Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 18, 2019


Biotech company Intrexon Corporation (NASDAQ: XON) and cannabis company Surterra Wellness (Surterra) announced an exclusive global licensing agreement.  The two companies will join forces to help Surterra’s cannabinoid production by using Intrexon’s proprietary yeast fermentation platform. According to the company statement, yeast fermentation of cannabinoids provides advantages over conventional plant-based extraction.

The Proprietary Tech

The $100 million deal, including milestones and royalties, is meant to bring new cannabis products to market with greater supply chain security, in a more consistent, efficient and cost-effective way. Intrexon’s proprietary yeast strain engineering enables fermentative production of cannabinoids – the compounds in cannabis plants that produce various health and wellness effects – as well as other cannabinoids not found in the plant itself.

The proprietary fermentation process develops strains of yeast that can produce a wide spectrum of cannabinoids, including those that are rare and difficult to extract, at a large scale. The process introduces plant genes into yeast, screens for best cannabinoid strains for productivity and purity, and isolates those with prized health benefits. The high-throughput technology approach can analyze thousands of yeast strains a week.

“This significant and strategic investment with Intrexon means Surterra can ramp up our research and development of specific cannabinoids, to ultimately craft cannabinoid products to meet the future demands and needs of our customers.  This transformative deal with Intrexon gives us a leading edge as we enter a new paradigm in cannabis, where the industry leaders will be those who have expertise in building global brands and in research and innovation. Imagine a day when technology and science leads to breakthrough cannabis-based therapeutic alternatives to pharmaceuticals that can be made available to consumers globally,” said Surterra Chief Executive Officer William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr.

Deal Terms

Intrexon will receive a $25 million technology access fee – $10 million in cash upfront and $15 million in Surterra common shares. Additionally, Intrexon expects to receive approximately $20 million in R&D expense reimbursement over the next five years, developmental milestones on each cannabinoid developed, and royalties on each cannabinoid commercialized.

“Intrexon has a successful history of being an innovator and remains on the cutting edge of multiple industries, including food production, disease treatment and now cannabis.  After meeting with RJ and the team, as well as visiting their microbial production lab in Budapest, it was clear we had found our partner for this exciting project,” said Jay Holmes, Executive Director of Strategy at Surterra Wellness and architect of the deal.

This is the second strategic deal between Surterra and Intrexon in three months, with the first partnership focusing on Intrexon’s Botticelli next-generation plant propagation technology to improve Surterra’s cannabis plant production efficiency, yield, and quality for Surterra’s specific cannabis cultivars in Florida.

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 18, 2019


MediPharm Labs Corp. (LABS.V) (MEDIF) (MLZ.F) has applied to list its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). MediPharm Labs continues to trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “LABS”.

This follows the company’s announcement that it had closed its previously announced bought deal offering of 13,514,000 common shares in the capital of the company at a price of $5.55 per common share for aggregate gross proceeds of C$75 million.

“We are extremely pleased to be closing this successful and oversubscribed bought deal financing, a key milestone that significantly strengthens our balance sheet and supports continued growth,” said Pat McCutcheon, MediPharm Labs Chief Executive Officer. “This financing couldn’t come at a more opportune time as we look to roll-out further end-consumer cannabis products (including formulated oil bottles, gel caps, and vape cartridges) following the recent announcement of the final regulations authorizing additional cannabis extract-based products, which are expected to come into force this upcoming October. Our balance sheet positions us well to execute strategic international expansions to develop our business in new jurisdictions and secure a global supply chain.”

MediPharms said it plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund its ongoing capital expenditures at its Canadian and Australian facilities, for domestic and international expansions, research and development and general corporate purposes.

Deal Details

The offering was underwritten by a syndicate of underwriters led by Scotia Capital Inc., GMP Securities L.P. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. MediPharm granted the underwriters an overallotment option to purchase up to an additional 2,027,100 Common Shares on the same terms and conditions, exercisable at any time, in whole or in part, for a period of 30 days following the closing of the Offering for over-allotment and market stabilization purposes. In the event the Over-Allotment Option is exercised in full, the aggregate gross proceeds of the Offering will be $86,253,105.



Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 14, 2019


A forum called “Insights From The Front Lines Of The Cannabis Industry” was held on June 13 on a beautiful summer evening in New York City atop the Empire Hotel. New York was named the Empire state because it was considered to be the center of all business in America and it has become the center of cannabis investing even though the plant isn’t fully legal in the state. That could change soon.

The event was hosted by MGO, Ello, Wilson Elser, and Aon. The panelists included Kevin Murphy Chairman and CEO, Acreage Holdings (CSE: ACRG.U), Tiffany Liff Managing Director, Cresco Capital Partners, Evan Eneman CEO, MGO / ELLO Cannabis Alliance, Matt Markiewicz Managing Director, Innovation Shares, Eduardo Provencio General Counsel, Mary’s Brands, and Mitch Baruchowitz Managing Partner, Merida Capital.

New York’s legalization was discussed as Murphy said it is quickly changing. “Last week, I’d have said there was a 20% chance. Today I give it a 60/40 chance. I think on Wednesday it may happen,” he said. That sure sent a buzz through the crowd. He conceded that having former Speaker of the House John Boehner on the company’s board kept his company informed of political maneuverings. Murphy has also been actively working on the SAFE Banking Act. As a company with its roots in New York, he is keen to see changes at the state level.

Access To Capital

A key theme seemed to emerge among some of the panelists was the access to capital. “The industry has gone from basement growers who just wanted to have a bigger basement to getting a license. Now it is about the aggregation of licenses,” said Murphy. “Our biggest competition isn’t from each other but from the black market.”

Liff also noted that in the early days’ companies were forced to go public even if they weren’t really ready because there was no other way to access capital. “There are more options now,” she said. She also reiterated that she really focuses on backing the management team.

“Running a public company is not that awesome,” said Murphy. “There is an extra layer or two of accountability. Having said that, it gives us the opportunity to access capital.”

Baruchowitz pointed out that new companies often give themselves rich valuations based on angel investors and believe this should bring them more capital. “When your angel round is friends and family, that doesn’t justify certain valuations. They get shocked when they get asked the hard questions as they ask for more capital. A lot of the newcomers don’t know the grind.”

Illegal vs. Legal

Baruchowitz noted that since New York didn’t have the same ballot pressures that other states have, legalization could come easier. Having said that, the panelists noted that the quasi-illegal status has had some benefits. Baruchowitz said he believes the medicalization of cannabis is about to go on hyperdrive through legalization.

The illegality of cannabis has also caused some volatility in the cannabis company stocks. Markiewicz runs an ETF and noted that the volatility scares many advisors. He keeps an eye out for negative sentiment when reviewing his companies. The illegal nature attracts some less than savory players at times. Still, Murphy said that ETF’s provide liquidity for the stocks. “The more liquidity, the better for all of us,” he said.

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 13, 2019


HEXO Corp (TSX:HEXO) ( NYSE-A:HEXO)  reported its financial results for the third quarter of the 2019 fiscal year with $15.9 million in gross revenues and a net loss of $7.7 million. The company claims it is on track to reach $400 million in net revenue in 2020 and says it will double net revenue in the fourth fiscal quarter.

HEXO CEO and co-founder Sebastien St-Louis said, “This quarter saw HEXO remain on-track as it continues ramping up to $400 million in revenue in fiscal 2020, including completing the first harvest in our 1 million sq. ft. Expansion and preparing to fund our ongoing expansion projects and innovation initiatives by entering a $65 million syndicated credit facility.”

This ambitious plan is based on the company entering into a syndicated credit facility with CIBC and BMO for up to $65 million available credit to fund continuing expansion and innovation initiatives.

Unfortunately, the company’s average gross selling price for adult use fell from $5.83 a gram in the second fiscal quarter to $5.29. The company said, “This is reflective of increased dry flower sales in the sales product mix during the quarter which commands lower market sales prices per gram. The adult-use net revenue per gram equivalent decreased to $4.30 from $4.81 in the previous quarter reflecting the consistent approximate ($1.00) impact to revenue per gram due to excise taxes. In future periods as the sales mix shifts towards oil and other value-added products from lower valued dry flower products the impact of these excise taxes on revenue per gram is expected to decrease.” Medical prices fell from $9.15 to $911 for the same time period.

Adult use cannabis gross revenue also fell from $14.7 million in the second fiscal quarter to $14.6 million. The company said the drop was due to, “A result of the Company’s additional production capacity still in the ramp-up stage as the new 1 million sq. ft. greenhouse realized its first harvest in April 2019.

Medical cannabis gross revenue also fell sequentially from $1.387 in the fiscal second quarter to $1.323. Total net sales fell from $13.4 million to $13.9. The company said, “Net medical revenues decreased during the quarter by 7% to $1,090 as compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2019 due to the overall decrease in medical sales during the period.”

HEXO most recently announced the closing of the agreement to acquire Newstrike. The acquisition will provide HEXO Corp capacity to produce approximately 150,000 kg of high-quality cannabis annually with access to four additional production campuses. It also provides the company diversified domestic market penetration with combined distribution agreements in eight provinces.

Subsequent to quarter end, HEXO bolstered its senior management team through the appointment of Michael Monahan as Chief Financial Officer and Donald Courtney as Chief Operating Officer.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 12, 2019


Seed-to-sale cannabis software company MJ Freeway and MTech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: MTEC) agreed to issue and sell an additional 215,475 shares of Class A common stock at $10.21 per share as part of its previously announced private placement in a deal valued at $2.2 million. The company is expected to go public within months.

According to the company statement, MTech will issue and sell an aggregate of 901,074 shares of Class A common stock for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $9.2 million. The company said it does not expect to issue any additional shares in the private placement. The closing of the private placement is conditioned on the closing of the business combination immediately thereafter.

MTech and MJ Freeway had previously announced that they will combine and rename the company Akerna Corp. The shares of Class A Common Stock issued in the private placement will convert into shares of Pubco common stock on a one-for-one basis upon the closing.

“As an existing MJ Freeway investor, making this investment in Akerna was an easy choice considering the trend of global legalization we are seeing, especially in Asian markets. We believe Akerna is well-positioned to capitalize on this growth through their robust ERP offerings and tracking & compliance technology,” stated MJ Freeway Board Member and Khitan’s Emery Huang. “Further, we believe the value proposition with the pending merger and Nasdaq listing enhances Akerna’s financial position and opens the door to acquisition opportunities, which should drive further shareholder value.”

Cresco Capital Partners II, LLC (CCP II), an existing investor in MJ Freeway, joins previously reported Khitan Capital, LLC (Khitan) and The London Fund in the private placement. Matt Hawkins, Managing Principal at CCP II, currently invested in MJ Freeway, said, “We have high confidence in the growth of the technology sector in cannabis, the strategic direction of Akerna, and the leadership at MJ Freeway. This additional stake in Akerna reflects that confidence.”

“The significant investments of financing, expertise, and confidence from our private placement participants will be invaluable as we move into this monumental new chapter. I look forward to expanding our relationships with Mr. Huang and Mr. Shah, leveraging additional global market and tech insights for strategic growth, and I thank Mr. Hawkins for his continued support,” stated Jessica Billingsley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MJ Freeway.

Scott Sozio, CEO of MTech, commented, “MJ Freeway has an established history of delivering technological innovation to the cannabis industry. Securing this investment provides additional capital to grow our proprietary ERP platform and further establish Akerna as a dominant force in cannabis technology.”

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 12, 2019


Luxury cannabis brand Coda Signature California closed on a $24.4 million round of Series A funding. Altum Investments is the parent company of The Grow Foundry California, which goes by the name of Coda. The company said that the funds will be used to accelerate expansion into emerging North American markets for Coda Signature-branded premium cannabis-infused edibles, topicals and concentrates. In addition to that, the money will also be used for strategic additions to the management team.

“The support we have received from the investment community is a testament to the strength of the Coda Signature brand,” said Mark Grindeland, Co-Founder, and CEO of Coda Signature, as well as Co-Founder of Altum Investments. “With the upcoming launch in California and new product innovations in edibles, topicals and concentrates on their way, it’s a perfect time to target expansion in new regions.”

Coda Signature was launched in Colorado in March 2016 and since then the company has gone on to receive 17 industry awards, gained No. 1-ranking market share in Colorado for adult-use edibles, according to market-research firm BDS Analytics, and has been recognized by MG Retailer as one of the top 50 places to work in cannabis. The products are available in over 600 dispensaries in Colorado.

As part of the expansion plans, Coda Signature California will launch operations in July from a 20,000 square-foot facility in Oakland with plans to add more than 50 jobs through the end of 2019. Coda Signature is currently licensed in California and Colorado. 

Coda Signature worked with Granite Hall Partners as the lead investor and syndicated the round with additional investment from leading firms in the cannabis industry Gotham Green Partners, MAZAKALI and Salveo Capital.  

J. Patrick Barry, Chief Investment Officer of Granite Hall Partners, the lead investor group on the raise said, “The Coda team is truly exceptional and they have constructed a terrific brand, product line, facilities and reputation in the industry.”

“Coda Signature has proven incredibly successful at navigating the Colorado cannabis landscape,” added Sumit Mehta, CEO of MAZAKALI. “Their prospects for meaningful market share capture in California are supported by a high-caliber team, manufacturing excellence, production scalability, and quality reputation. We look forward to their continued success.”

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 11, 2019


US hemp-based CBD company HempFusion has a distribution with over 3,400 retailers and is now partnering with RADD Capital to advise the company on strategic fundraising initiatives including multiple staged private financings and a future Canadian Initial Public Offering.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with RADD Capital and leverage their extensive cannabis and hemp industry expertise and significant financial service capabilities,” stated Ian deQueiroz, co-founder and CEO of HempFusion. “This transformative business partnership is going to raise the bar and take our Company to the next level as we prepare to rapidly scale, deploy capital, and emerge as a leader in the global CBD industry.”

The company is FDA compliant and one of two companies with pending Self-Affirmed GRAS Affirmation. HempFusion has 31 products launched and 25 in the pipeline with two unique brands. It is one of the first 13 companies certified by the US Hemp Authority (GMP Verification).

RADD Capital has provided strategic advisory services to raise over $650,000,000 for cannabis companies since 2016. The company was founded by Rob AndersonDave Doherty, and Danny Brody and it leverages its extensive industry expertise to capitalize companies within hyper-growth sectors that have established brands, best-in-class products, and driven management teams and transforms them into world-class companies.

“HempFusion is the only company we have found that has established the entire platform for success including a proven management team with international distribution, sales across 47 US States and a proven product portfolio; the only missing component was access to significant capital,” commented Rob Anderson, CEO of RADD Capital. “With our track record of advising with respect to successful financings including Organigram, Emblem, TGOD and Plus Products, we plan to leverage our industry-leading experience, network, and intellectual capital to help build the next major player in the global CBD industry.”

HempFusion Team

Hemp Fusion is led by an equally impressive team. Ian deQueiroz is the co-founder and CEO. He’s a serial entrepreneur known for establishing multiple hemp and cannabis companies including Epican Jamaica, a leading vertically integrated Jamaican cannabis company, 49.18% owned by The Green Organic Dutchman. Dr. Jason Mitchell, N.D. is the co-founder and President – a Naturopathic doctor and previous Chief Science Officer at Country Life Vitamins (Acquired in 2006). He was responsible for formulations and the successful launch of over 300 products

Ashley Grace is the CMO. She was previously the CMO of Charlotte’s Web. Grace brings significant fortune 500 marketing experience with companies such as Campbells, Pepperidge Farms, and Brown-Forman and has 4 David Ogilvy awards for success. Debbie Wildrick is a co-founder and EVP. She is a distribution and channel expert with 30 years’ CPG experience with companies including Pepsi, Tropicana, and 7-Eleven.  While at 7-Eleven, Debbie managed a $4 billion product portfolio

HempFusion Products

HempFusion says it has established itself as a top three best-selling CBD brand in health food stores across America. The company has launched a one-time online-only sale leading up to the launch of its brand-new e-commerce platform.

“We have incredible customers that have come to know and believe in our products because they work and taste great,” said Jason Mitchell, ND, co-founder, and President. “While we transition to the new platform expected in the coming days we wanted to give back and offer an up to 50% off sale. This is an incredible opportunity for all CBD consumers ranging from first time cannacurious consumers to seasoned enthusiasts utilizing CBD for sleep, stress and post-workout recovery, and even to customers looking for unique gift ideas.”

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 10, 2019


The much-anticipated Reverse Takeover for Harborside Health began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange using the symbol HBOR on Monday. The plan to go public was originally announced back in August of 2018. At that time, Toronto-based Lineage Grow Co. said it would acquire Oakland-based FLRish – which manages Harborside’s retail and dispensary operations – in exchange for newly issued common shares of Lineage worth roughly 200 million Canadian dollars or $152.2 million.

Harborside was a pioneer in the medical marijuana world. It made the first legal cannabis sale in California and has been serving over 300,000 patients and generating over $400 million in sales since those early days. Harborside currently commands 3% of the entire CA retail market, which is by a landslide the biggest market in the country.

The company has previously completed a $26 million Series B funding round and a $14.6 million Series C. Founder Steve DeAngelo’s tireless, decades-long cannabis advocacy has made Harborside the most trusted and respected name in the game.


When Steve DeAngelo and Dress Wedding ( yes, his real name) founded Harborside in Oakland in 2006, they had the distinct purpose of providing patients with a safe, trusted source for high-quality medical cannabis products. The San Jose location is one of the first dispensaries in the city. In late 2016, the company acquired a cultivation facility in Salinas, allowing it to grow its own flower, which helped expand the product offerings and increase margins. The company currently employs 250 people in total and they are currently planning the expansion of Harborside locations throughout the Bay Area and eventually to San Leandro and more.

Tax Overhang

One issue clouding the IPO was the tax case that Harborside fought with the government over the 280e business deduction claim. DeAngelo said, “We did not seek this fight with the federal government, but don’t shrink from standing up for our rights and the rights of the cannabis industry when we think they are under threat. Our tax case began in 2009 when we challenged the right of the government to apply 280e to state-legal cannabis businesses. The case has wound through the courts since then, with wins and losses on both sides. Most recently, at the trial court level, the IRS won on the underlying judgment, while we won on the imposition of penalties.”

He went on to add, “We have appealed that ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, historically one of the most favorable appeals courts for cannabis cases. We hope for a better ruling there. No matter what, our intention is to pursue this case until we either win or all legal avenues are exhausted. Unless the IRS decides to voluntarily dismiss its case, that process is expected to take several more years.”

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 10, 2019


Jushi Holdings Inc. began trading on the NEO Exchange on Monday, June 10 under the symbol (NEO:JUSH). The company is fairly new and is known for its recently launched a full spectrum CBD – hemp-derived product line called Mend. The company has plans to build out a significantly large hemp processing facility, Sound Wellness, a Jushi subsidiary to execute on the hemp opportunity.

“Listing on the NEO provides Jushi a solid foundation to build on its current growth trajectory as well as access new shareholders through the capital markets as a public company,” said Jushi CEO and Chairman, Jim Cacioppo. “At the same time, this does not affect Jushi’s disciplined focus on optimal capital allocation and deal structuring to maximize shareholder value.”

The listing follows the previously announced reverse takeover of a Canadian public company, Tanzania Minerals Corp. The public company was then renamed Jushi Holdings in connection with the reverse takeover and the listing on the NEO.  Jushi raised approximately $68.2 million through a brokered and non-brokered private placement.

Jushi also recently acquired the trademarks The Clinic, The Clinic Consulting Services, The Bank and The Lab as well as, subject to certain limited exceptions, intellectual property derived from the operations of The Clinic Colorado. The Clinic Colorado is a Denver-based cannabis company known for its intellectual property concerning cannabis cultivation, processing, retail distribution, compliance, and safety in multiple states. Jushi paid $4,115,000 in cash and $5,885,000 worth of shares in relation to this asset purchase.

Earlier this year Jushi’s subsidiary Sound Wellness received approval of its industrial hemp-CBD processor license application as part of the New York State Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research program, administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. By investing over $5 million in a high-tech hemp processing operation on the east side of Buffalo, NY, Jushi expects to create approximately 30-65 jobs in the area. The facility will house a state-of-the-art lab, allowing Sound Wellness to create advanced product formulations using CBD distillate, CBD isolate, and water-soluble CBD.

In California, Jushi is going after several retail locations with delivery capabilities and those with vertically integrated capacities but those retail licenses are only at the pending stage. There is a definitive agreement in Nevada to acquire a cultivation license, manufacturing license, industrial hemp license, and a distribution license (application pending) subject to regulatory approval.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 10, 2019


When Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) shares first began trading the stock blew up in price sparking a rally in all cannabis stocks, but also causing concern over a cannabis stock bubble. One of the main reasons why the stock skyrocketed in those early days was a lack of tradable shares. Privateer Holdings Inc. owned a majority of the shares and they weren’t available to the market until now.

Tilray has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with Privateer that will extend the lock-up on and provide for the orderly release of the 75 million of its shares held by Privateer to Privateer’s equity holders. According to the company, these shares currently represent 77% of Tilray’s total shares outstanding.

“We appreciate the long-term confidence that Privateer has in the Tilray business and we look forward to having their investors as part of our stockholder base,” said Mark Castaneda, Chief Financial Officer of Tilray. “We believe this transaction will give Tilray greater control and operating flexibility while allowing us to effectively manage our public float.”

The statement said that the parties will effect a downstream merger of Privateer with and into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tilray, with the Tilray subsidiary surviving the merger, and the issuance by Tilray to Privateer stockholders of newly issued shares of Tilray common stock in an equal amount of the shares held. The original Tilray shares that the Privateer owners held will be canceled at the merger’s completion.

Tilray was originally incubated and financed by Privateer as one of its wholly-owned operating subsidiaries before closing a Series A round of capital in February 2018 and then becoming the first cannabis producer to complete an Initial Public Offering on NASDAQ (NDAQ) in July 2018. Some Wall Street analysts were uncomfortable with the lack of liquidity of Tilray shares due to the Privateer ownership and this move would remove those concerns.

Privateer said that earlier this year it distributed its ownership of its three other operating subsidiaries unrelated to Tilray directly to Privateer stockholders, leaving no material assets in Privateer other than the 75 million shares it currently holds in Tilray.


The company said that “Pursuant to the terms of the proposed transaction, the shares of Tilray stock distributed in the merger would be subject to a lock-up allowing for the sale of such shares only under certain circumstances over a two-year period. During the first year following the closing of the merger, shares will be released only pursuant to marketed offerings and/or block trades to institutional investors or via stock sales to strategic investors, all of which would be arranged at the sole discretion of Tilray. The remaining shares will be subject to a staggered release over the course of the second year following closing. In addition, Privateer has agreed in the LOI to a lock-up on its Tilray shares during the negotiating period for the definitive merger agreement.”

Michael Blue, Managing Partner of Privateer, said: “We believe this structure will maximize overall returns for our visionary investors in a tax-efficient manner while giving Tilray the operating flexibility it needs to continue to be a leader in the rapidly emerging global cannabis industry.”

About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


Recent Tweets

@GreenMarketRpt – 6 hours

Executive Spotlight: Ben Kovler, CEO, Founder & Chairman of Green Thumb Industries (GTI)

Back to Top

You have Successfully Subscribed!