Curaleaf Archives - Green Market Report

StaffMay 9, 2022
daily-hit.jpg?fit=700%2C394&ssl=1

5min4780

The Daily Hit is a recap of the top cannabis business stories for May 9, 2022.

On the Site

Curaleaf

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, with total revenue increasing by 20% to $313 million versus $260 million in the first quarter of 2021. Curaleaf said that the revenue growth primarily reflected continued organic growth driven by new retail store openings, the addition of new wholesale partner accounts, product launches, and the expansion of cultivation and production facilities. Revenue fell sequentially by 2% from the fourth quarter’s $320 million and missed the Yahoo Finance average analyst estimate for revenue of $319 million.

Curaleaf also reported a net loss of $20 million, which was higher than last year’s net loss of $15 million in the first quarter of 2021. The company said that the net result was primarily impacted by approximately $12 million of higher income tax expense and $2 million of higher other expenses, net, partially offset by an $8 million increase in operating income. The earnings were for a loss of three cents per share, which beat the estimates for a loss of four cents per share. Read more here.

FDA

Last week, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) sent out warning letters to five cannabidiol (CBD) companies for Unapproved New Drugs/Misbranded/Cannabidiol (CBD) Products. The companies receiving the letters were  Kingdom Harvest, Delta 8 Hemp, ATLRx Inc., BioMD Plus and M Six Labs Inc. Read more here.

NY Chair Tremaine Wright

On April, 28, 2022, the Green Market Report hosted its first Women’s Summit in New York City. The Summit was especially grateful that the Chair of the New York Cannabis Control Board, Tremain Wright was able to speak to the audience. Thank you for watching the Green Market Report! Be sure to subscribe to our channel and our newsletters. Video available here.

In Other News

Akerna

Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2022. Total revenue was $7.0 million, up 73% year-over-year. The net loss was $22.0 million, up $15.5 million year-over-year. Loss from operations was $20.6 million, up $17.1 million year-over-year. Transaction volume up 16% year-over-year. Average new business deal size up 40% year-over-year. Retail order spend up 6% year-over-year. Read more here.

XS Financial

XS Financial Inc. (CSE:XSF)(OTCQB:XSHLF), a specialty finance company providing CAPEX and equipment financing solutions to cannabis companies in the United States, announced today that it has upsized its lease facility with Ayr Wellness (CSE: AYR.A)(OTCQX: AYRWF) up to $37.4 Million including an immediate drawdown of $12 Million, bringing the total usage to over $33.1 million. All amounts are in U.S. dollars. Read more here.


Debra BorchardtMay 9, 2022
Curaleaf.png?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1

5min4620

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, with total revenue increasing by 20% to $313 million versus $260 million in the first quarter of 2021. Curaleaf said that the revenue growth primarily reflected continued organic growth driven by new retail store openings, the addition of new wholesale partner accounts, product launches, and the expansion of cultivation and production facilities. Revenue fell sequentially by 2% from the fourth quarter’s $320 million and missed the Yahoo Finance average analyst estimate for revenue of $319 million.

Curaleaf also reported a net loss of $20 million, which was higher than last year’s net loss of $15 million in the first quarter of 2021. The company said that the net result was primarily impacted by approximately $12 million of higher income tax expense and $2 million of higher other expenses, net, partially offset by an $8 million increase in operating income. The earnings were for a loss of three cents per share, which beat the estimates for a loss of four cents per share.

Boris Jordan, Executive Chairman of Curaleaf, commented, “Our national footprint has always been a key advantage of our growth strategy, and despite a tough macro environment during the first quarter, Curaleaf continued to grow share in several important markets. We saw strong month-over-month growth beginning in March and heading into the second quarter, boosting confidence in our ability to hit full-year revenue guidance of $1.4 billion – $1.5 billion. Given renewed optimism surrounding federal banking reform, a record breaking 4/20, the exciting launch last month of New Jersey adult-use sales, and the prospect of New York following suit, 2022 is shaping up to be another milestone year.”

Revenue Breakdown

Curaleaf noted that its retail revenue increased by 21% to $226 million during the first quarter of 2022, versus $188 million in the first quarter of 2021, representing 72% of total revenue. Growth in retail revenue was primarily due to strong organic growth across Curaleaf’s footprint and the opening of 26 new stores over the year, namely in ArizonaFlorida, and Pennsylvania. Wholesale revenue increased 19% to $86 million during the first quarter of 2022, compared to $72 million in the first quarter of 2021, representing 27% of total revenue. Growth in wholesale revenue was due to an over 10% year-over-year expansion in the number of wholesale accounts as well as additional capacity coming online in key markets.

Joe Bayern, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf, stated, “Our continued focus on research & development of innovative new products, commercialization, national distribution and brand building were cornerstones of the first quarter. From the launch of our proprietary ACE extraction system in Florida – which produces the purest live rosin product in the market – to new products launched in the last 12 months generating 17% of our revenues, our long-term focus on attracting new consumers with highly formulated products backed by science continues to drive growth. This advantage will help Curaleaf continue to expand Adjusted EBITDA margins.”

As of March 31, 2022, the company had $243 million of cash and $584 million of outstanding debt net of unamortized debt discounts. This has dropped from $299 million at the end of 2021.


StaffMay 3, 2022
shutterstock_1855501255.jpg?fit=960%2C720&ssl=1

3min5410

On April, 28, 2022, Green Market Report held its first-ever Women’s Summit. During the event, the Women’s Leadership Awards were announced and presented to the winners. Over the next two weeks, we will highlight each of these winners and congratulate them on their contributions to the cannabis industry.

Women’s Leadership for MSO’s 

Khadijah Tribble

Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Curaleaf

Khadijah Tribble is a highly respected expert on equity and inclusion in the cannabis industry and has advised cannabis investors, government regulators, entrepreneurs, and businesses on policy, business development, and community impact. She is the Senior VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF), a leading multi-state cannabis operator that employs over 5,600 people across the United States. Throughout her career, Khadijah has championed lifting up disadvantaged communities while creating and executing Rooted in Good, which is one of the most robust corporate social responsibility programs in and out of cannabis. She helps to normalize cannabis, cannabis giving, and entrepreneurship in mainstream social impact discussions. As a part of Curaleaf’s Rooted in Good program, Khadijah leads progress against many of its goals including the company’s 420×25 Supplier Diversity Initiative with a goal to do business with 420 new cannabis brands, ancillary suppliers, and advocacy organizations from underrepresented communities by 2025. The company is now working with 100 new and diverse partners and suppliers just one year into the program. In 2021, Rooted in Good donated $2,400,000 to strategic partner organizations across the country on behalf of Curaleaf and Select brands.

Prior to joining Curaleaf, Ms. Tribble founded Marijuana Matters, a cannabis education and advocacy incubator, and is also the founder of the Marijuana Policy Trust (MPT), a think tank providing expertise toward building an inclusive and diverse cannabis industry. Khadijah is a social activist and policy strategist who received her MPA from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2018.


Julie AitchesonApril 28, 2022
shutterstock_1855501255.jpg?fit=960%2C720&ssl=1

8min15181

On Thursday, April 26th, the first-ever Green Market Report Women’s Leadership Awards ceremony was held at The Green Market Report Women’s Summit in Manhattan, NYC to honor female and female-identifying cannabis professionals in categories ranging from Cultivation to Activism and Politics. 

The Women’s Leadership Award in the Brands category went to Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands. Honored for her adroit management of Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth’s acquisition of 100% of each Wana entity as well as her commitment to social equity in cannabis, Whiteman was also lauded for her innovative new product lines and product development. Khadijah Tribble, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Curaleaf, (OTC: CURLF) received the Women’s Leadership Award in the MSO category. A highly-respected expert on equity and inclusion in cannabis, Tribble created and runs Rooted in Good, one of the most robust corporate responsibility programs in any industry, and is also the founder of Marijuana Matters, a cannabis education and advocacy incubator. 

The Women’s Leadership Award in Marketing went to Natalie Shaul, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing at Springbig. Shaul was instrumental in Springbig’s pivot to cannabis and is known as a trendsetter, job creator, fundraiser and changemaker in the industry. Shaul has helped thousands of cannabis retailers while her business has created more than 80 jobs across South Florida while providing discounted services to support veteran and minority-owned cannabis businesses.

Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve Cannabis Corp., was given the Women’s Leadership Award in the C-Suite- Public Company category. She is the only female CEO of a publicly traded company in the cannabis space. A former lawyer, Rivers has since spearheaded the largest cannabis acquisition deal to date with Trulieve’s purchase of Harvest Health & Recreation. Rivers was also instrumental in Trulieve’s Environmental, Social and Governance report, the first of its kind from an American MSO. The award for Women’s Leadership in the C-Suite Private Company category went to Ralina Shaw, founder of House of Tyne and leadership team member of 4thMVMT, a leading social impact organization with a mission to support those disproportionally impacted by cannabis laws. She is also one of the few BIPOC executives in the PR and Retail space.

Founder and CEO of Women Employed in Cannabis (WEIC) Kyra Reed was given the Women’s Leadership Award in Activism/Politics for her helming of the largest association for women working in cannabis, psychedelics, hemp & CBD. Named as a “Social Media Pioneer” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Reed has grown WEIC into a 15,000 member organization as well as the premiere brand and international organization dedicated to empowering women to achieve their goals.

The Women’s Leader Award for Cultivation went to Joyce Cenali, COO of Sonoma Hills Farm. Under Cenali’s leadership, Sonoma Hills was the first farm to be recognized as “organic comparable” as designated by CCOF’s OCal program. She co-founded an Emerald Cup-winning organization and supports female founders innovating in cannabis with a mission to advance a regulatory model that unites capitalism and inclusion. Chanda Macias, PhD, CEO of Ilera Holistics, took home the award for Women’s Leadership in the Science category, in no small part for her role as the first Black woman medical cannabis operator as CEO of National Holistic Healing Center—the largest medical marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C.  She is also Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow and First Vice Chair of the National Cannabis Roundtable Board.

Narmin Jarrous, Chief Development Officer at Exclusive Brands, won the Women’s Leadership Award in Social Equity. Jarrous’s social equity program partners with organizations like the National Birth Equity Coalition and The Last Prisoner Project while also helping Social Equity Applicants gain their licenses. Jarrous is also a mentor, educator, speaker, and advocate for women of color in the industry. Ronit Pinto, founder of Honeysuckle Magazine, took home the Women’s Leadership Award in Media. Honeysuckle has gained national distribution and also created Honey Pot Magazine, a sister print and digital publication focusing exclusively on cannabis and hemp issues.

Wendy Bronfein, Co-founder, Chief brand Officer and Director of Public Policy at Curio Wellness was honored in the Dispensary category. Bronfein drives the company’s legislative agenda across multiple states and oversees the brand as well as all corporate communications. She also helped initiate Curio’s Wellness investment Fund and a program to provide start-up capital for minority business-owners to open their own Curio franchise locations. The Women’s Leader Award for Public Relations went to Shawna Seldon McGregor, founder and CEO of Maverick Public Relations. She represents businesses across all sectors and is recognized as one of the most effective cannabis agencies in the industry. MacGregor has provided pro bono PR work and has served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations.

Honorees were nominated by colleagues from across cannabis sectors. Almost a hundred nominations were reviewed by industry insiders before they decided upon the twelve women executives and entrepreneurs to receive these special awards spanning several areas within the cannabis industry. 

 


Debra BorchardtMarch 28, 2022
shutterstock_1158656905.jpg?fit=960%2C640&ssl=1

10min20050

The latest documents in the privately-owned Parallel Cannabis (formerly Surterra Wellness) lawsuit lay bare the issues surrounding the company’s debt and its inability to pay those debts causing defaults.

The court documents filed on Friday outline a plan by Parallel’s then CEO Beau Wrigley and his family fund called the PE Fund to create a new level of debt that would jump ahead of the Senior debt holders (some of whom are filing the lawsuit). That money would then pay the debt owed and avoid default. However, there were many problems with the plan and those issues are outlined in the latest complaint. 

To set the stage, investors that buy debt in a company are also ranked in order of priority in case the company runs into trouble. In the case of Parallel, Senior noteholders come first, followed by Junior noteholders – there are no common shareholders since the company is still private. Had it become a public company those shareholders would be the last in the line to collect any money.

Super Senior Debt

The investors in the case, John and Ultima Morgan, TGHI II LLC, Prime Overseas Investments and Enterprises Ltd., and Techview Investments Ltd. complain that in 2021 while Wrigley was preparing the company to go public with a Special Purpose Acquisition Corp. called Ceres Acquisition Corp., it was actually having trouble paying its debts. The complaint says, “Wrigley did not wish to reveal that the Company had missed its projections so badly that it could not pay a debt Wrigley had just secretly negotiated a few months earlier. This need for secrecy was exacerbated because Wrigley was simultaneously planning to refinance [redacted] of other debt, all the while trying to close a SPAC transaction so he could access the public markets to cash out his controlling stock interest.”

The investors claim that Wrigley wanted to create a new tranche of Super Senior Notes to be senior to their first-lien Senior Notes. The same collateral backing their investment would now be used to back the new debt. The investors say they didn’t give their approval to be pushed back down the line of repayments and that their approval was required. They also say that the Collateral Documents would need to be changed and that the current debt holders have covenants that state no more debt can be incurred. Essentially saying the company couldn’t create the Super Senior debt. 

While the amount of debt that Parallel was saddled with is consistently redacted, there are a couple of footnotes that show “$18 million was owed to the former owner (R. Jake) Bergmann as part of a confidential settlement the company could not afford. There may also be up to $107 million of consideration owed for the company’s acquisition of a company known as Windy City.” The complaint also says that Parallel borrowed money from the PE Fund in June 2021 to pay off Bergmann. 

In 2019, Surterra did say it had raised $300 million in private capital, and last year Forbes reported that the company had $348 million in debt. 

Junior Note Default

The case states that Parallel failed to make its payments for the Junior debt in September 2021. The investors say they weren’t notified of the default within the required five days. They suggest they didn’t learn of the situation until a call on November 15, 2021, and that PE Fund claimed to have also just learned of the default in that call. However, the complaint alleges that the machinations by PE Fund during the summer (when it tried to create the Super Senior debt) showed that it knew it was in trouble which was why it was trying to create new sources of debt. The case alleges eight defaults occurred during Wrigley’s tenure at the company, including the default caused by PE Fund in the June 2021 Transaction. Wrigley resigned shortly after the November call. 

GH Notes

In addition to the hoped-for Super Senior Notes, Parallel issued a series of convertible promissory notes (the “GH Notes”) between January and May of 2021 to a Wrigley-controlled investment vehicle—Green Health Endeavors. The investors say the company did not conduct any arm’s length negotiation for the financing terms of the GH Notes, nor did the company explore any other financing options available. “Furthermore, upon information and belief, the GH Notes were issued in January 2021 but were not approved by the disinterested directors and shareholders.” The complaint went on to say, “Wrigley’s own employee, James “Jay” Holmes, negotiated the terms of the GH Notes on behalf of Green Health Endeavors while simultaneously sitting on the board and serving as an officer of the Company, in both roles reporting directly to Wrigley as his boss.” The investors also allege that the GH Notes should never have been issued because it violated the agreement to the original noteholders that the company wouldn’t incur any more debt.

The Scheme

In sum, if the company went under, the holders of the Super Senior Notes would have pushed the other lenders out of the way and been able to take over the company. “In that sense, the Scheme is a paradigmatic “loan-to-own” scheme developed by a corporate insider—who is not only the largest existing secured creditor, but also the controlling shareholder—to take the Company at a fire sale, while leaving all innocent third parties holding the bag without any recourse.” 

Parallel’s Licenses

Despite the inability to pay its debt or close the SPAC transaction to go public, the company continues to operate in several states. Even though some of this information is redacted in the court documents, according to Cannabiz Media, Surterra/Parallel has 44 active licenses in Florida, three licenses in Pennsylvania under the Goodblend name, and one Goodblend license in Texas. It has 11 active licenses under the NETA (New England Treatment Access)  name in Massachusetts. It has nine active licenses in Nevada under the names Parallel Brands, Cookies and D.H. Aldebaran. 

Nine license applications in Pennsylvania were denied, along with one denial in New Jersey and two denials in Georgia.

Illinois Deal Is Off

Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF) agreed to buy Grassroots in Illinois and along with that deal, the company noted three Illinois medical dispensary licenses and six adult-use dispensary licenses owned by former affiliates of Grassroots (the “Illinois Assets”) were sold to Parallel in April 2021. The transaction though is subject to regulatory approval, which it doesn’t appear to have received. In a securities filing by Curaleaf, it wrote “Under the terms of the transaction, the purchase price for the Illinois asset consists of a $100,000 base price to be paid $60,000 in cash and $40,000 in Parallel stock, plus earnouts of up to an additional $55,000 payable through 2023. The Company has received from Parallel a $10,000 deposit, which is refundable under limited circumstances and will be applied to the base purchase price for the Illinois Assets at closing.”

On February 25, 2022, Curaleaf wrote in its annual report that it had “received correspondence from Parallel’s attorneys indicating that it will not be in a position to complete the acquisition of the Illinois Assets due to lack of financing and seeking to terminate its agreement to purchase the Illinois Assets. The Company has asserted that Parallel’s actions have constituted material breaches of its agreement with Parallel and is exploring its options.”


StaffMarch 24, 2022
shutterstock_1136157254-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C825&ssl=1

7min7740

Curaleaf

TRACY BRADY – VICE PRESIDENT, HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS, CURALEAF

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry? 

I am incredibly proud of the team I have built in the last two years, both internally (from a team of none to a full service communications and public relations function), to our external partners and stakeholders. To me, the most important part of a career is not your individual achievements but the people you meet, inspire, learn from, and help grow along the way. No business can be truly successful without strong human relationships. I am also very proud of the work we have done to launch, sustain, and raise the visibility of the Rooted in Good CSR platform, which I believe is second to none in the industry. Being a part of driving that work forward alongside our SVP of CSR Khadijah Tribble, watching it grow and telling those stories has been very fulfilling in a sometimes crazy industry.

Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries? 

I am a believer in making your own opportunities and never taking no for an answer. That said, there is plenty of opportunity in this industry for people (any gender) who are willing to work hard, be creative and relentlessly optimistic, and find ways around “no.” I think our industry should continue to be focused on creating opportunities and forging pathways to equity for people of color, and those harmed by previous cannabis legislation and the War on Drugs. They are the future this industry needs to believe in.

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that? 

I think women have to work twice as hard for their work to be noticed and recognized. Women simply get it done. They don’t feel the need to show up at the bar or the golf course and crow about how hard they are working and what they’ve achieved – and we pay a price for that. We often don’t self promote – because we are too busy making dinner, meeting teachers and taking the dog to the vet when we’re not working. That’s a stubborn cultural root that we’re still chopping away at. All good CEOs know that if you want something done yesterday, ask someone with a vagina.

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it? 

I’m still in it – erasing the stigma of this plant, day by day, interview by interview, campaign by campaign. I used to think working with movie stars and media training Fortune 100 CEOs was challenging – then I had teenagers and a career in cannabis. Needless to say, getting an actor to hit their talking points on the Tonight Show to promote a superhero movie pales in comparison.

What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women? 

I’m proud that many of Curaleaf’s senior leadership positions are female represented (our head of Marketing, CSR, HR, Retail and Communications are women) and nearly half our workforce is female-identified. My team is 50% women, and through our Rooted in Good Supplier Diversity program, we’ve made a conscious effort to work with women and minority-owned agencies (of our three partner agencies, two are woman-owned and one is minority and LGBTQ-owned). I am also part of our terrific Executive Roundtable mentorship program, and one of my “mentees” is Liz Robinson of CBD brand The Gift (though I am quite certain I have learned more from Liz than she has from me). At Curaleaf, we have a variety of strong ERGs (employee resource groups)– I am the executive sponsor of our FamilyLeaf for working parents, and we also have our women-focused ERG, Women’s Cannabis Collective, which just sponsored our Women’s Appreciation Awards in recognition of International Women’s Day; the WCC is also starting its own mentorship program in Q2 of this year. We’ve also done partnerships such as sponsoring a recruitment event with Dress for Success. I also sit on the Communications Committee of the USCC, the industry’s leading voice in D.C. where it’s important to have not only female, but other diverse perspectives heard as we move our industry forward.

What are your personal goals for 2022? 

More sleep. Kidding. Everyone knows women in cannabis don’t sleep. Beyond that, my hobby is humor writing, and I’d like to get one of my personal essays published, if I can find the time and the right strain to help me. The working title is Middle School, Middle Age, and Marijuana – Pick 3.


Debra BorchardtMarch 3, 2022
Curaleaf.png?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1

5min6170

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) reported its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021. Total revenue was $320 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of only 1% from $317 million in the third quarter of 2021 and 39% from $230 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Curaleaf said that the revenue growth was due to new retail store openings, the addition of new wholesale partner accounts, product launches, and the expansion of cultivation and production facilities.

The net loss for the quarter was $28 million versus the third quarter’s net loss of $55 million and last year’s $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Curaleaf said that the year-over-year improvement in net loss was primarily driven by an approximately $20 million increase in operating income and $2 million of lower income tax expense, partially offset by $15 million of higher other expenses, net. The earnings per share were ($0.04), which missed the Yahoo Finance analyst estimate for earnings of ($0.03).

On the company’s earnings call, the company said it expected a soft cannabis market overall in the first quarter due to inflation issues. the company gave guidance on the conference call for revenues in the range of $1.4-$1.5 billion for 2022.

Full Year Results

Total revenue for the year ended 2021 was $1.2 billion, an increase of 93% from $627 million for the year ended 2020. Expectations were for revenues of $1.6 billion. The net loss for the year was $102 million versus a net loss of $57 million for the year ended 2020. The company said that the $103 million increase in operating income in 2021 was offset primarily by $69 million of higher total other expense, net, and $86 million of higher income tax expense. The year-over-year increase in total other expense, net, was primarily due to an approximately $38 million gain on an investment in 2020 that did not recur, $27 million of higher interest expense net of interest income, and $11 million of higher other expenses, partially offset by $9 million of lower impairment charges on intangible assets.

“2021 was another exceptional year for Curaleaf,” said Executive Chairman Boris Jordan. “We reached a significant milestone by generating over 90% revenue growth and exceeding $1.2 billion of total revenue for the first time. We continued to deliver gross and Adjusted EBITDA margin expansion and ended the year with one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry to support our ongoing growth strategies. In addition, we announced strategic acquisitions that have strengthened our ability to continue gaining share in key U.S. markets as well as internationally. Looking to 2022, we remain focused on executing our plan for strong, above-market revenue growth and margin accretion, and believe we are incredibly well-positioned to benefit from significant near-term catalysts such as the anticipated launch of New Jersey’s adult-use market.”

As of December 31, 2021, the Company had $299 million of cash and $436 million of outstanding debt net of unamortized debt discounts.

Joe Bayern, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf, stated, “In 2021, we made significant progress strengthening all areas of our business including growing our retail and wholesale distribution, introducing new products, expanding our cultivation and production capacity, and entering new markets such as Europe. I believe our focus and strong execution in 2021 set us up extraordinarily well for the significant growth opportunities that lie ahead in 2022 and beyond. I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of all our team members who have made our continued success possible. I believe Curaleaf is better positioned than ever to capitalize on the massive and growing cannabis opportunity.”


Debra BorchardtFebruary 28, 2022
Curaleaf.png?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1

3min14802

Curaleaf (OTC:CURLF) found itself in the social media crosshairs last week when several stock jocks blasted Curaleaf for its relationship with Russia. The criticism sparked dialogue both in support of the company and against. The company issued the following response on its website on Friday, February 25:

To our valued shareholders:

Rumors and misinformation spread during turbulent times. We are committed to fostering trust and transparency throughout the cannabis industry.

For the benefit of our investors and the transparency of the market, Curaleaf would like to provide some clarity by addressing speculation regarding how the Russia-Ukraine crisis may impact the Company.

  • U.S. citizens, whether they hold other passports or not, are not subject to and cannot be subject to, U.S. economic sanctions.
  • Curaleaf, as an American company, is also not subject to and cannot be subject to, U.S. economic sanctions.
  • Our Executive Chairman and largest shareholder, Boris Jordan, is an American citizen, born and raised on Long Island, New York. He is not, and has never been, a citizen of any other country.
  • Mr. Jordan spent several years working in Europe and Russia and currently has several businesses in the U.S. (Curaleaf among them), Europe and Russia.
  • Our second largest shareholder is Andrei Blokh, a successful retired CPG entrepreneur who is not active in the Company. Mr. Blokh is a U.S. citizen, who also holds a Russian passport.
  • The substantial majority of our shares are owned by the retail investor community and institutional investors.

The speculation on social media that the Company and its major shareholders and executives will somehow be subject to any U.S. government economic sanctions now or in the future is incorrect.

Prior to the Tweetstorm, Curaleaf stock had tumbled as part of a broader market selloff, yet it seemed to attempt a recovery before the Russian situation began. On Friday, the stock dropped another 5% to lately sell at $7.10.


Debra BorchardtFebruary 25, 2022
plant.jpg?fit=960%2C640&ssl=1

6min29791

Curaleaf’s (OTC: CURLF) connections to Russia are coming under scrutiny. The Twitterverse has pushed for a pro-Ukraine response from the company with many supposed shareholders claiming to have sold their shares due to their dissatisfaction with Executive Chairman Boris Jordan’s response. His response on Twitter was as follows:

Many have asked my position on the unfolding situation. Being of both Ukrainian and Russian descent I pray for diplomacy & a peaceful resolution that protects the lives of all citizens on both sides of this conflict.

…I remain hopeful that the proposed talks will come to fruition to allow a diplomatic resolution.

Curaleaf stock is down 6% in trading, lately selling at $7.05 while the broader markets are trading in positive territory.

According to a 2018 Yahoo Finance story, “Jordan, who was born in the U.S. to European parents with Russian ancestry, said he saw the fall of the wall as an opportunity and decided to fly to London, where he made contact with First Boston. The investment bank hired Jordan to lead its Russian operations, he said. In 1992, Jordan moved to Moscow. Amid the wave of privatizations that swept Russia, First Boston’s Moscow division became the most profitable in the company within two years. After leaving First Boston, Jordan founded Renaissance Capital in 1995. It became one of the largest investment banks focused on emerging markets. In 1998, Jordan founded The Sputnik Group, where he continues to work as president and chairman. Jordan led Russian TV Channel NTV and Gazprom Media, a subsidiary of Russian natural gas company Gazprom (OTC: OGZPY), until 2003.”

While many are supporting Jordan arguing that what is happening in Ukraine has no basis on a North American cannabis company, others argue he should separate himself from his Russian businesses. Supporters also suggest that Jordan supported Russia’s push towards capitalism. Green Market Report has reached out to Curaleaf for a comment but the company hasn’t issued a statement as of yet.

Other Cannabis’ Russia Connections

The cannabis industry has had a complicated past with Russia. One of the first politicians to fight for cannabis legalization former was Republican California Representative Dana Rohrabacher who had an affinity for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Wikipedia states that “Early in Rohrabacher’s congressional career in 1990 or 1991, KGB agent and deputy mayor of Saint Petersburg Vladimir Putin and two other Russians entered Rohrabacher’s congressional office in Washington D.C. who subsequently became close friends according to Rohrabacher during a 2013 interview with KPCC”

Green Market Report attended a cannabis conference in which then Rep. Rohrabacher spoke about his efforts towards legalization, but then veered off into a diatribe about supporting Russia. The room went demonstrably quiet and afterward many spoke about how uncomfortable they were with the politician’s cheerleading of Russia. Rohrabacher failed to show up for a scheduled interview with Green Market Report after the speech.

In January 2022, Law360 reported that “Former Rudy Giuliani associate Igor Fruman on Friday was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after previously admitting to soliciting $1 million from a Russian financier to make illicit political contributions in support of a cannabis venture. U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken handed down the sentence to Fruman, 55, noting the Belarus-born Florida businessman was aware of the prohibition on foreign political contributions in U.S. elections, and he and his codefendants took many steps to conceal their misconduct.”

It went on to report, “Two of Fruman’s codefendants — Lev Parnas and Andrey Kukushkin — were convicted at trial over their alleged roles in a ploy to use part of $1 million in purported loans from Russian tycoon Andrey Muraviev to make donations to U.S. election campaigns. Prosecutors say these pictures (with the Trump family) were used to bolster the notion that Parnas and Fruman had the necessary connections to use political power to support their putative cannabis business, which required difficult-to-obtain licenses from various states in order to open retail stores or cultivation sites. The cannabis venture was supposed to be bankrolled by Muraviev, who was close to Kukushkin, a California entrepreneur, with Parnas and Fruman leading the attempt to cozy up to favored politicians. Kukushkin and another man, David Correia, rounded out the partnership.”

No Question Here

Cannabis.net made its position clear as the publication is selling the t-shirt below:


StaffFebruary 9, 2022
shutterstock_1376854163-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C825&ssl=1

5min5590

Curaleaf

Raheem Uqdah, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Curaleaf

  1. When did you formally enter the cannabis space?

    I joined the cannabis industry when I was hired at Grassroots Cannabis in February 2019.

  2. What made you decide to work in the cannabis industry?
    The decision to join the industry just felt right. I was lucky enough to always find work that aligned with my internal compass and this opportunity was no different. The idea of being able to work in and help build an emerging industry was incredibly enticing to me. Since deciding to dive in I have never looked back.

  3. Do you feel there is more opportunity for Black Americans in the cannabis industry versus a more traditional industry? Yes or no and why?
    I think the answer to this question speaks to the newness of the industry. If this industry is easier for Black folks to enter, it is because we can engage before we are shut out. What I have found in cannabis are passionate people who are given the ability to grow and grow quickly because we are building the industry every day. This isn’t a legacy space with set processes and hierarchy, so the potential is almost unhindered if you are prepared to take a risk and capitalize on the opportunity.

    All of this isn’t to say that the doors are flung open. I am constantly talking about the requirement for large sums of cash to get started in the plant-touching side of this business. Of course, we have the context of systemic forces like housing or banking discrimination or drug policy enforcement that have disadvantaged Black communities historically. The unfortunate reality is that these historic injustices are compounded in the present when we ask applicants from these communities to front hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in cash to participate. Qualifications built on the foundations of societal inequity will further the inequity they are looking to address, and we need to think deeply about the outcomes and realities of these programs to make an impact.

  4. What is the most successful social equity effort in your opinion? Can be a charity or company program.
    Selfishly, I want to say Rooted in Good and the work we are doing at Curaleaf. I say that because we have a fantastic team constantly working to figure out how to disrupt “business as usual,” and a company culture where everyone has bought in. This isn’t a simple initiative or one-and-done project for us. This is how we do business, and everyone is excited about it. From our recent gathering of prospective Social Equity Applicants and Curaleaf Business Development team members to our cross-functional environmental task force, we are seeding these practices throughout our functional departments.

  5. What is your personal goal for 2022?
    Personally, my plans this year are to get out into the world more. My family is really into camping and cycling, so the last two years stuck inside for most of the summer have not been fun. We are already planning some fun trips out of the city this season.
    Professionally, this year is about measuring impact and doubling down on what is working. I cannot wait to kick off our sustainability projects here. The industry has a huge environmental footprint, and I am excited that  Curaleaf will be leading the industry in addressing this pressing topic.


Choose Your News

Subscribe to the Green Market Report newsletter that gives you original content delivered straight to your inbox.

 Subscribe

We respect your privacy. See our privacy policy.


About Us

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


READ MORE



Recent Tweets

@GreenMarketRpt – 13 hours

Verano Says New Jersey Generates Significant Growth

@GreenMarketRpt – 14 hours

Jushi Trims Losses As Revenues Rise Over Last Year

Back to Top

Choose Your News

Subscribe to the Green Market Report newsletter that gives you original content delivered straight to your inbox.

 Subscribe

We respect your privacy. See our privacy policy.