The Week In Cannabis News: Curaleaf Buys Cura Partners, Canopy Buys C3, Organigram Applies For Nasdaq Listing

This week, cannabis news was dominated by two big acquisitions. The largest was announced by U.S. vertically integrated multistate cannabis operator Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. CURLF, which said it would buy Cura Partners, owners of the Select cannabis brand, for approximately $950 million in stock.

The other big transaction was announced by Canopy Growth Corp CGC, which acquired the German C3 Cannabinoid Compound Company, which manufactures synthetic cannabinoids, for roughly $254 million in cash — an unusual development in the cannabis industry .

"The Curaleaf deal unlocks the west coast for this east coast company," Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt told Benzinga. "While it may seem to be a lot of money for the Select brand, the entry into the market is the key thing."

The deal means that Canopy Growth is essentially buying the European version of Marinol, she said. 

"What they are getting is a quick foot in the door to the German market. That's what I think these two deals are really about — opening a market door.”

In other big news, Canadian cannabis producer OrganiGram Holdings Inc OGRMF applied to trade on the NASDAQ exchange. Read the full story here.

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

Marijuana Stocks & ETFs

Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF HMMJ lost 0.65 percent.

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ gained 0.34 percent.

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO lost 2.18 percent.

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the period up 0.21 percent.

Top marijuana stocks (with a market cap above $500 million) trading on U.S. exchanges performed as follows over the last five trading days: 

Acreage Holdings ACRZF: down 0.45 percent

• Aphria Inc APHA: down 8.1 percent

• Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB: down 2.8 percent

• CannTrust Holdings Inc CTST: down 17.1 percent

• Canopy Growth Corp CGC: down 1.7 percent

• Cronos Group Inc. CRON: down 3.4 percent

Curaleaf Holdings Inc CURLF: up 4.8 percent

Green Growth Brands Inc GGBXF: up 15.2 percent

• Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd TGODF: up 3.5 percent

• Green Thumb Industries Inc GTBIF: down 9.5 percent

• GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR GWPH: up 4.9 percent

Hexo Corp HEXO: down 1 percent

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc HRVSF: down 11.9 percent

• iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc ITHUF: down 2.9 percent

Marimed Inc MRMD: down 6.9 percent

• MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF: down 4 percent

OrganiGram Holdings Inc OGRMF: up 11.3 percent

• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co SMG: up 11.45 percent

• Tilray Inc TLRY: down 5.5 percent

In Other News

Publicly traded Origin House ORHOF reported fourth-quarter revenue of $7.9 million, up 19 percent quarter-over-year and up 638 percent year-over-year. The company credits increased product sales and distribution revenues for the record-breaking quarter.

In 2018 Origin House acquired Kaya Manufacturing, Alta Supply, FloraCal Farms, RVR Distribution and 180 Smoke. The combined entities represent six licenses, eight facilities and over 350 employees in California and Canada with pro-forma revenue of $37.4 million.

Pro-forma revenue reached $48.7 million with the acquisition of 180 Smoke in the first quarter. Origin House also integrated two of the largest and most important distributors in California — RVR Distribution and Alta Supply — now operating under the Continuum banner with more than 50 brand relationships including King’s Garden, Henry’s Original, Utopia Cannabis, Pacific Remedy, Kurvana, Humboldt’s Finest, Viola Brands and Papa’s Herb in more than 500 dispensaries in California.

Origin House exited the year with a cash position of $69.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2018.

The BIG3 basketball league announced an exclusive agreement with cbdMD, a Level Brands LEVB company, to become the official CBD partner of the league when its third season begins in June. Read the full story here.

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Indose, a new precise-dosage metered vaporizer, announced a $3.5-million Series A led by Casa Verde Capital. The Snoop-backed VC firm told Benzinga it is betting on Indose for two reasons: the vape market is the fastest-growing segment in cannabis; and responsible, controlled dosage is the next frontier.

Indose aims to bring bring medical-grade technology to market with a discreet vaporizer that allows microdosing with hyper-precision in real time at an affordable price. 

With this innovation, Indose is addressing a problematic gap in the vaporizer market: the inability to know exactly how much cannabis you’re consuming with each inhale.

This microdosing experience is available with edibles such as a 3MG mint, and Indose is the first vape to deliver that same precise, customized dosing solution. It is available in select California dispensaries and will announce a prominent distribution partner in the coming weeks.

“Transparency around the amount of THC consumed by the user in cannabis products is as fundamental as knowing the proof levels of alcoholic beverages and the nutrition ingredients of the food you eat. The consumer should always be in control of their desired experience,” Benzi Ronen, CEO and co-founder of Indose, told Benzinga.

High Park Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tilray, announced it received an amendment to its standard processing license under the Canadian Cannabis Act. Under the amended license, High Park said it is permitted to sell its cannabis products from its state-of-the-art London, Ontario facility to authorized retailers in Canada. Read the full story here.

According to the monthly AndCan Index, demand for legal cannabis in the U.S. rose by 1.3 percent in February. 

Willie and Annie Nelson’s hemp wellness brand, Willie’s Remedy, announced new products and expanded retail availability. A new addition to the brand’s flagship product, Willie’s Remedy Whole Bean Coffee, is an extra-strength version of the hemp-infused coffee. The brand is also releasing Willie’s Remedy Hemp Oil Tincture, a full-spectrum, extract-infused MCT oil that is made with Colorado-grown organic hemp flower.

“There are no added chemicals or preservatives —it’s just pure, plant-enriched wellness,” Annie  said. “We’re excited to launch new products and provide people with the benefits of hemp with the tincture and two types of hemp-infused whole bean coffee.”

Canopy Growth has secured a facility in Kirkwood, New York to build an extraction and manufacturing facility for hemp-derived cannabinoids. Read the full story here.

DNA Genetics partnered with Good Meds to provide Colorado cannabis consumers access to DNA and their library of proprietary genetics, flower and concentrates. As part of the agreement, DNA will verify and certify its award-winning genetics while working in tandem with Good Meds’ experienced team to ensure an array of quality products including dried flower, prerolls, vape carts, sauce, rosin and full melt water hash.

CBD product manufacturer Charlotte's Web Holdings Inc CWBHF appointed Adrienne Elsner as CEO. Elsner is the former president of the U.S. snacks division at Kellogg Company K. Read the full story here.

Mohnia Patel launched Shanti Wellness, a hemp-derived CBD ingestible beauty line. Using all plant-sourced ingredients, Shanti Wellness products include a tincture, body balm and soft gels. Shanti Wellness takes a holistic approach to alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression using Ayurvedic herbs in addition to hemp-derived CBD. Shanti products are available online and at California retailers. 

In response to the growing legal marijuana industry, Tech-Holdings has launched a new product, 420 AntiDōs. This is the company’s first hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) plant-based elixir that is being introduced to curb the high from marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol-infused products, such as edibles and tinctures. 

Optivida Health signed a licensing contract with Frelii. With Frelii’s proprietary DNA Kit Package and artificial intelligence, Optivida customers can have their whole DNA sequenced and analyzed to generate a report on what hemp extract, CBD and other products are most appropriate and what precision dose will work most effectively for their specific needs.

“Frelii’s technology makes a precise science out of getting the most benefits from our supplements. When a customer gets the right amount of the right nutrients, their body can begin to heal itself. It’s an incredible marriage of science, biotechnology and nutrition," said Optivida Health CEO Frank Davis.

Driven Deliveries Inc DRVD and Ganjarunner entered into a non-binding letter of intent. Driven Deliveries will acquire Ganjarunner, which has shown continuous revenue growth since inception. The power of the two combined companies is intended to further the cannabis delivery service industry. Driven Deliveries expects to see an increase in the company's overall market share.

“By combining both Ganjarunner and Driven's cannabis delivery expertise, we will ultimately be able to reach more consumers and keep up with the flow of demand as we continue to see a growth trajectory. As such, we continue to better equip ourselves with resources to better fill our customers' needs," Driven Deliveries President Brian Hayek told Benzinga.

Carla Baumgartner, the founder of Ganjarunner, said she's thrilled to combine the company's resources and intellectual property with Driven Deliveries. 

"The cannabis market is growing and we plan to be at the forefront of this growth.”

Flow Kana announced a community-supported agriculture initiative for its 245-plus employees. Each month, internal staff will receive a monthly produce box as a perk, grown in small batches by Flow Kana's partners on their Mendocino County farms, re-enforcing their commitment to fresh, naturally grown crops, sustainability, and the fight against Big Ag.

The company said it's aiming to expand their crop-share program to partnering dispensary staff by the end of the year.

Confident Cannabis, a cannabis wholesale platform powered by verified lab data, raised $12 million in Series A funding to accelerate growth and expand into new markets. Read the full story here.

Charles Broderick, the managing director of Uji Capital, a New York family office with extensive investments in the cannabis industry, donated $9 million to Harvard and MIT for cannabinoid research. Read the full story here.

Planet 13 PLNHF reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings this week, plus an earnings breakdown demonstrating the growth in popularity of the world’s largest dispensary as a must-see Vegas tourist destination since its November 2018 grand opening.

Revenue has gone up consistently at the SuperStore each month from $3.3 million in the opening month to $5.4 million in March 2019. Highlights include a major Phase II expansion, which will include a bistro/pizzeria, café, events center and customer-facing production facility; an exclusive Nevada distribution deal with Mike Tyson’s brand Tyson Ranch; and reinforcing Planet 13’s intention to expand beyond Vegas into other legal U.S. markets.

Tikun Olam announced that it is working with noted health care and legal advocate Mieko Hester Perez, a move that coincides with the medical cannabis brand’s major U.S. launches and product rollouts in Florida and California.

The news highlight the company’s goal to take a lead role in supporting the efforts and education towards all-age medical cannabis access in the United States, according to Tikun Olam. 

“Tikun Olam’s scientific research is unsurpassed in showing that our cannabis varietals are safe and effective for patients from toddlers to the elderly,” said the company's U.S. CMO Stephen Gardner.

“With Mieko’s deep roots in cannabis health care advocacy, she is an ideal ambassador for our cannabis science to make a difference in the lives of more patients than ever before.”

Hester-Perez said the company's research methods provide levels of validity for cannabis therapies that determine protocol principles. 

“Tikun Olam is improving outcomes for patients to make confident and informed health care choices.”

Canadian cannabis company Terrascend Corp TRSSF is expanding into Europe with the receipt of GMP certification and a new distribution agreement. Read the full story here.

BioTrackTHC, a subsidiary of Helix TCS Inc. HLIX was announced as the conditional winner of the Maine Seed-to-Sale Marijuana Tracking System contract. Read the full story here.

Ayurvedic Cannabis brand The Root of It All announced an expansion to California in partnership with M plant, unveiling the line this week at the Hall of Flowers trade show. The company also announced that its product line will be available in 13 Native Roots locations across Colorado in partnership with Colorado producer TR Concentrates. 

“As someone who has worked in the food and beverage industry for a number of years, launching a flagship and food-grade product that can alleviate stress, insomnia, lethargy and a number of other conditions without the troubling side effects of pharmaceuticals is hugely meaningful to me," said M plant CEO Mark Shaw.

Kurt Junggren, TR Concentrates' vice president of sales and brand acquisition, said it's imperative as the company expands that it works strategically with the best names in the business. 

"Native Roots has done an impeccable job of standing out and excelling in a saturated industry, [and] in one of the leading and most lucrative cannabis markets in the country." 

Concentrates company Green Dot Labs is partnering with electronic jam pioneers The Disco Biscuits on the On42 Limited Release, a new product collaboration for the band’s annual Bisco Inferno shows in Denver over Memorial Day weekend.

The release, The Disco Biscuits’ first cannabis concentrate, features a proprietary blend of full-spectrum extracts from Green Dot Labs’ signature Black Label line of concentrates grown and extracted in-house.

Find out more about the items above and other news with our friends at Marijuana Money.

More From Benzinga Cannabis

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

Susan Ameel of THC Regs shared commentary on Maine’s recreational cannabis regulations, as well as on other cannabis-related issues in Texas, California and Washington state in our new column, RegTalk.

New Frontier Data shared a look into the countries with the highest cannabis consumption.

Wayne Duggan discussed an option trader’s bearish bet on Aurora Cannabis.

Alex Oleinic looked into Flowr Corp FLWPF's private placement, aimed at funding activities that include including construction in Portugal and Australia.

Jeff Siegel published his weekly column, “Bulls And Bud Of The Week.” Find out what the analyst’s picks were this week!

In a two-part article, Philip Rebentisch shared the story of Jim Belushi and how the actor entered the cannabis industry.

The Fresh Toast’s Matt Reper explained the science behind combining cannabis and caffeine.

Eve Ripley, of Medical Marijuana Inc. News, shared a look into the “Top 10 New Studies On The Effects of Marijuana.

And we spoke with the CEO of Emerald Health Bioceuticals.

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

Events Calendar

May 7: DCM hosts 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 at the San Francisco conference 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 (“The Golden Seed”) 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. 

“We've been optimistic about the cannabis industry for a while now, starting with our seed round investment in Eaze in 2014, which made DCM the first firm on Sand Hill Road to get in the space. We created CannTech to be a launchpad for emerging cannabis professionals to get funded, educated and connected, and we're excited to hear the ‘big ideas’ brought to the table,” said Kyle Lui, partner at DCM.

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 New York City 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). RSVP by emailing to reserve a spot.

May 9-11: The ExpoCannabiz Business Conference and the Cannabis Investing Forum are disembarking in Cartagena, Colombia. The first event in this series will feature keynote speakers Jim Belushi; former Mexican President Vincente Fox; Steve DeAngelo of the Arcview Group; Jennifer Sanders of CNS Equity Partners; and this author. 

Get your discounted tickets at using the code Benzinga30.

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 panelists, 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.  All three shows are model-driven because they are the true industry ambassadors, which is the Cons' core value. 

May 30-May 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 7-8: 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,” Macias said. “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: the 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.

Picture by Javier Hasse.

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