🎤 Weedmaps Sponsors Thirty Five Ventures’ Sports Business Media Network, Boardroom

TerrAscend Reports Q2 Revenue of $58.7M, Adjusted EBITDA of $24.3M (41% margin), partners with Cookies in NJ, and departure of CLO/Heard of Corp Dev. Rosario Dawson joins Cann's Board.

👥 Follow on LinkedIn for more real-time updates. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

🍺 Last reminder for the happy hour next Tuesday, 8/24 from 6-8p at BLAZE. Unrivaled Brands COO, Oren Schauble, will be there w/ products from the Company’s portfolio, RSVP here


🌿Industry

New Jersey Regulators Approve Rules For Adult-Use Cannabis.

Key highlights of the rules:

  • There will be three licensing categories that regulators will prioritize that are designed to promote social equity by helping businesses that are minority- and women-owned or located in an economically distressed area

  • Regulators must pick a date for sales to launch within 180 days of the effective date

  • Six main licensing categories: cultivators, manufactures, wholesalers, retailers, distributors and delivery services

  • While individual municipalities can elect to ban marijuana businesses from operating in their area—and hundreds have in anticipation of the enactment of these regulations—they cannot prohibit delivery services (similar to CA)

  • Municipalities have until Saturday to enact ordinances regulating or banning cannabis businesses

  • Licensing decisions will be based on market demand, and regulators will also be prioritizing microbusiness and conditional licenses, in addition to social equity applicants

  • There will not be a licensing cap, except for cultivators. The cultivator cap is 37, though that expires on February 22, 2023

  • Prior marijuana convictions will not disqualify people from obtaining a cannabis business license

  • Existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to apply for municipal approval to sell recreational cannabis products. Their approval should be contingent on whether there’s enough supply to continue providing for patients

  • The fee to apply for the license is kept intentionally low, with applicants only needing to pay 20 percent of the fee at the time of submitting the application and 80 percent only if it’s approved. The total fees will range from $500-$2,000

Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation breaks ground on $8 million facility in Bastrop to address high demand. TOCC broke ground on the facility in May and it’s expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022. The facility will include a hybrid greenhouse for plant cultivation; manufacturing labs for extraction, processing and refining; testing labs; packaging, dispensing, distribution and delivery logistics; and administrative offices. TOCC said the facility's hybrid greenhouse will allow the company to take advantage of the Texas sunlight to grow marijuana while adhering to state restrictions that limit licensed medical cannabis production to only be done indoors.

Jersey City Approves its First Medical Cannabis Dispensary. While recreational marijuana sales remain in legal limbo throughout the Garden State, New Jersey’s second-largest city has given the green light to what will be their initial medicinal dispensary. Secaucus-based Harmony Foundation submitted an application to revamp a two-story industrial building at 227 Coles Street previously utilized by Moishe’s Moving. Harmony Dispensary will bring a 16,000-square-foot outpost to an industrial building. The company is currently overhauling space at 95 Hudson Street in Hoboken, which is set to be that city’s first dispensary when it opens later this year.

Trenton reverses course on cannabis, doubles number of dispensaries. The Trenton City Council on Thursday made significant reversals in its ordinance laying out legal marijuana sales, opting to include the city’s downtown for dispensary locations and doubling the number allowed to 10. The first reading of the ordinance, introduced earlier this month, called for five marijuana dispensaries in the city, and limited them to three areas – not including the downtown business areas. That version was roundly criticized by some city officials, including Gusciora, and city business owners, including Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion, who all argued that more dispensaries mean more financial opportunity for the city, and locations downtown would be a needed boon that hopefully would bring more visitors and trickle-down dollars to existing businesses. Other amendments that passed allowed dispensary employees to unionize if they wish, and reduced the restriction zone on marijuana businesses from 1,000 feet from a school to 750 feet.

Illinois Results of Tied Applicant Lottery for Conditional Licenses. The Tied Applicant Lottery, with 17 BLS Region drawings, was conducted on August 19, 2021 for 75 Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses . Below are the results of the drawings for each BLS region identifying the order in which each Tied Applicant was drawn. This order determines the order in which the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will award the available Conditional Licenses in each BLS region. GrownIn dug into the numbers and found that 51 companies were selected for the 75 cannabis licenses in today’s Tied Applicant Lottery in Illinois, one group of companies all registered at the same North Clark Street Chicago address and won eleven adult-use dispensary licenses, on top of the eight licenses they already won. Almost 60% of the licenses awarded today went to existing cannabis companies. A story earlier this week reported that two companies, So Baked Too LLC and Suite Greens LLC, had filed a lawsuit for the State to grant them additional lottery entries today, each won a license.

U.S. Cannabis Insurers Get Ready to Roll as Federal Legalization Nears. The industry only wrote about $250 million in policies last year, insurance agents estimated for Reuters, with a handful of carriers offering limited property and liability coverage. Businesses also need coverage for crops and theft, along with larger payout limits, according to more than a dozen insurers, brokers, agents, lawyers and cannabis business owners interviewed by Reuters. Some large insurers, such as Progressive Corp Farmers Insurance, Liberty Mutual and AXA SA, are offering coverage as more states legalize. They often sell via subsidiaries and work with CannGen or others, state licensing records show. D&O insurance, is also expensive, Gavin Kogan, CEO of Grupo Flor, said he pays $85,000 to $100,000 annually for $1 million of very limited D&O protection.


💵Deals

COOKIES x Terrascend — Partner To Bring Top-Shelf Genetics To The Garden State. Cookies has signed licensing agreements with TerrAscend NJ LLC, a subsidiary of TerrAscend, a leading North American cannabis operator. The parties entered into a multi-year deal under which TerrAscend will be the sole cultivator and manufacturer of Cookies branded products in New Jersey, subject to certain conditions and regulatory approval. TerrAscend operates a 140,000 square foot cultivation and processing facility in The Garden State. Under the licensing agreements, Cookies will also have a “Cookies Corner,” a store-within-a-store concept, at all of TerrAscend’s Apothecarium Alternative Treatment Centers in New Jersey.

Unrivaled — Expands Offering Through Exclusive Distribution Agreement with G-Eazy’s FlowerShop* Lifestyle and Wellness Brand. Unrivaled has entered into an exclusive agreement with Feel Better and their licensing and production partner Halo Collective. As part of the agreement, Unrivaled will be the exclusive distributor of Feel Better’s FlowerShop* branded products, a cannabis lifestyle and wellness brand, in more than 400 retail stores across California.


📄Company Updates / Earnings

TerrAscend (TRSSF –12.2%) — Second Quarter 2021

  • Net Sales increased 72% Y/Y to $58.7M and 10% sequentially

  • Adjusted Gross Profit Margin of 61% compared to 56% in Q2 2020 and 65% in Q1 2021

  • Adjusted EBITDA of $24.3M compared to $8.4M in Q2 2020 and $22.6M in Q1 2021

  • Adjusted EBITDA Margin of 41% compared to 25% in Q2 2020 and 42% in Q1 2021

  • Cash Flow from Operations was $16.7M

  • Cash balance of $154M at quarter end

Weedmaps (MAPS –4.8%) — Multi-Year Partnership with Kevin Durant, Thirty Five Ventures, and Boardroom. Weedmaps will become an official sponsor of Thirty Five Ventures’ sports business media network, Boardroom, as part of the agreement. Available today, the latest episode of Boardroom’s Out of Office podcast brings together Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant, and Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals to discuss the potential for the strategic partnership’s long-term impact across the industry, as well as the many challenges ahead that we must address as the country moves closer toward legalization. In addition to its sponsorship agreement, Boardroom will collaborate with Weedmaps to produce an original content series, which is tentatively slated for debut in 2022. The multi-year agreement also comprises ongoing integrations with Boardroom, including: Out of Office podcast, development and distribution of original content, co-branded collaborations and events, exclusive merchandise, and more. In an interview with ESPN on the partnership, Durant said "I think it's far past time to address the stigmas around cannabis that still exist in the sports world as well as globally," Durant told ESPN. "This partnership is going to help us continue to normalize those conversations, as well as create content, events, and a lot more through our Boardroom media network. This is just the beginning for us."

Tilray (TLRY –4.4%)— Adjournment of Special Meeting of Stockholders to September 10, 2021. The Company convened and then adjourned the Special Meeting of Stockholders intended to approve two shareholder proposals: (1) a proposal to increase the authorized number of shares of common stock and (2) a number of governance enhancements to increase stockholder rights. Based on a preliminary assessment of votes received by the Company’s proxy solicitor, the majority of votes cast to date support both the Authorized Shares Proposal and the Governance Proposals. The adjournment of the Special Meeting is intended to provide Tilray with additional time to solicit proxies and to give Tilray shareholders additional time to consider information relevant to Proposal 1, including the announcement of Tilray’s strategic investment in MedMen convertible notes and the importance of Proposal 1 in enabling Tilray to optimize the execution of that transaction.

Trulieve (TCNNF –2.6%) / Harvest — Supreme Court of British Columbia Grants Final Order Approving Arrangement. Harvest has obtained the final order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia approving the previously announced arrangement agreement, pursuant to which Trulieve has agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Harvest. Upon completion of the Transaction, as well as the closing of other previously announced acquisitions by Harvest and Trulieve, the combined business will have operations in 11 states, a total cultivation capacity of more than 3 million square feet, and more than 140 dispensaries serving both the medical and adult-use recreational cannabis markets.

Schwazze (SHWZ –2.2%) — Star Buds Colorado Home Delivery Services. One day after Eaze announced it was acquiring Green Dragon and entering the Colorado market, Schwazze has announced that they will launch home delivery service to residences in the city of Aurora. Aurora home delivery service will start from its Star Buds Montview retail dispensary location. The delivery service is available to any personal residences located within the city limits of Aurora, in which the Star Buds Montview location currently serves. Later this year, the Company will include deliveries from the Star Buds Arapahoe location, also based in Aurora.

Vibe Growth — Closing of Acquisition of 10-Acre Greenhouse Cultivation Site. The Company has closed on its acquisition of a 10-acre parcel of land in Monterey County, California for 254,000 square feet of potential greenhouse cannabis cultivation. Total consideration of $5.1 million in cash. Vibe's Monterey acquisition will serve as its flagship greenhouse cultivation facility. The Company has commenced its 66,000 square foot Phase 1, with the future potential to develop 188,000 additional square feet in future Phases 2 and 3.


🏬Retail

Harvest — Opens 11th Affiliated Dispensary in South Philadelphia. Additional Harvest-affiliated dispensaries in Pennsylvania are located in Camp Hill, Cranberry Township, Harrisburg, Johnstown, King of Prussia, Reading (two locations), Scranton, Whitehall, and York.

Goodness Growth Holdings — Opens Two Additional Green Goods® Cannabis Dispensaries in New Mexico. The Company officially opened two new Green Goods® cannabis dispensaries in the state of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque and Las Cruces. These openings follow the Company's strategic investments in cultivation operations to prepare for New Mexico's adult-use program, which is expected to begin in the spring of 2022. The Albuquerque dispensary is in a 1,995-square-foot location, and the Las Cruces location is 2,490-square-feet, making these locations Goodness Growth's largest retail storefronts in the state. The Company also announced that its local affiliate, Red Barn Growers, recently completed expansion of a new cultivation site near Gallup, New Mexico, which includes six polycarbonate hoop houses used for year-round cultivation and creates an additional 12,600 square feet of cultivation space. The cultivation expansion will enable the Company to grow the maximum number of plants allowed by the state and will increase the Company's output capacity of cannabis flower by up to eight times beyond previous production levels.


🧔People | 💻Hiring

TerrAscend — Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Development Depart. The Company promoted Ryan McWilliams to EVP of the Northeast Region, succeeding Greg Rochlin, who left the Company to pursue other interests, subsequent to the final Ilera earnout payment. Jason Marks, the Company's Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Development, decided to leave the Company to return to the life sciences sector.

CANN - Rosario Dawson joins Board.

Leaflink — Director of Retail Business Development (LA). The position would own and drive Leaflink’s retail relationships in California for their new suite of retailer focused products. This is an exciting opportunity to not only have a significant impact on the company’s growth and customer satisfaction, but also to create the playbook for how they sell into and serve growing and multi-store retailers at LeafLink.


🎙️Interviews

Ganjapreneur — Sebastien Centner: Luxury Cannabis Edibles

Rolled Up — Destigmatizing Cannabis, One Pre-Roll At a Time With Colin Landforce


👋 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.