The Week In Cannabis: Cannabis For Veterans, Canopy, Tilray, SMG, Big Earnings, Financings And More

Below is a recap of the main news related to the cannabis industry and markets for the week of August 2, 2021.

Policy Moves: Research And Cannabis For Veterans

Buried deep in the folds of the much-anticipated and discussed ad nauseam 2,702 pages of the $1-trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is a paragraph that refers to “establishing a clearinghouse to collect and distribute samples and strains of marijuana for scientific research that includes marijuana and products containing marijuana lawfully available to patients or consumers in a State on a retail basis.”

This means that if you work as a cannabis researcher in a legal marijuana state or even a non-legal neighboring state, you will soon no longer have to rely on subpar weed from the University of Mississippi as your only source of research marijuana and you will no longer have to apply to the DEA for approval to obtain research THC oil.

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

Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that is meant to enable military veterans to access medical marijuana - by allowing Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to grant recommendations in states where it is legal.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), is also intended to prevent the VA from interfering with or denying services to vets who choose to participate in their state’s legal program.

Louisiana Decriminalization Bill Goes Into Effect

Just over a month following Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards signing off on a bill to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession for personal use, the measure took effect.

As of Sunday, August 1, Louisianians caught possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis will face up to a $100 fine, but without jail time, Marijuana Moment reported.

Under House Bill 652, possession of smaller cannabis amounts is now classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony.


SweetWater Brewing Company, LLC, has ventured into the state of Michigan just weeks following the launch of a new, full-service brewery, production facility, taproom and restaurant in Colorado.

The company announced that Michigan beer lovers can now enjoy its core line of brews, including its flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale, its juicy HAZY IPA, SweetWater Oasis Premium Hard Seltzer and its recently launched 420 Imperial IPA.

Sweet Water was purchased by Canadian cannabis giant Aphria Inc. APHA APHA in November 2020 in a $300 million deal, prior to Aphria's merger with Tilray TLRY earlier this year.

Also this week, Tilray said it is launching new medical cannabis edibles in Canada: two formulations of 16-gram medical cannabis-infused chocolate bars and two formulations of medical cannabis soft chews.


Stocks posted mixed results this week. Over the five trading days of this week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: gained 0.1%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: rose 1.9%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS: advanced 3.5%.
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX: was down 1%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: closed the week almost flat.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the week up 0.93%.


Acquiring Company Acquired Company Price Conditions
HempFusion Wellness Inc. CBD CBDHF Sagely Naturals $25 million Cash and stock
Hydrofarm Holdings Group (NASDAQ: HYFM) Greenstar Plant Products, Inc. $83 million Undisclosed
Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. FAF (OTCQX: FFLWF) Assets from Wikileaf Technologies Inc. WIKI $7.5 million Stock
TPCO Holding Corp. GRAM GRAMF d.b.a. The Parent Company Jayden's Journey retail dispensary, Modesto Metro Area Undisclosed Undisclosed
Prohibition Partners Business of Cannabis Undisclosed Undisclosed



Company Lead Financier Amount
Greenrose Acquisition Corp. (OTC: GNRSU)  SunStream Bancorp is a joint venture backed by Sundial Growers Inc. SNDL $103 million
4Front Ventures Corp. FFNT (OTCQX: FFNTF) Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR)  $50 million


Earnings Reports

  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: JAZZ) reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2021 with total revenue of $751.81 million, up by 34% from $562.43 million in the comparative period of 2020. Epidiolex's second-quarter net sales were $109.5 million. 
  • Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) reported its second-quarter financial results with total revenues of $48.9 million, up by 101% from the same period in the prior year. 
  • Scotts Miracle-Gro SMG reported that company-wide third-quarter sales grew by 8% year-over-year to $1.61 billion, driven mainly by Hawthorne growth of 48%. Hawthorne segment sales amounted to $421.9 million, as the segment “saw growth in every product category and every major geographic market,” Miracle-Gro's chairman and CEO Jim Hagedorn said.
  • Plus Products Inc. PLUS reported its unaudited financial and operational results for the three months ending June 30, revealing a 12% year-over-year pop in revenue to $4.83 million.
  • Canopy Growth Corporation WEED CGC generated CA$136 million ($108,6 million) in revenues in the first three months of fiscal 2022, missing estimates by CA$15.08 million. Diluted earnings per share totaled CA$0.84.
  • See also: Canopy Growth Cannabis Co. Falls Short On Q1 Sales, Cantor Maintains Neutral Rating
  • The company revealed a 23% year-over-year revenue growth, which can be attributed to double-digit growth in both cannabis and other consumer products segments while maintaining a number one market share in tracked Canadian recreational cannabis market share.
  • Cronos Group Inc. CRON CRON reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2021, revealing a 58% year-over-year increase in consolidated net revenue, which totaled $15.6 million. In six months ended June 30, consolidated net revenue amounted to $28.2 million.

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

Mila Kunis’ Series

Mila Kunis, the popular American actress best known for her role as Jackie on “That 70's Show” and Meg Griffin on “Family Guy,” will produce and lend her voice to Stoner Cats, an animated series for adults that tells the story of five cats who... yes, smoke pot.

And that's not the most curious part of the project: in order to watch Stoner Cats, you need to own a Stoner Cats TOKEN. That is, to buy a collectible NFT.

The adult cartoon, created by animators Chris Cartagena, Sarah Cole and Ash Brannon, immediately caught the attention of movie star Mila Kunis and her production company Orchard Farm Productions. The kittens are voiced by stars like Chris Rock, Ashton Kutcher, Seth McFarlane, and of course, Kunis.

Plus, the mom of the smoking kitties is none other than the fabulous Jane Fonda.

Another colorful fact: one of the cats is voiced by Vitalik Buterin, the Russian programmer who founded Ethereum.

BuzzFeed’s Weed

If you had been listening to Benzinga’s Cannabis Hour on Thursday, you would have heard the news. If not, here it is: BuzzFeed, the global digital media company and 2021 winner of a Pulitzer Prize has now decided that in addition to reporting about one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., it will be joining it.

BuzzFeed has launched its own cannabis brand. And, no, the cannabis line is not called BuzzWeed, which some lament as a missed opportunity.

The new brand is called Goodful. Launched under the umbrella of its lifestyle brand by the same name, BuzzFeed is partnering with California-based weed producer NUG Inc. and will release three different Goodful-branded flower packs, reported Forbes. Indica, Sativa and Hybrid varieties are available at select Nug retailers in California.

Guns N’ Roses Paraphernalia

Guns N' Roses launched a line of marijuana paraphernalia.

The California band partnered with Famous Brandz -a marijuana accessory manufacturer that has partnered with Snoop Dogg and Cheech & Chong in the past.

Cantor Fitzgerald's Top U.S. Picks

There’s no doubt that, if approved, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s cannabis legalization bill would be a historic event for the U.S. cannabis industry. Doubtless, the market would explode. But, what is likely to happen to the market if legalization does not come about and there are no policy changes at the federal level?

Cantor Fitzgerald’s Pablo Zuanic believes that even without such changes, U.S. multi-state operators will continue to benefit from ever-increasing sales growth and the newly legal states that are rolling out their adult-use marijuana programs or enhancing their existing medical cannabis programs.

According to the analyst, sales should hit $36 billion by 2023, up from $17 billion in 2020. 

As it turns out, multi-state cannabis operators usually perform better in states with more restrictive licensing systems, at least according to their EBITDA margins, which are often twice or more than those achieved in the less restrictive western states, explained the analyst.

Zuanic projects year-over-year growth in the ~25% range both for 2023 and 2024 as more states legalize.

Zuanic confirmed that Cantor’s top U.S. picks remain Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries (OTCQX: GTBIF), Trulieve Cannabis (OTCQX: TCNNF) and Cresco Labs (OTCQX: CRLBF). 

In conclusion, the analyst advised investors to avoid “companies lacking state-level depth, financially stretched, and those lacking proper operational focus.”

South America: Argentina And Paraguay

During a Q&A session, at the II Federal Congress of Law, Alberto Fernandez, President of Argentina, referred to the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.

A student from the Faculty of Legal Sciences of the National University of Patagonia asked the president what his views were on recreational cannabis and whether it was possible to legalize it during his administration.

President Fernandez claimed that "this is a question that has to do with hypocrisy", while, at the same time, argued that marijuana is "toxic."

"We have to debate an issue that has to do with the social hypocrisy in which we live and overcome. There is a part of us that supports certain hypocrisy. Marijuana’s toxicity is not in question. But tobacco and alcohol are also toxic. And yet, there is a whole industry set up behind tobacco and alcohol, where the toxic aspect takes the back seat," declared the Argentinian president.

Paraguay will begin exporting oil, proteins and other non-psychoactive cannabis derivatives to the United States and Australia. This was confirmed by president Mario Abdo Benítez during a visit to the industrial plant of Healthy Grains S.A.

Illinois Sales Pop On Lollapalooza  Sales

Recreational cannabis sales in Illinois just set another record for the month of July, hitting an all-time high of $128 million.

While the booming industry can be attributed to the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, a major push came from Lollapalooza – the 4-day music festival that has been going on for 30 years. During those four days, cannabis sales jumped 10% from the previous high of $116.4 million in MayAfter all, this was the first time in Lollapalooza’s long history that recreational weed was legal. 

Cannabis dispensaries in nearby areas like the West Loop and River North had 50% higher sales. 

Akerna’s Saint Vincent And The Grenadines Deal

Akerna (NASDAQ: KERN) formed an exclusive partnership with the Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA) in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)to provide the MCA a customer relationship management tool (CRM). This tool was created to help improve the medical cannabis program in the Caribbean country following recent regulations

The program was designed to run as a national model that can be replicated to meet any other global cannabis regulations.

Sativex For Brain Tumors?

Patients suffering from glioblastoma, the most common, deadly and extremely aggressive type of brain cancer, may have a chance of living longer if Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray, proves effective in treating recurrent brain tumors.

Cancer charities and the UK's National Health Services (NHS) are launching a study to determine whether Sativex combined with chemotherapy medication -temozolomide - can help kill glioblastoma tumor cells and extend the overall length of patients’ lives, reported The Guardian. It will be the first such study in the world.

The trial is being led by the University of Leeds and coordinated by a specialist research unit at the University of Birmingham.

Over 232 patients at 15 hospitals across the UK are expected to be recruited in early 2022.

Other News

  • Green Thumb Industries Inc. GTII GTBIF, the owner of Rise dispensaries, has entered into the Rhode Island market through the acquisition of one of only three cannabis retail locations in the state, a month after its debut in Virginia.
  • Terra Vera, which offers non-toxic solutions to eliminate pathogens in crops, has received approval from state regulators to operate and offer its services within Oklahoma, which has more medical cannabis patients per capita than any other state in the country. Using patented technologies, Terra Vera provides cultivators a pesticide-free, effective, and sustainable approach to rid crops of contaminants while preserving the quality and yield of their products.

Executive Moves

Cronos Group revealed that a finance expert with over three decades of experience, Bob Madore, agreed to join its leadership team as CFO, succeeding Jerry Barbato.

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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