The Week In Cannabis: Stocks Outperform, Michigan Shapes Up As New Leader, Celeb Brands Get Hot

Cannabis stocks traded up in a relatively slow news week, where celebrity brands grabbed headlines.

  • Chelsea Handler launched a curated cannabis products kit in collaboration with Sweet Flower.
  • Cronos Group Inc. CRON and actress Kristen Bell partnered to launch Happy Dance, a CBD skincare brand.
  • Uncle Bud's, a hemp and CBD brand backed by Earvin "Magic" Johnson, launched in China via a partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd – ADR BABA’s Tmall.

Over the five trading days of the week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: gained 3.8%
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: was up 2.5%
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX: advanced 2.1%
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: closed the week up 1.6%
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was down 0.7%

We also saw wholesale cannabis marketplace LeafLink release its October report looking into cannabis wholesale in the U.S.

“The paper showed a 118% year-over-year (YoY) increase as measured by the company’s Gross Merchandise Value, which is the total value of merchandise sold over a certain period of time. In this case, January-September,” commented Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report.

“Michigan’s YoY GMV increased by a whopping 342% and is the strongest escalation in GMV. Michigan continues to surprise everyone with the huge numbers it is putting and since the state is still in its infancy, we can expect it to continue to become a leader in the industry.”

Canada cannabis sales also grew substantially, increasing by 94% over the year and 6% sequentially to CA$244.9 million in August.

According to Statistics Canada, the growth can be attributed to the expansion of the retail footprint across provinces, including British Columbia and especially Ontario.

Ontario sales contributed with CA$66.9 million in sales, which accounted for 11%, compared to 2-5% other major provinces contributed.

More News From The Week

Fyllo, a compliance technology platform for highly regulated industries, announced the appointment of Christie Hefner, former CEO of Playboy, to its Board of Directors.

In addition, the company appointed three new strategic advisors: Samantha Skey, CEO of SHE Media; Shane Atchison, CEO of Wunderman Thomson North America; and Joe Raaen, Director of Global Strategic Partnerships and Programmatic Data Strategy at Annalect/Omnicom Media Group.

Chad Bronstein, founder and CEO of Fyllo told Benzinga, “It’s an honor to work with respected talents like Christie, Samantha, Shane and Joe. Cannabis consumers make up one of the largest and fastest growing consumer groups in the U.S., making it an essential audience for mainstream marketers. Our team’s added expertise will be invaluable as we continue to help marketers and brands unlock growth with dynamic new audiences.”

Green Point Research acquired new hemp drying technology and equipment to boost its Florida opeations. The scale and efficiency will increase the supply chain's speed, allowing for greater scalability in the market.

“Green Point Research is committed to sustainable agricultural practices, innovation, and its Farmers First mission," said Green Point CEO David Hasenauer. "Our company’s newly-acquired dryer will allow us to dry and prep hemp to the desired moisture level and mill size to ensure maximum efficiency in extraction. This new investment will enable Florida farmers to rapidly dry more high quality hemp, ensuring they maximize profit from their hemp crop."

CropKing Inc announced it will be hosting a “Hydroponic Hemp Workshop” on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 10 a.m. EST. Instruction will cover all aspects of hemp growing, including greenhouse set up and growing basics, nutrients, photomanipulation periods, vegetative and flowering stages, harvesting, processing, pest management and more.

This virtual course will be led by Colin Clark, Horticulturist at CropKing Inc, along with other members of our horticulture and technical teams.

“At CropKing we believe strongly in education and the beneficial effect it has in the controlled environment agriculture community. We’ve worked with so many growers across the country to troubleshoot issues or correct costly mistakes that could have been easily avoided with a little upfront education or training,” said CEO Paul Brentlinger.

Helix Technologies Inc. HLIX and Medical Outcomes Research Analytics announced they would combine the companies, creating an “innovative healthcare information, analytics and technology organization.”

After the all-stock transaction is completed, MOR Analytics shareholders will own approximately 72% of the company, while Helix shareholders will own 28%.

Benzinga Cannabis’ content is now available in Spanish on El Planteo.

Regrow launched the first iteration of its software service. It aims to provide cannabis operators with a system focusing on cultivation automation and work-flow management. The first phase will be offered to a limited number of clientele to test the platform in North America before continuing with global expansion to countries that will be federally legal in the near future.

“Leveraging our experience at ServiceNow, Connectiv and other operations management SaaS companies, we built a software service that will define the category by giving cannabis operators the digital tools that Fortune 500 companies use," CEO Rob Woodbyrne told Benzinga. "We are proud to offer this service first to our early adopters and then roll it out to the entire industry."

Exclusive Brands officially launched its independently-owned home delivery service through its flagship Ann Arbor location as well as its brand new Kalamazoo retail location. The service will operate within a 20-mile radius of each location to allow customers and patients contactless access to cannabis amidst the pandemic. 

"As the cannabis industry continues to grow, it’s more important now than ever to be able to meet the needs of our patients and customers. Delivery services are just one way we plan to streamline the process, provide quality customer service, and ensure that our guests remain safe while accessing their medicine,” said Narmin Jarrous, executive vice president of business development and director of social equity.

Harborside Inc. HBOR HBORF acquired 50.1% of FGW Haight Inc.'s equity, which holds conditional right to operate a cannabis store in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco. Under the deal, the Oakland, California-based company disclosed agreed to pay roughly $2.18 million "based on a post-build-out and proforma working capital enterprise value” of $4.35 million.

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. PLTH PLNHF expanded its Las Vegas SuperStore dispensary to include new entertainment features.

Foria, a health and sexual wellness brand, enlisted Michele Harrington — the wife of Viola founder Al Harrington — as an advisor and head of strategic partnerships.

GrowGeneration Corp. GRWG bought Big Green Tomato. The Denver-based hydroponics retail chain, which serves the cannabis companies in the U.S, obtained the two-store chain, which generates approximately $16 million in revenue yearly.

The Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit focused on bringing restorative justice to those most affected by cannabis’ illegality, has joined forces with the Cannabis Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party and The Redemption Foundation to launch the Michigan Cannabis Prisoner Release Campaign.

The fund has already raised $30,000. Proceeds will be used to advocate for and secure the release and record expungement of Rudi Gammo, Michael Thompson and other nonviolent Michigan cannabis prisoners.

Meadow, a Y Combinator startup building software for California dispensaries, launched a CRM and text-messaging platform.

The Flowr Corp. (TSX.V: FLWR) FLWPF is acquiring Terrace Global Inc. TRCE. Under the deal, Flowr agreed to issue 0.4973 common shares for each Terrace Global share held. Flowr would obtain Terrace's shares at $0.22 per share.

NBA champion and cannabis entrepreneur John Salley joined The Anthos Group as the vice president of business development.

Cannabis and hemp company Jushi Holdings Inc. JUSH JUSHF is poised to raise CA$35.5 million through an overnight marketed offering.

MediPharm Labs Corp. LABS MEDIF partnered with Sunco Green Pharmaceutical Pty Ltd. to bring GMP certified cannabis products to the Australian medical cannabis market and New Zealand.

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Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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