The Week In Cannabis: Moves From The DEA, FDA, USDA; New York Fashion Week; And Quarterly Reports
This week, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said it will expand the number of federal licenses for the research of cannabis; the Food and Drug Administration re-opened its solicitation of public input on a potential reclassification of cannabis under international treaties; and the Department of Agriculture said legal hemp farmers will be eligible for federal crop insurance starting with the 2020 planting season.
.@DEAHQ is moving forward to facilitate and expand scientific and medical research for #marijuana by increasing the number of qualified growers for research. We’ve already increased by 40% in 2 years from 384 to 542. pic.twitter.com/Q26oggZefA
— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) August 26, 2019
A series of earnings reports from big companies including Slang Worldwide Inc (OTC:SLGWF) and TILT Holdings Inc (OTC:SVVTF) provided evidence that “the slow rollout of Massachusetts' recreational licenses has finally hit the earnings of cannabis companies who were slow to recognize the effects,” Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt told Benzinga.
“Companies like Slang Worldwide and TILT Holdings, and the multistate operators who were expecting to be able to report sales sooner rather than later. The market will eventually prove to be a good one, just a little bit later than planned.”
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In other news, we found out that a weed-themed show is hitting the runway at the New York Fashion Week, the product of a collaboration between bold fashion designer Korto Momolu —featured on the show "Project Runway" —and Women Grow, the largest networking organization for women in the cannabis and hemp industries.
"This is a HERstoric show for us. This is where cannabis meets high fashion on the runway," said Women Grow CEO Chanda Macias.
Momolu designed both athleisure and high-fashion pieces. The designer said she was excited to team with Women Grow for many reasons.
"To sum it up in one phrase: it's 'for women, by women,'" Momolu told Benzinga.
Cannabis ETFs delivered considerable losses. Over the last five trading days:
• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC:HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) lost 3.23%.
• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ) tumbled 3.11%.
• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO) was down 2.98%.
• The Cannabis ETF (NYSE:THCX) lost 3.56%.
• The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE:CNBS) fell 3.94%.
• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) closed the period up 2.67%.
More News From The Week
In other news this week, Flowhub announced three updates to its cloud platform,to continue to help thriving cannabis businesses modernize their shopping experiences, scale operations and increase revenue.
Flowhub's open API platform updates will include enhancements to The Cashier App, The Specials Engine and The Dutchie Order Ahead Integration.
"What’s so exciting about this is that we’re not only at the heart of the technology innovation that’s shaping the cannabis retail business and driving forward the future of legalization and de-stigmatization, but we’re also setting a great example on how to solve complex problems for the global retail industry writ large,” Kyle Sherman, founder and CEO of Flowhub, told Benzinga.
Medical cannabis company Cansortium Inc. (CSE:TIUM) (OTC:CNTMF) reported second-quarter consolidated revenue of $6.1 million Thursday, up 19% from the second quarter of 2018, when its pro-forma revenue reached $5.1 million.
Avicanna Inc (TSE: AVCN) announced it has expanded its exclusive collaboration with the University of Toronto’s pharmacy faculty and Dr. Christine Allen's research group for three more years, with an increased annual budget.
The expanded scope outlines several projects including pre-clinical analysis of phyto-therapeutic and pharmaceutical products; development of other pharmaceutical dosage forms including sustained release formulations; analysis of the safety, efficacy and potential synergies of cannabinoids and other therapeutic agents; and the design and development of advanced nanoparticle and microparticle-based pharmaceutical formulations comprised of cannabinoid/terpene-based therapies with a specific focus on applications in cancer, osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Avicanna also entered into a research agreement with the University of Guelph for a project to be led by Dr. Max Jones, asociate professor at the Department of Plant Agriculture, as principal investigator.
“We believe that we are still in the early stages of commercialization of the cannabinoid industry, and as a company with a long-term vision and strict involvement with wellness, medical and pharmaceutical applications, we believe research, intellectual property protection and more important advanced product offerings will be the future and therefore only collaborate with world-class teams and institutions,” Avicanna CEO Aras Azadian told Benzinga,
AG Health, a company making endocannabinoid nutrition products, has added Dale Purinton, a former New York Rangers defenseman, to the company’s roster as an athletic liaison for VEDA, the company’s ECN portfolio brand.
Purinton will help to advance VEDA’s vision to demystify the use of cannabinoids in sports and to support sports injury recovery, increase awareness and advance research, the company said.
“CBD truly gave my life back — I’m a passionate advocate of hemp-based solutions after experiencing the recovery and pain management benefits firsthand,” Purinton said.
True Leaf Brands Inc. (CSE :MJ) (OTC:TRLFF), a cannabis and hemp wellness brand for pets, reported first-quarter results Thursday that included revenue from global sales of CA$414,657 ($312,543) for the quarter and a total comprehensive loss of almost CA$2 million. True Leaf reported a basic and diluted loss per share of CA$0.02.
Tikun Hemp, the hemp-based brand from medical cannabis brand Tikun Olam, introduced two new topicals to its CBD product line.
“Our topical balm and lotion consumers have reported drastically improved muscle recovery felt within minutes, skin soothing and healing effects after a few usages,” said Abby Urnovitz, Tikun Hemp brand manager.
“We wanted to introduce topicals as another effective way consumers across the country to use CBD everyday for skin health and muscle relief."
The Tikun Hemp products are available for direct shipping to consumers throughout the U.S.
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration released the Golden State's second-quarter cannabis excise tax collections.
Implied recreational use revenues, based upon a 15% state excise tax, were $495 million.
That's an 18% quarter-over-quarter increase and 175% year-over-year increase.
GreenWave Advisors’ Matt Karnes and his team estimate this accounted for 60% of total sales: Medical marijuana cardholders not subject to state excise tax contributed an estimated $330 million for a second-quarter total of $825 million.
“While the illicit market continues to thrive and disrupt legal sales in California, which is further compounded by many unresolved local licensing issues, we believe that state's total cannabis revenues are on track to reach $3.3 billion by the end of 2019,” Karnes said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a letter to MedPharm Research informing the company it has been selected as one of the first applicants to grow federally legal cannabis.
This is the first time in 50 years that the DEA is planning to license additional facilities to provide federally legal cannabis for medical researchers.
"The news today from the DEA creates a big step forward in the right direction for cannabis patients and research. Researchers will be afforded options to have high-quality cannabis and cannabis dosage forms that can be used to target ailments and conditions in their studies," said MedPharm CEO Albert Gutierrez.
"While there is a lot of work to do to get the licenses approved and over the finish line, the research community as a whole will benefit by investigating the what, why and how behind cannabinoids, terpenes and other excipients."
The company is well-positioned to work alongside the DEA and aims to be one of the first to provide federally legal pot for medical research, the CEO said.
The company's revenue quadrupled from CA$341,000 ($256,000) in the first quarter to CA$1.35 million ($1 million )in the second.
"The key takeaways for Biome on our second-quarter results is we were able to have our licensed producer, Highland Grow, generate positive cash flow in less than two quarters of commercial operations, which is highly unusual in the Canadian market," CEO Khurram Malik told Benzinga.
"Also, you don't need large facilities to generate meaningful cash flow — I would put up our revenue per square foot results against any competitor in Canada. That being said, the ramp we are experiencing in the current quarter, when we can reflect a full quarter of receiving product from our partner LPs and partially from the impact from our latest automation integration, is when things get really interesting."
Gabriella's Kitchen Inc (OTC:GABLF) (CSE:GABY), a consumer packaged goods company operating in the regulated cannabis sector in California and the mainstream grocery channel nationally, announced second-quarter earnings Thursday that included revenue of $2.5 million versus $319,000 one year ago.
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH)'s CBD drug Epidiolex, which treats epilepsy, has been deemed too expensive by the U.K.’s National Health Service.
Epidiolex has been shown to be effective in limiting seizures in children with rare forms of epilepsy, but the U.K.’s medical advisory board has ruled that its price is cost-prohibitive for the national program.
Emerald Health Therapeutics achieved positive adjusted EBITDA of $1.9 million, up by $5.4 million from the first quarter. The company also disclosed a net loss per common share of $0.003 versus $0.043 in the previous quarter.
Green Flower Media relaunched its website. The revamped platform is orders of magnitude faster and more stable, and its new look and feel pulls its color scheme from color found by looking at cannabis flowers under a microscope.
The website also includes two new certificate programs, Medical Applications of Cannabis and Compliance & Regulations, as well as new shows and categories.
“Our revamped platform makes it easy and affordable for anyone around the globe to learn cannabis straight from the world’s top experts. Whether you want expert guidance on using cannabis for specific ailments and health conditions, growing cannabis and hemp, succeeding in the blossoming cannabis industry or enjoying the unique and passionate cannabis culture, Green Flower Membership puts you on the cutting edge of cannabis today,” Green Flower Media Founder and CEO Max Simon told Benzinga.
VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSXV:VIVO)(OTC:VVCIF) reported second-quarter net revenue of $5.3 million, five times higher than in the same quarter of 2018. The company had an adjusted EBITDA loss of $1.2 million in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $2.2 million in the prior quarter.
Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) said Thursday it signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding securities of 420 Investments Ltd., or FOUR20, via its subsidiary High Park Holdings Ltd.
FOUR20 is a Calgary, Alberta-based cannabis retail operator serving the adult-use cannabis market. The company runs six licensed retail locations and has 16 high-traffic locations in Alberta.
Compassionate Cultivation was approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety to serve its first terminal cancer patient, Charlotte, last week. The patient was given the company’s new, “balanced” formulation of its medical cannabis tincture with a 3-to-1 ratio of CBD to THC.
After the CUP expanded in June to include all forms of epilepsy and other seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spasticity, autism, terminal cancer and incurable neurodegenerative diseases, physicians have been pressing the DPS to open physician registration and begin accommodating patients.
“With the expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program, more Texans now qualify for state-regulated, low-THC medical cannabis,” said Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation. “We are prepared to bring cannabis-based medicine to patients like Charlotte [who are] suffering from these new conditions by developing a variety of formulations — all available with the active participation and oversight of a registered physician.”
Luxury hemp brand MINERAL has announced that they are selling two CBD-infused products at 17 Neiman Marcus stores nationwide and online beginning Sept. 19.
"Neiman Marcus represents quality beauty products. MINERAL makes quality beauty products, so it's a natural fit," said MINERAL founder and CEO Mills Miller.
Neiman Marcus will carry MAISON, MINERAL’s signature soothing body salve made with their proprietary Recovery cannabinoid formula and will be launching SOUSA, a nourishing body oil made from MINERAL’s cannabinoid-rich formula designed to sooth and hydrate dry and inflamed skin.
Apeks Supercritical announced the completion of the company’s new global headquarters just outside Columbus, Ohio.
Paragon Processing is now open for business. At a staggering 250,000 square feet, it is the largest hemp processing facility currently operating in the U.S.
The high-security facility, stationed on a 38-acre property, is based in Colorado, just 140 miles south of Denver.
It stores up to 50 million pounds of hemp biomass, hosts 13 dock-high loading positions and houses Superior Flow-branded proprietary equipment.
Socati Corp. announced a proprietary chromatography-based technology that enables fully customized cannabinoid profiles for manufacturers in the food and beverage and cosmetics industries. The process allows Socati to develop hemp-based ingredients that include exactly the cannabinoids that a manufacturer needs without resorting to blending isolates, creating custom formulations that address every type of consumer demand.
Socati’s first customized offerings include two cannabigerol-rich products that adhere to the same stringent standards for manufacturing quality and transparency as major companies in the CPG space: Socati CBG NDT, a high-purity broad spectrum oil; and Socati-Soluble, an advanced broad-spectrum water-soluble powder.
As with all Socati ingredients, these new products feature non-detectable levels of THC, far below industry standards.
Cannabis company Vireo Health International, Inc. (CSE:VREO) (OTC:VREOF) reported second-quarter total revenue of $7.2 million, up 70% from the same quarter in 2018. The company’s EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA were $800,000 and $2.3 million, respectively, versus $1.9 million and $2.1 million in the same quarter last year.
Vireo Health had a net loss in the second quarter of around $1.9 million versus net income of $120,080 in the same quarter of 2018.
The cannabis consumer packaged goods company Green Thumb Industries Inc. (CSE:GTII) (OTC:GTBIF) reported second-quarter revenue of $44.7 million, up 228% year-over-year, and record quarter-over-quarter growth of 60%.
The EBITDA loss was $9.4 million, while adjusted operating EBTIDA was positive and marked a gain of $5 million.
The company disclosed a net loss for the quarter of $22.2 million versus a net loss of $9.7 million in the previous quarter.
The company launched a social equity license application program dubbed "LEAP."
The program will help educate social equity applicants — as defined under the Illinois adult use law — about the cannabis business application process.
Beginning Sept. 4, GTI will host weekly office hours with its in-house license application team for private consultation and group sessions at its headquarters in Chicago.
Finally, Green Thumb entered New York via the acquisition of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals. This purchase gives the company access to one of only 10 vertically integrated licenses in the state.
Cannabis tech company TILT Holdings Inc. (OTC:SVVTF) (CSE:TILT) posted $39 million in second-quarter revenue on Wednesday, up 13% quarter-over-quarter. The company's adjusted EBITDA loss fell by 49% from $7.9 million in the first quarter to $4 million.
Ojai Energetics, the cannabis technology company that recently added journalist and New York Times bestselling book author and entrepreneur Steven Kotler to its team, is announcing a new high-profile team member.
Benzinga has learned exclusively that Tim Brown, former CEO of NESTLE S A/S ADR (OTC:NSRGY)’s Nestlé Waters North America, is joining Ojai Energetics as a business partner. Brown's experience in progressive leadership and expertise in consumer packaged goods will help the CBD company accelerate its growth in the CPG and business sectors, according to Ojai Energetics.
The gross margin counting biological assets gains was CA$4.4 million. The company reported a net loss of CA$34.9 million, compared to net income of CA$9.3 million in the prior year period.
Its operating expenses reached CA$23.5 million, while the loss from operations was CA$19 million, compared to CA$6.3 million and CA$5.5 million, respectively, in the second quarter of 2018.
One of the pioneers of West Coast hip-hop, Too $hort, is joining the cannabis industry.
The rapper, record producer and actor, famous for hit songs like “Blow the Whistle” and “The Ghetto,” has signed a deal with Green Holdings Group and White Angel Farms to launch his own line of pre-rolled joints, “TOO $HORT STIX.”
TerrAscend Corp. (CSE:TER) (OTC:TRSSF) announced Wednesday the signing of definitive agreements for a series of transactions to purchase ABI SF, LLC, which runs a Bay Area cannabis cultivation facility and owns the State Flower brand.
Vibe Bioscience Ltd. (CSE :VIBE), a vertically integrated cannabis company, reported Wednesday with second-quarter consolidated revenue of $3.1 million, up 135.7% from $1.31 million in the previous quarter.
Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTC:CURLF), one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis operators in the U.S., said Tuesday that its revenue grew substantially in the second quarter — and so did its net loss.
The company posted total revenue of $48.49 million, up by 231% on the year. Its managed revenue went up by 219% to $55.1 million. Curaleaf also reported a net loss of $24.54 million, significantly higher than $10.21 million last quarter and $4.93 million in the same period last year.
The company also sold six properties for $28.3 million this week.
Pyxus International, Inc. (NYSE:PYX) said Tuesday that it signed an agreement with Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to support and fund a research project on CBD-oriented hemp production.
Akerna Corp. (NASDAQ:KERN), a compliance technology company catering to the needs of the cannabis industry, announced Tuesday that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Isolocity.
Two Roots Brewing is stepping into mainstream retail with its line of non-alcoholic craft beers. The brewers had previously been known for offering the first non-alcoholic THC craft beverages, Cannabiniers.
The beverages will be sold at all BevMo! Stores in California.
Rob Gronkowski, three-time Super Bowl champion with the NFL’s New England Patriots, is the latest athlete to enter the CBD market. The five-time Pro Bowler has agreed to support current and future CBD items from Abacus Health Products, Inc. (CSE:ABCS).
The first dual alcohol and marijuana breathalyzer manufacturer, Hound Labs Inc., announced Tuesday the closing of a $30-million Series D financing round led by Intrinsic Capital Partners.
Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSXV:RIV) (OTC:CNPOF) released financial results for the fiscal first quarter of 2020, reporting operating income of CA$2.7 million versus CA$744,000 in the previous quarter. The company showed a net operating loss of CA$3.08 million for the quarter, versus a net operating loss of CA$6.6 million in the prior quarter.
The diluted loss per share was CA$0.02, compared to diluted loss per share of CA$0.05 in the previous quarter.
Cannabis company iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc (CSE :IAN) (OTC:ITHUF) reported fiscal second-quarter total pro forma revenue of $25 million, up 35% from one quarter earlier.
It also disclosed second-quarter reported revenues of $19.2 million, up by 100% from $9.6 million in the previous quarter.
Integrated Cannabis Company Inc. (OTC:ICNAF) (CSE:ICAN), a multistate cannabis brand operator in California and Nevada, has entered into a statewide exclusive distribution partnership with Nabis, one of California’s biggest Type 11 cannabis distributors.
Cannabis company James E. Wagner Cultivation Corporation (TSX :JWCA) (OTC:JWCAF) released interim third-quarter results Monday, reporting record revenue of CA$749,000 ($564,820), up 32% from CA$566,000 in the prior quarter.
The company's net loss and comprehensive loss dropped 87% from the second quarter and 91% year-over-year to CA$434,000.
Agricultural biotechnology company Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:RKDA) announced Monday that it has signed a binding term sheet agreement with Arista Cereal Technologies and Bay State Milling Company for the commercialization of its high-fiber wheat.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC:MJNA) said Monday its subsidiary HempMeds has launched the Hemp for Pets pet CBD product line, celebrating National Dog Day.
The cannabis e-commerce company Namaste Technologies Inc. (OTC:NXTTF) announced Monday that it has named Meni Morim as its permanent CEO and appointed him to the company’s board of directors.
The company said in the report that the 17% quarter-over-quarter increase is mainly thanks to its wholesale revenue streams in Oregon and flower sales from its Canadian operations.
Sublime closed a $20-million capital raise and said it's all-in with cannabis-infused ice pops.
While other companies were looking at sparkling or flavored water, Sublime said it saw an opportunity to “take the vacuum in the marketplace” when California outlawed frozen confections.
Plus Products Inc. (CSE:PLUS) (OTC:PLPRF) released its unaudited financial and operational results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019. Revenues climbed to $3.6 million in the second quarter of 2019, representing a% year-over-year growth over second-quarter 2018 revenues of $1.6 million.
More From Benzinga Cannabis
The following are some of the most interesting cannabis-related stories from this week.
Check out these and many other cannabis stories on Benzinga.com/cannabis
Sept. 5-6: the Cannabis Science Conference is returning to Portland, Oregon. This year, “Amazon” John Easterling and special guest Olivia Newton-John will deliver a joint-celebrity plenary address entitled “Plant Medicine – A Personal Healing Journey.”
This year’s conference covers a wide selection of topics, including genomics, informatics, medical cannabis, testing and hemp science. It brings together a diverse group of people including laboratory personnel, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, patients, plant experts, and scientists.
Sept. 6-7: The Southern Hemp Expo (SHE) will welcome more than 5,000 hemp industry experts and enthusiasts in Tennessee, an epicenter for the exploding hemp market. The two-day conference and exposition is open to entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, manufacturers, producers, agriculturalists and consumers interested in products made from hemp, CBD and full-spectrum hemp extract.
This year’s SHE event features a business conference, farm symposium and industry day with a business-to-business expo hall on Friday, Sept. 6.
The general public is then invited to attend on Saturday, Sept. 7, with nearly 150 exhibitors, workshops and demonstrations.
Sept. 6-8: HTBX International announced the first public cannabis consumption event set to take place in Denver. Dubbed The HTBX Solution, the event will debut HTBX’s newly licensed portable consumption space and will mark the first time the public will be legally permitted to publicly consume cannabis at an event. The HTBX unit will be accessible to adults 21 and older for cannabis consumption during the event, and patrons must supply and consume their own cannabis.
Sept. 12: iCAN Connect, an Israeli cannabis investor symposium, will take place at the Green Fig Restaurant in New York City, providing investors the opportunity to learn about the highly innovative Israeli cannabis industry, meet executives and researchers and evaluate investment opportunities.
Organized by the group behind the CannaTech series of global cannabis conferences, iCAN Connect is designed for qualified individual and institutional investors or their representatives looking for international medical or recreational cannabis investment opportunities.
Sept. 26-29: Canex Jamaica returns with an impressive roster including yours truly and many other high-level speakers including Bruce Linton, Steve DeAngelo, Vicente Fox, Cam Battley, Michael Miller, Tahira Rehmatullah, Emily Paxhia, Adam Levin, Douglas Gordon, Dr. Sandra Carillo, Jessica Steinberg, John Kagia, John Salley and Robert Hoban, among others.
Oct. 4-6: Argentina will hold its first big cannabis conference, Expo Cannabis at the La Rural event hall in Buenos Aires. The event arrives at a key moment in the country’s regulatory history and the development of a nascent legal industry.
October 11-12: CBD Expo MOUNTAIN will bring the largest CBD event platform to Denver 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 themes of CBD Expo MOUNTAIN are compliance and regulation and investments and business.
Oct. 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 with a performance by hip hop artist Cypress Hill.
Oct. 22-23: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Chicago, Illinois! You know you can’t miss it. Go to https://www.benzingacannabisconference.com/ for more information.
Oct. 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. The RAD Expo will feature presentations from industry veterans on 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.
Nov. 15-16: CBD Expo EAST will bring the largest CBD event platform to Orlando, Florida to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry.
The themes for CBD Expo EAST are globalization and spa + wellness.
Nov. 19-21: The Medcann World Forum 2019 will be held in the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta. The three days will focus on six pillars: medical, business, research , legislation, regulation and fintech.
The event will host Malta’s top policymakers, international regulatory experts and global business leaders.
Dec. 5-6: CBD Expo WEST will bring the largest CBD event platform to San Diego to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry.
The themes for CBD Expo WEST are research and development and cannabinoid formulations.
Picture by Javier Hasse.
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