Pot Stocks, ETFs, Top News And Data From The Cannabis Industry This Week
The cannabis sector was mostly dominated by non-financial events this week — namely, an ongoing freak out over Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Elon Musk taking one puff of a blunt during his appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Another big news item: a report released by the Brightfield Group. According to analysts at the firm, sales in the hemp-derived CBD market will hit $22 billion by 2022 in the U.S. alone. This means that, as Benzinga argued in an article more than a year ago, hemp could prove a larger economic driver than marijuana; estimates out of MJBizDaily establish $22 billion as the higher end of the spectrum for cannabis sales in 2022.
Also quite notable was an article posted Thursday on Politico, quoting “a senior official overseeing U.S border operations,” Todd Owen, who explained how and why Canadians who use marijuana, work in the industry or even invest in it, face a potential lifetime ban by the U.S. when trying to cross the border.
“Technically speaking, this has always been an issue, yet was rarely enforced,” said Jeff Siegel, managing editor of Green Chip Stocks and a Benzinga cannabis writer. “Some have suggested that because Canada is about to legalize, someone at U.S. Customs and Border Protection decided to chest-pound this in the form of a veiled threat, which of course begs the question: who initiated it?"
Siegel speculated that the statement was instigated by Department of Justice or White House Officials and could have been used as leverage in trade talks.
“I don’t actually expect most agents to go out of their way to enforce this though, as such a thing is quite trivial and not worth their time. Catching terrorists is further up on the ‘to-do’ list compared to busting bean counters and CFOs of cannabis companies entering the U.S. to speak at conferences or work with investors who still want a piece of the Canadian cannabis market."
The idea that cannabis stocks tanked Thursday as a result of the Politico story is "ridiculous," Siegel said.
"The entire market is insanely overvalued and desperately needs to sell off. Perhaps this added to the jitters of those who know this market is top-heavy, but to say that the market sold off solely because this border patrol story is a bit of a reach.”
Check out more reactions from industry insiders and stock moves resulting from the news in this Benzinga story.
Marijuana Indexes & ETFs
The United States Marijuana Index, which tracks 18 of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., gained roughly 4.5 percent this week, while the North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, ended the week up 1.9 percent, despite experiencing a big tumble Thursday and Friday.
Over the last five trading days – including last Friday, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC:HMLSF) lost 0.9 percent, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ) rose 2.8 percent. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) closed the week up almost 1.2 percent.
Marijuana stocks with a market cap above $100 million that trade on U.S. exchanges performed as follows over the last five days:
- 22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE:XXII): down 3.9 percent
- Aphria Inc (OTC:APHQF): down 3.7 percent
- Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTC:ACBFF): up 6.1 percent
- CannTrust Holdings Inc (OTC:CNTTF): up 9.7 percent
- Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC): down 8.2 percent
- Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON): down 12.7 percent
- Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd (OTC:TGODF) up 15.4 percent
- Green Thumb Industries Inc (OTC:GTBIF) up 12.2 percent
- GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH): down 0.6 percent
- iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc (OTC:ITHUF): down 5.8 percent
- Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC:MJNA) down 6.9 percent
- MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTC:MMNFF) up 11.2 percent
- Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE:SMG): up 0.5 percent
- THC Biomed Intl Ltd (OTC:THCBF): down 2.9 percent
- Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY): up 38.2 percent
- Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ZYNE): down 7.2 percent
In Other News
Adolphus A. Busch V, a descendant of the late founder of Anheuser Busch, now Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD), launched a cannabis brand: ABV Cannabis Company.
“Growing up I always knew I wanted to work in the family business, creating quality and affordable products that appealed to a variety of consumers,” he said in a press release. “However, once I saw all the incredible benefits that cannabis could bring to people and the immense opportunity presented by the cannabis industry, I knew I could take all I learned from my pioneering family heritage and create a new legacy for myself in the cannabis space.”
In other news, Entrepreneur reported that Michael Klein was appointed CEO of cannabis-focused digital media company cannabisMD.com. Prior to joining the company, Klein served as a top executive at Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIA)-owned MTV, Condé Nast Entertainment, AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX)’s SundanceTV, and Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA)’s Travel Channel, TLC and Discovery.
Los Angeles-based PRØHBTD announced it has opened two offices in Canada. This comes a few months after the company completed the largest funding round for a cannabis media company to date, totaling $8 million. PRØHBTD now has teams operating out of Toronto and Vancouver, working with Canadian outfits like Scythian Biosciences (OTC:SCCYF), Namaste Technologies Inc (OTC:NXTTF) and Atlas Growers, as well as other LPs and a number of emerging brands.
CEO Drake Sutton-Shearer told Benzinga: “We’re seeing huge demand north of the border for our content and brand development services. It was a logical next step to expand the business and directly support our brand partners while we head toward an eventual public listing.”
Later in the week, PRØHBTD announced an expanded partnership with Entrepreneur Media. The extended agreement includes increased collaboration on cannabis business content, as well as the introduction of a "25 Leading Cannabis Investors in North America" list.
In other media-related news, Leafly, the most-visited cannabis-focused website in the world, has partnered with Leaf Logix, a cloud-based, seed-to-sale ERP solution for cannabis businesses providers. The companies will work together to streamline and automate updates to dispensary menus.
“By enabling integration with leading point-of-sales technology like Leaf Logix, Leafly aims to make operations easier for dispensaries. POS providers serving the cannabis market can increase discovery, traffic and orders to their dispensary clients by integrating with Leafly's self-service menu API. This partnership will streamline efficiencies and create a better user experience, ultimately driving more sales to partner dispensaries,” Leafly CEO Chris Jeffery told Benzinga.
Oregon’s dispensary deals platform The Daily Leaf launched a free iPhone app that helps drive real-time information to cannabis consumers. Customers can discover deals on their favorite brands offered through local dispensaries from the comfort of their phones. The Daily Leaf App allows users to follow their favorite shops and brands and opt to receive push notifications for up-to-the-minute information. Geotargeting allows users to find the best deals in the neighborhood.
“We’ve noticed that cannabis enthusiasts and patients spend a prolonged amount of time on our site exploring products, dispensaries and reviews, so we decided to release The Daily Leaf app to create a more convenient and immersive experience for our users,” said Steven Gold, The Daily Leaf's co-founder. The Daily Leaf App for Android will follow along with Daily Leaf deals in Washington and Nevada.
Cannabis brands are seeing a proliferation of products in the market, so the race to dominate is on. Established brands are collaborating to create new products in hopes of gaining a foothold and building brand loyalty in the rapidly expanding cannabis market. Following this trend, Heavy Hitters, one of the original recreational brands, and cultivation experts Beard Bros. Pharms have partnered to give Californians a one-time, limited release version of the much-coveted Extreme Cream, previously unavailable in the state. No doubt that we’ll see more brands teaming up to take advantage of pent-up demand and own the market.
FSD Pharma Inc. (OTC: FSDDF) announced a strategic partnership with JJAMACANN Inc., which provides access to the Jamaican cannabis market. The joint venture will be operating as FSD Jamaica and expects to partner locally with licensed cultivator Nature’s Purest Limited.
“FSD Jamaica intends to take advantage of the ideal climate and soil conditions on the NPL property and surrounding area to produce the highest-quality cannabis, hemp and cannabinoid products possible. We are well-positioned to bring Jamaican-branded, world class medical and recreational products to market by 2019,” said Anthony Durkacz, director of FSD.
As part of the LOI, FSD Jamaica will establish an experimental center for the development of cannabis and cannabinoid genetics suitable to cultivate in Jamaica with the intent to create a genetics and seed bank of innovative cannabis and hemp products for the Jamaican market and the Canadian market where permitted.
“NPL was the second company to be granted a cultivation license in Jamaica. It is located in the beautiful mountains of Ulster Springs Trelawny and the property is fed by crystal-clear spring water surrounded by many agricultural crops and experienced workers. The combined genetics library of FSD Jamaica and NPL will allow for the breeding of high THC and CBD plants that will be cultivated using medical grade extraction processes. This strategic partnership compliments FSD’s business model of producing the highest quality medical grade product at scale," Durkacz said.
Finally, Aurora Cannabis acquired the largest hemp producer, processor, and supplier in Europe, Agropro UAB, as well as hemp processor and distributor Borela UAB. The company paid 5.36 million euros — or $6.2 million — in cash for both businesses.
More From Benzinga’s Cannabis Newsdesk
Over the week, Benzinga’s Cannabis Newsdesk also reported on:
David Crosby’s new weed brand.
Jeff Siegel’s analysis on two stocks that could benefit from Michigan legalizing recreational cannabis.
Considering a job in the cannabis industry?
Cannabis information provider Green Flower released a free “500 Hottest Cannabis Jobs” e-book. Designed for the cannabis enthusiast, the book features an overview of the cannabis job market; a compilation of 500 of the hottest jobs in cannabis today; a handy introduction to the fundamental knowledge needed to succeed in cannabis; and an introduction to becoming certified as a cannabis professional.
See hot jobs in the accounting and finance area below. For all categories, check out the e-book.
In other interesting news, Centennial Media published a special cannabis-focused edition: “Modern Marijuana: The Future of Cannabis.” The magazine can be found at big retailers like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Whole Foods Market.
Sept. 20: Miami will be visited by Leafwire's Future of Cannabis Pitch Contest, which has already made stops in Denver and Los Angeles. The event is hosted by Leafwire and will feature six to eight companies completing a 3-minute pitch followed by a 3-minute Q&A from the judges to win cash and prizes. Powerhouse judges include Brett Finkelstein, managing director of Phyto Partners; Scott Lewin, managing director of SalesXcapital; and Darren Roberts, CEO of HighThere. For more info, or to apply to pitch, go to http://leafwirepitchslamapply.pagedemo.co/
Sept. 21-22: Anaheim, California hosts the CBD Expo West 2018. Powered by CBD Health and Wellness Magazine, the CBD-focused event will feature 75 exhibitors, along with a large lineup of presentations and panel discussions from experts in the production, distribution and sale of CBD products. Tickets and can be purchased online; check out cbdexpo.net for more detail.
Sept. 28-29: Nashville, Tennessee is hosting the inaugural Southern Hemp Expo, an extension of the NoCo Hemp Expo produced by the Colorado Hemp Company. Often credited as the world’s largest and most comprehensive trade show and conference for industrial hemp, the Southern Hemp Expo will offer a full-scale exhibit hall, networking opportunities, presentations and workshops by pioneers, innovators and activists in the rapidly expanding hemp industry.
Oct. 11: the United Nations NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will present a Conference in Health Challenges of Indigenous Peoples at New York’s Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission, 221 East 52nd St., New York. Topics include physical and mental health; climate change; high suicide, drug and alcohol abuse rates; political strains; and loss of biodiversity. Presenters include Dr. Josephine Tan, Rashmi Jaipal and Rafael Latorre, M.D.
Oct. 11: Leafwire will be hosting its fourth Future of Cannabis Pitch Contest as part of New West Summit in Oakland, California, with a $10,000 cash prize, their biggest yet. The Future of Cannabis Pitch Contest tour will have visited Denver, Los Angeles and Miami in its first three stops by this date. Powerhouse judges include Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management and Tahira Rehmahtullah of Hypur Ventures.
Oct. 11-13: The New West Summit, a conference focused on “game-changing, disruptive developments in technology, science, media and investment within the cannabis space,” will hit Oakland, California. Speakers include Weediquette’s Krishna Andavolu, Slow Ventures’ Dave Morin, Berner the rapper, Steve DeAngelo, Ricardo Baca and many others.
Oct. 19-21: The Initiative presents Hustle Hard: A Cannabis Friendly Retreat For Women Who Mean Business, a three-day intensive retreat for women in cannabis in Bend, Oregon.
Oct. 25-26: Enlighten, the first full-scale enterprise technology solution in the cannabis space, will partner with Lemonhaze to put on The Lemonhaze Cannabis & Comedy Convention at the Tacoma Dome. This event aims to be for cannabis what SXSW has been for technology, pairing innovation and a hub of influence with fun and education. The event will feature comedy by headliner Doug Benson and will combine a major networking event for the cannabis industry with performances from some the world's most recognized entertainers.
Oct. 30-31: Michigan is hosting its 1st Commercial Cannabis Conference & Expo. This inaugural year is special, celebrating the state's first year in a commercial framework and supporting the upcoming recreational legalization vote. Collectively, the state cannabis community is taking a stand for a healthy and strong cannabis industry in Michigan. Sponsorship, booths and tickets are available.
Picture by Javier Hasse.
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