The Week In Cannabis: Drake And Tony Hawk Get In The Weeds, Linton Joins Vireo, And A Myriad Of Earnings

What a week!

Drake and Canopy Growth Corporation WEED CGC partner up to launch a new cannabis company, More Life Growth Company.

Tony Hawk release his own line of CBD recovery creams, Birdhouse CBD Balm, by Canna Hemp. He said he’s “excited to be a part of this new movement that is becoming more recognized as a healthy alternative to recovering from the aches and pains that we regularly incur in the action sports world.”

Bruce Linton join Vireo Health International Inc VREOF as its new executive chairman. Check out Benzinga’s exclusive chat with Linton.

Columbia Care Inc CCHWF enter into an agreement to acquire Colorado-based vertically integrated cannabis operator The Green Solution in a transaction valued at $140 million.

Pharma giant Perrigo PRGO partnered with Witi, a producer of medical-grade vaporization devices to create a new smoking cessation product.

DionyMed Brands Inc. DYME went into receivership after failing to restructure its debt or find a strategic buyer to purchase its assets.

MediPharm Labs Corp. LABS MEDIF applied to list on the NASDAQ Stock Market.

NatGeo’s Jason Silva launched a podcast in partnership with cannabis brand Flow Kana.

CBD-dispensing robots from greenbox Robotics popped up at select 7-Eleven stores in Colorado.

CannaCraft got a new CEO, Jim Hourigan.

Several companies, including GW Pharmaceuticals PLC GWPH, Greenlane Holdings, Inc. GNLN, Pyxus International, Inc. PYX, KushCo Holdings, Inc. KSHB, Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.RKDA, and Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. IIPR report earnings. See all earnings-related news here.

“Earnings season is well underway, but even good numbers for GW Pharmaceuticals couldn't keep the sellers at bay,” Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. “It seems only Innovative Industrial Properties was the only cannabis company that saw its stock rise on earnings. REITs are very risk-averse and this market has no appetite for risk.”

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On the policy front, seven Michigan cities voted for strong restrictions to their adult use cannabis programs, while the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) released regulations that will allow for streamlined reporting for cannabis cultivators. The new reporting requirements include a benchmarking feature that will also enable Commonwealth cultivators to measure and compare their energy and water efficiency performance to other operations, thus becoming empowered to drive down costs. 

"Massachusetts’ regulations were designed to make cannabis cultivators more efficient, which will help them become more competitive,” said Derek Smith, Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute. “Massachusetts’ leadership is paving the way for other states, such as Illinois and California, that are also working on state-specific cultivation energy policies.”

Cannabis ETFs delivered decent gains. Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF HMMJ rose 2.14%

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ gained 0.2%

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO was up 2.77%

• The Cannabis ETF THCX advanced 1.84%

• The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS rose by 1.49%

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the period up 0.92%

More News From The Week

PLUS Products PLUS PLPRF announced the addition of Jill Braff, President of Brit + Co, to the its Board of Directors. Braff brings decades of experience in marketing and e-commerce as a senior executive at a number of companies.

The Global Cannabis Partnership announced the appointment of a new Executive Director, Sheona Hurd. Hurd brings extensive experience in helping to transform a highly regulated industry into one recognized for its social responsibility and acceptability through her leadership role as Executive Director with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). 

“Sheona is a passionate leader who brings more than 15 years of experience to the Executive Director role,” said Lara Wood, Board Chair, Global Cannabis Partnership and General Manager, Cannabis NB. “Her skills gained while leading policy and strategy development for Ontario’s Responsible Gaming program will directly transfer as she oversees our certification process for the Responsible Cannabis Framework to be rolled out in 2020.”

Emerald Organic Products and Amarantus Bioscience Holdings announced a principal agreement for the exclusive, worldwide license of several cutting-edge treatments, including Phase 3-ready therapies for ADHD and skin regeneration. Emerald Organic EMOR will license the therapeutic portfolio from Amarantus AMBS in exchange for Emerald preferred stock and on-going, sales-based royalties. The preferred stock will convert into 50 million shares of common stock on April 30, 2022, with a non-stock, accelerated royalty based on sales if the common shares are below $100 million at the time of conversion.

“Emerald believes in the powerful healing ability of the body and has smartly invested in products and companies that have life-changing potential,” said Ian Parker, CEO of Emerald Organic Products. “Amarantus’ revolutionary therapies do exactly that – bringing hope and relief to long-suffering victims. Together, we see this acquisition as the first step toward combining consumer cannabis-based products and FDA-regulated drugs to improve outcomes for patients.”

Multi-state operator Harvest Health & Recreation HARVF announced the next phase of its planned buyout of Verano Holdings, LLC. The acquisition announced earlier this year is moving forward. The certification of substantial compliance triggers the start of a 30-day waiting period during which Harvest and Verano will continue to work constructively with the DOJ to complete the investigation. The acquisition is expected to close in December.  

“Harvest and Verano share a passion for bringing quality, operating excellence and products to expand consumer and patient access to cannabis,” said Harvest CEO Steve White. “The acquisition process requires many steps to uphold that commitment and we are thrilled to take another step closer toward it.”

Goldenseed, a California lifestyle cannabis and hemp brand, announced the acquisition of a plant processing facility in Monterey County, Hilltop. The Hilltop facility contains approximately 170,000 square feet of greenhouse space and about 80,000 square feet of climate-controlled curing and warehouse space., Goldenseed plans to process hemp at Hilltop and to sell on a wholesale and retail basis—including seeds, clones, biomass, smoke-able flower, full-spectrum crude oil and terpenes.

“The exceptional facility at Hilltop has the potential to keep Goldenseed at the forefront of the cannabis and hemp industries, and we’re excited to be a part of the innovation,” said Scott Goldie chief operating officer at Goldenseed. “We look forward to establishing our presence in the hemp world and expanding our line of top-quality products.”

Biome Grow Inc BIO BIOIF announced that PEI Cannabis approved the sale of cannabis products supplied by Biome's subsidiary Highland Grow. Highland Grow's products will now be available in four PEI Cannabis locations, as well as its e-commerce platform, making them available in all four provinces in Atlantic Canada.

HempFusion announced expanded distribution in the U.S., making their family of brands sold in over 3,900 retailers across 47 states. They expanded brick and mortar distribution to over 500 new stores and their retail footprint includes three major retailers: The Vitamin Shoppe, Sprout Farmers Market, and ShopRite.

Pennsylvania MMJ company and dispensary Ilera Healthcare will launch its FREEDOM formulation on Nov. 15 with a free screening of the award-winning documentary Unprescribed, followed by a Q&A panel featuring filmmaker and Air Force veteran Steve Ellmore, Ilera’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Oludare Odumosu, and veterans and mental health advocates.

Unprescribed explores medical marijuana as an alternative to the plethora of pills dolled out to veterans struggling with combat-related trauma including PTSD, anxiety and depression. FREEDOM was developed through input from veterans, including Ilera employee and U.S. Army vet and advocate Christian Ryan, who found relief through MMJ for his own struggle with PTSD.

Sweet Flower will open a brand new location in the Los Angeles Arts District at 614 Mateo St. Los Angeles, CA 90021 on Nov. 21. In addition to its licensed operations in the City of Los Angeles, Sweet Flower is a successful applicant for licenses in both Pasadena and Culver City.

"Sweet Flower is very pleased to further expand to the Downtown Arts District, an area flourishing with innovation, collaboration and creativity, which matches our key brand values," said CEO and Founder Timothy Dodd. "We look forward to becoming a mainstay for the local dynamic community and introducing Sweet Flower to the growing number of visitors exploring the thriving neighborhood as we set up a retail, distribution and manufacturing hub there."

CTA (Consumer Tech Association) named cannabis tech start-up KEEP Labs a 2020 CES Innovation Honoree, on the back of its product, KEEP, a smart storage device designed to discreetly keep cannabis secure at home.

KEEP is the first cannabis-adjacent product to ever be recognized at these prestigious awards.

"We are honored by this award," said Philip Wilkins, Co-Founder KEEP Labs, "To be included at one of the most influential and mainstream tech events in the world demonstrates the shift that is happening around the perception of cannabis and we are proud to represent the future of cannabis technology."

Flower One and Cookies, one of the world’s most well-recognized cannabis brands announced a partnership to introduce the Cookies brand in Nevada by early 2020. The launch will include several of the Cookies portfolio brands including but not limited to Lemonade, Grandiflora, and Runtz featuring all of the legendary Cookies genetics.

“Cookies is one of the strongest and most authentic brands in cannabis and a perfect brand partner for Flower One. We can’t wait to introduce their award-winning products to state of Nevada. Both the Flower One and Cookies teams have worked hard to make this possible and we are excited to join forces,” said Kellen O'Keefe, Chief Strategy Officer at Flower One.

WeedWeek launched four new publications offering exclusive intelligence for cannabis industry leaders in Florida, Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania. WeedWeek’s Insider’s Guide goes beyond the data to feature original reporting and analysis tailored to the needs of cannabis industry decision makers.

Each report is written by a journalist with local and/or industry knowledge and all reports feature exclusive interviews with lawmakers, entrepreneurs, lobbyists and other insiders. WeedWeek's Insider's Guide are edited by Alex Halperin, WeedWeek’s Founder and editor.

Halperin told Benzinga, “Cannabis entrepreneurs see enormous opportunity Florida, Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania… The cannabis industry’s most influential figures always need effective resources. WeedWeek’s Insider’s Guide arms them with the intelligence they need in order to make smart and profitable business decisions.”

TILT Holdings Inc. TILT TLLTF announced it has closed a private placement of up to $35 million of senior secured notes from a syndicate consisting of existing shareholders and new investors. Mark Scatterday, the Company’s Interim CEO, and other insiders participated in the financing.

“We have lowered the amount raised from our previous announcement and improved the terms resulting in a significantly less dilutive financing for the company. In a market where raising capital is challenging, this financing and these terms showcase our recent performance as a business and the support we have from our core shareholder base,” said Mark Scatterday.

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on

Events Calendar

Nov. 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.

Nov. 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.

Nov. 20: CannaGather is hosting its monthly educational and networking event in New York City. This month's topic discusses the vaping industry in regards to cannabis. The guest speaker will be Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, CEO and co-founder of The Blinc Group, and chair of the ISO Vapor Product Standards Committee. The event will begin with networking. Then it will move to the auditorium, where Josh Weinstein, the founder of CannaGather, will interview Arnaud.

Nov. 24–26: A healthy legal African cannabis market could become a main source of bulk medicinal cannabis and cannabis-derived products on a global scale. Hundreds of local and international industry stakeholders will convene in South Africa at CannaTech Cape Town, to take a deep dive into the emerging industry throughout the continent.

Nov. 28: The CanEx Investment Summit will take place at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in downtown Toronto, and will provide a high level look at the investment, operational and regulatory environment in the Caribbean and most specifically in Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The event will feature high level Government participation with Hon. Audley Shaw (Minister of Agriculture from Jamaica) and the Hon. Saboto Caesar (Minister of Agriculture from St. Vincent and the Grenadines) confirmed to attend. CanEx Founder, Douglas Gordon had this to say about the event, “This Summit will provide valuable and high level insight into the markets and opportunities in the Caribbean.  We will have a very knowledgeable and experienced set of individuals offering unique and compelling insights into how the market has evolved, where it sits at the moment and the growth prospects.  The future looks very bright for the Caribbean in this industry and we are delighted to use this platform to allow greater insight and promote tighter collaboration, while highlighting some of the investment opportunities that presently exist.”

Picture by Javier Hasse.


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