🏡 NJ Awards 14 New Medical Marijuana Licenses

Claybourne – $10M Series A. Bloomwell – $10M Series A. Achari SPAC – $100M IPO. Greenlane acquires DaVinci. Trulieve opens 100th FL dispensary. Eaze opens SD dispensary. Jushi gets new CFO. Highsman.

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🎰 If you’re at MJ Unpacked, I’ll see you there (not attending MJBizCon).


🌿Industry

N.J. — Awards 14 New Medical Marijuana Licenses. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Friday announced the winners of a competitive and burdensome licensing process that began two years ago. Nearly 200 entrepreneurs applied for licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana, but a lawsuit brought the process to a standstill for more than a year. The new licenses to grow marijuana will go to Hillview Med INC., CYOURNJ LLC, and GSCC Management LLC in North Jersey; NJ Nectar Ventures LLC, Noble Valley Harvest Company, Green Medicine NJ LLC, ZY Labs LLC and The NAR Group Inc. in Central Jersey; and Bloom Medicinals of PA LLC and Garden State Releaf, LLC in South Jersey. Those will add 235,000 square feet of space to grow medical marijuana. Vertically-integrated licenses went to Etain New Jersey, LLC in North Jersey, Altus New Jersey LLC and Holistic NJ LLC in Central Jersey, and Greenhouse Wellness of NJ LLC in South Jersey. These are licenses for medical marijuana businesses only — that’s all that New Jersey has so far, even though voters said yes to legal marijuana for people 21 and older last fall. These businesses could eventually grow and sell Cannabis for the adult-use market, once they have enough supply to meet both medical and recreational demand, pay fees to the state and serve the medical market for at least one year.

Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission: No marijuana licenses before 2022. Since would-be growers and distributors cannot apply for licenses before Sept. 1, 2022, Cannabis probably won’t be available before 2023, supporters of medical marijuana have said. Once available, doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis for at least 16 conditions including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Cannabis would be available as tablets, capsules, gummies, lozenges, topical oils, suppositories, patches, and in nebulizers or oil to be vaporized. The law forbids smoking or vaping medical cannabis, or baking it into food.


💵Deals

Claybourne — Raises $10.0 Million Series A. The Series A equity financing of $10 million was led by Green Acre Capital with additional participation by groups of high-net-worth individuals, most with cannabis industry experience. The debt financing was comprised of a $5 million working capital line of credit from Bespoke Financial and $2.5 million in equipment financing. According to Headset, Claybourne is ranked as the #3 flower brand in California by retail sales, and the #12 brand overall year-todate in 2021. The new funding will drive significant gross margin expansion through the buildout of a 45,000 square foot, state-of-the-art cultivation facility in Perris, California. It will also expedite proprietary genetics and accelerate national expansion into promising markets outside of California. Investment in new products will focus on expanding the Claybourne Flyers™ line of pre-rolls and Claybourne Eagle Extracts™ line of concentrates.

Bloomwell — $10 Million Investment. The Bloomwell Group is a holding company for medical cannabis companies and potentially for companies in a recreational market that may be legal in the future. The mission is to build, acquire and invest in ESG healthcare companies along the entire value chain, with the exception of cultivation. In doing so, Bloomwell Group relies on a patient-centric D2C approach to set up a strong, revolutionising and streamlined Patient Journey to change healthcare for the better. Concurrent with the announcement, the Bloomwell Group, which includes Algea Care, Europe's leading telemedicine company for medical cannabis in terms of patient numbers, is repositioning itself as a holding company, allowing it to build, invest or acquire cannabis companies. Within a year, Bloomwell Group has grown to 160 employees, with projected revenues of $5 million euros in 2021. In addition to Niklas Kouparanis, CEO, the board is strengthened by telemedicine veteran Dr. Reinhard Meier, who as founder led Teleclinic to an exit, Co-Founder Samuel Menghistu and Boris Jordan, founding partner of Measure 8 Venture Partners. Measure 8 Venture Partners led the round, with participation from Dr. Reinhard Meier.

Achari Ventures Holdings Corp. I — Prices $100 Million IPO. The Company was formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. While the Company may pursue an initial business combination with any business in any industry, sector or location, the Company's initial focus will be on identifying acquisition opportunities with an ancillary (non-plant touching) company operating in the cannabis industry, including equipment, hardware, technology/software, or hydroponics. The Company is sponsored by Achari Sponsor Holdings I LLC (Sponsor), an affiliate of Achari Ventures, and is led by Vikas Desai, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors; Mitch Hara, COO and CFO; and Merrick Friedman, CIO and Director. Achari Ventures is a leading early investment firm focused on the cannabis industry. 

IIP — Acquires Property in California and Executes Long-Term Lease with Gold Flora for up to $60M. The purchase price for the property was $51.0 million (excluding transaction costs). Gold Flora is expected to complete additional tenant improvements for the property as a regulated cannabis cultivation and processing facility, for which IIP has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to $9.0 million. Assuming full reimbursement for the tenant improvements, IIP’s total investment in the property is expected to be $60.0 million.

Greenlane — Acquires DaVinci.

DaVinci is a developer and manufacturer of premium portable vaporizers. DaVinci is an industry leading brand differentiated through its groundbreaking Clean First™ innovation, which employs medical grade materials and total quality manufacturing processes to ensure the cleanest technology goes into the development of its products. DaVinci's product line has grown significantly since the launch of its award-winning IQ vaporizer in 2016 to include new innovative models such as the MIQRO, the world's smallest premium loose-leaf vaporizer, IQ2, the world's first on-device dosage control, and the IQC, equipped with a patented ShareSafe™ mouthpiece created from an FDA-approved antimicrobial polymer.

Bullrider — Drake Joins 40 as Investor in Toronto Cannabis Brand. Drake and his go-to producer Noah “40” Shebib have been longtime partners in music. Now, they’re also partners in marijuana. The Canadian rapper has joined Toronto-based cannabis brand Bullrider, which 40 co-owns, as an investor, partner, and strategic advisor. Bullrider takes its name from Afghani Bullrider, a high-mycrene cannabis strain engineered by master grower Jef Tek. 40, one of the co-founders of the OVO Sound label, credits the strain with helping him manage symptoms related to his journey with multiple sclerosis. Bullrider is gearing up to open its flagship store in Brampton, Ontario later this month. It will operate via a farm-gate model, allowing consumers to purchase the brand’s cannabis straight from the spot where it’s grown.


📄Company Updates / Earnings

Red White & Bloom — Completes Platinum Vape Management Transition, Reduces $12.5 Million of Liabilities. The former owners (Sellers) of the Platinum Vape Group and RWB executed an agreement under which the parties have agreed to a transition plan, including their resignations as directors and officers from all RWB entities, as well as a waiving of any further consideration as it pertains to the potential earn-out that formed part of the original purchase consideration, which was previously recorded as a $7.5 million liability on the company’s financial statements. As part of this agreement, the Company redeemed $5 million of convertible debentures that were previously convertible at $0.57 per share and facilitated the private purchase of $10 million of convertible debentures, representing the balance of the debentures, with an arm’s length institutional investor. Strong demand in Michigan and California is outpacing supply of RWB’s PV brands. RWB, through its licensing agreement in Michigan, expects to see an increase in production to over 450,000 PV vape carts per month in November and has made expansion of the PV brand a top priority.


🏬Retail

Trulieve — Opens 100th Florida Dispensary in Hometown of Tallahassee. The location is in Tallahassee, Florida, where Trulieve opened its first store, and was formerly branded as Harvest House of Cannabis.

MedMen — Re-Opens Tallahassee, Florida Location. This latest re-opening brings MedMen’s national store count to 28 and is viewed by the Company as a testament to its renewed growth and commitment to serving Florida’s patients with trusted, high-quality products and top-tier service.

Eaze — San Diego. Seems like Eaze acquired Apothekare (but didn’t announce, so assume there’s a bigger announcement coming when we find out what else they’ve acquired recently/are currently working on).

TILT Holdings — Brockton Medical Dispensary Opens. The Commonwealth Alternative Care (CAC) Brockton, Massachusetts location opened this past weekend. It included brand activations from TILT brand partners Old Pal, Her Highness, 1906 and Airo alongside industry favorites Wana Brands and Select Oil. CAC in-house brands One, Chroma and Slate were also featured.

High Tide — Closes Acquisition of Blessed CBD and Enters U.K. Market. The Company has completed its acquisition of an 80% interest in Enigmaa Ltd., operating as Blessed CBD for £9,064,000, and will have a three-year option to acquire the remaining 20% of Blessed at any time.


🌱Product

Highsman — Ricky Williams Brand Officially Launches.

Highsman cannabis features three strains curated by Williams to compliment moments in the day and put you in the zone. Pregame are sativas for an energized boost; Halftime are hybrids for focused awareness; and the Postgame indicas offer a relaxed mood. Highsman will launch with strain-specific pre-packaged eighths and will introduce pre-rolls following the initial launch.

Kalvara — Grammy Award-Winning Artist Miguel Launches Cannabis Beverage With Unique Tech in California. Kalvara, the first cannabis beverage with in-the-cap infusion technology and sonic emulsification, today announced California is joining its growing international and domestic distribution. Grammy award winner Miguel is the co-founder, owner and Chief Creative Director of Kalvara, and is proud to finally debut Kalvara in his home state. The multisensory experience of twisting the cap, hearing the release of the pressurized nitrogen, seeing the colorful THC liquid rush into the reusable bottle and tasting the naturally flavored beverage is unique in the industry and yet reminiscent of making oneself a cocktail. The nanotechnology of the pressurized Vessl™ closure keeps the highly bioavailable cannabis oil fresh at ambient temperatures for an increased shelf life; the exceptional taste, aroma and color will not fade or oxidize.

RNBW — New Premium Brand at the Intersection of Cannabis and Live Music.

A post shared by RNBW Cannabis (@rnbw.world)

RNBW is a new premium cannabis brand produced in collaboration with music giant Insomniac. RNBW's current product offering includes premium flower, with prerolls, edibles and vapes to be released in the coming weeks. RNBW products are available at Harborside and online or for delivery via Amuse beginning. RNBW is also available on rnbw.world and at select premium retailers in California and Nevada.

Goodness Growth Holdings — Launches New Concentrate Cannabis Brand. The Company launched Kings & Queens, a new cannabis brand featuring a line of cannabis concentrates including live and cured resin badder, budder, sugar, and sauce.


🧔People | 💻Hiring

Jushi Holdings — Management Changes. Appoints Ed Kremer as CFO, Kimberly Bambach Steps Down as CFO. Ed Kremer most recently served as Chief Operating and Restructuring Officer of Le Tote and Lord & Taylor, overseeing the organization’s M&A and restructuring efforts. Prior to his time at Le Tote and Lord & Taylor, he held a number of executive leadership and finance roles with both public and private equity backed leading consumer products companies, most notably Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Beats Electronics (Beats by Dr. Dre), Noon Home and 360fly.

Tilray — Strengthens Leadership Position in Canada. Blair MacNeil, former Bacardi General Manager, joins Tilray to lead the Company’s Canadian growth strategy. Blair joins Tilray from Bacardi, where he was the GM for their Canadian beverage alcohol business. A tenured CPG executive, he previously worked at Stoli, River Bend, Corby Distilleries, and Pepsi. Blair will report to Jim Meiers, who has been appointed as COO.

HEXO — Strategic Executive Changes. CEO and COO departs as the Company completes a strategic reorganization. According to a source close to the matter, activist shareholder Adam Arviv delivered a letter to the board on Sept. 26 demanding significant changes due to concerns including, "recent dilutive financings, the CEO's misalignment with shareholders, and a lack of basic business skills to lead." Hexo said it's in advanced discussions with a preferred CEO candidate, and expects to make an announcement in the coming days. 

Jane Technologies — Senior Data Scientist (Remote)

Jane Technologies — Account Manager, Retail (Remote)

Eaze — Financial Analyst/FP&A (Remote)


🎙️Interviews

Curaleaf — Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern: “Big cannabis can be good cannabis”

TILT — CEO Gary Santo on How MSOs can make cannabis a more equitable space

Jane Technologies — CEO Socrates Rosenfeld on GMV going from $100M to $1.6B

High Rise — MATTIO CEO Rosie Mattio

Flowhub — CEO Kyle Sherman On Future of Financing Cannabis


👋 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.