Business Archives - Page 2 of 386 - Green Market Report

Julie AitchesonJanuary 18, 2022


Using data gathered through research to more effectively develop products that meet consumer needs is not new, but a promising innovation, at least for the cannabis industry, is using Artificial Intelligence to streamline and enhance not only the research but development processes. Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands (one of the cannabis companies currently utilizing AI for R&D purposes in collaboration with The Effects Lab by budboard) is enthusiastic about AI’s potential. “Instead of creating a product and then waiting to hear from consumers whether it hits the mark, we are starting by looking at data across thousands of user reports to identify terpenes and cannabinoids that deliver a specific effect, then integrating those into our case-specific products.” Wana Brands will be teaming up with Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) in the future due to a deal agreed upon in October. 

Using computer programs, advanced algorithms and technologies like drones and sensors to imitate human intelligence, AI is able to efficiently scan for patterns and perform data analysis tasks that are unwieldy and time-consuming for the human brain. By combing through massive amounts of information and identifying patterns and tendencies in controlled environments, AI can optimize not only research and development but detect plant diseases, find the best way to optimize growing environments and identifying which strains work best for which medical conditions or desired effects.

The Effects Lab by budboard highlights four main ways that companies can utilize AI in product manufacturing, which include providing consistency for product effects, expediting project timelines, predictive analysis of existing formulations, and optimizing cannabis products for specific consumer use cases. It does this by using raw consumer feedback from various products and mining it for trends and takeaways to provide manufacturers with the information they need to develop products that will find their mark among consumers. 

CEAD, a Phoenix-based company (no website), is focused on AI applications in cultivation. Its cofounder, Royce Birnbaum, states that the use of CEAD’s AI “will enable an upsurge in quality while reducing manpower needed to maintain each plant, as well as give a comprehensive overview of all operations and outcomes related to cannabis cultivation.” Citizen Green Technologies’ application Prescriptii is an AI-driven application that includes a Blockchain-based gratification system that addresses the difficulty banks often face in processing cannabis-related transactions. 

New approaches in cannabis-specific forms of Artificial Intelligence are emerging at a breathtaking pace to address the known and emergent needs of the cannabis industry. If their efficacy is proven by higher yields, product popularity and noteworthy sales figures (among other measures), AI may go from being a new and noteworthy feature of 2022’s cannabis outlook to a permanent fixture in the industry.

Dave HodesJanuary 18, 2022


“Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will, ultimately, find just about everybody,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, told moderator J. Stephen Morrison during a “fireside chat” January 11 at the Center for Strategic International Studies. “Those who have been vaccinated and vaccinated and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death.”

So, that’s the new virus normal—it’s inevitable that Covid, in its current variant or in another variant yet to be discovered, will infect most of us, and will be with us for years to come.

Now what?

Two federally illegal classes of substances may play a role in dealing with Covid going forward. One substance works mostly on the body, one works mostly on the mind.

For example, there is a study by researchers at Oregon State University published in the Journal of Natural Products in October showing that cannabinoids “isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).” Cannabis may be able to block emerging variants, the study found.

That’s great news. But medical science is also turning to the other federally illegal class of substances that could just be the magic bullet for treating mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, even PTSD related to the Covid pandemic: psychedelics.

Covid and mental health

The CDC reported in mid-2020 that the coronavirus pandemic was associated with mental health challenges, including symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder that increased considerably in the United States during April through June of 2020. 

In CDC panel surveys conducted among adults 18 years and older in the U.S., 40.9% of respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder (30.9%), symptoms of trauma- and stress or related disorder related to the pandemic (26.3%), and have started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to Covid (13.3%). 

The CDC survey also found that symptoms of anxiety disorder were approximately three times higher in the second quarter of 2019 (25.5% versus 8.1%), and the prevalence of depressive disorder was approximately four times that reported in the second quarter of 2019 (24.3% versus 6.5%).

And then there’s this: Patients with a recent diagnosis of a mental disorder had a significantly increased risk for Covid infection, according to a research report in the journal of the World Psychiatric Association.

Psychedelics to the rescue

A study in November 2021 from the Berlin Institute of Health looked into the effect of psychedelics used during the pandemic, including the settings in which people use psychedelics, the motives of usage, and the subjective quality of psychedelic experiences. The study found that the top three reasons why participants chose to use psychedelic substances in the last 4 weeks during the pandemic were (1) pleasure (2) self-awareness (3) spiritual or personal development.

Participants were asked to rate settings and motives of psychedelic substance use before the pandemic, and in the last 4 weeks during the pandemic, as well as changes in psychedelic experiences. 

Participants reportedly took one kind of a variety of psychedelics, that included either LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, mescaline, or DMT (LSD and psilocybin were most common).

During the pandemic, participants used psychedelics significantly less often in settings that were outside their homes. Participants consumed psychedelics less out of curiosity, to celebrate, or because friends took it, and more out of boredom.

Two-thirds of participants who used psychedelics during the pandemic claimed that psychedelics had helped them to deal better with the pandemic at least slightly. “To our surprise.. most participants did not report an increase in challenging psychedelic experiences when compared to the time before the pandemic,” study researchers concluded. “On the contrary, an increase in feelings of love and compassion for themselves, feelings of love and compassion for others, feelings of connectedness with nature, feelings of solidarity with people around them, and deep insights about the world during psychedelic experiences, were reported by up to one-third of participants, along with an increase in ego dissolution, pleasant feelings in the days after ingestion (“afterglow”), spiritual experiences, and visual effects.”

A deeper dive

Could psychedelics really be a mental health “cure-all” during a global pandemic that was—and still is—killing thousands of people each day? Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers discovered that two doses of psilocybin, given with supportive psychotherapy, produced rapid and large reductions in just the sort of depression symptoms many people were feeling from dealing with the pandemic for almost two years now. 

That work has served to inspire a small study at the University of Washington School of Medicine about whether psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety that front-line clinicians developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the study, all participants will have two 90-minute counseling sessions to build trust with therapists and to learn what to expect during the psychedelic experience. On the third visit, test-cohort participants will receive a dose of synthesized, pure psilocybin, equivalent to about 3 grams of dried mushrooms. That session will be guided by two therapists and is expected to last four hours or more. 

Dr. Anthony Back, the lead investigator on the study, suggested that psilocybin uniquely enables psychological exploration. “It makes your brain more plastic and your beliefs and desires less rigid,” he said. “It can allow people to break up habitual cycles of thoughts and beliefs that might cause their sadness and depression.”

The Usona Institute is providing the psilocybin for the trial, and Cybin is funding the training for clinicians who will be using Embark, Cybin’s model of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

It appears that psychedelics research is accelerating because of Covid, fueling the psychedelics renaissance that may make psychedelics a more credible, and more convincing, therapeutic solution for various mental health issues.

According to an article in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, while at a relatively early stage of clinical development, “psilocybin therapy has the potential to play an important therapeutic role for various psychiatric disorders in post-Covid clinical psychiatry.”

Debra BorchardtJanuary 17, 2022


Cannabis companies may be reporting record sales in some cases, but investors wouldn’t think that based on the stock prices. The fourth quarter was challenging for a number of reasons ranging from a fast expansion of stores in some provinces in Canada, disappointments in legislation for new cannabis states, and overwhelming debt clouding some company outlooks. In addition, there were companies reporting slowing sequential sales and that was enough to cause many investors to throw in the towel. You can read the entire report here

The Green Market Report Cannabis Company Index dropped another 29% during the fourth quarter as it seemed once again every company except for two experienced a sharp decline in share valuations. In previous quarters, the cannabis industry seemed to mirror the broader market, but those days are over. The S&P 500 turned in a fourth-quarter performance that rose 10.65% and the Russell 3000 had a return of 9.3%. 

Overall, the Green Market Report Cannabis Company Index fell by 27% in 2021. By comparison, the North American Marijuana Index fell by 25% for 2021. Looking at the full year, the S&P 500 rose 26.89% in 2021 and this was its third straight positive year. The Dow and Nasdaq also joined the party with returns of 18.73% and 21.39% for the year and three years of positive returns. Investors would have been better off avoiding the cannabis stocks for the past year.

Changes To The Index

The Index made the following changes at the end of the fourth quarter. Hexo is being removed from the Index as the company has stated it is having problems meeting its debt obligations. After two quarters in a row of poor performance, it’s time to release this one into the wild. Taking its place is Glass House Brands (OTC: GLASF) with a market cap of $220 million. 

The company recently acquired CBD company Plus Products for a song. The company’s CEO Kyle Kazan has expressed his desire to continue lowering the cost to cultivate cannabis in an increasingly competitive landscape. He recently said, “We have a planned total footprint of 6 million square feet and projected total biomass production of approximately 1.7 million pounds, which we believe would make Glass House Brands the largest and most efficient cannabis supplier in the U.S., by a wide margin. With this significant capacity, we will be extremely well-positioned to supply cannabis consumers across the country once that opportunity arises.” Glass House also completed the acquisition of the approximately 160-acre SoCal Facility with six on-site greenhouses in September 2021. 

The company’s brands include the namesake Glass House Farms, Bella Thorne’s Forbidden Flowers, and Mama Sue CBD tinctures. The company has also created brand partnerships with singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis and Legion of Bloom. In August, Glass House reported cash and cash equivalents of $134.3 million as of June 30, 2021, versus just $4.5 million as of June 30, 2020. During the quarter, Glass House said it eliminated $38.3 million of debt through the completion of a Preferred Stock offering.

In Closing 

The first quarter of 2022 looks like a replay of last year. Cannabis stocks have gotten off to a good start as valuations moved higher. The early earnings releases from Tilray and Organigram brought optimism back to investors. Both companies reported rising revenues and solid balance sheets. In addition to that, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he would start to address the taxation issues for cannabis in his state. In other positive news, Germany’s new leaders have quickly moved to legalize adult-use cannabis in the country which could spark efforts for a legal market in Europe as a whole. All of this is great for the industry and for investors. While the latest COVID variant Omicron has put a damper on the pandemic recovery, there is hope that this variant will be short-lived. The fourth quarter certainly tested investors’ resolve, but it looks as if 2022 may finally pay off for the patient shareholder.

Debra BorchardtJanuary 14, 2022


Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH) is ramping up its efforts to get MedMen (OTC: MMNFF) to complete the deal that the two companies had arranged with regards to the New York properties. On Friday, Ascend filed a complaint in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in New York County against MedMen NY, Inc. and MM Enterprises USA, LLC in which Ascend is trying to get MedMen to go through with the deal that MedMen is trying to get out of.  In addition, AWH has made an application for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order to maintain the status quo between the parties and to prevent any actions by the MedMen parties that would result in additional encumbrances on the equity or assets of MedMen NY, Inc.

The Original Deal

The two companies had agreed in February of 2021 Ascend would invest $73 million in order to receive controlling interest in 86.7% of the company’s New York properties. In addition, Ascend had an option to purchase the remaining amount in the future. MedMen was in pretty bad shape at the end of 2020. The company was heavily in debt and its liabilities exceeded its assets by 50%. MedMen continued to lose money quarter after quarter and its operational costs exceeded 100% of its gross revenues making profitability an unlikely hope rather than a reality. Additionally, MedMen’s revenue was dropping and its losses increased quarter over quarter. MedMen spent much of 2020 attempting to restructure, sell its assets and renegotiate its many obligations. The company was also facing issues with its founders and a lawsuit by the company’s former Chief Financial Officer James Patterson, which MedMen won.

Ascend stepped in and gave MedMen some much-needed cash, including an upfront $4 million cash infusion in December 2020 in connection with the execution of a letter of intent between the parties and a further $4.46 million to cover MedMen’s working capital needs and Utica facility site improvements and expansion during 2021.

NY Approval

The deal though was contingent upon approval by the state of New York. MedMen submitted an application to the New York regulators as of March 11, 2021, for approval of the
sale of MedMen NY to Ascend. That application recited that MedMen needed an immediate cash infusion from Ascend to continue its operations. The process hit a snag when halfway through 2021, the state transferred oversight of the cannabis program from the Department of Health to the newly created Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). Ascend claims that MedMen did not pursue the state’s approval causing Ascend to step in and push the process along. Finally, the state gave its approval on December 16.

However, the use of the word “conditionally” in the approval caused MedMen to claim that the approval wasn’t final and so they could terminate the deal. According to the complaint, Ascend went back to the OCM and asked for clarification. The OCM stated that its approval was in fact final. Still, MedMen insisted it wasn’t and finally on December 29, the OCM contacted MedMen to say it was indeed final.

The deal stated that MedMen had to close within five days of receiving approval from the state of New York. Still, MedMen insists it didn’t get approval by December 31 even though the emails exist that prove it did. If that wasn’t bad enough, Ascend claims that  MedMen NY paid an improper $500,000 dividend to its parent company, likely financed by advance dollars paid to MedMen by Ascend.

Looming Debt

Ascend also stated in its complaint that MedMen NY has approximately $100 million dollars of loans for which MedMen NY capital stock has been pledged as collateral in the event of default. “These loans were made to the MM Enterprises’ subsidiary, MM Can USA, Inc. by Hankey Capital, LLC. Once the original deal closed, Ascend would issue to MedMen NY  a promissory note in the amount of $28 million and that MedMen NY would subsequently assign the Closing Note to Hankey. Hankey would then release MedMen NY from any liability with the loan.  The loans from Hankey are scheduled to come due on January 31, 2022, and February 1, 2022. “In the event of default on the MM Can loan agreements, Hankey is permitted
to foreclose on the pledged MedMen NY ownership interest and can sell the foreclosed upon interest at a public or private sale or retain the interest for its own account. In such event, an
order specifically enforcing MedMen NY’s obligation to close the Transaction will be meaningless.” MedMen agreed to the Hankey loan in 2018.

In other words, if MedMen defaults, then Hankey gets the stock and Ascend is left empty-handed.

New MedMen

In November, Michael Serruya was named Chairman and Interim CEO, effective immediately. Serruya succeeded outgoing Chairman and CEO Tom Lynch, who held the position since 2020 and oversaw the company’s operational turnaround. Serruya joined MedMen’s board in August 2021 as part of a $100 million investment in the company by Serruya Private Equity to expand its operations in key markets and identify and accelerate further growth opportunities across the United States. Some sources have speculated that Serruya believes the company sold the MedMen NY properties at a discount and that is the reason they want to terminate the deal. Essentially, the new management believes it could get more money for MedMen NY.




Video StaffJanuary 14, 2022


Tilray, Inc.  (Nasdaq: TLRY) stock jumped this week when the company turned in a solid earnings report for the second fiscal quarter with revenue increasing approximately 20% to $155 million versus last year’s $129 million. 

Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI) delivered its results for the first fiscal quarter with revenue increasing 57% to $30.4 million, from $19.3 million for last year. Organigram also trimmed its net loss to $1.3 million, versus last year’s net loss of $34.3 million. 

Hydroponic chain GrowGeneration Corp. (NASDAQ: GRWG) announced revised full-year 2021 revenue expectations of $420 million to $422 million, versus $193 million for 2020, an increase of 118%.  The important news though was that same stores sales are expected to decline in the fourth quarter by 12.3%. This follows other hydroponic companies like Hydrofarm and Scotts Miracle-Gro that also warned of slowing sales.

Leafly Holdings Inc. and cannabis SPAC Merida Merger Corp. I (NASDAQ: MCMJ)  announced that it has entered into a $30 million convertible note agreement, but more importantly, Merida has postponed the member vote on the SPAC which had originally planned to close at the end of December.  

Halo Collective Inc. (NEO: HALO) (OTCQB: HCANF) announced that it is expanding into the functional beverage market with an acquisition of H2C Beverages in a deal valued at $30 million. It brings to Halo the Halo’s H2C and Hushrooms branded products. 

Private companies were all over the news this week with several announcing fund raising rounds. 

Cannabis industry hiring platform Vangst has completed a $19 million Series B financing. Vangst said it plans to use the money to expand its platform into new markets to support the influx of jobs. Vangst also said it will use this infusion of capital to launch products that support both cannabis businesses and employees, including training and employee payment solutions. 

Michigan-based Viola Brands announced the closing of a $13 million equity funding round. The company said this latest round of funding will allow it to expand into several key new markets, including Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland,

Female-owned Garden Society has raised more than $7 million in Series A funding. The funding was led by RJ Primo LLC and the proceeds will be used to scale product offerings, modernize manufacturing, and further expand its team to meet the growing demand throughout California, as well as to expand into other states in 2022.

Debra BorchardtJanuary 14, 2022


Canadian-based Decibel Cannabis Company Inc.  (TSXV: DB) (OTCQB: DBCCF) announced that it has refinanced $54 million of its debt.  Decibel entered into an amended and restated commitment letter with connectFirst Credit Union Ltd. over an initial 5-year term for the debt. The Committed Amount is comprised of $40.5 million of term debt, a $6.0 million authorized overdraft secured against government receivables, and an accordion line of $7.5 million. The company said it expects the proceeds combined with contributions from operations to provide sufficient liquidity to repay Decibel’s convertible debentures on maturity.

“With this refinancing, Decibel has added financial flexibility to optimize its capital structure and is well-positioned to continue to execute its aggressive growth strategy,” said Stuart Boucher, Chief Financial Officer of Decibel. “This transaction reflects the strong position Decibel has established in the Canadian cannabis market and the continued confidence from connectFirst and our team in the execution of the company’s strategic plan”.

Decibel has three operating production houses along with its wholly-owned retail business, Prairie Records. The Qwest Estate in Creston, BC is a licensed and operating 26,000 square foot cultivation space that produces the widely championed, rare cultivar-focused brands Qwest and Qwest Reserve, which are sold in six provinces across Canada. Thunderchild Cultivation is a licensed and operating 80,000 square foot indoor cultivation facility in Battleford, SK. The Plant, Decibel’s extraction facility, in Calgary, AB has 15,000 square feet of Health Canada licensed extraction and product development space. This production house will fuel the growth of our brands Qwest, Qwest Reserve, Blendcraft, and General Admission, into new and innovative product formats like concentrates, vapes, edibles and beyond.

In November, Decibel reported its third-quarter results with net revenue totaling $13.4 million, a 7% increase over the prior quarter, driven by growth in Decibel’s existing and newly launched flower, vape, and concentrate products. Net revenue grew by 76% over the comparative 2020 quarter. The company sold 492 kilograms of flower in the third quarter, with an average wholesale net price per gram of $7.65, an increase of 10% in kilograms sold, and a decrease of 4% in average wholesale net price per gram, over the prior quarter. The decline in price per gram was the result of a greater volume allocation towards Qwest products versus Qwest Reserve products which achieves a higher price point and the launch of the General Admission line of pre-rolls.

“Decibel’s continued growth is a testament to our consumer-focused approach, the strength of our brands, and our dedication towards producing high-quality products for our customers”, said Paul Wilson, CEO of Decibel. “We are closing out 2021 with strong momentum as we launch 40 new products, elevate the experience our products create for consumers and innovate to meet cannabis consumers’ evolving preferences.”

Debra BorchardtJanuary 14, 2022


After the market closed on Thursday, Stem Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: STMH) (CSE: STEM) reported its financial results for the 2021 fiscal year ending in September with revenue totaling $41.8 million. This was an increase of 155% versus the 2020 fiscal year revenue of $16.4 million. Stem said that the revenue net of Driven Delivery’s portion totaled $24.4 million, which is an increase of 49% from the prior year. The company also reported a net loss for the fiscal year 2021 of $64.6 million and said this was predominately attributable to a $52.5 million impairment charge related to Driven Deliveries.

Stem went on to note that net revenue after discounts and returns totaled $35.8 million, an increase of 156% as compared to $14.0 million for the same period the year prior. The company’s net revenue after discounts and returns net of Driven portion totaled $20.9 million, an increase of 49% for the same period the year prior. During fiscal year-end 2021, the Company reported impairment expenses totaling $52.5 million, predominately related to the intangible assets and a related party receivable of Driven Deliveries, Inc., which the Company recently divested of. The adjusted EBITDA loss for the fiscal year 2021 totaled $5.8 million as compared to $5.4 million in the prior year period.

“In December 2021, we announced the divestiture of Driven Deliveries, its assets and liabilities,” said Interim CEO Steve Hubbard. “This divesture allows us to ‘Get back to our roots’. Currently, our initiative is focused on our operations in Oregon and California. Oregon, where we are vertically integrated with five retail locations, we see a considerable growth opportunity as two of our stores are under-performing and the other three locations can incrementally increase sales. In our multiple cultivation facilities, we have significant upside to improve yields, while at the same time, bring the quality of our flower back to the level of top shelf that our customers expect. As we increase productivity and harvest new high-quality, high demand, strains, we expect to increase distribution through both our retail and wholesale channels. TJ’s Gardens and Yerba Buena will continue to be our leading consumer product flower brands, while Cannavore, Doseology and Artifact Extracts are our primary edibles and extracts brands.”

In December Stem spun off Driven Deliveries to its founders in return for 12.5 million shares of Stem. At the time, the company has also announced the appointment of Steve Hubbard, co-founder and current CFO, as interim CEO, replacing Adam Berk who had resigned. Stem said the divestiture would immediately improve its balance sheet and cost structure. Driven Deliveries currently accounted for 32.3% of the total liabilities reported on the consolidated balance sheet as of 12/15/2021. Divesting this asset would return 12.5 million shares of Stem to treasury, reduce total liabilities by $7.1 million and increase working capital by $4.1 million. Monthly expenses related to Driven Deliveries would reduce total expenses by $9.6 million annually, positioning Stem to achieve a positive Adjusted EBITDA in 2022.

Stem has ownership interests in 29 state-issued cannabis licenses including nine licenses for cannabis cultivation, three licenses for cannabis processing, two licenses for cannabis wholesale distribution, three licenses for hemp production and five adult-use medical retailers (non-storefront) which were subsequently divested and seven cannabis dispensary licenses.


Dave HodesJanuary 14, 2022


The rush to business maturity for the psychedelics industry has led to inevitable comparisons to the growth and development of the cannabis industry. Both have captured the interest of angel investors channeling millions of dollars into them. There are currently 60 publicly traded psychedelic stocks now. 

Both have had complicated back stories within human cultural development that continue to this day, with racial issues connected to cannabis users since the late 1930s by the first director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and hippie counter-culture wrong turns initiated by a Harvard professor for psychedelics in the 1960s still on the minds of naysayers.

Both are substances caught up in the war on drugs, listed as the worst drugs on the planet by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

But after their rocky start in the 60s, and a period of reflection about the good that psychedelics can really do, psychedelics today has bypassed the sort of negative stoner-boy druggy drop-out stereotype that dogs the cannabis industry, mostly because of the amount and depth of the science and research that has been brought to bear on psychedelics. 

Most forms of psychedelics—from Ecstacy (MDMA) to LSD to psilocybin and others—have been found to be helpful in some way to the mental well-being of humans if used in control settings. 

They are not total cures to such things as depression and some of the more difficult human mental conditions. But ongoing, and accelerating, clinical research in such esteemed institutions as Johns Hopkins Medicine has shown that they can at least provide people with a better quality of life. 

Psychedelic companies are building partnerships with academia, such as MindMed’s microdosing work treating addiction or adult ADHD with experiential therapies, and redefining what psychedelics can mean for health and wellness. “We are a new kind of pharma company,” the company states on their website. 

Statements like that reveal that the psychedelics industry has learned a lesson from the cannabis industry about how to position itself as a health and wellness substance first, and keep the pure fun of doing legalized psychedelics out of the picture entirely. 

The cannabis industry sprung out of the basements and backyards of black market growers and sellers who had no intention of using it medically. So, as the cannabis industry grew on the basis of how buzzed you can get with a higher THC level in your cannabis, with goofy stoner boys promoting their own brands, scaring the straights, as it were, the psychedelics industry developed by featuring guys in white lab coats and researchers with Phds carefully presenting results of clinical studies that demonstrated amazing medical breakthroughs. 

They stayed firmly legit, even getting the Food and Drug Administration to approve Compass Pathways as the first psychedelics company to get an FDA breakthrough therapy designation for its psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression.

Now the recreational psychedelics folks want a piece of the psychedelics profits pie. But they are proceeding carefully. They started with decriminalizing psychedelics, taking a page from the cannabis playbook.

In fact, more and more cities have decriminalized psilocybin since May, 2019 (13 so far), with the state of Oregon both decriminalizing and legalizing psilocybin. Oregon Measure 109 would allow anyone over 21 to purchase, possess, consume, and experience the effects of psilocybin only at a licensed psilocybin service center during a psilocybin administration session with a licensed psilocybin service facilitator.

Depending on how the Oregon measure is interpreted, and depending on how other cities and states interpret that document when they look at doing their own versions of recreational psychedelic sales, will there be different brands of ‘shrooms available in retail stores in Oregon that will somehow bypass the “licensed psilocybin service center” requirement and just sell you a baggie curbside? Will those Oregon rules be re-interpreted by other states as time goes on? 

Entrepreneurs are already exploring the space of legalized recreational psilocybin, such as Synthesis Retreat in Amsterdam monitoring Oregon’s efforts. The company offers spiritual retreats for the psychedelic seeker. “Our genuine mission is to introduce psychedelics to mainstream culture in a responsible way, so that the people who could benefit the most will be able to access them,” their website states.

These early legalized psychedelics days are nothing like the heyday of early cannabis legalization days, where any buzz-worthy outing was just you and a couple of friends laughing at getting away with getting high. 

Legalized recreational psychedelics appear to be about serious mental health help, not about goofing and giggling a night away. They are therapy. They offer self-exploration. In short, they offer nothing recreational at all.. for now.

StaffJanuary 13, 2022


Up and coming cannabis delivery platform company Lantern announced its financial and operational results for fiscal year 2021, ending 12/31/21. Lantern reported a 350% year-over-year growth following the expansion of its on-demand marketplace delivery platform into Colorado and Michigan, two of the fastest-growing cannabis delivery markets in the U.S. In July 2021, Lantern became the first adult-use delivery platform to launch in Massachusetts and serve the Greater Boston area.

“Lantern’s record year of growth is a bellwether for the enormous potential of the cannabis delivery market -especially considering how consumer adoption of delivery services increased by 25% throughout the country,” said Meredith Mahoney, Co-Founder and CEO of Lantern. “Our team is eager to leverage our current momentum and foster deeper relationships with additional local partners to bring accessible and personalized cannabis retail experiences to an ever wider audience in the upcoming year.”

Lantern said it has secured partnerships with numerous local dispensaries and couriers, including Sanctuary, Cultivate, Freshly Baked, NETA, Garden Remedies, Insa, and Theory Wellness. In Michigan, where Lantern was first-to-market in both Detroit and Grand Rapids, the company has partnered with leading dispensaries such as High Profile, and Joyology over the past year.

In October 2021, Lantern officially transitioned to a separate corporate entity and received $40 million in capital from its former sister company, Drizly Group -the largest on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States-after Uber finalized its acquisition of Drizly. In February 2021, Uber announced an agreement to acquire Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash.

Drizly was co-founded by Justin Robinson in 2012 and is currently the largest on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States. Under his leadership, Drizly’s network grew to over 5,000 retailer partners that reach 235 over markets across North America. In 2015, Justin was named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 List under the Food and Wine category. Lantern, which was incubated out of Drizly, launched in May 2020 and uses Drizly’s leading marketplace technologies and operational expertise to support best-in-class consumer and retailer experiences.

Debra BorchardtJanuary 13, 2022


Hydroponic chain GrowGeneration Corp. (NASDAQ: GRWG) announced revised full-year 2021 revenue expectations of $420 million to $422 million, versus $193 million for 2020, an increase of 118%.  The important news though was that same stores sales are expected to decline in the fourth quarter by 12.3%. This follows other hydroponic companies like Hydrofarm and Scotts Miracle-Gro that also warned of slowing sales.

Having said that, the fourth quarter revenue expectation is between $88 million to $90 million and same-store-sales for 2021 is expected to grow 24.4% for the full year.

“We delivered strong shareholder value in 2021 with triple digit revenue growth despite unprecedented persistent challenges and an uncertain operating environment. Although we continue to grow our business significantly, we experienced stronger-than-expected pressures in Q4 from the general slowdown in the hydroponics market. The sales results for Q4 combined with one-time expenses will result in a loss for the quarter of between $2 million and $4 million in EBITDA on an adjusted basis. We did improve our inventory position throughout the quarter to align inventory levels with sales activities,” said GrowGen CEO Darren Lampert.

2021 Financial Highlights:

  • Full year 2021 projected revenue between $420 million to $422 million, versus $193 million for full-year 2020
  • Full year 2021 projected EBITDA adjusted for stock-based compensation between $31.5 million to $33.5 million, versus $19.2 million for full-year 2020
  • Same-store-sales increase of 24.4% for full-year 2021 compared to 2020
  • Same-store sales decrease of 12.3% for fourth quarter 2021 compared to the same year-ago period
  • A total of 24 new and acquired store locations in 2021, now with 62 locations nationwide
  • On January 1, 2022, we acquired Mobile Media, Inc, a leading indoor vertical mobile racking and benching system manufacturer

Lampert added, “As we remain focused on our long-term strategy, we continue to use the Company’s strong balance sheet and cash flow generation to drive growth by focusing energies and investments on new greenfield stores, business technology, distribution capabilities, private and proprietary brands, and integration of the Company’s e-commerce distribution channels. These initiatives, supported by a team-oriented approach, give us confidence in our ability to deliver revenue and EBITDA growth in 2022. We believe the management team in place now is better suited than any other team in the industry to drive profitable growth over the next decade.”


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