🏡 71% of New Jersey towns Ban Adult-Use Cannabis Retail

Schwazze Acquires Colorado Cultivation Grower Brow 2 for $6.7M cash.

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🌿Industry

Cannabis dispensaries banned in more than 70% of NJ towns.

Nearly 71% of towns across New Jersey — some 400 municipalities — completely opted out of the recreational cannabis industry, passing ordinances that prohibit cannabis cultivation facilities, manufacturers, wholesalers distributors, delivery companies and legal weed dispensaries, according to a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis of municipal marijuana ordinances. Only 98 municipalities, mostly in South Jersey and Central Jersey, passed ordinances allowing legal weed dispensaries within their borders. Many of the municipal ordinances placed strict zoning regulations on dispensaries, such as limiting them to one particular redevelopment area or zone. Another 41 towns passed ordinances that specifically prohibit dispensaries but allow some combination of the other five classes of New Jersey cannabis licenses, from cultivation centers to delivery companies. The same strict zoning regulations are in place on most of the ordinances. 

Booming Massachusetts marijuana market offers select cultivation, retail opportunities.

Massachusetts regulators had issued 168 final adult-use store licenses as of last week, according to the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission open data portal. While some of those aren’t yet open for business, the numbers compare with 39 stores in operation as of early 2020, according to the 2021 MJBizFactbook. The recreational marijuana market got off to a slow start after its November 2018 launch in large part because the state mandated what became highly controversial “host community agreements” (HCAs) between municipalities and marijuana businesses. Marijuana businesses had to negotiate such agreements before applying for their state licenses.

‘Times are really, really tough’: Plummeting cannabis prices strain small Northern California farmers. Humboldt County cannabis farmers are drowning in a flooded market. As the price of cannabis continues to fall, small farmers struggling to stay afloat fear for the sustainability of their future. In June, the wholesale price for cannabis from last year’s harvest dropped from around $1,200 a pound when the 2021 light deprivation began to hit the market, according to Humboldt County Growers Alliance executive director Natalynne DeLapp. “The wholesale price for 2021 deps is between $650 and $750 a pound. The wholesale price for 2020 AAA grade flower is between $400 and $500 a pound, otherwise as low as $200 to $400 per pound. Some farmers are having their 2020 harvest returned from distributors because they are unable to sell it. This is after paying for trimming ($70 to $200 per pound), testing and paying state harvest taxes ($154 per pound).” she said, attributting the dramatic fall in price to “massive overproduction” across the state. Currently, there are 1,775 acres of cannabis licensed by the state – 435 of which are in Humboldt County – which conservatively produces more than 6 million pounds of cannabis annually, however, California only consumes approximately 2.5 million pounds of cannabis annually, DeLapp said, citing data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s 2017 Standard Regulatory Impact Analysis.


💵Deals

Schwazze — Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Colorado Cultivation Grower Brow 2, LLC. Schwazze has entered into an to agreement to acquire the assets of Brow 2, LLC, located in Denver, Colorado. The planned transaction includes a 37,000 square foot building (27,000 square feet of canopy) for indoor cultivation and equipment. This transaction continues Schwazze's aggressive expansion in Colorado and will significantly enhance the Company's cultivation resources, providing product directly to its seventeen Star Buds brand dispensaries. The consideration for the planned acquisition is $6.7 million and will be paid in cash at closing. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021 after the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division and local licensing approval.

GrowGeneration — Acquires Hoagtech Hydroponics, Expands Footprint in Pacific Northwest. Hoagtech Hydroponics is a leading hydroponic equipment and indoor gardening store, serving the Bellingham, Washington area. This acquisition brings the total number of GrowGen hydroponic garden centers nationwide to 59 stores. Founded in 2010, by Dan Hoag, GrowGeneration plans to operate out of Hoagtech's 25,000 square-foot warehouse in Bellingham. As part of the transaction, Hoag and his team of eight cultivation experts will join GrowGeneration. The Hoagtech Hydroponics acquisition is the Company's 13th acquisition this year and follows yet another quarter of record earnings. Earlier this month, the Company raised its full-year 2021 revenue guidance to $455 million - $475 million. GrowGen plans to have over 70 garden center locations by the end of 2021.


📄Company Updates / Earnings

Cronos Group and Ginkgo Bioworks — Achievement of Equity Milestone in Partnership to Produce Cultured Cannabinoids. Ginkgo, which recently announced a business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SRNG), serves customers across industries seeking to develop new and better products using biology. Using Ginkgo’s platform for organism design and development, Cronos Group has successfully achieved the productivity target for cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which will support the Cronos Group’s planned CBG product launch this fall. Launched in 2018 with the goal of accessing rare molecules in the cannabis plant in order to create innovative and differentiated products that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive, the partnership between Cronos Group and Ginkgo aims to develop eight molecules. The program convenes Cronos Group’s deep understanding of the biological structure and function of cannabinoids with Ginkgo’s unparalleled experience designing microorganisms for the production of cultured products across pharmaceuticals, agriculture and more. As a result of the achievement of the final productivity target for CBGA, Cronos Group will issue to Ginkgo approximately 1.5 million common shares.

Jushi — Partner, Northern Cardinal Ventures, Wins Dispensary License in Illinois. Jushi is an operational and 49% equity partner in Northern Cardinal. Pending regulatory approvals, the new dispensary will operate under Jushi’s retail brand, BEYOND / HELLO™, and would be the fifth BEYOND / HELLO™ location in Illinois. The dispensary location is designated for the Peoria Bureau of Labor Statistics region in the urban heart of the Prairie State. Peoria is located halfway between Chicago and St. Louis and is accessible via major interstates.

iAnthus — Provides Update on Recapitalization Transaction. iAnthus is in receipt of a purported notice from the Lenders and the Consenting Debenture Holders (as such terms are defined in the Restructuring Support Agreement dated July 10, 2020, as amended on June 15, 2021 (RSA)), which seeks to unilaterally extend the outside date for closing the recapitalization transaction beyond the existing Outside Date, August 31, 2021, to "the date on which any regulatory approval or consent condition to implementation of the Plan is satisfied or waived." The Company's position is the RSA does not afford the Lenders and Consenting Debenture Holders a unilateral right to extend the Outside Date.  Accordingly, the Company believes that the Purported Notice does not modify the Outside Date, and as such, has advised the Lenders and the Consenting Debenture Holders that the Outside Date remains August 31, 2021, subject to any permitted extension in accordance with the RSA. The Company continues to work with the Lenders and Consenting Debenture Holders towards obtaining the required regulatory approvals by the Outside Date in the RSA.


🏬Retail

Tribal cannabis store coming to CT’s Foxwoods Casino, and maybe North Carolina too. One of the nation’s largest tribal-owned marijuana stores is coming to—or at least near—Connecticut’s famous Foxwoods Resort Casino, and another is being planned near Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina. Native American tribes are not bound by state law, and do not require a state cannabis license. In other legal states, tribes typically tax cannabis at a rate comparable to the state, but the tax revenue goes to the tribe, not the state. Earlier this month, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council voted to legalize medical marijuana on Cherokee land. The Foxwoods-adjacent store may not cause much concern among state or federal officials, because Connecticut is now adult-legal. But opening a tribal dispensary in a non-medical state like North Carolina would be a precedent-setting action—and it’s unclear whether the Cherokee tribe will wait until the state legalizes medical before opening its dispensary.


🌱Product

MO-based O'Fallon Brewery, Swade Cannabis Team Up For Mohi, a Non-Alcoholic THC Beer.

The new brew, dubbed Mohi, will pair O'Fallon Brewery's beer-making prowess with Swade Cannabis' parent company BeLeaf to produce the stoney new suds. And while the team could have opted to simply leave the alcohol in the beverage, making for a double-whammy drink that would make even OG Four Loco blush, they opted instead to employ some capital-S Science in order to deliver an option suited for those who prefer to go alcohol-free. The result, according to the release, is a beverage that delivers craft-beer taste with only 80 calories, with each twelve-ounce can packed with five milligrams of emulsified THC. 


🧔People | 💻Hiring

Acreage — Bryan Murray named as EVP Government Relations. From 2006 to 2019, he served in various roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer in Government Relations and Public Affairs. Bryan developed Pfizer’s policy on economic and social impact in key markets as the Global Operations Lead for Public Affairs. He served as the company’s Alliance Development Manager for New York and New England and successfully mobilized local individuals, businesses, and government organizations to support healthcare legislation. In his role as Director of Public Affairs, Bryan launched a successful campaign to support access to innovative pain therapies in the US and Canada. Before joining Pfizer, Bryan served as a Campus Ministry Director and Fund Development Manager with The Impact Movement. More recently Bryan served as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Mid-America Seminary and College, where he initiated and led the wholesale rebranding of the institution.

Spacestation — Director of Trade and Distribution (Remote)

Cannabis Hiring Fairs — 40Tons and BrandResumes have teamed up to push social justice, equitable hiring, and are bringing together employers who want to make a difference. Connect with local recruiters, meet on-site professionals to discuss potential cannabis related conviction expungement, get a professional headshot onsite, and apply to open positions available.


🎙️Interviews

North American Weed Tour Podcast Episode 15 Ft. Mad Mark Farms


👋 Highly Objective is curated by Dai Truong. Third-party information presented here and links to third-party content are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument, security or investment.  The information provided is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and is subject to change without notice. Linking to third-party sites in no way implies an endorsement or affiliation of any kind between Arlington Capital Advisors, LLC, or its affiliates and any third party.  The information in this blog constitutes my own opinions (and any opinions posted by guest bloggers from time to time) and it should not be regarded as a description of services provided by Arlington Capital Advisors, LLC or any affiliate.