The Week In Cannabis: A New Global Leader, Moves In UK And Colombia, ETFs Outperform

The big item in cannabis last week was Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. CURLF CURA’s acquisition of multi-state operator Grassroots for $875 million in cash and stock. The deal will make Curaleaf the largest cannabis company in the world, as measured by sales.

M&A expert Evan Eneman, CEO of MGO|ELLO Alliance, told Benzinga another move toward consolidation “means that the industry is maturing. M&A is a necessary and positive evolution in the cannabis space, as serious players put skin in the game with significant capital to drive the industry forward.”    

Adding to these words Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, explained “this deal gives Curaleaf the Midwest exposure they lacked and gives Grassroots the ability to compete with the bigger players. This puts Curaleaf in direct competition with Acreage Holdings Inc ACRGF to be the biggest cannabis company in the country.”

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In international news, Colombian lawmakers continue to move forward with plans to legalize adult-use cannabis, following a proposed constitutional amendment, and questions around whether the U.K. will legalize cannabis ahead of the U.S. continued to arise as a new poll showed 77%  of people in the U.K. support the legalization of medical marijuana.

“We welcome the footrace to cannabis legalization between the U.K. and the U.S.,” Daniel Fryer, Director of European Development at MPX International Corp MPXOF, told Benzinga. “U.K. legalization, be it before or after the U.S., is good news for both the European and global industry as it represents a paradigm shift for the entire continent.”

In domestic political news, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (Michigan) introduced a bill into Congress, seeking to stop the federal government from interfering with state laws where cannabis has been legalized. The bill is the first proposed by Amash since he announced earlier this month he was leaving the Republican Party to serve in as an independent lawmaker.

Cannabis ETFs

Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF HMMJ gained 2.08%.

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ rose 1.26%.

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO was up 2.38%.

• The Cannabis ETF THCX grew 2.46%

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the period down 1.16%.

In Other News

Havas Health & You launched Havas ECS, a strategic communications and training company focused on cannabinoid education and advisory.

“Havas ECS will alleviate the pressing need for science-based education and guidance by providing modules, seminars and custom consultancy services,” said a spokesperson for the company, which will be led by longtime healthcare communications leader, Rob Dhoble.

Dhoble and his team of subject matter experts will educate the health and wellness community as well as brand leaders in various categories on the scientific functionality of cannabinoids so they can navigate this emerging and exponentially expanding industry clearly.

"There are gaps in information across various industries. As specific to healthcare practitioners, legal risks exist for providers that do not clearly communicate with their cannabis consuming patients, including risks related to unmanaged treatment regimens, drug interactions, and diminished treatment outcomes,” Dhoble told Benzinga.

OrganiGram Holdings Inc. OGI released its third-quarter financial report. The company disclosed third-quarter revenue of CA$24.75 million compared to $CA3.4 million in last year's quarter. This represented sales of around 3,926 kg of dried flower. Organigram reported a quarterly net loss from continuing operations of CA$10.2 million or 7 cents per share on a diluted basis.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB obtained Health Canada licenses for outdoor cannabis cultivation in Canada, and also a processing license for its Aurora Air facility, where the company’s new edible products will be manufactured. The company will use two new sites for cannabis cultivation research, one being located in British Columbia and the other in Quebec.

The company also won the Italian government’s public tender to supply medical marijuana. Aurora was the winner among five companies that participated in the tender. It's expected the contract will be signed this fall.

Despite the good news, Bank of America's Christopher Carey downgraded Aurora's U.S.-listed stock from Buy to Neutral with a price target lowered from $10 to $8. The analyst cited a fast cash burn as his main concern.

MediPharm Labs Corp. MEDIF, a company that specializes in research-driven cannabis extraction and cannabinoid isolation, announced Thursday that is has gained conditional authorization to uplist from the Toronto Venture Exchange to the Toronto Stock Exchange, where it will list under the ticker symbol "LABS."

Avicanna Inc AVCN started trading on the TSX senior board. CEO Aras Azadian told Benzinga, “We are thrilled to have made history as the first cannabinoid based company to list on the TSX senior board as an R&D issuer. This milestone speaks both the evolution of the industry and Avicanna's leadership position as a strictly medical company.”

Seed-to-sale compliance technology company Akerna Corp. KERN will use its MJ Platform, the first of its kind resource planning software for the industry, in partnership with Leafly. The partnership aims to allow dispensaries to provide automatic updates onto

Canadian cannabis technology and e-commerce company Namaste Technologies Inc NXTTF reported Q2 results, including consolidated revenue of CA$4million versus CA$4.1 million in the same quarter of 2018. The gross margin for the quarter was unchanged year-over-year at 21%. It ended the quarter with positive working capital of CA$63.3 million.

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. NEPT NEPT said it has completed a private placement delivering gross proceeds to the company of $41.4 million.

Cannabis extraction company Halo Labs Inc. AGEEF HALO announced its stock is joining the OTC Market Cannabis Index under the ticker symbol "OTCQXMJ."

Bhang Inc GOLDF entered a joint venture with Oceana Coffee to produce CBD and terpene-infused coffee products. Bhang will control the production of CBD coffee products under the brand “Röst,” and the terpene coffee products under the brand “Cosmic Terp.” The products are expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.  

“It is extremely important for us to find partners that share our core values and with these product lines, we wanted to ensure the quality we always strive to achieve is met and those coffee drinkers will get the unique, high-quality, artisanal brews they want at an affordable price,” said Bhang CEO and Chairman Scott Van Rixel.

Harvest One Cannabis Inc. HRVOF HVT’s wholly-owned subsidiary, United Greeneries Ltd. signed a supply agreement with 9869247 Canada Limited, also known as "Stevens Green."

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TRUL TCNNF appointed Peter T. Healy to its Board of Directors.

Homescape Pets launched Companion’s Best Day 300. Made for both cats and dogs, this full spectrum hemp extract product improves overall pet wellness while enhancing their immune system and providing ease in joint recovery.

“Homescape Pets is geared towards making all pets' lives a little better and most of all, a lot healthier. That's why we encourage pet owners to combine our complete line-up of herbal tinctures, in addition to our new CBD300 for the best results for your pet's specific needs,” explained Co-Founder Marcus Pfeifer.

The city of West Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA officially approved the Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe business license. Set to debut this September, the owner say this is the “first farm-to-table restaurant highlighting cuisine and cannabis.” Home to chef Andrea Drummer, the restaurant’s cuisine will be reflective of California flavors and feature seasonal dishes complementary to the effects of THC.

Medicine Man Technologies Inc MDCL announced that Dye Capital & Company is increasing its investment in the company from $14 million to $21 million.

Justin Dye, Dye Capital Management Partner, is stepping up to serve as Medicine Man Technologies' Chairman of the Board. Dye was a leader in Albertsons Companies as it expanded its transactions to over $40 billion.

CV Sciences, Inc. CVSI a supplier and manufacturer of hemp CBD products announced the expansion of its operations with a new production and warehouse facility. Joseph Dowling, CEO of CV Sciences said the facility and capacity expansion will allow the company to meet increased retailer and consumer demand for its products.

DionyMed Brands Inc. DYMEF said it entered a definitive agreement to acquire select assets from MM Esperanza 2 LLC and MMAC’s 1.83-acre Los Angeles cannabis campus. The acquisition will enable DionyMed to broaden its business operations in Southern California to serve the entire state, according to the company.

Earlier this month, California Cannabis Enterprises appointed Derrek Higgins as chief financial officer. CCE is one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis companies in the U.S. Higgins will report to CEO Kyle Kazan and lead the company’s financial efforts and Series A. He previously served as chief financial officer and board member of FLRish Inc., the parent company of publicly-traded Harborside Inc HSDEF HBOR.

Sonoma County, California authorities discovered and shut down an illegal cannabis operation that had more than 9,000 plants and a hash oil lab, according to NBC Bay Area.

Canadian entrepreneur Dr. Tyler Wish and National Access Cannabis Corp. NACNF announced the launch of NACBio, a cannabis intelligence-as-a-service company.

NACBio will be assembling a large database and biobank of cannabis users that integrates high-quality information about the consumer, the products they’re using, and the outcomes they experience.

PUrWell launched PurSleep, which offers a blend of holistic supplements in a night-time cannabinoid formula containing oil extracted from plants that are rich in CBD, CBN, and CBG.

OTC Market Group announced cannabis company Columbia Care Inc. CCHW COLXF will start trading on the OTCQX Best Market.

PurLife Management Group opened its sixth dispensary location in New Mexico. A company spokesperson said, “The New Mexico market is significantly under-valued compared to other medical markets in the United States. In the last year, it’s added more than 20,000 patients, which puts the total patient count at almost 75,000… This year, the New Mexico market is already on pace to exceed $115 million in sales.”

Cannabis cultivator Flower One Holdings FLOOF appointed Kellen O’Keefe as its new Chief Strategy Officer.

A venture capital investment company that seeks opportunities in the cannabis industry, Canopy Rivers RIV CNPOF released its financial report for the fourth quarter and fiscal year. The company disclosed a net loss of CA$1.83 million for the first three months ended March 31, and a net income of CA$14.59 million for the fiscal year ended March 31. It also reported a diluted loss per share of CA2 cents for the quarter and diluted earnings per share of CA11 cents for the fiscal year.

Grupo Flor launched a cannabis apprenticeship program that will provide employees with hands-on experience and management training across the entire cannabis supply chain including nursery, cultivation, oil extraction, product manufacture and assembly, wholesale distribution and retail. The program is designed to build and sustain professionalism in the cannabis industry.

“We made a commitment to the City of Salinas that we'd offer this type of program that benefits the community, and the industry as a whole,” said Gavin Kogan, Chairman of the Board of Grupo Flor. "We want to create and nurture a professional network of employees through this apprenticeship program."

Cannabis lifestyle brand The Tree Trunk Corporation announced the start of its new accessories collection created in partnership with a renowned cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF. This newly created collection includes rolling trays and special storage solutions.

British medical cannabis and wellness company EMMAC Life Sciences announced it has acquired 100% of Portuguese genetics and cultivation company Terra Verde.

Vertically integrated infrastructure and cannabis company TILT Holdings Inc SVVTFTILT said it has signed a binding term sheet for a private placement of $125 million from a group of institutional investors led by the investment firm UCP.

United Cannabis Corporation CNAB announced it has been contracted to supply a single customer with its hemp-derived CBD isolate oil for 100 weeks. The market value of the contract is from $30 to $42 million, United said.

Vireo Health VREOF VREO, one of the first medical marijuana companies to be licensed in New York, announced the launch of the state’s first same-day marijuana delivery service. Patients living in the New York City metro area, Westchester County and Nassau County will now have access to free, same-day home delivery. This is the first time that medical marijuana will be available to patients in New York via same-day delivery.

Apeks Supercritical put its 600th production extractor into service at Southern Extraction Laboratories.

“The number isn’t important, but the milestone is real example of the clear need for better, smarter technology on the extraction side of the industry to ensure production can meet the demand for a wide range of cannabis and CBD products beyond traditional flower sales which continue to decline,” said a company spokesperson.

Cannabis e-commerce platform tökr announced it has obtained super seed funding led by Merida Capital Partners’ investment of $1 million.

Harvest One Cannabis Inc. HRVOF announced it entered into a supply agreement with GenCanna Global USA through its subsidiary Satipharm Ltd.

Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. FIRE announced plans to acquire Truverra Inc in a deal valued around CA$20 million ($15.3 million).

Surterra Wellness announced the appointment of Drew Stoddard as Executive Vice President of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing. The cultivation solutions brand TriGrow is launching its own financial growth division, TriGrow Capital. The new TriGrow division aims to help operators finance growth using capital and tech resources.

Green Gorilla, a vertically integrated CBD company that manufactures and sells certified organic CBD products, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Ecobrands AS, a leading European distributor of organic and natural supplements.

Wana Brands announced the company will bring its gummie brand to California, through a licensing partnership with High Life Farms. Wana Founder and CEO Nancy Whiteman said.

Rubicon Organics completed an organic certification from the Fraser Valley Organics Producers Association. They are now the first and only cannabis company in Canada to receive its Environmental Farm Plan certification from the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture.

Compassionate Cultivation launched “Brazos,” its second Texas original cannabis strain. Brazos was created with a genetic profile suited to produce the 20:1 CBD-to-THC ratio originally stipulated by the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP).

“We will continue to develop new cultivars, and build a portfolio of safe, tested options for patients because we know that the best genetics will be the ones we develop ourselves,” said CEO Morris Denton.

Cannabis company 1933 Industries Inc. TGIFF announced it has obtained both Clark County and Nevada Department of Taxation final approvals for transferring its cultivation licenses to a new facility in Las Vegas.

Musician and founder of hemp and cannabis brand Shaboink, Post Malone announced a partnership with Icon Farms and Sherbinskis to launch Shaboink hemp pre-rolls.

Medmen Enterprises Inc's MMNFF former SVP of technology joined Acreage Holdings as Chief Information Officer.

Jim Belushi, the actor and brother of one-half of the Blues Brothers, is launching a Blues Brothers-themed cannabis brand in Illinois. AdAge reports that Belushi plans to market the brand and its Blues Brothers strain of cannabis in Chicago, the city that was home to the fictional-turned-real musical duo of the late John Belushi and actor Dan Akroyd.

More From Benzinga Cannabis

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

An ETF Industry Goliath Could Enter Cannabis ETF Competition

From Coffee To Cannabis: Colombia's Choice Between Economic Development And 'CannaMercantilism'

Symptoms Of U.S. State Medical Cannabis Markets Vary With Saturation Levels

Greenbox And The Power Of Cannabis-Dispensing Robots

Meet The Cannabis Extracts Company Giving Farmers 70% Profit On Trim

JJ O'Brien Of PAX Labs Talks Cannabis Partners, Brand Heritage, E-Cig Lessons

'No Error To Correct': Why The High Court Turned Down Alpenglow Botanicals' 280E Petition

California's Assembly Bill 97 Is The State's Latest Attempt To Curtail The Illicit Market

6 Cannabis Market Predictions That Are Already Coming True

'Algorithms Manage Everything': One Israeli Company's Mission To Make Marijuana Growing Effortless

Is The UK About To Legalize Marijuana Ahead Of The US?

'Public Opinion Has Changed So Dramatically': How Cannabis Is Shaping The 2020 Presidential Election

Cannabis: A Big Tent Where All Are Welcome

A Weed Museum Is Coming To Hollywood

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on

Events Calendar

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.

July 28: Susan S. Hwang will host the first Women Grow “Meet and Greet” in Asia on  July 28th, at Kookmin University, 77 Jeongneung-ro, Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, in Seoul, South Korea. International cannabis entrepreneurs and prospective stakeholders are invited to attend the historic event which will include a presentation on CBD, Hemp Businesses, and Practical Application. Hwang will lead the discussion alongside Women Grow CEO Dr. Chanda Macias, and National Program Director Parisa Rad.

August 1-2: CannaFarm Con will focus on the new and complex challenges that cannabis farmers face. The event assembles the entire specialty cannabis farming spectrum in one connected space that is focused on providing real solutions with proven success. Attendees will connect firsthand with cutting-edge industry leaders and forward thinkers offering tangible ideas and practical applications for all areas of cannabis agriculture. The event will take place at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego, CA.

August 15: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Detroit, Michigan! You know you can’t miss it. Go to for more information.

August 17-18: The 9th CannaGrow Expo will take place in Palm Springs, California, featuring more than 35 cultivation-focused educational sessions and an expo hall filled with cannabis-related technologies. “One thing that differentiates CannaGrow Expo from other cannabis events is the exciting educational content focused on the foundations of the cannabis industry,” says Jessi Rae, COO of CannaConnections, producers of CannaGrow, DispensaryNext and Science of Cannabis Summit.

October 11-12: CBD Expo MOUNTAIN will bring the largest CBD event platform to Denver, CO to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. The event features more than 150+ exhibitors, along with a substantial lineup of speaker presentations, panel discussions, demos and workshops from experts in the research, production, globalization, distribution and sale of CBD products. The theme for CBD Expo MOUNTAIN will focus on compliance & regulation and investments & business.

October 11–12: The first ever Budtender Awards are coming to Las Vegas, sponsored by cannabis financial technology Canna Paid and cannabis educational program Clover Leaf University. The awards aim to pay homage to the nation’s top Budtenders and the many facets of cannabis culture. The two-day event offers panel discussions, a product and service expo, a closing night performance, awards show, and after party culminating in a performance by legendary hip hop artist Cypress Hill.

October 22–23: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Chicago, Illinois! You know you can’t miss it. Go to for more information.

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 15-16: CBD Expo EAST will bring the largest CBD event platform to Orlando, FL to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. The event features more than 150+ exhibitors, along with a substantial lineup of speaker presentations, panel discussions, demos and workshops from experts in the research, production, globalization, distribution and sale of CBD products. The theme for CBD Expo EAST will focus on globalization and spa + wellness.  

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.

December 5-6: CBD Expo WEST will bring the largest CBD event platform to San Diego, CA to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. The event features more than 150+ exhibitors, along with a substantial lineup of speaker presentations, panel discussions, demos and workshops from experts in the research, production, globalization, distribution and sale of CBD products. The theme for CBD Expo WEST will focus on research and development and cannabinoid formulations.

Picture by Javier Hasse.


Meet the biggest cannabis industry players and make deals that will push the industry forward.

Featuring live company presentations, insider panels, and unmatched access to networking, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is where cannabis executives and entrepreneurs meet.

Join us September 13-14, 2022 at The Palmer House in Chicago, IL.

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