The Week In Cannabis: Isiah Thomas, Tilray, The DEA, Ohio, Mexico And More

Below is a recap of the main news related to the cannabis industry and markets for the week of December 6, 2021.


  1. Isiah Thomas Appointed Executive Chairman Of One World Products' Board
  2. Tilray Accused Of Breaching License Agreement With IntelGenx
  3. DEA Supports White House Plan To Streamline Research Of Psychedelics and Cannabis
  4. Wells Fargo Rates Four Cannabis Stocks
  5. Marijuana Banking Reform Bill Chopped From Congressional Defense Bill In Bicameral Talks
  6. Mexico: Supreme Court Approves Low-THC Cannabis Production
  7. Markets
  8. M&A
  9. Financings
  10. Earnings Reports
  11. Ohio Republicans File Cannabis Legalization Bill
  12. Cannformatics Discovers Tool For Objectively Measuring Medical Cannabis Benefits In Children With Autism
  13. Nasdaq Debuts
  14. Sundial Still Committed To Deal With Liquor Retailer Alcanna Despite Cannabis Market Volatility
  15. Cannabis Produced Without Growing The Plant
  16. Confia x NCIA
  17. Top Stories Of The Week

Isiah Thomas Appointed Executive Chairman Of One World Products' Board

One World Products (OTC: OWPC), a company formerly known as One World Pharma, which recently changed its name to "One World Products: Sustainable Hemp and Cannabis Solutions,” will announce on Wednesday it has named Isiah Thomas as executive chairman of its board of directors.

Thomas will continue to serve in his role as CEO of the company, which is one of the largest Black-controlled licensed cannabis and hemp producers in the U.S. with offices in Las Vegas and operations in Colombia.

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

Tilray Accused Of Breaching License Agreement With IntelGenx

On the heels of Tilray Inc. TLRY announcing that its medical subsidiary Aphria launched oral strips in THC and CBD-rich varieties, IntelGenx Corp. IGX IGXT revealed that it had initiated an arbitration proceeding against Tilray related to an alleged breach of the parties’ 2018 license, development and supply agreement, as amended with Tilray for the co-development and commercialization of cannabis-infused VersaFilm products.

IntelGenx, which is focused on the development and manufacturing of pharmaceutical films, noted that Tilray’s press release on the launch of the medical cannabis strips represented a material breach of the agreement.

 “We believe that this demonstrates a disregard of contractual obligations by Tilray,” Dr. Horst G. Zerbe, CEO of IntelGenx stated. ”We remain committed to protecting our commercial rights and are prepared to take any necessary legal steps in that regard. Making our innovative and high-quality oral thin film products available to medical and recreational cannabis consumers remains a top priority for IntelGenx.”

Recommended read: DEA Vs. HHS: Who Is To Blame For Cannabis Still Being A Schedule 1 Drug?

Benzinga reached out to Tilray for comment on this issue but did not receive a response prior to the time of this writing on Thursday morning.

DEA Supports White House Plan To Streamline Research Of Psychedelics and Cannabis

While testifying at a recent House subcommittee hearing, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA) signaled their willingness to align with a White House proposal that seeks to streamline the process of researching Schedule I drugs.

The federal government’s treatment of Schedule I drugs, which includes LSD, MDMA, cannabis and peyote, is defined by the DEA as having “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” has prevented many beneficial drugs from being readily obtained and studied by researchers.

Studies are showing that cannabis and a variety of psychedelic drugs are proving effective for treating a range of mental injuries, for instance, clinical studies of MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD, which is currently in Phase III trials with the FDA.

Marijuana Moment reported that the DEA has said in written testimony that “expanding access to Schedule I research is a critical part of the DEA’s mission to protect public safety and health.”

The proposal looks to align research limitations of Schedule I drugs with those of less-restricted Schedule II drugs, which include effective and widely prescribed drugs like hydrocodone, Adderall and Ritalin. Researchers and policymakers alike have pointed out that existing protocols for studying Schedule I substances have for decades restricted essential research of therapies that could save lives.

Wells Fargo Rates Four Cannabis Stocks

Wells Fargo’s WFC analyst Chris Carey initiated coverage of four stocks in the cannabis space in his latest analyst note. The cannabis stocks on Carey’s radar include Canopy Growth CGC, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. SMG, Hydrofarm Holdings Group Inc. HYFM and GrowGeneration Corp. GRWG.

Scotts Miracle-Gro, which produces consumer lawn, garden and pest control products also utilized in the marijuana space, owns the Hawthorne line of hydroponic equipment for growing cannabis. Miracle-Gro received “the most bullish comments in a sign of Wall Street’s growing interest in the sector,” wrote MarketWatch.

Carey assigned an Overweight rating to Scotts Miracle-Gro, an Underweight to Canopy Growth, while GrowGeneration and Hydrofarm both got Equal Weight.

Marijuana Banking Reform Bill Chopped From Congressional Defense Bill In Bicameral Talks

The latest version of Congress’s defense bill has left out a number of provisions that were in the House-approved National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including the much-anticipated marijuana banking reform known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. 

Although the House had passed a version of the NDAA in September that included language to protect banking and financial institutions that work with state-legal cannabis companies, that part of the deal was dropped with Tuesday’s bicameral decision.

Mexico: Supreme Court Approves Low-THC Cannabis Production

The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice decided that the production of cannabis with low THC content is now allowed in the country. The court's ruling arose from a legal dispute with international firm Xebra Brands LTD.

Now, the Mexico-based company will be able to produce cannabis for medical, scientific purposes and to market CBD and CBG products (such as oils, beverages, creams and tinctures).

But will be able to do so as long as the products contain less than 1% THC.

The ruling will now head to a lower court for implementation through COFEPRIS (Comisión Federal de Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios).

It should also be noted that, recently, the ruling party's deputy María Clemente García Moreno presented a draft Federal Law for the Regulation of Industrial Hemp.

2021 Cannabis Strain Of The Year

Leafly Holdings, Inc. revealed that Dosidos has been chosen as the Leafly 2021 Strain of the Year. Each year the company chooses a cannabis strain that makes the most market impact among 5,000 strains in the company’s database

Leafly, which boasts more than 125 million visitors per yearchooses the annual strain based on a combination of data including search trends, online traffic and menu availability, as well as expert and editorial analyses across the cannabis industry from breeders, cultivators and retailers.


Stocks posted mixed results this week. Over the five trading days of this week – and at the time of writing:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: gained 2.3%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: rose 1.4%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS: tumbled 0.25%.
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX: was up 2.3%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: lost 0.5%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was up 2.8%.


Acquiring Company Acquired Company Price Conditions
Cresco Labs CL CRLBF Laurel Harvest Labs $80M Cash & Stock
Agrify Corporation AGFY PurePressure $9M Cash & Stock
Jupiter Wellness, Inc. JUPW Next Frontier Pharmaceuticals 65 million shares of Jupiter Wellness Stock
Tilray, Inc. TLRY TLRY Breckenridge Distillery Undisclosed Undisclosed


Company Lead Financier Amount
Australis Capital Inc. AUSA AUSAF LDA Capital, LLC $20M
Grown Rogue International Inc. GRIN GRUSF Private Placement $1.3M

Earnings Reports

Vertically integrated cannabis company Cannara Biotech Inc. LOVE LOVFF 8CB released its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2021 financial and operating results on Wednesday with quarterly revenue of CA$6.5 million ($5.12 million), up by 983.33% from CA$600,000 in the same period a year ago.

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

Ohio Republicans File Cannabis Legalization Bill

Ohio lawmakers filed a bill to legalize cannabis in the state recently.

The move comes on the heels of a recent push to place a full marijuana legalization initiative on the Ohio ballot, with activists nearing completion of the first phase of their signature drive for the cause.

The legislation was formally introduced by Reps. Jamie Callender (R) and Ron Ferguson (R), almost two months following the first announcement of their plan to legalize the plant.

Ohio Adult Use Act would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 50 grams of cannabis. Moreover, the cultivation of up to six plants, with only three being mature, would be permitted for personal use under the new bill, as well as gifting up to 25 grams of marijuana between adult consumers without remuneration.

Money from a 10% tax on marijuana sales would go to the state’s general revenue, law enforcement, mental health, addiction treatment and recovery services.

Cannformatics Discovers Tool For Objectively Measuring Medical Cannabis Benefits In Children With Autism

A new study has revealed an effective tool for objectively measuring the benefits of medical cannabis treatment in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), opening up new avenues of medicinal cannabis research, the co-authors explained. They also plan to broaden the research to include conditions such as chronic neuropathic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, etc.

A medical cannabis-focused biotech startup, Cannformatics revealed Wednesday that the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research has published results from this observational pilot study of children with ASD.

Nasdaq Debuts

Cannabis-focused commercial real estate finance company Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance Inc. REFI announced Tuesday that it is seeking to raise $100 million through an initial public offering of 6.25 million shares of its common stock at $16 per share.

The company’s common stock started trading on the NASDAQ Global Market on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The Valens Company Inc. VLNS VLNS commenced trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “VLNS” on December 9.

Valens’ common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol “VLNS.”

Sundial Still Committed To Deal With Liquor Retailer Alcanna Despite Cannabis Market Volatility

Sundial Growers Inc. SNDL reiterated its commitment to the proposed plan of arrangement with liquor retailer Alcanna Inc. CLIQ as previously announced in October and announced ISS' support for the plan.

The Calgary, Alberta-based cannabis company noted that it is committed to the current consideration offered to Alcanna shareholders whereby Alcanna's shareholders will receive, for each common share of Alcanna held, 10.69 common shares of Sundial. 

Based on this fixed exchange ratio and closing price of Sundial shares on Dec. 7, 2021, the consideration represents a deemed value of approximately $8.08 per Alcanna share. This value implies an 11% premium from the closing price of Alcanna shares on the TSX as of Dec. 7, 2021.

Sundial, Reddit’s favorite marijuana stock, also reported that it should take approximately 3 days of liquidity for holders of Alcanna shares to dispose of all Sundial shares received pursuant to the arrangement.

Cannabis Produced Without Growing The Plant

BioHarvest Sciences Inc. BHSC, a biotech company with offices in Canada and Israel, recently announced that it has produced some 22 pounds of full-spectrum cannabis biomass at a commercial scale without growing the plant itself.

This is the first time that any group, in either industry or academia, has successfully done this. The cannabis biomass, which is not genetically modified, was produced using BioHarvest's proprietary BioFarming technology platform that grows plant cells in their natural structure in proprietary bioreactors, the company said in a press release.

The result of the breakthrough by the Canadian-Israeli biotech company is cannabis biomass that is uniquely consistent and clean, resolving two major pain points related to product quality in the medicinal cannabis industry - product variability and contamination.

Confia x NCIA

Confia announced it will be partnering with the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) as a valuable resource and contributor to its social equity community, offering Confia’s fair and affordable financial services solution along with expert financial compliance guidance.

NCIA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Program (DEI) will oversee and validate all social equity applicants through its Social Equity Scholarship Program (SESP). NCIA operates one of the nation's largest social equity initiatives and all of NCIA’s verified SESP members will be eligible for Confia’s financial services platform for a fee of $250, which is an overall 50% discount.

“Confia's ultimate goal is to expand access to fair and affordable financial services for cannabis-related businesses, so our NCIA partnership is in perfect alignment. Because of their longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cannabis industry, we look forward to supporting their engaged community and make a difference for businesses who deserve it most,” Confia founder and CEO Mark Lozzi told Benzinga.

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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