Dai Truong's Cannabis Newsletter - Issue #14


Cannabis

US retail marijuana sales on pace to rise 35% in 2019 and near $30B by 2023

Retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States are on pace to eclipse $12 billion by the end of 2019 - an increase of roughly 35% over 2018 - and could rise as high as $30 billion by 2023.

Black market cannabis shops thrive in L.A. even as city cracks down

Nowhere is that problem more glaring than in Los Angeles, where the number of illegal storefronts rivals legal dispensaries. In what should be the state’s most lucrative pot market, many legitimate business operators say they can’t compete with the hundreds of stores that are able to sell at a lower price by skirting taxes.

More than 200 illegal marijuana dispensaries operate in L.A., according to police estimates and a Times review of city records and listings on Weedmaps, a popular online directory for marijuana businesses.

Cannabis Dispensary Chain Harborside Is Going Public

The company is beginning the process of going public with the reverse takeover of Lineage Grow Company Ltd.

Recreational marijuana goes on sale Jan. 1 in Illinois. Dispensaries are already getting ready.

On Jan. 1, people without a medical marijuana card will be able to walk into a dispensary and buy weed. Here’s what to expect.

Oakland’s groundbreaking cannabis equity program showing modest results so far

Oakland’s cannabis equity program was touted for being one of the first in the country to attempt to repair damage that befell minority communities during the drug war. But Oakland’s experiment is not living up to its promise, critics say.

Can Micro Business Licenses Diversify Colorado's Marijuana Industry?

The conversations around social equity in the state cannabis industry may have started late, but a new category of business licenses could help expand diversity in this state’s pot industry. Critics have their doubts, though.

Brinks CEO: The $160B cannabis industry, much of it still illegal, makes for a "beautiful opportunity"

Cannabis is going to be a booming global industry … “there’s a huge opportunity and demand out there,” Brinks CEO Douglas Pertz says.

Google Play Store Is Now Banning Marijuana Delivery Apps

Google announced its Play store would be suspending weed delivery apps. But other types of cannabis apps may have also been affected

How Serial Entrepreneur Keith McCarty Is Building Tech Solutions For The Cannabis Industry

The founder of the ‘Uber of Cannabis’ is back with the B2B version of Eaze.

How Legal Weed Is Killing America’s Most Famous Marijuana Farmers

In the forests of northern California, the regulatory state—not the DEA—is forcing thousands of growers out of business, or back underground.

Three Years After Voters Legalized Marijuana, Maine Develops Plan To Begin Sales

Nearly three years after Maine voters approved the legal growth and sale of adult-use marijuana, the state has finally developed a plan to begin commercial sales. So far the legalization effort in Maine has looked more like that of Vermont, which only legalized personal use and cultivation.

Marijuana milestone: Colorado will allow delivery and tasting rooms soon under new laws — but with big catches

Starting next year, Colorado marijuana customers could begin getting their purchases delivered at home, like pizza. Or using marijuana inside licensed businesses. But not unless local officials give their OK.

Canopy Growth CEO Is Confident in Cannabis Future With or Without U.S. Market

Cannabis legalization in the U.S. has hit a couple of snags in recent weeks as New Jersey’s full legalization efforts collapsed, but Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton is not concerned about the minutia of American political leanings on marijuana, he believes his company can reach all of its goals through just the Canadian and international markets.

"No one buys albums - lots of people buy weed!": why pop stars are selling cannabis

From Jenny Lewis to Margo Price, pot is music’s new money-spinner. And it’s targeting women.

Merlot versus marijuana: Wine Country feuds over measure to grow pot

Napa Valley, long synonymous with grapes, has banned marijuana farms. A proposed ballot measure could change that, but it’s setting off a huge fight.

Marijuana Companies Fuel a U.S.-Canada War for Talent

Growing competition between the United States and Canada in the marijuana industry has set up a race for talent in executive suites on both sides of the border.

Nigerians Smoke the Most Weed on Earth, Spend Over $15B on Pot Annually

According to a new report, there are over 20 million cannabis users in Nigeria, who collectively consume the most weed on the planet.

Massachusetts inches cautiously toward "cannabis cafes"

By BOB SALSBERG BOSTON (AP) — If you’re at least 21 in Massachusetts, you can legally buy recreational marijuana at more than a dozen stores that have opened over the past several months. But when it comes to using those products, the law says you can only do so discreetly and privately. That could change. […]

CBD

Harvest Health & Recreation Signs Landmark Agreement to Distribute CBD Products to More than 10,000 Retail Stores Across the U.S.

Harvest Health & Recreation Signs Landmark Agreement to Distribute CBD Products to More than 10,000 Retail Stores Across the U.S.

Charlotte's Web Announces Hemp Extract CBD Gummies for Calming, Recovery, and Sleep Français

Charlotte’s Web (TSX:CWEB, OTCQX:CWBHF), the market leader in hemp CBD extract products, has announced its newest CBD product line - hemp extract-infused CBD Gummies – made with whole-plant extract from its prized hemp genetics and featuring synergistic functional ingredients to support specific health related functions including everyday stress, sleep, and recovery from exercise or active lifestyles.

Ben & Jerry's announces plans to make CBD-infused ice-cream

Ice-cream maker to add cannabidiol to its products as soon as it is legalized at the federal level

CBD-Infused Coconut Water : enriched coconut water

In addition to offering a variety of refreshing coconut water beverages in fun flavors and sparkling formats, Vita Coco is planning to introduce an all-new enriched coconut water beverage with CBD. Just in time for the summer season, Vita Coco will be launching its new coconut water drink in July.

Deals

Green Growth Brands Continues Rapid Expansion of MSO Business Through Agreement to Acquire Florida-Based Spring Oaks

Spring Oaks holds a medical marijuana dispensary license and authorization to operate as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center in the state of Florida. The medical marijuana dispensary license, received in April of this year, authorizes Spring Oaks to initiate production, processing, and dispensing of medical marijuana and marijuana products. The license grants the right, but not the obligation, to open up to 35 dispensaries, subject to an increase to 40 when the Florida Medical Marijuana program surpasses 300,000 patients.

Altria takes stake in Swiss tobacco company Burger Sohne's global businesses for $372M as cigarette sales shrink

Altria will invest $372 million to sell On, an oral-derived nicotine pouch brand, adding another nicotine product to its growing portfolio.

Organigram Closes $140M Credit Facility with Bank of Montreal

Organigram has initially drawn $50M of the term loan on closing and can continue to draw down additional funds as required up to the $115M term loan commitment through to November 30, 2019. Principal repayments on the term loan will commence on February 28, 2020 at a rate of 2.5%, or approximately $2.9M, per quarter thereafter. The Company may, at its discretion, repay the balance of the Facilities without penalty, at any time. Based on the current Bankers’ Acceptance benchmark rates and the highest pricing level and margin in the pricing grid, the interest payable is expected to be in the high 4% to low 5% per annum range.

Nabis Holdings Announces Acquisition of 49% of Cannova Medical

Nabis also has option to acquire remaining 51%. Cannova, based in Israel, has developed an alternative solution for cannabis consumption using a sublingual strip infused with a variety of active cannabis substances. The product has proven qualities that allow producers to more effectively control dosage quantities, combine the Cannabis with other natural active ingredients to create a set of products for a variety of needs and lifestyles. In connection with the Transaction, Nabis will have Exclusive Distribution rights in North America.

SOL Global and Goldstream Minerals Announce Proposed Reverse Takeover By CannCure Investments

The entity resulting from the transaction will continue to carry on the business of CannCure as a multi-state vertically integrated cannabis company. The LOI was negotiated at arm’s length. The Company intends to change its name to “3 Emeralds Corp”

Fire & Flower Announces $15M Bought Deal

“Fire & Flower has been consistently delivering on our high-growth cannabis retail strategy since the launch of the adult-use cannabis market in October of 2018. This bought deal private placement provides a meaningful additional growth catalyst to further establish Fire & Flower as a dominant cannabis retail brand across Canada,” shared Trevor Fencott, Fire & Flower’s Chief Executive Officer. “Capital raised through this financing will, in part, be used to grow our proprietary Hifyre digital platform, a key strategic advantage for us in cannabis retail that provides us with a deep understanding of what our customers want. Hifyre will also be an important part of our strategy as we consider the exploration of international markets.”

C21 Investments Closes C$7.7M Private Placement

C21 is a vertically integrated cannabis company that cultivates, processes, and distributes quality cannabis and hemp-derived consumer products in the United States.

Nutritional High Closes C$5.1M Private Placement

Nutritional High is focused on developing, manufacturing and distributing products under recognized brands in the cannabis products industry, with a specific focus on edibles and oil extracts for medical and adult recreational use.

Distru, a maker of supply chain software for the cannabis industry, has raised $3M led by Felicis Ventures

Distru, a nearly three-year-old, Oakland-based startup whose platform aims to help track cannabis through its seed-to-sale process, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from Village Global, Global Founders Capital, and numerous notable angel investors, including Elad Gil, Katie Stanton, and Avichal Garg. The deal is an interesting one […]

People

Harris Rabin, former ABInBev & Bayer, joins Vireo Health as CMO

Rabin brings two decades of marketing and innovation experience in consumer healthcare and beverage alcohol industries

SugarBud Appoints John Kondrosky as CEO and Director

Kondrosky is an accomplished senior executive with over 25 years of experience leading complex global cannabis and medical life sciences organizations in the United States and Canada. He most recently served as COO Zenabis, one of Canada’s largest licensed producers of medical and adult use cannabis.

Dixie Brands Hires CPG Veteran Greg Robbins as CFO

Greg Robbins is a seasoned financial executive and CPA with more than 25 years of experience in the CPG, telecommunications and professional services sectors. He held increasingly senior financial management roles at Red Bull North America for more than a decade, culminating in the VP Finance position from 2013-2019.

Sunniva Announces Executive Management Change as Company Relocates Corporate Functions to California

Sunniva announced the appointment of David Lyle as CFO, who will be based in California. Mr. Lyle previously served as CFO at Maxwell Technologies, a global leader in the development and manufacture of innovative, cost-effective energy storage and power delivery solutions. Maxwell was recently acquired by Tesla, Inc.

Pasha Brands Names Jason Longden As New CEO

Longden brings over 30 years of experience in the food and regulatory industry to Pasha. His knowledge and expertise in operating Health Canada approved facilities and his dynamic supply chain management skills will be integral in establishing Pasha as the global leader in craft cannabis and bringing the vision for the brand to life.