Financial Archives - Green Market Report

StaffJanuary 12, 2022


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 PennsylvaniaIllinoisNew Jersey, and Maryland, and continue executing on strategic marketing initiatives, further positioning Viola to be one of the top brands and operators in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Viola also said it is considering raising additional capital aimed at increasing supply to meet market demand.

“We’re looking forward to a big 2022. The team at DelMorgan has always supported our vision and continues to be great partners for us as we bring Viola to new markets.” – Al Harrington, Co-Founder & CEO of Viola.

Viola closed on a $16 million funding round led by Gotham Green Partners 2019. Viola is the leading Black-owned producer and licensed wholesaler of premium cannabis products rooted in purpose. Founded in 2011, NBA veteran Al Harrington was inspired to launch the brand by his grandmother, Viola, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes and found solace in cannabis remedies. The brand integrates the latest cutting-edge technology with its own proprietary processes designed for every stage of cultivation, extraction and production. Viola is known for its wide variety of product offerings, from high-quality flower to premier butane extracts. From regulation to representation and reform, Viola’s mission is to create opportunities for communities of color in the cannabis industry.

Viola products are now available in select Oklahoma dispensaries, and vape cartridges and pens are now available in select Colorado dispensaries. In July, Viola announced a partnership with NBA Legend Allen Iverson. The icon and people’s champ entered into a multi-year partnership that spans cannabis, product, and merchandise with Viola. Viola has a dispensary in Detroit and a partnership for dispensaries in Missouri with former NBA player Larry Hughes. Viola Missouri or VMO was awarded four licenses which made them one of 11 fully integrated cannabis operators in the state. VMO also stands as the only Black-owned and operated cannabis company in Missouri

DelMorgan & Co., an internationally recognized investment banking firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, acted as an exclusive strategic transaction advisor to Viola in connection with the transaction.

Rob Delgado, Chairman of DelMorgan, commented, “Al Harrington has proven himself to be a visionary in the Cannabis industry, demonstrating an ability to execute on initiatives that resonate deeply with today’s popular culture and consumers.”  Neil Morganbesser, President & CEO of DelMorgan, noted, “This investment is transformative, allowing Viola to significantly accelerate its expansion nationwide as one of the most iconic brands in cannabis.”  Chris Delgado, Senior Managing Director at DelMorgan, added, “Under Al Harrington’s leadership, Viola has demonstrated how a commercially successful brand can benefit from a mission-driven focus. This mission and focus will be further strengthened through this investment.”

Check out our interview with Harrington in 2019 here.


StaffJanuary 11, 2022


Cannabis lifestyle brand Pilgrim Soul raised $2 million in a strategic seed round from top tech, retail, and cannabis investors. The company said that the round includes investments from Merida Capital Holdings, Bee House, serial entrepreneur and Skip-Hop founder Michal Diament, and other well-known tech entrepreneurs. Additional brand advisors and equity holders include veteran NBA player and Viola Brands founder Al Harrington, Merlin Kauffman, founder of Soothe, and former Sperry & Club Monaco CMO Ann Watson.

The company was launched in October 2020 and created The Creative Thinking Journal and premium Live Resin Vape Pens (available in California) designed to help unlock the mind and release creative flow. Pilgrim Soul said in a statement that it has brought in $5.8M in revenue through The Pilgrim Soul Creative Thinking Journals, which maintains its position as one of the top 500 best-selling books on Amazon. The book retails for $29. The brand boasts a growing database of 250,000+ consumers who see the many benefits of enjoying and using cannabis for creativity, and has received a Clio Award for its innovative cannabis packaging. Pilgrim Soul said it is tapping into a significant and growing trend in creativity. Guided journals and courses focused on creativity have seen double-digit growth each year for the last decade as categories for self-help and creativity continue to skyrocket. 

“Through my previous experiences at Stanley Bros, MedMen and Lowell Herb Co., it became clear that the next wave of cannabis brands will be vertically focused, mission-driven, and built around a strong belief system where the cannabis itself is just a portion of the total brand package,” said Shawn Gold. 

In addition to the journal, Pilgrim Soul released a line of Live Resin Vape Pens in 2021 featuring exclusive blends of the most dynamic creative strains, available at top cannabis retailers in California including MedMen and Sweet Flower. In partnership with the scientists at AbstraxLabs, Pilgrim Soul analyzed 100+ cannabis strains that index high for creativity, along with secondary and tertiary states of mind. After identifying each strain’s common cannabinoid and terpene profiles, they developed a matrix to blend select strains to enhance a particular type of creative thinking, including Creative Awareness, Creative Imagination, Creative Focus, and Creative Reflection. 

Debra BorchardtDecember 14, 2021


After the market closed on Monday, Curaleaf announced that it has received commitments for a private placement of 8.0% Senior Secured Notes due 2026 for aggregate gross proceeds of $425 million.  It’s the largest single debt financing of any publicly-traded US cannabis company in history and at a rate that is also one of the lowest seen within the industry. 

Joseph Bayern, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF) said, “This offering will allow us to refinance our existing debt at a materially lower interest rate and provides us with additional financial flexibility to execute our strategic growth initiatives. While this initial offering provides more than enough liquidity to refinance our existing debt and meet current needs, the new Indenture provides us a new degree of flexibility to raise debt financing to ensure we have ample liquidity to meet our needs now and into the future.”

Stifel analyst Andrew Partheniou issued a note on the debt saying he maintains a buy rating on the company and a C$31 ($24) price target. His report stated, “We estimate the MSO could save roughly ~$20m of annual cash flow from refinancing (the largest outstanding rate at 13.0%), which translates to a ~13% accretion to our existing 2023e EPS forecast. Overall, we see the favorable terms as fruits of the company’s expansive footprint with the only MSO having a national presence, an attractive exposure to three REC market conversions in the tri-state area, and international optionality with the incoming German government indicating the desire to legalize cannabis.”

Partheniou went on to add that Curaleaf could issue additional notes as needed under a trust indenture for up to $200m, subject to leverage ratios among other conditions. “The transaction is expected to close Dec. 15, 2021 with proceeds expected to be used for refinancing and working capital,” he noted. “Proforma this deal, refinancing its entire existing debt of ~$360m,  repayment/financing fees and previously announced M&A, we estimate CURA’s proforma cash balance at ~$200m excluding potential proceeds of ~$155m from ITM securities. Its debt position paints an equally favorable picture at an estimated proforma ~$400m and a healthy ~8.5x interest coverage ratio or 1.4x debt/EBITDA. As a result, we believe the company could take on that additional financing and retain a strong balance sheet, providing for continued ammunition for further M&A or to fund organic growth initiatives across its vast platform.”

Stifel further illustrated the interest rate Curaleaf scored by comparing it to other MSOs and the rates they have been subject to. Some rates not are much better than a traditional credit card.

The analyst went on to state that his positive outlook on CURA is based on: “1) CURA being the largest cannabis company in the world, providing the benefit of not only ideal diversification with respect to state markets and the only company with a true national presence but also an attractive volume of deal flow; 2) a strong M&A track record with over $1b in deployed capital while also completing every transaction announced; and 3) best-in-class access to capital with the largest equity financing in the history of the US industry.”

StaffDecember 9, 2021


Financial services industry veteran, Adam Stettner has launched a new lending company, FundCanna to provide financing for growers, manufacturers, retailers, and all participants in the cannabis supply chain.  The company said it raised $30 million but could tap even more through its principals, investors and partners, including an extensive nationwide network built over the last 20+ years of financing American Small Businesses.

“The cannabis industry is in a rapid and dynamic phase requiring significant sources of working and growth capital that have not until now been available to it.  This lack of debt financing has hampered growth and driven up borrowing costs,” said Adam Stettner, co-founder, and CEO of FundCanna. “It is common for there to be a gap between the need to make payment and the time to turn purchases into revenue.  FundCanna will fill that gap and provide access to working capital for the licensed Cannabis Industry.  After having helped in facilitating and directly underwriting, originating, and servicing billions in small business and education loans, I am confident the skills and tools I and my team have developed will translate seamlessly to the cannabis industry.  Plainly said, FundCanna is here to solve the debt deficit in the cannabis industry.”

Stettner and his team of financial services industry executives have more than 20-years of lending experience, having facilitated more than $20 billion in funding across all credit types including business, personal, and student loans. Stettner was the CEO and founder of Reliant Funding prior to starting FundCanna.

With the cannabis banking language recently getting excluded from the NDAA, FundCanna may find its timing is auspicious. FundCanna noted in its statement that what little debt financing is available to the industry is generated by high-cost sources of capital including sale-lease backs, non-conforming asset-based loans, and other forms of debt capital that are more expensive than available to traditional, federally regulated industries.

FundCanna said it will initially launch with a suite of lending products specifically targeting distributors and their clients; these include distributors, growers, manufacturers, and retail industries plus the vendors servicing these groups.  Additionally, FundCanna will offer products to all other components of the cannabis supply chain.  The initial products will resemble factoring offerings, often seen in the garment and retail industries offering term loans of 30 to 180-days however, FundCanna offerings will be flexible and highly customizable.

Debra BorchardtDecember 8, 2021


In Congress, a new version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) did not include cannabis banking reform and the cannabis industry is pretty ticked off. The House originally passed its initial version of the NDAA in September that included the language that would protect banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses. The new Act did not include those provisions. In a sort of hail mary pass, Rep. Perlmutter filed an amendment in committee to attach the marijuana language to the legislation— but he ultimately didn’t insist on a vote. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), who is not on the Rules Committee but who is a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said it is “incredibly disappointing” that the cannabis language was taken out of NDAA.

Marijuana Moment also reported that “the new defense bill also excludes an NDAA amendment filed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) that would have streamlined the application process for researchers who want to investigate cannabis as well as manufacture the plant to be used in studies. It also doesn’t include a separate Schatz-led amendment to federally legalize medical marijuana for military veterans who comply with a state program where they live.”

Senator Schumer has insisted on focusing on full marijuana reform instead of tackling safe banking as a separate issue. This latest iteration will now go through both chambers again before potentially being sent to the president’s desk.

Cannabis industry executives were not pleased, to say the least.

“It’s disappointing to see cannabis banking ignored by lawmakers, when the reality is countless cannabis businesses are dealing with great pressure to access affordable traditional financial services, while adhering to their financial compliance obligations, and in trying to do so, continue to face treatment of a second class citizen. Until we have a solid system in place for banking opportunities, we will continue to see distrust in and of our industry, while permeating the challenges of transparency, regulation, and oversight. With all that being said, I will have to admit that I am not surprised by the lawmakers decision in pulling the plug on formal cannabis legislation making its way into a bill. Supporting the cannabis industry on a federal banking level (not legalization) will come with much greater regulatory oversight, not less, and it is apparent that lawmakers and regulators are grappling with a program that will protect the financial system and all its stakeholders. There is no denying the need to address it, it’s just to what length will regulation take it.” – Mark Lozzi, CEO of Confia

“Safe Banking is needed in the cannabis industry like any other real industry, the pandemic has proven the resilience of this market and the government moving as slow as it does is sheer proof that this industry needs disruption from the banking community. Payzel has been designed to work with the true banking leaders of our space and has even awarded the real banking innovators who have stepped up to support the industry in the hundreds of millions already loaned into this space to drive growth forward. These banks are what we lovingly call Frontier Finance Institutions. ”  Todd Kleperis, Founder Payzel

“Even if the SAFE Banking Act had made it into the final version of the NDAA, I am skeptical that banks would have adopted it and openly started doing business with cannabis companies. To see real reform for the industry we need standalone legislation that becomes law, not a rider to a spending bill that needs to be reauthorized every year.” – Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, CEO & co-founder of the Blinc Group

 “The federal government has to address the current climate marijuana businesses are forced to operate in, and help the industry through effective legislation,” said Ryan Hale, Chief Sales Officer at Operational Security Solutions (OSS). “This industry faces serious compliance and security issues, and business leaders struggle to find solutions. Meanwhile, we also aren’t surprised, as forcing SAFE Banking into the NDAA was observed by many to be a way to force its passage, without effective discussion and bipartisan support that the issue deserves.” – Ryan Hale/Operational Security Solutions

“The hard truth is that many banks may be servicing cannabis companies without even realizing it. Eventually, this often leads to many regulation and compliance issues when they get discovered by larger financial organizations such as the IRS. Less than 700 banks in the US are knowingly serving cannabis companies because they are fearful of the potential consequences on the federal level. It’s a shame that SAFE Banking has been removed from the defense spending bill because, if passed, it could have encouraged many more financial institutions to create cannabis banking programs and allowed more cannabis-related businesses to end their high-risk, dangerous cash-only operations and operate with the same level of safety as other significant revenue-generating industries.” – Andrew Montgomery/HD Compliance

“It’s a shame but not a surprise that once again cannabis has been excluded from vital legislation in the US. The SAFE Banking Act could bring a lot of equity and security to the cannabis industry but still, it continues to be overlooked. Until we give cannabis companies fair and safe access to banking, it isn’t likely that the legal cannabis industry will outpace the rapidly growing illicit one. Many legitimate cannabis companies haven’t been able to spend the time or resources to join the legal cannabis industry because of the significant lack of banking and lending services. We are hopeful that other legislators will pick up the bill and either try to get support across the aisle once again as a standalone issue or weave it into other important legislation in early 2022.” – Blake Schroeder/Medical Marijuana Inc.

One voice reasoned that it actually may all work out.

“Perhaps, as some have suggested, this creates more of a potential opening for legalization in 2022. I personally think that’s correct, because the risk to the industry is that the President signs SAFE Banking, and then Congress does nothing else for a long time (because it already made an accommodation for the industry), leaving cannabis with modestly useful change to two aspects of doing business and nothing else. Or maybe, if the legalization push fails, there’s chatter about whether Congress might expand SAFE Banking to include non-bank financial services and 280E relief.” – Marc Hauser Counsel and Chair, Cannabis Practice Team at Reed Smith LLP, and Author of Cannabis Musings

StaffDecember 3, 2021


WM Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAPS) filed a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 2, 2021 to register for resale shares of Class A common stock of the company previously issued as partial consideration for previously announced acquisitions that occurred in the fiscal third quarter of 2021. Weedmaps said it would not receive any proceeds from the sales of the shares.

In the third quarter Weedmaps bought MembersRSVP, LLC and Text Ripple, Inc. collectively known as “Sprout” and the equity interests of Transport Logistics Holding Company also known as Merry Go Jane (“Cannveya and Canncurrent”). As part of the deal, Weedmaps issued a total of 1,938,798 shares of Class A common stock to certain stakeholders of the counterparties to such transactions.

Back in June, Weedmaps combined with the SPAC Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. and became known as WMH and Silver Spike changed its name to WM Technology, Inc.

As a result of the Business Combination, holders of units of WMH will be able to exchange such Units, together with corresponding shares of Class V common stock of the company, for Class A common stock of the Company during Quarterly Exchange Notice Periods, the first of which begins on the third business day after the Company announces its Q4 FY21 earnings. The company though has not released a date for that announcement. After any such exchange, such holders would be able to sell their shares of Class A Common Stock.

StaffDecember 1, 2021


The newest cannabis SPAC (special purpose acquisition corp.) Canna-Global Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: CNGLU) priced its initial public offering of $200 million and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on Tuesday using the ticker symbol “CNGLU”. The SPAC said it has not selected a business combination target or spoken to any companies about becoming the qualifying transaction. It did say in a statement that it will target a business addressing a large market opportunity with a company that is driving its growth in the medicinal cannabis or cannabinoid industry but only in a federally legal market.

The company is led by its Chief Executive Officer, J. Gerald (“Gerry”) Combs. Combs also serves as the CEO of CASH International Asset Management Ltd., a Hong Kong-headquartered asset management business. The SPAC’s chief financial officer is George Koi Ming Yap, who also runs the Sydney, Australia-based financial consulting firm KMYG Global. However, the company did state in its filing its plans to avoid targeting any businesses in Hong Kong or China.

Offering Details

Each unit consists of one share of the Company’s Class A common stock and one redeemable warrant entitling the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock at a price of $11.50 per share. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the shares of Class A common stock and warrants are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “CNGL” and “CNGLW” respectively.

EF Hutton, division of Benchmark Investments, LLC, is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering. The company has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 3,000,000 units at the initial public offering price to cover over-allotments if any. The offering is expected to close on December 2, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

Debra BorchardtNovember 18, 2021


RIV Capital Inc. (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) released its unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the quarter ending September 30, 2021, with a business update that mostly focused on The Hawthorne Collective. In August, a newly-formed cannabis-focused subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG), invested $150 million in RIV Capital through an unsecured convertible note.

With regards to actual financials, Riv Capital reported an operating loss of $1.7 million for the quarter, net of a provision for expected credit losses of $2.1 million. The loss per share was ($0.01). This primarily consisted of royalty and interest income (before provisions for expected credit losses) generated from the Company’s royalty and debenture agreements with Agripharm Corp., 10831425 Canada Ltd. d/b/a/ Greenhouse Juice Company, and NOYA Cannabis Inc., offset by a provision for expected credit losses on the company’s royalty receivables.

In addition to that, Riv Capital reported a total comprehensive loss of $1.1 million for the quarter versus last year’s total comprehensive loss of $87 million, primarily attributable to several charges related to the company’s former investment in PharmHouse Inc.

“Following the close of the convertible note investment from The Hawthorne Collective, we have been solely focused on narrowing our pipeline of potential acquisition targets in strategic U.S. markets,” said Narbé Alexandrian, President, and CEO, RIV Capital. “We continue to advance discussions with a select number of target companies that we believe embody the qualities we are looking for in our U.S. operating and brand platform, and look forward to making an announcement further to this in the coming months.”

Riv Capital reported that the operating expenses were $5.1 million for the quarter. General and administrative expenses were $3.0 million for the quarter, primarily attributable to employee compensation (including the recognition and payment of certain non-recurring variable compensation expenses) and other public company costs. Consulting and professional fees were $1.8 million for the quarter, primarily attributable to legal and consulting fees related to transaction advisory expenses and other public company and regulatory advisory costs.

“With approximately $400 million in cash on our balance sheet, and potential access to further capital through our strategic partnership, RIV Capital is well-positioned to accelerate the operating and expansion plans of existing U.S. cannabis businesses,” said Eddie Lucarelli, Chief Financial Officer, RIV Capital. “We believe that our substantial liquidity is a core differentiator of our platform and positions us well to build a market leader in the U.S.”


StaffOctober 25, 2021


The inaugural Frontier Finance Awards were named last week at the MJBiz conference in Las Vegas Nevada where Currency Research was broadcasting The Cash Show live from the event.  Awarding the prizes to each bank was noted industry veteran Todd Kleperis who founded cannabis banking solution company Payzel after selling his armored car business in cannabis.

The Frontier Finance Award was given to Fresno First Bank for “Growth In Market” and First Federal Bank received the “Strongest Growth in Lending.” This is the first time banks have competed for the best bank in Cannabis.  Banks have notoriously been remiss about their work in cannabis but the tide is changing and more banks are competing for the best financial performances they have done to gain industry acceptance.

Kleperis was best known previously as the founder of HARDCAR which moved the currency for the cannabis industry as well as moved the product for some of the best brands in cannabis.  HARDCAR was the first company in the nation to both move the product and cash as a legal cannabis distribution company and armored car firm. Having moved billions of dollars and seeing where the industry was headed, Todd sold HARDCAR and pursued building a fintech firm.

Payzel was formed out of his work at Harvard University where he met his now co-founder, Lauren Cohen a noted expert on fintech.  The two set out to change the face of banking high risk industries and have brought forward amazing banks that already are in the hardest frontier industry there is today. Payzel has received funding from The Holt Exchange, the largest fintech group in Canada.  At the forefront of any industry, there are those that take the risks to make things happen. Payzel believes those frontier industries are the way of the future and deserve banking today.



StaffOctober 18, 2021


On Friday, the newest cannabis SPAC Achari Ventures Holdings Corp. I announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 10,000,000 units at a price of $10.00 per unit. The units are expected to be listed on the Nasdaq Global Market and trade under the ticker symbol “AVHIU” beginning October 15, 2021.

Achari Sponsor Holdings I LLC is an affiliate of Achari Ventures and is led by Vikas Desai, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors; Mitch Hara, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer; and Merrick Friedman, Chief Investment Officer, and Director. The rest of the all-male team includes Mark Pelson, Seth Farbman, Kevin K. Albert, Harry DeMott, and Tim Seymour. Achari Ventures said it will be focused on the cannabis industry. Hara was Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Development at Clever Leaves International, Inc. (formerly known as Northern Swan Holdings) (NASDAQ: CLVR) from 2019 to 2020, where he was responsible for all of the company’s investments, acquisitions and business development efforts.

“Our team has been an active and early participant in the cannabis industry, having identified, early on, its significant potential for explosive growth,” said Vikas Desai, Chief Executive Officer of Achari. “We believe a unique opportunity exists to partner with an established and successful company in the space, leveraging our capital, industry and operating expertise to rapidly scale its business as the cannabis regulatory environment matures.”

Like other SPACs, Achari will be looking for acquisition opportunities with an ancillary (non-plant touching) company in the cannabis industry, including equipment, hardware, technology/software, or hydroponics. They are looking for a company doing at least $50 million of revenue with a clear pathway to $200 million over five years. The group also said in its SEC filing that it prefers the smaller size of the SPAC because the larger size has a limited amount of targets.

Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase three-quarters of one share of common stock at a price of $11.50 per share. Because the warrants may only be exercised for whole numbers of shares, only a number in multiples of four warrants may be exercised at any given time. Once the securities comprising the units begin trading separately, the Company expects that the common stock and redeemable warrants will be listed on the Nasdaq under the symbols “AVHI” and “AVHIW,” respectively.

Chardan is serving as sole book-running manager.  Reed Smith LLP acted as counsel to the Company, and White and Williams LLP acted as counsel to Chardan. The company has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,500,000 units at the initial public offering price to cover over-allotments, if any.

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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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