HEMP: DRIVING SUSTAINABILE GROWTH IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY

Hemp’s sustainable properties are expected to drive the 34% CAGR in the global industrial hemp market to $26.6 billion over the next five years. Hemp commonly refers to the industrial/commercial use of the cannabis stalk and seed for textiles, food, paper, body care products, detergents, plastics, and building materials. It contains only about 0.3% THC compared with the 5% to 10% contained in adult-use marijuana. Instead, hemp has a higher concentration of CBD and produces little to no psychoactive effect. Hemp also boasts several sustainability-friendly properties that are emerging as the key driving force behind the estimated ~500% growth in the industrial hemp market between 2019 and 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets.

The key sustainability-friendly properties of hemp are:

  • Helps lower carbon emissions: As a high biomass plant, hemp captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and purifies it. For every ton of hemp produced, 1.63 tons of carbon is removed from the air, making hemp a more effective sequester of carbon dioxide than trees. Read more about hemp’s sequestration properties and related environmental impact here.
  • Helps regenerate the soil: Despite being an annual crop, hemp’s roots reach deep into the soil – this helps hold the soil together, reduces erosion, and loosens the soil, thus allowing more delicate plants to grow after the crop is harvested.
  • Promotes sustainable farming: Hemp grows within just four months of being planted, and can be grown at any time of year, making it suitable for crop rotation. As a result, it is often grown in rotation with winter cereals, which require high-quality soil. Hemp farmers benefit from rotation as well as the fact that its per-acre earnings stand at $400 vs. $11 per acre for soybeans, according to the Rodale Institute, implying higher crop yield and earnings for farmers.
  • Low water consumption and land requirement: Hemp’s environmental impact is very low compared with other alternatives. For example, one acre of hemp yields as much paper as four acres of trees in one growing season (~100 days). Hemp also needs very little irrigation to grow – cotton uses 50% more water per season than hemp. And if one takes processing into account, cotton’s water consumption is >4x that of hemp.
  • Pest resistant: Cultivation of hemp does not require any chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides since it naturally reduces pests in the soil. Given the side effects of using pesticides (water contamination, health issues, etc.), hemp is surely a better and more sustainable alternative.
  • Produces higher quality building material: Hempcrete — made from a combination of hemp hurd, water, and lime — has several advantages over traditional concrete. It is stronger, non-toxic, has natural anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, and is fire resistant. Further, hempcrete absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, making buildings made of hempcrete much healthier to live in and cleaner than those made from other building materials.

 

EcoFibre (EOFBF) and Charlotte’s Web (CWBHF) are the key stocks for sustainability-focused investors to monitor. Ecofibre Limited (OTC:EOFBF) engages in breeding, growing, processing, and distributing hemp products in the U.S. and Australia. It offers protein powders, dehulled hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp-related fiber products. Its FY19 revenue was up 519% y/y to AUD $35.6 million while net profit jumped 170% y/y to AUD $6 million, making it one of the few fast-growing and profitable cannabis names. EcoFibre went public in March 2019 and the stock is up more than 80% since, making it one of the biggest outperformers in the cannabis space. Charlotte’s Web (CWBHF) increased its hemp acreage from 300 acres in 2018 to 862 acres in 2019 and is expanding its production capacity from 40,000 square feet to 137,000 square feet. This positions CWBHF to capitalize on the boost that hemp demand will receive if the bill to allow hemp-based CBD to be marketed in dietary supplements and conventional food in the U.S. is passed by the House of Representatives.

Other hemp-related names that will also emerge as beneficiaries of growing demand are Elixinol (ELLXF) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB), which acquired Hempco Food and Fibre last year.

Chart 1: The Global Industrial Hemp Market Is Expected to Grow ~500% to $26.6 billion Through 2025 Source: Intro-Blue, MarketsandMarkets

Chart 1: The Global Industrial Hemp Market Is Expected to Grow ~500% to $26.6 billion Through 2025
Source: Intro-Blue, MarketsandMarkets

 

CANNA NEWS

STATE AND REGULATORY NEWS

Global cannabis sales grow 48% to $15 billion in 2019. Global cannabis sales rose 48% to $15 billion in 2019, driven by growth in sales in Canada and seven U.S. states that saw sales more than double. Continued consumer adoption in maturing markets such as Colorado and new adult-use markets including Massachusetts contributed to 45% growth in adult-use sales to $8.9 billion. However, medical-only states and countries actually grew faster — up 54% to $6.2 billion. The U.S. saw 81% of the spending in 2019, although superior growth in the rest of the world will continue balancing the market across the U.S., Canada, and Europe through 2024. Read More (Cannabis Business Times)

FDA would be required to allow CBD product marketing under new bipartisan bill. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would allow for hemp-derived CBD to be lawfully marketed as a dietary supplement. While hemp and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still in the process of developing regulations that would let businesses sell it in the food supply or as nutritional supplements. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that rulemaking could take years without congressional action. This legislation could be one way to resolve the problem, in that it amends the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to include CBD in the definition of dietary supplements. Read More (Marijuana Moment)

Good – not great – first year of medical cannabis sales in Ohio. Ohio’s medical marijuana industry pulled in nearly $60 million in its first year of sales, with increased access to dispensaries and falling prices making up for the market’s sluggish start. Roughly 50% of the state’s total medical marijuana sales came in the last quarter of 2019, but it wasn’t enough to drive sales to the heights of other similar medical cannabis markets that launched in the past couple of years, such as Maryland and Pennsylvania. While access to medical marijuana in Ohio was extremely limited at launch – the program kicked off with just five dispensaries that sold only dried cannabis flower – dispensaries continued to open at a steady clip over the course of the year. Currently, 46 dispensaries are operating throughout the state. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Chart 2: Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program – Overview of First Year of Sales Source: Intro-Blue, Marijuana Business Daily, Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

Chart 2: Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program – Overview of First Year of Sales
Source: Intro-Blue, Marijuana Business Daily, Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

Nevada marijuana tax revenues hit new high mark in October. Nevada collected a monthly record of nearly $9.8 million in marijuana taxes in October, state officials reported. State Department of Taxation figures represented an increase of more than $1 million in recreational and medical cannabis tax revenues from September, and a jump of close to $1.6 million from October 2018. Through the first four months of the 2020 fiscal year, the state has collected $36.7 million in marijuana taxes. That’s an increase of nearly 16% from the same period in the 2019 fiscal year. Read More (AP News)

Nevada wholesale marijuana flower prices dip as demand holds steady, labs scrutinized. Supply of midgrade cannabis flower is on the increase in Nevada’s adult-use market, though demand remains robust and the market has not yet become oversupplied. Growers report an average-quality pound of flower is selling for around $2,000 a pound wholesale, down from as high as $2,800 a pound a year ago because the supply has increased. As more producers come online and reach capacity, the market has seen an increase in middling-quality cannabis, which means the average price of cannabis has come down, though the state’s wholesale per-pound flower prices are still higher than other more mature cannabis markets. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Oregon cannabis sales top $790 million in 2019. Oregon cannabis stores sold $793 million in products to consumers last year, generating more than $110 million in tax revenue for state and county coffers, according to an analysis of Oregon Liquor Control Commission data. That’s close to $150 million more in sales than 2018. By next year, totals are expected to climb to nearly $1 billion. Recreational marijuana is becoming more acceptable, triggering sales growth year after year in Oregon with no ceiling in sight. The success has allowed Bend cannabis stores to expand in Deschutes County, as well as other major metro areas. Read More (Bend Bulletin)

Illinois warns shops against stockpiling cannabis amid shortages. Just over a week after the state’s recreational pot sales kicked off on Jan. 1, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation sent a letter to dispensaries saying they were aware of violations and probing whether stores were illegally sourcing more than 40% of their product from one grower. The law is aimed at preventing pot growers from entering into exclusive agreements with specific shops and making sure all stores have a diversity of products from various sources. Read More (Marijuana Retail Report)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo promises to legalize cannabis in New York. It could be ‘gigantic’. New York wasn’t able to legalize cannabis last year, but Governor Cuomo vows it will happen this time around. Cuomo highlighted adult-use cannabis legalization as one of his 2020 priorities. His proposal includes forming an Office of Cannabis Management to regulate medical, adult-use, and hemp programs; ensuring that social equity and social justice needs are met; working in concert with neighboring states; and creating a cannabis and hemp research center at the State University of New York. If Cuomo is successful, New York would become the 12th US state to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and it would follow on the heels of Illinois in being the second state to legalize via a legislative measure. Read More (CNN Business)

Several states could legalize cannabis sales in 2020 as marijuana industry eyes lucrative East Coast market. Up to a dozen states could legalize adult-use or medical marijuana in 2020 through their legislatures or ballot measures, although only about a handful will likely do so. Much of the cannabis industry’s focus will home in on a possible recreational marijuana domino effect along the East Coast, which could create billions of dollars in business opportunities. Adult-use legalization efforts in New York and New Jersey stalled in 2019, but optimism has rekindled this year. Potential legalization activity runs from the Southwest to the Dakotas to the Deep South. Mississippi in particular has a business-friendly medical cannabis initiative that has qualified for the 2020 ballot. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Chart 3: Important States to Watch as Cannabis Legalization Prospects in 2020 Source: Intro-Blue, Marijuana Business Daily

Chart 3: Important States to Watch as Cannabis Legalization Prospects in 2020
Source: Intro-Blue, Marijuana Business Daily

Rhode Island governor proposes adult-use marijuana in budget. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondi is proposing to legalize recreational cannabis, despite opposition from legislative leaders. Her annual budget proposal would create an adult-use marijuana program controlled by the state. The first marijuana stores would open in March 2021. Under the Democratic governor’s plan, the state would: 1) determine the location of retail facilities; 2) control inventory through subcontracting; 3) establish retail pricing; and 4) limit the potency of available products. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Florida marijuana legalization campaign shifts focus to 2022 instead of 2020. Florida activists announced that due to restrictive ballot qualification policies in the state, they have decided to pursue a marijuana legalization initiative in 2022, rather than this year as initially planned. While the campaign Make It Legal Florida said it has already submitted more than 700,000 signatures for their legalization petition, the narrow timeline to get those signatures verified ahead of next month’s deadline will make it impossible for the measure to qualify. “With the support of over 67 percent of Florida voters, Make it Legal Florida is proud to have gathered more than 700,000 signed petitions in the effort to bring adult-use cannabis to the Sunshine State,” Nick Hansen, the group’s chairman, said in a press release, referring to polling data. Read More (Marijuana Moment)

New Mexico Gov. again pushes adult-use marijuana legalization. After adult-use legalization stalled in New Mexico’s Legislature in 2019, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a supporter of the bipartisan effort, vowed to revive legalization this year. Grisham, a Democrat, posted on her state website that her plans for legalizing recreational cannabis in New Mexico would include: 1) establishing a regulatory framework for its use; 2) public safety considerations; 3) public health safeguards; and 4) protecting the state’s existing medical marijuana program. Grisham said that legalizing recreational marijuana is supported by 75% of New Mexicans, according to a recent poll. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Officials say that Chicago cannabis taxes may exceed 41% by summer. The Cook County Board approved a three percent tax on marijuana retailers, which will be tacked on to a bevy of other taxes already levied on the state’s nascent legal cannabis industry. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported, the latest three percent tax “would be in addition to the city’s 3% planned tax and state excise taxes of 10-25%, based on the level of THC, the ingredient in pot that gets users high, in the product purchased.” Pot products are also subject to a standard sales tax, which in Chicago comes out to a bit more than 10 percent. Taken together, that’s a potential 41 percent tax on marijuana products by this summer. Read More (High Times)

U.S. cannabis spot index up 0.7% to $1,401 per pound, February forward unchanged at $1,450 per pound. The simple average (non-volume weighted) price increased $3 to $1,579 per pound, with 68% of transactions in the $911 to $2,247 per pound range. The average reported deal size declined to 2.0 pounds. In grams, the spot price was $3.09 and the simple average price was $3.48. The average reported forward deal size was 47 pounds. The proportion of forward deals for outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor-grown flower was 47%, 37%, and 16% of forward arrangements, respectively. Read More (Cannabis Benchmarks)

Chart 4: Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Spot Index Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks

Chart 4: Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Spot Index
Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks

 

Chart 5: Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Implied Forward Curve Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks

Chart 5: Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Implied Forward Curve
Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks

 

Chart 6: Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Spot Price by Medical or Recreational Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks

Chart 6: Cannabis Benchmarks U.S. Spot Price by Medical or Recreational
Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks

U.S. sees uptick in amount of cannabis smuggled across the U.S.-Canada border. Seizures of cannabis at the Canada-U.S. border showed a significant increase in the year after Canada’s federal legalization of cannabis, note new numbers released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP officers confiscated 2,214 kg of cannabis from people trying to enter the U.S. between Nov. 1, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019, compared to 1,259 kg the previous year — a roughly 75 percent increase. That said, the discrepancy in the number of individual seizures was much lower before and after legalization, which jumped from 3,139 to 3,917, respectively. Read More (The GrowthOp)

High demand: Ontario’s online Cannabis 2.0 products sell out fast. More than 2,000 people placed orders within the first hour that cannabis-infused edibles and vape products became available for sale on the Ontario Cannabis Store’s website. Beginning Thursday (1/16) at 9 a.m. ET, the website listed 50 vape products and 21 pot-infused gummies for sale, a slight increase from the number of items available at Ontario’s brick-and-mortar cannabis retailers. More than 3,000 people were waiting in a “digital queue” before the online sales began. Due to the high demand, the website experienced several crashes for some products, while all “soft-chew” items, or gummies, were sold out within the first 30 minutes. Read More (BNN Bloomberg)

Will Horgan deliver for cannabis sector in 2020? Experts offer policy ideas for British Columbia’s Premier. British Columbia has thus far failed to transition much of the thriving noncompliant cannabis market into the regulated fold. The province’s dismal sales through legal channels reached only CAD $12 million in August, suggesting something is not quite right with the province’s approach to cannabis policy. That might change this year, Premier John Horgan said at a recent news conference. “For those passionate about the issue, stay tuned,” the premier said. “We’re going to continue to work as best we can to ensure that the consuming public gets a quality, safe product, and that we reap the benefits that we can of having a long tradition of cultivating cannabis here in B.C.”. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Chart 7: Retail Cannabis Sales in British Columbia Source: Intro-Blue, Marijuana Business Daily, Statistics Canada, BC Liquor Distribution Branch

Chart 7: Retail Cannabis Sales in British Columbia
Source: Intro-Blue, Marijuana Business Daily, Statistics Canada, BC Liquor Distribution Branch

Manitoba gobbles up all the legal edibles in sight, but analysts wary of future of new products. Edibles are flying off the shelves in Winnipeg, but analysts warn that it’s too early to tell whether the tasty new treats will prove filling or leave a bad taste in the mouth. Cannabis-infused edibles, extracts, beverages and topicals became available in the province — and most of the country — on Dec. 17, although they have been hard to come by since then. “We have been kind of cyclically selling out of these products,” John Arbuthnot, CEO of Delta 9 cannabis stores, told CBC. “Anecdotally, I mean, it was a very positive reception.” Read More (The GrowthOp)

Nova Scotia finance minister cites supply issues as cause of edibles sales slump. Sales of cannabis-infused edibles have been slow to start at Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC), but that’s mostly thanks to a lack of supply as opposed to a lack of interest, according to the provincial finance minister. Finance minister Karen Casey said the lackluster sales figures thus far can be attributed to a variety of reasons. “Sales have been slow, and it’s based on supply, and no different than when we entered into this process last year, it was hard to determine what the demand would be,” Casey told Halifax Today. Read More (The GrowthOp)

COMPANY NEWS

Did MedMen just go bankrupt? Rumors are swirling that MedMen (MMNFF) is reaching out to debtholders and service providers to negotiate a restructuring of the company. The company is rumored to be offering $0.50 on the dollar to owners of MedMen debt and telling certain service providers that they aren’t able to pay outstanding bills. On the other hand, the rumors could simply be related to MedMen’s attempt to save as much working capital as possible by stretching out payments with vendors. Read More (Grizzle)

Tilray expands global leadership team with new COO and CFO. Tilray (TLRY) announced the expansion of its global senior leadership team with two strategic hires: Jon Levin as Chief Operating Officer, who was formerly with Revlon, and Michael Kruteck as Chief Financial Officer, who was formerly with Molson Coors and Pharmaca. Mr. Kruteck’s appointment will be effective immediately after filing the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. Mark Castaneda, TLRY’s current CFO, will take on the role of Strategic Business Development and continue to advise the company. Read More (Financial Post)

Physicians warming to CBD drug for epilepsy, GW Pharma maker tells investors. Broad physician adoption of a cannabis-derived epilepsy treatment is boosting sales for the only company with federal permission to sell cannabis products in the U.S.. London-based GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) told investors that it notched $108 million in sales last quarter and $309 million for calendar 2019. The company’s sales results appear to beat consensus analyst expectations, which were $102.4 million. The vast majority of GW’s actual sales, $104 million, came from epilepsy drug Epidiolex. Read More (Hemp Industry Daily)

Organigram secures supply agreement with medical cannabis by Shoppers. Organigram Holdings (OGI) announced it has secured a supply agreement with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, the online medical cannabis platform by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Organigram will provide Shoppers with a wide range of products including dried flower, oils and other future derivative products as they become available. The agreement is for a three-year term subject to renewal for an additional two years. Read More (Business Wire)

Canopy stalls launch of pot-infused drinks as growing pains persist. Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC) said that it plans to delay the launch of its cannabis-infused drinks as the pot giant takes more time to complete the build-out of its bottling facility for commercial production. Canopy didn’t specify when it plans to make its various pot-infused beverages available for sale. It previously stated it would have its drinks on store shelves in early January. The company said in a statement that it does not believe the delay will have a material impact on its revenue for its 2020 financial year, which ends in March, and will provide an update when it releases its third-quarter results on Feb. 14. Read More (BNN Bloomberg)

Curaleaf provides update on acquisitions of Select, Grassroots, and ATG. Curaleaf (CURLF) and Select have satisfied all requirements for closing the proposed acquisition of Select by Curaleaf except for the license transfer in Oregon. Both parties are working with state regulators to acquire approval as soon as possible and expect to close no later than February 1, 2020. Curaleaf and Grassroots have each submitted certifications of substantial compliance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 regarding the proposed acquisition of Grassroots. The transaction is expected to close in Spring of 2020. ATG has filed its application for change of control with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission in relation to the transaction with Curaleaf. Curaleaf and ATG are working with regulators to secure approvals as soon as possible. Read More (PR Newswire)

Aleafia Health launching Kin Slips cannabis-infused sublingual strips. Aleafia Health Inc.’s (ALEAF) wholly-owned subsidiary, Emblem Cannabis Corporation, has reached a definitive licensing agreement with Kinstate to bring its cannabis-infused sublingual strips brand and underlying sublingual strip technology to the Canadian medical and adult-use cannabis market. The agreement provides Aleafia with the exclusive Canadian rights to manufacture, market, and sell certain Kin Slips products, along with rights to use the associated proprietary formulations, manufacturing methodology, and intellectual property provided by Kinstate and options for Aleafia to offer the format into certain other international markets. Read More (Globe News Wire)

What cannabis industry CEOs need to survive 2020. The market in cannabis is strained and gone are the days of raising on multiples of forward-looking earnings and limitless capital inflows. The easy days in capital raising are, for the time being, behind us. In a few short months, the cannabis market has moved from a license-aggregation phase, to a product innovation phase, to a market share-grabbing phase, to – finally – a true execution phase. All of this will be good for the industry in the long term, but there comes a short-term, and bloody, price. That price is this correction. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Why cannabis businesses are hiring former politicians and regulators to move the industry’s lobbying efforts ahead. Earlier this month, Maryland-based Green Leaf Medical announced it hired Joy Strand, a former executive director of the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission, to coordinate the company’s government relations in several states. It was the latest such hire involving a top cannabis regulator. This revolving door is a sign of maturation for the marijuana sector since mainstream companies such as financial services, energy, and healthcare firms have long relied on former politicians and government officials to provide the political expertise and insider connections to shape the legislative and regulatory policies that affect them. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Ravenquest latest cannabis firm to conduct layoffs as cash runs thin. Ravenquest Biomed (RVVQF) has cut staff and reduced expenditures as it becomes the latest public cannabis issuer to attempt to conserve cash as funds run dry. The company announced that it had made “significant reductions in staffing” although specifics were not provided. The reductions in staffing comes days after the company announced it would be spending $5.0 million in an all-stock transaction to acquire Digigro Software Inc. The reduction is said to include both “on-site workers” to corporate personnel. Office expenditures have also been reduced, and building leases are being renegotiated as the company aims to conserve cash amid a sector-wide cash crunch. Read More (the deep dive)

California vape company Legion of Bloom will rely upon brand sales, distribution, and cultivation to drive 2020 revenue. California cannabis company Legion of Bloom uses a proprietary extraction process to develop its vape products. This year, the company is driving more revenue with cultivation and an expanding distribution platform. Co-Founder and Chief Procurement Officer Brandt Collings spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about the company’s market presence, funding, and expectations for growth. Read More (New Cannabis Ventures)

EARNINGS

Organigram Q1 revenue increases 54% sequentially to $25.2 million. Organigram (OGI) reported Q1 FY20 results. Net revenue more than doubled to $25.2 million from $12.4 million in Q1 2019. Gross margin before fair value changes to biological assets and inventory of $9.3 million or 37% of net revenue compared to $8.8 million or 71% of net revenue in Q1 2019. Net loss of $0.9 million compared to net income from continuing operations of $29.5 million in Q1 2019 largely due to non-cash fair value changes to biological assets and inventories in the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA of $4.9 million compared to $6.8 million in Q1 2019. As planned, the company started shipping Trailblazer Torch vape cartridges on December 17, 2019 and expects to start shipping Edison + Feather ready-to-go distillate pens before the end of January 2020 followed by Edison + PAX ERA distillate cartridges in Q2 calendar 2020. Read More (New Cannabis Ventures)

‘Shakeout’ ahead: Aphria CEO sees industry consolidation as company slashes outlook. Aphria (APHA) downgraded its full-year outlook after it reported second-quarter revenue that came in below analyst expectations following a decline in sales from the company’s German pharmaceutical distribution business, while notching a slight improvement in the amount of cannabis sold in the Canadian recreational market. CEO Irwin Simon said there are too many players in the Canadian cannabis industry relative to the amount of existing demand for product. “I see a big, big opportunity within the cannabis industry,” Simon said. “There [are] a lot of companies out there today that have their challenges in regards to growth, products, cash, et cetera. And I think there’s going to be whether [you call it] a consolidation, a shakeout within the industry.” Read More (BNN Bloomberg)

CAPITAL MARKETS

Cannabis ETFs are soaring in 2020: Will the trend continue? Cannabis stocks were beaten down badly last year with most of them losing more than half of their value. A slew of disappointing earnings, and a U.S. FDA warning that cannabidiol can cause liver injury and other damage took the sheen away from the industry. However, the trend seems to be reversing this year with a greater legislative push to legalize recreational marijuana. The latest report shows that up to a dozen states could legalize adult-use or medical marijuana in 2020 through their legislatures or ballot measures. Read More (Yahoo! Finance)

Why the cannabis industry has stalled for more than a year. In 2019, the sector dropped 32%, against an increase of 29% for the S&P 500. In a note to clients, analysts at Stifel took a broad overview of the cannabis sector and outlined the challenges, and potential opportunities, facing these stocks in the year ahead. In the firm’s view, the sector’s decline was a “[consequence] of the industry’s rapid development colliding with a slower developing opportunity particularly in Canada, the first developed market for adult use.” It added: “The themes propelling the sector to over $50 billion in public enterprise value now stand diametrically opposed to the themes currently prevailing in the sector.” Read More (Yahoo! Finance)

Purpose Investments launches Europe’s first cannabis ETF in partnership with HANetf. Purpose Investments Inc. has launched the Medical Cannabis & Wellness UCITS ETF, representing Purpose’s first offering in the European market. The fund offers European investors unique exposure to the global medical cannabis market and the CBD wellness sector. Additionally, the fund invests in ancillary services that support companies within the medical cannabis and CBD categories. The fund is being made available through Purpose’s partnership with HANetf, an independent European ETF specialist backed by renowned investor Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures. The first of its kind for European investors, the fund listed Jan. 14 on the Deutsche Boerse XETRA exchange in Germany. It will be listed on the London Stock Exchange in the UK and the Borsa Italiana in Italy later this month. Read More (Cannabis Business Times)

The Valens Company secures DTC eligibility. Valens GroWorks (VLNCF) announced that it has obtained eligibility from the Depositary Trust Company (DTC) for its shares traded on the OTCQX, under the symbol VLNCF. “Access to DTC’s platform not only brings us closer to increasing trading volume and liquidity in the U.S., but also allows us to reach new investors in larger markets who now can invest in our evolving business.” said Tyler Robson, CEO of The Valens Company Read More (The Valens Company)

Curaleaf Holdings announces upsizing and closing of $300 million senior secured term loan facility. Curaleaf (CURLF) announced the upsizing and closing of a Senior Secured Term Loan Facility from a syndicate of lenders totaling $300 million. The notes bear interest at a rate of 13.0% per annum, payable quarterly in arrears, with a maturity 48 months from closing. The proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt, satisfy transaction fees and expenses from previously announced acquisitions, fund capital expenditures, and for general corporate purposes. Read More (PR Newswire)

Pot stock dividends no longer a paradox as Aphria floats idea. A dividend-paying pot stock may sound like a contradiction but for the first time it’s being raised as a possibility. Aphria Inc. would like to return money to shareholders, Chief Financial Officer Carl Merton told analysts on the company’s earnings call. The Canadian cannabis producer has posted three consecutive quarters of positive adjusted Ebitda, a rarity in the industry, and aims to continue that trend “to both internally finance future growth initiatives and, in the future, being in the position to provide an annual return to our shareholders through dividends,” Merton said. Read More (BNN Bloomberg)

MedMen announces closing of secured term loan amendment and equity placement. MedMen Enterprises (MMNFF) announced the execution and closing of definitive documentation for the previously announced amendments to the terms and conditions of the $78 million senior secured term loan with funds managed by Stable Road Capital and its affiliates and the closing of its previously announced $20 million offering of Class B Subordinate Voting Shares. Read More (Financial Post)

HEXO announces $20 million registered direct offering. HEXO Corp. (HEXO) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with institutional investors for the purchase and sale of 11,976,048 common shares at an offering price of $1.67 per share for gross proceeds of $20.0 million before deducting fees and other estimated offering expenses. Hexo has also agreed to issue to the investors common share purchase warrants to purchase 5,988,024 common shares of the company. The warrants will have a five year-term and an exercise price of $2.45 per share. Read More (Globe News Wire)

Organigram shares surge but CEO says pot uncertainty will linger. Organigram Holdings’ (OGI) CEO warned that the industry will remain unpredictable until the final quarter of this year, even as the pot producer’s stock headed for its biggest gain ever. Organigram shares surged as much as 38 percent after its fiscal first-quarter revenue beat the highest analyst estimate and it returned to positive adjusted EBITDA after a loss in the prior quarter. Investors are eager to see cannabis companies report profits, rewarding the few that have and punishing those that haven’t. However, it will take a few more quarters before the industry can generate predictable results, said CEO Greg Engel. Read More (BNN Bloomberg)

Chart 8: Organigram Shares Head for Biggest One-Day Gain Ever Source: Intro-Blue, Bloomberg

Chart 8: Organigram Shares Head for Biggest One-Day Gain Ever
Source: Intro-Blue, Bloomberg

 

MEDICAL CANNABIS

Tetra Bio Pharma sees drug approved by Health Canada. Tetra Bio Pharma (TBPMF) announced that Health Canada has granted two Drug Identification Numbers (DIN) for the first over-the-counter (OTC) products to be marketed under its TERPACAN banner. Tetra is in the process of finalizing supply, sales, and distribution agreements with several companies, and anticipates launching TERPACAN products in Canadian pharmacy retail outlets by mid-2020. Additionally, Tetra will launch these products into the American and European markets in 2020, once it receives final marketing authorization in those countries. In preparation for a late 2020 launch in the U.S., Tetra is in the process of finalizing a supply agreement with a contract manufacturer to establish manufacturing, and obtaining a National Drug Code (NDC) number for each drug, a requirement for all OTC drugs sold in the U.S.. Read More (Globe Newswire)

Price war erupts among Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensaries. Medical cannabis dispensaries in Oklahoma are engaged in a price war, fueled by an oversupply of retail stores and no qualifying medical conditions required for an medica marijuana card, according to a nonprofit journalism publication. There are 2,242 licensed dispensaries, according to the latest figures from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. According to Oklahoma Watch, there are 56 dispensaries per 100,000 residents in the state. The 238,786 medical marijuana cards issued equates to one in 13 adults in Oklahoma holding one. Dispensaries recorded medical marijuana sales of $345 million in 2019. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Demand fierce for Missouri medical marijuana manufacturing licenses. The Missouri Department of Health and Seniors Services received 415 manufacturing license applications but granted only 86 permits to manufacturers of infused products such as edibles and vape cartridges, the Springfield News-Leader reported. The state expects to award 192 dispensary licenses on Jan. 24 and to announce seed-to-sale traceability system winners on Jan. 31. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Audit finds problems with Minnesota’s medical marijuana program. The two vertically integrated medical marijuana companies that serve the entire marijuana market in Minnesota lack formal contracts with a testing laboratory as well as other issues, according to a report from the state’s Office of the Legislative Auditor. According to Minneapolis TV station WCCO, an audit of the Minnesota Department of Health, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, found that its “internal controls were generally not adequate to safeguard financial assets and ensure compliance with selected legal requirements for the medical cannabis program.” Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Dharma receives first pharmaceutical processor permit for medical marijuana in Virginia. After almost a year of working with the Commonwealth’s Board of Pharmacy, Dharma Pharmaceuticals has received the first pharmaceutical processor permit in the state of Virginia for medical marijuana. “We’re proud to be awarded the first pharmaceutical processor license in the state of Virginia and we are super excited to begin serving patients,” said Chief Operating Officer Jack Page. Read More (News Channel 11)

Arkansas rejects sale of medical cannabis licenses for unopened stores. Arkansas regulators nixed the sale of two medical marijuana dispensary licenses, displeased that the owners didn’t take significant efforts toward opening the operations. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission unanimously voted to reject the sale of Pine Bluff Agriceuticals and Arkansas Patient Services, according to Arkansas Business. Commissioner Travis Story argued that allowing license holders to sell their licenses who made almost no progress in opening their stores six months before renewal is unfair to license applications who almost qualified. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Medicinal cannabis prescriptions at an all-time high in Australia. Last year, news outlets reported that medicinal cannabis was “pretty much inaccessible”. In May, The New Daily reported on a study that found few Australian doctors had the confidence and knowledge to prescribe the drug. But new figures from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) show medical cannabis prescriptions are snowballing. In 2019, the TGA granted 25,182 applications from doctors to prescribe the drugs, largely in the form of an oil. This represented a more than 10-fold increase on the previous year. Read More (The New Daily)

Chart 9: Number of Cannabis Approvals by the TGA in 2019 Source: Intro-Blue, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), The New Daily

Chart 9: Number of Cannabis Approvals by the TGA in 2019
Source: Intro-Blue, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), The New Daily

Daily cannabis use can drive HPV-related tumor growth, study finds. Marijuana use may be a driving factor in the rise of head and neck cancer cases, according to a new study. Published in Clinical Cancer Research, the research found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can activate a molecular mechanism in the body that accelerates tumor growth in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive skin cancers. “We now have convincing scientific evidence that daily marijuana use can drive tumor growth in HPV-related head and neck cancer,” Joseph A Califano III, the paper’s senior author, said in a statement. Read More (Analytical Cannabis)

The link between cannabis and anxiety has been found, according to new study. The nebulous connection between cannabis and anxiety is clearer than ever before, according to a new study. Researchers have found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), a molecule produced by the brain which can activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors, is able to protect the brain against stress by reducing connections between two brain regions which heighten anxiety. The new findings, published in the neuroscience research journal Neuron, may help scientists better understand why many people turn to cannabis when they feel anxious or stressed, and why many find it an effective treatment. Read More (Analytical Cannabis)

CBD/HEMP

Supply chain bottlenecks remain concern as Pennsylvania hemp growers look to 2020 season. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued its version of industrial hemp regulations at the start of the year, following federal guidance and generally tightening the rules on what was a robust 2019 season in the state. Now, prospective hemp growers may apply for a license in Pennsylvania for just $150 (down from $3,000 just two years ago), but the supply chain has been tightened in its own way. Where farmers grew about 4,000 acres of hemp in 2019, much of that supply is languishing in storage warehouses, victim to an early boom in hemp production. Read More (Cannabis Business Times)

USDA publishes directory for DEA-certified hemp testing laboratories. Facing confusion from hemp growers and testing companies, federal agriculture officials have published a list of laboratories authorized to test hemp THC concentration under the new interim final rule. The new hemp regulations require labs to be certified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to handle hemp crops testing over the legal limit of 0.3% THC, which would be considered illegal marijuana. But the rules didn’t tell producers how to find such a lab. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) directory now includes 37 testing facilities. Read More (Hemp Industry Daily)

Congress ramping up pressure to ‘provide a pathway forward’ for hemp, CBD. New legislation introduced by the top-ranking member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee could require federal food and agriculture regulators to treat hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement. Agriculture Chair Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, suggests changing the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) to include the regulation of hemp-derived CBD and products containing the substance. For months now, hemp-friendly lawmakers have been asking for regulations allowing the sale of hemp-derived CBD without a doctor’s prescription. Read More (Hemp Industry Daily)

Hemp states running pilot programs in 2020 starting to ask for deadline extensions. Six state agriculture departments have opted to run their 2020 hemp production programs under the existing rules, and the number could grow as the spring planting season approaches and federal agriculture officials reject more state plans. Now those states want some assurances that their hemp farmers can harvest their plants under those same rules in the fall. The states looking to keep the status quo through Dec. 31 are Arkansas, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Read More (Hemp Industry Daily)

Hemp could be ‘paradigm changer’ in agricultural diversity and lead to better support for minority farmers. Opportunities abound in the hemp industry, but to attain the crop’s full potential, it’s going to require people from all walks of life, according to industry observers. “I want to go to a conference and not feel like I’m the only black guy there,” said Malcolm Anderson, founder and CEO of The Prophet Society, a vertically integrated hemp company based in Atlanta. “Everybody wants to see somebody they know in the industry they’re in, who they can relate to.” With its varied applications, hemp could spark more environmentally sustainable practices and products, and also bring more diversity to agriculture, he said. Read More (Hemp Industry Daily)

PharmaCielo receives approval for $3 million import contract. PharmaCielo (PCLOF) has become one of the first venture listed equities to receive approval for the importation of cannabidiol isolate to the U.S. The company announced that the exchange has finally granted the approval, which will allow the company to fulfill its previously announced supply agreement. In total, the contract itself is for $3 million, which marks the firms entry to the American market in a significant way. The isolate, which conforms to US Farm Bill standards, is expected to begin arriving in the current quarter to the supplier, with all product being shipped from Columbia. Read More (The Deep Dive)

Can CBD help you sleep? Here’s what the research tells us. One study published in January of 2019 called “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series,” points to CBD as a hopeful sleep aid. While it looked at a small pool of only 72 adults, the study found “sleep scores improved” within the first month of CBD use in 66.7 percent of the patients, 48 adults. It attributes sleep relief can to CBD’s “calming effect in the central nervous system.” Over time, the benefits fluctuated. 56 percent reported improvement in sleep after about two months of continued use. Read More (Green Entrepreneur)

Halifax County secures $250,000 grant to fund hemp processor facility. To get things moving in Halifax County, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved a $250,000 grant on Jan. 7, to bring a hemp processing business to the area. The enterprise is code-named “Project Phoenix”. Halifax County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Brian Brown could not offer a comment, saying only that this remained an unannounced economic development project. But according to news reports from the area, the IDA will adapt a local building to be leased to a private hemp processing company. Further incentive packages continue to be negotiated. Read More (Cannabis Business Times)

Carlos Santana partners with Left Coast Ventures to launch cannabis and hemp CBD brands. Carlos Santana announced his partnership with Left Coast Ventures to develop premium cannabis and hemp CBD brands. Influenced by his Latin heritage, these lines will provide consumers with high-quality products designed to leverage the power of historical remedies and allow consumers to discover and follow their light. Since the late 1960s, Santana has become synonymous with his signature sound, a fusion of world music, rock, blues and jazz that combines the timeless quality of rhythm, melody, and inspiration that celebrate and define Latin music. Similarly, these brands will honor Santana’s heritage while incorporating his divine philosophies by identifying strains and products that promote the spiritual consciousness and wellness effects of cannabis. Read More (Investor Ideas)

PRODUCTS

CDC steps back from broad recommendation to refrain from e-cigarettes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has moved away from a broad recommendation that people consider refraining from vaping altogether during the investigation into the outbreak of lung illnesses linked to the practice. The agency removed from its website guidance that people should stop vaping if they were concerned about the illnesses. Read More (Wall Street Journal)

Proposed 10% THC limit in Washington could wreck its cannabis industry. Last week, Washington’s legislature performed its first reading of HB 2546, described as “an act relating to the potency of marijuana products.” If approved as-is, the bipartisan bill would limit all licensed retail marijuana products to just 10 percent THC. That means all vape pen cartridges, edibles, flower, hash, extracts, and topicals could contain no more than 10 percent THC by weight. Medical cannabis products, however, would be unaffected by the bill. Similar bills previously introduced in other states, such as Colorado, failed spectacularly. Read More (Marijuana Retail Report)

Analyst: Most Canadian marijuana firms not ready for next wave of products. The majority of Canadian cannabis companies were not ready for the launch of new cannabis products such as edibles, extracts and topicals, despite having more than a year to prepare for the Cannabis 2.0 era, according to an analyst. Only 10 companies had products available when Ontario’s only legal online store started selling the products Thursday, Mackie Research Capital wrote in a note to investors. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

CONSUMER AND SOCIAL TRENDS

Bill would prevent Colorado employers from firing for off-duty marijuana use. A new bill filed in the Colorado legislature would prevent employers from firing employees for using cannabis when off duty. State law already prohibits employers from terminating employees for “lawful off-duty activities, including the off-duty consumption of alcohol,” but that hasn’t extended to cannabis. House Bill 20-1089, filed by Jovan Melton of Denver, would clarify that the regulation applies to off-duty activities that are lawful under state, even if they’re not legal federally. Read More (KRDO)

NFL says not enough science to endorse medical CBD, marijuana for players. The Pain Management Committee, which is a joint NFL and NFL players’ union initiative “tasked with providing advice to the league and union regarding recent developments in the area of pain management for elite athletes,” recently released two memos to NFL teams that included its current stances on cannabidiol and its potential healing benefits, per Judy Battista of NFL.com. “CBD is a promising compound, but the extent of its use in the U.S. outpaces the level of evidence,” the notice said per Battista. Read More (Bleacher Report)

RETAIL

Eaze may go up in smoke. The first cannabis startup to raise big money in Silicon Valley is in danger of burning out. TechCrunch has learned that pot delivery middleman Eaze has seen unannounced layoffs, and its depleted cash reserves threaten its ability to make payroll or settle its AWS bill. Eaze was forced to raise a bridge round to keep the lights on as it prepares to attempt a major pivot to “touching the plant” by selling its own marijuana brands through its own depots. Read More (Tech Crunch)

Large Florida medical cannabis retailer stops most deliveries. Surterra Wellness, the second-largest owner of medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida, has eliminated its delivery services except to customers in the Florida Keys. The Atlanta-based company, whose corporate parent is now called Parallel, told customers in a notice that it made the adjustments to “optimize” its business. Surterra also cut deliveries because its expanding retail footprint now covers a broad swath of Florida’s population. Company spokeswoman Kali Caldwell declined to disclose the number of employees affected by the decision. She also wouldn’t address reports on internet job boards that many of the Florida employees have been converted from full-time to part-time status. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

High Times announces launch of flagship retail stores. High Times Holding Corp. announced that it will be opening two flagship retail stores in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Each store will operate under the High Times name and logo, and will offer memorabilia, licensed products of the company, and various cannabis products. The company said it hopes to announce additional locations for other stores in the coming weeks. The first two stores will set up shop in a pair of the biggest cannabis markets in the U.S. California legalized recreational marijuana use in 2016, while Nevada did the same a year later. Currently, there are 11 states in the country that have lifted the prohibition on recreational pot use. Read More (High Times)

Cannabis store finds a way to deliver where delivery is not exactly legal. Cannabis delivery services are popular, but questions remain about their legality in many adult-use cannabis states. For example, in California, where specific delivery license frameworks are in place, cannabis delivery is legal and widely used. Eaze, a San Francisco-based cannabis delivery app, reports that consumers order cannabis every ten seconds via their app. In Washington state, though, cannabis delivery has never been made explicitly legal. There is no state license available to deliver a gram of flower and a vape cartridge. But that hasn’t stopped risk-taking entrepreneurs from serving the public demand. Read More (Leafly)

INTERNATIONAL

The UK Cannabis Report: Legal cannabis market to reach £2.31 billion by 2024. While the medical cannabis market has grown very slowly over the past year, Prohibition Partners anticipate a significant increase in accessibility for patients over the course of 2020, leading to a period of exponential growth over the coming few years. By 2024, the UK medical cannabis market is predicted to be worth nearly £1bn ($1.3bn), servicing nearly 340,000 active patients. The total UK legal cannabis market is expected to balloon to £2.31bn in 2024. Working from an estimated recreational legalization date of mid-2021, the value of the legal recreational cannabis market by the year 2024 will be approximately £1.31bn, with nearly three-quarters of a million people being regular recreational cannabis customers. Read More (420 Intel)

Cannabis shock: 1.4 million Brits are treating their illnesses with illegal cannabis. Statistics reveal that 1.4 million Brits are forced to buy cannabis on the black market to treat their various illnesses. As many as 2.8 percent of the adult population are self-medicating with street cannabis to manage the symptoms of conditions such as arthritis (230,000 people), cancer (100,000) and multiple sclerosis (50,000). A startling 650,000 people in the UK are using cannabis for depression, 590,000 for anxiety, 327,000 for chronic pain, 180,000 for insomnia and 180,000 for post traumatic stress disorder. People with Huntington’s disease are most likely to take cannabis to manage their condition, with more than two fifths of patients saying they do. Read More (Express UK)

France almost ready to launch massive trial into benefits of medical marijuana. France’s National Assembly has approved a two-year initiative that will offer an alternative treatment to 3,000 patients for whom no other options remain. The testing will involve a six-month phase-in period, six months for patient enrollment, six months for patient treatment and monitoring, and six months for data analysis, according JD Supra. The study aims to help people suffering from conditions such as neuropathic pain, severe epilepsy, painful spasticity in multiple sclerosis sufferers and certain nervous system pathologies. It will also treat people in palliative care. Read More (The GrowthOp)

Product supply interruptions hit German medical cannabis market, but government dismisses risk of shortages. Supply disruptions are rippling through Germany’s growing medical cannabis market, but the country’s federal government says there are no signs at the moment of widespread product shortages. In response to a recent parliamentary inquiry, the government noted that pharmacies that sell medical cannabis have access to a variety of distributors beyond some companies whose products have been found to be in short supply or unavailable. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Australian capital’s cannabis laws present confusion and controversy. Possession and home cultivation of cannabis become legal in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) at the end of the month, but a lack of provisions to establish an approved marijuana supply chain likely means the area’s illicit market will continue unabated. The ACT, home to Canberra, Australia’s national capital, passed measures in June that make it the first of the country’s jurisdictions to legalize cannabis for personal use. But no allowances for the sale or commercial cultivation of cannabis were written into the laws. No dispensaries will be opening and gifts of cannabis from one adult to another remain against the law. Even the sale of cannabis seeds will still be illegal. The ACT government has said that the laws are focused on “harm minimization” and are not intended to legitimize the distribution of cannabis. Read More (High Times)

China must import more hemp from U.S. under new trade deal. After years of being one of the U.S.’ main sources of hemp imports, China will now be required to buy a lot more of the non-intoxicating cannabis crop from the U.S. under a new trade deal. Hemp is one of a long list of agricultural products that China agreed to import on a larger scale over the next two years as part of an international trade agreement that was signed on January 15. While the deal didn’t specify just how much more hemp China will be importing, the document states that the country must spend at least $12.5 billion more than it did in 2017 on more than 200 agricultural commodities, including the cannabis plant, for calendar year 2020. The following year, it must spend at least $19.5 billion more. Read More (Marijuana Moment)

Barbados: Medicinal marijuana licensing ‘to begin next month’. Five months into the life of new legislation to allow the cultivation of medicinal marijuana, investors can start applying for a grower’s license from as early as next month, Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir has revealed. But the price of licenses to be issued by the new agency created by the law is likely to be beyond the reach of “average” Barbadians, the minister suggested. He told Barbados Today that the newly established Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority should be ready to begin issuing licenses by February. Read More (St. Lucia News Online)

CANNA SCIENCE

U.S. House panel calls for stepped-up marijuana research, which could prove critical to federal reform. In a positive signal for the cannabis industry, lawmakers from both parties and three government witnesses told a U.S. congressional subcommittee the federal government urgently needs more access to research around marijuana. But it remains unclear when that will occur, which could hinder the cannabis industry’s prospects if additional research findings are needed to overcome the skepticism that is holding back federal legalization reform. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

CBG biotech introduces CannaTrue EPD Cold Ethanol Extraction System for cannabis and cemp. CBG Biotech, a manufacturer of solvent removal and recycling systems, has introduced the new CannaTrue EPD Cold Ethanol Extraction System for high-purity extraction of cannabis and hemp oil. The CannaTrue EPD System is composed of three modules, Extraction, Purification and Distillation, and is designed to process and purify essential oils and capture desired cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp. The EPD System extracts biomass (including flower, stem and processed material) then purifies and distills to yield a crude full spectrum distillate using high-purity ethanol. The system then distills the ethanol, enabling it to be recovered for future extractions, separating the ethanol from the concentrates. Using the EPD System, cannabis and hemp labs can achieve stronger yield while using safer ethanol with 80-90% recovery. Read More (Cannabis Business Times)

TECHNOLOGY

Marijuana tech firm Fyllo buys Denver’s CannaRegs for $10 million. Chicago-based Fyllo, a digital marketing firm that focuses on the cannabis industry, on Friday said it has agreed to pay $10 million to acquire Denver-based CannaRegs. CannaRegs provides a web-subscription service and technology platform that offers access to state and municipal cannabis rules and regulations. In February, the company said it secured a $2 million capital raise to launch Regs Technology, a vehicle to move CannaRegs beyond the cannabis industry. Amanda Ostrowitz, CannaRegs’ founder and CEO, will join Fyllo as its chief strategy officer. CannaRegs was poised to be acquired in 2017 by Denver-based cannabis technology firm MassRoots for $12 million, but the deal collapsed. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Electric hemp vehicles for Africa’s rideshare market. Alternet System Inc. (OTC:ALYI) is targeting to raise $100 million to fund the infrastructure for its electric hemp vehicle production in Africa on top of its current $300 million electric vehicle developments in the continent. ALYI has confirmed the release of the final comprehensive results of the Goldman Small Cap research survey on its African Cryptocurrency fundraising strategy. The ICO will be launched and managed in partnership with IW Global, a well-established tech firm that has previously worked on projects for NASA and is experienced with Ethereum, the platform on which the ALYI crypto will be built. Read More (Cannabis Tech)

Drones top of mind for hemp producers considering artificial intelligence. As the hemp industry increasingly looks to artificial intelligence to cut costs and improve yields, drones are top of mind for many entrepreneurs. The buzzing crafts can be deployed to:

  • Quantify plant and soil health for improved productivity and crop management.
  • Seed and spray crop fields.
  • Perform damage surveys for insurance claims.
  • Measure comprehensive plant development and provide aerial phenotyping.

“It’s all same-day, actionable data,” Derrick Perkins, founder of Denver-based The Drone Farmers, told Marijuana Business Magazine. “That is a big advancement because pest pressure, for example, can spread rapidly in a five-day period.” Read More (Hemp Industry Daily)

LEGAL

Recent decisions on tax fines offer ray of hope for cannabis industry around burdens of IRS’ 280E. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to consider a Colorado Supreme Court ruling on a tax fine – coupled with dissenting opinions in a recent case involving a California medical marijuana company – could have significant ramifications for the cannabis industry, according to tax experts. The two rulings together appear to have somewhat weakened 280E, which potentially is good news for the cannabis industry. Here’s why: 1) by not hearing the Colorado case, the U.S. Supreme Court decision could open the door to challenges to 280E; 2) the dissenting opinions in the California case further cast doubt about 280E, with one judge contending it is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

New Jersey court rules company must reimburse medical marijuana costs. In a ruling that could “fortify medical marijuana programs,” the appellate division of the Superior Court of New Jersey decided that workers compensation law requires an employer to reimburse cannabis costs to a worker suffering from chronic pain. In a 31-page opinion about the case – Hager v. M&K Construction – the judges concluded the order requires the company to reimburse the petitioner for the purchase of the MMJ, not to “aid and abet petitioner’s possession of an illegal substance,” as the company argued. The court said it finds “no conflict between the CSA (federal Controlled Substance Act) and MMA (the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.)” Read More (Marijuana Business Daily)

Oregon hemp farm suing processors for $11 million. A farm in southern Oregon is suing a group of processors who they say failed to show up and harvest and process its hemp after receiving a six-figure down payment. Jefferson State Farms of Medford, owned by Ben and Kathleen Yuma, is suing Palex Enterprises, Hemp Warehouse, Great Horizons, and four individuals. The lawsuit, claiming civil fraud, unlawful trade practices and breach of contract, seeks more than $11 million, according to the Medford Mail Tribune. Read More (Hemp Industry Daily)

SUSTAINABILITY

Cannabis waste management: How to solve the growing bio-waste problem. Washington State alone created almost 2 million pounds of plant waste in the first three years cannabis was legalized. All that waste has to go somewhere, right? Properly managing waste may not be the most fun or sexy activity, but it’s incredibly important if we care about the health of our communities and the environment as a whole, especially with the growing threat of climate change. The good news is, there are a handful of technological innovators out there that are working on alleviating the high amount of waste that is produced from growing cannabis.. Read More (Cannabis Tech)

How hemp can lead a polar shift to heal Earth’s atmosphere. Cannabis hemp agriculture offers several unique and essential properties, necessary for repairing Earth’s systemic equilibrium. Most importantly, hemp is the most efficient, globally distributed crop there is, for turning sunlight into usable energy. Hemp is also uniquely qualified to replace fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Hemp can simultaneously repair Earth’s atmosphere, feed the world, end economic disparity, expand the arable base, and purify the hydrologic cycle. At the same time, Cannabis can heal our bodies and calm our minds. A crop so useful and beneficial sounds too good to be true, making it especially difficult to talk about after eight decades of “drug war” propaganda. Whether our species is capable of making the requisite shift in value from “illegal” to essential remains to be seen. Read More (Hemp Today)

CANNA FACTS

Chart 10: What Could Persuade Europeans To Try CBD? Source: Intro-Blue, New Frontier Data

Chart 10: What Could Persuade Europeans To Try CBD?
Source: Intro-Blue, New Frontier Data

 

CANNA CAPITAL MARKET TRENDS

Chart 11: Weekly Summary (January 1 – January 10, 2020) Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

Chart 11: Weekly Summary (January 1 – January 10, 2020)
Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

Chart 11: Weekly Summary (January 1 – January 10, 2020) Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

Chart 11: Weekly Summary (January 1 – January 10, 2020)
Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

Chart 11: Weekly Summary (January 1 – January 10, 2020) Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

Chart 11: Weekly Summary (January 1 – January 10, 2020)
Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

 

Chart 12: Cannabis Capital Raises by Week (2020) Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

Chart 12: Cannabis Capital Raises by Week (2020)
Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

 

Chart 13: Cannabis M&A Activity by Week (2020) Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

Chart 13: Cannabis M&A Activity by Week (2020)
Source: Intro-Blue, Viridian Capital Advisors

 

CANNA PRICES – WEEKLY TREND

Chart 14: U.S. Cannabis Market Prices Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

Chart 14: U.S. Cannabis Market Prices
Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

Chart 14: U.S. Cannabis Market Prices Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

Chart 14: U.S. Cannabis Market Prices
Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

 

Chart 15: U.S. Implied Forward Prices (Week Ending January 17, 2020) Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

Chart 15: U.S. Implied Forward Prices (Week Ending January 17, 2020)
Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

 

Chart 16: Canada Cannabis Spot Index Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

Chart 16: Canada Cannabis Spot Index Source: Intro-Blue, Cannabis Benchmarks Price Index

 

CANNA BRANDS AND PRODUCTS RANKING – STATE IN FOCUS: NEVADA

Chart 17: Best-Selling Flower Brands and Products in Nevada Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

Chart 17: Best-Selling Flower Brands and Products in Nevada
Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

 

Chart 18: Best-Selling Edibles Brands and Products in Nevada Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

Chart 18: Best-Selling Edibles Brands and Products in Nevada
Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

 

Chart 19: Best-Selling Vapor Pens Brands and Products in Nevada Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

Chart 19: Best-Selling Vapor Pens Brands and Products in Nevada
Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

 

Chart 20: Best-Selling Beverage Brands and Products in Nevada Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

Chart 20: Best-Selling Beverage Brands and Products in Nevada
Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

 

Chart 21: Best-Selling Capsules Brands and Products in Nevada Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

Chart 21: Best-Selling Capsules Brands and Products in Nevada
Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

 

Chart 22: Best-Selling Topical Brands and Products in Nevada Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

Chart 22: Best-Selling Topical Brands and Products in Nevada
Source: Intro-Blue, Headset

 

CANNA INDEX

Chart 27: U.S Cannabis Index Source: Intro-Blue, The Marijuana Index

Chart 27: U.S Cannabis Index
Source: Intro-Blue, The Marijuana Index

 

Chart 28: Canada Cannabis Index Source: Intro-Blue, The Marijuana Index

Chart 28: Canada Cannabis Index
Source: Intro-Blue, The Marijuana Index

 

 

 

Important Disclosures
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