News - Page 3 of 406

StaffOctober 12, 2021
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It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for October 12, 2021. 

On The Site

Flowhub

Cannabis retail point-of-sale company Flowhub, has raised $19 million with some help from Headline, Poseidon, and a personal investment from world-renowned rapper, entrepreneur, and entertainment mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. The company has so far raised to nearly $50 million and is currently valued at over $200 million. 

MJBiz vs. Unpacked

Before COVID, the MJ Business Daily Conference in Las Vegas was the “go to” event for people in the cannabis industry. Over 30,000 people attended the last pre-pandemic conference as a testament to its popularity. Also in the past during the MJBiz event, there have been several other events that have tried to ride the coattails of the massive conference. The thought behind such a strategy is that if so many industry people are going to be there, why not try to capitalize on that?   So there have been investor events, women-focused events, etc. However, they mostly complemented the main event versus competing head-on. That has changed this year. Former MJ Biz executive George Jage, who is often credited with making the MJ Biz event so successful, is hosting his own conference called MJ Unpacked. During the same time and at the literal opposite side of Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay hotel. The biggest difference between the two is that Unpacked is narrowly targeted on retail and brands with a  vetted investor attendance, while MJBiz has something for everyone. Although it could be argued that the exhibitor floor tends to skew heavily towards cultivation and production. 

PharmaCann

Privately-held PharmaCann Inc. is buying Colorado-based LivWell Enlightened Health for an undisclosed amount. Once the deal is closed, PharmaCann and LivWell would operate approximately 60 dispensaries and 11 cultivation and production facilities across eight states. LivWell has grown from a single location to a  multi-state cannabis company with operations in Colorado and Michigan. LivWell is a vertically integrated seed-to-sale cannabis retailer. In addition to cultivating cannabis, LivWell researches, extracts, and manufactures its own brands to consistently bring its customers quality products across multiple categories including topicals, edibles, tinctures, CBD pet tinctures, concentrates, and vaporizers.

In Other News

MedMen Founders

Law360 reported that a company run by the ousted co-founders of cannabis giant MedMen has voluntarily dismissed a pair of suits against a California dispensary chain it had invested in, Coastal Holding Co., which they had accused of planning to sell off the company without consulting the shareholders. “LMAJ LLC’s one-page dismissal notices, filed Thursday in both cases, do not indicate why the entity opted to drop the suits. The dismissals come the same week that Jay-Z-backed California cannabis company the Parent Co. announced its plans to acquire Coastal for up to $56.2 million in cash and company shares.”

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web Holdings (OTCQX: CWBHF) announced that its corporate farm acreage, and its 137,000 sq. ft. Louisville, a Colo.-based manufacturing and R&D facility, earned U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification. This certification paves the way for several product lines to carry the USDA Organic Seal.

“Farming is governed by a natural law based on give and take, and we have learned the more we give to our soil through organic and regenerative practices, the more we get back,” said Ray Sitorius, Director of Farming Operations. “Earning organic certification validates our land stewardship and Charlotte’s Web’s ongoing commitment to farm in balance with nature and our living soil.”

 


StaffOctober 12, 2021
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Cannabis retail point-of-sale company Flowhub, has raised $19 million with some help from Headline, Poseidon, and a personal investment from world-renowned rapper, entrepreneur, and entertainment mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. The company has so far raised to nearly $50 million and is currently valued at over $200 million.

“We are thrilled to announce this capital raise. Headline is an incredible Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, Poseidon is a pioneer investor in the cannabis industry and Jay-Z is a cultural and creative global force no matter the industry he is involved in,” said Kyle Sherman, founder, and CEO of Flowhub. “I couldn’t think of a better group to be working with as we take this company to the next stage. This funding not only underscores the significant value that Flowhub provides to our customers, but also the maturation of the cannabis industry at large. We remain committed to developing innovative products that help our retail customers run better businesses.”

Flowhub said the additional money will speed up its expansion into emerging markets, develop its product line and grow its social equity program. Launched in June 2021, Flowhub’s social equity program invests in those who have been adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. Per the program, eligible social equity business owners receive Flowhub’s POS software discounted at $4.20 for up to three years, the mobile Stash and Greet apps, the View app, and free implementation. So far, Flowhub has awarded over $1 million worth of software products to eligible cannabis entrepreneurs via this program.

Flowhub processes more than $3 billion in cannabis sales annually and is trusted by over 1,000 dispensaries. Built specifically to serve the highly regulated cannabis industry, Flowhub helps dispensaries operate compliantly, effortlessly expand, and deliver exceptional guest experiences. By automating the compliance process that cannabis retailers have to deal with on a daily basis and helping dispensaries sell smarter, Flowhub is working to enable a future where cannabis is accessible to every adult on planet Earth.

Recently, Flowhub appointed Leandre Johns as Chief Operating Officer. The former Uber executive was brought in to help shape the business for the next stage of growth. The company also announced a recent integration by Weedmaps (NASDAQ: MAPS) to streamline online ordering for consumers and Flowhub-powered cannabis retailers.


Debra BorchardtOctober 12, 2021
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Before COVID, the MJ Business Daily Conference in Las Vegas was the “go to” event for people in the cannabis industry. Over 30,000 people attended the last pre-pandemic conference as a testament to its popularity. Also in the past during the MJBiz event, there have been several other events that have tried to ride the coattails of the massive conference. The thought behind such a strategy is that if so many industry people are going to be there, why not try to capitalize on that?  

So there have been investor events, women-focused events, etc. However, they mostly complemented the main event versus competing head-on. That has changed this year. Former MJ Biz executive George Jage, who is often credited with making the MJ Biz event so successful, is hosting his own conference called MJ Unpacked. During the same time and at the literal opposite side of Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay hotel. 

The biggest difference between the two is that Unpacked is narrowly targeted on retail and brands with a  vetted investor attendance, while MJBiz has something for everyone. Although it could be argued that the exhibitor floor tends to skew heavily towards cultivation and production. 

Also, if you’ve ever been to MJ Biz, you learn that a large portion of your budget goes to car services. The Las Vegas Convention Center, where MJ Biz is located,  isn’t the place to have a very private meeting and while MJ Biz did create a separate meeting area for companies at the last in-person event, many meetings often take place at hotels outside of the convention hall. Hence, the copious amount of time and money spent on car services – not to mention the grueling line waiting for a cab or car service. Now with a split focus, attendees will be forced to choose how much time to spend at each (if attempting to attend each event) and the expense of traveling back and forth. 

Scott Jordan the founder of Alternative Finance Network said, “I will be attending both shows in Vegas this month and see tremendous value in both opportunities. As someone who has attended MJBiz since 2012, my view is that it’s great to have a show that is as segmented as this show will be. I also look forward to seeing what George will put together for Unpacked, which will have a more intimate feel. Both shows will offer very different experiences but a ton of value in terms of education, networking opportunities, and connecting with peers in the industry.”

While Dhaval Shah said, “Competing events at the same time doesn’t benefit anyone or any side. Go to one and lose out on connections at the other and vice versa.” He went on to say, “Just doesn’t make sense if you ask me. If I could give advice to people going to Vegas, I would say skip both events and just network at the after parties and set up lunch meetings. That’s what most veterans do anyways.”

Shah is right. There are many people within the industry who don’t even go to the conference and instead set up camp at a hotel and have the meetings come to them. However, that still puts the onus on the attendees to make time management choices. We’re going to try to help attendees understand the differences between the two competing events so they can plan accordingly.

MJ Biz

MJ Biz President Chris Walsh said this year’s registration is in line with its expectations and ahead of its internal expectations. The event had planned to be hybrid in case people had COVID concerns but the organizers said that most people are opting for the in-person ticket. The huge exhibitor floor has traditionally leaned towards cultivators and processors, but there are booths from just about every aspect of the industry. Growing tables, hydroponic products from lights to soil, packaging companies, and extractor machines command many of the big booth setups which is why it sometimes feels like they are the majority of companies on the floor. Walsh said the event has expanded its floor to accommodate wider aisles to give attendees the option for better social distancing. It is currently boasting over 1,000 exhibitors and 250,000+ square feet of floor space. 

Not long ago, MJ Biz announced that it too would have a brand component to the show with the addition of a Hall of Flowers (HOF) event. No doubt an attempt to fend off the Unpacked competition. Typically Hall of Flowers events happen in California and are purely brands and most are there to secure dispensary business. However, HOF events are known for the copious amounts of products sold on-site at deep discounts, whereas the Vegas Convention Hall has specifically stated no THC product can be on site. Chris Walsh of MJ Biz described it more as a Hall of Flowers “experience.” The brands can’t have products or sell products so it is most likely going to be booths of companies with empty packages. So far it looks as if there are less than 20 brands planned for the HOF Experience.

MJ Biz is also not playing around with its celebrity keynote speaker Daymond John, who is the Founder/CEO of FUBU, Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, and Star of ABC’s Shark Tank and CEO of The Shark Group. Walsh believes that successful people from other industries can provide wisdom and insight that can be applied to cannabis. There are over 80 speakers scheduled and the sessions cover basically every aspect of the industry. There are four forums being held the day before the actual event begins covering investing, science, hemp and regional associations.  There is also a big focus on hemp with the Hemp Industry Daily Forum and the numerous sessions on hemp. 

With MJBiz being the main focus of the week, attendees are sure to see whomever they want if they go to the convention hall. There won’t be long lines at registration of previous in-person MJBiz events since pre-registration is required. 

Walsh said he certainly welcomes the parties and sanctioned side events for MJ Biz, but conceded that the competing event isn’t helpful to attendees who have to make a choice or try to split time. He believes MJ Biz does cover the retail side of the business and it is true that many sessions address retail issues. There are separate sanctioned events for MJ Biz but the women’s reception and the equity reception cost extra. If you want to use the podcast row, that costs extra too. The price to attend starts at $399 and goes up from there. 

MJ Unpacked

MJ Unpacked is a relatively new entrant to the cannabis conference stage. Jage had the unfortunate luck to launch the company right as the pandemic began. He pivoted to virtual events as did many event organizers, so this will be one of his first real in-person conferences. MJ Unpacked bills itself as a brand and retail-focused conference. The conference sessions feature brand and retail experts to discuss pitfalls and success strategies. Retail and brand pain points plus best practices are also a focus. 

Jage believes that his event will foster venture capital relationships. Cannabis retailers can get in for free, while others pay $349. There will be special private investor suites on-site at what he dubs the VC Central location. All investors must be accredited. Jage believes too much time is wasted for cannabis companies at MJBiz with newbie investors picking people’s brains. Unpacked says there are 12 hand-picked companies that will pitch to 500 investors. There will also be a special gong on the showroom floor where parties can ring the gong if a deal has been done. 

Unpacked has also created a casual game area to foster conversations between companies and investors. In addition, the event is going high-tech with brand towers and an app where interested parties can connect. The idea was to allow companies to be untethered from their booths, which also cost much less than a booth at MJBiz. 

There will be exclusive parties broken out with one for retailers and one for brands and a benefit concert featuring the Blues Brothers. Cannabis entrepreneur Jim Belushi will be joined by his late brother’s bandmate Dan Akroyd for the show. Proceeds from the show will go towards the Last Prisoner Project and Jage is hoping to raise $150,000-$200,000. 

Unpacked’s keynote also features Belushi, who owns a cannabis farm and has starred in a reality TV show based on running the farm. He is joined by Christie Hefner, who served as the Chairperson and CEO of Playboy Enterprises from 1988 to 2009. Like MJ Biz, Jage believes outside industry speakers can bring value to the audience. Unfortunately for Unpacked, the session speakers aren’t necessarily the company CEO’s as MJBiz has a non-compete agreement of sorts for its speakers. MJBiz says it wants fresh content for its sessions and got a much earlier start in locking down speakers. 

Ultimately, Jage believes the days of a conference where cannabis companies go shopping for a light bulb are over. With so much consolidation, big MSO’s are the main purchasers and he thinks they already know who they want to do business with. Instead, Jage believes the future for cannabis events lies with brands and that is why he is focused on that for Unpacked.

 

Next Up: Ten Things To Look For At MJ Biz & Ten Things To Look For MJ Unpacked


StaffOctober 12, 2021
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Privately-held PharmaCann Inc. is buying Colorado-based LivWell Enlightened Health for an undisclosed amount. Once the deal is closed, PharmaCann and LivWell would operate approximately 60 dispensaries and 11 cultivation and production facilities across eight states.

LivWell has grown from a single location to a  multi-state cannabis company with operations in Colorado and Michigan. LivWell is a vertically integrated seed-to-sale cannabis retailer. In addition to cultivating cannabis, LivWell researches, extracts, and manufactures its own brands to consistently bring its customers quality products across multiple categories including topicals, edibles, tinctures, CBD pet tinctures, concentrates, and vaporizers.

“It is a privilege to join teams with LivWell, one of the longest-tenured cannabis operators in the industry, with a shared commitment to improving people’s lives through cannabis,” said Brett Novey, CEO of PharmaCann. “This transformative merger significantly increases PharmaCann’s presence in the second and third-largest cannabis markets in the U.S. and provides a strong foundational team and operational platform for PharmaCann’s further expansion into new states. Together we will implement best practices across all of our operations and build upon LivWell’s strong brand and expertise in producing low-cost, high-quality products.”

At one time, MedMen was going to buy PharmaCann, but that deal fell through in 2019. Since then the company has remained private and currently operates four medical cannabis retail stores and a cultivation facility in New York. In June 2021, Pharmacann raised almost $80 million in a private offering of Senior Secured Notes. In August it was reported that the company submitted paperwork for an IPO to U.S. and Canadian regulators. The company reportedly did $75 million in revenues in 2019 and is said to have doubled that number in 2020.

“We are excited for this partnership with a stalwart of the U.S. cannabis industry,” said John Lord, Founder, and CEO of LivWell Enlightened Health. “PharmaCann’s undeniable financial expertise and LivWell’s proven operational leadership makes this merger the perfect combination to further the patient and customer experience on an expanding national level.” The company said it expects that John Lord will join the PharmaCann Board of Directors following the closing of the transaction.

Canaccord Genuity Corp. served as financial advisor and Perkins Coie, LLP served as legal advisor to PharmaCann. Canaccord Genuity Corp. also provided a fairness opinion to the board of directors of PharmaCann.

 


Debra BorchardtOctober 11, 2021
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TILT Holdings Inc.  (NEO: TILT) (OTCQX: TLLTF) has formed a new partnership with the Shinnecock Indian Nation, a federally recognized Native American tribe living on their traditional lands on Long Island, N.Y., to establish vertical cannabis operations on their aboriginal tribal territory in the Hamptons.

“We are proud to help create an entry into the cannabis industry that will be impactful for the Shinnecock Nation,” said Gary Santo, CEO of TILT Holdings. “To date, Indigenous people have been largely excluded from the social equity conversation across the country. This partnership — which is a true partnership in every sense — is a step forward in creating social equity for the Nation. We believe our expertise in cannabis operations along with Shinnecock’s thought-leadership and cultural connection to plant medicine will deliver economic growth for the region, while cementing the Nation as a leader in cannabis operations among Indigenous communities.”

Through a joint venture with the Nation’s cannabis project development firm Conor Green, TILT said it will finance, build and provide management services for the vertical cannabis operations of the Shinnecock Nation’s wholly owned cannabis business, Little Beach Harvest. The combination of TILT’s cannabis industry expertise with Shinnecock’s long history of understanding and use of plant medicine for healing will serve as the foundation of a truly unique and socially equitable partnership in the cannabis industry.

“This is an exciting and momentous opportunity for our Nation,” said Chenae Bullock, member of the Shinnecock Nation and Managing Director of Little Beach Harvest. “As the wealth gap in the U.S. has grown wider and wider, it is economic development opportunities like this that will help our tribe bridge the gap. Through our partnership with TILT, we will not only create dozens of jobs and jump-start careers, but will also cultivate business relationships with other tribal business owners, generating growth for Indigenous communities.”

Shinnecock Nation Chairman Bryan Polite added, “Over the past few years, we have been working diligently to ensure that the Shinnecock Nation will be a responsible and positive addition to the New York cannabis market. We have been impressed by TILT’s commitment to building such an equitable partnership and believe that they bring the right kind of expertise at precisely the right time to help us become a leading operator in the emerging New York cannabis market.”

Tribes Jumping Into Cannabis

Many Native American tribes are taking a hard look at entering the cannabis space. The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah said it was exploring getting into the medical cannabis business. Currently in Las Vegas, the NuWu Cannabis dispensary is owned by the Paiute Tribe. NuWu means “the people” in Southern Paiute and it is located on the tribe’s “colony” one mile away from the neon-lit Fremont Street Experience. At the beginning of the pandemic, NuWu became the go-to dispensary because it was the only one with a drive-thru window.  NuWu also operated the first consumption lounge in Vegas.

The Native American Cannabis Alliance formed a joint venture with Tim Houseberg, the executive director of Cherokee Nation-based Native Health Matters Foundation, and Everscore, the first direct-to-consumer marketplace for THC and CBD products. They signed three memorandums of understanding with indigenous farmers from tribes including Mohawk Nation, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Nations. The ground-breaking agreements will oversee the transformation of over 500,000 acres of tribal farmland into cannabis farming that will include agricultural services, the creation of manufacturing campuses to process the cannabis, and workforce development, with products to be sold on the Everscore online marketplace.

Cannabis History Of Native Americans

While some historians claim that cannabis was likely included in sacramental pipes that Native Americans smoked, others believe that isn’t possible. That group says that cannabis hadn’t been introduced to America at that time and that it didn’t come over until the Vikings brought it or some believe that the explorers of the Columbus era introduced hemp to America. Still, there has been documented evidence of hemp fibers in Native American clothing giving support to the argument that it did exist.

Emerald Magazine has posted a list of indigenous-owned cannabis businesses contains more than 100 retailers and is updated regularly.


StaffOctober 11, 2021
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In a big “oops we goofed,”  the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  took back its September 14 Marketing Denial Order for some of Turning Point Brands, Inc.  (NYSE: TPB) vape products. Turning Point said all of its proprietary vape products, including its Solace branded e-liquids, will continue to be marketed while they remain under review. They are currently under a pending Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (“PMTAs”) review.

Turning Point said that in its rescission letter the FDA stated, “Upon further review of the administrative record, FDA found relevant information that was not adequately assessed. Specifically, your applications did contain randomized controlled trials comparing tobacco-flavored ENDS to flavored ENDS as well as several cross-sectional surveys evaluating patterns of use, likelihood of use, and perceptions in current smokers, current ENDS users, former tobacco users, and never users, which require further review.” The letter further clarified that “at present, in light of the unusual circumstances, FDA has no intention of initiating an enforcement action against” the products.

“We are encouraged by the FDA’s decision to reconsider our product applications and look forward to engaging the agency as our PMTAs are reviewed,” said Larry Wexler, President and CEO, Turning Point Brands. “It is important that the PMTA process is transparent, purposeful, and evidence-based. Our organization dedicated significant time and resources in filing our applications in accordance with agency guidance. We remain hopeful that the depth and range of our studies and data will persuade the FDA that the continued marketing of our vapor products is appropriate for the protection of the public health and that the agency will ultimately preserve a diverse vapor market for the more than 30 million American adult smokers who may wish to transition from combustible cigarettes to lower risk alternatives.”

Turning Point had been selling vape products under the label Solace with flavors like Peach, Mango, and Marshmallow Crispy. These sugary flavors have been very popular with underage consumers and were a big selling point for the competitor Juul. Solace noted on its website that Federal law required e-liquid companies to submit a Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to continue selling products in the United States. These applications require that e-liquid companies demonstrate that products are “appropriate for the protection of public health.”

Turning Point has reported spending $14 million in 2020 on the PMTA application according to the company’s annual filing. In 2019, the company spent  $2.2 million on the PMTA. Turning Point also said that as a result of the rescission letter, it withdrew both the petition for relief and motion to stay that it had filed with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.


Debra BorchardtOctober 8, 2021
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It was a massive “Oooops we Goofed” from Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF). the company accidentally sold CBD products that had THC in them. The third lawsuit against Curaleaf has now been filed by an elderly man named Michael Lopez. His case now joins Jason Crawforth and Kathleen Menard who have both filed lawsuits in September saying they also purchased and consumed “Select CBD Drops” in Oregon that affected them. Curaleaf said in a statement at the time, “After our preliminary investigation, we believe this mistake occurred due to unintentional human error.”

Lopez’s lawsuit claims that he was “taken by ambulance to the emergency room out of concerns he was having a stroke, and he experienced harm including unnecessary surgery, fear
of death, unwanted confusion, stress, anxiety, psychosis, discomfort, and distress lasting several hours, and interference with life activities.” Also included in the lawsuit is Lopez’s granddaughter Amy Cantu. She says she experienced harm including unwanted nausea, dizziness, tunnel vision, weakness, confusion, discomfort, and distress lasting several hours. His daughter Susan Lopez-Henri also claimed that she took the drops and experienced harm including feelings of being intoxicated despite being in recovery, possibly requiring her to start a new clean date, unwanted confusion, stress, anxiety, discomfort, and interference with her sobriety and life activities.

Oregon Recall

Oregon regulators have said that a Curaleaf manufacturing facility made a mistake that resulted in hundreds of mislabeled bottles, and that at least a dozen other consumers also took the THC-tainted drops. In September, The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission has issued a mandatory recall for a product labeled as a hemp tincture that can get consumers “high” because the product contains undisclosed levels of THC. Consumers using this mislabeled product may become unexpectedly impaired. The recall is for an item labeled as a hemp CBD tincture produced by Cura CS, LLC, and sold under its Select brand. The specific batch of this product Select CBD Drops “Broad Spectrum” Unflavored 1000 MG CBD was only available for purchase through OLCC licensed retailers. ThOLCC then expanded the recall to include Select Tincture 30mL THC Drops – 1000mg Unflavored which is only available for sale at OLCC licensed retailers. The OLCC has conducted preliminary tests of the Select Tincture 30mL THC Drops – 1000mg Unflavored and found that it does NOT contain any detectable THC.
The expanded recall affects Select Tincture 30mL THC Drops – 1000mg Unflavored that was produced on May 14, 2021. The OLCC estimates about 630 units were sold beginning June 29, 2021 and about 130 units are still on the shelves of OLCC retailers.

“We have worked with the [Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission] to recall the two batches in question, and the limited number of remaining units have been removed from sale,” Curaleaf said to Law360. “We sincerely apologize to all customers impacted by this mistake, and we will actively return responses from anyone who reaches out.”

Other Cases

Lopez’s case joins Crawfords who also went to the emergency room after taking the drops. He claimed he needed immediate medical treatment in the Emergency Room, and was unable to drive a car. He also said he had unwanted anxiety, acute psychosis, discomfort, and distress. Menard didn’t say she needed medical attention but did say she had experienced “unwanted hallucinations, confusion, stress, anxiety, psychosis, discomfort, and distress lasting over 24 hours.”

 

 


StaffOctober 8, 2021
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Green Market Report asked some of the top technology leaders in the cannabis industry for their thoughts on how tech is changing the cannabis world. Here’s what we learned:

Simplifya Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Marion Mariathasan

   “Technology in every industry has enabled advancement to happen faster, and the cannabis industry is no different. Due to the fragmented regulatory environment, we knew remaining compliant would be a real challenge for businesses, but one that could be addressed through the creation of advanced technologies. We set out to take what was previously an archaic way of approaching compliance and developed software that would help cannabis entrepreneurs save time and money, drive efficiencies and create new opportunities. Beyond owners and operators, we also see technologies playing a vital role in how governments, regulatory bodies, insurers, cannabis-related banking and financial institutions also remain compliant under FinCEN Cannabis Banking Guidance. 

Whether it’s POS, data, commerce, social networks or compliance, technology continues to allow the industry to solve some of its most challenging problems while accelerating growth at a rapid rate. As Simplifya enters the multi-million dollar banking, financial and payment-related services sector, we plan to debut new software and advanced technologies that automates and simplifies mandated complex processes necessary to keep the industry moving ahead in a compliant way.” 

Marion Mariathasan is the CEO of Simplifya, the cannabis industry’s leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform. The company’s suite of products takes the guesswork out of confusing and continually changing state and local regulations. Featuring SOPs, badge tracking, document storage, tailored reporting and employee accountability features, the company’s Custom Audit software reduces the time clients spend on compliance by up to 45 percent. 

Marion is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded or advised numerous startups. He is an investor in 22 domestic and international companies, four of which he serves as a board member: Ceylon Solutions, a cannabis and non-cannabis software development company; Leafwire, the largest cannabis social network; ilios, a relationship app that matches users based on characteristics derived from astrology and numerology algorithms; and Simplifya. Marion is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-Up Week, Colorado University’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. 

 


Jushi Holdings Inc. Chief Creative Director Andreas “Dre” Neumann

“In the cannabis sector, digital consumers are in the driver’s seat. We believe technologies will continue to play a critical role, and that by taking the time to implement research, data and digital technologies, we have a competitive advantage. By constantly studying trends data, we foresaw that the digital and physical retail convergence would accelerate with the rapid growth of home delivery and express channels. Early on we were focused on ways to remove friction, build trust, and fine tune the entire customer experience. We use research data and technology-based omnichannel strategies to seamlessly serve the needs of the widest range of customers, and that really goes to the core of our ethos of improving peoples’ lives.

At a higher level, we’ve also integrated our data sources and spent time building out a custom data warehouse. This has not only helped us break down information silos, but has also allowed us to understand the business and our customers much more holistically. We plan to keep evolving with new technologies and programs that drive efficiencies in our retail experiences and operations. I’ve always been a big advocate for technological solutions — none of this would be possible without it — so for us, tech will be a priority for the future of Jushi and instrumental in defining the entire cannabis sector.”

In his role at Jushi, Dre and his creative team are charged with leading Jushi’s creative, marketing and communications efforts as well as ensuring the company’s successful entrance into e-commerce, cutting-edge digital user experiences and his efforts have already brought a tremendous amount of added value to the company and its shareowners. 

Dre is a serial entrepreneur who has founded numerous successful creative and technology companies and is a disruptive thinker, who before joining Jushi, served as the creative director and head of content for Idean, a leading global design agency that creates powerful digital experiences and uses design as a strategic tool to transform companies. He founded a partnership with British multinational communications and advertising agency network with 114 offices in 76 countries and over 6,500 staff, Saatchi & Saatchi UK, where he implemented creative strategies such as launching a branded content unit called Gum in an effort to reach more young people, who are increasingly tuning out traditional advertising. 

In addition to being a known and respected leader in the creative and technology arenas, Dre is known for his photography and work with artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop, Foo Fighters, ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, and many others. He has also been cited as one of the world’s top rock photographers and will be featured in an upcoming documentary on Amazon scheduled to premiere in early 2021.

 

Navin Anand, Chief Technology Officer at springbig

“The cannabis industry is adopting native and cloud technologies at an ever increasing rate. Computing power has increased exponentially (at an affordable cost), so we all have supercomputers on hand, which helps development teams tackle AI/ML problems, predictive analysis, user segmentation, early fraud detection and more. Technology also has added tremendous value in the form of agri-tech, cloud evolution, and data science for improving this industry as a whole.

At springbig, we are leveraging technology to push the limits and capture trends that help our merchants achieve goals above and beyond 100%. The spingbig platform provides the ability for our partners to be in constant contact with end users. We have other offerings that provide numerous opportunities for improvement of user experience, instore, e-commerce and omni.”

Navin is the CTO of springbig, a leading provider in customer loyalty and text message communications solutions for cannabis retailers and cannabis brands. Founded in 2017, springbig offers a single source of truth CRM that becomes the database of record for in-store and online customers that captures key purchasing and behavioral data and seamlessly integrates with existing dispensary POS and eCommerce systems. Navin has over 15 years experience in software engineering including leading a team of 100 engineers at Verifone, one of the world’s largest multinational payment processing and POS solution providers. In his time at Verifone, Navin crafted solutions for blue-chip brands including McDonalds, YUM Brands, and Visa.

Navin is recognized as a data-driven leader and problem solver who is able to streamline the software engineering delivery and QA process through advanced systems automation and project management, reducing time to delivery and aligning various IT sub-departments into a common system that speak the same language.

 

 

 

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli, Co-Founder and Chief Payments Officer at KindTap

“As a fintech company in the cannabis space, we can wholeheartedly say that technology is shaping the future of the industry with the consumer at the forefront of the conversation. From convenience to compliance and now even our credit payment option with loyalty points, advances in technology are bringing the consumer the best experience possible while still keeping all the backend bells & whistles legally sound.”

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli is a payments executive with extensive experience in prepaid, debit, credit, and emerging payments and broad and deep knowledge of issuing and acquiring sides of the market. In 2019, Cathy joined KindTap, a fintech company with a team that was focused on the same cannabis payments problem she spotted a few years back. Together in September 2021, they formally launched KindTap and are the first company to bring a credit payment option to the cannabis industry. 

KindTap launched first to the Massachusetts market and will hit multiple US markets, including Florida, Maine, and New York by the end of 2021, bringing consumers immediate, revolving credit lines for upfront cannabis purchases and allowing merchants to seamlessly accept digital credit payments.  About 3 years ago while working for a client in Denver, Cathy became aware of how broken payments were in cannabis. Broken isn’t even the right word – payments simply didn’t exist in the cannabis market. Cathy’s pioneering spirit kicked-in and she refocused her consulting to the cannabis segment. 

 

 

 

Socrates Rosenfeld, Co-founder & CEO of Jane Technologies

“Our goal at Jane has always been to provide value for the entire ecosystem; we want customers to make informed purchasing decisions, and we want sellers to succeed. As the largest e-commerce platform in North American cannabis, the digitization of the industry has allowed us to keep the industry in line with the mainstream, allowing shopping for cannabis to be as accessible as shopping online for everything else in the world, all while ensuring an even playing field for brands and dispensaries.”

Socrates Rosenfeld is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies. Socrates began using cannabis as a way to re-acclimate to civilian life upon return from active duty, but found himself questioning the origins of cannabis since it was illegal at the time. Fast forward to today and Socrates is now the founder and CEO of Jane Technologies- the e-commerce solution for legal cannabis retailers and brands. He holds a B.S. in Leadership & Management Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point Academy and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and previously served as a commander of an Apache helicopter company. 

 


Debra BorchardtOctober 8, 2021
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4min7220

After the market closed on Thursday, Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL) said it was going to buy Alcanna for approximately $346 million. Alcanna (OTC: LQSIF) is one of Canada’s largest liquor retailers, operating 171 locations predominantly in Alberta under its three retail brands “Wine and Beyond”, “Liquor Depot” and “Ace Liquor”. Sundial said it is estimated that the transaction will deliver more than $15 million of additional EBITDA on an annual run-rate basis through synergies and other strategic initiatives.

In addition to that, Alcanna’s strategic partner, who owns roughly 63% of the company, Nova Cannabis Inc. (TSX: NOVC), is one of Canada’s largest cannabis retailers offering a wide range of high-quality cannabis products at value prices. Nova currently operates 62 stores across AlbertaSaskatchewan and Ontario primarily under the “Value Buds” and “Nova Cannabis” banners.

“This made-in-Alberta transaction allows Sundial to further its mission to own the customer relationship and deliver sustainable value to shareholders,” said Zach George, Chief Executive Officer of Sundial. “Alcanna’s value-focused model in liquor retailing has created market stability and we believe that the replication of this playbook in cannabis has strong potential to drive a similar result. We intend to position all of our retail exposure for profitability and strive to work with Canadian licensed producers in order to delight consumers with quality cannabis products.”

Part of the desire to buy Alcanna was the company’s stable cash generation that provides trailing twelve months of free cash flow of $16.4 million on a built-out retail platform. Another reason to buy Alcanna was the Nova store count.  Sundial noted that the combined company would make them a cannabis retail market leader with more than 170 locations. The company said in a statement that the network strengthens its position as a partner to the industry and represents a critical route to market for Canadian licensed producers.

“We believe this agreement is a testament to the value created by everyone at Alcanna and will be beneficial to all of our stakeholders,” said James Burns, Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Alcanna. “We have been successful at achieving customer loyalty, and operating at levels of efficiency that are industry-leading and Sundial will provide great opportunities as a larger and significantly more liquid company. We look forward to working with Sundial to complete this transaction.”

In 2020, Aurora Cannabis sold its shares of Alcanna for C$27.6 million or C$3 per share, a big drop from the original investment of C$138 million. Alcanna shares are currently trading at C$8 a share.


StaffOctober 7, 2021
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8min6660

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for October 7, 2021.

On the Site

Tilray

Tilray, Inc. (Nasdaq: TLRY) reported financial results for the first fiscal quarter ending August 31, 2021 with net revenue increasing 43% to $168 million from $117 million in the same time period in 2020. Tilray missed the average analyst estimate for revenue of $172 million according to Yahoo Finance. Tilray said the increase in revenue was driven by a 38% growth in net cannabis revenue to $70 million, net beverage alcohol revenue of $15 million following the SweetWater acquisition on November 25, 2020, and wellness revenue of $15 million from Manitoba Harvest. Still, the company reported an increase in the net losses to $34.6 million from last year’s net loss of $21.7 million. The company met the average earnings estimate from analysts which was for a loss of $0.08 per share. The company noted in its earnings statement that it had a cost-saving synergy of $55 million that was achieved on a run-rate basis to date, with actual cash savings close to $20 million. Tilray also said it was on track for at least $80 million in cost savings from the Aphria and Tilray business combination synergies.

4Front 

4Front Ventures Corp. (CSE: FFNT) (OTCQX: FFNTF) is buying New England Cannabis Corporation (NECC) in a deal valued at $55 million. NECC was founded by luxury home developer Kenneth Stevens of Weston and is a cannabis cultivator based in Holliston, Massachusetts. 4Front said that NECC is expected to be significantly accretive to the its EBITDA expectations for 2022 and will immediately scale 4Front’s presence as a dominant wholesaler and producer in the state.NECC has a fully operational 55,000 sq. ft. licensed cultivation facility that will strengthen 4Front’s expanding footprint in the limited-license state. The acquisition is said to more than double 4Front’s total flower canopy in Massachusetts to over 30,000 sq. ft, with further expansion potential for up to an additional 10,000 sq. ft. of canopy, and will approximately triple 4Front’s kitchen, processing, and distribution space. The NECC facility will supplement the products sold through 4Front’s existing “Mission” dispensaries and will further strengthen the its presence in the Massachusetts wholesale market.

Humble & Fume

After the market closed on Tuesday, Humble & Fume Inc.(CSE: HMBL) reported its financial results for the fiscal 2021 fourth quarter and year ending June 30, 2021. For the quarter, Humble delivered revenue of $19.4 million an increase of 33% from last year’s $14.5 million. The company attributed the increase in revenue to strong sales in the U.S. and Canadian accessories wholesale market. Humble’s accessory lines include some of the highest-rated products like Puffco, Storz & Bickel and Ryot. The company reported that the net loss for the quarter was $88,904, or $0.00 per diluted share, a 99.7% decrease from last year’s net loss of $4.1 million, or $0.08 per share. The company said that the net losses were primarily driven by growth in overall headcount levels primarily to support increased U.S. and Canada sales, higher sales and marketing expense to support brand partnerships and the launch of FUME, and higher freight costs included in the company’s cost of goods sold selling expenses, and higher share-based compensation expense compared to the year-ago period.

In Other News

High Tide

High Tide Inc. (Nasdaq: HITI) is taking another step towards solidifying itself as a major player within the global e-commerce marketplace for hemp-derived CBD products, by entering into a definitive agreement to acquire 80% of Enigmaa Ltd., operating as Blessed CBD for £9.06 Million and will have a three-year option to acquire the remaining 20% of Blessed at any time.

Flowhub

Flowhub named former Uber General Manager Leandre Johns as Chief Operating Officer (COO). The strategic hire brings key financial and business expertise to Flowhub’s executive team as the company continues to expand alongside the cannabis industry. Flowhub, founded when the first legal adult-use stores opened in Colorado in 2014, created technology to disrupt antiquated systems and replace them with innovative, modern tools that redefine the cannabis space. Like Flowhub’s quest, Uber uprooted a bureaucratic system and reimagined the entire transportation sector with their technology. With Johns on-board, Flowhub will continue to push boundaries with their technology with the ultimate goal of federal legalization.

Ascend

Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc.  (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH), a multi-state, vertically-integrated cannabis operator, and Edie Parker, a luxury fashion brand known for its vintage-inspired clutches and handbags, announced the debut of Flower by Edie Parker pre-rolls in Massachusetts. In May, AWH and Edie Parker announced an exclusive wholesale licensing agreement to bring Flower by Edie Parker products to emerging adult-use markets in Massachusetts and Illinois. The coveted West Coast brand first expanded beyond California earlier in March by launching sales in Colorado.


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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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