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The Week In Cannabis: Conferences, Clean Slate Act, Earnings, Aurora, Canopy-Acreage And More

April 28, 2019 11:25 am
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Last weekend, we were out getting some rest after the third edition of the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Toronto. This week’s recap will include some big news items from last week as well.

On April 18, Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) announced it would acquire Acreage Holdings (OTC:ACRZF) for an upfront payment $300 million with the value of the deal potentially worth up to $3.4 billion. Matt Karnes, founder and managing partner of GreenWave Advisors, told Benzinga, “This deal positions Canopy Growth as a leader in the U.S. market while providing Average with near term liquidity and other strategic opportunities.

“It is not surprising that, within expectations of a coming end of U.S. prohibition, a Canadian LP/U.S. MSO combination would occur. We further believe that the timing and structure of this deal could facilitate similar moves by other Canadian entities as well as further consolidations among U.S. MSOs that could possibly then look towards Canadian acquisitions.”

News was largely dominated by discussions around this deal, with GMP Securities upgrading Canopy Growth. Also, Bank of America initiated coverage on cannabis stocks with a bullish stance and a surprising top pick.

Related Link: Harvest Health CEO Steve White Talks Cannabis Consolidation, Says Canopy-Acreage Tie-Up 'Fantastic'

In other news, Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (OTC:HRVSF) reported fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2018 financial results. Revenue more than doubled as the multi-state operator continued to expand its retail and wholesale footprints across the country.

Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNLN) completed its first week trading on the Nasdaq as the first U.S. cannabis company in the exchange, and several key executives at MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTC:MMNFF) left the company.

Marijuana Stocks & ETFs

Over the last five trading days, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC:HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) gained 4.2 percent, same as the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ). The new AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO) surged 3 percent.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) closed the period up 1.2 percent.

Here are some of the top marijuana stocks (market cap above $400 million) in U.S. exchanges and how the performed over the last five trading days:

Acreage Holdings (OTC:ACRZF): down 1.8 percent

• Aphria Inc (NYSE:APHA): down 0.6 percent

• Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB): up 0.6 percent

• CannTrust Holdings Inc (NYSE:CTST): up 2.7 percent

• Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC): up 12 percent

• Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON): up 9 percent

• Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTC:CURLF): down 1.6 percent

• Green Growth Brands Inc (OTC:GGBXF): up 2 percent

• Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd (OTC:TGODF): up 6.4 percent

• Green Thumb Industries Inc (OTC:GTBIF): down 2.4 percent

• GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH): up 7.4 percent

• Hexo Corp (NYSE:HEXO): up 15.5 percent

• Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (OTC:HRVSF): up 1.9 percent

• iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc (OTC:ITHUF): down 2 percent

• Marimed Inc (OTC:MRMD): down 5.8 percent

• MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTC:MMNFF): down 7.6 percent

• OrganiGram Holdings Inc (OTC:OGRMF): down 0.5 percent

• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE:SMG): up 0.4 percent

• Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY): up 8.5 percent

In Other News

Benzinga got the scoop on cannabis multi-state operator Tikun Olam inking an exclusive state partnership with Florida cannabis provider VidaCann.

Another scoop revolved around New Leaf Data Services, an independent cannabis and hemp price reporting agency and parent to Cannabis Benchmarks, launching a new divisionHemp Benchmarks will collect, analyze and report on the wholesale price for hemp-derived biomass, dry flower, clones, seeds, crude hemp oil, refined hemp oil and CBD isolates.

Check out the first pricing index table here:

We also broke the news about Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC:CNPOF), the investment arm of Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth completing an investment in High Beauty, the company behind cannabis beauty brand high.

Colorado's Folium Biosciences launched a gluten-free gummy line.

“Some gummy brands use isolate in their formulation, along with synthetic preservatives and chemicals. Not only did our scientists formulate an all natural solution that delivered on flavor profile and consistency, we also developed a commercially scalable solution to accommodate major retailers we’re already in conversations with,” said Folium Biosciences CEO Kashif Shan.  

Follow Benzinga Cannabis (@BZCannabis) on Twitter for up-to-date news and stories on cannabis, hemp and CBD.

Green Growth Brands debut cannabis brand, CAMP. The first product from the brand, Happy Camper solventless rosin cartridges, were innovated by GGB’s team of production and merchant teams. Additional CAMP products and dispensaries will be introduced in Nevada and beyond.

22Red, the cannabis lifestyle brand founded by System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, introduced its disposable hemp-derived CBD vape pens.

Cannabis portal Herb.co re-launched its website to close the loop between cannabis consumers and cannabis producers by providing fast, simple and reliable recommendations. Herb will leverage data to allow consumers to make better decisions. Herb wants all cannabis experiences to be predictable, safe and fun.

Stratos launched a line of CBD tinctures.

“After doing market research, we saw that a lot of tinctures weren’t mixed well, which impacts dosing,” said Kate Heckman, VP of Marketing at Stratos. “Our tinctures are a great option for those new to CBD and can get to work in the body within minutes and last for up to five hours. People can trust that Stratos products are safe, high-quality, consistent and true to the dosing details on the label.” 

Arcanum Sports Performance announced the release of Sarco Skin, the first-ever kinesiology tape infused with a full-spectrum hemp extract with 5mg of hemp-derived CBD per strip.

“After listening to our customers and their needs and injury issues, we saw a huge need for a kinesiology tape infused with CBD,” said Tyler Mintz, COO of Arcanum. “Our Sarco Skin product is the first-of-its-kind and will provide relief for athletes and anyone dealing with aches and pains during any level of activity. Sarco Skin takes the proven benefits of traditional kinesiology tape to a whole new level.”

Mattio Communications, a cannabis marketing company, completed its seed round of funding, which included Phyto Partners; Alan Patricof, founder of Greycoft; and Green Seed Fund.

TILT Holdings Inc. (OTC:SVVTF) announced that Jupiter Research, LLC has further expanded distribution of its proprietary ceramic CCELL technologies in California through its integration with TILT’s software and supply chain services.

“We are excited for Tilt Holdings' newest expansion of Jupiter Research that will help widen their geographic footprint and bring more businesses and consumers access to CCELL technology,” a spokesperson for CCELL told Benzinga.

Vireo Health International (OTC:VREOF) announced it was allowed a U.S. Patent for “Tobacco Products with Cannabinoid Additives and Methods for Reducing the Harm Associated with Tobacco Use. The patent will allow the company to develop cannabis-based additives that would greatly reduce the harm associated with smoking and tobacco products.

“As a physician, I detest tobacco and its negative impact on people’s health and our economy,” said Vireo Health Founder and CEO Kyle Kingsley. “This patent is a step in the right direction for an industry that is on the wrong side of history. By simultaneously positioning cannabis as an alternative to tobacco and using cannabis as a harm reducing additive, Vireo is focused on paths to disrupt the nearly trillion dollar global tobacco market. This is just the first step”

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses announced the adoption of its National Standards on Laboratory Testing and Product Integrity. These standards are designed to protect consumers and demonstrate to regulators and the public that NACB members operate at the highest levels of ethics and responsibility, especially when it comes to the safety and quality of their products.

This is the third set of National Standards adopted by the NACB, adding to standards relating to Advertising and Packaging and Labeling. To create each set of Standards, the NACB takes input from their members along with government and subject matter experts, in addition to referring to other highly regulated industries.

Pasha Brands partnered with cold brew coffee brand, Station Cold Brew Coffee Company. The pair is launching a lineup of CBD-infused beverages, capitalizing on the infused beverage market that is set to become legal in Canada this fall. Pasha Brands is expected to go public on the CSE in the next few weeks.

Several leading cannabis companies formed a new industry trade association focused on advocating for changes to U.S. federal and international laws regarding medical and adult-use cannabis commerce. The new Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce represents over a billion dollars worth of global cannabis marketshare. The association aims to alter existing obstacles to interstate and international cannabis commerce which currently impede medical consumers, adult users, and cannabis business.

Celebrity jeweler Alex Todd announced the launch of Saucey Farms and Extracts, a luxury cannabis brand with an array of premium products. Todd, who is best known for his jewelry clientele like Jay-Z, Kevin Hart and Rihanna, is transitioning into the cannabis space with his line of organically-grown and slow-cured flower, oil cartridges and pre-rolls. The launch also includes an exclusive partnership with hip-hop legend Jim Jones, who is debuting his line of products called CAPO under the Saucey Farms umbrella. Products are available for purchase in California and Oregon.

Duane Morris and the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Big Sky Scientific, a Colorado-based CBD company, in Big Sky Scientific LLC v. Idaho State Police et al. In January, Big Sky had a hemp shipment seized by the Idaho police, who also arrested the truck driver, accusing him of trafficking in marijuana. The legal question is whether, in light of the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, a hemp cultivator in one state may lawfully ship cultivated hemp to a processor in another state. The decision in this case could have far reaching implications for the legal cannabis and hemp industries, potentially creating a national precedent for the interstate shipment of hemp while the Department of Agriculture and various states create their regulations.

TR Concentrates, producer behind The Root of It All cannabis-infused essential remedies announced its product line will be available in 13 Native Roots locations across Colorado.

Aphria closed a convertible senior note offering raising $350 million in gross proceeds, including the exercise of the over-allotment option.

Cresco Labs reported fourth-quarter financial results, including revenue growth of 411 percent on the year.

New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ:NBEV) announced it expanded its brand licensing agreement with the family of the late Bob Marley and the Marley brand for an additional 10 years.

Marijuana Company of America Inc (OTC:MCOA) acquired a 20-percent ownership interest in Natural Plant Extract of California. The two companies also signed a joint venture agreement to advance the Viva Buds delivery service in California.

Don Steinberg, CEO of MCOA, told Benzinga, “This is an exciting growth period for our company. We believe that our partnership will prove fruitful and ultimately provide a greater return for our stakeholders. As the country moves towards legalization, it remains imperative to stay ahead of the curve. As we are the Marijuana Company of America, it only seems right to enter the marijuana industry in California. We look forward to what this new chapter holds for the company.”

Cannabis technology company Leafbuyer Technologies Inc. (OTC:LBUY) launched delivery capability on its Greenlight mobile application. Leafbuyer announced the rollout of the new feature as an expansion to the established order ahead and loyalty platform. Consumers in states with legal cannabis delivery laws, including Arizona, California, Nevada and Washington, will be able to order cannabis products through the app from participating dispensaries to be delivered to their door. 

The technology allows Leafbuyer to monetize the company's consumers through transaction fees. Now that the technology is built, Leafbuyer can be a first-mover to provide solutions as more states legalize cannabis product delivery.

“We provide dispensary customers with the platform to operate delivery services for their consumers,” said Kurt Rossner, CEO of Leafbuyer. “We’ll help them retain those consumers through loyalty initiatives that are already built within the application.”

Benzinga's most-read cannabis story of the week: “Signs An Aurora Cannabis Technical Breakout May Be Imminent"

California Cannabinoids, Inc., the maker of Doug’s Varin products, which contain the highest concentrations of THCV available, announced cannabis scientific expert Paul F. Daley has joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer. Daley brings more than 30 years of experience in analytical toxicology and environmental sciences to the company and will manage all science-related product development and testing as it expands the production and sale of Doug’s Varin products in the marketplace.

CEO David Lampach said, “Paul is a tremendous asset to our team. He is widely respected for his expertise in the cannabis and psychedelic sectors and his strength in product innovation and research. He clearly understands how we can unleash the power of Doug’s Varin in new products that will provide our customers with the unique health benefits from the high-levels of THCV in our offerings.  Paul will be an instrumental part in helping us take Doug’s Varin to the next level as we unveil new product offerings and licenses agreements that will expand our consumer offering and reach in the coming weeks.”

Aurora Cannabis entered into a binding share purchase agreement to acquire Ontario-based laboratory operator Chemi Pharmaceutical, and entered into a royalty bearing commercial license agreement with EnWave Corporation (OTC:NWVCF).

Innovative Industrial Properties Inc (NYSE:IIPR) one of the largest real estate investment trusts catering to the U.S. cannabis industry, acquired a 51,000-square foot property in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for which it already signed a long-term lease agreement.

Driven Deliveries Inc (OTC:DRVD) and BLAZE Inc. partnered to provide a full-service technology platform for advertising, point-of-sale, customer interfacing and more to service the cannabis industry.

Chris Boudreau, CEO of Driven Deliveries, told Benzinga, "This partnership will enable our business to continue to grow rapidly. Our cannabis delivery platform, partnered with BLAZE's point-of-sale services and financial management tools, will allow us to take Driven to the next level. This partnership comes at a pivotal time for our company as we continue to expand to other cities and states.”

The ETF Professor analyzed the first NYSE-traded cannabis ETF, the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO), and its subsequent addition of Greenlane Holdings to its portfolio.

ExpoCannabiz announced new updates to its inaugural three-day event in the Caribbean port city of Cartagena, Colombia, at the Cartagena Convention Center on May 9-11. Joining keynote speakers Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico and former president of Coca-Cola for Mexico and Latin America; and Steve DeAngelo, cannabis pioneer and president of Arcview Group; are: Javier Hasse, author of “Start Your Cannabis Business” and Managing Director of Benzinga Cannabis; and Michaël Miller, host of Dash Radios Cannabis Business Hour and cannabis editor for LA Weekly.

Also announcing its lineup was The Cannaramic Online Summit, designed to demystify and destigmatize cannabis for everyday people. The Cannaramic Online Summit lineup includes Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, rapper RedMan, Lauren Wilson, Wendy Robbins, Karen Paull, Roz McCarthy, Javier Hasse, Pelin Thorogood, Alysson Moutri, Dee Russell, Jeff Siegel, Denise Biderman, Nelson Guerrero and many more.

Fundraiser: Anyone who works in the cannabis industry from a trimmigrant to a CEO of a cannabis company, has Rick Cusick to thank. As the former Associate Publisher of High Times magazine in its heyday, he has nurtured innumerable people along their cannabis career paths. Everyone from cannabis writer Sara Brittany Somerset to Weedmaps' Senior Copywriter Mary Schumacher have been mentored by Cusick. Now it is time for the industry that he helped to create and legitimize, to help him in return.

Cusick, co-founder of Whoopi & Maya, has cirrhosis of the liver, even though he hasn’t had a drop to drink in over 30 years. This Sunday, hear the prideful roar of a cannabis lion like no other. Spend an afternoon with one of the Godfathers of the cannabis movement, at a friendly fundraiser, on Long Island. The event will be streaming on Facebook Live at 2 p.m. EST. Follow this link for details.

Omē CannabisDNA launched a new product that analyzes more than 70 genetic markers and reviews 12 traits from your DNA, to give you a personalized wellness report matching you to your ideal CBD and THC product types.

Find out more about these and other news with our friends at Marijuana Money.

More From Benzinga Cannabis

Here are some of the most interesting cannabis-related stories from this week.

José Belén, a former U.S. Army combat veteran and cannabis activist, wrote this article on “Cannabis, Veterans, PTSD And Corporate America: A US Army Vet's First-Person Experience.”

Jeff Siegel shared his picks for his “Bulls And Bud Of The Week” column.

Alex Oleinic looked into microdosing and who it is for as well as into the Clean Slate Act.

Serge Chistov, the financial partner of Honest Marijuana Company, shared insights into using legal cannabis at work.

We shared a closer look into the Evolve U.S. Marijuana ETF, trading on the NEO exchange under the ticker "USMJ. We also rang the bell at the TSX and chatted with Evolve Funds Group’s chief investment officer Elliot Johnson.

Andrew Ward took a deep dive into the surging demand for high-potency CBD products.

Philip Rebentisch shared a look into how Colombian cannabis farmers went from underground to above ground.

We shared a list of “10 Cannabis Product Ideas For Experienced Consumers And Newcomers Alike.” Our picks included:

Check out these and many other cannabis stories in our cannabis portal.

Events Calendar

May 3-4: The Colombian Cannabis Entrepreneurs Network (RECC) will be hosting CannaCiencia, the cannabis science symposium of the Americas. The event will gather renowned cannabis scientists, academics, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, industry insiders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and cutting edge technology to provide state-of-the-art education and training on the world advancements in the medicinal cannabis field.

May 7: DCM hill host its inaugural Cannabis Technology Summit, CannTech 2019, designed to accelerate the cannabis technology industry by bringing together entrepreneurs, industry executives and investors from all across North America. The agenda includes discussions on the most salient topics in the industry — such as regulation, distribution, and financing — and culminates in a startup pitch competition with a $30,000 prize to showcase some of the most exciting companies in the space. Featured speakers include Eaze CEO Jim Patterson, Pax CEO Bharat Vasan, and Dosist CEO Gunner Winston, with more to be announced.

May 8: LeafLink is hosting a panel at its NYC headquarters, moderated by Eric Hippeau, Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. The panel will explore the emergence of NYC as the epicenter of East Coast cannabis, and will feature the following panelists: Ryan G. Smith (Co-Founder and CEO at LeafLink), Karson Humiston (CEO and Founder at Vangst), Debra Borchardt (NYC-based Cannabis Journalist), and Ari Hoffnung (CEO at Vireo Health of New York).

May 28 – June 1: The Cons is a gathering of three trade and fan shows, the Cam Con, the Cannabis Con, and the Inked Con, all under one roof, at the SLS South Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. The Cons 2019 will offer a variety of seminars with top industry panelist, networking parties and performance displays to benefit the industry’s content providers, models and affiliates. While these industries have differences, in many ways they overlap.

May 30–31: The Concentration Expo is coming to San Diego. Concentration is a Cannabis extraction conference and event assembling the entire specialty cannabis extraction and analytical science spectrum in one connected space that’s focused on providing real solutions with proven success. Attendees will connect firsthand with industry leaders offering tangible ideas and practical applications for all areas of cannabis extraction and analytical science. The conference is a two-day immersive event offering exclusive content and keynote seminars, alongside vetted exhibits and interactive experiences. 

June 7–9: The Women Grow 2019 Leadership Summit is coming to the East Coast. Dr. Chanda Macias, the CEO of the woman-focused organization, will welcome multitudes to her hometown of Washington, D.C. for the largest cannabis event-of-its-kind.

“We look forward to amplifying our message of cannabis legalization, inclusion, and equality here in our nation’s capital,” said Dr. Macias. “Being steps away from the U.S. Capitol, where we have witnessed an influx of women assuming leadership positions, is sure to inspire our community as a whole to connect, educate, and empower female leaders in this space.”

Traveling: CBD Expo Tour is kicking off. The events feature more than 70 exhibitors, along with a substantial lineup of speaker presentations and panel discussions from experts in the research, production, globalization, and sale of CBD products.

“After a successful 2018 tour, our busy 2019 schedule opens with CBD Expo MIDWEST. We're taking it into a hard working area of America where the population is seeking natural pain relief. We will be continuing to educate on the benefits of CBD wellness and why the pharmaceutical companies, as well as the FDA's suppression efforts are self-serving,” said Celeste Miranda, Founder of CBD Expo Tour and CEO of MACE Media.

Photo by Javier Hasse.

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