The Week In Cannabis: Colorado Hits $1B In Sales, Harborside In Canada, Kroger Embraces CBD, And More

It was a mixed bag in the cannabis-related news world this week.

Colorado announced that since the state legalized adult-use cannabis sales in 2014, $1 billion worth of marijuana were sold, while Oregon’s Congress passed a bill that would allow it to trade cannabis with other consenting states. In Canada, a committee in the House of Commons called for the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of drugs, while the U.S. House of Representatives rejected an amendment that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had introduced, which sought to make it easier for scientists to study Schedule I controlled substances like psilocybin – found in mushrooms, MDMA and cannabis.

We saw Harborside, the iconic cannabis brand founded by activist Steve DeAngelo, start trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange and Kroger Co KR announce it would start selling CBD products in its stores in 17 states. The Church of England said its £8.3 billion ($10.5 billion) Church Commissioners for England fund would start investing in cannabis, cannabis CPG company Coda Signature closed a $24.4 million Series A funding round, and Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. MDCL announced the acquisition of Colombian company Green Equity S.A.S. – marking its third deal this month.

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Commenting on Harborside’s IPO, Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga this is “a sign of how far the cannabis industry has come… From his early days as a member of the Yippies, which fought for legalization in the 60's, to being one of the first dispensary owners in California, Steve DeAngelo has always been on the front lines. It’s exciting to see a cannabis company with real revenue and strong leaders hitting the public markets.”

Marijuana Stocks & ETFs

Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF HMMJ lost 3.8%.

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ tumbled 2.8%.

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO slipped 4.5%.

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the period up 0.56%.

Here are some of the top marijuana stocks (market cap above $500 million) in U.S. exchanges and how the performed over the last five trading days:

Acreage Holdings ACRZF: up 4.1%

• Aphria Inc APHA: down 6.6%

• Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB: down 1.05%

• CannTrust Holdings Inc CTST: down 4.8%

• Canopy Growth Corp CGC: down 2.4%

• Cronos Group Inc. CRON: down 3.1%

Curaleaf Holdings Inc CURLF: down 14.35%

Green Growth Brands Inc GGBXF: down 4.3%

• Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd TGODF: down 10.8%

• Green Thumb Industries Inc GTBIF: down 13.8%

• GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR GWPH: down 0.5%

Hexo Corp HEXO: down 12.75%

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc HRVSF: down 8.1%

• iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc ITHUF: down 20.3%

Marimed Inc MRMD: down 26.8%

• MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF: down 8.45%

OrganiGram Holdings Inc OGI: down 13.6%

• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co SMG: up 2.7%

• Tilray Inc TLRY: up 0.5%

In Other News

Bloom Farms and Greenlane Holdings Inc GNLN reached an exclusive CBD distribution agreement that makes Bloom Farms’ premium CBD products available to thousands of smoke and vape shops across the U.S. The line will initially feature three tinctures and a selection of 19 vaporization products.

“We knew that the distributor we chose would be the face of our brand to thousands of retailers, so we wanted to partner with someone who understands that all CBD isn't created equal. Greenlane was the natural choice. They know our uncut oil makes a difference, are focused on hand-picked brands, and are true professionals,” Sallyann Nichols, President of Bloom Farms CBD, told Benzinga.

Following Medicine Man Technologies’ Colombia announcement, Andy Williams, co-founder and CEO of Medicine Man Technologies, told Benzinga “this pending acquisition will provide us with the means to begin our strategic international expansion plan. We will have access to international licenses and intellectual property that will further enhance our cultivation, manufacturing, extraction, exportation and research and development.”

mood33, a California of cannabis-infused beverages maker announced a distribution agreement with Caliva. Full story here.

India Globalization Capital, Inc. IGC announced its application for the cultivation and harvesting of hemp was approved by Arizona’s Department of Agriculture under the terms of its industrial hemp program. Full story here.

Harvest Health & Recreation was selected as one of the six finalists in a highly-competitive retail licensing process in Pasadena, an affluent Los Angeles suburb. The win marks the company’s seventh license in California, a key state for Harvest’s growth.

Sparx Cannabis, a family-owned and vertically integrated cannabis lifestyle company announced it has completed a Series A funding round with $10 million. The funds will help drive the company’s growth strategy, which includes expanding its footprint throughout California, the addition of multiple technological advances, the build-out and management of the company's manufacturing building, and the build-out of a distribution center.

“The $10 million dollars that were raised by private investors through Sparx Cannabis' Series A funding round is a monumental step forward for our next-generation mom and pop cannabis company,” said Dr. Jared Helfant, Co-founder and President of Sparx Cannabis. 

Vertically integrated Canadian company Valens GroWorks Corp. VGWCF expanded its multiyear agreement with Tilray. The agreement adds to the volume of extraction services Valens will provide to Tilray and adds an option for Valens to offer contract manufacturing as well, Valens said in a Monday press release. Full story here.

U.S. cannabis delivery service Eaze announced a partnership with retired Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce. Full story here.

The School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, received a three-year grant of $744,000 from the University of California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program to investigate the impact of cannabis use on metabolic diseases, such as type-2 diabetes. Just what impact short-term and long-term cannabis use has on metabolic health is not entirely clear to scientists.

Nicholas DiPatrizio, the grant’s principal investigator, will use a mouse model to understand how cannabis affects glucose homeostasis, which is dysregulated in type-2 diabetes. Paradoxically, some people who have used cannabis for several years have shown improvements in some of their metabolic parameters as well as lower body weights when compared to non-users. The DiPatrizio lab will explore this paradox.

“We’re only getting started in answering some important questions related to cannabis and the effect its short-term and long-term use has on metabolic health,” DiPatrizio said. The grant is the first cannabis grant received at UC Riverside.

Integrated cannabis brand Vertical Companies is expanding its reach as a multistate operator with the acquisition of UMBRLA Holding Company and Brands for $462.5 million. Full story here.

California-based luxury cannabis brand Canndescent said it became California's first MSO by investing $25.8 million to purchase buildings and operating licenses in three legal U.S. cannabis markets: Massachusetts, Michigan and Nevada. Full story here.

Following a special meeting where final votes were tabulated, Origin House announced overwhelming shareholder approval of the Cresco Labs acquisition. This approves the plan previously announced on April 1 for Chicago based Cresco Labs to acquire all of the issued and outstanding Origin House Common Shares and Compressed Shares. Regulatory approvals and anti-trust reviews are expected to be complete in the coming months. Origin House OH ORHOF is a cannabis products and brands company with a focus on becoming a preeminent global house of cannabis brands.

The Green Organic Dutchman entered into a processing and manufacturing agreement with Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. NEPT. Full story here.

Bank of America's Christopher Carey reitereated a Buy rating on Hexo following the company’s Q3 results. Full story here.

Atlantic WeedBoard announced the launch of its brand new website, which helps guide consumers through the maze of information and CBD products that are out there. With a special focus on organically grown "farm to body" products and featuring educational and entertaining videos and interviews with farmers and industry experts, Atlantic WeedBoard provides advice on the health and wellness benefits of CBD and shows consumers how to choose and use the right products for their specific needs.

“With the ubiquitous marketing of CBD-infused everything and so many products flooding the marketplace, consumers find themselves in a quandary about CBD’s source, quality or effectiveness. Our goal is to be accurate and informative, playful and fun; to let people know CBD can be good for their health, wellness and beauty," said Richard Carey, Atlantic WeedBoard co-founder. “We’re offering six channels of video that set the record straight one story at a time, and a curated selection of CBD products we have used ourselves and can vouch for.”

CV Sciences Inc CVSI announced a CBD supply deal with Kroger. Full story here.

Former hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson joined Benzinga’s PreMarket Prep morning show and discussed the difference between speculating in cryptocurrencies and speculating in cannabis stocks. Tilson said cannabis legalization is a real long-term trend that’s happening around the world, and hot cannabis stocks will make for potentially smart long-term investments. Unfortunately, he said their current valuations make them uninvestable at the moment. Full story here.

Tilray reached an agreement with its largest stockholder Privateer Holdings to extend a lockup period by two years. Full story here.

Atlas Blockchain Group, a Vancouver-based cryptocurrency mining and technology firm based in Vancouver, closed $10.1 million total financing for a proposed acquisition of Israeli cannabis operation, Isracann Biosciences Inc. As part of the firm’s expansion, Isracann expects to commence trading in Canadian Securities Exchange in 2019 as the first pure-play Israeli-based cannabis company to go public in Canada.

“The construction of this facility solidifies our commitment to become the leading low-cost, high-quality cannabis producer in the world,” said Darryl Jones, President and CEO, Isracann. “Israel’s perfect weather conditions allowing multiple growing cycles, and the recently announced regulatory changes granting product export from Israel, will give Isracann the opportunity to build an enterprise aimed at both the domestic and underserved European consumer markets. ”

Global X, one of the largest purveyors of thematic exchange traded funds, is looking to add that lineup with a cannabis ETF. Full story here.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc ZYNE received a new U.S. patent for one of its cannabis-focused treatments. Full story here.

Tikun Olam, the world’s first licensed cannabis company, is launching its first hemp-based product line, Tikun Hemp, in the U.S. This is the first hemp-based product line to bare the company’s name. Full story here.

Cannabis and hemp decontamination technology company Willow Industries closed a $2-million venture funding round. Full story here.

Jushi Holdings Inc. commenced trading on the NEO exchange. Jushi CEO and Chairman Jim Cacioppo told Benzinga, “Listing on the NEO provides Jushi a solid foundation to build on its current growth trajectory as well as access new shareholders through the capital markets… Our team will remain disciplined on optimal capital allocation and deal structuring to maximize shareholder value.”

MINERAL founder, Mills Miller, recently planted the first strain of his own proprietary hemp genetics in Colorado. By the end of this year, MINERAL will have farmed 250 acres of its own hemp genetics, making them one of the few brands cultivating a true seed to store product.

“MINERAL remains insatiable for efficacy. We’re committed to planting the seed before we extract the oil, giving ourselves and, therefore our community, full transparency from seed to extraction,” Miller told Benzinga. “Through our partnership with Margot Masinter (the farmer) and Doodle Farms (the farm) we are well on our way to vertical integration, growing hemp to better the people and the earth we all inhabit.” 

Wana continues its U.S. expansion and will partner with Buckeye Relief to bring its consistent and potent edibles to Ohio’s medical marijuana patients. Wana has secured its position as the No. 1 edibles brand in the U.S. (according to BDS Analytics Brand Share Report) through its expansion from its Colorado headquarters into Nevada, Arizona and Oregon, as well as Midwest expansion through Michigan, Illinois and now Ohio. Wana expects to enter California and Canada by end of year, with a focus on East Coast expansion in 2020.  

Parcel by Proper launched in the Bay Area. The company’s team of 120+ curates the best branded product in key legal markets then tests each one. They have completed over 15,000 hours of consumer testing, with 50 data points for testing session logged, and ranking for hundreds of products so you can find trusted products to provide exactly the experience you’re looking for; then have it delivered right to your door.

Ignite International announced it signed Featherweight Legend Brian Ortega as its newest brand partner. Ortega has quickly risen to the top and is poised as the No. 2-ranked UFC Featherweight.

“I’ve been using CBD as a part of my training for some time,” said Ortega, “I consider Ignite the best brand in the game right now, so of course I jumped at the chance to join the team!” 

Rubicon Organics announced a partnership with Cookies to exclusively license their brand in Washington State. The announcement details a partnership between two leaders in their fields: Cookies, one of the top super-premium brands in California; and Rubicon Organics, one of the top North American super-premium quality cultivators and brand builders.

“This partnership is a significant endorsement of Rubicon Organics’ IP growing techniques as Cookies only aligns with companies who can deliver against a consistent high level of quality. We are proud to provide super-premium organic cannabis to Cookies and the Washington market this fall,” said Jesse McConnell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer. It’s obvious that Rubicon is building a highly esteemed portfolio of brands that when paired with its proprietary cultivation methodologies is well on its way to becoming a pillar in the North American cannabis industry.

Colorado-based Mile High Labs begun production of a water-soluble CBD product that can be used in everything from energy drinks to honey. Water solubility is achieved by dissolving CBD isolate into a natural oil and then emulsifying it into “nanoscopic” droplets. Mile High Labs says the water soluble CBD has little effect on the “color, taste or mouthfeel” of the end product it’s added to.

CBD Capital Group, an investment and operating company led by seasoned business professionals such as Bulletproof Coffee's former CMO, launched its operations with its first acquisition of Medix CBD.

“CBD Capital Group is proud to announce the acquisition of Medix CBD. While the entire CBD industry holds immense potential, Medix CBD shows several strengths that set it apart from other CBD retailers including profitability and the company’s unique SEO model,” said CBD Capital Group Co-Founder and CEO David Metzler. "We are able to provide Medix CBD with capital and our team's business expertise and look forward to growing alongside the company.”

Medical Cannabis Mentor, a doctor-approved e-learning platform for medical professionals, cannabis patients and dispensary personnel launched a new evidence-based course specifically for Canadian healthcare providers. The new course, ‘Cannabis Therapeutics: Canada’ offers dosing protocols, case studies, and five free downloads that providers can share with patients. When taking this course, providers receive a clear-eyed view of the benefits and challenges they’ll face when navigating the new regulations in Canada. Medical Cannabis Mentor was founded by accomplished cannabis physician, Junella Chin, DO, who’s treated over 10,000 patients in California and New York with medical cannabis and cannabis author and Brave New Weed podcast host Joe Dolce.

“Education before medication is our mission,” said Dolce. “Our courses enable individuals and providers to make informed treatment decisions.”

Medical Marijuana Inc. MJNA reached a major milestone for long-term stability testing on its flagship THC-free cannabidiol (CBD) oil product Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X (RSHO-X). The stability study was conducted in strict compliance with FDA/ICH guidelines (Q1A-R2).   

The results from the study provide evidence that RSHO-X has a shelf-life of at least 12 months in a variety of extreme climate conditions. This helps the company ensure that the integrity of the product will not be compromised while in transportation or while being stored for future use.

“Our company set the standards for many CBD testing protocols in the U.S. and, with this study, intends to continue doing so. Our customers rely on the quality, potency and safety of RSHO-X, which has been tested in two successful pilot clinical studies," said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus.

Veritas Farms, Inc. VFRM announced its topical products will be featured nationwide in 945 Kroger Family of Stores.

Common Citizen, a Michigan cannabis and lifestyle enterprise, opened its first retail store in Flint, Michigan. CEO & co-founder Michael Elias and President & co-founder Joseph Jarvis announced the opening today alongside Linnette Phillips, Deputy Director, Economic Development at City of Flint and Leigh LaForest, Partnership Development Manager with Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

Pet Releaf, a CBD and hemp pet product manufacturer, announced a partnership with Generation Pet that brings its products to independent retailers in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

“Pet owners want high-quality, all-natural options to maintain their pets’ health,” said Chelsea Gennings, Co-founder and Vice President of Pet Releaf. “Through our partnership with Generation Pet we are delivering on that demand.”

More From Benzinga Cannabis

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

'Cannabis As A Force For Good': 2 Massive Cannabis Companies And Their Pride Month Initiatives

How One Cannabis Company Drastically Reduced Plastic Waste By Childproofing Its Vapes

Be Kind, Please Unwind: Why Would Anyone Buy CBD From A Video Store?

MediaJel Acquires Potnt Agency, Adds Merida Capital's Thomas Harrison As Chairman

How Cannabis Can Help Older Generations Work Longer And Boost Their Well-Being

Rap Icon Redman Talks Opportunity For People Of Color In The Cannabis Industry

Will Testing Potential Employees For Marijuana Become A Thing Of The Past?

Did Canada Blow Its Chance To Be The World Cannabis Leader?

Canada To Begin Sale Of Legal Cannabis Edibles In Mid-December

YouTube's Account Purges Spark A Cannabis Content Alternative

Bulls And Bud Of The Week: Halo Labs And 6 Things To Do In Illinois When Cannabis Becomes Legal

6 Reasons Why The Cannabis Industry Should Join The Cashless Revolution

Analyst: Trump Could Push Cannabis Legalization In 2020

How Cannabis Leaders Can Support Pride Month With A Lifelong Inclusion Mission

'We're Trying To Be Smart About It': New Canopy Growth CFO Says Cannabis Company Eyeing Financing Options

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on

Events Calendar

June 16-18: Martha Stewart will speak at the World Cannabis Congress (WCC) in Saint John, NB, Canada. Stewart is an example of big brands and high-profile personalities that are entering into the cannabis space as outdated stigma gives way to mainstream growth opportunities.

“I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in the lifestyle space with this tailored audience,” says Stewart. “As I begin to collaborate on products for the CBD market, and as the demand for these types of product grows, I’m very interested in the conversations and connections at this event.”

Stewart will be joining Riedle and Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO of Canopy Growth Bruce Linton on stage in a fireside chat to close the conference. Leading retail pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart will join the event as the third keynote speaker.

"Shoppers Drug Mart is a mainstream retail titan and yet another proof point as to where this industry is headed," says Derek Riedle, Publisher of Civilized. "At last year's World Cannabis Congress, we spent a lot of time discussing where we hoped the industry would go in a post-legalization landscape, and here we are. Less than a year later, we're working with the world's top brands to bring cannabis to consumers." 

June 18: Blunt Talks, a monthly event series committed to moving the cannabis industry forward with insightful and impactful talks from industry experts, is hosting their biggest event ever in Los Angeles, California. The speakers for the evening are Jackee Stang of Quarter Brands, Mario Guzman aka Mr. Sherbinski of SHERBINKSIS, Bill Levers of Beard Bros Pharms, Ted Lidie of Alien Labs, and Nichole West of Inclusive Cannabis. In addition to knowledgeable speakers, respected brands on site, networking opportunities and a live musical performance by Jeff Welsh, all guests will be treated to non-infused food by Cannabis Catered Events and Ayur Ras Healing Foods.

June 24–26: The Australia Mercosur Leadership Forum will take place at ORT University, Montevideo, Uruguay. Kevin Nafte and Andrea Kruchik, co-founders of YVY and founding members of CECAM, the Chamber of medical cannabis companies in Uruguay, will speak at the event about their experience in Uruguay as a company and a chamber operating in the medical cannabis space and the opportunities that exist between Uruguay, Australia and Mercosur. 

June 25: MjMicro, an investor forum that seeks connects “highly qualified investors with best-in-class and emerging publicly-traded cannabis companies” will debut in New York at the Westin Grand Central. The event will be held four times a year with future events scheduled for Beverly Hills, West Palm Beach and Seattle.

June 27: entOURage Network will be hosting an ‘Investing in Women’ workshop as part of European Cannabis Week in London, U.K. An all-female list of speakers will bring industry experts to the U.K. cannabis community and highlight the importance of women in the space. The event will cover three tracks: Female Investors, Female Entrepreneurs, Companies focused on the female demographic. There will be CBD canapés served alongside terpene-infused champagne during the networking reception.

entOURage Network is a U.K., and E.U., based organization cultivating a space for women to come together, explore and engage the legal cannabis market. They believe in women supporting women because "we are stronger together."

July 27: Microscopes & Machines will bring leaders in cannabis medical research and manufacturing technology for a day-long exploration of cannabis and hemp’s life-changing potential. Featuring Jeff Chen of UCLA’s UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, Ace Shelander PE of Beaker & Wrench, and many more.

October 23–24: Marijuana Venture Magazine’s Retail and Dispensary (RAD) Expo, a national trade show focused on the retail cannabis industry, will return to the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The RAD Expo will feature presentations from industry veterans to speak about successful entrepreneurship and topics including merchandising, partnership management, interior store design and retail operations. The 2019 show will focus heavily on CBD products and CBD brands with a presence in health grocery stores, luxury retailers, pet stores and other retail categories that carry hemp-derived products.

November 19–21: The Medcann World Forum 2019 will be held in the Mediterranean Conference Centre which dates back to the 16th Century. where it was originally built as a hospital  by the order of St. John. The three days will focus on six main pillars: Medical, Business, Research, Legislation, Regulatory and Fintech. The event will host Malta’s top policymakers, international regulatory experts and global business leaders.

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 – Prices will increase very soon!