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The Week In Cannabis: New York, New Mexico, YouTube, KushCo, Greenlane And More

April 2, 2021 4:10 pm
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The Week In Cannabis: New York, New Mexico, YouTube, KushCo, Greenlane And More

A shortened week came with no shortage of news.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed recreational marijuana into law on Wednesday, making the Empire State the 15th in the U.S. to legalize cannabis.

The legislation allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of marijuana concentrates and to buy recreational cannabis from licensed retailers. The bill also permits the cultivation of up to three mature and three immature plants for personal use.

New Yorkers will be allowed to smoke marijuana publicly wherever tobacco is allowed.

On Friday, the New York State Office of Cannabis Management launched its website.

Stocks jumped following the news. Over the four trading days of this week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ): gained 1.6%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO): advanced 3.15%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (NYSE:MSOS): rose 1%.
  • The Cannabis ETF (NYSE:THCX): was up 2.3%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE:CNBS): gained 3.3%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) was up 1.7%.

Companies currently operating in the New York medical cannabis market were also spiking. Among the companies doing business in the state are Columbia Care Inc. (OTCQX:CCHWF), Curaleaf Hldgs Inc. (OTCQX:CURLF), MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTCQX:MMNFF), Acreage Holdings Inc (OTCQX:ACRHF) and Vireo Health International Inc. (OTCQX:VREOF).

The other big news item of the week was the merger of KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX:KSHB) and Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNLN).

Under the agreement, KushCo will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenlane. Following the completion of the transaction, KushCo shareholders should end up holding around 49.9% of the combined company, and Greenlane shareholders the remaining 50.1%.

If all goes according to plan, KushCo’s co-founder, chairman and CEO, Nick Kovacevich will become CEO of the joint company. Greenlane’s Bill Mote will be appointed as CFO, while its co-founder Aaron LoCascio will become president.

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

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) updated its policies, easing restrictions on cannabis, “recreational drugs and drug-related content.”

Starting in April, the platform will allow users to monetize material that “focuses on the purchase, manufacture or distribution of drugs.” With these changes, marijuana-related advertisers or brands could advertise on YouTube videos.

However, this relaxation of the rules does not mean that anything can be monetized. The new rules apply only to information presented in an objective, informative, educational and "non-glorified" manner.

Policy Moves

The Canada Border Services Agency started issuing fines for travelers found crossing the border with undeclared cannabis products.

The New Mexico House and Senate voted Thursday for two separate cannabis-related measures. One measure proposes the legalization of cannabis possession, manufacturing, and sales, while the other aims to establish automatic expungement of records for low-level cannabis offenses.

Now, both measures await action from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is known for her open support of the reforms.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam placed his signature on House Bill 1862 turning it into law. The new law, which takes effect July 1, protects the employment rights of state-registered medical cannabis patients.

Earnings Reports

Namaste Technologies Inc. (TSXV:N) (OTCQB:NXTTF) reported it has generated CA$8 million ($6.79 million) in gross revenue over the last three months of 2020, representing a year-over-year increase of 100%.

Clever Leaves Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:CLVR) reported its fourth-quarter revenue increased 28% year-over-year to $3.3 million.

Greenlane Holdings (NASDAQ:GNLN) announced its fourth quarter and full-year 2020 earnings, with full-year revenue of $138.3 million, compared to $185.0 million in 2019.

Schwazze, previously known as Medicine Man Technologies Inc. (OTCQX:SHWZ), posted its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results, with full-year revenue of $24.0 million, up by 94% from $12.4 million in 2019.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (CSE:HARV) (OTCQX:HRVSF) revealed Tuesday afternoon its total revenue spiked 98%, reaching $231.5 million in 2020.

MediPharm Labs Corp. (TSX:LABS) (OTCQX:MEDIF) (FSE:MLZ) generated C$6.1 million ($4.85 million) in the fourth quarter of 2020, up by 22% sequentially.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (CSE:IAN) (OTCPK: ITHUF) reported its revenue went up by 93.5% year-over-year to $151.7 million in 2020. Fourth-quarter revenue amounted to $46 million.

Zenabis Global Inc. (TSX:ZENA) (OTC:ZBISF) released its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results with full-year revenue of $59.3 million.

Acquired Sales Corp. (OTCQX:AQSP), owner of Lifted Made, announced quarter-over-quarter revenue growth of 46% (up $687,081) and a 473% increase in net income (up $453,708) during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Find all the details on these and other earnings reports on Benzinga Cannabis’ Earnings Center.

Financings And M&A

Verano Holdings Corp. (OTC:VRNOF) agreed to purchase all of the issued and outstanding equity interests of Pennsylvania-based The Healing Center, LLC for $110.3 million.

Parallel agreed to acquire Windy City, an Illinois-based medical and adult use cannabis retail brand for $100 million in cash and stock.

Ayr Wellness Inc. (CSE:AYR) (OTCQX:AYRWF) is acquiring GSD NJ, doing business as Garden State Dispensary, for $101 million.

GTEC Holdings Ltd (TSXV:GTEC) (OTCQB:GGTTF), doing business as GTEC Cannabis Co., completed a bought deal public offering co-led by Desjardins Capital Markets and Eight Capital, raising C$23 million ($18.2 million).  

Ayr Wellness Inc. (CSE:AYR) (OTCQX:AYRWF) completed the acquisition of Ohio-based Parma Wellness Center LLC in a $17 million cash deal.

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED) (NASDAQ:CGC) acquired AV Cannabis Inc.

BLAZE, a cannabis ERP and POS platform, finalized a Series A Funding round to the tune of $8 million with returning investor Act One Ventures, leading investor Delta Emerald Ventures, and new investor SOJE Capital. BLAZE will be using this investment to expand into new emerging medical and adult-use cannabis markets, continue development on their software product line, and bolster sales and marketing efforts.

“We are incredibly excited to take BLAZE to the next level. The new round of funding will enable us to continue our pace of innovation as well as enter into new states with legal cannabis markets. With this investment, we feel perfectly positioned to help new and established cannabis businesses scale with market demand,” CEO Chris Violas told Benzinga.

Other News

Cannabis-focused talent platform Vangst added an executive talent search service to its offering. To spearhead this initiative, 20-year veteran headhunter Jennifer Bedford will join the company as vice president of executive talent.

The Food Network, a Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) channel, is cooking something special for this year’s international counterculture holiday: a new series called “Chopped 420.”

This is a spin-off of the famous "Chopped" series where four chefs compete on preparing an appetizer, main course and dessert, while using only the ingredients found in prepared picnic baskets.

American rapper, singer, producer, and songwriter, Russell James Vitale, better known as Russ teamed up with cannabis operator Wonderbrett on a new line, CHOMP, named after the rapper's latest EP.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (TSXV:XLY) (OTCQX:CBWTF) is listing its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Avicanna Inc. (TSX:AVCN) (OTCQX:AVCNF) announced the Colombian government allowed it to cultivate and process up to 10,267 kg dry flower for exports under a 2021 quota. The company also exported a total of 20.75 kilograms of high-THC and high-CBD full-spectrum psychoactive cannabis resin, branded as Aureus, under a deal with a homeopathic and naturopathic pharmaceutical company in Chile.

Simplifya will be launching a new compliance-centered payments platform for the cannabis industry. In conjunction with payments industry veteran Jeff Katz (founder of Mercury Payment Solutions), Simplifya has been granted exclusivity to bring the mainstream technology platform, which powers leading mobile wallet and mobile ordering/e-commerce sites for leading QSR brands, to the cannabis industry.

 “We’re proud and excited to be able to bring access to this technology to our cannabis industry partners,” Simplifya CEO Marion Mariathasan told Benzinga. “Until now, dispensaries and retailers haven't been able to capitalize on the same types of marketing and loyalty app technologies that power the online shopping experiences consumers have come to expect…because those tech companies have been hesitant to enter the cannabis industry. Some incredibly smart tech companies are serving the industry, but we are confident that this new offering will change the playing field.” 

Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX:OGI) (NASDAQ:OGI) launched two new recreational product lines, dubbed Indi and Edison Cannabis Co.

HempMeds, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC:MJNA), announced that X Games world-record-holding skateboarder Italo Penarrubia will become the company's newest brand ambassador.

Penarrubia commented, “After using HempMeds products for many years to help with recovery, I now want to help bridge the knowledge gap for athletes around the world who could benefit from using CBD but are unsure or afraid to try it.”

The Georgia Cannabis Trade Association launched to unify cannabis businesses in Georgia's upcoming limited medical market. They will engage in education for members, lawmakers, regulators, and public officials; host networking events; and engage in political lobbying for bills that represent the best interest of cannabis businesses in the state. The founders, who will serve at the initial Board of Directors, include a cannabis PR professional and two partners at a well-respected litigation and employment law firm in Atlanta. 

Lendica, an automated financing platform focused on helping cannabis, hemp and CBD businesses, announced a suite of partnerships to instantly qualify clients for short-term capital. Treez and Abaca customers are invited to leverage their data on these platforms to quickly and seamlessly access one of Lendica's three debt products.

“We created Lendica, a novel fintech credit platform, to help businesses across all high growth industries reach scale faster with short-term capital,” Jared Shulman, CEO of Lendica, told Benzinga. “We are thrilled to partner with these industry leaders and have seen firsthand how their customers can instantly benefit from additional, non-dilutive financing.”

Executive Moves

Find out all about the latest executive moves at:

DVP, Canopy Growth, New Frontier Data, HempMeds, Vireo, Creo, Lattice, Applied DNA

Grapefruit USA, Mind Medicine, Golden Leaf

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Analyst Projects $7B New York Cannabis Market, Says MSO Lobby Powerful

Sundial Growers Stock Looks For Support: A Technical Analysis

A Snapshot Of Colorado's Cannabis Market For Investors, Entrepreneurs

Cannabis Experts Concerned About New York's Possible THC Potency Excise Tax

Why Would Anyone Invest In The Psychedelics Medicine Market?

Viridian Chart Of The Week: Even In A Correcting Market, Positive Earnings Surprises Are Rewarded

3 Long-Term Cannabis Stocks To Buy In A Market Crash

Corporate Tax Hikes Forcing A Watershed Moment For Cannabis Policy Reform: How An Increase In One Must Lead To Positive Reform For The Other

Top Spanish stories:

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.


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