Archive for Jeremy Berke,Yeji Jesse Lee

Time to buy US cannabis stocks

marijuana

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Hello everyone,

So, before we get into this week, some news: This will be the last edition before our newsletter goes on hiatus. When we started this newsletter just over two years ago, we had zero subscribers and the cannabis beat was just coming into fruition here at Insider.

Today, thousands of you read this newsletter every week. I can sincerely say we have the best audience in the cannabis industry, so thank you all so much for reading, your tips, and your support.

The good news is our incisive reporting won't stop. While we're on hiatus, you can keep up with us on Twitter and LinkedIn. And to get "Insider Exclusives," our email alerts - sign up here by topic. Insider will be in touch soon with some newsletter updates. In the meantime, please take this brief survey to help us improve our newsletters. But until then, let's get right to this week's edition...

- Jeremy Berke (@jfberke) & Yeji Jesse Lee (@jesse_yeji)

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news.

Here's what we wrote about this week:

A top Wall Street analyst says buy these 3 stocks now to capitalize on the Democrats' push for marijuana reform

Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries, and Trulieve are the top US cannabis stocks to buy now, according to Cantor Fitzgerald's Pablo Zuanic. In an October 12 note, Zuanic said that the fundamentals for publicly traded US cannabis companies have never been better.

An unregulated cannabis dispensary is already open for business in New York City, even though the state is still deciding what legal weed sales will look like. Here's what it's like inside.

In September, a recreational cannabis "club" quietly opened in Manhattan. The store appears to be operating in a legal gray area, as dispensary regulation has yet to be written. New York's office of cannabis management said, "those attempting to sell illegally must stop immediately."

Executive moves

  • Cannabis company Red White & Bloom announced on Thursday that alcohol industry veteran Chris Ecken would be joining the company as Chief Financial Officer.
  • Blair MacNeil is joining Tilray as the company's President of Canadian operations. MacNeil was previously the general manager for Bacardi.
  • Ed Kremer is taking over from Kimberly Bambach as Jushi Holdings CFO.
  • HEXO Corp. said on Wednesday that Scott Cooper would be stepping in as the company's new president and CEO. Cooper is the president and CEO of Truss Beverage Co., the joint venture between Hexo Corp. and Molson Coors Canada.
  • Rob Bellezza is joining medical cannabis company Curio Wellness as the company's COO. He was formerly at Unilever, where he was head of operations at Ben & Jerry's.
  • MediPharm Labs announced on Thursday that healthcare manufacturing veteran ​​Bryan Howcroft would be joining the company as its new chief executive officer.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

  • Cannabis accessories and products company Greenlane Holdings announced on Tuesday that it will acquire vaporizer technology company DaVinci. Greenlane's CEO says the deal is worth "up to $20 million in total consideration, comprised of a mix of cash and stock," according to reporting by Forbes.
  • German medical cannabis company The Bloomwell Group closed a $10 million seed funding round, led by Curaleaf Executive Chairman Boris Jordan's fund, Measure 8.
  • Cannabis gift card program company Birchmount Network said on Tuesday that it had closed a $2.5 million seed round led by Achari Ventures.
  • California cannabis brand Claybourne Co. said on Tuesday that it had raised $17.5 million in equity and debt financing.
  • Cannabis real estate firm Pelorus Equity Group upsized its offering from $250 million to $1 billion.

Policy moves

  • New York's Cannabis Control Board (CCB) voted on Thursday to allow the state's medical cannabis patients to grow their own cannabis plants at home. After a 60-day public comment period, the board will do a final review before the regulations take effect.
  • Representative Earl Blumenauer reintroduced the Medical Marijuana Research Act on Thursday.

Research and data

  • Johns Hopkins University announced this week that they have received the first federal grant for psychedelic research in 50 years. The National Institute of Health grant will provide $4 million toward a study on the effects of psilocybin on tobacco addiction.
  • The Food and Drug Administration announced in its Cannabis-Derived Products Data Acceleration Plan it plans to scan "novel" data sources, like the online forum site Reddit, to develop a better understanding of the health effects of cannabis compounds like CBD and delta-8. Read more at Marijuana Moment.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Tilray comes to America (sorta)

Cultivation managers can make over $100,000.
Insider Cannabis.

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Happy Friday,

I'm typing away ahead of a week of vacation in Italy. It's my first time here, so get in touch if you have recommendations - or don't because I probably won't be checking my phone or email too much.

On that note, it was another whirlwind week in the cannabis world, with tons of companies reporting financial results and deals galore.

The quick highlights: Eaze is getting into Colorado and Florida by acquiring Green Dragon, a chain of dispensaries. We got the scoop on the deal and the company's plans to raise $75 million.

Shortly after we put up a fiery interview with Green Thumb Industries CEO Ben Kovler, Tilray made a push into the US by buying up a chunk of MedMen's debt.

Kovler said it's misleading when Canadian cannabis execs tout their US ambitions since they can't actually sell cannabis in the US.

I won't spoil the story here, but Tilray CEO Irwin Simon pushed back on Kovler's comments in an interview. Tilray's deal is a convoluted one - and it'll take a lot of regulatory changes for Tilray to actually take a majority stake in MedMen.

Other US cannabis execs told us they're not worried about their Canadian rivals, though some did signal that interest in US cannabis can, in a way, benefit everyone involved.

Last but not least, take a look at our second list of the top dealmakers in the cannabis industry.

Other cannabis happenings:

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers' husband JT Burnette was convicted on five charges, including extortion, The Tallahassee Democrat reports. Burnette was caught on tape bragging about using his access to manipulate Florida cannabis licensing rules in Trulieve's favor.

Rivers released a statement denying any wrongdoing on her or Trulieve's part and added that the company's board is in full support of her leadership.

You'll all be in good hands with Yeji next week!

- Jeremy Berke (@jfberke)

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news.

Here's what we wrote about this week:

The CEO of a top US cannabis company unloads on his Canadian rivals: 'Dissuading, misleading, and lying to investors'

Green Thumb CEO Ben Kovler isn't scared of his Canadian rivals' plans to jump into the US. Canadian companies like Tilray and Canopy Growth have made their US ambitions clear in recent weeks.

Cannabis startup Eaze is raising $75 million in a push to make deals and dominate retail

Eaze is raising $75 million and buying Green Dragon, a dispensary chain, the company told Insider.

Eaze has pivoted from a delivery company to one that also sells and operates cannabis stores. With the acquisition, Eaze is pitching itself to investors as a multistate operator like Curaleaf or Trulieve.

Canadian cannabis giant Tilray is using a convoluted deal with one of the most troubled US cannabis companies to enter the $100 billion US market

Canadian cannabis giant Tilray made a deal with MedMen to gain a foothold in the US. Tilray is buying some of MedMen's debt, which would turn into equity once the US legalizes cannabis.

Wall Street is making a killing on cannabis. Here are the top bankers raising money, cutting deals, and raking in millions.

Wall Street banks have pulled in over $577 million in fees from cannabis deals since 2017. Canaccord Genuity, a midsize investment bank in Canada, leads the pack, while Goldman Sachs is a distant second.

The manager of a $900 million cannabis ETF names the 'underloved' pot stock that investors should take a close look at now

Dan Ahrens, the manager of a $900 million US cannabis ETF says Verano Holdings is an underloved US cannabis stock. The company, which went public earlier this year, trades at a discount to its peers. Ahrens lays out why it might be a good time to get in.

Canadian cannabis companies have declared they're coming for the US, but their American counterparts say they're not worried

Canadian cannabis giants are bullish on the US market, so they're making deals that could give them an edge.

But the CEOs of the largest US cannabis companies told Insider they're far from worried.

Cannabis
A CPlant employee fills a bag with hemp flowers for export at the company's farming area near Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020

Executive moves

  • The Parent Company said on Monday that Troy Datcher would be joining as CEO.
  • Valerie Malone is joining Canadian cannabis firm HEXO as chief commercial officer.
  • Nilyum Jhala, the former vice president of global and digital technology at Hallmark Cards, will become Trulieve's chief technology officer, the company said.
  • Francesca Serraino Fiory, a veteran of Perrigo, Pfizer, and J&J, is joining Green Hygienics as chief science officer.
  • Aaron Riley is leaving his role as CEO of cannabis testing lab CannaSafe, as part of a broader reorganization of the company. He'll be replaced by Gerry Dabkowski.
  • The US Cannabis Council, an industry trade group, made a pair of senior hires: Bo Bryant and Josh Glasstetter are joining as VP of government relations and director of communications.
  • Actress Rosario Dawson is joining cannabis beverage company Cann's board.
  • Delta 9 appointed David Kideckel, formerly an analyst at ATB Capital Markets, as head of strategy, corporate development, and capital markets.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

cannabis
a marijuana sample is set aside for evaluation at Cannalysis, a cannabis testing laboratory, in Santa Ana, California.

Policy moves

  • Nearly half of US adults have tried marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll.
  • New Jersey announced its first set of rules regulating the cannabis industry on Thursday. The rules favor local entrepreneurs over multi-state operators, NJ.com reports.
  • Lawyers for a man sentenced to 22 years in prison for marijuana-related offenses are using Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' comments on the inconsistencies of federal cannabis policy to make the case for compassionate release, Marijuana Moment reports.

Research news

  • A study in the Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Development found no marked increase in cannabis use among Canadian youth three years into legalization. The study's authors said legalization continues to offer positive benefits for public health.

Earnings, and more earnings

  • MariMed released its Q2 results on Monday, reporting $32.6 million in revenue, and net income of $7.6 million.
  • MediPharm Labs released its Q2 results on Monday, reporting C$5.1 million in revenue, and a net loss of C$11.8 million.
  • RIV Capital posted its fiscal Q1 2022 results on Monday, reporting a C$30.4 million net loss.
  • Auxly Cannabis Group reported its Q2 results on Monday, reporting C$20.9 million in revenue and a C$8.7 million net loss.
  • The Parent Company released its Q2 results on Monday, reporting $54.2 million in revenue and a $10.4 million loss on an adjusted EBITDA basis.
  • 4Front released its Q2 results on Monday, reporting $27.1 million in revenue and a net loss of $6.2 million.
  • Greenlane Holdings released its Q2 results on Monday, reporting $34.7 million in revenue and a net loss of $5.8 million.
  • Glass House Group released its Q2 results on Monday, reporting $18.7 million in revenue and a net loss of $4.7 million.
  • Ayr Wellness released its Q2 results on Tuesday, reporting $91.3 million in revenue and an operating loss of $24.9 million.
  • TerrAscend released its Q2 results on Thursday, reporting $58.7 million in revenue and a net loss of $23 million.

Chart of the week

The CBD market is expected to keep growing, according to data from Brightfield Group. Edibles and drinks categories are expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 51% over the past five years:

Chart of compound annual growth rate percentages from 2021-2026 for CBD edibles and drinks

What we're reading

The Canna FAANG Cometh (Substack)

US cannabis insurers get ready to roll as federal legalization nears (Reuters)

Kevin Durant aims to destigmatize marijuana use with new partnership (ESPN)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Insider Cannabis: What GTI and Trulieve told Wall Street – Atai’s $2.3 billion IPO – Cannabis tech competes for NY

Marijuana
An employee holds a display of dried marijuana at the Fire and Flower store as the first legal cannabis stores open in the province of Ontario, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 1, 2019.

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

If you follow cannabis news closely, this week was a good reminder of the strange world we live in where marijuana use is completely legal and normalized in some states and a criminal act in others.

Late-night host Conan O'Brien lit up a joint with cannabis evangelist and comedian Seth Rogen on live TV, for O'Brien's second-to-last ever TBS show. O'Brien said he's not a regular marijuana user, but joked that he needed to do something with all his newfound free time.

Elsewhere in the late-night world, Jimmy Kimmel helped "Freddie the Stoner," an Indiana man who was interviewed by the show while waiting in line at a dispensary opening in Michigan, land his dream job writing product reviews for Emjay, a Los Angeles-based cannabis delivery startup.

Lots of Americans of all political stripes watch Kimmel and O'Brien. You might think that late-night hosts being so brazen about using marijuana on live television is a clear sign that the era of marijuana prohibition is over. You'd be wrong.

LA Lakers guard Alex Caruso was arrested in Texas for having a grinder with a small amount of marijuana on him at the airport. He was released, but not before his mugshot was shared with the world. He'll be fine, and I'm sure he has the money and resources to cover bail and fight whatever charges crop up, but he's an example of what's still happening to thousands of people across the country.

And on a semi-related note, two former consultants to Eaze were sentenced to prison for disguising credit card payments on the marijuana delivery service's platform. At the hearing, US District Judge Jed Rakoff criticized the sentencing guidelines which called for life in prison for one, and 24 years for the other, Reuters reports.

The consultants broke the law. But life in prison for what amounts to fraud is quite a harsh sentence - the defendant ultimately got two-and-a-half years.

What else?

The Ontario Securities Commission gave out "quasi-criminal" charges to CannTrust's former CEO, Peter Aceto, as well as another executive and a board member for growing unlicensed cannabis.

And I got a fun scoop on what the CEOs of US cannabis companies Trulieve and Green Thumb Industries told an audience of some of the world's most powerful investors at last week's Robin Hood Investors Conference. You can read that here.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic said in a note this week the US cannabis sector has been suffering from a 'Schumer overhang' while the industry waits for the Senate Majority Leader's legalization bill.

Let's get to it.

- Jeremy Berke (@jfberke) & Yeji (@jesse_yeji)

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news.

Here's what we wrote about this week:

Psychedelics giant Atai is targeting a $2.3 billion valuation in its IPO. We pored over its 446-page filing to find 7 key takeaways.

The largest private psychedelics company in the world made its long-anticipated public debut last Friday. We dug through Atai's public filings to narrow down the main takeaways investors should know about the company.

4 top cannabis-tech startups share how they're gearing up to win a slice of New York's $7 billion marijuana market

Tech companies that work in cannabis are preparing for New York's adult-use marijuana market. Insider spoke to four cannabis-tech companies - Fyllo, Dutchie, LeafLink, and SpringBig - and all said they're hiring aggressively to meet the demand of the New York market.

Capitol Hill staffers say they use marijuana freely even though it's still illegal for federal workers

Using marijuana is a fireable offense in President Joe Biden's White House, but many power players who work a couple of miles away on Capitol Hill can and do get away with it.

Most congressional staffers never get asked about their cannabis use, so they can light up or take edibles without too much concern about losing their jobs.

Meme stock shareholders are causing issues by not voting on things like exec pay and M&A deals. Here's how startups are trying to improve the process.

Companies with large retail-investor bases face difficulties reaching a quorum in shareholder votes. "It's hard to get those shareholders to show up and vote," Tilray CEO Irwin Simon told Insider.

The CEOs of two of the biggest US cannabis companies break down the future of the industry to an exclusive audience of Wall Street's most powerful investors

Green Thumb Industries and Trulieve CEOs spoke at the exclusive Robin Hood Investors Conference last week. The talk was closed to the press, but Insider learned the executives discussed the generational opportunity of investing in cannabis and made predictions about the industry.

Israel cannabis
An employee holds a leaf of a medical cannabis plant at Pharmocann, an Israeli medical cannabis company in northern Israel June 24, 2020.

Executive moves

  • Amy Larson is joining TILT as the VP of operations and communications next week. She was previously a VP at Simplifya.
  • Psychedelics company Awakn announced on Thursday that David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit at Imperial College London, has joined as chief research officer.
  • In more psychedelic people moves, Novamind has appointed Dr. Paul Thielking as chief science officer.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

  • Hydroponics company Hydrofarm Holdings will acquire Aurora Innovations, an Oregon hydroponics company, for $161 million in cash and $26 million in Hydrofarm stock.
  • Precision Extraction Solutions and Cascade Sciences are merging to form Sinclair Scientific. The merger will create what the company says is the largest cannabis and hemp extraction company, with combined annual revenue of over $100 million.
  • PharmaCann announced on Friday that it had completed a senior secured note offering. The net proceeds are worth around $79.9 million.
  • Awakn Life Sciences went public on the NEO Exchange on Wednesday under the symbol "AWKN" through a reverse takeover.

Policy moves

Marijuana Cannabis
In this March 25, 2018 file photo, a convention visitor examines a marijuana sample at the New England Cannabis Convention in Boston.

Research and data

  • Adolescent marijuana and alcohol use remained steady during the pandemic, despite decreases in both substance's availability, according to a study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Dr. Nora Volkow. The study also showed that past-month nicotine vaping among high schoolers decreased during the pandemic. The authors say the study shows that reducing teen use of substances cannot be achieved solely by limiting supply.
  • A new study published in the journal Sleep found that Zelira Therapeutics cannabinoid drug, Zenivol, is effective for treating insomnia and showed few adverse effects.
  • Alabama could add $600 million to its GDP in its first three years of medical cannabis sales, according to a report from cannabis software firm Akerna. Alabama legalized medical cannabis in May.
  • Cannabis information site Leafly published a report ranking states with legal cannabis on their social equity programs. California and Colorado topped the list, while Montana and South Dakota came in last. The report states that only 1 in 50 cannabis companies is black-owned, compared to the US average of 1 in 20 for other industries.
  • A new report from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) looked at the challenges of establishing a framework for small, minority-owned businesses in the cannabis industry.
  • Cannabis use may be associated with suicidal ideation in young adults, according to a National Institutes of Health analysis of survey data from 280,000 young adults between the ages of 18-35.

What we're reading

Amazon ditched cannabis testing, and more employers will likely follow (CNN Business)

CannTrust's former CEO and two directors charged with fraud over unlicensed pot growing scandal (Financial Post)

Opinion: Cannabis is the great social experiment that wasn't (CTV News)

Maine's mom and pop weed scene sweats corporate 'gentrification' (Politico)

The Future Of Psychedelic Medicine Might Skip The Trip (Forbes)

How Conn. Learned From Its Neighbors On Pot Legalization (Law 360)

Political 'infighting' could mean more delay for New York's legal marijuana business (New York Upstate)

I ate a 4-course meal at a weed pizza parlor and got stoned to the bone (Insider)

Eric Adams on weed, Beyonce, and the housing-sleuth haters (Vanity Fair)

Cannabis firms Tilt, Ayr pay nearly $300,000 each in MA settlements (MJ Biz Daily)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Insider Cannabis: Psychedelic patent wars – Top law firms in cannabis – Pandemic sales boom

weed thc marijuana cbd cannabis

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Welcome to another edition of Insider Cannabis. I hope you all had restful Memorial Day weekends.

In the cannabis stock world, one thing you can count on is volatility. While Canopy Growth posted larger-than-expected losses in Q4, Canadian cannabis stocks like Tilray and Sundial were sent ripping this week, mostly driven by retail investors on Reddit using platforms like Robinhood. They seemed to be reacting to the news that Amazon said it would stop testing for cannabis in some of its employees and signaled support of the MORE Act.

This morning, though, those companies have seen their stocks drop. I'm speaking with Sundial CEO Zach George at Benzinga's Cannabis Capital Conference today, and I'll let you all know what he says.

Some sources have told me they think Amazon's news is overblown. They said they think that if Amazon really wanted to come in and dominate the cannabis industry in the US, it would have figured out a way to do so already. But it's one of the few instances I can think of where a large and powerful company that isn't invested in cannabis has signaled support for legalization publicly.

I'd love to hear what you think - is this lip service on Amazon's part? Or do they mean it? Which companies will follow?

Let's get to it.

- Jeremy Berke (@jfberke) & Yeji (@jesse_yeji)

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news.

Here's what we wrote about this week:

Cannabis companies are striking multibillion dollar deals again. Here are the 7 law firms putting them together.

Insider put together its third annual list of top lawyers in the cannabis space. This year we pulled the 10 largest cannabis-industry deals worldwide since the start of 2020, including M&A, capital raises, and debt financing, and pinpointed which firms worked on at least two of them.

Experts share how a brewing fight could shape the future of the $100 billion psychedelics industry

Research into the medical potential of psychedelics is experiencing a renaissance after decades of neglect amid the war on drugs. The dispute over one company's patents is turning into a larger fight over the future of what could become a $100 billion market. The conflict over patents has the potential to shape the future of the psychedelics landscape.

Legal cannabis sales shot up to $17.5 billion during the pandemic as dispensaries helped Americans stock up on marijuana

The pandemic initially disrupted the legal cannabis industry, but 2020 saw record sales of $17.5 billion. Dispensaries navigated changing regulations and markets to find new ways to reach customers.

Executive Moves

  • Ascend Wellness Holdings said on Wednesday that it had named Robin Debiase, former vice president of HR at Weight Watchers, as chief people officer.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

Earnings roundup

  • Canopy Growth released its fiscal Q4 results, reporting C$148.4 million in net revenue and a C$616.7 million net loss.

Cannabis jobs

Science and research

Chart of the week

New Frontier Data looked at revenue from the top 10 medical cannabis markets in the US, led by Florida and Arizona. Trailing closely behind were California, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania:

bar chart on the top 10 medical cannabis markets by revenue in 2020
top 10 medical cannabis markets by revenue in 2020

What we're reading

Psychedelics Patent Claim Raises Questions From Researchers Who Say They Did It First (Vice)

Why the pandemic was a breakout moment for the cannabis industry (The New York Times)

Congresswoman Blasts Biden Decision To Block Marijuana Sales In D.C. (Marijuana Moment)

Pot Producers Are Pushing to Clamp Down on Delta-8 THC (Bloomberg)

The End Of 'High Maintenance': Why Marijuana Delivery Via Bicycle Is Banned (And How To Legalize It) (Forbes)

Biden's Shameful, Conservative Stance Against Legal Pot in D.C. (The New Republic)

Read the original article on Business Insider

CBD startup Prima raises millions

marijuana cannabis
Employees tend to medical cannabis plants at Pharmocann, an Israeli medical cannabis company in northern Israel.

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Welcome to another edition of Insider Cannabis.

As the national drumbeat for cannabis legalization marches on, we're all waiting for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's promised comprehensive reform bill.

May is rapidly coming to a close, so it's looking more and more likely we won't get to see that bill before the end of the month. But Congressional Democrats, for their part, aren't twiddling their thumbs.

Sen. Ron Wyden, along with a bipartisan group including Sen. Rand Paul, released a bill that would kick it to the FDA to regulate CBD. And Rep. Jerrold Nadler is reportedly launching a new version of the MORE Act, a social-justice-first cannabis de-scheduling bill, as soon as next week.

Things are moving.

What else?

Catch me talking about the growth of the cannabis industry and the boom in edibles on ABC's Nightline. I also went on the Cannabinoid Connect podcast, where I had a wide-ranging discussion with host Kevin Carrillo about federal cannabis policy, state-by-state legalization, industry deals, and more.

And, I moderated a panel for Prohibition Partners with Steven Hawkins of the US Cannabis Council and Rob Sechrist of Pelorus Equity Group. If you caught it, let me know what you thought.

Let's get to it.

- Jeremy Berke (@jfberke) & Yeji (@jesse_yeji)

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news.

Here's what we wrote about this week:

The CEO of Columbia Care shares how he quietly built one of the largest footprints in the cannabis industry in order to woo a strategic partner

Columbia Care's CEO told us that having a national footprint will be key for wooing a strategic partner. His strategy: Expanding into new states one-by-one and ensuring that each is profitable.

Still, consumer companies aren't likely to invest in US cannabis until there is more clarity from the federal government.

The CEO of hot CBD-skincare startup Prima dishes on how he got VCs like Greycroft and Lerer Hippeau to invest

CBD skincare startup Prima closed a $9.2 million round led by Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau, and other firms. CEO Christopher Gavigan said it's critical to communicate the startup's growth plan to investors.

VCs told Insider that the round was 'competitive,' as Prima is in high demand.

CBD startup Trip raises $5 million as it plans US expansion

London-based CBD-drinks company Trip raised $5 million to fund its expansion into the US and further across Europe. Backers include Maria Raga, the CEO of the secondhand-fashion app Depop, and the venture capitalist Christian Angermayer.

How a Facebook engineer and a Microsoft engineer cofounded one of California's top cannabis distributors

Cannabis distribution brand Nabis works with 80 cannabis brands and over 700 dispensaries. Here's a look at how childhood best friends Vince Ning and Jun Lee created and grew the startup.

Executive Moves

  • Canopy Growth announced on Thursday that Martha Stewart would become an official strategic advisor.
  • Travis Tharp will take over from Erik Knutson as CEO of cannabis beverage company Keef Brands. Tharp was previously president and COO, and Knutson will remain on the board.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

  • Aurora Cannabis filed for a $300 million stock sale on Thursday. The filing mentions a possibility of a US acquisition, MarketWatch reports.
  • Cannabis SPAC Mercer Park Brand Acquisition Corp. said on Monday that it has upsized a previously announced equity investment to include $50 million from TPCO Holdings Corp. In total, Mercer Park has raised $135 million for the transaction.
  • HEXO Corp announced on Monday it would acquire 48North Cannabis Corp in a C$50 million stock deal.
  • MedMen is set to raise $10 million through a private placement to open new dispensaries.
  • Curaleaf said on Monday it would acquire Colorado-based cannabis cultivator Los Sueños for around $67 million in cash and stock.
  • Canadian cannabis company High Tide Holdings will raise $15 million through a bought deal.
  • Cannabis marketing agency Petalfast announced on Wednesday it had raised a $2.8 million Series A round led by Merida Capital Holdings.
  • Tilray is closing a major cultivation facility, High Park Farms, in Ontario as part of the merger with Aphria.
  • Cannabis-infused beverage company Cann is expanding... out of cannabis... with a line of non-infused beverages called Unspiked in flavors like Blood Orange Cardamom and Lemon Lavender.

Research and data

  • Psychedelics company MindMed announced on Monday that it had received an FDA Type C Meeting Response from the FDA for its LSD clinical trials. The company said it expects to formally submit its investigational new drug application (IND) for Project Lucy by Q3 of this year and launch phase II trials in Q4 2021.
  • A new study from Intermountain Healthcare found that vaping injuries, or EVALI, can lead to long-term lung damage, cognitive impairment, and depression.

Policy moves

  • A bipartisan group of senators, including Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ron Wyden of Oregon, introduced a bill on Wednesday that would allow CBD to be used in food products and supplements, and kick it to the FDA to come up with regulations for the industry.
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler is planning to refile the MORE Act, a bill that would federally de-schedule cannabis, as soon as next week. The bill will contain some key changes from the last version, Marijuana Moment reports.
  • Alabama is the latest state to legalize medical cannabis. On Monday, Governor Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 46 into law, allowing patients to purchase tablets, capsules, and other non-smokable forms of medical cannabis in stores once sales begin in around a year's time.
  • Meanwhile in Mississippi, the state's Supreme Court overturned Mississippi's medical cannabis law last Friday in a 6-3 ruling.
  • The DEA will approve new growers of research-grade marijuana, The Wall Street Journal reports. Previously researchers only had access to marijuana grown on a small plot at the University of Mississippi.

Earnings roundup

  • Columbia Care released Q1 results on Monday, reporting $92.5 million in net revenue and a $15.4 million loss.
  • Verano Holdings released Q1 results on Tuesday, reporting $143.3 million in net revenue and a $125.6 million profit
  • Agrify released Q1 results on Tuesday, reporting $7 million in net revenue and a $3.8 million loss.
  • MariMed released Q1 results on Tuesday, reporting $24.6 million in net revenue and a $4.3 million profit.
  • Greenlane released Q1 results on Tuesday, reporting $34.0 million in net revenue and a $7.7 million loss.
  • Ascend Wellness Holdings released Q1 results on Tuesday, reporting $66.1 million in net revenue and a $48.2 million loss.
  • TerrAscend released Q1 results on Wednesday, reporting $56.5 million in net revenue and a $12.7 million loss.

Chart of the week

Cannabis jobs boomed in 2020, according to Leafly and CannaBiz. Last year, the industry created 24,000 new jobs in California, while Florida trailed closely behind with 15,000 new positions:

Bar chart of the states that hired the most cannabis workers in 2020

What we're reading

Psychedelic Drugs Will Follow Pot's Path to Legalization (Bloomberg Opinion)

Cannabis Goes Corporate: Lobbyists, Unions Seek to Shape Marijuana Industry (The Wall Street Journal)

Should home growers have their cannabis tested? Activists look to raise awareness about safe consumption (MassLive)

The cofounder of one of California's largest cannabis-infused beverage manufacturers on dealing with strict regulations and staying competitive in a growing market (Insider)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Marijuana legalization is sweeping the US. See every state where cannabis is legal.

medical marijuana cbd hemp weed smoking joint leafly flowers cannabis cox 82
  • Marijuana is legal for adults in 15 states and Washington, D.C. Medical marijuana is legal in 36.
  • New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November's elections.
  • New York legalized recreational cannabis on March 31.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Marijuana legalization is spreading around the US.

Since 2012, 15 states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for adults over the age of 21. And 36 states have legalized medical marijuana - meaning that a majority of Americans have access to marijuana, whether medically or recreationally.

New York became the latest state to embrace cannabis when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing marijuana on March 31. His move came shortly after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation officially legalizing marijuana in his state.

New Jersey was one of four states, along with Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota, where voters backed legalizing recreational cannabis in November. Voters in Mississippi approved the creation of a medical cannabis program.

Virginia and New Mexico are also close to legalizing recreational cannabis.

Some states that passed medical or recreational legislation through ballot measures have yet to iron out the details. For that reason Insider does not include South Dakota or Mississippi in our tally of markets where the substance is legal. Both states have faced legislative opposition to rolling out their programs.

Though Canada legalized marijuana federally in 2018, the US has not followed suit, forcing states to chart their own courses. As it stands, marijuana is still considered an illegal Schedule I drug by the US federal government.

Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election and the Democratic party's control of Congress could give marijuana a bigger boost in the US. In March, the SAFE Banking Act - a bill that would help cannabis businesses access banks - was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress.

Biden has said he would support federal decriminalization of the drug, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that marijuana reform will be a priority for the Senate this year.

All the states where marijuana is legal:

This article was first published in January 2018 and has been updated with new information about where cannabis is legal. It was updated on April 1 with New York's legalization. Melia Russell contributed to an earlier version of this story.

Alaska
cannabis
A cannabis-testing laboratory in Santa Ana, California.

Adults 21 and over can light up in Alaska. In 2015, the northernmost US state made it legal for residents to use, possess, and transport up to an ounce of marijuana — roughly a sandwich bag full — for recreational use. The first pot shop opened for business in 2016.

Alaska has pounced on the opportunity to make its recreational-pot shops a destination for tourists. More than 2 million people visit Alaska annually and spend $2 billion.

Arizona
Curaleaf
Nate McDonald, General Manager of Curaleaf NY operations, talks about medical marijuana plants.

Arizona in 2020 voted to legalize cannabis for all adults over the age of 21

The measure had support from almost 60% of Arizona voters, according to Decision Desk HQ. 

The ballot measure was backed by a number of cannabis giants, including Curaleaf, Cresco, and Harvest Enterprises. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services began accepting applications for adult-use licenses on January 19. Approvals were issued just three days later on January 22. Sales began immediately.

Arizona rolled out adult-use sales faster than any other state that voted to pass recreational cannabis in the November elections. Companies already operating in the state's medical market had a first crack at recreational customers.

 

 

California
cannabis
A MedMen store in West Hollywood, California, on January 2, 2018.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. California became even more pot-friendly in 2016 when it made it legal to use and carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

The law also permits adults 21 and over to buy up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates, which are found in edibles, and grow no more than six marijuana plants per household.

Colorado
marijuana
A marijuana leaf.

In Colorado, there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald's combined. The state joined Washington in becoming the first two states to fully legalize the drug in 2012.

Residents and tourists over the age of 21 can buy up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates. Some Colorado counties and cities have passed more restrictive laws.

Illinois
JB Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Illinois lawmakers in June 2019 passed a bill that legalized the possession and commercial sale of marijuana in the state starting on January 1, 2020.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who made marijuana legalization a core component of his campaign for the governor's office, signed the bill into law.

Illinois is the one of the few states to legalize marijuana sales through a state legislature, rather than a ballot initiative.

Maine
marijuana
Harvested cannabis plants at Hexo Corp.'s facilities in Gatineau, Quebec, on September 26, 2018.

A ballot initiative in 2016 gave Maine residents the right to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, more than double the limit in most other states.

Massachusetts
cannabis
Medicinal cannabis cigarettes on July 12, 2018, at a cultivation facility in Milford, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts was the first state on the East Coast to legalize marijuana after voters approved the measure in 2016. 

Marijuana dispensaries opened their doors to consumers in November 2018. Adults over the age of 21 can purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana but cannot consume it in public.

Michigan
marijuana
The Far West Holistic Center dispensary on November 7, 2018, in Detroit.

Voters in Michigan passed Proposition 1 in 2018, making it the first state in the Midwest to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and residents can grow up to 12 plants at home.

The law is more permissive than other states with legal marijuana: Most allow residents to possess only up to 1 ounce at a time.

Montana
Cannabis
A CPlant employee organizes a box of hemp for export at the company's farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

Montana in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over

Montana residents are officially allowed to use marijuana as of January 1, 2021. A year later, the state will begin to open up applications for dispensaries. 

New Jersey
cannabis
A CPlant employee trims a hemp flower for export at the company's farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

New Jersey in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, opening a market that could near $1 billion.

In February, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legalization legislation, after months of back-and-forth arguments about criminal penalties for minors possessing marijuana and the proper way to set up a licensing framework for cannabis sales in the state, among other details. Sales of cannabis for adult use could start in the second half of this year, analysts at Cowen said.

New York
new york when is weed legal timeline
A man holds a sign at a pro-legalization rally outside of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office in Manhattan

After two failed attempts to legalize adult-use cannabis in New York, the state finally passed recreational marijuana on March 31, 2021.

Though New Yorkers are now able to possess and smoke cannabis legally in the state, sales aren't expected to begin for at least a year.

Andrew Carter, an analyst at Stifel, said he expects recreational cannabis sales to begin in late 2022. Analysts from Cantor Fitzgerald and Stifel estimated that New York could become a $5 billion cannabis market by 2025.

Nevada
marijuana recreational dispensary las vegas nevada
The Essence cannabis dispensary on July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Residents and tourists who are 21 and over can buy 1 ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates in Nevada.

There's bad news if you want to grow your own bud, though. Nevada residents must live 25 miles outside the nearest dispensary to be eligible for a grower's license.

Oregon
marijuana cannabis cost Canada United States
Oregon's Finest medical-marijuana dispensary in Portland, Oregon, on April 8, 2014.

Oregon legalized marijuana in 2015, and sales in the state started October 1 of that year. 

South Dakota
Aurora Cannabis
A team member of Aurora Cannabis works in the grow room at Aurora Sky cannabis growing greenhouse in Alberta, Canada, in this 2018 handout image.

South Dakota in 2020 voted to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, the first time a state has voted in favor of both at the same time.

State lawmakers have until April 2022 to create rules around cannabis, including regulations around dispensaries.  

Vermont
cannabis
Cannabis plants in a laboratory.

Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when Republic Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law in January 2018.

Adults in the Green Mountain State can carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow no more than two plants for recreational use. The law went into effect in July 2018. But it was limited in scope. It didn't establish a legal market for the production and sale of the drug.

In 2020, the state legislature passed a bill that would allow for adult-use sales in the state. All localities must opt-in to allow for dispensaries, however. Sales are expected in 2022.

Washington
medical marijuana
A medical-marijuana plantation on March 21, 2017.

Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Washington in 2012.

The state allows people to carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana, but they must use the drug for medicinal purposes to be eligible for a grower's license.

Washington, DC
Capitol Hill sunset

Residents in the nation's capital voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for adult use in November 2014.

The bill took effect in 2015, allowing people to possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana and "gift" up to an ounce, if neither money nor goods or services are exchanged.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Marijuana legalization is sweeping the US. See every state where cannabis is legal.

medical marijuana cbd hemp weed smoking joint leafly flowers cannabis cox 82
  • Marijuana is legal for adults in 15 states and Washington, D.C. Medical marijuana is legal in 36.
  • New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November's elections.
  • New York legalized recreational cannabis on March 31.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Marijuana legalization is spreading around the US.

Since 2012, 15 states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for adults over the age of 21. And 36 states have legalized medical marijuana - meaning that a majority of Americans have access to marijuana, whether medically or recreationally.

New York became the latest state to embrace cannabis when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing marijuana on March 31. His move came shortly after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation officially legalizing marijuana in his state.

New Jersey was one of four states, along with Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota, where voters backed legalizing recreational cannabis in November. Voters in Mississippi approved the creation of a medical cannabis program.

Virginia and New Mexico are also close to legalizing recreational cannabis.

Some states that passed medical or recreational legislation through ballot measures have yet to iron out the details. For that reason Insider does not include South Dakota or Mississippi in our tally of markets where the substance is legal. Both states have faced legislative opposition to rolling out their programs.

Though Canada legalized marijuana federally in 2018, the US has not followed suit, forcing states to chart their own courses. As it stands, marijuana is still considered an illegal Schedule I drug by the US federal government.

Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election and the Democratic party's control of Congress could give marijuana a bigger boost in the US. In March, the SAFE Banking Act - a bill that would help cannabis businesses access banks - was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress.

Biden has said he would support federal decriminalization of the drug, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that marijuana reform will be a priority for the Senate this year.

All the states where marijuana is legal:

This article was first published in January 2018 and has been updated with new information about where cannabis is legal. It was updated on April 1 with New York's legalization. Melia Russell contributed to an earlier version of this story.

Alaska
cannabis
A cannabis-testing laboratory in Santa Ana, California.

Adults 21 and over can light up in Alaska. In 2015, the northernmost US state made it legal for residents to use, possess, and transport up to an ounce of marijuana — roughly a sandwich bag full — for recreational use. The first pot shop opened for business in 2016.

Alaska has pounced on the opportunity to make its recreational-pot shops a destination for tourists. More than 2 million people visit Alaska annually and spend $2 billion.

Arizona
Curaleaf
Nate McDonald, General Manager of Curaleaf NY operations, talks about medical marijuana plants.

Arizona in 2020 voted to legalize cannabis for all adults over the age of 21

The measure had support from almost 60% of Arizona voters, according to Decision Desk HQ. 

The ballot measure was backed by a number of cannabis giants, including Curaleaf, Cresco, and Harvest Enterprises. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services began accepting applications for adult-use licenses on January 19. Approvals were issued just three days later on January 22. Sales began immediately.

Arizona rolled out adult-use sales faster than any other state that voted to pass recreational cannabis in the November elections. Companies already operating in the state's medical market had a first crack at recreational customers.

 

 

California
cannabis
A MedMen store in West Hollywood, California, on January 2, 2018.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. California became even more pot-friendly in 2016 when it made it legal to use and carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

The law also permits adults 21 and over to buy up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates, which are found in edibles, and grow no more than six marijuana plants per household.

Colorado
marijuana
A marijuana leaf.

In Colorado, there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald's combined. The state joined Washington in becoming the first two states to fully legalize the drug in 2012.

Residents and tourists over the age of 21 can buy up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates. Some Colorado counties and cities have passed more restrictive laws.

Illinois
JB Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Illinois lawmakers in June 2019 passed a bill that legalized the possession and commercial sale of marijuana in the state starting on January 1, 2020.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who made marijuana legalization a core component of his campaign for the governor's office, signed the bill into law.

Illinois is the one of the few states to legalize marijuana sales through a state legislature, rather than a ballot initiative.

Maine
marijuana
Harvested cannabis plants at Hexo Corp.'s facilities in Gatineau, Quebec, on September 26, 2018.

A ballot initiative in 2016 gave Maine residents the right to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, more than double the limit in most other states.

Massachusetts
cannabis
Medicinal cannabis cigarettes on July 12, 2018, at a cultivation facility in Milford, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts was the first state on the East Coast to legalize marijuana after voters approved the measure in 2016. 

Marijuana dispensaries opened their doors to consumers in November 2018. Adults over the age of 21 can purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana but cannot consume it in public.

Michigan
marijuana
The Far West Holistic Center dispensary on November 7, 2018, in Detroit.

Voters in Michigan passed Proposition 1 in 2018, making it the first state in the Midwest to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and residents can grow up to 12 plants at home.

The law is more permissive than other states with legal marijuana: Most allow residents to possess only up to 1 ounce at a time.

Montana
Cannabis
A CPlant employee organizes a box of hemp for export at the company's farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

Montana in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over

Montana residents are officially allowed to use marijuana as of January 1, 2021. A year later, the state will begin to open up applications for dispensaries. 

New Jersey
cannabis
A CPlant employee trims a hemp flower for export at the company's farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

New Jersey in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, opening a market that could near $1 billion.

In February, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legalization legislation, after months of back-and-forth arguments about criminal penalties for minors possessing marijuana and the proper way to set up a licensing framework for cannabis sales in the state, among other details. Sales of cannabis for adult use could start in the second half of this year, analysts at Cowen said.

New York
new york when is weed legal timeline
A man holds a sign at a pro-legalization rally outside of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office in Manhattan

After two failed attempts to legalize adult-use cannabis in New York, the state finally passed recreational marijuana on March 31, 2021.

Though New Yorkers are now able to possess and smoke cannabis legally in the state, sales aren't expected to begin for at least a year.

Andrew Carter, an analyst at Stifel, said he expects recreational cannabis sales to begin in late 2022. Analysts from Cantor Fitzgerald and Stifel estimated that New York could become a $5 billion cannabis market by 2025.

Nevada
marijuana recreational dispensary las vegas nevada
The Essence cannabis dispensary on July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Residents and tourists who are 21 and over can buy 1 ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates in Nevada.

There's bad news if you want to grow your own bud, though. Nevada residents must live 25 miles outside the nearest dispensary to be eligible for a grower's license.

Oregon
marijuana cannabis cost Canada United States
Oregon's Finest medical-marijuana dispensary in Portland, Oregon, on April 8, 2014.

Oregon legalized marijuana in 2015, and sales in the state started October 1 of that year. 

South Dakota
Aurora Cannabis
A team member of Aurora Cannabis works in the grow room at Aurora Sky cannabis growing greenhouse in Alberta, Canada, in this 2018 handout image.

South Dakota in 2020 voted to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, the first time a state has voted in favor of both at the same time.

State lawmakers have until April 2022 to create rules around cannabis, including regulations around dispensaries.  

Vermont
cannabis
Cannabis plants in a laboratory.

Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when Republic Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law in January 2018.

Adults in the Green Mountain State can carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow no more than two plants for recreational use. The law went into effect in July 2018. But it was limited in scope. It didn't establish a legal market for the production and sale of the drug.

In 2020, the state legislature passed a bill that would allow for adult-use sales in the state. All localities must opt-in to allow for dispensaries, however. Sales are expected in 2022.

Washington
medical marijuana
A medical-marijuana plantation on March 21, 2017.

Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Washington in 2012.

The state allows people to carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana, but they must use the drug for medicinal purposes to be eligible for a grower's license.

Washington, DC
Capitol Hill sunset

Residents in the nation's capital voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for adult use in November 2014.

The bill took effect in 2015, allowing people to possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana and "gift" up to an ounce, if neither money nor goods or services are exchanged.

Read the original article on Business Insider

New York’s legalization deal

Cannabis
his May 20, 2019, file photo, shows a marijuana leaf on a plant at a cannabis grow in Gardena, California.

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Happy Friday everyone,

Well, it's finally (almost) here: New York lawmakers are set to vote on cannabis legalization as soon as next week, after three years of trying to get it done.

I'll spare you our New York-centric attitude, but it really is monumental. The state would become one of the largest cannabis markets in the US, and the world, once the market is up-and-running. As the seat of global finance, it'll send a strong signal to major stock exchanges, investment banks, and corporations that cannabis is an industry that demands to be taken seriously.

New York's pending legislation, however, is not so friendly to companies already in the market, according to analysts.

Social equity and small business advocates have cheered some parts of the legislation, namely a community reinvestment fund and the ability to grow cannabis plants at home. No legislation is perfect, and this is far from a done deal - but we'll see how things shake out.

In other news, the Biden Administration found itself in continued hot water over its policy of letting go of staffers who admitted to marijuana use in the past. Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the move, saying it only applied to a few folks, but it still puts the administration at odds with its party, which is pushing for cannabis reform.

On that note, the Senate's version of the SAFE Banking Act, introduced this week, had 29 bipartisan cosponsors. That's a strong signal that the legislation could pass.

And as an aside, I'll be out on a much-needed vacation next week. You'll be in good hands with Yeji.

Let's get to it.

-Jeremy (@jfberke) and Yeji (@jesse_yeji)

Here's what we wrote about this week:

Cannabis stocks have been on a tear this year. From Aurora to MedMen, see the risk that 13 major cannabis companies go bankrupt.

We used data on 13 of the largest US and Canadian cannabis companies from financial risk analysis firm CreditRiskMonitor to evaluate their likelihood of bankruptcy within the next year. The good news? Most of the companies we looked at have decreased their risk of bankruptcy.

The bad news? Some still remain in the "red flag" zone, meaning they have a higher risk of bankruptcy than the average company.

A bill that would let you use your credit card to buy marijuana has been introduced in both chambers of Congress. Here are 7 things to know about the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act.

The SAFE Banking Act has now been introduced in both chambers of Congress. The Senate version was introduced on Tuesday while the House introduced its version last week with more than 100 sponsors. We read through the bill to find the main takeaways.

Top Wall Street analyst calls New York's marijuana-legalization plan 'half good' and says the reported details are 'not favorable' to existing companies

New York lawmakers are set to vote on marijuana legalization as early as next week. But a top Wall Street analyst said in a Wednesday note that the reported details of the legislation are not favorable to the existing companies operating in the state's relatively small medical-cannabis market.

Executive moves

  • David Lobo became the new interim president and CEO of The Ontario Cannabis Store, which distributes cannabis across Canada's most populated province. Lobo replaces Thomas Haig.
  • TerrAscend CEO Jason Ackerman will be replaced on an interim basis by board chairman Jason Wild while the company searches for a full-time replacement. Wild said on Twitter that Ackerman was fired.
  • Jeffrey Lashar, formerly of West Marine and Crocs, will be taking over as CFO of Grow Generation following Monty Lamirato's retirement.
  • Louie Reformina was promoted to CFO of Turning Point Brands, a cannabis accessories company that owns Zig-Zag, among other notable brands.
  • The US Cannabis Council, an industry trade group, appointed a board of directors including Dr. Rachel Knox, a cannabis medicine specialist, among other notable names.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

Policy moves

  • New York lawmakers reached a deal to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. A vote is expected next week. The details of the bill are not yet public, but the New York Times and other media outlets are reporting that "consumption lounges" and home grow would be permitted.
  • New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she plans to hold a special session to pass cannabis at the end of this month after plans to pass adult-use stalled during the regular legislative session.
  • A Connecticut House Committee approved a bill to legalize marijuana. State lawmakers are working to reconcile the bill with Gov. Ned Lamont's plan, which differs in key areas like growing cannabis at home and social equity provisions, among others.
  • In response to a question about why some White House staffers lost their jobs for past cannabis use, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the outcome was a result of working with the security service and pointed out that the substance was "still illegal federally." A group of 30 lawmakers, including Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Barbara Lee signed a letter encouraging the Biden Administration to overhaul its practices, The Daily Beast reports.
  • New York mayoral candidate and former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire released a comprehensive cannabis plan for the city, the first mayoral candidate to do so. The plan will prioritize job creation and capital investment for minorities and others who have been historically affected by prohibition.
  • The Last Prisoner Project and The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers are launching the Cannabis Justice Initiative, in order to help those convicted with marijuana-related charges clear their records.

Earnings Roundup

  • Trulieve released its Q4 results on Tuesday, reporting $168.4 million in revenue and $3 million in net income, as well as $521.5 million in revenue for the full year. The company guided to $815-$850 million in revenue for 2021.
  • TerrAscend released its Q4 results on Tuesday, reporting C$65.3 million in net sales and a C$109.3 million net loss, as well as C$198 million in revenue for the full year. The company guided to $290 million in revenue for 2021.
  • Charlotte's Web released its Q4 results on Thursday, reporting $26.9 million in revenue and a $14.7 million net loss.
  • Cresco Labs released its Q4 results on Thursday, reporting $162.3 million in revenue and a $23.4 million net loss, as well as $476.3 million in revenue for the full year.
  • GrowGeneration released its Q4 results on Thursday, reporting $62 million in revenue for the quarter and $5.3 million in net income for the year. The company guided to $415-$430 million in revenue for 2021.

Chart of the week

Black and Hispanic New Yorkers were disproportionately arrested for cannabis in New York City over the past decade, according to a report by the Drug Policy Alliance and CUNY's Public Science Project at the Graduate Center. Between 2010-2020, half of all cannabis-related arrestees were Black and around 35% were Hispanic.

New York City marijuana arrests by race 2010-2020

What we're reading

Banks happy to let cardholders buy weed online, lawyers say (American Banker)

Lighting up later in life (The New York Times)

Opinion: The White House's issues with staffers who (used to) smoke weed show the absurdity of federal marijuana law (Insider)

The losing fight to keep marijuana smokers out of government (The Washington Post)

Japan's Pot Laws Are Harsh, But Its Pensioners Invest in Growers (Bloomberg)

How cannabis companies can vet celebrity partnerships, avoid embarrassing pitfalls (Marijuana Business Daily)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Insider Cannabis: New Jersey marijuana stuck in limbo – Schumer’s cannabis plan – Gage Cannabis preps to go public

FILE - In this June 28, 2017 photo, Alessandro Cesario, the director of cultivation, works with marijuana plants at the Desert Grown Farms cultivation facility in Las Vegas. Nevada is set to pioneer a law to prevent job-seekers from being immediately rejected for work based on a positive marijuana test. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
FILE - In this June 28, 2017 photo, Alessandro Cesario, the director of cultivation, works with marijuana plants at the Desert Grown Farms cultivation facility in Las Vegas. Nevada is set to pioneer a law to prevent job-seekers from being immediately rejected for work based on a positive marijuana test. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Happy Friday,

A quick note at the top, here: Please sign up for Insider's 10 Things in Politics You Need to Know Today, a free morning politics newsletter led by Brent Griffiths. It's launching next week and will give you everything you need to know about DC happenings. 

We'll have a ton of great stories for you all next week. In the meantime, here's a reminder about how to get in touch with us: [email protected], or [email protected]. Signal number for encrypted messages upon request.

Let's get to the news. 

-Jeremy (@jfberke) and Yeji (@jesse_yeji)

Executive Moves

  • Canopy Growth has promoted David Culver, naming him the company's new VP of government relations. Culver spent 16 years at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States before joining Canopy Growth.
  • California cannabis brand Papa & Barkley has appointed Evelyn Wang, previously the CMO at Milani Cosmetics, as its new CEO. Zeeshan Hyder, formerly of MedMen, will become the brand's new CFO.
  • NeonMind announced on Wednesday that it has appointed pharma veteran Rob Tessarolo as its new CEO and president.
  • Marc Adesso is joining the Chicago office of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, as a partner in the firm's corporate practice and cannabis law group.
  • Cannabis company C21 Investments announced that Todd Harrison, CB1 Capital's CIO, will join its board of directors.

Deals, launches, partnerships, and IPOs

  • Shares of hydroponics company Agrify started trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday. The company raised $54 million through its IPO. 
  • The Valens Company announced on Monday it would acquire edibles company LYF Food Technologies for C$24.9 million.
  • France's National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) selected Tilray to supply medical cannabis products for ongoing experiments related to epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and other ailments. 
  • Gage Cannabis, a Michigan cannabis startup backed by Bruce Linton, closed a $50 million Reg A+ offering. The company says it plans to go public in the first quarter of this year.
  • ATAI Life Sciences announced on Tuesday it would be partnering with Massachusetts General Hospital and its new initiative, the Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics, to advance the studies of psychedelics for mental health treatments. 
  • Martha Stewart, in a continuation of her partnership with Canopy Growth, launched a line of CBD products geared for pets. It's her latest CBD line, after launching her human-focused CBD line last year. 

Policy moves

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said cannabis reform was a top legislative priority in an MSNBC interview with Rachel Maddow. The top-ranking Democrat in the Senate expanded on his cannabis reform plan in a Wednesday evening interview on Instagram with Al Harrington, the CEO of California cannabis company Viola Brands and a former NBA player. 
  • Oregon's drug decriminalization law went into effect on Thursday, effectively decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of any drug statewide. 
  • A new report from the industry publication Hemp Industry Daily found that hemp's impact on the US economy could hit $16 billion by 2025.
  • New Jersey Gov. Murphy still hasn't signed the bill that would legalize marijuana in the state, though voters overwhelmingly passed the proposal in November. A Republican lawmaker has since introduced a new bill that would legalize growing up to six weed plants at home - a hotly-debated topic between cannabis reform activists and the cannabis industry.
  • On a panel hosted by cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, New York Gov. Cuomo's assistant counsel, Axel Bernabe, and appointed cannabis czar, Norman Birenbaum, said a realistic timeline for the beginning of recreational marijuana sales in the state is 12-18 months after a bill is passed. 

Science and Research

  • A new study in the journal Psychological Medicine found that people who use cannabis in their youth have an average IQ decline of 2 points compared to their peers who don't use cannabis.
  • A review published in the Annual Review of Developmental Psychology found that daily cannabis use among youth is associated with cannabis dependence and poor cognitive function. The authors noted that the regulation of cannabis should seek to minimize adolescent cannabis use. 

Cannabis jobs

Chart of the week

Revenue from adult-use cannabis programs usually gets an early boost in the first few years of legalization before slowing down as markets mature, according to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts, which tracked revenue in two of the oldest adult-use states in the US. Sales in Washington ballooned 277% between 2015 and 2016; Colorado saw a 53% increase in those same years. Between 2017 and 2018, however, revenue increases were 17% and 18% in Washington and Colorado respectively:

Colorado and Washington adult use cannabis revenue chart

What we're reading

Cannabis Companies Are Ready to Roll (WSJ)

A Wall Street banker who made millions in the dot com boom dropped it all to become a 'psychedelics concierge' to the stars. Now he wants everyone to have access to ketamine. (Insider)

2 years after legalizing cannabis, has Canada kept its promises? (The New York Times)

Marijuana trade group drops lawsuit against state after backlash (Boston Globe)

The Sinaloa Cartel is setting up front operations to hijack Mexico's new legal pot market (The Daily Beast)

Can green energy power the cannabis boom? (The New Yorker)

 

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The 26 cannabis startups set to soar in 2021

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Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Happy Friday readers,

We're getting back into the swing of things here on BI's cannabis team. This week, we have some insight into legendary investor Bill Miller's view on cannabis - and his top stock pick - and we've published our full list of cannabis startups to watch in 2021. Thanks to everyone who shared their insights and predictions.

As a reminder, here's how to get in touch: [email protected], or [email protected]. Signal number for encrypted messages upon request.

-Jeremy (@jfberke) and Yeji (@jesse_yeji)

Here's what we wrote about this week:

Legendary investor Bill Miller compared marijuana legalization to the early days of gambling and shares the one pot stock he's betting on to soar

At an investor roundtable last week, value investor Bill Miller compared marijuana legalization to the early days of gambling. "The states are now dying for money. So they have got to legalize this stuff," Miller said.

Miller says he expects Green Thumb Industries, a company he has invested in, to grow up to 30% per year.

Here are the 26 hottest cannabis startups that are set to take off in 2021, according to top investors

We asked some of the top investors in cannabis to name the most promising startups in the industry. Here are the companies they picked.

Executive Moves

  • Acreage Holdings announced on Monday that Coca-Cola veteran Katie J. Bayne would be joining the company as a new board member.
  • Former CFO of Lions Gate Entertainment Marni Wieshofer will be joining Organigram Holdings' Board of Directors.
  • 4Front Ventures cofounder Josh Rosen will be joining Bengal Capital as a managing partner.
  • Andrew Kline is joining Perkins Coie in the firm's Denver office as a senior counsel in the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice and Cannabis Law Industry Group. Kline was previously the director of public policy for the National Cannabis Industry Association. 
  • Massachusetts' attorney general appointed Ava Callender Concepcion to the state's Cannabis Control Commission on Tuesday. Concepcion was most recently director of governmental affairs and external partnerships for the Suffolk County District's AG office.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

Policy moves

Earnings roundup

Science and research

  • A study published in the journal Economics & Human Biology found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that people bought and consumed more junk food in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. 
  • A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence from New York University professor Joseph Palamar found that marijuana use increases steadily throughout the year, using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The researchers theorize the relatively low use in January could be due to New Year's resolutions.

Chart of the week

The regulated cannabis market is growing, but according to New Frontier Data, the illicit market still serves the vast majority of US cannabis consumers. Among US states that have no regulated medical or adult-use market, Texas by far has the largest illicit cannabis market, followed by North Carolina and Georgia. Sales in these three states make up around $8.3 billion in sales every year; by 2025, that figure is expected to jump to $9.8 billion if the states remain unregulated.

largest estimated illicit markets 2020

What we're reading

Will psychedelic mushroom vacations come to the U. S.? (Washington Post)

Senate flip could turbocharge cannabis deal-making (Law360)

Cannabis CEOs, led by Aphria's Irwin Simon, are among Canada's top-paid execs despite losses (Marijuana Business Daily)

Canopy Growth confident it will enter U.S. within a year: CEO (BNN Bloomberg)

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