Gallup this week released a new report showing a record-high support for cannabis legalization in the United States, with 66 percent of Americans now favoring legal weed. Interestingly, even 53 percent of Republicans seem to support legalization.
In addition, Benzinga learned the Republic of Vanuatu legalized medical marijuana.
Rappers Twista, Berner and Chris Webby discussed the racial bias in cannabis arrests, as evidenced by ACLU data that shows black people are roughly four times more likely than white people to get arrested for possession of marijuana.
On the markets realm, major stocks took huge dives, Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB started trading on the NYSE, while MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF and Hexo Corp HYYDF reported quarterly results.
“This week’s earnings from MedMen and HEXO is a story I expect we'll continue to hear for the next few quarters: Increasing sales as new business comes online accompanied by increasing expenses,” Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. “Cannabis companies have had increased expenses as they uplist on exchanges and reinvest in the expansion of their companies.
“On a positive note, the word from Canada is that customers came with money to burn. Inventories have run low and cannabis producers are happy to make new deliveries and rack up more sales."
Marijuana Indexes & ETFs
The United States Marijuana Index, which tracks most of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., lost 25 percent of its value this week, while the North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, tumbled 20 percent.
Over the last five trading days, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF HMMJ slipped 16.7 percent, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ lost 14.5 percent. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the week down 4 percent.
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 XXII: down 14.1 percent
• Aphria Inc APHQF: down 15.1 percent
• Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB: down 29.5 percent
• CannTrust Holdings Inc CNTTF: down 18.5 percent
• Canopy Growth Corp CGC: down 17.6 percent
• Cronos Group Inc. CRON: down 20.2 percent
• Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd TGODF: down 23.3 percent
• Green Thumb Industries Inc GTBIF: down 21 percent
• GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR GWPH: down 4.5 percent
• Hexo Corp HYYDF: down 13.9 percent
• iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc ITHUF: down 14.2 percent
• Medical Marijuana Inc MJNA: down 7.1 percent
• MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF: down 27.2 percent
• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co SMG: down 6.7 percent
• THC Biomed Intl Ltd THCBF: down 14.6 percent
• Tilray Inc TLRY: down 25.5 percent
• Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc ZYNE: down 10.5 percent
In Other News
BioTrackTHC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Helix TCS Inc HLIX, partnered with Las Vegas-based dispensary Planet 13 to provide cannabis point of sale software and power the location's near-50 registers. Planet 13 will host a grand opening Nov. 1 to celebrate the 40,000 square foot location, which is expected to be the largest dispensary in the world, with BioTrack providing dedicated on-site support staff to ensure a smooth opening day.
"Located just off the Las Vegas strip and operating 24/7, Planet 13 expects a significantly higher-than-usual transaction volume," Dr. Moe Afaneh, COO of BioTrackTHC told Benzinga. "Dispensaries of this magnitude are collecting massive amounts of data that they'll be able to harness into business forecasting and growth planning, which BioTrack enables."
Cannabis industry debit payment solutions provider CanPay and cannabis operator Curaleaf announced a partnership that will allow chronically ill patients in New York to electronically pay for medical cannabis deliveries from the comfort of their own homes.
“By partnering with Curaleaf, we are able to give thousands of medical cannabis patients access to life-changing medicine with a cashless payment experience that is similar to anywhere else they shop,” said CanPay CEO Dustin Eide. “We’re committed to doing so in a way that is legitimate, secure and sustainable for the industry, and free for Curaleaf’s customers.”
STO Responsible, a Colorado-based sustainable cannabis packaging solutions company, released its line of sustainable packaging for the cannabis industry after years of research and development. The company’s founders built their business in order to solve the packaging problems that have plagued marijuana product producers, while also offering cannabis companies and their patrons a reliable, safe choice for packaging that won’t clog the landfill.
“We kept hearing from cannabis companies that packaging was their biggest problem,” said Sandra Elkind, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of STO Responsible. “Operators often need packaging that meets three key criteria: safety, sustainability and affordability. We designed our packaging so that they no longer have to choose.”
“We aimed to create packaging that was sustainable, but also allowed brands to stand out on the shelf with unique design and plenty of real estate for branding,” said Nicole Elkind, co-founder and CEO.
AXIM Biotechnologies Inc AXIM announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a patent on the company’s suppository composition comprising cannabinoids.
“We are pleased to have reached another milestone in the development of AXIM’s cannabinoid-based drug products to treat challenging health conditions with no currently known sustainable cure,” said Dr. George E. Anastassov, CEO of AXIM Biotechnologies. “This patent is significant because it aligns with AXIM’s intellectual property asset portfolio that protects the research we are conducting and strengthens our competitive advantage in the market."
Phoenix Life Sciences International Limited MJMD announced Col. Philip Blair has become the Diabetes Director of the company’s Medical Advisory Council. A graduate from West Point and the University of Miami School of Medicine, he has been studying, treating and lecturing about the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the medicine behind cannabis since 2014. Dr. Blair has overseen more than 2,000 patients showing positive results through patient management using medical cannabis extracts.
"Phoenix Life Sciences’ approach to botanical pharmaceuticals has the potential to transform medical care for the Republic of Vanuatu and many other nations,” said Dr. Blair. “I am very excited to work with a company that is dedicated to innovating within the healthcare industry and aims to help those who need it most.”
Leading Stanford University scientists joined forces to launch medical cannabis company Katexco Pharmaceuticals. Katexco will be focused on developing a drug that exploits endocannabinoid and nicotine receptors in the brain, with the ability to treat inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and more. If successful, this drug will be a the first in the world to exploit these key receptors on immune cells in the brain.
Co-founder Dr. Jonathan Rothbard previously founded the now defunct Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by AstraZeneca plc AZN in 2012. Prof. Lawrence Steinman also founded a pharma company in the past, the now publicly-traded Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. NBIX.
A new Original Interactive Series from Green Flower launched featuring famed activist Steve DeAngelo. Every Tuesday and Thursday, DeAngelo will answer submitted questions from viewers on-air in the new “Ask Steve” web series. This is the first media project between Green Flower and the DeAngelo Brothers, with other developments in the works, including long-form and mainstream programming.
Global investment platform eToro announced it will reopen access to its Cannabis Care CopyPortfolio Nov. 1, to coincide with changes in the UK allowing specialist doctors to prescribe medical cannabis. Investors in the Cannabis Care CopyPortfolio will get managed access to a group of leading biotech companies listed in North America specializing in medical cannabis.
Guy Hirsch, USA Managing Director for eToro told Benzinga: “We look forward to bringing this product back onto our platform after a fruitful first go-around that proved cannabis investments are in high demand. This copy portfolio of cannabis companies that spans the entire supply chain for investment offers eToro investors unprecedented access to the assets they want, in emerging markets with enormous potential. We look forward to continuing to facilitate unparalleled access to our investors as the market matures.”
Medical cannabis patients across Illinois will soon have access to edibles by Wana Brands. The company’s medical cannabis products will be available in Illinois dispensaries in the fourth quarter through an exclusive licensing agreement with Grassroots Cannabis, Illinois’ largest medical cannabis company.
“Wana Brands wanted to partner with a team that’s equally dedicated, innovative and dependable. We are looking forward to seeing how we can work together with Grassroots Cannabis to bring the highest quality products to Illinois patients,” said Nancy Whiteman, founder & CEO of Wana Brands.
Earthly Body launched EMERA CBD Haircare, a new salon professional haircare brand that harnesses the benefits of organic cannabidiol (CBD) oil from sustainable, harvested, non-GMO industrial hemp plants.
“With CBD taking the beauty industry by storm and the success of our skincare line CBD Daily, we felt EMERA CBD Haircare was the natural next step in product expansion. EMERA is the first prestige haircare brand to utilize the powers of CBD oil, using only the highest quality sustainable and naturally-derived ingredients. As pioneers in this industry, EMERA products set the standard in the richest hair care experience,” said founder Kevin Wachs.
Music legend David Crosby joined the advisory board of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, sitting alongside Willie Nelson, former Dallas Cowboy Mark Stepnoski, Harvard Professor Emeritus Lester Grinspoon, and movie producer Ann Druyan.
Shawn King joined Civilized Worldwide Inc. to serve as the Executive Creative Director as the company accelerates its growth and increases its audiences across North America. King was Partner and Chief Creative Officer with Arrivals + Departures in Halifax for the past 17 years, is a former competitor on The Amazing Race Canada, and is currently the host of Turning a New Leaf, a podcast dedicated to the legalization of adult-use recreational cannabis in Canada.
Find out more about these news and others on Namaste Technologies NXTTF, Marapharm Ventures, Pax Labs and 4Front Holdings 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 reported on:
Verano Holdings receiving financing of $120 million.
FIS Astec Analytics’ latest batch of short seller data, which revealed a pair of cannabis stocks that are very popular among short sellers.
How short sellers are making big gains with cannabis stocks.
“Expert Views On Michigan's Recreational Marijuana Proposal” and the multi-billion dollar opportunity it presents.
Cannacord Genuity’s bullish thesis on The Green Organic Dutchman.
Guggenheim's takeaways from the Capital and Cannabis Conference.
Dr. Robb Farms, a California-based, pesticide-free cannabis producer, breaking ground on the first of its three planned facilities after raising $24 million.
FSD Pharma Inc. FSDDF’s acquisition of Therapix Biosciences ADR TRPX.
Hoban Law Group’s comments on Illionois’ industrial hemp legalization.
Dr. James Taylor is a board-certified anesthesiologist who recently started sourcing and producing his own hemp formulations in response the growing opioid epidemic. This led him to found and now serve as CEO of North Carolina-based Integrated Hemp Solutions, a company focused on recommending CBD to patients through partner pain management clinics.
After a year of tracking patients’ progress across eight clinics, Taylor arrived at the conclusion that “educating our communities could not be more important. People are more likely to try and succeed with CBD when they are educated about how the Endocannabinoid System works, how it affects certain people with certain conditions and the benefits when used properly. We have been taking note of the progress patients have been making and its clear there is great therapy potential of CBD for patients with chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia and more.”
Viridian Capital Advisors released its latest Viridian Cannabis Deal Tracker, which revealed investments of more than $7.6 billion in cannabis companies year-to-date as of Oct. 19. This number does not consider Constellation Brands STZ’s yet-to-be-completed investment into Canopy Growth.
Oct. 27: Women Grow NYC is joining holistic lifestyle brand Mama Glow for the New York City premiere of the documentary film “WEED THE PEOPLE” at Village East Cinema. Women Grow ticket holders can also take part in a Q&A with the film producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein with Mama Glow’s Latham Thomas, and post-viewing networking with Epstein.
Oct. 27: Gwyneth Paltrow's InGoopHealth Summit on 10/27 will be featuring a panel on stress and anxiety, and how cannabis can help. The panel will feature Dr. Andrew Kerklaan creator of Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics cannabis-infused topicals.
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.
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.
Nov. 9: Benzinga will host the Michigan Cannabis Business Roundtable in Detroi, bringing an all-star group of investors and operators together to accelerate the growth of the cannabis industry in Michigan.
Nov. 26: Dustin Brandon Is bringing together over 35 farms for an Oregon event that celebrates “Croptober." Oregons top farm’s can network and meet with representatives from over 180 Portland registered dispensaries and some of Oregon's best oil processors.
Photo by Javier Hasse.
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