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Pot Stocks, ETFs, Top News And Data From The Cannabis Industry This Week

October 19, 2018 4:22 pm
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Pot Stocks, ETFs, Top News And Data From The Cannabis Industry This Week

This week, Canada became the second country in the world to fully legalize cannabis, allowing adults to consume weed for recreational purposes.

Long lines were formed outside dispensaries on Wednesday, and fears of supply shortages materialized to a certain extent. Meanwhile, cannabis stocks were largely down.

“There were reports of massive sales and product shortages within the first day. Cannabis companies seemed pleased with the results, while customers seemed to be happy to buy the product, but shocked at the high prices,” Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga.

Related Link: Cannabis Is Now Legal In Canada: Industry Insiders Discuss What It Means For Stocks, International Market

The other big news item this week was iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc (OTC:ITHUF)’s acquisition of MPX Bioceutical Corp (OTC:MPXEF) in an all-stock deal valued at C$835 million ($636 million).

“MPX is an excellent company, but the prices paid in these acquisitions seem to see no limits on the upside,” Borchardt said.

Marijuana Indexes & ETFs

The United States Marijuana Index, which tracks most of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., lost 1.5 percent, while the North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, tumbled 5.4 percent.

Over the last five trading days, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC:HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) slipped 5.9 percent, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ) lost 4.4 percent. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) closed the week up 0.2 percent.

Stock Moves

Here are some of the top marijuana stocks (market cap above $100 million) in U.S. exchanges and how the performed over the last five trading days:

• 22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE:XXII): up 3 percent

• Aphria Inc (OTC:APHQF): down 4.5 percent

• Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTC:ACBFF): down 6 percent

• CannTrust Holdings Inc (OTC:CNTTF): down 12.6 percent

• Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC): down 6 percent

• Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON): down 2 percent

• Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd (OTC:TGODF): down 16.5 percent

• Green Thumb Industries Inc (OTC:GTBIF): up 2.8 percent

• GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH): down 0.4 percent

• iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc (OTC:ITHUF): up 7.3 percent

• Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC:MJNA): down 5 percent

• MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTC:MMNFF): up 5.9 percent

• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE:SMG): down 0.6 percent

• THC Biomed Intl Ltd (OTC:THCBF): down 8.5 percent

• Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY): down 1.9 percent

• Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ZYNE): down 6.3 percent

In Other News

The Flowr Corp. broke ground on the R&D center it is building jointly with the Hawthorne Canada division of Scotts Miracle-Gro. The facility is the first in North America dedicated to cannabis cultivation research and is expected to open next summer.

“As many LPs are learning the hard way, quality cannabis is difficult to grow at scale. Our research partnership with Hawthorne will help us maintain our competitive advantage in cultivation while addressing a broader need to better understand the plant,” said Tom Flow, Flowr Co-Founder and President.

While provincial authorities across Canada are wrestling with supply shortfalls, Flowr also announced it made shipments of its Flowr and Ace Valley branded products to British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario, which house more than half Canada’s population.

Acreage Holdings, the United States’ largest vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator, announced the former Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, will be offered a seat on the company’s Board of Directors. Upon the close of this transaction, expected in November, Acreage also will become a publicly traded company, listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE). Upon Board acceptance, Mulroney will join former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld, former Chairman and others.

CannAmerica Brands Corp., a U.S. marine veteran-owned-and-operated cannabis brand licenser, began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol “CANA.” CannAmerica offers licensed and regulated cannabis businesses around the world the opportunity to license its well established brands.

According to Dan Anglin, CannAmerica’s CEO and co-founder said, “CannAmerica Brands knows that confident investors will look to the markets to decide how to reap the benefits of the booming cannabis industry, and after the success we saw during the first week, we believe that CANA is a great place to start."

Weekend Unlimited Inc, a lifestyle cannabis company, went public on the Canadian Stock Exchange trading under the symbol "YOLO." The company aggregates and scales its small to medium brands, primarily in the categories of flower, extracts, and edibles. With assets secured in British Columbia, Washington State and internationally through Jerome Baker Designs, Weekend Unlimited is establishing itself as an integrated cannabis company.

GrowLife Inc (OTC:PHOT) announced it completed a transaction to acquire a majority share of EZ-CLONE Enterprises, a manufacturer of products specifically designed for the commercial cloning and propagation stage of indoor plant cultivation including cannabis, food, and other hydroponic farming.

“This acquisition is one of the most significant milestones for GrowLife to-date, allowing us to further expand GrowLife's product and service offering portfolio with the backing of this renowned company," said GrowLife CEO Marco Hegyi. "EZ-CLONE's product line perfectly fits with our vertical commercial grow system and will provide our customers with the ultimate cultivation infrastructure from clone to harvest."

AXIM Biotechnologies Inc (OTC:AXIM) received a manufacturing license from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports for the production of the company’s pharmaceutical products, to be used in clinical trials. Effective Oct. 1, the license allows AXIM to produce its cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical drug candidates for use in human clinical trials for multiple indications.

Under the new GMP license, AXIM will begin production of its flagship pharmaceutical product MedChew Rx, which will undergo clinical trials targeting the treatment of pain and spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. The company recently announced positive results from stability and dissolution tests performed on MedChew Rx, indicating the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) remained stable throughout the test and had an availability greater than 90 percent.

George E. Anastassov, CEO of AXIM Biotech, said, “AXIM has been working in the Netherlands for many years and considers the country to be a leader in cannabinoid research.” 

Following the formation of its new business consultancy group, PRØworks, and its expansion into Canada, cannabis lifestyle media and brand platform PRØHBTD announced a partnership with the Toronto-based government relations and strategic communications agency, Sussex Strategy Group. The two will collaborate to help partners build licensed cannabis businesses north of the border.

PRØHBTD CEO Drake Sutton-Shearer said, "We want people to succeed in this challenging industry and our partnership with Sussex will help them do just that. The firm's credibility and experience in navigating government bodies uniquely complements our own set of capabilities to help companies win."

DOPE CFO, a training program that teaches accounting professionals how to serve the growing and complex legal cannabis industry, acquired students in 32 states nationwide, including key markets such as Maine, Illinois and Indiana. DOPE CFO’s program includes detailed information, tools and resources for solving the most pressing financial issues putting cannabis companies at risk of penalties, revoked licenses and imprisonment.

Additionally, co-founders Andrew Hunzicker and Naomi Granger have a thriving national cannabis accounting practice serving CEOs and investors in all verticals within cannabis.

“As legalization picks up speed around the country, there remains a distinct lack of awareness surrounding crucial tax codes and convoluted state, federal, FDA and OSHA regulations, leaving many companies across all verticals—from seed to sale—out of compliance,” Hunzicker said. “DOPE CFO aims to advance the industry by educating qualified individuals on how best to serve businesses in dire need of their expertise. With students spanning across more than half of U.S. states, we are quickly equipping accounting professionals with the ability to expand their client base and ultimately bring world-class service to emerging cannabis markets.”

System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian announced the launch of 22Red, his new hih-quality cannabis and clothing brand. Taking inspiration from Shavo’s affinity for numerology and a diagnosis of synesthesia, he decided to create 22Red as a love letter to his fans. Both an avid cannabis user and streetwear connoisseur, Shavo is introducing the new face of urban sub-culture to the millennial generation.

“It’s more than a brand. It’s a cannabis and lifestyle culture that is ready to take off,” Shavo told Benzinga. The 22Red cannabis line features vapes and pre-rolls using lab-tested compliant cannabis.

Cannabinoid company Boulder Botanical & Bioscience Laboratory announced two new hires. Andrew Hennessy was added as Director of Confectionary Sales and Christian Santi as Director of Ingredient Sales.Hennessy brings experience from past roles at Storck USA, Godiva Chocolate, Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (NYSE:BUD), Thompson Chocolate and Lucky Country Licorice, where he was able to expand distribution into new markets and place products with national vendors including CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS), Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT).

“Andrew is a seasoned executive, honing his skills working in the regulated alcohol industry, and his experience managing specialty distributor networks will serve him well in the burgeoning CBD industry,” said Robert Di Marco, CEO and Chairman of Boulder Botanical & Bioscience Laboratory.

Boulder Botanical also added Christian Santi to the team as Director of Ingredient Sales.

“With experience in the vitamin, nutritional supplement and nutraceuticals space, Christian brings proven ability to increase sales as well as oversee and evaluate market research,” said Maruchy Lachance, COO of Boulder Botanical & Bioscience Laboratory.

Cannabis educator Emma Chasen and Matt Taylor joined forces to launch Eminent Consulting, seeking to guide and influence emerging cannabis entrepreneurs to successfully implement a craft ethos and cutting-edge business model through scientific-based educational initiatives and authentic collaborative relationships. Eminent offers consulting services and an online school with webinars and training programs on a variety of cannabis-centric topics designed for both industry professionals and lay enthusiasts alike.

“Cannabis companies need reliable, comprehensive education. Companies need a holistic implementation of craft ethos and an injection of authentic, cutting-edge business strategy to survive in this competitive market. With Eminent Consulting, we are here to fill those needs,” said Emma Chasen.

A group of Uruguayan cannabis companies announced the creation of the Uruguayan Chamber of Medical Cannabis Entrepreneurs.

During the launch event, Joanne Frappier, Canadian ambassador to Uruguay said, “I believe Canada and Uruguay have an opportunity to learn from each other and put in place frameworks that take a comprehensive public health and security approach to cannabis and all of its different forms.”

Rubicon Organics, went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol “ROMJ.” Rubicon is headed by CEO Jesse McConnell, one of the original founders of Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp. growers of certified organic cannabis indoors since 2014 and one of the only two certified organic licensed producers under the ACMPR program in Canada.

Biome Grow Inc. began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange under ticker symbol “BIO.” The company is employing a conglomerate strategy, currently targeting the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. Biome Grow intends to focus their efforts on the underserved markets of Eastern Canada before branching out both domestically and internationally.

Ascend Industries, a Colorado retail cannabis products manufacturing company, came out triumphant at last month’s Denver-based “2018 THC Championship,” sponsored by HC Magazine. The company claimed notoriety within the recreational market in seven award categories, including First Place Vape Cartridge and First Place CBD Concentrate.

Founder and CEO Jim Biviano told Benzinga, “Sweeping the most competitive and fastest growing category in cannabis has us feeling euphoric. Ascend set out to develop a vape cartridge as potent as a dab, yet with more single-strain terpene flavor than users have ever tasted before. Our hard work is recognized with this award and by being named the leader in this category.”

Find out more about these news and others on Canopy Growth, MedMen, Aurora Cannabis Elev8 Brands, Inc. (OTC:VATE) and India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE:IGC) with our friends at Marijuana Money, who make a weekly video summary of the top financial and business news in the cannabis industry.

More From Benzinga’s Cannabis Newsdesk

Over the week, Benzinga’s cannabis desk also reported on:

• The numerous cannabis businesses founded by famed rapper Berner.

• Amy Margolis’ legal advice for cannabis entrepreneurs.

• How The Fresh Toast became one of the most popular cannabis media outlets in just two years.

• Four major market opportunities identified by Cowen research in the cannabis industry.

• Canopy Growth’s first legal export from Canada to the U.S., and its C$25 million acquisition of hemp research company ebbu, Inc.

• An upcoming report on energy usage for cannabis cultivation.

• Benchmark’s bullish view on “well-positioned” Tilray.

• The conversation about the Pharmacann acquisition between MedMen’s CEO and Jim Cramer.

• The behavior of cannabis stocks ahead of Canada’s legalization, and how they performed after the event.

• Morgan Stanley’s take on how Canada’s legalization could impact auto insurers.

• New York State’s upcoming “listening sessions” on cannabis legalization.

• 420 Investor Alan Brochstein’s take on Canada’s legalization and stocks.

• The science on how cannabis could help diabetes patients.

• How cannabis has been dominating over-the-counter trading this year.

• Canaccord Genuity’s cautious take on cannabis-infused beverage stocks.

• And, “5 Ways Cannabis Companies Use PR To Succeed.

Interesting Data

A recent report from Prohibition Partners argues the Latin American cannabis market could hit a value of $12 billion within the next decade.

With a population of more than 650 million, “the medical cannabis market in Latin America accounts for the bulk of the entire marijuana industry, and Prohibition Partners estimates it will reach $8.5 billion by 2028. The firm estimates the recreational market will reach $4.2 billion by 2028. The industrial cannabis segment is expected to remain small at just $13 million, according to Prohibition Partners."

See our full coverage here.

Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) reported more than 100 online cannabis purchases per minute on the day Canada legalized weed.

Events Calendar

Oct. 20-27: A coalition of over 20 organizations working at the intersection of the cannabis industry, racial equity, and reparative justice, will join local and community groups across the country for the inaugural National Expungement Week (N.E.W.). Conceived to aid those disenfranchised by the war on drugs, N.E.W. will offer free clinics to help to remove, seal, or reclassify eligible convictions from criminal records. N.E.W. events will be held in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Haven, Philadelphia, Prince George’s County, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Organizers will also provide attendees with a varied (depending upon location) range of supportive services including employment resources, voter engagement, health screenings, and more.

Oct.24: Fast Company's Innovation Festival session on Cannabusiness is coming to New York City. Panelists include Verena VonPfetten, co-founder, Gossamer, Michael Steinmetz, CEO of Flow Kana, and Karan Wadhera, Managing Partner of Casa Verde Capital. Panel discussion will cover the three principal ways individuals are jumping into cannabis.

Oct. 25: Cannabis showcase company REVEL is hosting a financially themed showcase featuring former NFL running back turned Chief Development Business Officer, Tiki Barber, former Marley Natural Chief Financial Officer, Tahira Rehmatullah, and Lucid Labs Vice President Jimmy Makso on October 25th in New York City, NY. The showcase will consist of an educational "talks" on how to build, manage and expend capital for a cannabis business in addition to giveaways, vendors and networking opportunities.

Oct. 25-26: Enlighten, the first full-scale enterprise technology solution in the cannabis space will be partnering with Lemonhaze to put on The Lemonhaze Cannabis & Comedy Convention, taking place at the newly refurbished Tacoma Dome. This event hopes 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 Doug Benson as headliner, and will combine a major networking event for the cannabis industry together 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 its 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.

Nov. 1: The Arcview Group, CannaTech and URI Capital Management are co-hosting Hong Kong’s first-ever Cannabis Investor Symposium, focused on the global investment opportunity, with an emphasis in those attractive to the Asian market. Keynote and panel discussions include: Cannabis and China, The Cannabis Value Chain, Market Insights: Australasia, Public and Private Investment Opportunities, Risks and Regulations, World Cannabis Policy and more.

Photo by Javier Hasse.