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The Week In Cannabis: Amazon Lobbies In DC, Colombia's New Law, Big IPOs And More

July 23, 2021 4:45 pm
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The Week In Cannabis: Amazon Lobbies In DC, Colombia's New Law, Big IPOs And More

Below is a recap of the main news related to the cannabis industry and markets for the week of July 19, 2021.

Below is a recap of the main news related to the cannabis industry and markets for the week of July 19, 2021.

 

Listen and subscribe to Benzinga Cannabis Hour Podcast for news and exclusive interviews with Cannabis Industry executives. 

 

U.S. Surgeon General Bashes Prohibition

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said on Sunday that he does not think there is value to incarcerating people for marijuana use and that science should be our guide in policymaking.

“When it comes to decriminalization, I don't think that there is value to individuals or to society to lock people up for marijuana use. I don't think that serves anybody well,” Murthy told host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Dash asked Murthy if he supported, from a health perspective, the draft bill unveiled last week by Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to legalize cannabis at the federal level. Murthy replied that, when discussing marijuana, science should be at the forefront.

“I do think that, in terms of our approach to marijuana, I worry when we don't let science guide our process in policy-making,” Murthy said.

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

“And we know the science tells us that there are some benefits to marijuana from a medical perspective but there are also some harms that we have to consider—and we have to put those together as we think about the right policy.”

Amazon Lobbying For Cannabis

In June, corporate giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) said it would adjust its outdated cannabis policy and told the world it will no longer test for marijuana for most of its job positions. The online retailer also declared its support for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act).

Having one of the largest companies in the U.S. openly supporting cannabis-related initiatives is an important milestone in and of itself. Now it turns out, there's more.  

The Seattle-headquartered company is apparently trying to persuade other corporations and Congress to support federal cannabis legalization.

Based on a Politico report, several advocacy and industry groups such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), and Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) reported having met with Amazon executives in June to talk about federal marijuana policy

Many cannabis legalization advocates are now looking to Amazon, hoping the company “will take the next step and use its considerable D.C. muscle to help get [the initiatives] passed,” according to Politico. 

Cannabis lobbyists in contact with Amazon have confirmed that the company has indeed gotten involved in the cannabis legalization debate in Washington, D.C. but whether the company is actively lobbying or monetarily backing the legislation is still unknown. 

“I'm quite disappointed that we've really seen no movement whatsoever at the federal level,” said Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “I think that if Amazon were able to lend its political support to federal reform and fund state-level efforts, that would be a net positive for the cannabis reform movement in this country.”

Find out what’s in it for Amazon in this article.

Colombia’s New Law

Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez signed on Friday afternoon a law that would allow for larger amounts of dry cannabis flower to be exported from the country. The signing followed a meeting with the leading Colombian cannabis producers.

The new law also allows for cannabis to be utilized in industrial products including food and beverages and reduces the limitations around the marketing of cannabis products.

New York’s Cultivation Bill

New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney presented a cannabis cultivation bill that would enable farmers to start growing and selling cannabis prior to the official launch of the state's recreational marijuana program

New York became the 15th state in the U.S. to legalize adult-use cannabis this March when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law. Setting up the rules and regulations for the state's comprehensive program could take anywhere from 18 months to two years, according to experts. This means the Empire State's recreational cannabis program could roll out as late as March 2023. 

To accelerate the launch and help get the process rolling, Cooney introduced  

Senate Bill S7295, which would create a recreational provisional cultivation license enabling growers to start planting their cannabis seeds prior to the formal launch of the program. Temporary licenses will allow businesses to operate in the event that the program's regulations are not completed by January 1, 2022. The rules and regulations are being worked out by the state's Office of Cannabis Management, a newly created department which, Cooney says is not fully functional nor currently operating.

Markets

Stocks were quite volatile. Over the five trading days of this week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ): lost 0.3%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO): tumbled 1.15%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (NYSE:MSOS): fell 2.4%.
  • The Cannabis ETF (NYSE:THCX): was up 1.6%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE:CNBS): declined 0.6%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) closed the week up 1.94%.

Two IPOs

Two cannabis-related companies, Clover Leaf Capital and Silver Spike, priced their IPOs.

Clover Leaf Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: CLOEU) closed its initial public offering of some 13,831,230 units at $10 per unit, raising more than $138 million.

Silver Spike Investment Corp. announced an initial public offering of 10.71 million shares with a price of $14.00 per share, pricing the offering at $150 million. The company applied to list on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol “SSIC.”

M&A

Acquiring Company Acquired Company Price Conditions
Ayr Wellness Inc. (CSE:AYR) (OTC:AYRWF) Tahoe Hydroponics $17 million Stock, cash and debt deal
Ayr Wellness Herbal Remedies Dispensaries (Illinois) $30 million Seller notes, stock and cash
High Tide Inc. (TSXV:HITI) (NASDAQ:HITI) DankStop.com $3.85 million Stock
Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ:  SNDL)  Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd. (CSE:ISH) (OTCQB: INSHF) 30 cents in cash and 0.0835 of a common share of Sundial for each Inner Spirit share.  
Schwazze (OTCQX:SHWZ) Southern Colorado Growers in Huerfano County, Colorado $11.3 million Cash and stock
GrowGeneration Corp. (NASDAQ:GRWG) Mendocino Greenhouse and Garden Supply Not disclosed Not disclosed
Bluebird Botanicals Precision Botanicals Not disclosed Not disclosed

Financings

Company Lead Financier Amount
Clever Leaves Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVR) Catalina LP, a division of SunStream Bancrop Inc., a joint venture initiative sponsored by Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL). $25 million
Body and Mind Inc. (CSE:BAMM) (OTCQB:BMMJ) FocusGrowth Asset Management $11.1 million
Ayr Wellness (CSE:AYR) (OTCQX:AYRWF) XS Financial Inc. $21.4 million
TILT Holdings Inc. (CSE: TILT) (OTCQX: TLLTF) subsidiary, Jupiter Research Entrepreneur Growth Capital $10 million

Earnings Reports

  • Sproutly Canada, Inc. (CSE:SPR) (FRA: 38G) (OTCQB: SRUTF) posted its financial reports for the fiscal year ended February 2021reporting net revenue of CA$316,424 ($247,871) compared to net revenue of $926,972 in the prior fiscal year. The company also disclosed net loss for the year of CA$16.41 million or CA$0.06 per share, versus a net loss of CA$61.61 million or CA$0.30 per share in the comparative period of the previous year. 
  • Entourage Health Corp. (TSXV:ENTG) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE: 4WE), which recently rebranded from WeedMD Inc., reported that its preliminary unaudited revenues amounted to $13.6 million in the second quarter.
  • Cannabis Strategic Ventures (OTC:NUGS) reported a significant boost in revenue in 2020. Consolidated revenue jumped 517% year-over-year to $14.6 million.
  • Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (OTC: RWBYF) posted its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings with quarterly revenue of $15.7 millionup by 158% from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2020. 
  • POSaBIT Systems Corporation (CSE:PBIT) (OTC:POSAF) announced that its total revenue amounted to $5 million in the second quarter of 2021, representing a 232% year-over-year increase.

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

Tilray

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) confirmed Wednesday that another independent proxy advisory firm is recommending that shareholders back all the company’s proposals at a special meeting scheduled for July 29. This time, the proxy advisory services company Glass Lewis also advised shareholders to vote in favor of the company’s dilution as well as other proposals

The company previously released a proxy statement with an open letter from CEO Irwin D. Simon in which he called on shareholders to support proposals to be discussed up at the upcoming annual shareholders meeting

Some two weeks later, Tilray announced that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), an independent proxy advisory firm, recommended Tilray shareholders approve the company’s propositions

India Globalization Capital

India Globalization Capital, Inc. (AMEX: IGC) obtained a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The patent (#11,065,225) is named “Ultra-Low dose THC as a potential therapeutic and prophylactic agent for Alzheimer’s Disease.”

The Potomac, Maryland-based cannabis company noted the initial patent submission was filed by the University of South Florida in August 2016The following year in May, IGC signed an exclusive agreement with the University in relation to the patent application and connected research on Alzheimer’s disease.

The obtained patent is related to the company’s proprietary formulation – IGC-AD1, which is earmarked to assist in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s. The formulation is the subject of IGC’s Phase 1 clinical trial.

Other News

  • TPCO Holding Corp. (NEO: GRAM.U) (OTCQX: GRAMF), which is doing business as The Parent Company, announced the launch of a shoppable app for iPhone users.
  • Gage Growth Corp. (CSE:GAGE) is expanding its retail presence in Michigan by opening two new dispensaries.
  • The company is also teaming up with Pure Beauty to launch a new line of cannabis products in Michigan.
  • Ayurcann Holdings Corp. (CSE:AYUR) is poised to list its shares on the OTCQB, a U.S. market operated by OTC Markets Group Inc. in New York.
  • Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE:JUSH) (OTCQX:JUSHF) announced that it's ready to become a U.S. domestic issuer under U.S. securities laws. With more than 50% of its issued and outstanding subordinate voting shares owned by shareholders of record domiciled in the United States on June 30, 2021, the Boca Raton, Florida-based company is no longer deemed a "foreign private issuer."
  • CV Sciences (OTCQB:CVSI) released the results of a preclinical study that suggests that CBD can reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms in smokeless tobacco users. The study, conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, San Diego and published on Springer Nature, found that CBD prevented nicotine-dependent rats from exhibiting withdrawal symptoms including increased pain sensitivity and weight gain during short-and long-term nicotine restriction.

Executive Moves

MyJane’s president Hélène Blanchette won the Vanguard Media Online, "Woman of the Year" Award for 2021. The award was granted to recognize Hélène's extraordinary efforts and contributions within the cannabis industry, overall leadership and consistent mission in helping and empowering women.

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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