The Week In Cannabis: Earnings Season, A GOP Legalization Bill, Seth Rogen & Sarah Silverman's Campaign

The Week In Cannabis: Earnings Season, A GOP Legalization Bill, Seth Rogen & Sarah Silverman's Campaign

Below is a recap of the main news related to the cannabis industry and markets for the week of November 8, 2021.

Contents

  1. Earnings Season
  2. Analyst Reactions
  3. GOP Lawmakers Present Cannabis Legalization Bill
  4. Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, Marijuana Giants Launch Initiative Urging Congress To Legalize Pot
  5. Texas Judge Blocks State From Enforcing Ban On Delta-8 THC
  6. VA Rejects Cannabis Research As Veterans Plead For Medical Cannabis
  7. Cashless Bank Transfers For Cannabis Companies? 22 Governors Say Yes And Take Their Case To Congress
  8. Malawi
  9. Markets
  10. M&A
  11. Financings
  12. Spingbig To IPO
  13. Canopy Growth's BioSteel Taps Woman's Basketball Prodigy Azzi Fudd As New Ambassador
  14. Viola Launches Via Shoppers
  15. Aurora Invests In The Netherlands
  16. Top Stories Of The Week

Earnings Season

It was a big week for cannabis earnings. The following companies were among the ones reporting their quarterly results.

  • Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp. CANN HERTF
  • Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. CURA (OTCQX: CURLF)
  • iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. IAN ITHUF
  • Village Farms International, Inc. VFF VFF
  • Akerna Corp. KERN
  • Cronos Group Inc. CRON CRON
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc JAZZ
  • urban-gro, Inc. UGRO
  • MedMen Enterprises Inc. CSE: MMEN) (OTCQX: MMNFF)
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB ACB
  • Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc. GDNS GDNSF
  • Agrify Corporation AGFY
  • Zoned Properties, Inc. ZDPY
  • Surna Inc. SRNA
  • Clever Leaves Holdings Inc. CLVR CLVRW
  • Cresco Labs Inc. CL CRLBF
  • Nova Cannabis Inc. NOVC NVACF
  • Acreage Holdings, Inc. ACRG ACRDF
  • Aleafia Health Inc. AH ALEAF
  • GrowGeneration Corp. GRWG
  • Glass House Brands Inc. GLAS GLAS GLASF GHBWF
  • IntelGenx Technologies Corp. IGX IGXT
  • Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. AAWH AAWH
  • Forian Inc. FORA
  • Sundial Growers Inc. SNDL
  • Columbia Care Inc. CCHW CCHW CCHWF
  • NewLake Capital Partners, Inc. NLCP
  • WM Technology, Inc. MAPS
  • Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc. HYFM

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

Analyst Reactions

Canopy Growth

Prior to last week's earnings release, Cantor Fitzgerald's analyst Pablo Zuanic lowered the price target on Canopy's stock to CA$18.50 to address reduced estimates and reflect sectoral deratings. The analyst kept a 'Neutral' rating and the same price target on the company's stock post-earnings release.

However, Zuanic additionally lowered the price target to CA$16.3 from CA$18.5 in hours following the market close, as the stock was down 13% intraday as of 3 pm on Friday.

Curaleaf

Zuanic maintained an overweight rating while lowering the price target on Curaleaf’s stock to $18.50 from $20, based on reduced margin estimates.

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

Aurora Cannabis

Zuanic raised the price target on Aurora's stock to CA$10.75 from CA$9.60, after increasing sales estimates.

MedMen

Zuanic increased a price target on MedMen's stock to $0.26 from $0.25 while maintaining a Neutral rating.

Green Thumb

Zuanic reiterated an ‘Overweight’ rating on the stock and raised the price target to $54 from $38.

Acreage Holdings

Acreage became a more disciplined and focused operation, focused on “improving profit margins,” and “accelerating growth in Acreage’s core markets,” said Zuanic referring to changes that have occurred under Caldini’s management.

Cantor remains Neutral with no changes in their price target for ACRDF at $1.92 per share.

Columbia Care

Zuanic reiterated an ‘Overweight’ rating and price target of $5.20 on Columbia Care’s stock.

GOP Lawmakers Present Cannabis Legalization Bill

Finally, Republicans have released their marijuana legalization proposal

Between GOP lawmakers’ proposal on simple cannabis descheduling and extensive legislation offered by Democrats, the new draft legislation led by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) seems to fall somewhere in the middle.

The measure, titled the States Reform Act, is currently in a preliminary form although a final version is expected to be filed later in November.

Some cannabis advocates see the new proposal as a smart move because many don’t believe the Democrats’ far-reaching bill stands a chance of passing every chamber before being sent to President Biden to sign.

New Draft Highlights 

Some of the most important points of the new 116-page draft include:

  • Marijuana desecheduling on a federal level and being treated like alcohol;
  • 2.75% excise tax on cannabis sales, with revenue backing various grant programs;
  • The leading regulator for cannabis in terms of interstate commerce would be Treasury Dept's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responsible for some regulations. Though the FDA's authority would be restricted, it would not have more control over marijuana than it has over alcohol, except for medical cannabis;
  • Raw cannabis would fall under the agricultural commodity category, and therefore regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
  • Some people with non-violent cannabis-related crime records would be eligible for expungement;
  • Existing state-licensed marijuana operators would be grandfathered into the federal scheme;
  • While federal agencies could continue to drug test for cannabis, veterans would be safe from discriminations in federal hiring due to marijuana use; 
  • Doctors with Veterans Affairs (VA) would be specifically authorized to issue recommendations for medical cannabis for veterans.

Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, Marijuana Giants Launch Initiative Urging Congress To Legalize Pot

A new push for federal cannabis legalization has appeared in the form of a campaign, “Cannabis in Common,” launched Tuesday by a coalition of cannabis advocates, large marijuana businesses and celebrities like Seth Rogan and Sarah Silverman.

The idea behind the initiative, which is being backed by cannabis giants like Canopy GrowthCuraleaf and Cronos Group, is to encourage voters to reach out to Congress members and demand action on federal cannabis legalization.

"Legalizing cannabis is long past due, and if we make enough noise, we can make it happen," said Rogen, who is known to be an avid pot lover and co-founder of the cannabis company Houseplant.

Silverman added, “Americans can’t agree on anything can we? Fortunately, there is at least one thing most Americans have in common: more than two-thirds of us agree cannabis should be legalized and we have a real shot at getting federal legalization done now if we speak up."

Through the launch of the website, cannabis advocates can more conveniently email or call their congressional representatives to insist on marijuana legalization. 

Texas Judge Blocks State From Enforcing Ban On Delta-8 THC

Late Monday a judge ruled that state regulators would be temporarily prohibited from enforcing a ban against the sale of delta-8 THC products. A final hearing on the matter is scheduled for January 28, 2022

In October, Cannabis company Hometown Hero filed a suit against the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), claiming that its hemp policy was improperly revised in order to ban products with Delta-8 THC. The judge disagreed with the lawsuit and ruled that the state’s ban remains.

However, on Monday, Travis County Judge Jan Soifer ruled that the firm had adequately demonstrated that it is entitled to “declaratory and injunctive relief” over the hemp policy update.

VA Rejects Cannabis Research As Veterans Plead For Medical Cannabis

The VA will not expand its cannabis research, despite recent bipartisan calls from Congress, doctors and veterans. The recent withdrawal from Afghanistan has exacerbated the demand for more understanding of cannabis for treatment, however, without research, the VA continues to deny cannabis recommendations to veterans in 36 states that allow medical marijuana, reported Politico.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would instruct the VA to study cannabis for PTSD, depression and a number of other conditions. At the same time, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced an amendment to a must-pass defense spending bill that would allow VA physicians to recommend medical marijuana under state-regulated programs and conduct research.

“The VA keeps saying, 'We have the authority, we don't need you to micromanage us.’ But we do — because they're not doing their job," Correa said.

Cashless Bank Transfers For Cannabis Companies? 22 Governors Say Yes And Take Their Case To Congress

Politicians, some of them, have finally decided to do something about the seemingly endless cannabis banking problem.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and 20 other state governors signed a letter demanding that Congress pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, which would allow marijuana-related businesses to make cashless transactions, reported The Street. 

The main motivator to resolve one of the biggest problems of the industry was to make cannabis operators less vulnerable to crime, by placing them under the national banking umbrella.

Malaysia
Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin reported that the Southeast Asian country will allow the import and domestic use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

A prescription will be required to purchase medical marijuana. Prescriptions may only be issued by a registered physician or pharmacist, Bloomberg reported. 

Also, products containing cannabis must be registered with the country's Medicines Control Authority. Meanwhile, importers must have import licenses and permits.

Malawi

Malawi's Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe encouraged cannabis growers to form cooperatives to increase their bargaining power.

During a training workshop for farmers, Lowe said he is in favor of cannabis farmers co-aligning to increase their influence and prices.

In addition, Lowe is in favor of including cannabis as a key part of the southeast African country's agricultural export strategy to contribute to domestic development.

Markets

Stocks traded up this week, outperforming general markets. Over the five trading days of this week – and as of the time of publication:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: gained 7%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: rose 9.2%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS: advanced 6%.
    • The Cannabis ETF THCX: was up 5.2%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: advanced 7%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was down 0.66%.

M&A

Acquiring Company Acquired Company Price Conditions
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. CURA CURLF Tryke Companies, dba Reef Dispensaries $286M Cash & Stock
Verano Holdings Corp. VRNO VRNOF Caring Nature, Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, Willow Brook Wellness $113.25M Undisclosed
The Valens Company Inc. VLNS VLNCF Citizen Stash Cannabis Corp. CSC EXPFF $54.3M Stock

Financings

Company Lead Financier Amount
Fyllo Eminence Capital $32.1M

Springbig To IPO

Special purpose acquisition company Tuatara Capital Acquisition Corporation TCAC has signed an agreement for a business combination that would result in springbig’s public listing. springbig is a provider of marketing software to the cannabis industry.

Canopy Growth's BioSteel Taps Woman's Basketball Prodigy Azzi Fudd As New Ambassador

BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc. announced Wednesday its latest collegiate athlete deal with women's basketball freshman phenom Azzi Fudd.

Under the partnership, BioSteel takes the collegiate name, image and likeness (NIL) deals to the next level of endorsement, as Fudd agreed to become both a brand ambassador and partner of BioSteel, marking the signing as one of the first partnerships at the college level.

Viola Launches Via Shoppers

NBA star Al Harrington’s Viola cannabis products will be available across Canada on Medical Cannabis by Shoppers online platform thanks to a partnership with Avicanna Inc. AVCNF 0NN, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of plant-derived, cannabinoid-based products. The initial lineup includes THC and CBD live terpene disposable vaporizers and will soon extend into other categories including 510 cartridges and concentrates.

Medical Cannabis by Shoppers is a subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Ltd LBLCF’s Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., Canada’s leading health, beauty and convenience retailer.

In addition to the national rollout via medical channels, Viola's equity-focused brand will also be available across adult-use networks in Ontario and New Brunswick.

Aurora Invests In The Netherlands

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NASDAQ: ACB) ACB’s subsidiary Aurora Nederland B.V. will invest in Netherlands-based Growery B.V., one of the few license holders entitled to participate in the Controlled Cannabis Supply Chain experiment. The two companies signed an agreement in relation to the investment, which is subject to the regulatory notification procedure.

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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