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

What a week.

The midterms brought legal recreational cannabis in Michigan and legal medical marijuana in Utah and Missouri.

“It was a good week for the cannabis industry. Michigan became the tenth state to legalize adult use cannabis and we added two more states to the legal medical marijuana column,” Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. “In my opinion, the biggest story that got lost was that New York State flipped to Democrats. They have demonstrated that they are very much in favor of legalizing adult use cannabis.”

In other big news for the industry, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was asked to resign.

“Stocks popped this week when the market learned of Jeff Sessions' resignation. Then reality set in and they fell back to earth just as quickly,” Borchardt added. “Better the devil you know as they say. Acting AG Whitaker looks just as conservative as Sessions.”

Related Link: What Jeff Sessions' Resignation Could Mean For Cannabis Stocks

On the international realm, Mexico followed up quickly on last week’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of legal recreational cannabis, introducing legislation into the Senate. The new bill would allow for the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Juan Diego Alvarez, Chief Regulatory Officer at Khiron Life Sciences Corp KHRNF, has been very involved in the Mexico effort and said, “Recent positive developments in Mexico show that Latin America is the most dynamic region in the world right now in terms of regulatory changes for the medical cannabis industry.”

Marijuana Indexes & ETFs

The United States Marijuana Index, which tracks most of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., lost 5.4 percent over the week, while the North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, slipped 2 percent.

Over the last five trading days, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF HMMJ gained 2.5 percent, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ surged 0.6 percent. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the week up 2.1 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 XXII: up 6.1 percent

• Aphria Inc APHA: almost flat

• Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB: up 3.85 percent

• CannTrust Holdings Inc CNTTF: down 4.5 percent

• Canopy Growth Corp CGC: up 5.4 percent

• Cronos Group Inc. CRON: up 6.2 percent

• Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd TGODF: up 16.1 percent

• Green Thumb Industries Inc GTBIF: up 0.9 percent

• GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR GWPH: down 5.4 percent

Hexo Corp HYYDF: up 0.25 percent

• iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc ITHUF: up 0.2 percent

• Medical Marijuana Inc MJNA: down 3.2 percent

• MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF: down 16.8 percent

• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co SMG: up 5 percent

• THC Biomed Intl Ltd THCBF: up 3.9 percent

• Tilray Inc TLRY: up 9.55 percent

• Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc ZYNE: up 0.7 percent

In Other News

Barry Grissom, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, joined Electrum Partners as Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Corporate Counsel. Electrum Partners is a Venture Management firm, specializing in the cannabis business as well as ancillary services.

“I think as a former federal prosecutor and U.S Attorney I have a unique perspective when it comes to the cannabis industry,” Grisson told Benzinga. “I looked around for a long time and when I had the chance to talk to Leslie and Diane at Electrum Partners I knew it was the perfect fit and that it was not about making money but rather affecting public policy which will hopefully improve people’s lives.”

Postmedia and PRØHBTD announced they will work with cannabis companies to achieve broader and significant brand presence in Canada by helping them shape their brand messaging through video storytelling and premium marketing initiatives.

Atlas Biotechnologies announced a C$7.5 million ($5.75 million) investment in Flavocure Biotech in exchange for 20 percent of the company. Flavocure has developed a pipeline of oncology research, with patent pending status on two therapeutic molecules that use cannabis flavonoid derivatives in the treatment of three aggressive forms of cancer - AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia), pancreatic, and glioblastoma (brain) cancer. Atlas plans to develop a breeding program dedicated to isolating additional molecules in the flavonoid spectrum and identifying further cannabinoids for potential research and supply for future drug commercialization.

Green Thumb Industries announced it has closed on a previously announced transaction to acquire Florida-based KSGNF, LLC. The acquisition makes GTI one of only 14 companies approved to operate a medical marijuana business in the state of Florida. GTI will be authorized to operate a cultivation and processing facility in Homestead and up to 30 dispensaries throughout the state. 

GTI Chief Strategy Officer Jennifer Dooley said, “Expanding into Florida is a big milestone and the team has been hard at work to become operational across the state. Florida’s medical marijuana program has immense growth potential and we’re excited to bring the customer-first RISE retail experience and our suite of branded cannabis products to Floridians pursuing their right to wellness.”

Cannabis industry pioneer Jay Czarkowski partnered with C-suite hiring experts to launch H2 Talent, to connect groundbreaking cannabis companies with the top-tier talent they need to succeed. H2 Talent is bringing entrepreneurs, visionaries, problem solvers, and disruptors into the next great American industry. The H2 founders recognize that successful cannabis businesses must have the right balance of outside talent and veteran talent and are able to attract and find the right people from both worlds.

“This isn’t a cottage industry anymore. Cannabis companies need serious executive talent and extraordinary industry expertise to stay competitive. That’s where H2 Talent comes in. We’re leveraging huge networks both inside and outside the industry to source the kind of senior leaders that will take cannabis businesses to the next level,” said Czarkowski.

The House of Saka launched a luxury line of cannabis-infused wines, which they claim are the first of their kind. The lineup includes a sparkling brut rosé and a still rosé, wines that incorporate a proprietary formulation of a tasteless, odorless water-soluble ratio of THC and CBD derived from organic cannabis.

Cannabis entrepreneur Jane West launched a line of high-end CBD products, including Jane West CBD Coffee, gourmet small-batch coffee beans infused with full-spectrum CBD from Colorado-grown organic hemp; and Jane West Day and Night CBD Capsules, twice-daily nutraceutical supplements containing 10 milligrams of full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD.

“These are products I use every day,” says Jane. “They are the best ways I have found to incorporate healthy habits and the benefits of CBD into your lifestyle. Taken together, the CBD coffee and CBD supplements have become a wholesome and invigorating part of my daily schedule.”

Phoenix Life Sciences International Limited PLSI announced it has completed the last stages the consolidation of businesses and received approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) of the corporate action completing its name change and change of stock symbol. Phoenix Life Sciences International Limited will now trade under the stock symbol PLSI. 

Martin Tindall, CEO of Phoenix Life Sciences International, stated, “This marks the end of what has been a long transitional period for our company and the beginning of a new chapter of opportunity for Phoenix Life. Our focus on creating a global supply of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products derived from medical cannabis and other botanical compounds targeted towards treating patients across the world with a range of diseases makes me truly proud.”

Related Link: What Legal Cannabis Means For Canada's Economy

Lucid Green Inc., a technology and data platform that connects consumers and dispensary employees to brands, announced the closing of an oversubscribed seed funding round of roughly $1 million dollars. The funds will be used to “develop a platform that enables a highly relevant digital experience by seamlessly interacting with physical products."

Aster Farms has responded to the ravishing California Wildfires with Harry’s Harvest, a new line of products aimed at giving back to the communities most devastated. Two dollars from each sale of Harry’s Harvest are being donated to the Hopland Fire Protection District and Lakeport Fire Protection District Volunteer Firefighters, with more beneficiaries to come.

In 2018, over 1.4 million acres burned affecting tens of thousands of households across California. Aster Farms was directly affected by the Mendocino Complex Fire, losing a number of structures and the house on the property.

“Harry’s Harvest is a way for Aster Farms to give back to the community who supported us through the fire and assisted with a quick recovery,” said Sam Ludwig, president of Aster Farms.

Weekend Unlimited Inc. YOLO provided additional information on its arm-length securities purchase agreement to acquire equity interests in California’s Canna Candys and Canna Medibles. The deal adds a necessary edibles product portfolio as the Company executes on its strategy to build its flower, extracts and edibles verticals.

“The acquisition of Canna Candys and Canna Medibles will now provide Weekend Unlimited with strong products within each of the categories we are focused upon, flower, extracts and edibles," said Mr. Cody Corrubia, President and CEO of Weekend. "Canna Candys are a CBD product while Canna Medibles are a THC product. What was attractive to us is their experienced operations team, having built distribution in Southern California to 380 retail stores," added Corrubia.

Sproutly Canada Inc SRUTF completed the development and formulation of an initial portfolio of functional beverages with its proprietary naturally water soluble cannabinoids (Infuz2O). The beverages combine recently licensed rights for the proprietary water soluble mineral platform with Infuz20. The initial portfolio consists of three separate cannabis/hemp infused beverages.

Wana Brands, best known for their artisan gummies, expanded its line-up this week to include four disposable vape offerings in Colorado.

“Colorado consumers are loving the convenience of disposable vapes, but the ingredients and hardware are often disappointing. We are simply setting the new standard for this thriving market,” said Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Boulder-based Wana Brands. “Wana Brands’ exclusive vapes reflect the outstanding quality, potency and consistency of our artisan edibles, because there’s no need for our consumers to risk quality for the sake of convenience.”

Confident Cannabis released Connect, a 3D data visualization of cannabis flower based on its chemistry alone – or “chemotype.” Using what they claim is the largest dataset on cannabis chemistry in the nation, Connect helps consumers and patients navigate through the many different strains of cannabis to discover their chemical expressions.

“Because a single strain genetic can express itself in many ways, chemically, and because indica, sativa, and hybrid don't provide any real data to predict effect with, it's necessary to look at the full chemistry of the plant as a final product,” said Brad Bogus, VP of Growth and Marketing at Confident Cannabis.

Go on Green, a maker of smart products for cannabis consumers announced the pre-sale launch of Kassi, a smart medical cannabis storage hub built with IoT connectivity to a mobile app. The device enhances the benefits of medical cannabis consumption by delivering an innovative solution for tracking and maintaining optimal cannabis freshness and effectiveness. Kassi is now available for pre-order via the official Kassi website.

“Kassi preserves cannabis with humidity and temperature monitoring, to maintain optimal freshness and effectiveness,” Ido Havilio, founder at Kassi.

Find out more about these news and others on Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd GLDFF, Terra Tech Corp TRTC, High Times, iHeartMedia Inc IHRTQ, Innovative Industrial Properties Inc IIPR, Insys, Aphria and Aurora 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 Newsdesk also reported on:

Thailand being on track to legalize medical marijuana.

Canadian craft beer company Steam Whistle looking for a cannabis partnership.

Terra Tech falling on Q3 earnings

MedMen’s $90 million raise.

New Frontier Data’s take on the midterms.

The explanation of the MPX Bioceutical acquisition by iAnthus’ CEO.

The difference between a marijuana store and a cannabis dispensary.

New Age Beverages Corp. NBEV’s stock offering.

A chat about the racial bias in cannabis arrests with rappers Berner, Twista and Chris Webby.

Check out these and more cannabis stories on Trulieve, a security breach in Ontario cannabis stores, Aphria’s M&A activity, cannabis ETFs, Province Brands, Jim Cramer, MediPharm Labs MLCPF, India Globalization Capital, Inc IGCC and much more, in our Cannabis section.

Interesting Data

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law hosted a symposium last week on the social consumption of cannabis to examine legal and policy issues surrounding public consumption. Although recreational cannabis is legal for purchase in Nevada, consumption is limited to private residences, leaving millions of tourists no options for legal product use. Because marijuana is still federally illegal, hotels and casinos are unable to allow consumption without risking gaming licenses.

Sen. Tick Segerblom commented that “consumption lounges are similar to a popular model of businesses we already have, which are called bars.” When asked whether it would be better to have people purchase from legal stores or bring their own products, he responded that “there are pros and cons for each model, perhaps we should require delivery of legal product to the lounges to address those concerns.”

Jessica Peter, terpene and cannabinoid specialist and Mara Gordon, CEO of Aunt Zelda's provide helpful tips on how to get started using cannabis for arthritis, dosing protocols, what types of cannabis products to use.

This video was originally posted on Green Flower.



Events Calendar

Nov. 26: Dustin Brandon Is bringing together over 35 farms for an Oregon event that celebrates “Croptober." Oregon's top farm’s can network and meet with representatives from over 180 Portland registered dispensaries and some of Oregon's best oil processors.

Dec. 10–12: Five years after the approval of the first comprehensive cannabis regulation law in the world, Monitor Cannabis Uruguay and the School of Social Science of Universidad de la República are convening an academic discussion on the various aspects that arise from the implementation and results of a law of this kind.

Photo by Javier Hasse.

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The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on bzcannabis.com – Prices will increase very soon!