The Week In Cannabis: Senate Candidate Sparks Up, Silver Spike's IPO, New York, Mississippi, Pot For Plasma And More

Below is a recap of the main news related to the cannabis industry and markets for the week of January 17, 2022.

Senate Candidate Smokes A Blunt In Campaign Ad

Democrat Gary Chambers, who is seeking a U.S. Senate seat from Louisiana, released a campaign ad on Tuesday in which he smokes a sizable blunt while sitting in an armchair looking about as chill as someone could possibly look. But Chambers is dead serious about the harms of cannabis criminalization.

“Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people,” Chambers says quoting ACLU statistics. “States waste $3.7 billion enforcing marijuana laws every year. Most of the people police are arresting aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot, just like me.”

The ad is titled “37 Seconds,” a reference to research finding that police make a marijuana-related arrest every 37 seconds on average.

“For too long, candidates have used the legalization of marijuana as an empty talking point in order to appeal to progressive voters,” Chambers said in a press release. “I hope this ad works to not only destigmatize the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology.”

Silver Spike IPO

Silver Spike Investment Corp. announced a $125.02 million initial public offering. The New York-based company plans to go public with 8.93 million shares at $14.00 per share. SSIC is expected to list its common stock on the NASDAQ under the symbol “SSIC.”

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

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and Piper Sandler & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Canaccord Genuity LLC and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. are acting as co-managers.

Fire & Flower Files For Nasdaq Listing

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. FAF FFLWF announced the filing of its Form 40-F Registration Statement with the US  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in preparation for the company to list its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC.

Biden Won't Keep His Cannabis Decriminalization Promise

“It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars,” Noam Chomsky once said.

Right on point, many would agree, considering that more than half of the U.S. adult population concurs that President Joe Biden has made little to no progress on his crucial campaign promise to decriminalize cannabis during his first year in office, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov and the Economist.

The survey revealed that the majority of U.S. residents also don’t hold out much hope that the president will make progress on this important reform in 2022.

As per the survey, 54% believe that Biden made little to no progress on marijuana decriminalization; 23% said they don’t know and another 23% think he made some or a lot of progress on the matter.

58% of respondents overall do not expect Biden to make progress on cannabis decriminalization in 2022, with 26% unsure what to expect and only 16% optimistically believing he’ll make some or a lot of progress on the issue.

It is important to note that 58% of respondents confirmed they support marijuana decriminalization and 25% do not.

New York: $1B In Marijuana Taxes

According to official projections, the state of New York could generate over a billion dollars in marijuana taxes before the end of the decade.

An estimate included in the governor’s executive budget calculated that between now and 2028, the state could gather more than $1.25 billion from licensing fees and other taxes.

Read: Exclusive: NBA Great Al Harrington Discusses New Cannabis Ventures, Social Equity, His Big Capital Raise And More

The Empire State legalized adult-use marijuana in March of 2021, but cannabis shops are not expected to open until late 2022 or early 2023, as Newyorkers wait for the state to issue licenses to producers, distributors and retailers.

Marijuana-related tax collection is expected to increase on a yearly basis.

According to coverage by Marijuana Moment, “for fiscal year 2023, the state is projected to collect $56 million in revenue, most of which will come in the form of licensing fees. From there, the yearly revenue estimates quickly increase as sales are expected to come online and expand: $95 million in 2024, $158 million in 2025, $245 million in 2026, $339 million in 2027 and $363 million in 2028.”

Mississippi Medical Marijuana Bill

The Mississippi House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Senate's medical marijuana bill on Wednesday, lowering the amount of cannabis a patient can purchase each month.

The measure was approved on a 104–14 vote. The changes addressed concerns raised by Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who repeatedly called for lawmakers to lower the amount, Marijuana Moment reported.

The legislation allows patients to purchase the equivalent of 3.5 grams of marijuana (or 1 gram of cannabis concentrate) daily, with a maximum monthly limit of 3 ounces. The maximum monthly amount of cannabis that can be purchased passed by the Senate was 3.5-ounces.

Saint Vincent Exports Cannabis To Germany

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a Caribbean nation with a population of just over 110,000 people, exported 110 pounds (49.8 kilos) of cannabis to Germany, making it the first Eastern Caribbean state to export medical marijuana. 

St Vincent's agriculture minister Saboto Caesar said on Jan. 7 that Germany's Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices had approved a license for the shipment and that the product, sold by Caribbean Cannabis Company, should be in Germany posthaste.

"St. Vincent and the Grenadines is ready for global business in the Medicinal Wellness Industry space," Caesar said, adding the government hopes to develop other wellness products including traditional medicines and the emerging field of psychedelic medicine, reported Reuters.

Read: EXCLUSIVE: Whitney Tilson Bullish On US Cannabis Stocks: 'The Sentiment Is Changing'


Stocks posted mixed results this week. Over the last five trading days – including last Friday, since markets were closed on Monday:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ: lost 8.7%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO: tumbled 8.7%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS: fell 10.2%.
  • The Cannabis ETF THCX: was down 8.4%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS: slipped 8.2%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was down 3.75%.


  • Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. CURA CURLF wrapped up its previously announced acquisition of Bloom Dispensaries, the vertically integrated, single state cannabis operator in Arizona for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $211 million on a cash and debt-free basis with target working capital. The company also announced on Thursday that it plans to open two new dispensaries in Pennsylvania.
  • MariMed, Inc. MRMD inked a definitive agreement to acquire Green Growth Group. Terms of the deal to purchase the holder of a provisional cannabis craft license in Illinois were not disclosed.


  • Scotts Miracle-Gro SMG revealed the expiration and results of its previously announced registered exchange offer for 4.375% senior notes due 2032. The $400 million aggregate principal amount of 4.375% senior notes was issued in a private placement in August 2021.  
  • PharmaCann Inc., a vertically integrated marijuana company finalized an additional issuance of a 12% senior secured note due June 30, 2025. The Chicago-based operator reported Thursday that net proceeds from the upsize were around $39.5 million, after the original issue discount and other estimated offering expenses that will be used for strategic growth opportunities and general corporate purposes. With this additional issuance, the total principal amount of notes outstanding was $125 million.

Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

The 14th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, the world’s biggest and most successful cannabis investing and finance event, will take place on April 20 and April 21, 2022 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in Miami, Florida.

Enjoy exclusive opportunities for curated networking and unparalleled access to private deal flow at an event hosted by Benzinga, a financial news and data company recently acquired at a $300 million valuation. Hear directly from the executives of top-performing cannabis companies and get priceless insights from the world’s leading cannabis investors, all in one place.

“We’ve seen cannabis businesses raise tens of millions of dollars at our events and this year's meeting will be even larger, with a record level of investment capital and top-notch operators,” said Chief Zinger Jason Raznick.

“We’ll also dive into key issues related to cannabis and capital markets with incredible speakers and, for the first time ever, a slew of new features we cannot share publicly just yet.”

The Speakers          

At the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami you’ll hear from some of the top names in the industry including:

  • Zach George of Sundial Growers SNDL,
  • Gary Santo of TILT Holdings TLLTF,
  • Michael Mills of Body and Mind BMMJ,
  • Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management and AdvisorShares Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF PSDN,
  • Len Tannenbaum of Advanced Flower Capital AFCG.

Other presenting companies include:

·       Trulieve TCNNF ·       Unrivaled Brands UNRV ·     Statehouse/Harborside HBORF
·       Forian FOR ·       Agrify AGFY ·       Columbia Care CCHWF
·       CB1 Capital ·       Tilray TLRY ·       Curaleaf CURLF
·       Cresco Labs CRLBF ·       Flora Growth FLGC ·       Zuber Lawler
·       Marcum ·       Village Farms VFF ·       Cansortium CNTMF
·       Item 9 Labs INLB ·       Weedmaps MAPS ·       Neptune Wellness NEPT
·       4Front Holdings FFNTF ·       Marimed MRMD  

Earnings Reports

This week, we saw earnings reports from:

  • Item 9 Labs Corp. INLB
  • Agrify Corporation AGFY

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

Green Bitcoin Mining

Generation Hemp, Inc. GENH is teaming up with cryptocurrency company, Crypt Solutions to build "Green Energy" plants and Bitcoin mining complexes that will utilize hemp feedstock as a fuel source to power mining equipment.

The Dallas-based company said it plans to include Generation Hemp's additional hemp drying and processing facilities in the complex.

Read: Berner, 'Snowfall' Creator, 'Den Of Thieves' Director Collab On TV Series On Designer Weed: 'Real Edgy, Trippy'

Pot For Plasma

‘Pot For Plasma’ campaign is an effort being undertaken by Greenhouse of Walled Lake and UBaked Cannabis Edibles of Burton to help remedy Michigan’s critical scarcity of blood and plasma donations.

Starting Tuesday, Jan. 18, the two cannabis companies began providing free pre-rolls to anyone over 21 who came in with proof that they had donated blood or plasma. Anything will do - a sticker, a band-aid on your arm can be used as proof and no purchase is necessary.

The two companies stressed that Michigan is currently undergoing the worst blood and plasma shortage in more than 10 years, a situation also going on in the rest of the United States. The American Red Cross and Michigan Association of Blood Banks are pleading for help; they urgently need blood and plasma donations.

Sex And Weed

Young marijuana enthusiasts and alcohol consumers have better orgasms and overall sexual function than those who abstain, according to a new study undertaken in Spain. 

Researchers from the University of Almeria were inspired to tackle the controversy swirling around numerous previous studies that looked at the impact of cannabis and alcohol on sexual functioning, which disclosed both positive and negative effects. To that end, Spanish researchers created a new observational study that concluded: “Sexual function in young people who use cannabis and alcohol more frequently was shown to be better than in those who do not use either.”

‘Potify’ To Lose Its Clever Name

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld two oppositions filed by Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) against trademark applications made by U.S. Software Inc. for its cannabis software known as POTIFY.

Martha Stewart 

Cannabis giant Canopy Growth Corp CGCand the "Domestic Diva" Martha Stewart unveiled Martha Stewart CBD Wellness Topicals on Wednesday, marking the brand’s first-ever category expansion in its growing CBD portfolio.

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Top Spanish Stories

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·  Portugal: ¿Cerca de Legalizar el Cannabis de Uso Adulto?

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·  EXCLUSIVA: Whitney Tilson Optimista Sobre las Acciones de Cannabis de EEUU: ‘El Sentimiento Está Cambiando’

·  La Mirada de Leandro Ayala, de la Confederación Cannábica de Argentina: Economía y Arraigo en la ‘Argentina Profunda’ 

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Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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Cannabis rescheduling seems to be right around the corner

Want to understand what this means for the future of the industry? Hear directly for top executives, investors and policymakers at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, coming to Chicago this Oct. 8-9. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.