📢 Schumer Proposes Federal Decriminalization of Cannabis

Rémy Cointreau sues Canopy over Quatreau. U.S. Cannabis Market size of $30B by 2022 (Headset). WM Technology announces public company Board of Directors.

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🌿Industry

Schumer Proposes Federal Decriminalization of Cannabis. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released sweeping draft legislation Wednesday to legalize Cannabis, officially kickstarting a difficult debate in his chamber that also makes a major splash for one of his campaign promises. The measure floated by the New York Democrat — along with Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — proposes removing federal penalties on cannabis, expunging nonviolent federal cannabis-related criminal records and letting states decide if or how to legalize the drug. Schumer has several reluctant members within his own caucus and will have to scrounge up at least 10 Republican votes for the legislation during an already chaotic Senate calendar filled with Biden administration priorities on infrastructure, police accountability and education. Schumer would also need to corner President Joe Biden — who has supported decriminalizing Cannabis but not legalizing it — to sign the bill.

The bill likely won’t pass but research analysts think a SAFE Act or something similar to it has a chance of passing, although it would need to include social justice measures to garner support from Senator Booker. Regardless, the U.S. Cannabis opportunity is still a state-led story that’s gone from $8B to $18B in two years and is expected to increase another $8-16B in the next two years ($26-34B for 2022E).

Legal US cannabis sales could top $30 billion by 2022 thanks to continued growth, new markets.

With new markets coming online and existing markets trending upward, legal cannabis sales in the U.S. are projected to surpass $30 billion in 2022, according to an updated long-term forecast by Headset. This latest forecast includes impending recreational marijuana markets in New Mexico and Connecticut and a medical market in Alabama as each is set to begin retail sales at some point in 2022. Though some of those markets will be open for business for only part of 2022, the total annualized first-year sales volume for the three will be near $300 million. One unknown is the opening of the huge recreational market in New York. Regulatory delays in New York could push the opening of sales in what’s expected to be a $1.2 billion market beyond 2022. The potential exists that unknown markets could open as state lawmakers around the U.S. debate legalizing adult-use or medical marijuana markets. With such possible expansion in mind, Headset projects that annual marijuana sales growth in the United States will continue to increase. The industry can expect a 29.3% growth rate in 2022, up from the 27.7% expected this year.

Canopy Growth sued by Cointreau over cannabis beverage name. Canopy Growth is being sued in a U.S. federal court by French orange liqueur producer Rémy Cointreau, which alleges that Canopy’s line of “Quatreau” cannabis beverages willfully infringes on the Cointreau trademark. The name of Canopy’s drink (pronounced “Kwatro”) sounds so similar to Cointreau’s own brand name (pronounced “Kwantro”) that “confusion is inevitable,” alleges the complaint filed last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. CBD-infused Quatreau drinks are already for sale in the United States, the complaint says, but are likely to include THC in the future as they already do in Canada. Canopy’s apparent plans to distribute Quatreau drinks in bars, restaurants and casinos — venues where Cointreau is also sold — are concerning to Cointreau in terms of consumer confusion, according to the complaint. If intoxicating THC were to be added to Canopy’s U.S. beverages, the complaint says they would be “even more closely related to alcoholic beverages.” Cointreau is said to be “actively considering” selling water and sodas in the United States, “as such beverages are a logical extension of their Cointreau brand.” An estimated 12 million bottles of Cointreau are sold worldwide per year, with more than 4 million sold in the U.S. in 2020, says the complaint. Cointreau seeks a judgement that Canopy has “infringed and diluted” the Cointreau mark, a permanent injunction preventing Canopy from selling products that infringe on the Cointreau brand, a court order against Canopy’s related U.S. trademark applications, and more.


💵Deals

Audacious — Acquires LOOS, a California Shot Beverage and Edibles Company. Australis Capital, operating as Audacious has entered into a binding terms sheet to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Gary Maverick Inc., operating under the brand name LOOS, a cannabinoid infused shot beverage company, based in Santa Cruz, California.

SLANG Worldwide — O.pen Daily Strains and District Edibles Products in Washington State. The strategic partnership is with Snowcrest, a cultivator and processor in Vancouver, WA.


📄Company Updates / Earnings

The Valens Company — Q2 FY2021 Financial Results

  • Net revenue increased 6.5% to $18.8 million compared to $17.6 million in Q2 2020

  • SKU listings increased by 76.0% to 132 compared to 75 in Q1 2021

  • Ended the quarter with a strong cash position of ~$23.9 million, prior to the closing of a $46 million bought deal financing on June 1, 2021

  • Adjusted EBITDA was $(5.0) million, compared to $2.7 million, in Q2 2020

Ascend Wellness Holdings — starts trading on OTCQX. Shares of Class A common stock for Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. to begin trading on OTCQX under the symbol "AAWH" 

WM Technology — Public Company Board of Directors. WM Technology’s Board of Directors is comprised of nine (9) members, including Scott Gordon, Chairman and CEO of Silver Spike Capital, Chris Beals, CEO of WM Technology, Tony Aquila, Douglas Francis, Brenda Freeman, Olga Gonzalez, Justin Hartfield and Fiona Tan. The outstanding vacancy will be filled by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Company’s Board of Directors.

  • Tony Aquila has served as a member of WM Technology’s board of directors since June 2021. In June 2019, Mr. Aquila founded AFV Partners, an affirmative low-leverage capital vehicle that invests in long-term mission critical software, data and technology businesses and serves as its Chairman and CEO since its founding. In 2005, Mr. Aquila founded Solera Holdings, and led it as Chairman and CEO to a $1 billion IPO in 2007, and in the following years sourced and executed over 50 acquisitions significantly expanding Solera’s total addressable market. Mr. Aquila oversaw Solera’s $6.5 billion transaction from a public-to-private business in 2016

  • Christopher Beals has served as WM Technology’s CEO and as a member of its board of directors since June 2021. Mr. Beals served as WM Holding Company, LLC’s (Legacy WMH) CEO from March 2019 to June 2021 and as a member of its board of managers since October 2015

  • Douglas Francis has served as a member of WM Technology’s board of directors since June 2021. Mr. Francis is a co-founder of Legacy WMH

  • Brenda Freeman has served as a member of WM Technology’s board of directors since June 2021. Since February 2020, Ms. Freeman has served as CEO for Arteza, Inc., a direct-to-consumer arts and crafts manufacturing and supply company

  • Olga Gonzalez has served as a member of WM Technology’s board of directors since June 2021. Since January 2021, Ms. Gonzalez has served as Global Business Leader for Wild Fork Foods, an online specialty food service

  • Scott Gordon has served as a member of WM Technology’s board of directors since June 2021. Mr. Gordon has been the Chairman of Silver Spike’s board of directors and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since its inception

  • Justin Hartfield has served as a member of WM Technology’s board of directors since June 2021. Mr. Hartfield is a co-founder of Legacy WMH

  • Fiona Tan has served as a member of WM Technology’s board of directors since June 2021. Since September 2020, Ms. Tan has served as Global Head of Customer and Supplier Technology for Wayfair

Planet 13 — Results of AGM.

Agrify — Receives Hemp Cultivation and Production License, Opens New Facility and Product Showcase in Billerica, Massachusetts. Under the License, Agrify expects to cultivate up to 3,000 plants per year. Concurrent with the receipt of the License, the Company has officially opened its product showcase and corporate office at the Billerica location to customers and visitors.


🏬Retail

Wonderbrett Goes To Hollywood With New North La Brea Ave Shop. Wonderbrett took part in the initial wave of local social equity applicants in 2019. They were awarded a license in 2020, and proudly noted they are now among the first 19 social equity retail license recipients to open under the much-embattled program. The store is co-owned by “Wonderbrett” founders – Brett Feldman and Cameron Damwijk – and Los Angeles nightlife entrepreneurs David Judaken and Mark Tung. With the dispensary now open less than a week, LA WEEKLY spoke with Feldman and Damwijk about the road to the successful A-list launch party last week.


🧔People | 💻Hiring

Treez — JP Saunders joins as VP Product and Marketing. In his role, Saunders leads the Treez product management, product marketing and corporate marketing teams. He previously served in various product management/marketing and management consulting roles in companies like RightNow, ATG, and Oracle. Prior to joining Treez, Saunders was vice president, Business Value Services for Oracle's Cloud application


🎙️Interviews


👋 Newsletter curated by Dai Truong.