It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for August 7, 2019.
On the Site
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) reported financial results in Canadian dollars for the second quarter and first-half ending June 30, 2019, with net revenue climbing 202% to $10.2 million over last year’s $3.4 million. The revenue increased 58% sequentially from $6.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. The company attributed the increase to sales in CBD oil, which carries no excise tax reduction and increased sales of dry flower.
Today, GrowGeneration Corp. (OTCQX: GRWG) announced the release of the financial results for the fiscal quarter ending on June 30, 2019. Net revenue for the quarter was $19.48 million, up from $7.15 million in the same period of the previous year. The company attributes the increase in revenue to the addition of 14 new retail stores
SOL Global Investments (CSE: SOL)(OTCPK: SOLCF) is changing from an international cannabis investment company to a U.S. multi-state cannabis operator (MSO) under the Life Sciences category of the Canadian Securities Exchange. In addition to the business designation change, the company is also changing its name to Bluma Wellness.
In Other News
Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. (OTCQB: DPWW) announced that its Denver licensee reported record sales for the month of July and that its sales average has risen by 8.56%. “Diego Pellicer – Colorado has clearly proven that premium products plus outstanding customer service and a world-class shopping experience is a winning formula for success,” said Diego Pellicer CEO Ron Throgmartin.
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (CSE: PLTH) (OTCQX: PLNHF) announced that in July it served on average 1,937 customers per day with an average sale of $90.41 from the Planet 13 Las Vegas Cannabis Entertainment Complex. In May, the company accounted for roughly 10% of all cannabis sales in the state of Nevada, with a customer conversion rate of 60%. “We continue to drive impressive results from the SuperStore’s original 16,000 sq. ft. dispensary footprint in advance of the Phase II,” said Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13. “In May we reached an impressive milestone, the SuperStore accounted for 10% of all dispensary sales in Nevada. I’m optimistic we will see this trend continue once the department of taxation releases June and July numbers.”
C21 Investments Inc. (CSE: CXXI) (OTC: CXXIF) released its unaudited financial results for the quarter ending on July 31, 2019. Unaudited revenue grew from $7.7 million to $9.8 million, representing a quarter-over-quarter increase of 27%. The unaudited gross margin rose from 43% to 49%. The company will release its certified financial results on or around September 12, 2019.
Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) announced that it has received approval to acquire 100% 100% of the membership interests of Gloucester Street Capital, LLC, the parent company of Valley Agriceuticals (Valley AG). Valley AG is one of ten vertically integrated medical cannabis license holders in the state of New York. The license will give Cresco the right to operate one cultivation facility and four dispensaries in the state. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the August.
Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQB: PLPRF) reported its results for the fourth quarter and calendar year ending December 31, 2018. The quarter’s revenues were $3.3 million and the company delivered a net loss of $2.9 million. This was an increase in sales of 770% over 2017 for the same time period and a 31% sequential increase.
Executive Order Establishes Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency
Governor Whitmer’s executive order 2019-07 has established the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), combining previous authorities, functions, and duties into an agency which allows the state of Michigan to more efficiently regulate both medical and adult-use marijuana.
In Other News
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (CSE: PLTH) (OTCMKTS: PLNHF) has announced their fourth quarter and full-year financial results for 2018. In the fourth quarter, revenues rose to $8.3 million. Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $1.9 million, and the company had a net loss of $4 million. For the year, revenues were $21.2 million, adjusted EBITDA was a loss of about $0.5 million, and the company incurred a net loss of $10.7 million.
TILT Holdings Inc. (CSE: TILT) (OTCMKTS: SVVTF) has announced their year-end financial results for 2018. Revenue for the year was $5.7 million with an additional $98 million in pro forma revenue. The net loss was $552.1 million, but that included a $496.4 million one-time, non-cash goodwill impairment taken at the end of fiscal 2018 related to the company’s reverse takeover of Sante Veritas Holdings. Excluding the reverse takeover, the company’s net loss was $55.7 million.
The pet-focused hemp and cannabis wellness brand, True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. (CSE: MJ) (OTCQX: TRLFF) (FSE: TLA) announced today that they have received C$914,442.73 from the exercise of warrants before their expirations on April 21, 2019. In total, the company exercised 2,575,895 warrants at a price of C$0.355 per warrant. “True Leaf is proud to have strong support from our investor community as demonstrated by the successful warrant exercise,” said Darcy Bomford, Founder and CEO of True Leaf. “This additional capital will strengthen our balance sheet and allow us to continue to execute on our growth plans, including bringing a legally-compliant CBD product for pets to market and expanding our global distribution, including entering new markets in the Asia Pacific region and Australia.”
Alternate Health Corp. (CSE: AHG) (OTCQB: AHGIF) is making a play for the CBD industry. Today the company announced that it will acquire Blaine Labs Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of FDA-approved and cGMP-certified dermatological products, for $20 million. Blaine Labs currently has over 50 SKUs currently available in major retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, CVS and Walgreens. Alternate Health hopes to use the company’s existing equipment and distribution network to launch a proprietary line of CBD-infused products.
CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX: TRST) (NYSE: CTST) has announced the pricing of its previously-announced underwritten public offering. The company is selling 30,909,091 common shares at a price of $5.50 per share for gross proceed of around $170 million, minus underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. Some shareholders are also selling 5,454,545 common shares in the offering. Additionally, the company has granted to the underwrites a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 4,636,363 and 818,182 common shares, respectively, at the public offering price. The offering is expected to close on or around May 6, 2019.
Advertising in the cannabis industry is difficult. In most U.S. states where cannabis is legal, rules regarding cannabis advertising are complicated and extremely restrictive. For example, in California, businesses can only run ads in areas where “71.6 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older.” The advertising landscape online is even far less forgiving. Most online ads platforms, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, explicitly prohibit the advertisement of cannabis products.
In the absence of reasonable advertising regulations for the cannabis industry, many business owners have turned to a new and rapidly growing form of advertisement: Social Media Influencers.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is a person that uses their large social media following (which can range thousands to millions of followers) to promote certain products or services. Outside of the cannabis industry, one of the most successful social media influencers is Kylie Jenner, who companies will often pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for single social media post promoting their product.
Does Influencer Marketing Work?
While some may balk at the idea of paying a person thousands of dollars to promote a product on Instagram, the numbers do not lie – influencer marketing works. Approximately 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. Companies that use influencer marketing earn on average $6.50 for every dollar spent. By 2020, the influencer market is expected to grow to $10 billion.
Why Are Cannabis Companies Turning to Influencers?
As alluded to earlier, advertising in the cannabis industry is difficult. Not only are advertising regulations for cannabis complex, but also traditional means of advertisements are expensive. Buying ad space on television, radio, or a billboard can cost companies thousands of dollars with little guarantee of success. In contrast, influencer marketing is loosely regulated (for now) and less expensive.
It is also easier to target specific demographics by relying on influencers that appeal to your core audience. Cannabis business owners may not know who is going to view their highway billboard, but they do know what kind of person is going to visit Snoop Dogg’s Instagram page.
Who Are The Leading Cannabis Influencers?
The question of who the cannabis industry’s leading influencers are is a topic for debate. Unlike other industries where the practice more prevalent, influencer marketing in the cannabis industry is still relatively new. Consequently, it is difficult to say who is the “top cannabis influencer.” However, there are at least a few cannabis influencers that stand out from the pack. Here’s five cannabis influencer that have turned their social media following into big business:
Comedian Seth Rogen has built a career off of starring in stoner comedies like Pineapple Express and This Is The End, so it is only natural that he would use his talent and fame to spread the word about cannabis. With 6.6 million followers on Instagram, Rogen might not be the world’s most widely followed celebrity, but he has built up a strong and loyal social media following. Hoping to capitalize off of his reputation as a cannabis connoisseur, Rogen and his fried/business partner Evan Goldberg have teamed up with the world’s largest cannabis company, Canopy Growth, to launch a new hemp and cannabis company called Houseplant. Understanding the power of social media, Rogen announced the brand by leaving a cryptic message asking people to follow the Houseplant’s Instagram page.
Not content to be the World Heavy Champion of Boxing, sports legend Mike Tyson has dived headfirst into the cannabis industry. Like Seth Rogen, Tyson has leveraged his fame to turn himself into one of the industry’s leading advocate. Tyson has partnered with the upscale cannabis dispensary Planet 13 to be the exclusive launch partner of his 40-acre cannabis resort, dubbed Tyson Ranch. In addition to Tyson’s 7.6 million Instagram followers, Tyson has a popular cannabis podcast called Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, which has close to 90,000 followers.
“Tyson Ranch, consists of a team with 100+ years of industry experience focusing on quality to make premium cannabis products. We are all about going the extra step to offer truly great cannabis. The Planet 13 Cannabis Entertainment Complex offers customers an ultra-premium cannabis experience that dovetails perfectly with Tyson Ranch’s belief that not all cannabis is created equally,” said MikeTyson.
Dan Bilzerian, owner of the cannabis brand Ignite, is perhaps one of the biggest influencers in the cannabis industry. Often a polarizing figure within the industry, Bilzerian’s social media pages are filled with bikini-clad models in various states of undress, exotic locations, and more often than naught firearms. While some may characterize his social media presence as the epitome of toxic masculinity, with more than 26 million followers on Instagram, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t have a strong following.
Bilzerian became one of the world’s most successful professional poker players, winning over $50 million in a single year. Despite not adhering to any social norms — and continuing to be unapologetically himself — he developed a reputation within the gambling community for always doing what he said he would do, a mindset that he’s carried with him into numerous investment opportunities, business ventures, and personal pursuits — creating an empire. Now, he’s dedicated to building a brand in the cannabis industry to live the Ignite lifestyle.
Michael Straumietis, also known as Big Mike, is the CEO of the cannabis fertilizer company Advanced Nutrients. Straumietis has built a career off of developing cannabis-specific nutrients and has leveraged that fame into an Instagram following of almost 3 million. Unlike Dan Bilzerian, Straumietis positions himself more as a cannabis thought leader than a globe-trotting playboy.
In 1996, BigMike took $25,000 he’d made from a small illegal grow in Temecula, California, snuck into Canada with a fake passport and built a growing organization 200 people strong. He then used his growing and business expertise to start his company, Advanced Nutrients. Today, Advanced Nutrients is the maker of the #1 selling cannabis-specific nutrient line in the world, with over $110 million a year in sales from 93 countries. Advanced Nutrients also lends seed money to individuals in developing countries who dream of starting a small business, but lack the means to do so. BigMike‘s charity Holiday Heroes feeds over 30 thousand people in need, each Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Charlo Greene is a former journalist turned cannabis entrepreneur that gained overnight fame after she announced live on television that she was quitting her job to pursue a career in cannabis. Greene is a somewhat controversial figure in the cannabis industry after running afoul of regulators in Alaska for launching eponymously named Alaska Cannabis Club. With approximately 214,000 followers on Instagram, Greene is what is called a “Micro-Influencer,” which is someone that has a small but dedicated social media following. Nevertheless, Greene has carved out a niche for herself in both the cannabis industry and the wider entrepreneurial community.
The world of cannabis influencers may still be new, but it is rapidly developing. Even if cannabis advertising regulations relax over the coming years, don’t expect cannabis influencers to go away. Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful form of advertising, regardless of the industry.
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