💰Cronos invests $110M for option to acquire 10.5% of PharmaCann ($1.05B valuation)

Curio Wellness raises $22M. Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TOCC) raises $21M. WYLD looks for new CFO.


🌿Industry

Marijuana legalization efforts get boost from billions in MJ tax dollars.

Adult-use marijuana programs are generating billions of dollars in tax revenues for state governments each year – bolstering the economic and equity case for legalization in other markets across the country as well as at the federal level. The economic argument might particularly resonate among reluctant Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, experts say. States with legal adult-use marijuana markets in operation already have generated nearly $8 billion in tax revenue combined since 2014, including $2.7 billion in 2020, according to a new report by Washington DC-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). California leads the way, generating an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue in 2020 alone, while Washington state has produced the most since 2014 ($2.6 billion).MPP’s tax revenue report comes as the organization is involved in adult-use legalization advocacy efforts in Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island – and in the wake of successful recreational marijuana legalization across the country in the past few months from New York to New Mexico. Maryland is on MPP’s radar for next year, according to Moffat, as are potentially several other states. The MPP report summarized each state’s adult-use marijuana tax structure and how those tax revenues are being used. In New York, for example, which just legalized adult-use marijuana, Gov. Andrew Cuomo saw legalization as a way to help narrow a multibillion-dollar budget deficit exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. His administration projects the state will generate $350 million a year in tax revenue from adult-use sales.

Florida medical marijuana operators in ‘catbird seat’ after state court decision. A recent Florida Supreme Court decision plays into the hands of established medical marijuana multistate operators in the state, although it also could spur additional licenses, investment by others and acquisition activity. What remains to be seen is to what extent the currently concentrated, billion-dollar industry will become more competitive over time. The state Supreme Court last month left the state’s limited-license, vertically integrated structure intact, saying that a constitutional challenge was unlikely to succeed. Florida currently has 22 licensed medical cannabis operators. But three of those control more than two-thirds of the market, and the top six account for nearly 90% of all sales. The six market leaders are all owned by MSOs, half through acquisitions in recent years.

2021 Clio Cannabis Awards. The program opened today and closes on July 30th. The company covers creativity in the industry via Muse by Clio, their editorial site includes the Higher Calling Q+A series (their editor-in-chief, Tim Nudd, was formerly at Adweek). Notable previous winners (this will be the third year) include Acreage Holdings“The Time Is Now” Super Bowl PSA, Kiva/Camino A Sustainable State of Mind, Papa & Barkley Papa & Barkley Well Connected, Kiva Confections Inside The Confectionery At Outside Lands, Weedmaps Uprooted Trailer, Eaze Inputting data. Outputting dank. and Weedmaps Smile, There's Weed At Home (Weedmaps Orders).

Winemakers Collaborate With Weed Growers on New Cannabis Appellation Systems. Until recently, it’s been mostly cannabis enthusiasts dealing in hearsay as to what factors make the best product. But thanks to an intrepid group of growers and an unlikely ally, California’s wine industry, a process to identify quality cannabis according to where it’s grown is finally being formalized. The wine industry became involved about three years ago, says Rex Stults, vice president of industry relations for the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) association. First, the American Viticultural Area (AVA) system and the Alcohol Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) wanted to make sure any cannabis appellation system doesn’t diminish wine’s appellation system. Second, NVV had concerns about what was going on and how it might impact the Napa Valley name. An appellation can bridge such gaps through regulations. Although NVV still opposes cultivation within Napa County, it wants any formal cannabis appellation to provide a strong structure. 

What's It Like to Judge The Emerald Cup Contest. In early spring 2021 (David Hua, CEO & Co-Founder of Meadow), was asked to help judge The Emerald Cup, which is Northern California's destination for cannabis, and the largest cannabis competition in the world. This event has become a sought-after annual celebration that honors the finest sun grown cannabis harvests of California. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2021 Cup to become a digital event with safety protocols that were unlike previous years — Judges were not able to gather in person to smoke and sample all of the products. The Emerald Cup judges kit for the 2021 vape cartridges category included 6 CO2 cartridges, 17 distillate cartridges, and 44 live resin cartridges—a total of 67 vape cartridges to score.

Other highlights:

California Legislature approves $100M plan to compete with the large illicit market

Amazon’s Support For Cannabis Is The Missing Link For Federal Legalization

Redistricting could force some San Diego cannabis dispensaries to close

Illinois Cannabis Sales Increase 97% to $151M in May

Alberta looking at allowing online sales for cannabis retailers


💵Deals

Cronos Group — Strategic Investment in PharmaCann, $110M for 10.5%. Cronos entered into an agreement under which a wholly owned subsidiary of Cronos Group has purchased an option to acquire ~10.5% ownership stake in PharmaCann on a fully-diluted basis. The Option exercise will be based upon various factors, including the status of U.S. federal cannabis legalization, as well as regulatory approvals, including in the states where PharmaCann operates that may be required upon exercise. PharmaCann footprint in the U.S. includes six production facilities and 23 dispensaries operating under the Verilife™ brand across six limited license states: New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Under the terms of the Transaction, total consideration paid by Cronos Group for the Option was approximately $110.4 million, which was deposited by Cronos Group with a third-party paying agent to be distributed directly to PharmaCann shareholders. The Option is subject to certain anti-dilution and other adjustments. Michael Gorenstein, Executive Chairman of Cronos Group, and Jason Adler, a director of Cronos Group, each hold an indirect interest in PharmaCann by way of their interest in a fund affiliated with Gotham Green Partners, which is a stockholder of PharmaCann.

Curio Wellness — $22M raise and $26M mortgage deal. Curio Wellness is planning significant expansions of its Lutherville-Timonium medical cannabis growing and processing operations, armed with $22M in newly raised equity funding and a $26M mortgage deal. Curio recently earned clearance from regulators at the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to transfer ~12% of ownership interest in its growing, processing and dispensing businesses to more than 50 different individuals and organizations. The funding raised through the equity deals will support the planned addition of 100,000 square feet to Curio's growing operation in Lutherville-Timonium, and the relocation of its processing operation to a nearby 34,000-square-foot facility. The pair of projects will allow Curio to create 150 new jobs in Baltimore County, increase its research and development and keep up with rapidly growing demand in the Maryland cannabis market.  When Curio first opened its existing 56,000-square-foot, $10M facility in 2017, the space contained its growing and processing operations, as well as the firm's corporate offices. Curio moved its offices offsite in fall 2018 to make room for more manufacturing space, and within the year, the company realized that wasn't going to cut it. When Curio launched its growing business the company had projected that it would take five years for the Maryland cannabis market to reach 120,000 patients. The patient pool surpassed 125,000 in January — in just over three years — and continues to grow by thousands each month. One of the aspects of this project the company is proudest of is that it has secured a $26M traditional mortgage for the grow facility expansion through Severn Savings Bank, one of the few banks in Maryland that has publicly disclosed its willingness to work with cannabis businesses.

Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation — Raises $21M in Series B Funding. Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TOCC), Texas’ leading medical cannabis provider, secured $21M in Series B funding led by AFI Capital Partners. The funding will bolster the company’s production and support its statewide delivery strategy. Under the expanded Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP), all cancer patients and people suffering from PTSD will qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions. The passage of HB 1535 also increases the amount of allowable THC to 1% by weight.

Terra Tech Corp — Acquires SilverStreak Solutions (Sacramento Cannabis delivery). SilverStreak has a strong market position in the cannabis delivery space in the greater Sacramento area, with 22 company owned vehicles and ~42,000 monthly customers in the ~00-mile radius in which they operate.

HERBL — Acquires Blackbird to Create Leading Multi-State Supply Chain Solution. HERBL, California's largest cannabis supply chain solutions company, acquired Blackbird, a cannabis distributor and direct-to-consumer software solutions company based in Nevada. The transaction allows HERBL to leverage Blackbird's ecosystem of national retail and logistics insights to enter the Nevada market.

Viridescent Realty Trust — First Closing ($125M) of its Cannabis Mortgage Real-Estate Investment Trust. Viridescent Management LLC, an affiliate of Viridescent Capital Partners, a private investment firm with substantial operating and investing experience across the U.S. cannabis industry, had a first close of over $125M on its mortgage real estate investment trust (mREIT), Viridescent Realty Trust (VRT).

Cirona Labs — $1.5M Seed Round. The $1.5M seed round led by LiDestri Food & Drink, BevSource, and Sweetener Supply. Focused on the sciences of emulsion chemistry and food science, Cirona Labs is comprised of a team of experts who work closely with clients throughout the development and manufacturing process to achieve target potency and accelerate products to market. Using advanced emulsion technology, their team emulsifies oils to make them highly stable and water compatible. The company's lab is situated in Cornell University's Tech Farm Innovation Center in Geneva, NY, where they work closely with some of the top programs in Cornell's campus, particularly the Hemp Research Program and Emulsion Science Labs. 

Other highlights:

Trulieve — Completes Acquisition of Solevo Wellness West Virginia

Columbia Care — Completes Acquisition of Green Leaf Medical (mid-Atlantic)

TILT Holdings — Amendment and Repayment of Blackbird Note Receivable

Sugarmade — Signs MOU to Acquire Three California Cannabis Licenses, Plans Large-Scale Nug Avenue Expansion in World’s Premier Cannabis Market

Fiore Cannabis — Acquires California Patients Club (Cannabis Delivery) for $1.2M


📄Earnings


Jushi — Q4 and CY2020 Financial Results and Q1 2021 Financial Results

  • Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights — Total revenue increased 29.6% sequentially to $32.3. Gross profit of $19.2M, an increase of 56.6% sequentially. Net loss of ($156.7M), driven primarily by the fair value losses on derivative warrant liabilities. Adjusted EBITDA of $2.6M

  • Full Year 2020 Highlights — Revenue increased ~689.6% Y/Y to $80.8. Gross profit of $43.1M, an increase of 793.0% Y/Y. Net loss of ($211.9M), driven primarily by the fair value losses on derivative warrant liabilities. Adjusted EBITDA loss of ($3.0M)

  • First Quarter 2021 Highlights — Revenue of $41.7M, an increase of 29.0% sequentially. Gross profit of $20.1M, an increase of 4.7% sequentially. Net loss of ($26.8M), driven primarily by the fair value losses on derivative warrant liabilities, income tax expense, interest expense and finance charges. Adjusted EBITDA of $3.0M.

  • Cash: $167.9M as of March 31, 2021

Vireo Health — Name Change to Goodness Growth Holdings. The Company’s subordinate voting shares will begin trading as Goodness Growth Holdings, (CSE: GDNS) and (OTCQX: GDNSF). The Company expects to open an additional 6-10 Green Goods™ retail dispensaries. For FY2022, the Company expects to generate total revenue in the range of $140-$180M and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $35-$55M. The company has $40M in cash on its balance sheet as of March 31, 2021.

HEXO Corp — Q3 Fiscal 2021 Financial Results

  • Total net sales declined ($10.2M) from the previous quarter. Total net loss remained flat as compared to the previous quarter. Working capital remained strong at $182M, with $194M of cash on hand.


🧔People

The Arcview Group — New CEO: Jeffrey Finkle. Jeffrey Finkle is the new Chief Executive Officer of The Arcview Group. Most recently, Finkle led Arcview Ventures as CEO and co-founded The Arcview Collective Fund in 2018. Finkle will oversee The Arcview Group's primary service subsidiaries: Arcview Capital, Arcview Ventures, and Arcview Management Consulting, which includes Arcview Market Research. The appointment of Finkle follows a poised transition plan in which he will continue his work with Arcview Ventures and The Arcview Collective Fund. Departing Arcview CEO, Kim Kovacs will be joining Santa Fe Farms, a current client of The Arcview Group, as Chief Strategy Officer and will remain on The Arcview Group Board of Directors.

Columbia Care — Julie Hill to Board. Ms. Hill has spent more than two decades serving on a range of private and public corporate Boards of Directors. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Lord Abbett Family of Funds, a $225B New Jersey-based mutual fund management firm. Most recently, Ms. Hill was a member of the Board of Directors of Anthem, a Fortune 50 company, and the largest U.S. health insurance company by member. She was also previously on the Boards of Lendlease, a publicly traded international construction, development, investment and management firm, and Holcim (U.S.), the U.S. operation of a Swiss company, as well as several other public companies.

ManifestSeven — Change to Management Team. Scott Wessler has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Urban Smedeby has stepped down from President of M7 but will remain on the Board of Directors, while Dilshad Kasmani has been promoted to serve as M7’s President and will maintain his current role as Chief Legal Officer. The company is now aggressively moving forward to develop their portfolio of brands and assets further, create a differentiated platform, and drive shareholder value.


🏬Retail

Holistic Industries Opening Cannabis Superstore in Metro Detroit. Considered the largest of its kind in southeast Michigan, the 64,000-square-foot vertically integrated flagship facility includes a supply center and cultivation and processing activities.As one of the only supply centers in the state testing for terpenes in products, Liberty offers a dedicated cannabis education space, including a terpene bar and greenhouse structure for branded pop-ups, demonstrations, and courses.


🌱Product

Columbia Care — “Forage,” an Online Cannabis Discovery Tool. This interactive, web-based platform suggests curated products depending on the user’s desired mood and experience, and syncs with their local dispensary's inventory and pricing to enable online orders. The platform also helps to fill a data void in the industry, adding another layer of contextual information to the existing point of sale, helping to discover which products consumers in any given market would have chosen or matched with, if available. This crucial and dynamic data set can then be used to optimize operational decisions such as inventory forecasting, new and existing product offerings, brand selections and cultivation and manufacturing prioritizations, as well as planning decisions in new markets or markets preparing for conversion from medical to adult use.

Curaleaf's Select Brand + Rolling Stone — Strategic Partnership. The new line of co-branded Rolling Stone by Select products will include two product formats to start, including Select's first-ever pre-roll, as well as "The Cliq," Select's newest proprietary pod system. Both formats will feature three strains and flavor profiles hand-selected by Rolling Stone to celebrate some of the most well-known and genre-defining artists and sounds in music history. The line includes a berry-forward "Overdrive" Sativa, complex and full-bodied "Reverb" Indica, and a fruity and calming "Phaser" Hybrid.

Cresco Labs — Diversifies Edibles & Vape Portfolio Through Good News Brand Expansion. Under its social occasion-based Good News brand, Cresco is launching Counting Sheep, Day Off and Pride products in edible and vape forms in California, Illinois and Michigan. Counting Sheep represents the Company’s first product made with CBN. Day Off is a product featuring CBD, and Pride, a Sativa-forward product, is available for a limited time during June Pride month in select markets.

Trulieve — Refined Crème. Refined Crème is a handcrafted concentrate developed using a cold ethanol extraction method and a careful hand-whipping technique over low heat. The result is an aromatic, creamy, batter-like concentrate that retains the flavor, cannabinoids, terpenes, and the resulting effects from the strain from which it is derived.

Elegance Brands — Enters Strategic Partnership and Licensing Arrangement with Halo Collective to Launch THC Beverage Portfolio. As part of the Transaction, Elegance will exclusively license the intellectual property rights for its THC brands and provide support to Halo on operations and manufacturing technology for the manufacture and sale of certain THC-infused beverage products in exchange for a 2% royalty on all sales generated from these brands. In addition to the Licensing Agreement, Halo will acquire manufacturing equipment custom-built for THC beverage production and acquire a minority interest in Elegance.

Cloud Creamery — Launches Cannabis-infused ice cream in Massachusetts. Cloud Creamery is starting with three flavors that include two ice creams, Tanzanian vanilla and dark chocolate truffle, and one sorbet, mango yuzu, which is dairy-free. The Cloud Creamery ice cream comes in an 8-ounce serving size, which contains 5 mg of THC. Cloud Creamery is just one product category from Plant Jam, which is based in Framingham, MA — the company wants to create savory edibles, nighttime-specific edibles to help people get rest, and other items.


🎙️Interviews

Winning At Capital MarketsBen Kovler, GTI CEO

Cannabis Market Insights after 130 Investments Patrick Rea, Poseidon

How cool would it be to own Sweetwater with Bob Weir?


💻Hiring

WYLD — CFO (Clackamas County, OR)

Sweet Flower Accounting Manager (LA)

REBUD — Growth Marketing Manager (LA)

ArcataX — Sales Director (Humboldt)

AWH — Director, Social Equity (NYC)


👋 Newsletter curated by Dai Truong.