📝 Ohio Lawmakers File Cannabis Legalization Bill
Jushi Receives ~$14.4M Interim Arbitration Award from Harvest subsidiary. The Parent Company Voluntary Board of Director and Executive Team Lock-up Agreements.
Ohio Lawmakers Officially File Marijuana Legalization Bill In Historic First For The State. Ohio lawmakers formally introduced a bill to legalize marijuana possession, production and sales—the first effort of its kind in the state legislature. This comes as activists are pursuing a separate ballot initiative that would effectively force the legislature to consider similar cannabis reforms. Reps. Casey Weinstein (D) and Terrence Upchurch (D) filed the legislation, weeks after circulating a co-sponsorship memo to colleagues to build support for the measure. The 180-page bill would legalize possession of up to five ounces of cannabis for adults 21+ and allow them to cultivate up to 12 plants for personal use. It also includes provisions to expunge prior convictions for possession and cultivation activities that are being made legal under the measure. A 10% excise tax would be imposed on marijuana sales, with revenue first going toward the cost of implementation and then being divided among municipalities with at least one cannabis shop (15%), counties with at least one shop (15%), K-12 education (35%) and infrastructure (35%). — Marijuana Moment
No hangovers or beer bellies: Cannabis firms try to woo booze drinkers. Most Cannabis drinks have negligible calories, and the products pose little risk of a hangover. Cannabis beverage sales in the U.S. are expected to hit $421 million this year — more than double 2019 figures, according to Brightfield Group, which tracks the industry, and double again to nearly $1 billion by 2025. Yet the beverage sector is less <2% of the larger $20 billion legal Cannabis marketplace. Pedro Fonseca, Director of Retail for Harborside, which has four stores in the state, said drinks have become an important part of the product mix, making up ~3.5—4% of sales in any given month. Lower potency products, in particular, have made inroads with Harborside’s customers in recent years. Luke Anderson, Co-founder of Cann, argues that a broader embrace of cannabis beverages will occur once consumers get comfortable with the products.
”It's very similar to oat milk or kombucha in that the biggest thing is consumer education,” Anderson said, noting kombucha sales were only about 1% of the beverage market 15 years ago. “Now that's totally changed, and you can see it dominating the cooler in premium grocery stores everywhere.” — Politico
Preliminary plans for Las Vegas cannabis lounges include options for dining and entertainment. At Planet 13’s superstore on West Desert Inn Road, a 20,000-square-foot storage warehouse will likely be converted into a lounge. It’s expected the first lounges in Nevada will open in the first six months of 2022, though no timeline has been set, according to the state’s Cannabis Compliance Board. Layke Martin Conine, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said there was potential for cannabis comedy clubs or dining concepts featuring marijuana-infused food. On July 9th, the compliance board sent letters to all cannabis retail store license holders to inform them of their eligibility to apply for a consumption lounge license. The application process, however, hasn’t been finalized. The board asked businesses to submit a letter of interest, though it isn’t required for license consideration. The board has received about a dozen responses. — Las Vegas Sun
A Giant Fund Bought More Tilray Stock. New Jersey’s underfunded state pension recently made major changes in its U.S.-traded stock investments. The State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D, the pension’s largest fund by assets, was the fund that bought more Tilray. The state’s Department of the Treasury, whose Division of Investment oversees the pension, declined to comment on the individual stock investments, but the agency noted that it employs a passive investment strategy. Pension Fund D’s total assets stood at $50.5 billion as of June 30, 2020, while total assets for the pension were $80.4 billion, according to the latest annual audited financial statement. New Jersey’s pension bought 179,228 more Tilray shares to end June with 254,596 shares of the marijuana producer. Voters in the state approved a move to legalize the drug in November’s election. Tilray stock more than doubled in the first half of 2021, and so far in the third quarter, shares have dropped 19.2%. — Barron’s
📄Company Updates / Earnings
Jushi — Receives ~$14.4 Million Interim Arbitration Award. Jushi was awarded $14.4M from the American Arbitration Association (Panel) for Jushi FL SPV, LLC (Jushi FL), a subsidiary of Jushi, in its dispute against San Felasco Nurseries, Inc. (San Felasco), a subsidiary of Harvest. The Interim Award consists of $10,637,012 in damages, plus $3,727,908.14 in pre-award interest (accrued at a rate of $3,497 per day) and post-award interest at a rate of 12% per annum. The Panel of three arbiters also affirmed that Jushi is entitled to recoup attorneys’ fees from San Felasco, in an amount to be determined by the Panel. The Interim Award is based on breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith claims brought by Jushi against San Felasco in October of 2018. In its order, the Panel found that San Felasco improperly terminated its franchise agreements with Jushi FL without cause and in bad faith. San Felasco then sold its Florida cannabis business to Harvest, depriving Jushi of the royalties it would otherwise have realized. Following a final hearing in May of 2021, the Panel issued the Interim Award on July 29, 2021.
The Parent Company — Voluntary Board of Director and Executive Team Lock-up Agreements. TPCO Holding Corp. announced that certain insiders have voluntarily entered into lock-up agreements with the Company with respect to an aggregate of over 35 million shares of common stock, or ~36% of the total issued and outstanding shares of common stock of the Company as of July 28, 2021.
Verano — Opening Of Flagship Pittsburgh Dispensary With Western Pennsylvania’s First Drive-through. As part of the state’s Chapter 20 Clinical Registrant Program, the The Healing Research Center in Pittsburgh will, in collaboration with the Drexel University Medical Cannabis Research Center, conduct ongoing research on medical cannabis and its effects on various conditions covered by the program in Pennsylvania. The dispensary is Western Pennsylvania’s first medical cannabis dispensary to feature a drive-through platform for its patients and is located near Interstate exits from both I-79 and I-376 at Robinson Centre Drive, which typically see combined traffic of ~200,000 cars per day, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Verano affiliate Agronomed Biologics is permitted to open a medical cannabis cultivation and production facility as well as six dispensaries in Pennsylvania through its Clinical Registrant permit.
Soulja Boy Launches Cannabis Brand "Soulja Exotics" w/ Grizzly Peak
🧔People | 💻Hiring
4Front Ventures — President of Mission Dispensaries Steps Down. 4Front Ventures announced the planned stepping down of 4Front Co-Founder and President of Mission Dispensaries Kris Krane, effective immediately, after nearly 11 years of distinguished service with the Company. The transition of Krane's responsibilities in his capacity as president of Mission Dispensaries has been underway for months, and he will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to the Company. 4Front has no immediate plans to fill the president of Mission Dispensaries position and will seek to fill the vacated role at the appropriate time.
Halo Collective — Changes to Board of Directors as Additional Steps Toward Creation of Akanda. Ryan Kunkel, currently a director of Halo, has been appointed as Chairman of the Halo Board, succeeding Louisa Mojela. Louisa Mojela has resigned from the Halo Board in order to focus on her new role as Executive Chairman of Akanda, Katie Field, currently President of Halo, has been appointed to the Halo Board, Charles Kie has resigned from the Halo Board and joins the Akanda board of directors as lead independent director, and Philip Van den Berg will continue to serve as CFO and Director of Halo while becoming a director on the Akanda Board. Akanda is a recently formed Ontario corporation that was founded in connection with the proposed International Reorganization. Following completion of the International Reorganization, it is anticipated that Akanda will be an international medical cannabis company, cultivating ethically sourced cannabis of the highest quality at scale, leveraging trusted brands, at a low-cost compared to many of its competitors. It is expected that Akanda's initial portfolio will include key businesses such as Bophelo Bio Science & Wellness Pty. Ltd. (Bophelo), Halo's cultivation and processing campus in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa, with distribution and route-to-market through CanMart Ltd. (CanMart), Halo's UK-based fully approved pharmaceutical importer and distributor which supplies pharmacies and clinics within the U.K.
KIVA — Director FP&A (Oakland)
The Man Behind GTI. Founder and CEO Ben Kovler has ported his family’s entrepreneurial tradition into another runaway market.