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StaffJanuary 24, 2023
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1min4580

22% – How many Maryland flower consumers say Cookies is their favorite brand

When Cookies enters a market, consumers take note. The brand rises to the top of awareness and purchasing quickly. Besides Maryland, Cookies is also at the top of the purchasing funnel in Michigan and Nevada.

Source: Brightfield Group, US Cannabis Product Brand Health, Q3 2022


StaffOctober 11, 2022

1min22770

There’s always a lot going on in cannabis, and we don’t always know what the next thing will be. That said, here’s a list of some of the things we’ll be watching this week:

  • Inflation, taxes, slumping sales – all of these factors contribute to challenging financial conditions for cannabis operators. But some “solutions” create even more problems for the supply chain and the industry at large.
  • The midterm elections are four weeks away, and a handful of states will be voting on legalization measures.
  • New York hasn’t provided a timeline for announcing license winners, but we’re keeping an eye out for those announcements – and any additional challenges to the process.

What should we be watching? Have a tip? Email us at newstip@greenmarketreport.com.


StaffOctober 10, 2022

1min3740

There’s always a lot going on in cannabis, and we don’t always know what the next thing will be. That said, here’s a list of some of the things we’ll be watching this week:

  • The third quarter was one to forget for many cannabis companies. But will they start seeing green as we head into the Golden Quarter?
  • New California regulations could create even more problems for product manufacturers.
  • In the wake of Biden’s announcement, the stage is set for dramatic action at the federal level. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the developments.

What should we be watching? Have a tip? Email us at newstip@greenmarketreport.com.


StaffSeptember 30, 2022

2min6430

Good morning! We’re glad to be in your inbox today!

Welcome to Green Market Report’s The Morning Rise newsletter.

Even if you’re already subscribed to our Daily Hit, we believe you’ll find value in this newest addition to our news and information lineup.

What you can expect from The Morning Rise

Unlike The Daily Hit or the Weekly Stash, which recap the news we’ve already covered, The Morning Rise will provide you with new original content from our team on timely topics in the cannabis industry.

You’ll also see unique features that let you peer behind the GMR curtain to see what we’re up to. For example, Monday’s newsletter will feature “what we’re watching this week” to give you a heads up on the content to come.

In addition, we will provide you with quick-hit data snapshots to keep you up to speed on the industry and insights into what didn’t make the stories last week, including the colorful quotes from industry insiders that just didn’t fit in the final product.

This is a new adventure for us too, so we welcome feedback! What would you like to see more of? What’s not hitting the mark for you? Feel free to reach out to me directly at jenel@greenmarketreport.com to let me know.

Thanks for reading and enjoy The Morning Rise!

Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier, managing editor


StaffSeptember 30, 2022

1min5490

There’s always a lot going on in cannabis, and we don’t always know what the next thing will be. That said, here’s a list of some of the things we’ll be watching this week:

  • Vermont’s first week of adult-use sales: At least three retailers said they were ready to launch, but will the state’s industry be plagued by some of the same challenges seen as other markets have come online?
  • Maryland looks like it’s getting closer to becoming the 20th state to legalize adult-use cannabis.
  • Tilray Brands (NASDAQ: TLRY) will be reporting earnings on Friday. Piper Sandler analysts have adopted a gloomy outlook on the company by cutting its fiscal year 2023 estimates.

What should we be watching? Have a tip? Email us at newstip@greenmarketreport.com.


Dave HodesJuly 21, 2022
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13min2431

When a psychedelic substance gets to Phase 3 trials, like the one completed by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) with MDMA in August 2021, there is a general sense of relief. It’s been a long journey from Phase 1 for most substances in a clinical trial process—up to four years for Phase 3 alone in some cases. And only 33 percent of experimental drugs move from Phase 2 to Phase 3.

But getting to Phase 3 signals an extra red alert for any psychedelic company working the process to get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

According to an investigative article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, Phase 3 clinical trials provide the highest level of evidence that an experimental treatment is safe and efficacious. But many of these trials for investigational or experimental drugs like psychedelics, which typically involve large numbers of patients, and require substantial investment on the part of participants, investigators, and sponsors, fail at this stage. 

Only 25 to 30 percent of experimental drugs are approved by the FDA at this stage, and move out of Phase 3 to Phase 4 trials.

Using public sources and commercial databases covering drugs and biologics that started trials between 1998 and 2008, the investigative article reported that roughly half of investigational drugs entering late-stage clinical development fail during or after pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials, primarily because of concerns about safety, efficacy, or both. Results for the majority of studies of investigational drugs that fail are not published in peer-reviewed journals—just 8 percent, according to the JAMA investigative article, demonstrating a lack of information sharing that could cause other trials to waste time and resources if their trials use similar methodologies.

For psychedelics specifically, there is historical context for problematic clinical trials. Research on psychedelic drugs in psychiatry in the 1950s and 1960s was abandoned for a number of reasons, according to a research paper published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

A major factor was that clinical research on psychedelic drugs was caught up in the tighter regulation of pharmaceutical research after the Thalidomide disaster in 1963. (Thalidomide was used to treat nausea in pregnant women, but was later discovered to create severe birth defects.)

Psychedelic drugs also presented special challenges for randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials in the 1970s that were not as positive as the claims made by their advocates in the 1950s and 1960s. Clinical research became more difficult after 1965 when Sandoz ceased providing psychedelic drugs for research, and their nonmedical use was prohibited in 1970.

But, contrary to the usual narrative, the demise of psychedelic drug research was not solely due to the “War on Drugs.” The NIH research paper said that the demise of psychedelic research came about in part because of the pharmaceutical industry’s lack of interest in funding clinical trials.

All that changed around 2000, when psychedelic clinical trials started up again and, since then, have gained momentum especially over the last few years.

Now, there are 111 psilocybin clinical trials in some stage of development, the majority of them announced or begun between 2019 and 2022; 117 clinical trials with MDMA, with 17 announced or begun in 2022 alone; and 30 clinical trials of LSD.

But to be sure, there are still clinical trial difficulties. One recently withdrawn psilocybin study was ended because of violations of good clinical practices, or GCP. These could be violations of getting informed consent, adherence to protocol, or reporting of serious adverse events during the trial.

Another psilocybin study was withdrawn because the sponsor of the study changed. The study will be released, managed and registered by another institution who will be acting as a responsible party, according to the trial record.

There are a host of other reasons that a psychedelics clinical trial was terminated, including staff turnover, lack of funds, and insufficient patient population for study enrollment. 

Clinical trials have also failed in general because human subjects not responding to the drug the way that animal models do, or because of an insufficient understanding of how the investigational product interacts with the body.

Unexpected results from clinical trials can be devastating. One example: When Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS) announced their Phase 2b clinical trial with psilocybin for treatment resistant depression in November, 2021—the largest randomized, controlled, double-blind psilocybin therapy study ever completed.

The main issue? 12 patients out of 233 reported treatment-emergent serious adverse events (TESAE) that included suicidal behavior, intentional self-injury, and suicidal ideation.

The Compass Pathways stock declined significantly—as did some other psychedelic companies as news of the trial results rippled through the industry. Compass Pathways’ stock decline from the results of that September, 2021 trial continued through 2022 (though its showing signs of recovery today).

Psychedelics is helping drive more innovation when it comes to clinical trials. There are new ideas emerging in clinical trial structure for psychedelics. The FDA developed the “fast track” process to facilitate development and expedite review of drugs to fill an unmet need, such as psychedelics for PTSD. 

And there is a fairly new concept from the FDA’s critical path initiative in 2006 called the adaptive design clinical trial, defined as a design that allows modifications to the trial and/or statistical procedures of the trial after its initiation without undermining its validity and integrity.

The purpose is to make clinical trials more flexible, efficient and fast. 

Due to the level of flexibility involved, these trial designs are also termed as “flexible designs.” It is being used now by MAPS in their Phase 2 trials. That kind of design is common for drugs with limited investment (either because they are being developed by nonprofits, because they have limited revenue potential if approved, or for rare conditions).

Recent policymaking aimed at stimulating pharmaceutical innovation has focused on allowing drugs to be approved on the basis of smaller data sets, according to the JAMA investigative article. Some commentators have proposed waiving the need for phase 3 testing, although others

have responded that approval before rigorous study could worsen health outcomes by leading to widespread use of toxic or ineffective drugs that would have otherwise been shown to

have failed. “As many investigational products fail in late stage development because of inadequate efficacy or safety, our findings suggest that additional efforts to promote drug

development should be directed at improving the validity of preclinical models for use in translational research and increasing the number of innovative products entering trials,” the research article concluded. “The timely publication of trial results for all investigational agents,

including those that fail in late-stage clinical development, is imperative.”


Debra BorchardtJune 14, 2022
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6min1500

The Daily Hit is a recap of the top cannabis business stories for June 13, 2022. Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to publish this recap yesterday.

ON THE SITE

High Times on the Hook for $5M in Back Rent

Harvest Health or rather Trulieve (OTC: TCNNF) since it bought Harvest Health must be heaving a sigh of relief that it’s High Times on the hook for the rent at Geary St. in San Francisco. Before it was acquired Harvest Health had tried to quickly jump into the San Francisco market by signing numerous agreements. One of them was with Alexis Bronson from the Have A Heart 2 CA LLC  as a social equity licensee for a dispensary at a prime shopping spot on the famous Geary Street. Read more here.

Ayr Wellness Kicks Off New Jersey Rec Sales this Week

Ayr Wellness (OTC: AYRWF) will kick off its adult-use sales in New Jersey this Wednesday June 16th at three dispensaries. Ayr’s adult-use dispensaries are in Woodbridge, Union, and Eatontown, all within Central New Jersey, a region of 3.4 million people. Ayr’s adult-use stores represent 3 of 5 adult-use stores in this highly populated region. Ayr currently operates its New Jersey dispensaries under the Garden State Dispensary banner. Read more here.

RIV Capital Preps for New York Adult Use Sales

RIV Capital Inc. (CSE: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. For the fourth quarter Riv Capital reported a net loss of $17 million versus last year’s net loss of $21 million for the same time period. The company had an operating loss in the fourth quarter of $2 million. Riv said the loss was primarily driven by an increase in the provision for expected credit losses on interest and royalty receivables. Read more here. Read more here.

Measuring Psychedelic Investing Risk

Biotechnology is always a dicey business to create, run, and make profitable. Psychedelics add a difficulty factor of 10 to that equation. Currently, there are many psychedelic companies still working their compound through clinical trials—with no actual product to market and sell for years. Much of the real success of any psychedelic business hinges on the completion of clinical trials and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, which takes serious time and money and is never guaranteed. Read more here.

IN OTHER NEWS

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Adds Brian Sandoval to Board

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), marketers of branded consumer lawn and garden as well as hydroponic and indoor growing products, announced today that The Honorable Brian Sandoval has been named to its Board of Directors. Governor Sandoval served two terms as the 29th Governor of the State of Nevada, having held office from 2011 to 2019. He is currently the President of the University of Nevada, Reno, a position he has held since 2020. Read more here.

Chemistree Technology Inc.

Chemistree Technology Inc. (CSE: CHM) and (OTCQB: CHMJF), provided Notice of the semi-annual payment of interest on its convertible debentures maturing March 29, 2024.  Pursuant to the Supplemental Indenture entered into with the Debenture Trustee, Odyssey Trust Company, effective January 17, 2022, the Company will pay the interest due on June 30, 2022 – via the issuance of common shares in lieu of payment in cash. Read more here.


StaffFebruary 18, 2022
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16min1810

Vertosa

Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer at Vertosa

 

When did you formally enter the cannabis space?

Well I’ve been consuming cannabis for much longer than I’ve been working in the industry…but I got involved in the ‘professional’ cannabis industry nearly a decade ago, when I was an advisor to an accelerator in agriculture technology in Africa. I went to the MIT Innovation Laboratory, and I saw African farmers cultivating green leafy vegetables in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, via hydroponic indoor cultivation in freight containers. Seeing this piqued my curiosity, so when I got back to the U.S. and put my detective hat on and learned that it was really the cannabis industry that was driving innovation in terms of indoor, vertical farming. At that point, I took it as an opportunity to dive in and get started, as an advisor at a cannabis accelerator in Colorado.

My cannabis career evolved from advising to investing, then operating different cannabis businesses. Immediately prior to joining Vertosa, I led the regulatory Hemp/CBD testing program for Eurofins Scientific – a world leader in food, environment, and product testing services – where I built and designed quality testing protocols for CVS Pharmacy and other retailers who carry Hemp/CBD products.

It was during my time at Eurofins that I really got to see the good, the bad and the ugly of infused products. I identified major inconsistency issues for product potency and stability, which I knew needed to be corrected for the industry to progress and succeed long term and of course to build consumer trust.

Serendipitously, around the same time an old friend, someone who I respected in the cannabis investing arena, now Co-Founder and Vertosa CEO Ben Larson, reached out to me. He said he has been working with a PhD scientist focused on applying his expertise in surface chemistry to creating emulsion systems to infuse beverages and topicals with cannabis, ensuring precise potency and consistently stable products. This turned out to be Vertosa Co-Founder and CSO Dr. Harold Han — he was correcting the major issues I identified in the infused products industry while working at Eurofins. I knew we had to work together to help solve these problems in the cannabis-infused products supply chain.

What made you decide to work in the cannabis industry?

People, Products, and IMPACT! I simply love designing new and innovative products and watching how they impact people. I am energized by collaborating with teams, debating ideas, learning from different perspectives, and nurturing relationships with my team and partners. There is an immense amount of joy I experience when I’m able to help someone take an idea and turn it into a real, tangible product which they can taste and feel!

Additionally, I feel the unique intersection between product innovation, and public policy drives my passion to participate in the cannabis and hemp industry. For years, consumers have been limited to traditional forms of cannabis (flower and hash oil). In the past, many consumers (including myself) have been forced to hide, and enjoy the healing properties of the plant in secrecy because of regulatory restrictions. We’re now in one of the most transformative time periods in the modern age. With smartphone technologies, the world’s vast knowledge database is literally at our fingertips. Science is leading new product innovation, and cannabis is legal and more accessible than ever. By combining knowledge, science, and access, we now have an opportunity to recreate the narrative and redefine how and why cannabis is used around the world.

As a result of legalization, new jobs, products, and opportunities are developing. But with great opportunity there is great responsibility. This is the reason why I am an advocate for equity grants, workforce development, and other private and public mechanisms to fund start-up businesses run by people of color and others impacted by the War on Drugs. This is also the reason WHY we at VERTOSA have designed an INNOVATION PLATFORM and are committed to GIVING VALUE AND EMPOWERING ALL ENTREPRENEURS that have an idea AND BRINGING IT TO LIFE!

Do you feel there is more opportunity for Black Americans in the cannabis industry versus a more traditional industry? Yes or no and why?

Growing up my mother always said, “nothing in life will just be given to you, especially because being Black in America means you’ll need to work twice as hard for the same opportunity”. To that end, I feel that there is no real difference in the amount of opportunities for Black Americans in the cannabis industry versus traditional industries. In fact there may be fewer, because of the many barriers to entry which the cannabis industry imposes: economic barriers, organizational barriers like nepotism, regulatory barriers, the list goes on…

Yet, we all know this is a once in a generation opportunity to be a part of something as great as standing up a new industry – regardless of your race. So I am reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote, “[we] will not be judged by the color of [our] skin but by the content of [our] character”.

Reminded of those famous words by Dr. King, and my Mother’s encouraging words, we as Black Americans must continue to work hard to create the opportunities we deserve. Personally, I believe the best way to do that is to lead by example. I AM driven to serve others, and am most passionate about economic empowerment for the communities I serve. Since my days in microfinance, empowering other BIPOC and women entrepreneurs is my reason WHY. As industry builders, we are also job-creators, and with a positive intention to create more opportunities for all, we have the opportunity to create more jobs and opportunities to lift each other up!  As a result, we may truly “be the change [we] see in the world”. That’s why I am so grateful to my co-founders, who share the belief that we must first build a company that is the best place to work in the cannabis industry. With that positive intention at the beginning, we now have one of the most diverse teams in the cannabis industry, and are continuing to create more opportunities for others to join us in our mission to unlock the healing power of the cannabis plant, and make it more approachable and accessible to all!

 What is the most successful social equity effort in your opinion? Can be a charity or company program.

It’s too early to validate any effort as successful. In many states equity programs are just now starting to be built, and there is still a long road ahead. What I will say is collaboration is the new competition and we have an opportunity to start a movement that calls out cannabis operators who prioritize profit over people and products. The cannabis industry is as diverse as the country we live in. It is full of amazing leaders who are people of color, women, LGBTQ, and other minorities. However, many of the cannabis products on retailers’ shelves today are not made or representative of this diverse community that the space intends to serve. Instead, those who have always benefited from privilege continue to benefit in the burgeoning industry, and the privilege gap will continue to widen unless we create a movement that helps amplify the voices of BIPOC, Women, LGBTQ, and Minority entrepreneurs. So what’s the solution / path forward?

First, we can use consumer advocacy groups to demand current cannabis brands/manufacturers to donate a percentage of revenue to sponsor grants for minority cannabis entrepreneurs. This is something I’m personally supporting as an Advisor for EAZE’s Momentum Program.

Second, we can use local and state regulatory programs to create equity awards and licenses for underserved minority populations. This is another initiative that I am supporting as a Member of the City of Oakland’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

Third, those that ‘have’ must ‘give’. Companies who are profiting off cannabis today must ‘give-back’. If it’s not through grant funding, then by supporting an equity license for a minority to start their own company. Then ‘give’ job training and internship opportunities to all those that have been convicted of a non-violent marijuana crime. Re-entry programs for those whose lives were turned upside down from this plant, which is now a multi-billion-dollar industry, is an immediate opportunity to ‘right’ many of the ‘wrongs’.

Vertosa is helping these initiatives through our work with the Last Prisoner Project, EAZE Momentum, and Our Dream. In summary, profiteering only exacerbates inequality. Grants, Equity Licenses, and Job Training are requirements to create a more equitable cannabis industry. Professionals in the industry have a responsibility to re-write history by leading by example and creating an inclusive, equitable, and diverse cannabis community. By applying pressure at the national, state, and local levels, we have an opportunity to rise and shine together!

What is your personal goal for 2022?

Goal setting is core to who I am, so I have many personal and professional goals for myself this year. The purpose of goals is to set a target and achieve it; or to identify a problem, and solve it. Reflecting on myself, one challenge that I have been faced with is ‘perfectionism’. Too many times, I’ve let my desire to be perfect get in the way of progress. So the one (1) personal goal which I remind myself every single day when I look in the mirror (it’s literally written on a post-it on the mirror) is a quote from Lorenzo Snow, “Do not expect to become perfect at once. If you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today.” Thus, I am confident that if I am constantly striving to be better than I was the previous day, that I will accomplish all that I set out to achieve.


StaffNovember 17, 2021
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4min1580

Poseidon Investment Management announced the launch of the AdvisorShares Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF (Ticker: PSDN). The PSDN ETF began trading on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, is sponsored by AdvisorShares. It will be sub-advised and managed by the Poseidon team, including co-founders and Managing Directors Emily Paxhia and Morgan Paxhia and Managing Director Tyler Greif. Poseidon is one of the earliest cannabis investing teams that has $196 million in assets under management as of August 2021. 

“Poseidon was one of the first investment firms dedicated to cannabis investments, navigating this complex and evolving industry to help companies grow and thrive from startups to public companies,” said Emily Paxhia, co-founder and Managing Director of Poseidon, and Portfolio Manager of PSDN. “Our track record speaks to our deep knowledge of the space and our commitment to understanding the needs of the companies we invest in. PSDN broadens the reach of our unique investment philosophy and provides simple, secure, accessible investing into one of the world’s most exciting asset classes.”

ETF’s Have Underperformed

Poseidon will have their work cut out for them. Cannabis ETF’s have mostly underperformed this year as the underlying stocks have been wallowing in a seeming never ending bear market. AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (Ticker: MSOS) reached a year high of $55 but was lately selling shares at $30, while AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (Ticker: YOLO)  hit a year’s high of $31 and was recently selling its shares at $16. The Cannabis ETF (THCX) also topped out this year at $30 and was lately selling at $12 a share.

Poseidon said that the fund will try to identify companies strategically positioned to benefit from the cannabis industry and its supporting infrastructure in the U.S. and emerging global cannabis markets. PSDN’s portfolio is diversified across subsectors of the cannabis industry and dynamically managed to tactically overweight or underweight specific countries, subsectors, or individual companies. PSDN said it may seek to take advantage of specific market opportunities by intelligently using leverage to maximize potential returns. If the values of the underlying stocks start to recover, the PSDN’s timing could be quite good.

“We are excited to partner with an established and experienced team like Poseidon to bring their institutional portfolio management approach into the mainstream investment infrastructure,” said Noah Hamman, chief executive officer of AdvisorShares. “Active ETFs in the cannabis space continue to gain traction with investors seeking to access managers with proven success records in the fast-growing, dynamic industry.”

 


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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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