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StaffMay 16, 2022
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2min3150

Women’s Leadership Award

Marketing

Natalie Shaul

Co-Founder & VP of Marketing, Springbig 

 

In 2013 Natalie moved to South Florida and started working at springbig. At the time springbig was offering loyalty and text message marketing to small businesses. In the Fall of 2016, Nat made the push for springbig to pivot to cannabis. She identified the potential for the company to enter the cannabis space and took on the initiative to get them in the space in 2017.

Since then, Nat has been the co-founder/head of Marketing for springbig. As springbig’s co-founder, Natalie Shaul has influenced the cannabis sector by being a trendsetter, job creator and changemaker. Under her leadership, springbig has become the leading provider in customer loyalty and text message communications –transforming how thousands of cannabis brands and retailers do business. To date, Shaul has brought the platform to 50 million consumers and over 2,300 retailers. She also played a crucial role in raising nearly $20M total.

In addition to helping thousands of cannabis retailers, Shaul’s company has created more than 80 jobs across South Florida and provided discounted services to support veteran and minority-owned cannabis businesses. She has been able to achieve all of this while occupying a unique position within the cannabis sector. As reported by MarketWatch, the percentage of women in senior positions at cannabis-focused companies has dropped by nearly 15% over the last two years. Shaul strives to challenge this industry trend by creating opportunities and mentoring young women across springbig.


Julie AitchesonMay 16, 2022
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4min4270

In the cannabis market, Flower continues to reign supreme as the dominant category in every market, though according to a recent Headset report, market share is declining in both the US and Canada. Be that as it may, cannabis flower is likely to hold its top spot as the consumer favorite for some time to come as the least processed and most versatile (albeit also the most susceptible to commoditization and price compression) of all categories. Headset’s report looks at changes in market share over time, segments, pricing, demographics, and other metrics of performance in the Flower category. Data was collected from real-time sales reporting by participating cannabis retailers via their point-of-sale systems.

Despite the fact that in Canada, flower market share declined from 78.8% to 42.5% with a less precipitous drop from 41% to 40.4% in the US, Flower’s popularity still trumps Pre-rolls (Canada) and Vape Pens (US), which are next highest-grossing categories in those countries. The market share decline has seen a commensurate drop in price, with the average EQ price falling by -22% in the US and -17% in Canada from January 2021 to March 2022.

The early days of the Covid-19 pandemic saw an early surge in Flower sales, but that trend reversed itself in early 2021, bringing market share to its current status at lower than pre-pandemic levels. In Canada, Ontario (home of densely-populated Toronto) sees a substantially larger proportion of total sales in the Flower category than other provinces, while in the US Maryland (47.5%) and Michigan (48.9%) hold down the higher end of market share. Last year this distinction went to Nevada at 56.3%, which has since fallen to 46%. Headset’s data shows that every market has declined in market share since last year.

Prices Plunge

EQ pricing for Flower in Canada dropped steadily throughout 2021, plunging by 17% from January 2021 to March 2022. In the US, that drop gained momentum starting in September, declining by -22% in the same period. 

Male customers typically spend more of what’s in their wallet on flower than their female counterparts, with male Baby Boomers leading generational categories with a wallet share of 49.3% in Canada and 50.6% in the US. Gen Z holds the least wallet share, spending just a bit more than 1/3 of their total cannabis budget on flower as opposed to other products.

While Flower is in no danger of losing its ranking as the dominant product category for consumers in the US and Canada, the decline in popularity reflected in Headset’s data demands a response from cannabis companies to keep prices and demand steady. Finding creative ways to market toward women and less enthusiastic consumers in the Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X generations while maintaining the loyalty and enthusiasm of its more robust male and Baby Boomer base may go a long way towards reversing the downward trend in Flower in the year to come.


Dave HodesMay 16, 2022
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12min7850

Psychedelics are finally, carefully, hitting its stride this year. Even with a dour stock market beating it up, mid-year indicators of a jazzed-up emerging psychedelics industry that is finding its way are everywhere.

As psychedelics news continues to grab headlines in mainstream publications from the New Yorker to the Wall Street Journal, the industry has become part of a slowly building mission creep into the consciousness of all healthcare solutions seekers, offering the potential of real, life-changing healthcare for unmet medical challenges in mental health treatment. 

And that’s a great place to be today, where the pandemic has triggered a 25 percent increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Healthcare is Fastest Growing Industry

Plus, five out of the 20 industries projected to grow the fastest from 2019 to 2029 are in healthcare, the fastest growing industry in the economy, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Investment advisors say that three of the five emerging industries today to invest in are artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and big data analytics. Psychedelics research is active in all three.

For instance, there is now machine learning working in psychedelics research, where artificial intelligence and data analytics, combined with machine learning, are used together to find out more about the various effects of a psychedelic substance.

Machine learning was applied to a database of testimonials to help uncover how drug-induced changes in subjective awareness were mechanistically rooted in the human brain, according to a study published in March 2022 by a team of researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital and Department of Biomedical Engineering of McGill University; the Broad Institute at Harvard/MIT; SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University; and Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. 

The study showed how drug-induced changes in subjective awareness are anatomically rooted in specific neurotransmitter receptor systems. The research team created a 3D map of the brain receptors and the subjective experiences linked to them across the whole brain. 

It was the largest ever psychedelics study that maps changes of conscious awareness to neurotransmitter systems.

Big data analytics is being used, updated and gathered up from these and other studies and clinical trials to help researchers analyze what they can and should pursue as they uncover more of the mysteries of psychedelics for mental health treatment. 

In short, even though a seasoned investor looks at the psychedelics industry as too volatile to jump into, too risky to invest in, the industry is looking stronger as of mid-2022 than it has ever been. And it’s beginning to make mainstream medical history.

Psychedelic R&D

Take the case of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) one of the leading companies in psychedelics research and industry development, and one of the organizations that is rapidly closing in on FDA approval for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) assisted therapy, hoping for a drug therapy to be ready in 2024 or, more likely, 2025, according to Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of MAPS.

MAPS completed their first phase 3 study in May, 2021, and has completed enrollment of the second phase three study. The first study was a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial that found that MDMA significantly reduced symptoms in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

On December 16, the highly respected Science magazine designated MAPS’ MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD among its Top Ten Scientific Breakthroughs of the Year in 2021. The trauma-focused therapy was recognized in the magazine alongside major findings in computational biochemistry, planetary science, particle physics, and health sciences. 

Ironically, Science magazine is the same publication that, in 2002, published a peer-reviewed article claiming that MDMA could lead to Parkinson’s disease (retracted as erroneous). “We’re the leading edge of psychedelic medicine going through regulated trials,” Doblin said at the 2022 Psych Symposium recently. “And so our study was great. But it also is indicative of a whole new era of research.”

He said that MAPS is working on introducing psychedelics into the prison system, which he said is a trauma-producing system that doesn’t really foster a reduction of recidivism. “So we’d like to bring psychedelic psychotherapy into that system, as well as legalizing these substances so that they’re not producing a lot of people going into prison,” he said. “It’s a top priority of ours. It’s also something that when we think about mainstreaming psychedelics when we talk about bringing it to the police, to the first responder, to the firefighters, to the emergency medical service to the prison guards, it breaks down (the stigma) created by the drug war.”

There has been a steady rollout of other firsts so far this year from key industry players. On May 11, MindMed (NASDAQ: MNMD) presented results of their phase 2 trial with LSD for anxiety from a historic research study. On the same day, Cybin released data on their pilot study of the Kernel Flow device, a wearable helmet that can measure brain activity during a psychedelic experience. Kernel Flow successfully measured the neuro-effect of ketamine over 11 days and confirmed changes in functional connectivity that are consistent with current scientific research.

Numinus Wellness, a bioscience company that has developed standardized analytical methods for psilocybin, ketamine, LSD, MDMA, mescaline, and other related substances, is opening five to ten more labs in 2022. The company gets two-thirds of its revenue from their clinical labs division, Numinus Health, according to Numinus CEO Payton Nyquvest, and has seen a significant uptick in lab business.

Another psychedelics company seriously energized this year is Atai Life Sciences. Calling 2021 a “transformative year” for them, Greg Weaver, CFO of Atai Life Sciences noted that the company had raised $410 million in June and now had $362 million in cash to help with the research programs of 14 drug developments. 

This year, companies in the Atai pipeline will be working on preclinical trial developments; a handful of phase 1 trials; a trial they expect to go to Phase 2 in 2022; and a Phase 3 trial with their strategic partner Compass Pathways, which they also hope to commence sometime this year. “This exciting momentum continues in 2022, and our cash runway of approximately 2 years enables us to work towards our goal of achieving clinically meaningful and sustained behavioral change in mental health patients,” Florian Brand, CEO and co-founder of Atai Life Sciences said in a press release.

Expect more announcements this year, heralding more medical firsts, as the industry realists basically put their heads down and attempt to deliver on promises that sprang from vague hypotheses just a few years ago. 

They are all searching to deliver wellness on the real final frontier—inner space—and the whole world’s watching and waiting.


Video StaffMay 16, 2022

1min4310

On April 28, 2022, the Green Market Report hosted its first Women’s Summit in New York City. This panel was titled “Media and Cannabis.” Public Relations can make the difference for companies getting attention or fighting to be noticed. But PR is expensive and often the first line item to be cut when money gets tight. How can emerging companies afford PR? How can companies assess and pick the right PR company for them? What can you do on the cheap and when do you know it’s time to level up? How to make advertising decisions. this panel featured Gia Moron – Founder GVM Communications, Cynthia Salarizadeh – Founder Salar Media Group, Ann Donohoe – Managing Partner KCSA, Shawna MacGregor – Founder Maverick PR and was moderated by Elana Frankel – Founding Editor-in-Chief, Women and Weed Magazine Thank you for watching the Green Market Report! Be sure to subscribe to our channel and our newsletters.


Video StaffMay 13, 2022

1min6120

On April, 28, 2022, the Green Market Report hosted its first Women’s Summit in New York City. This panel was titled “The Truth in Running a Dispensary” and featured a stellar lineup of successful women including Precious Osagie-Erese of Roll-Up Life, Wendy Bronfein – Co-Founder Curio Wellness, Penelope Nam-Stephen, Rebelle dispensary’s chief commercial officer and moderated by Green Market Report Executive Editor Debra Borchardt. Thank you for watching the Green Market Report! Be sure to subscribe to our channel and our newsletters.


Debra BorchardtMay 13, 2022
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5min4910

Despite the ongoing battle with the booted shareholders, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc.  (CSE: IAN) (OTCPK: ITHUF) continues to operate and deliver earnings. The company had first-quarter revenue of $42.8 million, a sequential decrease of 10% from the fourth quarter and a decrease of 17% from the same period in the prior year. iAnthus reported a net loss of $10.1 million, or a loss of $0.06 per share, compared to a loss of $26.9 million or a loss of $0.16 per share in Q4 2021, and compared to a loss of $19.5 million, or a loss of $0.11 per share, in the same period in the prior year.

iAnthus said in a statement, “Due to liquidity constraints experienced by the Company, the Company did not make applicable interest payments due on its 13% senior secured convertible debentures (“Secured Notes”) and its 8% convertible unsecured debentures due during 2020. As previously disclosed by the Company, the non-payment of interest in March 2020 triggered an event of default with respect to these components of the Company’s long-term debt, which, as of March 31, 2022, consisted of principal amounts of $97.5 million and $60.0 million, and accrued interest of $34.8 million and $10.8 million, on the Secured Notes and Unsecured Debentures, respectively. In addition, as a result of the default, as of March 31, 2022, the Company has accrued additional fees and interest of $15.8 million (“Exit Fees”) in excess of the aforementioned amounts that are further detailed in the Company’s financial statements.”

As of March 31, 2022, iAnthus had unrestricted cash of $14.1 million (December 31, 2021—$13.2 million), an accumulated deficit of $811.7 million (December 31, 2021—$801.6 million), and a working capital deficit of $255.7 million (December 31, 2021—$231.7 million).

Co-founder Maslow is out

Last week, iAnthus announced the resignation of its Co-Founder and Interim Chief Executive Officer, Randy Maslow from his executive positions with the company, including all positions with the company’s subsidiaries and its affiliates, and from the company’s Board of Directors and committees, effective as of May 6, 2022. Maslow will continue to serve the company in a consulting role for a period of six months following the Resignation Date. Maslow will receive total cash compensation in the amount of $12.2 million, of which $5.1 million was paid out on May 6, 2022.

On May 6, 2022, the company announced the appointment of Robert Galvin as Interim Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board, effective May 6, 2022. Galvin served as the company’s Interim Chief Operating Officer and has held a number of executive positions with iAnthus and previously served as a member of the Board following the completion of the company’s transaction in February 2019 with MPX Bioceutical Corporation, where Mr. Galvin also served as a board member.

Shareholder Lawsuits

While some shareholders continue to file complaints about losing their shares to the lenders, the courts have continued to side with the lenders. It seems that some of the disgruntled common stock shareholders when they get cases dismissed, retool and come back. The shareholders continue to insist that the debt payments could have been made when the company instead chose to default and thus handing the company over to the lenders. The latest move was in March when the company and the lender Gotham Green both as a New York judge to toss the shareholder’s latest claims. they say the case should be in Canada, not New York. The investors say they bought their shares in New York and so the case should be there.


StaffMay 13, 2022
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4min4690

After the market closed on Thursday, IM Cannabis Corp. (CSE: IMCC) (NASDAQ: IMCC)reported financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2022 as revenues increased 169% year-over-year to $23.6 million. IMCC said that total dried flower sold in the quarter was 3,035kg at an average selling price of $6.23 per gram, compared to 1,185kg for the same period in 2021 at an average selling price of $4.94 per gram, derived mainly from the higher average selling price per gram the company recognized through its acquired pharmacies in Israel.

IMCC also delivered a net loss of $10.7 million in the quarter versus net income of $4.7 million for the same time period in 2021. Basic and diluted loss per share in Q1 2022 of $0.14 and $0.17, respectively, compared to basic and diluted income (loss) per share in Q1 2021 of $0.11 and ($0.06), respectively.

“We continue to progress well on our path to profitability and achieved another quarter of record revenues, which grew 169% year-over-year in the first quarter,” said Oren Shuster, Chief Executive Officer of IMC. “We execute key initiatives that drive margin expansion within each of our market segments and across our operating footprint, which reflect the benefits of integrating our global model. In Israel, we work to consolidate four of the country’s leading pharmacies and centralize our distribution and customer support to potentially create significant cost savings while strengthening our brand presence. We also increasingly leverage yield from our Canadian cultivation facilities for our products imported to and sold in Israel, which exhibit a gross margin profile that is nearly double that of products sourced from suppliers.”

While the company didn’t give a numerical forecast for the second quarter it did say that it continues to experience meaningful growth across its global platform, primarily in Israel and Canada, reflecting the continued execution of the company’s strategy, its accelerating international brand presence, its focus on cultivating premium flower, and its global distribution and supply chain model. On a preliminary, unaudited basis, IMC said it expects second quarter revenue and gross margin to increase sequentially.

“In Canada, our WAGNERS and Highland Grow brands have achieved market share leadership due to our relentless focus on delivering upon consumer expectations, with each brand holding a top three ranking in Ontario within their price segments. As we increase internal cultivation toward full capacity, we also focus on key operational initiatives to improve yield and reduce volume-based costs. These initiatives will help us reach positive Adjusted EBITDA, which we expect to achieve on a run rate basis in the second quarter of 2022, positioning us to be cash flow positive on a run rate basis in the following quarter.”


StaffMay 13, 2022
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6min6530

A new psilocybin-focused holistic wellbeing company called Beckley Retreats is officially launching from the founder of the Beckley Foundation, the drug policy reform and scientific research institution.  Amanda Fielding is Co-Founder of Beckley Retreats and Founder of the Beckley Foundation  (who was also an early thought partner and friend of Albert Hofmann, and widely known as the “Queen of the Psychedelic Renaissance”) has created Beckley Retreats to offer transformative self-development programs through the power of psychedelics in concert with supportive healing modalities.

Taking place in Jamaica in October 2022 – one of the few countries where the cultivation, gifting, and consumption of psilocybin mushrooms is legal – the comprehensive program includes curated pre-retreat preparation, as well as post-retreat integration to encourage the formation of new habits, practices, and thought patterns.  With a team of clinical experts and spiritual guides to create and lead their programs, the retreat combines ancient teachings and mindful practices with individual guidance to create an unparalleled experience.

What is Beckley Retreats?

  • Beckley Retreats is a leading holistic wellbeing company that offers transformative self-development programs by leveraging the science-backed power of psychedelics in concert with supportive therapeutic modalities.
  • Building on the decades of insights from the renowned Beckley Foundation, we merge world-class contemplative practices with the science-backed benefits of psilocybin to offer a comprehensive approach for people looking to make meaningful change in their lives.
  • The program includes psilocybin ceremonies, breathwork, meditation, mindful movement, as well as 6 weeks of supported integration techniques informed by psychotherapy and neuroscience.
  • Leveraging over 20 years of psychedelic research from the Beckley Foundation under the leadership of its founder Amanda Feilding, Beckley Retreats represents the logical next stage of this work.
  • The brainchild of Feilding and her founding partners Neil Markey, Rock Feilding-Mellen, and Daniel Love, Beckley Retreats exists to bring the proven benefits of psychedelic therapy to the wider community in safe and legal settings. Each co-founder brings a unique background to the brand, with a shared passion for wellness, healing and self-development.
  • With guidance from Amanda as a co-founder and advisor, Beckley Retreats is led by CEO Neil Markey. Neil discovered the potential of plant medicines and well-being practices after suffering from severe depression and PTSD following his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Captain in the US Army Rangers. Through Beckley Retreats, Neil hopes others can experience the life-changing benefits that are possible through the careful and responsibly managed use of psychedelics.

Where will the retreats be held?

  • The first retreat location for Beckley Retreats is in the Cockpit Country region of Jamaica at the Good Hope Villas, amidst the island’s native flora and fauna. The property is only a 40-minute drive from the Montego Bay Airport in a gated and secluded location with 24-hour security surrounded by nature. The Good Hope property is used exclusively for wellbeing and healing programs and has private river and beach access.
  • The property has two special villas, each centuries-old with cut-stone homes. The entire property was recently renovated with care to modernize its amenities while retaining the historic charm. The villas have a total of 13 rooms, all with their own bathroom, premium bedding and linens, and thoughtful decor. Amenities include two swimming pools, a yoga room, high-speed internet, air conditioning, and access to paddleboards, kayaks, and surfboards. The beautiful landscape is perfect to enjoy the sunrise and sunset across the open mountainous vistas.
  • Jamaica is one of the few countries where the cultivation, gifting, and consumption of psilocybin mushrooms is legal. This, together with its lush nature and breathtaking scenery, makes it the perfect setting for Beckley Retreats. Additional locations are to be announced later this year!

What is the duration of the retreat?

While the main activities take place in person over five days at the retreat in Jamaica, Beckley Retreats’ transformative process is an 11-week program that includes pre-retreat preparation and post-retreat integration to encourage the formation of new habits, practices, and thought patterns.


StaffMay 13, 2022
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2min4170

Women’s Leadership Award

Brands

 

Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands

 

Nancy is CEO of Wana Brands and co-founded the company in 2010. Recently, Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth signed a deal to acquire 100% of the membership interests in each Wana entity for upfront cash payment of $297.5 million. This will trigger with federal permissibility in the US. Nancy remains CEO of Wana Brands. Headlines were made when Whiteman noted she would apply a significant amount of the Canopy option funds to CSR. And for years, Whiteman has championed social equity in cannabis. Wana supports the Last Prisoner Project’s advocacy and restorative justice work as a “Partner for Freedom.” Wana also launched the CannabisForJustice.com initiative, which provides trusted resources and guidelines to address systemic racism and social equity throughout the industry. Whiteman isn’t your typical cannabis CEO. The mother of two and former insurance marketing executive founded the company in 2010 when Colorado was getting its medical marijuana program off the ground and shifted to adult-use when the state was the first to get recreational online. She’s kept Wana’s leading-edge through innovation, launching Wana Quick, one of the most effective and popular quick onset products. She also oversaw the development of the Optimals line, including Wana Fast Asleep and Wana Fit, which leverage rare cannabinoids and proprietary terpenes blends. In March, she will lead Wana Brands in introducing the launch of Wana SPECTRUM Live Rosin Gummies in Colorado, available in four distinct flavors. With fast-acting effects, these live rosin gummies are the first of their kind in the cannabis marketplace.


Video StaffMay 13, 2022

3min5580

Earnings season is in full swing as companies begin to deliver the first quarter earnings. Across the board it was tough for hydroponic companies, while many of the cannabis producers seem to start the year strong. Some even teased that next quarter would begin the inclusion of New Jersey sales. 

One story we’ve been following for months got resolved. MedMen agreed to surrender its New York assets to Ascend Wellness. After a months-long nasty court battle, MedMen agreed to let go and while MedMen said it got $15 million more, Ascend’s purchase went from 86% of the property to 99% – so it didn’t really seem like they squeezed much more out of the deal. The interim MedMed CEO Michael Serruya is now the Chair and the company named Edward Record as the new CEO.

There were so many companies delivering numbers, that we’ll just high the high points here. 

Trulieve announced its first quarter revenue increased to $318.3 million from $193.8 million last year and 4% sequentially. The company also said it expects to report over a billion in cannabis sales in 2022. 
Both Curaleaf and Acreage Holdings reported that their sales declined sequentially from the fourth quarter. However both companies were able to begin adult-use sales in New Jersey in April and that is likely to turn things around quickly.

On the hydroponics side, Urban-gro, Hydrofarm and Agrify all reported earnings this week. Sales were either flat or just barely above last year for each company. However, they are all reiterating previous guidance and believe their market will recover by the end of the year.

On a positive note, Green Thumb Industries showed how it had navigated headwinds of falling prices and increasing costs. This company continues to deliver solid quarters and this was another. Revenue rose 25% year-over-year to $243 million.

Next week is the MJ Unpacked conference in New York. 

 


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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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