The Week In Cannabis: 4/20, SAFE Banking Act, The NFL, Verano And Much More

In the week of 4/20, the unofficial day of cannabis and top sales day for the industry, major stocks posted mixed performances.

Retailer Planet 13 Holdings Inc. PLTH PLNHF reported single-day record sales of $543,000 on April 20. Meanwhile, Eaze, California's largest marketplace for legal cannabis delivery, announced a 185% surge in deliveries (compared to any other Tuesday in 2021), with an average basket of $200, up 50% from the same day in 2020.
“Cannabis consumers moved to delivery as their preferred way of shopping last year, so we're not surprised to see such a strong 420 in 2021,” said Ro Choy, CEO of Eaze. “Even as daily life begins to return to normal, consumers are staying with the convenience of delivery. It's the future of this industry.”

Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, added, “The April 20 holiday is becoming the largest sales day of the year for the industry. Headset reported logging $60,000 in sales per minute, while Planet 13 said it did over half a million sales on Tuesday. Even Ayr Wellness clocked in an amazing $1.2 million day across its stores. One can only imagine what these numbers will look like next year with New Jersey and New York celebrating.”

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

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in a vote of 321-101. The bill would allow cannabis companies to obtain much-needed banking services, as a majority are now working with large amounts of cash.

The National Football League announced its new drug policy, which excludes cannabis testing during the offseason.

Over the five trading days of this week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: gained 0.1%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: fell 1%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS: dropped 1.2%.
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX: closed the week flat.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: was also flat.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was down 0.21%.

Policy, Science And Data

With the growing number of medical cannabis patients in Ohio, the state decided to more than double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the following year, enabling companies to apply for 73 new dispensary licenses this summer, bringing the total to 130 across the state.

The mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, Randall Woodfin confirmed that blanket pardons for some 15,0000 cannabis convictions going back more than 30 years will be issued.

The Denver City Council voted in favor of a bill to enable cannabis product delivery and cannabis lounges.

Lawmakers in North Carolina introduced a bill poised to legalize cannabis possession for adults.

Florida's push for adult-use cannabis legalization saw a substantial setback Thursday morning.

In a 5-2 decision, state Supreme Court justices ruled that advocacy group Make It Legal Florida's signature drive was invalid after its ballot summary was deemed misleading and unconstitutional.

A study by the data company YouGov and Sunnyside, a dispensary brand owned by Cresco Labs CRLBF, revealed that one in four Americans used cannabis during the pandemic last year. The number of existing cannabis consumers has increased 56% in two years.

According to new data from consumer insights firm MRI-Simmons, 26% of cannabis consumers in the U.S. are aged 50+. This segment, aptly named “CannaBoomers”, is made up of nearly 17 million Americans who said they consume cannabis for physical and mental health benefits. 

“The appeal of cannabis is broad and growing,” Karen Ramspacher, MRI’s senior vice president of innovation and insights, told Benzinga. “When we think cannabis consumers, we think young and hip. While this is true, there is an over-50 segment that has more buying power than their younger counterparts and have a clear interest in a wide array of current and new cannabis products. Product creators and marketers need to cater to these ‘CannaBoomers’ to drive revenue today.” 

HR software Zenefits company has compiled a detailed guide for companies who may need guidance on their workplace policies in relation to marijuana.

"Although the laws are changing in various states which may be clear cut, it's not always the same in the workplace," said Andrea Curry, editor-in-chief of Workest at Zenefits. "Workplace policies, regulations, and norms can be difficult to understand in the best of times, but with new laws passing, it can be even harder to get right, for both the employer and the employee. We also want to ensure that both parties are protected and treated fairly, so we hope this guide helps."

Financings And M&A

Verano Holdings Corp. VRNO VRNOF opted to acquire all of the issued and outstanding equity interests in Pennsylvania-based Agri-Kind, LLC, and Agronomed Holdings Inc. for $66 million in cash, $49.5 million in stock, and a performance-based earnout of $31.5 million.

Verano is also poised to obtain all of the issued and outstanding equity interests in Agronomed Biologics, a research joint venture between Agronomed Pharmaceuticals, LLC and The Healing Center. In exchange, the company agreed to pay $60 million in a combination of cash and stock.

Jushi Holdings Inc. JUSH JUSHF is purchasing Nature's Remedy for $110 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Jushi will take over two retail dispensaries in Millbury and Tyngsborough, as well as a 50,000 square feet cultivation and production facility in Lakeville.

Apart from 19,500 square feet of flower canopy, the facility includes extraction and manufacturing capabilities.

TerrAscend Corp. TERTRSSF is purchasing three Keystone Canna Remedies stores in Northeast Pennsylvania.

The transaction, worth $63 million, will bring the remaining 90% of KCR under the TerrAscend's wing.

General Cannabis Corp CANN is poised to acquire cannabis retailer Trees and change its name. The Colorado-based company agreed to purchase Trees for roughly $39.5 million, with 13% of the sum to be paid in cash over the next two years.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. IIPR bought a property in Windsor, Michigan for around $15.6 million.

With this newest addition, Innovative Industrial Properties holds 69 properties across 18 states, and its total investment for the properties owned in Michigan reaches $193.3 million.

Turning Point Brands, Inc. TPB teamed up with Docklight Brands Inc. to expand the reach of Bob Marley brand of cannabis and CBD products. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company opted to invest $8.7 million in Docklight Brands’ series A offering.

Copperstate Farms signed a deal worth up to $6 million with ALPS, a subsidiary of Australis Capital Inc AUSAF, to significantly upgrade its existing operations and support the development of new greenhouses in Arizona.

GrowGeneration Corp. GRWG acquired Michigan-based Downriver Hydroponics. The deal details weren't disclosed.

Commercial lender Bespoke Financial completed an $8 million Series A funding round, co-led by Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital and Sweat Equity Ventures.

Wurk closed an oversubscribed $3.5 million Series AA round of financing, completed entirely by existing investors.

SōRSE Technology Corporation launcheda$4 million convertible note offering, receiving a $2 million lead investment from private equity firm Merida Capital Holdings.

Earnings Reports

Medical Marijuana, Inc.  MJNA posted fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings with yearly net revenue of $46.9 million, compared to $75.6 million in the previous year.

Gross Margins jumped from 76% in 2019 to 80% in 2020.

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

Other News

Canopy Growth Corporation WEED CGC teamed up with Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits to distribute its CBD-infused beverages in the U.S.

Birthjays and the 40-year pastry legends at DK’s Donuts launched a promotion to support the Cal Asian Foundation. Starting on 4/20, donut lovers in the Bay Area can use the code “LIT” when purchasing custom-ordered donuts on the DK’s Donuts website and get a free Birthjay, plus a 10% discount on donuts.

“We want everyone to have a memorable 4/20, and know that they don’t need to leave the safety of their homes to celebrate the cannabis industry’s birthday,” said Michael Scherr, CEO & Founder of Birthjays.

DK’s Donuts, a Cambodian-owned business is donating 10% of proceeds to the Cal Asian Foundation, a 501 c (3) nonprofit organization enabling workforce and economic development for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in California.

Holistic Industries debuted Garcia Hand Picked (GHP) on the East Coast, and opened its Liberty Easthampton dispensary in Massachusetts. The launch included a socially distanced shakedown-style event in the parking lot with a special appearance by Trixie Garcia, Jerry Garcia’s daughter and spokesperson for The Garcia Family. 

“With the growing demand for Garcia Hand Picked in California since our launch late last year, we have been able to grow and produce high-quality products for new markets like Massachusetts and have plans to expand to additional markets later in 2021,” said Josh Genderson, CEO of Holistic Industries. “The goal was to create a national cannabis brand that not only paid tribute and resonated with Jerry Garcia and his fans, but also as a way to connect with other cannabis consumers.”

Global Cannabis Applications Corp. launched a produced that uses the Ethereum blockchain to track and trace cannabis products from seed to sale. 

Brian Collins, CEO of Abbey Technology stated that, “bridging the centralised and decentralised trading communities using Uniswap allows for the crypto player to gain exposure to the explosive growth in certain public companies. GCAC’s public shares are up 1000% in the last 7 months but decentralised traders can’t get in on this, well, now with our bespoke Uniswap token, they can.”

Silo Wellness Inc. SILO (FRA:3K70) announced five new psilocybin-assisted wellness retreats in Jamaica between May and August 2021. Based in Montego Bay, the retreats range from four to six days and are tailored for distinct audiences and interests, including the LGBTQIA+ community and couples.

“Jamaica is one of a few countries in the world where psilocybin mushrooms are legal. The natural beauty of the island makes it an ideal backdrop for individuals seeking greater self-actualization through our guided psychedelic retreats,” said Chief Executive Officer Douglas K. Gordon.

Executive Moves

NBA champion, television host and actor John Salley joined One World Pharma Inc. OWPC, a company led by Isiah Thomas.

Find out all about the latest executive moves at:

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Top Spanish stories:

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.


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