Jushi Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtJuly 6, 2022
shutterstock_680152363.jpg?fit=960%2C650&ssl=1

11min340

Bank buildings are becoming attractive locations for cannabis dispensaries, but fortified vaults aren’t the reason. The banking industry has been closing bank branches by the thousands. According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, 9% of all branch locations in the U.S. closed between 2017 and 2021 or roughly 7,500 brick and mortar locations. This move really picked up steam during the pandemic when most people migrated to online banking. Bank consolidation and improvements in mobile banking have also contributed to the banks giving up their locations. 

The number of bank locations peaked in 2009 at 92,394 individual physical branches, but then the financial crisis of 2007 set off a spiral of bank failures and consolidation. Banks have closed more than 13,089 branches since 2009. That means a lot of real estate has opened up for new renters.

Travis Goad, Managing Partner of Pelorus Equity Group said, “While this isn’t a widespread trend that we are seeing emerge across the country just yet, we see how a bank’s attributes would be appealing to cannabis retailers. Brick-and-mortar banks tend to have built-in features that could benefit a cannabis retailer. In addition to security features, banks are typically located in high-traffic locations with an interior that is designed to move the flow of foot traffic — and many are currently unoccupied. While the cannabis industry has seen steady growth in the last several years, the banking industry has faced accelerated branch closure rates, which doubled during the pandemic.”

It would seem that the bank vault would be the big draw since cannabis dispensaries handle a lot of cash and often have to lock up inventory, but that isn’t the case. 

It’s Not The Vault

 Andy Poticha, Principal of Cannabis Facility Construction said, “People assume because a bank has a vault, that bank vault can be reused in a dispensary. In most cases this is not true as the vaults in banks are very small particularly because there are intentionally smaller amounts of cash on site. The smaller vaults are useless for dispensaries because they’re not big enough to house what the cannabis facilities need for dispensing product.”

 Virginia Maggiore from RDC Cannabis Facility Construction came to a similar conclusion, “We have a project in Fresno in an old bank building which worked the existing vault room into the design as storage for cannabis products during sales hours and also as secure vault storage overnight. We often have to build a new secure room in retail dispensary spaces, so when we can work with existing vault spaces we are often able to save on cost and time. In my experience, building a new secure room can cost anywhere between $8,000-$10,000, or even up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in areas where local regulatory bodies require a more intense security setup, such as requiring a cannabis company to meet UL Standards.”

Security expert Tony Gallo, Managing Partner of Sapphire Risk Advisory Group said, “An advantage of renovating an old bank is that they are well-constructed and the likelihood of a breach from the exterior through the walls or ceiling is low. Another appeal is that old bank buildings have a reputation for being safe and secure and are typically not targets of crime.”

Drive Through Lanes

One thing that does appeal to some of these banks to bud building redos is the drive-through lanes. Poticha said, “It’s my opinion that the reason why cannabis dispensary owners are looking into using bank buildings has absolutely nothing to do with security but is completely related to the fact that those structures already have built-in drive-throughs. Many cannabis companies today believe that drive-through use will be a future approval even though the local jurisdiction may not have approved adult-use or might not ever considered allowing the use of drive-throughs. The fact that bank building drive-throughs have pneumatic tube systems is most desirable particularly as it relates to the transaction/express nature of preorders. We have worked with cannabis companies in West Virginia and New Jersey who have been very proactive in buying, renovating, and opening dispensaries in former banks with drive-up lanes but leaving them unused with the anticipation and expectation that one day the conversation for this method of product delivery to clients will begin and be accepted.”

Gallo said, “The bank drive-through lines could definitely be a benefit for cannabis dispensaries seeking to operate curbside pickups. I’ve had a few clients successfully integrate pneumatic tube systems into their operations to transport cannabis to the sales floor from the vault, and this could also be adapted to facilitate curbside sales. The pneumatic tubes could easily be used to check IDs, exchange payment, and transport cannabis.”

Bank Building 

One successful bank renovation is the Jushi (OTC: JUSHF) Beyond Hello medical cannabis dispensary located in Pottsville PA. The former old Schuylkill Trust Co. building was built in 1923 and is a classic “small-town skyscraper” with six stories of offices above the large banking hall. BEYOND / HELLO Pottsville occupies the first-floor banking hall, and special care has been taken to blend the modern retail style seamlessly with the former bank’s turn-of-the-century elegance. Andreas “Dre” Neumann, Chief Creative Director of Jushi said, “It is important to understand that because of regulations, and security and safety standards, we rarely get to take advantage of existing interior architectural design. We had high hopes of initially incorporating the historic bank vault in some shape or form into the design of the dispensary, but unfortunately, we were not able to. However, the exterior of the historic building has been carefully preserved and remains an important landmark in the downtown area.”

On top of that, one of Jushi’s cannabis brands is called The Bank and plays on the idea of banking with flower categories like Gold Standard and Vault.

 

Of course, dispensaries will need to do some legwork when assessing a bank building as a potential location. Gallo said, “Prior to purchasing or leasing an old bank to be a cannabis dispensary, you should determine where the current safe or vault is located to ensure it can facilitate the operations of a dispensary. For example, in one old bank, the vault was located on the basement level, with was not compatible with the operation of the business, and another vault had to be installed on the main floor. At another location, the vault was constructed in the middle of the sales floor and did not comply with regulatory guidelines.”

He added, “There is a misconception that renovating an old bank building is cheaper than renovating an existing retail space, but in my experience, this is not always the case. I have seen secure storage construction cost twice as much in a bank than it would in other properties.”


Debra BorchardtJune 16, 2022
vape.jpg?fit=960%2C668&ssl=1

6min510

Cannabis companies are cheering a court ruling that will allow the sale of vape products in the state again. Yesterday a Commonwealth Court judge ruled that Pennsylvania medical marijuana companies could resume selling vapes that were taken off the shelves in February in a controversial recall. Earlier this year, the state regulators published a list of over 500 vape products they deemed could not be sold because they did not meet FDA requirements. However, products included in the recall had previously been approved by the state Department of Health for more than three years and the recall specifically focused on medical marijuana vaporization products that contained terpene additives.

Two lawsuits resulted from the recall. According to Law360, “Medical Marijuana Access and Patient Safety Inc., a nonprofit made up of dispensaries, growers, processors, certified patients that use medical marijuana vaporization products, and other industry stakeholders, filed suit against three high-ranking members of the state DOH in February in Pennsylvania state court.” At the time, the court authorized the recalled products to be held in quarantine instead of being destroyed until a decision was reached.

One of the companies affected by the case, Jushi Holdings (CSE: JUSH) (OTCQX: JUSHF) released the following statement:

On behalf of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana patient community, we would like to extend our appreciation to the Commonwealth Court for its thoughtful assessment of the facts and circumstances upon which DOH’s February recall of tested, approved medical marijuana vaporization products containing terpenes was based, and for the subsequent orders issued on June 2 and June 15 allowing responsible operators to again make these products accessible to patients.

In light of the Court’s Orders, impacted products will be back on the shelves of BEYOND/HELLOTM dispensaries today and the shelves of our partner dispensaries across the Commonwealth in the coming days.

After receiving documents and testimony offered by MMAPS, the Court came to the unambiguous conclusion that DOH “failed to present any evidence” of potential harm to medical marijuana patients associated with the recalled products,” noting that the Department did not call any witnesses or present any evidence of patient complaints or adverse events during the preliminary injunction hearing.

Under Pennsylvania law, all medical marijuana products, including the recalled vaporization products, are subject to rigorous, redundant safety and quality testing and Department approval before they can be manufactured or dispensed. As to the recalled products specifically, DOH was neither able to cite a safety or quality testing deficiency nor a single adverse event relating to any recalled products.

“The Court’s June 2 and June 15 Orders are about more than just preserving patient access to tested, approved, and for many patients, effective medical marijuana products – they deliver peace of mind to thousands of Pennsylvanians that health risks cited by the Department could not be substantiated in any way or any extent.  In fact, the Court noted the Department itself approved the recalled products for patient use following stringent quality and safety testing and found no evidence of a single adverse event related to any recalled product.”  said Jim Cacioppo, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Founder for Jushi Holdings Inc.


Andrew WardApril 4, 2022
Grasslands-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1

9min190

It’s a well-accepted anecdotal fact that cannabis and music go together. From the jazz clubs to the headbangers ball to underground hip hop shows and beyond, where there’s music playing, pot’s often being consumed. 

That long-lasting bond has recently come in handy for brands looking to connect with legal consumers. Federal regulations prohibit cannabis from online ads, forcing marketers and brands to ramp up creativity. In recent years, cannabis brands have become increasingly present at music festivals and concerts through sponsorships, activations and other consumer-facing endeavors.

“When executed correctly and compliantly, live event marketing collaborations can absolutely drive sales and brand awareness, as well as form lasting consumer relationships and promote brand loyalty,” said Andreas Neumann, Jushi Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: JUSHF) (CNSX: JUSH) chief creative director and 2020 Grammy award winner for Best Album Package. 

While short on data, cannabis leaders say they’ve witnessed the potential in live events marketing and partnerships with cannabis-friendly artists. 

Live Event Marketing Grows In Cannabis

Like cannabis and its various medical claims, most seem to accept anecdotal feedback regarding the return on investment (ROI) for live event sponsorships. While additional findings would conclude the debate, most already agree on its efficacy.

“While legal cannabis is still a relatively young industry, the effectiveness of event marketing has been proven over and over in many other industries, including CPG,” said Glass House Brands Inc (OTCMKTS: GLASF) President Graham Farrar.

The uptick in cannabis at events has been noticeable, particularly in states with legalized adult-use and/or relaxed public consumption laws. 

“While we have more regulations to contend with, it doesn’t change the value that live events can bring,” said Farrar. 

Additional regulations, like bans on sales and onsite consumption, can prove detrimental, but brands have not let them thwart live music marketing endeavors. 

Associating With Live Acts Reportedly Pays Off

As cannabis becomes more widely accepted, its presence grows at significant live events. So much so that the plant is sometimes front and center. 

In October 2021, Eaze’s Grass Lands served as the hub for all things cannabis during the three-day Outside Lands Festival. Grass Lands came complete with its own stage and a three-day live music and comedy lineup. Event partners included Cookies, PAX, and Autumn Brands.

In January 2022, Veritas Fine Cannabis sponsored the 10th anniversary of the Winter on the Rocks concert held at Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheater. Diplo and Talib Kweli headlined the event. Veritas’ featured onsite activations to improve the concert experience, including free shuttle rides and live paintings by artist Morgan Mandala.

“Live event marketing enables us to position ourselves in front of a new audience, as these events bring people from various backgrounds together,” said Veritas Marketing Director Jordan Plunkett. 

The company also offered dispensary workers exclusive perks, including a performance by funk band Lettuce, catered meals, and early access to new products. 

Taylor Saralli, the company’s presentation manager, noted that Veritas engages in various live events each year, including activations with electronic artist Pretty Lights and art exhibits from Meow Wolf. 

Saralli, who considers live music one of the company’s most effective marketing tools, added, “Live events allow us to interact with, celebrate and create genuine relationships with our consumers and the budtenders who sell our products.”

Plunkett noted positive results from the Red Rocks event, including over 5,000 new consumer signups, 5,700 unique website visits, approximately 12% increase in social media engagement and roughly 300 new social media followers.

Others are reporting the benefits of live events. Juanjo Feijoo, COO & CMO for WM Technology Inc (NASDAQ: MAPS), didn’t offer financial figures but noted that activation partners had seen increased numbers from live event activations.

He noted that a 2021 live event collaboration at the multi-day Aftershock Festival with Sacramento-based dispensary and delivery service KOLAS paid off immensely. Their endeavor, the Loud Lounge, allowed guests to kick back while waiting for delivery orders. 

Feijoo said sales boomed for KOLAS, resulting in “The equivalent of two or three weekends of orders for them.” He attributed the success to finding consumers in one collective event.

Thinking Beyond The Show

Opportunities exist beyond the venue, offering brands and performers ample opportunity to collaborate. 

One example includes the September 2021 partnership between Denver’s Seed & Smith and electronic artists Big Gigantic. The company featured strains chosen by the band as part of the release of the company’s DART pod system. The company reported seeing a worthwhile ROI from the deal.

“Having that name attached to the DART certainly influenced some purchasing,” said Robbie Wroblewski, director of community outreach for Seed & Smith. The company did not provide financial data to support its report.

 


StaffFebruary 7, 2022
shutterstock_1376854163-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C825&ssl=1

8min40

Jushi Holdings Inc.

Latoya Bellamy-Lockhart, Vice President of Human Resources of Jushi Holdings Inc. (OTC: JUSHF)

When did you formally enter the cannabis space?

I’ve been around cannabis most of my life, though I formally entered the industry in December of 2020. While I was at my last job, working as the Human Resources Director at Brightline Trains, I was contacted by a recruiter who thought I would be a great fit for a role in Jushi’s Human Resources department. After meeting with Nichole Upshaw, Jushi’s head of HR, and others, I took a hard look at the company’s values, trajectory, and the overall cannabis landscape, and everything just seemed to click. I accepted the offer to become Jushi’s Sr. Director, Talented Acquisition & Employee Experience. Making the leap into cannabis ended up being fairly easy because the whole thing felt natural. Right away, it became clear that my perspectives and the professional skills I had previously developed would not only add value to the company but could also make a real difference in people’s lives.

One year later, I am Jushi’s Vice President of Human Resources, where I am charged with overseeing the company’s areas of talent acquisition, employee relations, and employee experience. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this incredibly important movement in America’s history.

What made you decide to work in the cannabis industry? 3 reasons.

While there were numerous reasons, the most important factor for me was the opportunity to work in an environment focused on improving the quality of life for so many people. Cannabis allows millions of people to manage a wide variety of difficult and debilitating conditions, and this impact can’t be overlooked. Secondly, I have witnessed the horrible consequences of the failed war on drugs, both within my own community and throughout our country as a whole. The opportunity to drive key changes in how society perceives and handles cannabis is something I am immensely proud of and do not take lightly. Lastly, I wanted to work with compassionate, innovative people who stand for something I believe in. At Jushi, I’m so grateful to work with such wonderful and talented people. Together we have built a team that is not only committed to doing right by our patients, customers, and communities but also committed to uplifting each other and bettering the cannabis industry as a whole. As a result, we’ve become one of the strongest cannabis companies in the space.

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 there are sizable opportunities for Black Americans both in and out of the cannabis sector that has largely been untapped and unrealized due to our country’s legacy of systematic racism and disenfranchisement. Specifically talking about the cannabis sector, I believe there are a wide variety of opportunities for Black Americans; we are in a unique position, as so many of us have firsthand knowledge of and experience with the plant, we have been disproportionately incarcerated and affected by the war on drugs, and we hold a deep understanding of the history and culture surrounding plant and how it’s led to where the industry is at today. Our knowledge is a real asset.

Both the private and public sectors have more work to do in terms of promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion. Of the utmost importance: I look forward to seeing more Black Americans’ records expunged so that they have the opportunity to benefit from and be a part of what is now a multi-billion dollar industry. While there is a ton more work to do, we are making progress, and we won’t stop fighting for equality and overturning failed policies of the past that continue to plague Black communities and bar Black Americans’ ability to be successful in this industry.

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

My personal favorite is the Center for Constitutional Rights (“CCR”), an organization dedicated to advancing and protecting rights guaranteed by both the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through its combined application of cutting-edge litigation, education, advocacy, and strategic communications efforts, the CCR is able to address a broad range of civil and human rights issues. This work is vital given our current social climate where the rights of so many are infringed upon and egregious inequality still exists.

What is your personal goal for 2022?

As a woman and a Black American in the workforce, I’m acutely aware the odds have been stacked against me. I have the tendency to place too much pressure on myself – I’m sure many Black women can relate. At times, I know that pressure has caused me to unnecessarily second-guess myself. In 2022, some of my personal goals are to cut myself a break, focus more on self-care and continue working to trust myself. I plan to put myself out there more and be an example to show Black Americans what’s possible. I also plan on taking on more mentees in the space who I can show the ropes too. I’ve been lucky to have some great mentors over the years and I’m determined to pay it forward; I encourage others in leadership roles to do the same. Mentoring – through both big and small actions –  can make all the difference in someone’s life and career.


StaffJanuary 27, 2022
beyond.jpg?fit=960%2C540&ssl=1

4min80

Jushi Holdings Inc.  (CSE: JUSH) (OTCQX: JUSHF) has closed a non-brokered private placement  raising $10 million as the company’s shares have begun to lift from its 52 week low of $2.95 and shares were lately trading at $3.56.

“We are extremely encouraged by the support we continue to receive from GAMA, a well-established asset manager,” said Jim Cacioppo, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Founder of Jushi. “Their confidence reiterates the strength of our differentiated corporate strategy, industry leading organic revenue growth rate, geographic footprint leveraged to medical states evolving to adult-use, as well as the strength of our management team. This investment will support the expansion of our grower-processor facilities and our continued pursuit of accretive acquisitions.”

The offering of 2,717,392 subordinate voting shares were sold at a price of $3.68 per share to Graticule Asset Management Asia for gross proceeds of $10 million. Jushi said the funds will be used for potential strategic acquisitions and general corporate purposes. As of December 31, 2021, the company’s pro forma cash balance, including proceeds from the Offering, was approximately $104 million.

Mr. Cacioppo continued, “Given recent stock market volatility, we are seeing a tremendous amount of deal opportunities, driven by recent license issuances and pending processes in Illinois and Ohio, several broken deals and auctions, our current pipeline, and an increase in the number of distressed companies. We are well-positioned with a strong balance sheet and cash holdings which exceed our anticipated capex plans and continue to have access to additional sources of financing to pursue strategic expansion opportunities.”

A couple of weeks ago Cacioppo announced he had purchased 66,800 Class B Subordinate Voting Shares of the company in the open market for an approximate amount of two hundred and twenty thousand dollars. He now own in the aggregate, approximately 19.2% of the issued and outstanding Subordinate Voting Shares

Mr. Cacioppo concluded, “In addition, our acquisition facility, pro forma for the Nevada transactions closing, will have approximately $63 million of available capacity, including the accordion feature. We are confident that our disciplined approach to capital allocation, along with our industry-leading M&A track record will result in significant long-term value for our shareholders as we continue to scale the business.”

Debra BorchardtJanuary 10, 2022
law-2.jpg?fit=960%2C640&ssl=1

13min192

Even as cannabis companies are making lots of noise about their social equity actions, Republicans are quickly moving to strip out any efforts to level the playing field. The latest move is by Virginia’s legislation. The state’s SB107 was filed on January 6 and is scheduled to be offered on January 12, 2022. What is notable about the legislation is that 30% of the tax revenue was originally carved out to go to the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund established pursuant to § 2.2-2499.8 and instead is being directed to the general fund. Sources told Green Market Report that legislators were calling the program, “give a felon a license.”

Paul McLean of the Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition one of the most respected new voices within the Virginian cannabis industry said, “The SB107 appears to be the first move in dismantling social equity in Virginia. Having funding is essential to the success of an equity program, and eliminating that funding is a slap in the face to those who have worked so hard to ensure Virginia has a healthy and equitable cannabis market. Part of what VMCC is doing with our boot camps is providing funding connections to graduates because of the systemic lack of funding opportunities overall and primarily Black and Brown entrepreneurs, especially those impacted by the war on drugs. We know that our elected officials can do better, and Virginians must demand they do what is fair for their constituents.”

The fund was created in the state treasury as a special nonreverting fund that was to be used to help those affected by the drug wars and that any leftover money was specifically not to go to the general fund. The language initially the money for the purposes of:

1. Supporting persons, families, and communities historically and disproportionately targeted and affected by drug enforcement;

2. Providing scholarship opportunities and educational and vocational resources for historically marginalized persons, including persons in foster care, who have been adversely impacted by substance use individually, in their families, or in their communities;

3. Awarding grants to support workforce development, mentoring programs, job training and placement services, apprenticeships, and reentry services that serve persons and communities historically and disproportionately targeted by drug enforcement.

4. Contributing to the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission established pursuant to § 19.2-163.01; and

5. Contributing to the Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund established pursuant to § 4.1- 1501.

Democrats had passed the original legislation, but Republican Glenn Youngkin won a hard-fought race to become the new Governor. Activists had become concerned that Youngkin might slow roll the efforts to begin legal adult-use sales that were slated for 2024, although there have also been some efforts to speed the timeline. Republicans in the state did not vote for legalization, while the Democrats did. Youngkin said in April that he’s “never met anybody who habitually used marijuana and was successful.” In May he described legalization as “another problem that’s going to be dumped at my feet” if he were elected. Yet, cannabis companies were hopeful that legalization would proceed.

Jim Cacioppo, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Founder of Jushi (OTC: JUSHF) said in November, “With Governor-elect Youngkin previously stating that he would uphold the will of the people, and focus on creating a ‘rip-roaring economy,’ we are fully confident that he and the people of Virginia will continue to make progress as we look to bring thousands of new well-paying jobs, drive hundreds of millions in taxable infrastructure development and generate hundreds of millions in new tax dollars through a safe, regulated program at a time when the Commonwealth is ready to prosper.”

Virginia Medical Marijuana Companies

While Virginia has only legalized medical marijuana, some large MSO’s have targeted the state for growth. Jushi and Columbia Care (OTC: CCHWF) are both located in the state. Dalitso LLC dba Beyond / Hello (retail brand for Jushi) operates in the state, along with Green Leaf Medical and Dharma Pharmaceuticals. MedMen’s approval was rescinded in June of 2021. In September, Columbia Care said that it teamed up with three organizations – BIPOCANN, Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition, and Nolef Turns to offer social equity-driven resources for the developing cannabis community in Virginia.

“Undoing the harms of prohibition requires more than laws–it takes community, outreach and resources,” said Ngiste Abebe, Vice President of Public Policy at Columbia Care in September. “As the market leader in Virginia, we want to see a thriving cannabis economy in which everyone can take part, especially those who have been disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition. While Virginians wait for adult use laws to be finalized, partnerships like this can help prepare impacted communities to benefit from economic opportunities that have been explicitly created for them. We look forward to working with these partners and local officials to support an expanded, more diverse, more impactful cannabis community in Virginia.”

SRA

In  November, Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC) sponsored The States Reform Act (SRA), filed in the U.S. House saying, “This bill supports veterans, law enforcement, farmers, businesses, those with serious illnesses, and it is good for criminal justice reform. Furthermore, a super-majority of Americans support an end to cannabis prohibition, which is why only 3 states in the country have no cannabis reform at all.” Her bill did offer expungement for those convicted of cannabis crimes, but it did not include any social equity language. Mace is a freshman Congressional member with less power than others. She is also a proponent of the “Big Lie,” which didn’t seem to deter cannabis industry leaders who sang her praises in November.

Many in the cannabis industry have become frustrated with Democratic leadership that has not been able to pass any legislation. Senator Chuck Schumer has insisted on holding out for legislation that includes some sort of social equity component, but that issue seems to be the line in the sand for Republicans. Expungement looks to be palatable, as does banking language, but offering to level the playing field is apparently a bridge too far.

New York Dems Create $200M Fund

While Virginia is stripping out the social equity fund, New York’s Democratic governor Kathy Hochul is taking a different approach. In the “State of the State” book released last week, it said “In support of that goal, Governor Hochul will create a $200 million public-private fund to support social equity applicants as they plan for and build out their businesses. Licensing fees and tax revenue will seed the fund and leverage significant private investment.”

It went on to say, “While New York has committed to making its cannabis industry more equitable, this action will put that commitment into practice. New York will lead where many other states have fallen short,” it continues. “The governor is focused on providing more than basic business supports and training for our future cannabis entrepreneurs, and this fund will provide direct capital and startup financing to social equity applicants as the State takes meaningful steps to ensuring that New York’s cannabis industry is the most diverse and inclusive in the nation.”

Social Equity Programs

While states have had hopes of creating programs to level the playing field, the results haven’t been as promising. The Diversion, Inclusion, and Social Equity (DISE) Committee of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) released a detailed accountability report in November. The report carefully examined California’s social equity program, specifically, the state’s initial seven districts that received grant funds from the California Cannabis Equity Act passed in 2018. The California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 was designed to empower minority business owners who have been most impacted by the War on Drugs. Children of those incarcerated for non-violent crimes were among the applicants who applied to benefit from the program, which is about as close to “impacted by the War on Drugs” as it gets. 

Many people believe California’s social equity program isn’t living up to what was promised when the bill was passed. The accountability report released by the CCIA proved that to be true. 

Here are some key findings: 

  • In Oakland, 90% of respondents said lack of capital is a major problem plaguing their business 
  • In Los Angeles, as of October 1, 2021, only 28 of the 200 identified social equity applicants have received temporary approval
  • In Mendocino, the County has not yet approved any Equity Eligible Applications

In Closing

It’s tremendously difficult to engineer social progress. Some states are very focused on the effort, while others are less so. Some have implemented programs to varying levels of success. Most have faced great criticism as no one strategy has proven to be the most effective. Cannabis companies often seem caught between trying to address the issues on their own versus wanting to support legislation that financially benefits the companies, but has no interest in social equity.

 


Julie AitchesonDecember 2, 2021
thanksgiving.jpg?fit=960%2C640&ssl=1

5min80

The numbers are in and it’s official—Green Wednesday 2021 was a big one for the cannabis industry, while Black Friday fizzled in comparison. Green Wednesday saw cannabis sales increase across the U.S. Black Friday did not have the sales growth seen in previous years, though some data (Flowhub) showed larger order values and bigger discounts than Green Wednesday. Data from market analytics and cannabis companies like Headset, LeafLink, Lantern, Glass House Brands, and others show common trends regarding most popular products and year-over-year sales numbers. Using this data, companies extrapolate some possible variables affecting this year’s numbers, including a decreased emphasis on Black Friday door-buster deals targeted towards packing stores with bargain-hungry shoppers, focusing instead on online sales spread out over the holiday season (Springbig).

Headset’s Green Wednesday 2021 data showed a 33% increase in total retail sales compared with the four previous Wednesdays, with a marked trend of customers taking advantage of promotions on offer to receive discounts on holiday shopping, with the average discount up 29 percent. This was in contrast to a slight decrease in sales (-4.6%) on Black Friday relative to the previous four Fridays, despite the fact that average Black Friday discounts increased by 56% from the previous four Fridays.

Flowhub’s data showed an average Green Wednesday discount of $9.57 (up from $8.94 in 2020) and an average Black Friday discount of $11.09. Notable in Flowhub’s findings was the conclusion that while Green Wednesday was a big sales day, Thanksgiving weekend as a whole had lower pre-tax sales than a typical Wednesday through Sunday. Jushi Holdings (OTC: JUSHF) didn’t seem to notice, however, experiencing its best online sales day in the company’s history on Green Wednesday 2021 with an 80% uptick in sales during Thanksgiving week and online ordering up 200% on Green Wednesday. Eaze saw a 135% increase in deliveries compared to a typical Wednesday in 2021, making it their second biggest day this year by both numbers of deliveries and sales after 04/20/21.

Edibles Most Popular For Green Wednesday

Headset’s data on category winners by sales numbers showed edibles leading the pack with 67% growth on Green Wednesday and 11% on Black Friday. Topicals and tinctures took second and third place while beverages saw a whopping 86% growth. Leaflink showed flower holding the top spot for most popular category in the month leading up to Green Wednesday making up 33% of sales with cartridges coming in second up 24.9% from the previous month. Jane Technologies saw its biggest category sales increases in edibles (94%), vapes (84%), and flower (73%) compared to the previous three Wednesdays, with chocolates and disposables leading subcategory sales by increases of 126% and 100% respectively. For Glass House Brands (OTC: GLASF), flower, carts, and edibles were the big winners.

LeafLink’s data measured the growth of sales (10.61%) during the month leading up to Green Wednesday compared to October, with the biggest sales increase (16%) coming during the week of November 14th over the previous week. The run-up to Green Wednesday broke records for cannabis company Lantern, with a 44% rise in average daily sales leading up to Green Wednesday, though there was no significant change to daily Average Order Value.  As the cannabis economy continues to transform to meet a shifting retail environment and shopping behaviors adaptive to these uncertain times, market analysts and retailers will continue to keep an eye on Green Wednesdays and Black Fridays to come as annual bellwethers for the market.

 


StaffDecember 1, 2021
holiday-2.jpg?fit=960%2C493&ssl=1

8min80

Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE: JUSH) (OTCQX: JUSHF) recently conducted a “Cannabis Consumer Insights Holiday” poll that found most cannabis consumers plan on giving cannabis-related gifts for the holidays. The poll surveyed 1,000 cannabis consumers from U.S. states with state-legalized cannabis sales and most said they plan on making cannabis a part of their holiday celebrations. In addition to that, their friends and family members may also get some cannabis presents this year as a majority of those surveyed said it would be a part of the shopping list.

“As a company that places a premium on leveraging the power of research, data, technologies, and processes, our Cannabis Consumer Insights Holiday poll shares important revelations into how today’s cannabis consumers’ preferences and behaviors are shifting,” said Jim Cacioppo, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Founder of Jushi. “As we close out the year, we look forward to continuing to share our learnings with the larger community, particularly as the sector rapidly evolves and cannabis consumers shift their behaviors.”

The national survey was commissioned by Jushi and conducted by Pollfish. It was overseen by Associate Professor at ArtCenter College of Design, Interaction Designer, Futurist and Jushi Experience Director Julian Scaff and it found that cannabis consumers 21 years and older in adult-use states overwhelmingly plan to consume cannabis as part of their holiday celebrations this season. Furthermore, the majority of respondents plan to give cannabis as gifts this holiday season. The survey also revealed cannabis consumers’ favorite types of cannabis products, with flower and pre-rolls together taking the combined top spot, followed by edibles and vapes.

Cannabis Gets Festive

In the survey, more than nine out of 10 respondents (91%) said that they plan to use cannabis as part of their holiday celebrations this year. In addition, when asked how much is typically spent on cannabis per month, 27% of respondents reported spending $100 to $150, 25% reported $50 to $100 and 20% reported $150 to $200.

The New Stocking Stuffer

An overwhelming majority (76%) of respondents said they plan to give cannabis or related products as gifts this holiday season. However, even more respondents stated that they planned to give cannabis as gifts when full legalization is enacted. When asked, “if cannabis was legal across all of America, would you be more likely to purchase cannabis or cannabis-related products as holiday gifts,” 88% stated yes.

Driving Factors in Selecting Cannabis Products

When asked to rank the two most important factors in choosing a cannabis product, THC level (50%) and price (49%) took the top slots. In terms of favorite types of cannabis products (check all that apply),” respondents listed: flower (52%) and pre-rolls (46%) as the combined favorite, followed by edibles (65%), and then, vapes (46%). Seventy-four percent of respondents reported that the specific strain (i.e., “Sour Diesel”) is important or very important in choosing a cannabis flower product. Additionally, when asked “how important is the brand of a cannabis product to you,” 74% of consumers stated it was important or very important.

Home Delivery, Online and Express Checkout

When asked “how do you typically shop for cannabis,” the majority of respondents said shopping in-store at a dispensary was their preferred method (58%). However, purchasing online and getting express or curbside pickup came in at 27%, while ordering online and getting home delivery came in at 16% – signaling an ongoing shift in retail’s digital and physical convergence, as well as the impact COVID-19 has had on shopping behaviors.

Health & Wellness: Cannabis & Alcohol Consumption

When asked “what do you use cannabis for (check all that apply), anxiety/stress took the top placement with 72% of the vote, followed by sleep at 57% and pain at 54% as the most common ailments people are managing with cannabis. Nearly a quarter (24%) of the poll’s respondents stated they are drinking less, and more than 15% stated they stopped drinking alcohol because of cannabis. However, 23% stated they consume more alcohol since using cannabis.


StaffOctober 18, 2021
employment-people-services.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=1

5min230

Two leading cannabis companies have made major changes in the C-suite on Monday morning.

HEXO

The biggest move came from HEXO Corp.  (TSX: HEXO)(NASDAQ: HEXO) which announced that its CEO and Co-Founder Sebastien St-Louis was leaving immediately and that the company was engaging in a structural reorganization. In addition to the CEO, HEXO said that its Chief Operating Officer, Donald Courtney was also out. The Special Committee of the Board for Succession said it was in advanced discussions with a preferred CEO candidate and expected to make an announcement soon. Courtney will remain as COO until a suitable replacement is named.

The shakeup comes not long after Hexo reported that its third-quarter fiscal 2021 that ended in April, showed total revenue sliding by $10.2 million sequentially to $22.6 million. Since then, the company moved its shares to trade on the NASDAQ and closed on a $144 million offering. The company also closed two acquisitions 48North and Redecan.

“Building HEXO from the ground-up to become number one in Canada has been the highlight of my career,” said Sebastien St-Louis. “Without question, HEXO’s future is bright – I am so proud of the team we established, the brands we launched, and the loyalty our customers have shown us. As a significant shareholder, I look forward to the company’s next exciting stage of growth.”

Hexo said in a statement that its next leader would be well-positioned to integrate its recent acquisitions and “leverage the company’s lean production capabilities, solid brands, and robust product offering to lead HEXO through its next phase of strategic evolution.”

“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Sebastien for his tremendous impact on the Canadian cannabis industry. Through his years of dedication, he has helped build HEXO into a market leader in Canada,” said Dr. Michael Munzar, Chair of the Board. “The Board has established a Special Committee for Succession to identify a new CEO with the experience to defend HEXO’s position as a market leader in Canada and secure our place as a top-three global cannabis company.”

Jushi

Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE: JUSH) (OTCQX: JUSHF) announced the appointment of Edward (“Ed”) Kremer as its new Chief Financial Officer. Kremer brings over 20 years of financial leadership experience across a wide variety of industries, including technology, fashion, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, licensing, and retail. Jushi also announced that Kimberly Bambach has stepped down from her role as CFO effective immediately, but will remain with the company in a support role through December 1, 2021. Kremer most recently served as Chief Operating and Restructuring Officer of Le Tote and Lord & Taylor, overseeing the organization’s M&A and restructuring efforts.


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 – 1 hour

Landlords Just Saying No To Cannabis

@GreenMarketRpt – 7 hours

Cannabis Banking Bill Passage After Election Season Is ‘Likely’, Analyst Says

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.