate documents, could delay or prevent a change of control.
The Encina Credit Facility and the Term Loan Agreement each prohibit us from undergoing a change of control. Any takeover attempt could be delayed, or prevented, if an amendment or waiver is not provided by the respective lenders. See “— Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness” and “Description of Our Indebtedness.” Moreover, certain provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and provisions of Delaware General Corporation Law could delay or prevent a change of control or may impede the ability of the holders of our common stock to change our management. In particular, our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, among other things will regulate how stockholders may present proposals or nominate directors for election at stockholders’ meetings and authorize our board of directors to issue preferred stock in one or more series, without stockholder approval. See “Description of Capital Stock — Anti-Takeover Provisions.
We are a holding company and rely on dividends and other payments, advances and transfers of funds from our subsidiaries to meet our obligations and pay dividends, if any, and we may never pay any dividends to the holders of our common stock and capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock may be your sole source of gain on your investment.
We have no direct operations and no significant assets other than the ownership of capital stock and equity interests of our subsidiaries. Because we conduct our operations through our subsidiaries, we depend on those entities for dividends and other payments to generate the funds necessary to meet our financial obligations. Legal and contractual restrictions in the Encina Credit Facility, the Term Loan Agreement and other agreements which may govern future indebtedness of our subsidiaries, as well as the financial condition and operating requirements of our subsidiaries, may limit our ability to obtain cash from our subsidiaries. The earnings from, or other available assets of, our subsidiaries might not be sufficient to pay dividends or make distributions or loans to enable us to pay any dividends on our common stock or other obligations. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is restricted by the terms of the Encina Credit Facility and the Term Loan Agreement and, in addition, future debt financing, if any, may contain terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our securities.
We currently intend to retain any future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business. Accordingly, we do not expect to pay any dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future, but will review this policy as circumstances dictate. The declaration and payment of all future dividends to holders of our common stock, if any, will be at the sole discretion of our board of directors, which retains the right to change our dividend policy at any time. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is restricted by the terms of the Encina Credit Facility and the Term Loan Agreement and, in addition, future debt financing, if any, may contain terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our securities. Consequently, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock may be your sole source of gain on your investment for the foreseeable future.
Our largest stockholders will exercise significant influence over our company for the foreseeable future, including the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval.
Our former directors and their affiliates collectively own approximately     % of our outstanding shares of common stock and will own            of our outstanding shares of common stock after the consummation of the offering contemplated hereby. Accordingly, if these stockholders were to choose to act together, they could have a significant influence over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our
 
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company or all or a significant percentage of our assets. This concentration of ownership could limit your ability to influence corporate matters and may have the effect of delaying or preventing a third party from acquiring control over us.
We cannot assure you that the interests of our former directors and affiliated persons will coincide with the interests of the investors. So long as our former directors and affiliated persons collectively controls a significant portion of our common stock, these individuals and/or entities controlled by them, will continue to collectively be able to strongly influence or effectively control our decisions. Therefore, you should not invest in reliance on your ability to have any control over our company. See “Principal Stockholders,” “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” and “Description of Capital Stock.
We have broad discretion in how we use our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities and may not use these financial resources effectively, which could affect our results of operations and cause our stock price to decline.
Our management has considerable discretion in the application of our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. We intend to use the proceeds of this offering to repay existing indebtedness, for acquisitions, for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include the hiring of additional personnel and capital expenditures. We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay borrowings outstanding under the Term Loan Agreement which matures on May 12, 2022 and bears an interest rate of LIBOR plus 850 basis points and the Base Rate plus 750 basis points; provided, that at such time that the Total Net Leverage Ratio is less than 5.50:1.00, the interest rate shall be LIBOR plus 700 basis points or the Base Rate plus 600 basis points. We also intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to paydown and refinance the balance of our borrowings under the Encina Credit Facility, among certain of our subsidiaries, Encina Business Credit, LLC and the other lenders party thereto, which matures on the earlier of (i) July 11, 2022, or (ii) 90 days prior to the scheduled maturity date of the Term Loan Agreement, and bears variable interest rates based on certain U.S. and Canadian-based interest rates plus an applicable margin, which is determined by the average daily amount. As a result, investors will be relying upon management’s judgment with only limited information about our specific intentions for these proceeds. We may use the cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities for purposes that do not yield a significant return or any return at all for our stockholders. In addition, pending their use, we may invest the financial resources from our securities offerings in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value.
We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and may not use them effectively.
We intend to allocate the net proceeds from this offering to our different areas of activity. Our management may not apply the net proceeds in ways that ultimately increase the value of your investment in our common stock. They will have broad discretion in the application of the use of proceeds from this offering, and you will be relying on the judgment of our management regarding the application of these proceeds. If we do not invest or apply the net proceeds from this offering in ways that enhance shareholder value, we may fail to achieve expected financial results, which could cause the price of our common stock to decline.
Our common stock has no prior public market, and we cannot assure you that an active trading market will develop.
Prior to this offering, there has not been a public market for our common stock. We have applied to list our common stock on The Nasdaq Capital Market (the “NASDAQ”) and our application may not be approved or an active trading market in our common stock might not develop or continue. If you purchase shares of our common stock in this offering, you will pay a price that was not established in a competitive market. Rather, you will pay a price that was determined through negotiations with the representatives of the underwriters based upon an assessment of the valuation of our common stock and a book-building process. The public market may not agree with or accept this valuation, in which case you may not be able to sell your shares of our common stock at or above the initial offering price. In addition, if an active trading market does not develop, you may have difficulty selling your shares of our common stock at an attractive price, or at all. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock and may impair our ability to acquire other companies, products or technologies by using shares of our common stock as consideration.
 
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Future sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock may depress the price of our shares.
If any of our other stockholders sells or otherwise disposes of a large number of shares of our common stock, or if we issue a large number of shares of our common stock in connection with future acquisitions, financings, or other circumstances, the market price of shares of our common stock could decline significantly.
Subject to the lock-up agreements described below, all of the shares of our common stock sold in this offering will be freely tradable without restriction, except for shares of our common stock owned by any of our affiliates. Immediately after this offering, the public market for our common stock will include only the       million shares of our common stock that are being sold in this offering, or        million shares of our common stock if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock from us in full.
Our directors, executive officers and holders of substantially all of our capital stock and securities convertible into our capital stock have entered into lock-up agreements in which they have agreed that they will not sell, directly or indirectly, any shares of our common stock for a period of 180 days from the date of this prospectus (subject to certain exceptions) without the prior written consent of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, or are subject to the market standoff provisions in the Registration Rights Agreement pursuant to which each holder shall not transfer, sell, offer, pledge, contract to sell, grant any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any right or warrant to purchase, lend or otherwise transfer or encumber any Registrable Securities (as defined in the Registration Rights Agreement) until the date that is six months after the effective date of this registration statement. See “Shares Eligible for Future Sale.”
The trading price of our common stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
The initial public offering price of our common stock will be determined through negotiation among us and the underwriters. This price does not necessarily reflect the price at which investors in the market will be willing to buy and sell shares of our common stock following this offering. In addition, the trading price of our common stock following this offering is likely to be volatile and could be subject to fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our common stock since you might be unable to sell your shares at or above the price you paid in this offering. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock include the following:

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;

volatility in the trading prices and trading volumes of stocks in our industry;

changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of other companies generally, or those in our industry in particular;

sales of shares of our common stock by us or our stockholders;

failure of securities analysts to maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts who follow our company or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;

the financial projections we may provide to the public, any changes in those projections or our failure to meet those projections;

announcements by us or our competitors of new offerings or platform features;

the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC;

rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;

actual or anticipated changes in our results of operations or fluctuations in our results of operations;

actual or anticipated developments in our business, our competitors’ businesses or the competitive landscape generally;

litigation involving us, our industry or both, or investigations by regulators into our operations or those of our competitors;

developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
 
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announced or completed acquisitions of businesses, services or technologies by us or our competitors;

new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business;

changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations or principles;

any significant change in our management; and

general economic conditions and slow or negative growth of our markets.
In addition, in the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a particular company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against these companies. This litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources.
We are an emerging growth company, and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.
As an emerging growth company, as defined in the JOBS Act, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies including, but not limited to, not being required to obtain an assessment of the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting from our independent registered public accounting firm pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. To the extent we avail ourselves of these exemptions, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with such new or revised accounting standards. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we will rely on these.
Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that the doctrine of ”corporate opportunity” will not apply with respect to any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our affiliates.
The doctrine of corporate opportunity generally provides that a corporate fiduciary may not develop an opportunity using corporate resources, acquire an interest adverse to that of the corporation or acquire property that is reasonably incident to the present or prospective business of the corporation or in which the corporation has a present or expectancy interest, unless that opportunity is first presented to the corporation and the corporation chooses not to pursue that opportunity. The doctrine of corporate opportunity is intended to preclude officers or directors or other fiduciaries from personally benefiting from opportunities that belong to the corporation. Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that the doctrine of “corporate opportunity” does not apply with respect to any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our affiliates. Any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our affiliates will therefore have no duty to communicate or present corporate opportunities to us, and will have the right to either hold any corporate opportunity for their (and their affiliates’) own account and benefit or to recommend, assign or otherwise transfer such corporate opportunity to persons other than us, including to any director or stockholder who is not employed by us or our affiliates.
As a result, certain of our stockholders, directors and their respective affiliates will not be prohibited from operating or investing in competing businesses. We therefore may find ourselves in competition with certain of our stockholders, directors or their respective affiliates, and we may not have knowledge of, or be able to pursue, transactions that could potentially be beneficial to us. Accordingly, we may lose a corporate opportunity or suffer competitive harm, which could negatively impact our business or prospects.
Our security holders may be diluted by future issuances of securities by us.
In the future, we may issue our authorized but previously unissued equity securities, including additional shares of capital stock or securities convertible into or exchangeable for our capital stock. Such issuance of additional securities would dilute the ownership stake in us held by our existing stockholders and could adversely affect the value of our securities.
We may also issue additional shares of our common stock, warrants or other securities that are convertible into or exercisable for the purchase of shares of our common stock in connection with hiring and/or retaining
 
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employees or consultants, future acquisitions, future sales of our securities for capital raising purposes, or for other business purposes. The future issuance of any such additional shares of our common stock or other securities, for any reason including those stated above, may have a negative impact on the market price of our common stock. There can be no assurance that the issuance of any additional shares of common stock, warrants or other convertible securities may not be at a price (or exercise prices) below the price of the common stock offered hereby.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or they publish negative reports about our business, our share price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business, our market and our competitors. We do not have any control over these analysts. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our shares or change their opinion of our shares, our share price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause our share price or trading volume to decline.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty; any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our Certificate of Incorporation or our Bylaws; or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the exclusive forum provision does not apply to suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Exchange Act, the Securities Act or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. Unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, be the sole and exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. The choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and other employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operation.
 
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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements. You can generally identify forward-looking statements by our use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “seek,” “will” or “should,” or the negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. In particular, statements about the markets in which we operate, including growth of our various markets, and statements about our expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, prospects, assumptions or future events or performance contained in this prospectus under the headings “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business” are forward-looking statements.
We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections are reasonable, such forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors, including those discussed in this prospectus under the headings “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business,” may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances to differ materially from any future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include:

general economic and financial conditions, specifically in the United States and Canada;

the adverse effects of public health epidemics, including the recent COVID-19 outbreak, on our business, results of operations and financial condition;

federal and state legislation and regulations pertaining to the use and cultivation of cannabis in the United States, and such laws and regulations in Canada;

the costs of being a public company;

our ability to keep pace with technological advances;

our ability to successfully identify appropriate acquisition targets, successfully acquire identified targets or successfully integrate the business of acquired companies;

the success of our marketing activities;

a disruption of breach of our information technology systems;

our current level of indebtedness;

our dependence on third parties;

the performance of third parties on which we depend;

the fluctuation in the prices of the products we distribute;

competitive industry pressures;

the consolidation of our industry;

compliance with environmental, health and safety laws;

our ability to obtain and maintain protection for our intellectual property and proprietary rights;

our ability to protect and defend against litigation, including claims related to intellectual property and proprietary rights;

product shortages and relationships with key suppliers;

our ability to attract key employees;

the volatility of the price of our common stock;
 
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the marketability of our common stock; and

other risks and uncertainties, including those listed in “Risk Factors.”
Moreover, we operate in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all risk factors, nor can we address the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this prospectus to conform these statements to new information, actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.
You should read this prospectus and the documents that we reference in this prospectus and have filed with the SEC, as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance, and events and circumstances may be materially different from what we expect.
 
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USE OF PROCEEDS
We estimate that the net proceeds from the sale of shares of common stock in this offering will be approximately $     million, based on an assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, and after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, we estimate that our net proceeds will be $     million based on an assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
The principal purposes of this offering are to repay existing indebtedness, for acquisitions, for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include the hiring of additional personnel and capital expenditures, to establish a public market for our common stock and to facilitate our future access to the public capital markets. We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay borrowings outstanding under the Term Loan Agreement, among certain of our subsidiaries, Brightwood Loan Services, LLC and the other lenders party thereto, which matures on May 12, 2022 and bears an interest rate of LIBOR plus 850 basis points and the Base Rate (as defined therein) plus 750 basis points; provided, that at such time that the Total Net Leverage Ratio (as defined therein) is less than 5.50:1.00, the interest rate shall be LIBOR plus 700 basis points or the Base Rate plus 600 basis points. We also intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to paydown and refinance our borrowings under the Encina Credit Facility, among certain of our subsidiaries, Encina Business Credit, LLC and the other lenders party thereto, which matures on the earlier of (i) July 11, 2022, or (ii) 90 days prior to the scheduled maturity date of the Term Loan Agreement, and bears variable interest rates based on certain U.S. and Canadian-based interest rates plus an applicable margin, which is determined by the average daily amount available for borrowing under the Encina Credit Facility for an applicable period. See “Description of Our Indebtedness” for more information.
Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $     million, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We may also increase or decrease the number of shares we are offering. An increase of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares offered by us, together with a concurrent $1.00 increase in the assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would increase the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $     million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Conversely, a decrease of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares offered by us together with a concurrent $1.00 decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would decrease the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $     million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. The as adjusted information discussed above is illustrative only and will adjust based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.
 
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DIVIDEND POLICY
We have no direct operations and no significant assets other than ownership of capital stock and equity interests of our subsidiaries. Because we conduct operations through our subsidiaries, we depend on our subsidiaries for dividends and other payments to generate the funds necessary to meet our financial obligations. Legal and contractual restrictions in our credit facility and other agreements which may govern future indebtedness of our subsidiaries, as well as the financial condition and operating requirements of our subsidiaries, may limit our ability to obtain cash from our subsidiaries. The earnings from, or other available assets of, our subsidiaries might not be sufficient to pay dividends or make distributions or loans to enable us to pay any dividends on our common stock or other obligations.
We have never declared nor paid any cash dividends to holders of our common stock. Except as described herein, we currently intend to retain any future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business. Accordingly, we do not expect to pay any dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future, but will review this policy as circumstances dictate. The declaration and payment of all future dividends to holders of our common stock, if any, will be at the sole discretion of our board of directors, which retains the right to change our dividend policy at any time. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is currently restricted by the terms of the Encina Credit Facility and the Term Loan Agreement and, in addition, future debt or other financings, if any, may contain terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our securities.
 
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CAPITALIZATION
The following table sets forth cash and cash equivalents, as well as our capitalization, as of September 30, 2020 as follows:

on an actual basis;

on a pro forma basis, as adjusted (i) for the automatic conversion of our Series A Preferred Stock into an aggregate of        shares of common stock, including       shares of common stock if, at our option, we choose to pay accrued dividends in-kind and (ii) for the repayment of the PPP loan using cash on the balance sheet; and

on a pro forma as adjusted basis giving further effect to the sale by us of        shares of common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $       per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, and after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
The pro forma as adjusted information set forth in the table below is illustrative only and will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto, and the sections titled “Selected Consolidated Financial and Other Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” that are included elsewhere in this prospectus.
As of September 30, 2020
Actual
Pro forma
Pro forma
as adjusted
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
$ 32,855
Long term debt including current portion(a):
Term loan
$ 76,292
Line of credit(b)
32,494
PPP loan
3,274
Other
1,369
Total long term debt
113,429
Convertible preferred stock, $0.0001 par value, 50,000,000 shares
authorized; actual: 7,725,045(c) shares issued and outstanding;
pro forma and pro forma as adjusted: 0 shares issued and outstanding
27,584(d)
Stockholders’ equity
Common stock, $0.0001 par value, 300,000,000 shares authorized;
actual: 69,745,562 shares issued and outstanding; pro forma: [    ]
shares issued and outstanding; pro forma as adjusted: [    ] shares
issued and outstanding
7 [    ] [    ](d)
Additional paid-in capital
154,594 [    ] [    ](d)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss
(390)
Accumulated deficit
(144,534)
Total stockholders’ equity
9,677 [    ] [    ]
Total capitalization
$ 150,690 [    ] [    ]
(a)
Long-term debt in the capitalization table excludes unamortized deferred financing costs to be consistent with amounts typically presented in capitalization. The following table reconciles the outstanding principal to the net carrying amount of long term debt (amounts in thousands) in the balance sheet as of September 30, 2020:
 
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Outstanding
principal
Deferred
financing
costs
Net
balance
Term loan
$ 76,292 $ (1,035) $ 75,257
Line of credit(b)
32,494 (568) 31,926
PPP loan
3,274 3,274
Other
1,369 1,369
Total long term debt
$ 113,429 $ (1,603) $ 111,826
(b)
As of September 30, 2020, we have borrowings outstanding under the Encina Credit Facility of approximately $32.5 million, excluding unamortized deferred financing costs, with approximately $3.6 million available for future borrowings.
(c)
Excludes           shares of common stock, which we have the option to issue for accrued dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock rather than paying in cash.
(d)
On December 31, 2019, we entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain investors named therein, pursuant to which we issued and sold 7,007,429 shares of our Series A Preferred Stock in December 2019 and 717,616 shares of our Series Preferred A Stock in February 2020. We received gross proceeds of approximately $27 million (which includes proceeds of approximately $8 million raised from the issuances of convertible unsecured subordinated promissory notes in September and October 2019 which converted into shares of our Series A Preferred Stock) in connection with the Preferred Stock Offering, before deducting fees and related offering expenses.
(e)
Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of  $       per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease the amount of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity and total capitalization by $        , assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us. An increase or decrease of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, the amount of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity and total capitalization by $          , assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.
If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our common stock from us were exercised in full, pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity, total capitalization and shares outstanding as of September 30, 2020 would be $          , $          , $          , $           and           , respectively.
The number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering is based on            shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2020, including            shares of common stock issuance upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock, which occurs automatically upon consummation of this offering, assuming a public offering price of $       per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and excludes:

13,100,069 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding warrants to purchase our common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $4.78 per share;

2,861,900 shares of common stock underlying options to purchase our common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $2.55 per share;

8,893,346 shares of common stock underlying restricted stock awards which have not yet vested;

7,700,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Equity Incentive Plan;

       shares of common stock, which we have the option to issue for accrued dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock rather than paying in cash; and

no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional        shares of our common stock from us.
 
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DILUTION
If you invest in our common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted immediately to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share of our common stock in this offering and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value (deficit) per share of our common stock immediately after this offering.
As of September 30, 2020, our historical net tangible book value deficit was $       , or $       per share of common stock, based on        shares of our common stock outstanding. Our historical net tangible book value deficit per share is equal to our total tangible assets, less total liabilities, divided by the number of outstanding shares of our common stock.
As of September 30, 2020, our pro forma net tangible book value was $       million, or $      , as adjusted for the conversion of our Series A Preferred Stock.
After giving further effect to the sale of             shares of common stock in this offering at the assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of September 30, 2020, would have been approximately $     million, or approximately $     per share. This amount represents an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value of  $     per share to our existing stockholders and an immediate dilution in pro forma net tangible book value of approximately $     per share to new investors purchasing shares of common stock in this offering.
Dilution per share to new investors is determined by subtracting pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering from the initial public offering price per share paid by new investors. The following table illustrates this dilution (without giving effect to any exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares):
Assumed initial public offering price per share
$          
Historical net tangible book value deficit per share as of September 30, 2020
$
Increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share attributable to new investors participating in this offering
         
Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after giving effect to this offering and as adjusted for the automatic conversion of our Series A Preferred Stock
         
Dilution per share to new investors participating in this offering
$          
The dilution information discussed above is illustrative only and will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by $     per share and the dilution to new investors by $     per share, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We may also increase or decrease the number of shares we are offering. An increase of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by $     per share and decrease the dilution to new investors by $     per share, assuming the assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated expenses payable by us. Similarly, each decrease of 1.0 million shares offered by us would decrease the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by $     per share and increase the dilution to new investors by $     per share, assuming the assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated expenses payable by us.
If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase      additional shares of our common stock in full in this offering, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value after the offering would be $     per share, the increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share to existing stockholders would be $     per share
 
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and the dilution per share to new investors would be $     per share, in each case assuming an initial public offering price of  $     per share.
The following table summarizes as of September 30, 2020, on the pro forma as adjusted basis as described above, the differences between the number of shares of common stock purchased from us, the total consideration and the weighted-average price per share paid by existing stockholders (assuming an initial public offering price of  $     per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and by investors participating in this offering, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, at an assumed initial public offering price of  $     per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus).
Shares Purchased
Total Consideration
Weighted-Average
Price Per
Share
Number
Percent
Amount
Percent
Existing stockholders
         
         % $                    % $                
New public investors
                                       
Total
          100.0% $           100.0%
The table above assumes no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase            additional shares in this offering. If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full, the number of shares of our common stock held by existing stockholders would be reduced to     % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering and the number of shares of common stock held by new investors participating in the offering would be increased to     % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering.
The foregoing tables and calculations (other than historical net tangible book value deficit calculation) are based on         shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2020, including          shares of common stock issued upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock, which occurs automatically upon consummation of this offering, assuming a public offering price of $       per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and excludes:

13,100,069 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding warrants to purchase ourcommon stock at a weighted average exercise price of $4.78 per share;

2,861,900 shares of common stock underlying options to purchase our common stock at a weightedaverage exercise price of $2.55 per share;

8,893,346 shares of common stock underlying restricted stock awards which have not yet vested

7,700,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Equity Incentive Plan;

      shares of common stock, which we have the option to issue for accrued dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock rather than paying in cash; and

no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional shares of ourcommon stock from us.
To the extent that any options are exercised or other securities are issued under our equity incentive plans, or we issue additional shares of common stock in the future, there will be further dilution to investors participating in this offering.
 
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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA
The following table presents our selected of consolidated financial and other data for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 and the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019. We have derived the following consolidated financial and other data for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 from our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. We have derived the following consolidated financial and other data for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 from our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of future results of operations and the results of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of results for the full year. You should read the following financial information together with the information under “Capitalization” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto, and our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Nine months ended
September 30,
Years ended
December 31,
2020
2019
2019
2018
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
Income statement data for period ended:
Net sales
$ 254,763 $ 181,338 $ 235,111 $ 211,813
Gross profit
47,624 21,576 27,086 24,070
Selling, general and administrative
37,084 30,759 43,784 42,229
Impairment, restructuring and other(a)
276 3,589 10,035 7,169
Income (loss) from operations
10,264 (12,772) (26,733) (25,328)
Interest expense
7,858 9,789 13,467 11,606
Net income (loss)(b)
2,125 (22,372) (40,083) (32,892)
Net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders(b)
135 (22,372) (40,083) (32,892)
Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders – diluted(c)
$ 0.00 $ (0.32) $ (0.57) $ (0.69)
Net income (loss) per common share attributable to common stockholders on pro forma basis – diluted(d)
[    ]
n/a
[    ]
n/a
Cash flows (used in) provided by:
Operating activities
$ (7,777) $ (11,520) $ (13,302) $ 4,437
Investing activities
1,328 (3,572) (3,818) (3,312)
Financing activities
6,408 4,663 19,900 25,516
Net (decrease) increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
(2) (8,082) 4,934 25,717
Other data:
Adjusted EBITDA(e)
$ 16,120 $ (3,812) $ (9,495) $ (7,249)
Adjusted EBITDA as a percent of net sales(e)
6.3% -2.1% -4.0% -3.4%
Gross profit margin (gross profit as % of net sales)
18.7% 11.9% 11.5% 11.4%
Capital expenditures(f)
700 541 768 1,343
Federal net operating loss carryforwards
n/a n/a 58,000 35,000
As of
September 30, 2020
As of December 31,
2019
2018
(In thousands)
Balance sheet data as of end of period:
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
$ 32,855 $ 32,857 $ 27,923
Working capital(g)
52,126 40,547 56,728
Total assets(h)
218,571 185,651 174,411
Long-term debt(i)
111,826 107,932 100,520
Total liabilities
181,310 154,471 126,867
 
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As of
September 30, 2020
As of December 31,
2019
2018
(In thousands)
Convertible preferred stock(j)
27,584 21,802
Convertible preferred stock on a pro forma basis(k)
[ ]
Stockholders’ equity
9,677 9,378 47,544
Stockholders’ equity on a pro forma basis(k)
[ ]
(a)
Impairment, restructuring and other expenses primarily relate to impairment on intangible assets; professional fees related to consultation, due diligence and assistance to research various capitalization strategies related to alternative debt and equity refinancing structures; severance costs; and, costs to early terminate several leases. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Impairment, restructuring and other.”
(b)
Net income (loss) and net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders for the year ended December 31, 2018 reflects a reduction from net loss for an allocation to a non-controlling interest. See our “Consolidated statements of operations” for the year ended December 31, 2018 in our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(c)
Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders for 2018 represents basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, and assumes the non-controlling interest converted to a controlling interest at issuance, and accordingly, its share of the net loss and the shares into which it converted are included in the calculations; see Note 4, Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies in our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(d)
Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders on a pro forma basis – diluted gives effect to the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock into shares of common stock which will occur automatically upon the consummation (loss) of this offering. For an explanation of the calculations of our pro forma diluted net income per share attributable to common stockholders, see Note 3, Net income (loss) per common share (“EPS”) to our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus, and Note 4, Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies, under “Net loss per common share (EPS)” in our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(e)
For information regarding our use of adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income (loss) and adjusted EBITDA as a percent of net sales, see “Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data” under “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” elsewhere in this prospectus.
(f)
Capital expenditures relate to purchases of property, equipment and computer software.
(g)
Working capital represents current assets less current liabilities.
(h)
Total assets and total liabilities for 2020 and 2019 include operating lease right-of-use assets and lease liabilities, respectively, upon the adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 842, Leases, adopted as of January 1, 2019.
(i)
Long-term debt represents current and long-term portions of interest bearing debt, net of issuance costs.
(j)
Convertible preferred stock reflects the issuance of Series A Preferred Stock in late 2019 and early 2020. See “Prospectus Summary — Recent Transactions — Preferred Stock Offering” and our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(k)
Convertible preferred stock on a pro forma basis and stockholders’ equity on a pro forma basis as of September 30, 2020, give effect to the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock into shares of common stock which will occur automatically upon the consummation of this offering. For an explanation of the calculations, see Note 2, Basis of presentation and significant accounting policies, under “Unaudited pro forma shareholders’ equity” to our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
 
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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis provides information that we believe is relevant to an assessment and understanding of our results of operations and financial condition. You should read this analysis in conjunction with our audited and unaudited consolidated financial statements and the notes contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion and analysis contains statements of a forward-looking nature relating to future events or our future financial performance. These statements are only predictions, and actual events or results may differ materially. In evaluating such statements, you should carefully consider the various factors identified in this prospectus, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, any forward-looking statements, including those set forth in “Risk Factors” in this prospectus. See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
Company Overview
We are a leading independent distributor and manufacturer of controlled environment agriculture (“CEA”, principally hydroponics) equipment and supplies, including a broad portfolio of our own innovative portfolio of proprietary branded products. We primarily serve the United States and Canadian markets, and believe we are one of the leading competitors by market share in these markets in an otherwise highly fragmented industry. For over 40 years, we have helped growers make growing easier and more productive. Our mission is to empower growers, farmers and cultivators with products that enable greater quality, efficiency, consistency and speed in their grow projects. For the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2020, we had net sales of $308.5 million; from 2005 to 2019, we generated a net sales compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of approximately 16%.
Hydroponics is the farming of plants using soilless growing media and often artificial lighting in a controlled indoor or greenhouse environment. Hydroponics is the primary category of CEA and we use the terms CEA and hydroponics interchangeably. Our products are used to grow, farm and cultivate cannabis, flowers, fruits, plants, vegetables, grains and herbs in controlled environment settings that allow end users to control key farming variables including temperature, humidity, CO2, light intensity spectrum, nutrient concentration and pH. Through CEA, growers are able to be more efficient with physical space, water and resources, while enjoying year-round and more rapid grow cycles as well as more predictable and abundant grow yields, when compared to other traditional growing methods.
We reach commercial farmers and consumers through a broad and diversified network of over 2,000 wholesale customer accounts, who we connect with primarily through our proprietary eCommerce marketplace. Over 80% of our net sales are into the specialty hydroponic retailers, through which growers are able to enjoy specialized merchandise assortments and knowledgeable staff. We also distribute our products across the United States and Canada to a diversified range of retailers of commercial and home gardening equipment and supplies that include garden centers, hardware stores, eCommerce retailers, commercial greenhouse builders, and commercial resellers.
Recent Developments
Effects of Coronavirus on Our Business
The World Health Organization recognized COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020 and as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Public health responses have included national pandemic preparedness and response plans, travel restrictions, quarantines, curfews, event postponements and cancellations and closures of facilities including local schools and businesses. The global pandemic and actions taken to contain COVID-19 have adversely affected the global economy and financial markets.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented business continuity plans designed to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, such as restrictions on non-essential business travel, the institution of work-from-home practices and the implementation of strategies for workplace safety at our facilities. In March 2020, the majority of the employees at our headquarters transitioned to working remotely. For several weeks following the initial outbreak of COVID-19, we experienced a material impact to our supply
 
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chain that inhibited growth and results of operations. While we are not currently experiencing material adverse impacts to our supply chain, we intend to continue to source many products from China. It is difficult to predict the extent to which COVID-19 may continue to spread. As of the date of this prospectus, manufacturers in China are generally back in operation; however, a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic could result in the re-closure of factories in China. Quarantine orders and travel restrictions within the U.S. and other countries may also adversely impact our supply chains, the manufacturing of our own products and our ability to obtain necessary materials. Consequently, we may be unable to obtain adequate inventory to fill purchase orders or manufacture our own products, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, potential suppliers or sources of materials may pass the increase in sourcing costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic to us through price increases, thereby impacting our potential future profit margins.
Our customers reside in countries, primarily the U.S. and Canada, that are currently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these customers have experienced shelter-in-place measures in attempts to contain the spread of COVID-19, including general lockdowns, closure of schools and non-essential businesses, bans on gatherings and travel restrictions. Although we cannot precisely quantify in absolute or relative terms, our accelerated rate of growth in net sales for the six months ended September 30, 2020 correlates with shelter-in-place orders issued in many locations in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our sales growth for the six months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately 50% higher than the same period in 2019. A portion of our net sales during this period could be due to pull-through demand for our products due to higher consumption of CEA products from individuals spending more time at home due to shelter-in-place measures. Although uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic remains, and various state budgets remain under economic pressure creating a greater chance of further cannabis legalization, we cannot assure you that such a rate of growth will continue.
Our business has remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 30, 2020, our manufacturing and distribution operations are viewed as essential services and continue to operate. Our key suppliers, retailers and resellers have been designated as essential services and remain open at this time; however, in certain places they are operating under reduced hours and capacity limitations. The majority of U.S. and Canadian cannabis businesses have been designated as essential by U.S. State and Canadian government authorities.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately impact our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows depends on future developments that are highly uncertain, rapidly evolving and difficult to predict at this time. Depending on the length and severity of COVID-19, we may experience an increase or decrease in customer orders driven by volatility in consumer shopping and consumption behavior. While we are not experiencing material adverse impacts at this time, given the global economic slowdown, the overall disruption of global supply chains and distribution systems and the other risks and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected. While we believe that we are well positioned for the future as we navigate the crisis and prepare for an eventual return to a more normal operating environment, we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic as we evolve our business continuity plans and response strategy.
Recent Transactions
PPP Loan
On April 7, 2020, we entered into a U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) promissory note in the principal amount of $3.3 million payable to JP Morgan Chase, N.A. (the “PPP Lender”) evidencing a PPP loan from the SBA (the “PPP Loan”). The PPP Loan will bear interest at a rate of 1% per annum. No payments will be due on the PPP Loan during a ten month deferral period commencing on April 7, 2020. Commencing one month after the expiration of the deferral period, and continuing on the same day of each month thereafter until the maturity date of the PPP Loan, we are obligated to make monthly payments of principal and interest, each in such equal amount required to fully amortize the principal amount outstanding on the PPP Loan by the maturity date. The maturity date is April 7, 2022. The PPP Loan contains customary borrower default provisions and lender remedies, including the right of the
 
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PPP Lender to require immediate repayment in full the outstanding principal balance of the PPP Loan with accrued interest. The principal amount of the PPP Loan is subject to forgiveness under the PPP upon our request to the extent that PPP Loan proceeds are used to pay expenses permitted by the PPP, including payroll, rent, and utilities. The PPP Lender may forgive interest accrued on any principal if the SBA pays the interest. While we believe we have used the PPP Loan proceeds in a manner consistent with obtaining forgiveness, we intend to repay the PPP Loan in connection with the consummation of the offering contemplated hereby.
Preferred Stock Offering
On December 31, 2019, we entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain investors named therein, pursuant to which we issued and sold, in a private placement offering between December 2019 and February 2020, 7,725,045 shares of our Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Series A Preferred Stock”), at an offering price of $3.50 (the “Preferred Stock Offering”). We received gross proceeds of approximately $27 million (which includes proceeds of approximately $8 million raised from the issuances of convertible unsecured subordinated promissory notes issued in September and October 2019 which converted into shares of our Series A Preferred Stock) in connection with the Preferred Stock Offering, before deducting fees and related offering expenses. Our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Toler, purchased 1,428,572 shares of our Series A Preferred Stock. Upon the consummation of the offering contemplated hereby, the Series A Preferred Stock will automatically convert into shares of our common stock. The terms of the Series A Preferred Stock are more fully described under “Description of Capital Stock” in our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Encina Refinancing
In July 2019, Hydrofarm Holdings LLC and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries (the “Encina Obligors”) replaced the BofA Credit Facility with the Encina Credit Facility through a certain Loan and Security Agreement whereby the Encina Obligors obtained a revolving asset-based loan commitment in the maximum amount of $45 million (inclusive of a limit of up to $15 million of borrowings for the Canadian Borrowers and a swingline facility of up to $2 million), subject to applicable borrowing base availability. The amount of the Encina Credit Facility is limited to the borrowing base (primarily calculated based on eligible accounts receivable and inventory), subject to certain reserves and limitations. The Encina Credit Facility is due on the earlier of (i) July 11, 2022, or (ii) 90 days prior to the scheduled maturity date of the Term Loan Agreement. Interest, due monthly, is charged at LIBOR or a base rate plus an applicable margin ranging between 3.75% to 5.50% per annum determined based on the fixed charge coverage ratio calculated over an applicable time period. A fee of 0.50% per annum is charged for available but unused borrowings, as defined. Interest, fees and other monetary obligations owing under the Encina Credit Facility may, in the lender’s discretion, be added to principal. The Encina Credit Facility is secured by working capital assets and a second lien on non-working capital assets and requires compliance with various restrictive covenants and financial ratios.
The Encina Credit Facility was amended pursuant the First and Second Amendments in the fall of 2019 which changed the computation of the line limitation but did not change the maximum amount of the credit facility of $45 million. The other change was a requirement that Hydrofarm Holdings Group Inc., the ultimate parent of the Encina Obligors, make a capital infusion to the Encina Obligors of $300,000 for working capital. In April 2020, a third amendment to the Encina Credit Facility replaced the existing “fixed charge coverage ratio/minimum excess availability” financial covenant with an amended “availability block,” and increased the “inventory sublimit.” In April 2020, May 2020 and September 2020, the Encina Credit Facility was amended by the third, fourth, fifth and sixth amendments, which (i) replaced the existing “fixed charge coverage ratio/minimum excess availability” financial covenant with an amended “availability block” (ii) increased the “inventory sublimit,” (iii) provided for permitted indebtedness related to the PPP Loan, and (iv) increased permitted capital expenditures during any fiscal year to $2 million.
The Encina Credit Facility is more fully described in Note 12, Debt under Revolving asset-back credit facilities in the notes to our consolidated financial statements and Note 7, Debt under Revolving asset-back credit facilities in the notes to our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements.
 
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Components of Results of Operations
Net sales
We generate net sales from the distribution and manufacturing of hydroponic equipment and supplies to our customers. The hydroponic equipment and supplies that we sell include consumable products, such as growing media, nutrients and supplies that require regular replenishment and durable products, such as lighting and hydroponic equipment. Our scale allows us to provide delivery and service capabilities to a highly diverse group of customers across the U.S. and Canada. We do not sell directly to farmers but rather our customer base consists of specialty hydroponic retailers, garden centers, eCommerce and greenhouse suppliers.
We periodically offer sales incentives to our customers, including early pay discounts, volume-based rebates, temporary price reductions, advertising credits and other trade activities. Net sales reflect our gross sales less sales incentives which are estimated and recorded at the time of sale plus amounts billed to customers for shipping and handling costs. We anticipate that sales incentives could impact our net sales and that changes in such promotional activities could impact period-over-period results.
Cost of goods sold
Cost of goods sold consists primarily of material costs, inbound and outbound freight, direct labor costs primarily for production and warehouse personnel and depreciation and amortization of warehouse improvements and equipment. We expect our cost of goods sold to increase in absolute dollars in conjunction with our growth. However, we expect that, over time, cost of goods sold will decrease as a percentage of net revenue as a result of the scaling of our business including a higher proportion of the amount of proprietary and exclusive branded products that we sell.
Selling, general and administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses consists primarily of marketing and advertising, stock-based compensation, depreciation and amortization of all other assets and other selling, general and administrative costs, including but not limited to salaries, benefits, bonuses and professional fees. We expect selling, general and administrative expenses to increase in absolute dollar terms as we scale our operations to meet increased demand for our products and operate as a public company with increased costs associated with insurance, finance, legal and accounting functions; however, we also expect that the significant increase in our scale will result in selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales decreasing over time.
Results of Operations Data
The results of operations data in the following tables for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 have been derived from the audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. The results of operations data for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 have been derived from the unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.
 
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Results of Operations — Comparison of Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020 and 2019
The following table sets forth our unaudited interim condensed consolidated statements of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, including amounts and percentages of net sales for each period and the period-to-period change in dollars and percent (amounts in thousands):
Nine months ended September 30,
2020
2019
Period change
Net sales
$ 254,763 100.0% $ 181,338 100.0% $ 73,425 40.5%
Cost of goods sold
207,139 81.3% 159,762 88.1% 47,377 29.7%
Gross profit
47,624 18.7% 21,576 11.9% 26,048 120.7%
Operating expenses:
Selling, general and administrative
37,084 14.6% 30,759 17.0% 6,325 20.6%
Impairment, restructuring and other
276 0.1% 3,589 2.0% (3,313) -92.3%
Income (loss) from operations
10,264 4.0% (12,772) -7.1% 23,036 -180.4%
Interest expense
(7,858) -3.1% (9,789) -5.4% 1,931 -19.7%
Loss on debt extinguishment
0.0% (391) -0.2% 391 -100.0%
Other income, net
103 0.0% 334 0.2% (231) -69.2%
Income (loss) before tax
2,509 0.9% (22,618) -12.5% 25,127 -111.1%
Income tax (expense) benefit
(384) -0.2% 246 0.1% (630) -256.1%
Net income (loss)
$ 2,125 0.7% $ (22,372) -12.4% $ 24,497 -109.5%
Net sales
Net sales for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 increased $73.4 million or 40.5% compared to the same period in 2019. The increase in net sales was primarily due to a 33.8% increase in volume of products sold and a 6.7% increase in price of products sold. The increase in volume of products sold was primarily related to (i) higher demand from the end-markets across numerous U.S. states, including but not limited to Michigan, Oklahoma and California, and Canada and (ii) higher demand for o