You wouldn’t know it by the way shares of Helix TCS (OTCQB:HLIX) opened the trading day with a small gap down that the company issued good news. An hour into the session, though, and the stock is up 10.9% at $0.51. The Denver-based provider of infrastructure to the legal cannabis industry said Wednesday morning that the launch of its BioTrack traceability system in the Illinois recreational marijuana market was a success, as measured by the first five days of legal adult sales.
The BioTrack system provides seed-to-sale supply chain management and compliance tools for licensed cannabis businesses and tracking solutions for state and local governments. The system is used in 38 U.S. states and seven countries, serving more than 2,000 customers.
BioTrack was already part of the Illinois market for use with medical marijuana.
Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, and first state ever to do so through legislation and not ballot measure, via the passage of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act in 2019.
Recreational marijuana became legal at the start of 2020 and did so with a bang. Consumer purchases topped 271,000 totaling more than $10.8 million is sales in the first five days of the year, including $3.2 million on the first day alone, according to the state.
The blowout on opening day last Wednesday was one of the best first day’s ever for a state legalizing marijuana, only paralleled by Oregon’s first day in July 2015.
The copious sales in the Midwest’s largest market caused some of the 37 licensed dispensaries to shut down to the public as they dealt with product shortages. In other cases, stores put limits on sales or, per state law, served only medical marijuana patients.
In fact, Sunday was the slowest day for sales ($1.2 million), as many stores already found their shelves bare.
Still, for each of those sales, BioTrack was there for documentation, albeit for government or commercial customer.
Dr. Moe Afaneh, COO of BioTrack, said in news release that the biggest challenge was making sure all BioTrack users were properly educated ahead of the launch. Dr. Afaneh explained that his team put in long hours over the holidays to ensure things came off without a hitch.
The efforts didn’t go unrecognized. Jourdan Kurtz, EVP of Retail Operations at the large multi-state cannabis operator Cresco Labs (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) referred to BioTrack as “nothing short of excellent” in its collaboration with the massive state launch.
Even though it is a tech company that doesn’t touch the cannabis plant, Helix is lumped in with all other so-called “pot stocks” that have been mercilessly beaten down for the last few quarters. Technical traders will be looking for a potential “double bottom” pattern, as shares touched $0.41 in November before bouncing to $0.87. Once again, shares have cascaded downward, printing $0.42 this morning and rising as high as $0.55 on ~64,000 in volume so far in early trading action.