The Week In Cannabis: Coronavirus Concerns, Moves In UK And Mexico, Tilray Earnings, Canopy Growth Cuts

To get into the feel of the new week, here are the top cannabis news from the last seven days.

Illinois said it sold roughly $35 million in legal cannabis over the month of February, its second month of adult use sales. This compared to $40 million in January.

The U.K. relaxed its rules for the import of medical marijuana and derivate products, promising “[p]atients prescribed cannabis-based medicines will be able to get their treatment in days rather than months.”

In Mexico, three Senate commissions passed a bill to legalize cannabis for all of its uses in a coordinated effort. The legislation will now be subject to vote in the full Senate. If approved it will move to the last instance: the lower legislative chamber.

The World Health Organization, which supposed to hold a vote on cannabis scheduling, decided to postpone the decision until December. Alfredo Pascual of MJBizDaily, who keeps a close eye on all international developments, explained “The delay underscores the difficulty in reaching agreements on cannabis policy on a level that transcends national borders.” In his view, “Given the current level of disagreement, postponing the vote was the best outcome for the recommendations to stand any chance of approval.”

Back in the U.S., South by Southwest, which was offering a cannabusiness track again this year, was cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19.

"While the corona virus has had an impact on the cannabis industry with some conferences choosing to cancel, it seems the vape industry is back online," Debra Borchard, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. "TILT Holdings said its Chinese manufacturers are sending employees back to work. Production was certainly slowed or completely halted, but the added bonus was that excess vape inventory was worked down."

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In the markets front, there was a plethora of news from Canopy Growth Corp CGC, which announced an agreement with UNIVO Pharmaceuticals UNVO where the latter will import Canopy medical cannabis, and use it to manufacture its own products. During the second stage of the agreement, Canopy will obtain the right to sign an agreement with Univo as manufacturer and distributor of medical cannabis products in the European Union.

BioSteel, a company that’s majority-owned by Canopy, announced it started selling its new line of BioSteel CBD for Sport products at all Vitamin Shoppe locations across the U.S. And Houseplant, the Canadian cannabis company co-founded by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, in partnership with Canopy, officially launched in the Alberta market in Canada.

On the other hand, the Canadian behemoth came out with news about the closing of its facilities in Aldergrove and Delta, British Columbia. This move resulted in the termination of around 500 employees, the company said, adding it has also dropped its plan to open a third greenhouse online in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Interestingly enough, analysts backed the move.

Field Trip Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of Field Trip Psychedelics, a mental wellness company focused on psychedelics and psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy, debuted its first medical center in Toronto on Wednesday. The center will be dedicated exclusively to the administration of psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy. The clinic intends to provide an alternative to people seeking mental health treatment, in a context where many finde current pharmacologic options (like antidepressants) pretty ineffective.

Neuro-pharmaceutical company Mind Medicine Inc. MMEDFMMED made its public market debut on the Canadian NEO Exchange, under the symbol "MMED.” The exchange's approval of MindMed makes it the first psychedelic company to be publicly listed, according to NEO's press release.

Investors, executives and thought leaders recently converged at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach resort to network and exchange visions for the cannabis industry during the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. NBC’s "Today Show" visited the conference as part of a feature on rising cannabis use among baby boomers — specifically women and older, more educated, higher-income Americans.

All major ETFs, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF HMMJ, the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ, the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO, the Cannabis ETF THCX, and the Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS, were all down, along with the markets.

More News From The Week

Seeking to address the confusion around terpenes the American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH), Boveda, and other industry organizations created an alliance called was founded to help people understand the many benefits of terpenes and the importance of preserving them. To support this mission, is creating educational content for consumers and programs for cannabis companies to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the quality and integrity of their products.

Even as the cannabis industry becomes increasingly destigmatized, terpenes are not well understood," Sean Knutsen, President and CEO of Boveda, told Benzinga. "Terpenes are critical to the experience and efficacy of cannabis, and we want everyone to understand the value of protecting them from damage and evaporation. Boveda founded to empower consumers to make informed choices about the quality of their flower.”

Curaleaf Holdings Inc CURLF released its Ground Flower Pod Refills in New York. The refills allow the Ground Flower Pods, or vape devices, to be filled with the amount of cannabis needed without consuming the whole pod through a single vaporization. Each of Curaleaf’s Ground Flower Refills contain 3.5g of premium cured cannabis and 700mg of major cannabinoids in the THC:CBD ratio of 20:1.

“Curaleaf is excited to continue to bring medical cannabis flower products, the most affordable form of cannabis, to our patients in New York," said Olga Krueger, President of Curaleaf New York. "Offering patients more diverse and affordable products and professional, compassionate guidance is the best way to encourage participation in the regulated, legal market for medical cannabis.”

The company also sait it will purchase BlueKudu, a manufacturer of cannabis chocolates and gummies in Colorado.

Cresco Labs Inc. CRLBF CL President Joe Caltabiano resigned from his spot. Caltabiano’s duties will be handed over to CEO and co-founder Charlie Bachtell and other members of the company’s leadership team, according to Cresco.

Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd TGODF announced an educational program that will help Canadians and budtenders get the information they need when shopping for cannabis products.

“Launching this Organic Certification initiative that clearly and reliably communicates our differentiated offer of clean products through our certified organic cannabis creates a great opportunity for TGOD," said Drew Campbell, Vice President of Marketing at TGOD. "Further to that, working with a group like FUSE that can scale a program from coast to coast ensures that budtenders receive a consistent message everywhere. Budtenders are thirsty for information and being able to tell our remarkable, unique story of certified organic growing while giving them more tools to engage/educate their growing volume of Canadian consumers is a win:win:win.”   

Front Range Biosciences, an agricultural technology company that specializes in tissue culture propagation and breeding of high-value crops, launched hemp and coffee plant cell cultures to space from the Kennedy Space Center. FRB partnered with SpaceCells USA Inc. and BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado Boulder to examine the effects of zero gravity on plant gene expressions.

The 480 tissue cultures — stored in space-made Plate Habitats (PHabs) — will take off via the SpaceX CRS-20 cargo flight and will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS). After a 31 day incubation and observation period, the PHabs will be transferred to the SpaceX Dragon capsule to return to Earth for further evaluation. 

Tilray, Inc. TLRY reported fourth-quarter losses at $2.14 per share, which does not compare to the 35-cent loss estimate. The company saw sales $46.936 million, missing analyst estimates of $55.92 million. Tilray also reported fourth-quarter total cannabis kilogram equivalents sold 15.039K kg and adjusted EBITDA loss of $35.3 million. Shares traded down following the results.

PharmaCielo Ltd PCLOF plunged after short seller Hindenburg Research released a report alleging PharmaCielo is far from a legitimate business, calling it a “self-enrichment” scheme.

"We believe PharmaCielo is nothing more than the latest self-enrichment scheme drummed up by its co-founder Anthony Wile, who had been charged by the SEC over allegations of securities fraud, stock promotion and market manipulation in the past,” Hindenburg said.

The company described the report as containing "numerous false and misleading statements" and said it's libelous.

“I would encourage all of our shareholders to exercise caution in relying on the blatant misrepresentations contained within the short seller report in question. This report was written with the express intention of manipulating market opinion, to reward a select group of short sellers at the expense of all honest market participants,” CEO David Attard said in the statement.

Cronos Group Inc. CRON CRON submitted a Form 12b-25 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to postpone the date of filing its annual report.

MPX International Corporation MPXOF MPXI released first-quarter financial results, with net revenue of CA$616,309 ($460,869) versus revenue of CA$256,572 in the same period in the prior year.

Organigram Holdings Inc. OGI OGI hired current CFO Paolo De Luca as its chief strategy officer, and Derrick West, a member of the company's board of directors, as CFO.

YVY Life Sciences, a cannabis wellness company based in Uruguay, announced a oversubscribed $1.5 million seed round led by Facundo Garreton, who joins the team as a strategic partner. The round includes smaller investments from a number of strategic advisors, and leaders from other industries such as technology, pharma, wellness and food and beverages.

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

April 17-18: The 10th CannaGrow Expo, the ultimate event dedicated to the art and science of growing cannabis, is coming to Chicago, Illinois, featuring more than 25 cultivation-focused educational sessions led by world-class growers over two action-packed days, endless networking with cultivators from around the globe, and a 115+ vendor expo hall packed with the latest tools and technology for growing and extracting cannabis.

“A big difference between CannaGrow Expo and other industry events is our focus on quality in-depth education for cannabis producers. Many conferences review industry basics or pitch products and services, but CannaGrow provides education that supports the leading growers, breeders, and manufacturers,” says Jessi Rae, COO of CannaConnections, producers of CannaGrow, DispensaryNext and Science of Cannabis Summit.

May 1-3: The CBD Show returns to the UK with 3 full days of content, more than 50 speakers, specialized workshops, and 100+ exhibitors from around the globe. Hosted at London Olympia, days one and two of the event are dedicated to the business side of things. Day 3 is open for the public sector to explore the latest offerings on the CBD market. Register for your tickets here.

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.


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