Banking Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtSeptember 29, 2022
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4min9320

Safe Harbor Financial, technically known as SHF Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SHFS) has completed its special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) deal with Northern Lights Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: NLIT). Northern Lights is now officially known as SHF Holdings and the stock will continue to trade on the Nasdaq marketplace. SHFS Shares began trading at $9, down 12% as the broader market experienced selling and Norther Lights shares closed at $10.81 on Wednesday.

“Today represents a significant milestone in Safe Harbor’s journey,” said Sundie Seefried, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Safe Harbor. “We are thrilled to complete this transaction and eager to continue scaling our business and expanding our offerings to meet the needs of the cannabis industry in the United States. With the strong leadership from our executive management team, Board of Directors, and support from NLIT’s sponsor team, Safe Harbor is well-positioned to be the platform of choice for financial services providers to cannabis operators.”

The deal stumbled a bit on its way to completion, but ultimately was successful. Safe Harbor also closed on September 28, 2022 a PIPE in the amount of $20.45 million of convertible preferred stock and warrants.  To offset the reduced PIPE amount, Partner Colorado Credit Union, Safe Harbor’s indirect parent, agreed to a further amendment to the Unit Purchase Agreement, dated February 11, 2022 to provide for the deferral of approximately $57 million of the $70 million due to the Seller at the closing of the business combination. The increase in the Deferred Cash Consideration will provide Safe Harbor with additional cash to support its post-closing activities.

John Darwin, Co-CEO of NLIT prior to the closing, stated, “With its established leadership position in cannabis-related compliance services and continued growth in its financial institution clients, this is an exciting time for Safe Harbor to become part of a Nasdaq-listed company.”

Safe Harbor Financial was conceived in 2015 as a solution to a major problem that plagued the nascent legalized cannabis industry in Colorado– access to reliable and compliant financial services. Safe Harbor presently processes funds from 20 different states nationally.

Safe Harbor, realizing the funds from the cannabis industry were better banked than unbanked, ventured forward to do the right thing for everyone, bank the deposits under Partner Colorado Credit Union as a DBA up until 2021. Cannabis related funds were already finding their way into the financial system one way or another via hidden, misrepresented accounts and criminal banking behaviors similar to money launderers. After great research, it was obvious that every agency wanted to have accountability and transparency from the industry, but legislation was not supportive of such.

 

 

 


StaffMay 24, 2022
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8min2900

The Daily Hit is a recap of the top cannabis business stories for May 24, 2022.

ON THE SITE

Live Blog from WEF 2022 in Davos Switzerland

Green Market Report editor-in-chief Debra Borchardt blogs live from the Medical Psychedelics Series, at the World Economic Forum being held in Davos Switzerland. Read more here.

MedMen Wins Suit Against Whitestar

MedMen Enterprises Inc. (CSE: MMEN) (OTCQX: MMNFF) won its lawsuit against Arizona-based Whitestar Solutions, LLC. According to a statement,  Whitestar filed a lawsuit in March 2020, related to a Membership Interest Purchase and Sale Agreement governing the purchase of EBA Holdings, Inc. dba MedMen Scottsdale. Whitestar alleged fraudulent inducement and breach of contract, among other claims, and sought rescission of the underlying transaction or $60 million in alleged monetary damages. Read more here.

Illegal Cannabis Lounges in NYC

These consumption lounges are operating without licenses and it seems the city and state don’t care. Since the adult-use license program hasn’t been written and approved, these operations are technically violating the law. No law means no violations. So there really isn’t anything law enforcement can do. These lounges range from the first to market Happy Munkey to pop-up neighborhood lounges that are often located next to illicit street sellers. Read more here.

Psychedelics Companies

As the industry matures, there are clear leaders in the pack of psychedelics companies who are positioned to continue driving industry development. Compass Pathways, Atai Life Sciences, and Cybin are generally considered the top three companies in the industry, asserting their dominance in the market, with Field Trip Health and Seelos Therapeutics as psychedelics companies to watch. Read more here.

IN OTHER NEWS

Aleafia Health Inc.

Aleafia Health Inc. (TSX: AH, OTCQX: ALEAF) is pleased to announce that its upward trend in market share, purchase orders, and new SKU launches has continued in 2022’s first four months, following on from the growth in the quarter ended December 31, 2021. The Company has seen strong advances in its largest adult-use categories: flower, pre-rolls and vapes. Read more here.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA /OTCQX: CURLF), an international provider of consumer products in cannabis, will begin adult-use sales at its Edgewater Park, New Jersey dispensary on May 25. Located at 4237 US-130, Curaleaf Edgewater Park is now the Company’s second location to sell adult-use cannabis in the Garden State. Read more here.

Rubicon Organics Inc.

Rubicon Organics Inc. (TSXV: ROMJ) (OTCQX: ROMJF), a licensed producer focused on cultivating and selling organic certified, premium cannabis, today reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022. “Rubicon Organics is at a turning point in 2022, with higher yields and increased quality coming from our Delta Facility, whilst remaining cost-conscious we are driving to being profitable in 2022.” Read more here.

RIV Capital Inc., Etain LLC

RIV Capital Inc. (CSE: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) today announced that it had received notice of an Ontario Superior Court of Justice application by JW Asset Management in connection with the Company’s process regarding its acquisition of ownership and control of Etain, LLC and Etain IP LLC, owners and operators of legally licensed cannabis cultivation and retail dispensaries in the state of New York. JWAM, an investment firm focused on the pharmaceutical and cannabis industries, is the holder of approximately 20.4% of the Company’s issued and outstanding Class A common shares. Read more here.

Pharmagreen Biotech, Inc., Long Valley Farms

Pharmagreen Biotech, Inc., (OTCQB: PHBI), which provides starter plantlets utilizing a proprietary tissue culture process, “Chibafreen,” to licensed cannabis cultivators and CBD/CBG hemp farmers, announced that it has completed another significant milestone in the business development with Long Valley Farms. Pharmagreen has advanced the next tranche of funds, whereby the use of proceeds is for the continuous application process for the LVF micro-business license and its nursery licenses in addition to the current cultivation license. PHBI anticipates having the permits in place within the following few months, depending on the regulator’s schedule. Read more here.

Avicanna Inc.

 Avicanna Inc. (TSX: AVCN) (OTCQX: AVCNF) (FSE: 0NN) a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of plant-derived cannabinoid-based products is pleased to announce that, through its majority owned Colombian subsidiary, Santa Marta Golden Hemp S.A.S., SMGH has completed its first commercial export of high concentration THC and high concentration CBD full spectrum psychoactive cannabis extracts to Portugal. Read more here.

Eden Empire Inc.

Eden Empire Inc. (CSE: EDEN) announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent agreement with Plantvida located in Colombia. The agreement dated May 20th, 2022, is made by and between Eden Empire Inc. and Plantvida. The Plantvida SAS project located in north-western Cundinamarca, Colombia, is dedicated to implementing strategic social business, bringing safe, natural and ecologically friendly wellness products to the emerging cannabis business with the goal of providing work and social benefits to the community, such as education, unemployment, health, housing and security. Read more here.

Abaca

Arkansas-based cannabis financial technology firm Abaca has expanded coverage bringing digital-first banking, payment and treasury management solutions to Mississippi’s cannabis industry. Integral in banking 95 percent of Arkansas’s cannabis industry since day one and hundreds of cannabis clients across the country, Abaca is uniquely positioned to support Mississippi. Read more here.


StaffMarch 18, 2022
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6min3210

KINDTAP


JULIA GERMAINE – OPERATING PARTNER,
KINDTAP/KINDRUN

 

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

I’m most proud that my work has been a force of good, at the end of the day. The industry is complicated, volatile, and at times demoralizing – but I have created jobs and entire workforces, built and revitalized properties and community tax bases, and started conversations to normalize and respect the medical and adult-use of cannabis, in many different contexts and to diverse audiences.

 

Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?

I believe the opportunity for people who identify as female in the cannabis industry is about analogous to opportunity in equivalent sectors of other industries. Ten years ago, in different policy regimes, when traditional finance was still trepidatious about cannabis, there was a vacuum into which many womxn stepped. Some have been successful, but others have bowed out. Even more so than a lot of high-growth industries, like beauty, the cannabis industry is simply more difficult due to the plant’s fractured legal status in the US and within states (let alone abroad). There is a more open conversation about the disparities of female representation in leadership positions in cannabis, but I am a rare female operations executive – in part because my requisite experience has been gained in male-dominated environments like municipal government relations, construction, cultivation, manufacturing, etc. To ensure long-term sustainability, the cannabis industry right now demands operational expertise, not MBAs and ad executives, and I encourage female-identifying people to seriously consider how their operational skills in other industries and work environments might translate to cannabis.

 

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?

I don’t have to work twice as hard as male colleagues, because I have authority gained through experience, and can point to a body of work that speaks for itself. The industry has not moved past prejudice, and women in the industry have not moved past the instinct to relegate themselves below typically more risk-tolerant men competing for the same space. I don’t maintain competitive relationships with my male colleagues, and likewise, because I’m very clear about where I begin and end. As colleagues, we share the same goals, and I am glad society is slowly moving past gender binaries that stifle female participation in economies.

 

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge in business has been an unethical, negligent co-founder of an early cannabis business my family and I started. Capital and pedigree – both personal and academic – are often prerequisites to starting a business and raising money, and were more readily available than competence and operational expertise ten years ago. I have yet to overcome the encumbrance of the company and co-founder, but overcame the professional and personal frustration by re-starting – I have new partners and new businesses, and am much smarter and more-empowered than I was ten years ago.

 

What has you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

My company is woman-led at the executive and directorial level, and actively recruits diverse candidates for new positions, including women. We promote women into leadership positions. We are flexible about schedules and are fortunate to operate in Massachusetts, where employee protections and rights are strong, and support maternity and other types of leave that allow women to participate in the workforce. I personally mentor other women to bolster their leadership and soft skills, which are often accessible only through experience and exposure.

 

What are your personal goals for 2022?

As the business leader for one of the first cashless cannabis home delivery businesses in the country, I hope that we can not only generate several millions in revenue this year, but more importantly show the world our collective 3+ year efforts of moving cannabis into the fully-elevated age of digital commerce, and the ability to accomplish this through social equity-businesses and a diverse leadership team. On a personal note, I’m hoping to take a holiday to Paris with my husband at the end of the year.

 


Debra BorchardtFebruary 4, 2022
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8min4220

Is the gazillionth time the charm for the cannabis banking legislation known as the SAFE Act? Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives officially attached the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to the full America COMPETES Act. A final vote in the House is expected today. However, it will them move to the Senate, where the legislation often fails to proceed any further.

The amendment comes from Colorado Democrat Rep. Ed Perlmutter and was preliminarily approved on a voice vote as part of an en bloc group with other amendments on Wednesday, according to Marijuana Moment but a roll call was requested. It was then passed in a 262-168 vote. In a Tweet, Perlmutter wrote:

I have filed #SAFEBanking as an amendment to #AmericaCOMPETES b/c cannabis-related businesses – big and small – are in desperate need of access to capital & the banking system in order to operate in an efficient, safe manner & compete in the growing global cannabis marketplace

Marijuana Moment also reported that there was no floor debate about the cannabis provision itself, demonstrating how relatively noncontroversial the bipartisan-supported reform is in the House.

“The SAFE Banking Act has been sitting in the Senate for three years and with every passing day their unwillingness to deal with the issue endangers and harms businesses, their employees and communities across the country,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “My work on this bill is far from over,” he continued. “As Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer are aware, going forward, I plan to pursue every possible avenue to get SAFE Banking signed into law.”

Many in the House have blamed Senator Chuck Schumer for not advancing the SAFE Act in the Senate. Schumer has longed for a broader more comprehensive legalization effort and continually pulls the banking legislation from larger pieces of legislation. This has created an opening for Republicans to court cannabis advocates. Even proponent of the “Big Lie” Rep. Mace found herself getting lots of attention from cannabis industry executives for a bill she proposed. Credibility was apparently not an issue for these executives that fawned over Mace, even though her freshman status made it unlikely she could get any legislation approved.

Mississippi Legalizes

While Washington debates easing banking rules for the current legal businesses, states continue to move ahead. This week Mississippi became the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana. On Wednesday Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed into law the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. The bill known as S.B. 2095 was originally approved in January by the state Legislature. Voters had approved of legalizing medical marijuana as a ballot issue, but then the state Supreme Court struck it down on a technicality pushing the issue to legislators. The Governor wasn’t a big fan of the law saying on Twitter:

The “medical marijuana bill” has consumed an enormous amount of space on the front pages of the legacy media outlets across Mississippi over the last 3+ years. There is no doubt that there are individuals in our state who could do significantly better if they had access to medically prescribed doses of cannabis. There are also those who really want a recreational marijuana program that could lead to more people smoking and less people working, with all of the societal and family ills that that brings.

My goal from Day 1 (post Supreme Court ruling) has been to allow for the former and do everything in my power to minimize and mitigate – though knowing it is impossible to eliminate – the likelihood of the latter. After all, the overwhelming majority voted for a medical marijuana program in the 2019 election and I committed to supporting the will of the people.

I have made it clear that the bill on my desk is not the one that I would have written. But it is a fact that the legislators who wrote the final version of the bill (the 45th or 46th draft) made significant improvements to get us towards accomplishing the ultimate goal. Just a small sampling of the improvements we fought to include in the final version of the bill:

1. Reduces the total amount that any one individual can receive to 3 oz. per month. This one change will reduce the total amount by 40% from the original version (I asked for 50%). Said differently, there will be hundreds of millions of fewer joints on the streets because of this improvement.

2. The medical professional can only prescribe within the scope of his/her practice. And they have to have a relationship with the patient. And it requires an in-person visit by the patient to the medical professional.

3. Only an MD or DO can prescribe for kids under 18 and only with the consent of a parent/legal guardian.

4. An MD or DO must prescribe for young adults between the ages of 18-25.

5. The MSDH will promulgate rules regarding packaging and advertising, and I have confidence they will do so in a way that limits the impact on our young people.

6. Prohibits any incentives for the Industry from the Mississippi Development Authority.

7. Protects our churches and schools from having a marijuana dispensary within fewer than 1,000 feet of their location.

Because of these improvements to the program (as well as many other small ones that I am not mentioning), SB2095 will become law. I thank all of the legislators for their efforts on these improvements and all of their hard work. I am most grateful to all of you: Mississippians who made your voice heard.

Now, hopefully, we can put this issue behind us and move on to other pressing matters facing our state.

 

 

 


StaffJanuary 24, 2022
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3min4201

Cannabis banking provider Dama Financial has entered into an agreement to acquire GrowFlow Corp. for an undisclosed amount. GrowFlow is a business management and compliance company that has processed more than $3.3 billion for cannabis retailers, cultivators, processors, and distributors. The deal is said to be planned to close this quarter.

“With this acquisition, we are creating the leading platform for cannabis operators, essentially a one-stop-shop for the business tools they need to thrive,” said Anh Hatzopoulos, Dama’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “We created Dama to solve real problems for the industry through innovation, and integrating GrowFlow’s software into our fintech is a huge step forward in that mission. To be successful in the long term, cannabis operators need legal, compliant, forward-looking solutions like Dama’s that don’t skirt restrictions through workarounds, and this sets us up to keep innovating to champion our customers and propel a booming market.”

GrowFlow was founded in 2016 and is a B2B SaaS platform that is dedicated to helping its customers grow their cannabis businesses. It provides compliance, inventory management, point of sale, analytics and sales tools for cannabis and hemp businesses at various points in the supply chain.

The company said in a statement that by combining Dama’s fintech and payment solutions and GrowFlow’s industry-leading software platform the two will create a comprehensive solution for cannabis companies, integrating product, operations, compliance, and financial data in a more usable and flexible solution than any current offering in the industry.

“I could not be more excited about this merging of minds and technologies,” said Travis Steffen, chief executive officer of GrowFlow. “Our leadership teams have nearly identical views of the industry and how it is evolving. Bringing our solutions together will allow us to serve customers in many unique ways and compete on much more than price.”


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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


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