🏦 Billionaire Charles Koch On Why Cannabis Should Be Legal

Jane Technologies enters Canadian Market with High Tide. Vertosa gets US patent for one of its core emulsion formulas. Curaleaf International launches 2nd Medical Cannabis Flower product for UK.

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🌿Industry

Billionaire Charles Koch On Why Cannabis Should Be Legal. Depending on whom you ask, Charles Koch is a titan of industry, dark money political bogeyman or the Marcus Aurelius of the libertarian movement. But soon Koch might be known as the billionaire who persuaded Republican and Democratic holdouts to legalize cannabis at the federal level. And it’s not because he’s a pothead. Although Koch isn’t big on consuming it himself, he’s going public now with a long-held belief: Cannabis should be legal nationwide. So he’s putting his name, and nearly $25 million of his $45 billion fortune, to influence criminal-justice reform and legalization by the end of 2021. Brian Hooks, Koch’s right-hand man, says that a good barometer to gauge what Koch and his network are eventually willing to spend is what they’ve already put toward these issues—some $70 million in total over the last two years.

Boom or bust? Cannabis execs see more sales gains as COVID-19 lockdowns ease.

While marijuana sales have slowed the past couple of months – raising questions about whether a boom in coronavirus-related cannabis purchases is petering out – industry executives are bullish and note that sales remain up versus a year ago. The sales gains that ignited in the spring of 2020 after widespread business lockdowns appear to be more long term, executives said, with the pandemic having encouraged a new group of consumers to try marijuana for stress relief and other reasons. Executives also predict that as the U.S. economy continues to reopen and Americans venture into stores and restaurants and take more trips, cannabis consumers will shift their purchases in favor of more discreet forms of consumption such as edibles and vape pens. The upbeat expectations among industry insiders mirror a similar sentiment among mainstream business executives. A recent study by the National Federation of Independent Business showed that its small-business optimism index increased by 2.9 points in June to 102.5, the first time it has exceeded 100 since last November.

New Mexico Cannabis Control Division orders Speak Easy NM to stop 'gifting' weed to customers. A local business that was "gifting" small amounts of cannabis to customers who made purchases has temporarily closed after receiving a cease and desist letter from New Mexico's Cannabis Control Division. Speak Easy NM, in a shopping plaza at El Paseo Road and E. Idaho Avenue, held its official grand opening July 17, according to its Facebook page, which describes the store as an "organics company and gift shop." Attorney Matt Madrid — who represents the business — told the Sun-News, "We have ceased operations at this point, but we are evaluating … which way we want to proceed." According to the July 27 cease and desist order, Speak Easy was distributing cannabis or cannabis products as gifts to customers who purchased other merchandise. It demanded that the business cease that activity, but did not levy any penalties or order a halt to other business operations. The law, which took effect on June 29, decriminalizes public possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis, 16 grams of extract or up to 800 milligrams of edible cannabis. 

Humboldt Social — Grand Opening of Scotia Lodge. The boutique hotel, which went through a renovation and renaming, is nestled among the Redwoods and features modern, unique, and cannabis-friendly lodging and amenities for tourists and locals alike. The Scotia Lodge is a 100 year hotel located by the northern entrance to the Avenue of the Giants in Northern California that has been reimagined by Humboldt Social, the team behind Humboldt Bay Social Club and Papa and Barkley Social. Scotia Lodge features 22 guest rooms, a grand lobby, ballroom, dining lounge, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and Main + Mill restaurant.


💵Deals

Jane Technologies — Enters Canadian Market Through Partnership with Leading Canadian Retailer, High Tide. Jane's full suite of e-commerce solutions, including its newly-released headless e-commerce software, Jane Roots, is now available to cannabis operators across all Canadian provinces and legal U.S. markets. Legal cannabis sales in Canada reached $2.6B in 2020 and are expected to rise 68% to $5.4B by 2022. Similarly to the U.S. market, the share of e-commerce sales to total retail sales in Canada increased throughout the pandemic. Over the past year, Jane powered over 17 million orders and $2 billion in cannabis sales. Jane is the trusted e-commerce partner for over 2,000 dispensaries and brands across 34 U.S. markets and the Canadian market.

Manitoba Harvest — New Research Partnership to Drive Innovation in Hemp and Pea Protein. Manitoba Harvest, the global leader in hemp food, is partnering with a consortium of industry leaders through Protein Industries Canada to develop new hemp and pea varieties with increased protein content, differential starch content, and improved texture. These advancements will dramatically increase the potential for hemp usage in the growing plant-based protein movement. The development of these new seed varieties, as well as the hemp-pea flour blend, is expected to create new market opportunities within Canada's plant-based food and ingredients value chain. NRGene, Farmer's Business Network, Pulse Genetics and Manitoba Harvest are together investing $3.3 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing an additional $1.8 million.

Clever Leaves — Partners with Biopharmaceutical Research Company for Landmark Cannabis Research Study in Collaboration with the University of California, Davis. The companies intend to study the DNA sequence variation of three Clever Leaves’ cannabis cultivars as part of their Project Change Lives campaign. UC Davis, through an accepted research sponsorship from BRC, will lead the extraction and analysis of DNA to elucidate genetic variants taken from various genetic lines of Cannabis sativa. UC Davis will be the first major research institution to collaborate in the investigation of Clever Leaves’ Colombian and Portuguese, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis as part of Project Change Lives.


📄Company Updates / Earnings

AlpineIQ — Reaches 1,000 stores on platform. The Company provides full suite of tools to protect, segment, promote, and sync consumer experiences both in-store and online. The Company now has almost 30 employees and is one week away from $3B in analyzed orders.

Vertosa — U.S. Patent, engages Emery Pharma for research that applies their pharmaceutical development expertise to cannabis-infused products. Vertosa announced the United States patent for one of its core emulsion formulas. Validated by more than two years of use in the market, the now patented formula is part of a growing portfolio of intellectual property for Vertosa and its brand partners. Vertosa was issued a U.S. patent May 25, 2021 for a core emulsion formula it has been using since 2019 with brands such as Vita Coco EU, WUNDER, Artet and Calexo. In addition, Vertosa, in partnership with Emery Pharma, an accredited third party full-service contract research laboratory, will conduct a series of Pharmacokinetic (PK) studies that explore the bioavailability of emulsified CBD, THC, and other compounds derived from the cannabis plant with a specific focus on the efficacy of various product formats made with cannabis distillate versus cannabis emulsion.

Curaleaf International — Launches Second Medical Cannabis Flower Product for UK Market. Curaleaf International (formerly EMMAC Life Sciences Group), Europe’s largest vertically integrated cannabis company, has launched its second range of medical cannabis flower products for the UK market. The new products are being manufactured in the UK and will be an extension to Curaleaf International’s existing range of medical cannabis flower and oil products. Curaleaf International’s vertically integrated business model, comprising cultivation, extraction, production and distribution, has been designed so that high quality medical cannabis flower is consistently accessible and affordable for UK patients.

Red White & Bloom — Q1 2021 Financial Results

  • Adjusted sales of $32.7 million, a sequential increase of 14.5% from the prior quarter’s adjusted sales of $28.6 million in Q4 2020. The increase was reduced by the strengthening Canadian dollar and would have been about $1 million higher using a constant dollar comparison.


🧔People

GABY — Marshall Minor joins as CFO. Most recently, Marshall was CFO of Shryne Group - an MSO with operations in California, Michigan, Washington and Nevada, with a combined 10 operating dispensaries and revenues in excess of $100 million. Prior to Shryne Group, Mr. Minor was the CFO of Solace Holdings/Aether Gardens, a PE-backed cannabis company focused on production and extraction. Further to Marshall's strong cannabis knowledge, he brings senior executive experience as a CFO of a billion-dollar real estate development company, VP Corporate Finance and M&A for MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and extensive capital markets and investment banking experience with bulge bracket firms in New York and regional firms in California.

POSaBIT — Louis Camhi joins Board. Louis Camhi is an investor in both private and public companies. Previously, he worked as an analyst at Citadel where he managed an equity long short portfolio focused on payments and financial technology companies. Prior to Citadel, Mr. Camhi worked as a senior analyst at Three Corner Global, a fundamental long short equity hedge fund and he began his career as an investment banker in the mergers and acquisitions group at Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:MKTS CS). Mr. Camhi received his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.


🎙️Interviews

Al Harrington and Matt Barnes speak to Real Sports on using their platforms to boost Black ownership of cannabis businesses

The Future Of Cannabis And The Beverage Industry: An Interview With Keith Villa

Lowell Farms Looks to Leverage Its Brand Power in California and Beyond Following Transformative M&A (NCV)

Emerald Triangle Legacy Farmers Discuss California Cannabis Industry (Ganjapreneur)


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