The Week In Cannabis: New Mexico, Switzerland, Federal Legalization, Aphria, Organigram And More

In spite of some good news on the legalization front, cannabis stocks traded down this week, largely driven by lackluster earnings reports out of big Canadian companies.

On Monday, New Mexico became the latest state to legalize adult-use cannabis, after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act. Sales are expected to begin before April 2022.

Following a legalization wave led by New York and Virginia, this approval puts more than 43% of Americans living in legal cannabis jurisdictions, according to The Marijuana Policy Project.

Switzerland will officially launch a trial version of a legal recreational cannabis market on May 15. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health noted that the trial aims to offer “a scientific basis for the future regulation of cannabis.”

This will make Switzerland the first country in Europe to allow a legal adult-use cannabis supply chain. The trial will include 5,000 registered participants, who have proven to the Federal Government they already have been consuming cannabis.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to present a federal cannabis legalization bill soon.

“I am going to put this bill on the floor soon. It hasn’t been introduced yet,” Schumer said, explaining he has been working with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) on the measure’s draft. “Once it is introduced, it will go on the floor.”

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

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber Technologies Inc. UBER revealed the company is open to including cannabis deliveries once the plant is legal on the federal level.

"When the road is clear for cannabis, when federal laws come into play, we're absolutely going to take a look at it," Khosrowshahi said during a CNBC interview.

ETFs were all down. Over the five trading days of this week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: lost 5.6%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: tumbled 6.6%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS: dropped 5.55%.
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX: slipped 9.5%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: dropped 7.7%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was up 1.31%.

Policy, Science And Data

Illinois cannabis taxes exceeded liquor taxes in the first three months of 2021, according to the state Department of Revenue. It’s the first time the Prairie State generated more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol.

Marijuana tax revenue amounted to $86,537,000 in the last quarter, versus $72,281,000 from alcohol sales.

Michigan recreational and medical marijuana sales amounted to $115.4 million in March, according to Headset. That's twofold growth compared to the same period last year.

A bipartisan bill to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans was reintroduced in Congress on Thursday.

A new study conducted by Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Boston suggested cannabis treatment can significantly help with chronic pain.

The study revealed that those who used medical cannabis daily for six months experienced notable advancements in their overall health status: less pain and anxiety, better sleep and mood.

Akerna Corp KERN expects national cannabis retail sales to reach $95 million on 4/20, the unofficial marijuana holiday. That's according to a new Flash Report out of the Denver-based company.

The report suggests that the five days ending April 20 are expected to yield $370 million in cannabis sales.

"The numbers just keep growing in all aspects of the cannabis industry. This week, New Mexico became the 18th state to legalize adult-use cannabis. In addition to that, we got data from Akerna that suggested this 420 holiday could see $370 in total gross sales. Consumers are expected to begin making purchases on Friday and dispensaries are gearing up for their biggest weekend of the year," Debra Boarchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga.

Earnings Reports

Aphria Inc. APHA APHA posted financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended Feb. 28. The company generated CA$153.6 million ($122.5 million) in net third-quarter revenue. That's a year-over-year increase of 6.4% and a sequential decline of 4.3%.

Net cannabis revenue amounted to CA$51.7 million, dropping by 7.8% year-over-year and 23.8% sequentially.

Organigram Holdings Inc. OGI OGI reported that gross revenue decreased by 29% year-over-year to roughly CA$19.3 million ($15.4 million) in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

Net revenue also declined over the same period, from CA$23.2 million to CA$14.6 million, the Moncton, New Brunswick-based company said in a statement. 

The second-quarter results were "challenged by industry dynamics, COVID-19 and staffing limitations at our facility," CEO Greg Engel said in a statement. 

urban-gro Inc UGRO posted preliminary first quarter 2021 results. Revenue rose by 174% year-over-year to a record $11.8 million to $12.1 million, up from $4.3 million reported in the same quarter last year.

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

Financings And M&A

Aphria confirmed Thursday it has satisfied one of the requirements for its merger with Tilray Inc. TLRY after its shareholders approved the arrangement at a special meeting. The special resolution approving the arrangement had to be endorsed by a minimum of two-thirds (66.6%) of the votes cast at the meeting. The merger got a 99.38% approval rate.

The closing of the deal still awaits customary conditions, such as court authorization and the approval of Tilray stockholders.

Cresco Labs CL CRLBF has taken over Bluma Wellness Inc. BWEL BMWLF in an all-stock transaction valued at $213 million.

Connected International Inc., also known as Connected Cannabis, completed a $30 million capital raise led by current investors Navy Capital and One Tower Group, who welcomed new investors, such as Emerald Park Capital, an affiliate of Bryant Park Capital, and Presidio View Capital.

Jushi Holdings Inc. JUSH JUSHF acquired a 93,000 sq. ft. facility, operated by its subsidiary, Dalitso LLC, for around $22 million.

Leune announced a $5-million capital raise Thursday supported by celebrity investors like professional basketball player Carmelo Anthony, his wife and TV personality La La Anthony and sports agent Rich Paul, who's known for representing LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

Good Hemp, Inc. GHMP bought Diamond Creek Group, a manufacturer of ionized high alkaline spring water, for an undisclosed price. The Cornelius, North Carolina-headquartered producer of hemp seed oil-infused beverages said the move is part of a strategic plan to broaden its consumer reach.

Zip Run confirmed Friday it has raised $2.3 million via a seed funding round led by Mollitiam Capital, a private equity fund launched by Ross Bevevino and Tyson Macdonald.

Other News

Truss Beverage Co., a joint venture between brewer Molson Coors Beverage Co. TAP and HEXO Corp. HEXOHEXO, is launching a lineup of six new CBD and THC products.

The Mint Dispensary will mark 4/20 with a name change to Mint Cannabis.

“As we continue to increase access to high-quality cannabis, it’s fitting that our name changes to better reflect our vision for the future,” Eivan Shahara, CEO of Brightroot Inc., parent company of Mint Cannabis, told Benzinga.

Keef Brands is expanding eastward into three new states: Missouri, Ohio and Maine.

Topical BioMedics announced an exclusive partnership and pharmacy distribution deal with Aspen, CO born Toast, a national cannabis and hemp company, making its line of topical, homeopathic pain relief creams available in more than 40,000 locations nationwide. 

High Herstory, a new historical comedy series at the intersection of cannabis and feminism, is premiering on 4/20 to over 150 million homes through Social Club TV. Each episode showcases a female-identifying, cannabis-consuming storyteller, taking the audience along an action-packed journey through time.

Annette Mia Flores, co-founder of High Herstory, told Benzinga, "We are so proud to bring High Herstory to homes throughout the world. We're putting a comedic edge on the painful underrepresentation women have faced throughout history, while smashing cannabis stigma at the same time. High Herstory Season 2 will spotlight women within the cannabis industry, from activists, to brands, scientists, and beyond. This is herstory in the making." 

Columbia Care Inc. CCHW CCHW CCHWF (FSE:3LP) is launching a solid-fill cannabis powder capsule for medicinal use under the Ceed trademark in the United Kingdom.

The New York-based company opted to expand its product offering with the first solid-fill capsule of its kind in the U.K. In addition, it's the first dose-metered medicinal cannabis product to be produced in the country.

Executive Moves

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Top Stories Of The Week

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Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.


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