Staff, Author at Green Market Report - Page 2 of 104

StaffStaffMarch 1, 2021
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3min820

Psychedelic medicine company Novamind Inc. (OTC:NVMDF) reported its fiscal second-quarter results for the three months ended December 31, 2020. Novamind reported revenue of $1,288,828 primarily composed of patient services revenue from its network of four Cedar Psychiatry outpatient mental health clinics in Utah. The company said it was a 47% increase over the first fiscal quarter ending September 30th, 2020.

Novamind reported a net loss of $3,567,883 for the second quarter versus a net loss of $493,614 for the first quarter. The company said the net loss was primarily due to expenses related to the company’s listing on the CSE, and funding of capacity expansion at its Cedar Psychiatry clinics. This included consulting expenses  of $416,268, professional fees of $450,419, salaries and wages of $791,078, office and general expenses of $87,368, advertising and promotion expenses of $236,650, and stock-based compensation of $664,814. Additionally, there were $1,379,144 in RTO transaction costs in the quarter.

Novamind began trading on the CSE under the stock symbol “NM” on January 5. The company has been included in the underlying index of the Horizons Psychedelic Stock Index ETF (NEO: PSYK) through a “Fast Entry” category, increasing its profile with retail and institutional investors in the psychedelic medicine sector.

Following the end of the quarter, Novamind announced that it had reached two significant milestones at its Cedar Psychiatry mental health clinics: administering over 5,000 ketamine treatments since its opening in 2016, and administering over 2,000 Spravato treatments since the product became available in 2019. The company said that these milestones position Novamind as one of North America’s top providers of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and Spravato.

On February 11th, 2021, Novamind said that it had made a strategic investment of AU$827,486 (approximately CAN$810,000), in Bionomics Limited (OTCQB: BNOEF), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing better treatments for central nervous system disorders. In addition, Cedar Clinical Research, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Novamind, will be evaluated by Bionomics as a clinical research site to conduct Bionomics’ phase IIb clinical trial examining BNC210, a drug that has received Fast Track Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

 


StaffStaffMarch 1, 2021
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4min740

Full birth name: Gyula Kangiszer 

 

Title: Chief Regional Leader North America, President of RotaChrom North America

 

Company: RotaChrom Technologies

 

Years at current company: 1 year, 7 months

 

Education profile: University of Humberside, BA in European Business Administration

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: I founded and successfully grew a startup software development company. I love challenging traditional practices and creating innovative new business models by bringing together the perspective of the converging industries. I’m excited about the potential impact of cannabinoids on our lives.

 

Company Mission: RotaChrom is a technology company on the front lines of purification solutions for a myriad of industries. We manufacture world-class chromatography platforms widely used for botanical extract purification within the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and botanical industries. 

 

Company’s most successful achievement:  RotaChrom Technologies invented the first Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC) machine, which is made for industrial-scale purification. The platform is scalable, versatile, and cost efficient compared to older versions of chromatography. 

RotaChrom offers a more efficient solution to chromatography with the world’s first commercially available, industrial-scale CPC technology platform. The technology has revolutionized the purification industry by providing cost-effective, commercial-scale chromatography solutions to clients worldwide. The platform allows companies to expand high purity production capacity with flexibility and scalability, while decreasing environmental impact.

As the cannabis and hemp industries grow, the technology for mass production must evolve to meet the increased demand. Advanced technology solutions are adapting to meet the needs of increasingly complex, highly regulated markets. Chromatography, a technological system for purification of botanical extracts, is making strides to keep up with the booming business of legal hemp and cannabis.

RotaChrom’s unique industrial-scale CPC offers unmatched purification of botanical extracts, rendering a highly pure form of compounds of interest, from APIs to macromolecules, at large scale. Since the RotaChrom platform is scalable, producers can easily increase production to meet growing demand for a product, such as minor cannabinoids or pure CBD. 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No. 

Most important company 5 year goal: 

As additional states in the U.S. legalize cannabis and hemp, we have the opportunity to expand our reach to new companies in those markets. Our systems purify minors at the highest level and many companies will need to turn to solutions like ours in order to meet a more regulated market. Regulation of the CBD industry is good. While some people consider it a problem, we see it as a positive, so that high-quality, regulated products make it to consumers. 

We at RotaChrom aim to keep advancing our purification technology and solutions, which will help our customers meet their purification goals.

 


StaffStaffMarch 1, 2021
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15min3950

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Ashley Elsner Co-Founder and COO of Artery Pay.

On Friday, February 19, 2021, Jim Patterson, the former CEO of Eaze, was charged with and pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with credit card processing for cannabis products on the Eaze platform as part of an ongoing criminal trial against Hamid Akhavan and Ruben Weigand. In this article, I explain what is alleged, why it’s illegal, why you should care, and how to protect yourself and your business.

What did Mr. Patterson and his co-conspirators allegedly do?

On March 31, 2020, Hamid Akhavan and Ruben Weigand were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. The indictment alleges that, from 2016 through 2019, Akhavan, Weigand, and other, unnamed co-conspirators engaged in a conspiracy, the “Transaction Laundering Scheme,” to deceive banks into processing over $100 million of credit and debit card payments to marijuana retailers by disguising the transactions so as to create the false appearance that they were unrelated to the purchase of marijuana.

-United States v. Akhavan, S3 20-cr-188(JSR), (S.D.N.Y. May. 20, 2020)

Jim Patterson has pleaded guilty to his part in the above criminal indictment. For your reference, below are the definitions of the crimes alleged in the indictment.

18 U.S.C. § 1349 states:

Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense under this chapter shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.

The underlying offense here is bank fraud defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1344, which states:

Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—

(1) to defraud a financial institution; or

(2) to obtain any of the money, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises;

shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

In essence, Akhavan, Weigand, and Patterson are charged with lying to financial institutions about what the transactions on the Eaze platform were for to trick them into processing transactions for cannabis products in the US. 

Why is this illegal?

First, a little background in how card processing works. There are a number of financial institutions that are involved in the processing and clearing of card-based transactions. Each one has to consent to process and clear the transactions. To do this, card networks like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover, that provide transaction systems, have created specific network rules and category codes that apply to card processing. Card issuing banks, such as Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Capital One, underwrite the consumer transactions that the card networks feed them according to those same rules and category codes that they developed in collaboration with one another. Both the card networks and the card-issuing banks have to agree to support transactions for specific products and services so that those specific products and services get a category code. The category code is transmitted at the time of transaction and lets the underwriting bank determine if that transaction can be accepted for the specific consumer for the specific products and services. 

Why is this important? Because neither card networks, that provide the systems, nor card-issuing banks, that provide consumers with the cards that are presently in their wallets, have agreed to process cannabis transactions until federal legalization of cannabis products at the earliest. Large national financial institutions, the card networks, and card-issuing banks included, have taken the position that as defined in their network and institutional rules, the US federal prohibition makes cannabis products illegal, and therefore, they will not process and clear those transactions via their systems and institutions. 

To that end, the card networks have not provided a category code for US cannabis products. In order to trick card networks and card-issuing banks into processing and clearing cannabis product transactions, someone would have to miscode those transactions as an accepted category code. Miscoding financial transactions to a bank in any way is bank fraud. In this case, it is also money laundering because it deliberately hides the true source of the transaction.  

But why should I, a cannabis business owner, care what happened to Jim Patterson from Eaze?

The simple answer is that bank fraud and money laundering cases get prosecuted. To that point, Judge Rakoff, the federal judge hearing the case, refused to grant dismissal against Weigand and Akhavan for 2 arguments that I hear from industry professionals all the time. 

First, and I admit this argument (and it’s inverse that everything is federally illegal so who cares) always makes me laugh, Weigand and Akhavan’s attorneys argued that the Rohrbacher-Farr Amendment to the 2014 congressional spending bill prevents federal prosecutors from going after marijuana operations that comply with state law. Judge Rakoff’s response was that they are accused of bank fraud, not engaging in state-licensed cannabis business. “The Rohrbacher-Farr Amendment does not condone bank fraud by a medical marijuana dispensary any more than it condones murder, robbery, or assault.” I don’t think I can say that any more clearly but I’ll try. Cannabis protections from federal prosecution do not extend to other crimes.

Second, “no harm, no foul”. That is just not true. Financial crime laws are instrumental in protecting the US and its citizens from all kinds of criminal and terrorist organizations. It was money crimes that took down the mafia and made it possible to prove criminal organization. It is money crimes that allow law enforcement to track, monitor, and dismantle terrorist organizations, gangs, and cartels now. Money laws are paramount to public safety so money crimes are not “no harm crimes”. 

I will add that the stability of the US economy and our financial markets is due in large part to the expectation of legal enforcement against fraudulent behavior. Fraud is a crime that does hurt people and businesses. I don’t like to make slippery slope arguments, but this is one of the rare cases where it actually applies. If you let some people get away with fraud, others see that fraud laws are not enforced and start committing fraud too. Then no one can trust anyone anymore and it becomes impossible to engage in free enterprise. Fraud breaks capitalism which relies on legitimate information and intention.

Finally, I’m going to add one more argument that wasn’t put forward but I hear all the time: “I didn’t set up the bank fraud so I’m not responsible for it.” Unfortunately, that’s not true; RICO is why. “RICO” stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (18 U.S.C. §1961 – §1968.) It is an extremely important tool for law enforcement for dismantling criminal organizations. RICO allows criminal liability for predicate offenses, like bank fraud and money laundering, to be extended to executives that control and order predicate offenses in furtherance of an enterprise. That means that criminal liability for these types of scams can extend to you, the business owner, just for using the scam, and sadly, it doesn’t matter if you know it’s a scam or not. You can still face prosecution. And, RICO requires forfeiture of “ill-gotten gains.” That means that by using the scam, you made legitimate transactions into illegal ones that can be subject to being frozen and seized. 

How can I protect myself and my business from getting into similar trouble?

  1. Never lie to a financial institution about what you do. When you fib, financial institutions always eventually catch you and account shutdowns are substantial disruptions to your business and annoy your customers. If you are a licensed cannabis business that follows your applicable regulations and you don’t take products or money across state or international lines, you are not doing anything wrong. If the bank or processor chooses not to work with you because you are a cannabis business, that is their right. There are other banks and payment systems that will work with you as long as you haven’t fibbed to other banks in the past. It’s not necessarily easy or cheap but getting legitimate, open cannabis banking and cannabis payment platforms is the best thing for you and your business. It’s legal, reliable, and sustainable. 
  2. Due diligence your financial providers and their offerings. You should be able to find out who they are, if they actually have appropriate experience, be able to contact and confirm with their backing banks that they have approved working with cannabis and that they know that your payment platforms are working with cannabis. If you find this to be too difficult, ask your lawyers and accountants to help you. They are your fiduciaries and have legal and moral obligations to make sure that you and your business are protected. 
  3. Don’t use “workarounds”. There are no “workarounds” in finance. Attempts to “workaround” getting direct, verifiable consent from banks, card networks, other financial institutions are a bad idea. Not only can you be held personally criminally liable for misrepresenting your business and your transactions, like what happened to Mr. Patterson, your assets under these scams are freezable and seizable. Using “workarounds” can expose you to other threats to your business as well. For example, when your bank catches you, they can shut down your bank account and will submit your information to the terminated merchant file (TMF). The TMF is used by banks, payment processors, other financial institutions to determine if you are a “bad actor. This status can kill your ability to obtain any financial support in the US, think insurance, lending, banking, payments, listing on stock exchanges, etc. Also, this reputation will follow you and the rest of your executive team to future businesses. It’s not limited to your present company. 

Don’t play games with your money.

Ashley Elsner is a financial lawyer and the Co-Founder and COO of Artery Pay, a payments company making payments and banking easy for cannabis businesses. Artery Pay unifies payments and banking compliance into a single system so that merchants and the banks and credit unions that support them are able to work with each other easily, effectively, and transparently. Whether you want non-cash payments or need help with your cash, Artery Pay can manage all of your transaction needs. Artery Pay is easy, fun, cheap, and legal – the way cannabis should be. For more information, visit www.arterypay.com or contact Ashley directly at ashley@arterypay.com.


StaffStaffFebruary 25, 2021
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3min4940

California-based Indus Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: INDXF) is buying Lowell Herb Co. and Lowell Smokes in a deal valued at $39 million. The acquisition includes trademark brands, product portfolio, and production assets of Lowell from The Hacienda Group effective immediately. The company will change its name to Lowell Farms Inc.

“The combination of Indus and Lowell will create a leading producer of California cannabis and the next step for the first great American cannabis brand,” said Gregory Heyman, founder of Beehouse, Lowell’s largest investor. “The Indus team’s commitment to growing excellent cannabis and the communities they serve also realizes Lowell’s mission to normalize cannabis in America.”

The deal consists of a cash payment of $4.1 million and the issuance of 22,643,678 Subordinate Voting Shares of the Company (of which 5,000,000 will be held in escrow to secure certain indemnification obligations undertaken by the sellers in the transaction). The share consideration was issued in a private placement transaction and the company has agreed to register such shares for resale in the United States. Hacienda said it has agreed to continue to produce Lowell products for an interim period pending the completion of the transfer of certain regulatory assets.

It is expected that Lowell Farms Subordinate Voting Shares and Warrants will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) on March 5, 2021, under the ticker symbols LOWL and LOWL.WT, and that the Subordinate Voting Shares will begin trading on the OTCQX effective on March 5, 2021, under the ticker symbol LOWLF.

“The cannabis industry is awash in brands competing for our attention, but Lowell has risen to the top of the fray as a brand that simultaneously empowers a movement, welcomes the curious, and greets the reacquainted all with a grace and elegance that other brands can only aspire to,” said George Allen, Chairman of the Board for Indus Holdings, Inc. “Every resource under our control will be employed in unlocking Lowell’s full potential.”


StaffStaffFebruary 25, 2021
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3min1320

PharmaDrug Inc. (CSE: BUZZ) (OTC Pink: LMLLF) has filed for an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to receive Orphan Drug Designation (“ODD”) for N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or DMT in the prevention of ischemia-reperfusion injury in patients undergoing kidney transplantation.

The company explained that Ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) is caused by a sudden temporary impairment of the blood flow to a particular organ. PharmaDrug noted that research studies have shown that DMT activates the sigma-1 receptor (“Sig-1R”), an intracellular chaperone fulfilling an interface role between the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria in cells. Sig-IR ensures the correct transmission of ER stress into the nucleus resulting in the enhanced production of anti-stress and antioxidant proteins. “DMT has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Consistent with these functions, DMT was found to mitigate ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) caused by hypoxia, oxidative stress and inflammation in preclinical models of renal transplantation.[2] The anti-inflammatory protective effects of DMT may provide a novel, more beneficial strategy to attenuate the damage induced by ischemia and reperfusion during kidney transplantation.”

“We have been focused on laying the foundation in becoming an industry leader in the research and development of novel uses for DMT in the treatment of neuropsychiatric, neurological and inflammatory disorders,” said Daniel Cohen, CEO of PharmaDrug. “Although DMT is commonly associated with offering an intense psychedelic experience, the therapeutic potential of DMT is fascinating and remains underexplored. We aim to unlock the potential of DMT in treating unmet medical needs beyond its potential utility in mental health disorders. Our orphan drug designation application for DMT in the prevention of kidney injury during transplant surgery fits with our psychedelic pharmaceutical strategy of creating a unique portfolio of DMT therapies targeting rare disorders while also focusing on foundational research with DMT to explore and evaluate its therapeutic potential both in the brain and other human organs.”

Earlier this month, PharmaDrug filed an application with the FDA to receive Orphan Drug Designation for DMT in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke patients presenting for emergency medical assistance within 3-hours of symptom onset.


StaffStaffFebruary 23, 2021
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4min1050

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for February 23, 2021.

On the Site

GrowGen

GrowGeneration Corp . (NASDAQ: GRWG) is buying San Diego Hydroponics & Organics, a four-store chain of organic, hydroponic and aquaponics garden centers in San Diego, California. The company said that San Diego Hydroponics & Organics is San Diego County’s premier hydroponic equipment supplier, with annual revenues approaching $10 million. GrowGen did not say what it paid for the company. This latest acquisition brings the total number of GrowGen hydroponic garden centers to 50 stores.  In California, the country’s largest legal cannabis market, GrowGen now has 17 stores,  with eight of those stores located in Southern California.

GTI

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF) announced it has raised approximately $56 million by selling 10 million of its subordinate voting shares, that was declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as of February 8, 2021.  Green Thumb said it had received and accepted offers from investors to purchase 1.6 million registered subordinate voting shares at $35.50 per share for a total of approximately $56 million.  The stock closed at $35.35 on Monday.

Psychedelics

Massachusetts lawmakers are moving forward to decriminalize psychedelic drugs. The effort began at the city level when Somerville and Cambridge adopted measures that would make possession of psychedelics a low law enforcement priority. Now it has moved to a state-wide initiative.

In Other News

Subversive Acquisition LP (NEO: SVX.U) (OTCQX: SBVRF) announced today that InterCure Ltd. (dba Canndoc) (TASE: INCR), Israel’s leading cannabis company and SVX’s intended target for its “Qualifying Transaction” has released its estimated unaudited fourth-quarter results for the year ended December 31, 2020. Highlights include:

  • NIS ₪27 million in fourth-quarter revenue, establishing a new quarterly revenue record for InterCure
  • Revenue growth of more than 13 times compared to Q4 2019 and more than 3 times compared to InterCure’s annual revenue in 2019
  • Continued increase in profitability, operating profit and net profit

 


StaffStaffFebruary 23, 2021
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7min3690

Massachusetts lawmakers are moving forward to decriminalize psychedelic drugs. The effort began at the city level when Somerville and Cambridge adopted measures that would make possession of psychedelics a low law enforcement priority. Now it has moved to a state-wide initiative.

Cambridge

Cambridge’s city order read, “Drug policy in the United States and the so-called “War on Drugs” has historically led to unnecessary penalization, arrest, and incarceration of vulnerable people, particularly people of color and of limited financial means, instead of prioritizing harm-reduction policies that treat drug abuse as an issue of public health. Entheogenic plants, which include a spectrum of natural plants, fungi, and natural materials, have been used for centuries by people in different cultures to address conditions including substance abuse, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), elements of Persistent Traumatic Stress Environment (PTSE) conditions, chronic depression, end-of-life anxiety, grief, cluster headaches, and tendencies toward recidivism, as well as to improve mental and socio-emotional health.”

The city resolved that the Middlesex County District Attorney  should “Cease the prosecution of persons involved in the use, possession, or distribution of entheogenic plants and the use or possession without the intent to distribute of any controlled substance.” It went on to say that the use and possession of all controlled substances should be understood first and primarily as an issue of public health by city departments, agencies, boards, commissions, and all employees of the city and that it should be the policy of the City of Cambridge that the arrest of adult persons for using or possessing controlled substances shall be amongst the lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Cambridge.

State

Marijuana Moment reported that the state Senate version of the legislation, SD 2248, was introduced Friday by Sen. Julian Cyr (D) and was virtually identical to the House bill. Both measures are titled “An Act Relative to Harm Reduction and Racial Justice.” This bill stated, “No person knowingly or intentionally shall possess a controlled substance unless such substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the provisions of this chapter.” It also limits any fines to $50.

A separate House bill introduced by Mike Connolly (D) on Friday would move even further than decriminalization and would set the stage for regulated sales of certain drugs. The House bill, HD 3829 language states that an interagency task force would be created to study the public health and social justice implications of legalizing the possession, consumption, transportation, and distribution of naturally cultivated entheogenic plants and fungi. The task force will be made up of 21 members.

“The task force shall: (i) compile and review research regarding the physiological and psychological effects of entheogenic plants and fungi; (ii) compile testimony and data on the experiences of communities across the United States—including Somerville (MA), Cambridge (MA), Denver (CO), Oakland (CA), Santa Cruz (CA), Ann Arbor (MI), sovereign native lands, Washington D.C. and Oregon. The task force shall file a report of its findings and recommendations, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry those recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives, the chairs of the senate and house committees on ways and means, the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on public health, the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on the judiciary, the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security not later than June 2022.”

“Our coalition owes these bills to our volunteers across the Commonwealth,” the group Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, which was behind the successful local decriminalization efforts in Somerville and Cambridge, told Marijuana Moment in a statement. “From the vicious pain of opioid addiction and cluster headaches to the exclusion of people of color from the mental health care system, it’s your stories of redemption and hope that have created this movement.”

“I’m looking forward to a dialogue in Massachusetts to identify the most effective and evidence-based public health and harm reduction strategies that should replace the failed drug war,” Shaleen Title, a former Massachusetts cannabis regulator and longtime drug policy activist, told Marijuana Moment.

Vermont

Vermont, which borders Massachusetts is also laying the groundwork for some sort of decriminalization. The Vermont Digger reported that Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George was suggesting laws to that effect as a means to combat addiction issues. Rep. Selene Colburn, P/D-Burlington said, “a bill to decriminalize drugs across the board was still being drafted but would be introduced in the Legislature later this session at a press conference.”

 

 

 


StaffStaffFebruary 23, 2021
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4min990

GrowGeneration Corp . (NASDAQ: GRWG) is buying San Diego Hydroponics & Organics, a four-store chain of organic, hydroponic and aquaponics garden centers in San Diego, California. The company said that San Diego Hydroponics & Organics is San Diego County’s premier hydroponic equipment supplier, with annual revenues approaching $10 million. GrowGen did not say what it paid for the company.

This latest acquisition brings the total number of GrowGen hydroponic garden centers to 50 stores.  In California, the country’s largest legal cannabis market, GrowGen now has 17 stores,  with eight of those stores located in Southern California.

Southern California is a priority market for GrowGeneration, and we are excited to add San Diego Hydroponics & Organics to our ever-expanding footprint there,” said Darren Lampert, GrowGen’s CEO. “As the leading hydroponics supplier, San Diego Hydroponics & Organics strategically positions GrowGen to conveniently provide our services to commercial growers in the Southern California market.”

San Diego Hydroponics & Organics was founded in 2001 by Todd Kent. The company first opened its doors with an 800-square-foot store in Pacific Beach, California, and has since expanded to four locations with more than 20,000-square-feet of retail space and 20 employees, who will join GrowGeneration’s team of over 500 grow professionals as part of the transaction.

“Since 2001, we’ve remained committed to our goal of supplying Southern California with top-quality products, cutting-edge horticultural technology, and unbeatable customer service. Our partnership with GrowGen, the nation’s clear leader in hydroponics, allows us to marry decades of combined cultivation expertise and knowledge to better serve the Southern California market,” said San Diego Hydroponics & Organics’ founder Todd Kent .

The San Diego Hydroponics & Organics acquisition is GrowGen’s fourth this year and follows yet another quarter of record earnings. In January, GrowGen pre-announced fourth-quarter revenues of $61.5 million, bringing full-year 2020 revenue to $192 million, up 140% from 2019. Same-store sales increased 63% for full-year 2020, compared to the previous year. The Company also raised its 2021 revenue guidance to $335 million – $350 million and raised its 2021 adjusted EBITDA guidance to $38 million – $40 million. GrowGen plans to have 55 garden center locations by the end of 2021.

The four analysts covering GrowGen have an average price target of $56.43 according to Yahoo Finance. The stock was lately trading at $49.50, down from its 52-week high of $67.


StaffStaffFebruary 22, 2021
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5min1800

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for February 22, 2021.

On the Site

New Jersey

On Monday, New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that legalizes adult-use marijuana possession and licenses retail marijuana sales. NORMAL stated that three bills were signed by the Governor. A21/S21 licenses the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Under the new law, adults may legally purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. Retail sales are subject to state sales tax. Seventy percent of the revenue derived from sales taxes on retail marijuana purchases will be directed toward reinvestment in designated, lower-income communities. Sales are expected to begin this summer.

Parallel

Privately-held multi-state cannabis operator Parallel and special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) Ceres Acquisition Corp.  (OTCQX: CERAF) have entered into a definitive business combination agreement involving a transaction that, if completed, would result in Parallel becoming a public company. The investors have an over-subscribed private investment in public equity (PIPE) of $225 million. The deal is expected to close in Summer 2021. The deal values Parallel at an implied enterprise value of $1.884 billion with expected net revenues of $447 million in 2021. The expected pro forma cash on hand of $430 million at the close, including the $225 million from the PIPE and $120 million of cash held in Ceres’ escrow account assuming no redemptions.

Delta-8

According to the January 2021 Hemp Benchmarks report, there is an increasing demand for delta-8 THC, which is not derived from hemp plant material but synthesized from extracted CBD. This is helping drive sales of crude CBD oil, CBD Isolate, and some wholesale CBD products. As the popularity of delta-8 THC increases, Hemp Benchmarks observed a consistent decline in prices. Despite the fact that trading volumes of delta-8 THC remain a small proportion of those for CBD products, it is the fastest-growing product in the hemp sector as of the January report. A Tennessee processor told Hemp Benchmarks that they have seen as many as about 20% of their CBD customers shift to purchasing delta-8 THC.

In Other News

Fire & Flower

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (OTCQX: FFLWF), today announced that it has entered into agreements with a Canadian private company, operating as “American Acres Managers” including an agreement to license its Fire & Flower brand, store operating system and Hifyre technology platform for dispensaries in California, Arizona and Nevada as the Company aims to deliver its best-in-class technology and retail functionality in these competitive, high growth markets. Fire & Flower anticipates the first branded store to be open in Palm Springs, California, during the first half of its fiscal 2021 year. Under the Strategic Agreements, in recognition of the value of the Fire & Flower license, Fire & Flower will have the option to acquire American Acres at a discount to fair market value. The acquisition is expected to occur upon the federal legalization of adult-use cannabis in the United States 

High Tide

High Tide Inc. (OTCQB: HITIF) announced the closing of its previously announced “bought deal” short-form prospectus offering of units of the company, including the exercise in full of the underwriters’ over-allotment option. The Offering was led by ATB Capital Markets Inc. and Echelon Wealth Partners Inc., together with Beacon Securities Limited and Desjardins Securities Inc. In connection with the Offering, the Company issued an aggregate of 47,916,665 Units at a price of $0.48 per Unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of $22,999,999.20.


StaffStaffFebruary 22, 2021
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17min1590

On Monday, New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that legalizes adult-use marijuana possession and licenses retail marijuana sales.

“The enactment of these laws is long overdue,” said NORML State Policies Manager Carly Wolf — who emphasized that state and local police have made over 6,000 arrests for marijuana-related violations in the months since New Jersey voters overwhelmingly decided at the ballot box. “Now, going forward, tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding New Jerseyans will no longer be subject to arrest and a criminal record for their personal use of marijuana, and the commercial market will be regulated in a fair and inclusive manner.”

NORMAL stated that three bills were signed by the Governor. A21/S21 licenses the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Under the new law, adults may legally purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. Retail sales are subject to state sales tax. Seventy percent of the revenue derived from sales taxes on retail marijuana purchases will be directed toward reinvestment in designated, lower-income communities. Sales are expected to begin this summer. The legislation also calls for the creation of a five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission that will be tasked with issuing detailed regulations by June 2021 that will govern virtually every aspect of the adult-use cannabis industry.

The new law caps the number of state-licensed cultivators at 37 for the first two years. Existing state-licensed medical cannabis producers will be among those eligible to provide to the retail market. It has been estimated that adult-use retailers may be operational within six months. Applications for adult-use cannabis business licenses will begin to be accepted 30 days after the regulations are issued.

Murphy also signed A1897, which removes criminal and civil penalties for the private possession of up to six ounces of cannabis by those ages 21 and older, as well as for the possession of personal use amounts of hashish (up to 170 grams). It also depenalizes activities involving the transfer of up to one ounce of cannabis, and reduces criminal penalties for activities involving larger quantities (distribution of more than one ounce but less than five pounds) of the substance.

Gov. Murphy also signed a third piece of legislation into law, A5342. It provides for a series of written warnings, rather than the imposition of either criminal penalties or fines for those under the age of 21 who are caught with cannabis. The Governor lobbied for the measure, which was passed by lawmakers this morning. Under the measure, third-time juvenile offenders could receive community service. Provisions in the law also restrict police from conducting searches of juveniles based solely on the odor of marijuana.

“This is a major milestone on the path to ending cannabis prohibition in New Jersey,” said Jennifer Cabrera of Vicente Sederberg LLP, a national cannabis law firm that helps shape and implement cannabis laws and regulations across the U.S. Based in Union County, she co-manages the firm’s New Jersey and New York offices and works closely with state lawmakers and regulators on cannabis policy issues.

“The legislation was intended to promote small locally owned businesses and should foster a vibrant craft cannabis industry in the state,” Cabrera said. “It reserves licenses for microbusinesses and offers them a streamlined application process that will reduce barriers to entry and help them get a footing in this growing industry. There are some additional steps we would like to see policymakers take to make it easier to operate these microbusinesses, and we look forward to working with them as they fine-tune the system. Still, this is a great starting point and opens the door to a lot of exciting opportunity for local entrepreneurs.”

Vicente also stated that the law also includes several provisions aimed at promoting social equity in the cannabis industry and repairing damage caused by prohibition. For example, it specifies that 30% of licenses must be allocated to businesses owned by women, minorities, or disabled veterans, and at least 25% should be allocated to residents of impact zones, which are defined as municipalities with more than 120,000 residents that rank in the top 40% of municipalities in the state for cannabis-related arrests; have a crime index of 825 or higher, and have a local average annual unemployment rate that ranks in the top 15% of municipalities.

“New Jersey has adopted some of the strongest social equity provisions we’ve seen,” Cabrera said. “Contemplating these issues at the outset of the process will likely prove to be a big advantage for the state. It is much easier to build these considerations into the system than it is to go back and incorporate them later.”

 



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