The Week In Cannabis: A Great Week For Stocks Driven By Confusion, Aurora's Rally, New Advisors To Benzinga

The Week In Cannabis: A Great Week For Stocks Driven By Confusion, Aurora's Rally, New Advisors To Benzinga

Despite a few hiccups like Green Growth Brands Inc GGBXF filing for insolvency, this was a great week for marijuana stocks, with all major ETFs posting double-digit gains.

Over the five trading days of the week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: rose 16.6%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: advanced 19.8%.
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX: was up 24%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: gained 15.8%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the period up 3.2%.

The rally, which began Thursday morning, was spurred by an item reported by the New York Post that day, even though the information contained in the article had been out for several days. Benzinga reported on it last week.

Check out our explanation of what happened with The Coronavirus Confusion.

Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt said it "wasn't a complete surprise" that the company filed for insolvency. 

The saga could evidence a “new method of acquiring a cannabis company: lend money to a financially struggling company to the point they can't pay it back and then when they default, take over," she said. 

“It's probably a whole lot cheaper than an outright acquisition since a lot of companies overvalue themselves.”  

Find our cannabis, hemp and psychedelics news in Spanish on El Planteo.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB shares finally started to cool off after a three-session-long rally that netted the stock a gain of about 194% — mostly driven by strong earnings reported in the previous week.

Also this week, the company announced it would acquire CBD platform Reliva for $40 million in Aurora common shares, effectively entering the U.S. market.

Following the announcement, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic maintained an Overweight rating on Aurora shares and hiked the price target from CA$22 ($15.77) to CA$27 ($19.36). Needham analyst Matt McGinley has a Hold rating on the shares. Cowen analyst Vivien Azer maintained a Market Perform rating and CA$11 ($7.89) price target.

Finally, Benzinga announced the new members of its Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Council:

  • David Cohen, CEO of Fluence by OSRAM
  • David Leider, managing partner of FocusGrowth Capital
  • Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare
  • Emily Paxhia, managing director of Poseidon Asset Management
  • Jason White, CMO of Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF)
  • Jeff Wells, CEO of Metrc
  • Lauri Kibby, CFO of King's Garden
  • Morgan Paxhia, managing director of Poseidon Asset Management

The prior members were:

  • Al Harrington, 16-year NBA player, CEO and founder of Viola Brands
  • Alan Brochstein, chair of the Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Council, founder of 420 Investor and New Cannabis Ventures
  • Barrington Miller, director of client listed services at the Canadian Securities Exchange
  • Beth Stavola, CSO and director of iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc (ITHUF) (IAN)
  • Codie Sanchez, managing director of Entourage Effect Capital
  • Dave Bocchi, head of investment banking at Alliance Global Partners
  • Everett Knight, executive vice president of corporate development and capital markets at The Valens Company (VLNCF) (VLNS)
  • Javier Hasse, managing director of Benzinga Cannabis, CEO of El Planteo
  • Jim Kirsch, senior managing director of investment banking at Alliance Global Partners
  • Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve Cannabis Corp (TCNNF) (TRUL)
  • Lewis Goldberg, managing partner of KCSA Cannabis
  • Lori Ferrara, co-founder of Treehouse Global Ventures
  • Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands
  • Phil Carlson, managing director of KCSA Cannabis
  • Tahira Rehmatullah, president of T3 Ventures

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with THE cannabis movers and shakers from across the globe during Benzinga’s first Virtual Cannabis Capital Conference on June 1.

More News From The Week

Green Point Research, an international phytocannabinoid-rich biomass originator and processor based out of Fort Lauderdale, hired Robin Pate as its chief marketing officer.

Pate left her role as chief operating officer at The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. In her new role, Pate will be responsible for the strategic marketing vision for the vertically integrated industrial hemp company.

“As investors seek to support industries that provide economically advantageous opportunities rooted in sustainable environmental practices, hemp provides the optimal agricultural solution for farmers and investors alike. Green Point Research’s premium genetics, impressive business progress, and strategic foresight poise the company for strong future growth. I’m excited to work with David and the Green Point team as we work together to cultivate a better future in 2020 and beyond,” she told Benzinga.

NeonMind Biosciences Inc., a subsidiary of The Yield Growth Corp BOSS BOSQF YG announced that it has finished designing a preclinical study to confirm that psilocybin found in psychedelic mushrooms can be an effective treatment for weight loss.

NeonMind is working closely with Translational Life Sciences Inc., a contract research organization, to design the study. NeonMind had previously filed a U.S. provisional patent application in the United States for the invention relating to methods of using serotonin agonists — and psychedelic mushroom actives in particular — for weight loss.

“This is an exciting step for NeonMind. The TLS team has extensive expertise designing and conducting clinical trials using restricted substances to treat addiction. We read a lot about opioid addiction and the potential that psychedelics have to help patients overcome that — we also believe that psilocybin has massive potential to help people stop overeating and achieve healthy weight loss,” Penny White, CEO of NeonMind Bioscience and The Yield Growth Corp., told Benzinga.

High Times Holding Corp. is putting its cultivation and processing plans on hold. The company, known for publishing High Times Magazine, said its acquisition of Humboldt Heritage announced in March has been canceled.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TRUL TCNNF cut the ribbon on its latest store, marking its 50th retail location. The company also reported its first-quarter results. 

The Quincy, Florida-headquartered company, known as a vertically integrated seed-to-sale company licensed to provide medical cannabis, reported quarterly revenue of $96.1 million. That's up by 21% quarter-over-quarter and 116% year-over-year.

Cansortium CNTMF, which recently opened its 20th medical marijuana dispensary, reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 financial results as well as preliminary first-quarter 2020 results. Consolidated revenue increased 52% to $9.5 million, compared with revenue of $4.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2018.

The consolidated loss from operations totaled $5.8 million versus a loss from operations of $10.2 million for the same period of 2018.

S3 Partners analyst Ihor Dusaniwsky said Thursday that cannabis short sellers are down $641 million in the month of May, and their year-to-date profits are down to just $180.1 million.

Houseplant, the cannabis brand founded in 2019 by comedian Seth Rogen and screenwriter Evan Goldberg, confirmed Thursday the launch of a new line of THC-infused beverages.

The brand, in association with Canopy Growth Corp. CGC, announced that the line’s first product will be introduced as a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water infused with 2.5 milligrams of THC.

PurationInc. PURA announced its first-quarter financial results.

The Dallas-based company saw its revenue spike 173% year-over-year, reaching $805,000. Here's a breakdown of what the earnings report showed:

  • Pura’s gross revenue was $241,790
  • Annual revenue of $2.7 million
  • That's up by 121% compared to the $1.2 million the company generated in 2018
  • A net profit of more than $200,000

Pharmadrug Inc. BUZZ LMLLF has agreed to acquire Super Smart, a Netherlands startup geared toward psychedelics.

Trichome Financial Corp. TFC TRICF, a finance company focused on the cannabis industry, announced the purchase of James E. Wagner Cultivation Corp. (JWC) for $13 million.

TerrAscend Corp.TERTRSSF secured some $30 million in financing. The company said it plans to use funds attained from a non-brokered private placement to cover the costs of its U.S. expansion strategy, capital expenditures and working capital.

Cannabidiol brand CbdMD Inc.YCBD announced that net quarterly sales rose 67% on a year-over-year basis, reaching $9.4 million. That's according to the company's second-quarter financial report.

And Acreage Holdings Inc. ACRG ACRGF announced the sale of undeveloped real estate located in Nantucket, Rhode Island and a dispensary in Fargo, North Dakota. The deal terms were not disclosed.

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on

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Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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