The Week In Cannabis: Good Policy News, Mixed Stock Performance, Strong Week For ETFs – Benzinga

This week marked one year since the rollout of the adult-use cannabis program in Canada, and America’s hat celebrated by adding edibles, beverages and vapes to the list of approved products.

Legally accredited cannabis producers in the country sold about $1.1 billion of legal weed during the first year of legalization, according to an analysis of retail sales data by Cannabis Benchmarks. Meanwhile, Mexico continued to move closer to full legalization, as key Senate leaders unveiled draft legalization legislation.

On the markets front, Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ: CRON) posted gains of up to 40% on Wednesday’s after-hours session. The standing theory points toward a mistake from a trader that led to substantial short covering. While the stock recalibrated after a few hours, it did end the week up 7%.

Aphria Inc (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) went on a rally after reporting net first-quarter revenue of CA$126.1 million ($95.3 million), up 849% year-over-year, on revenue for adult-use cannabis of CA$20million, up 8% quarter-over-quarter. The company posted positive adjusted EBITDA of CA$1 million and adjusted EBITDA from cannabis operations of CA$1.3 million in the quarter.

Click here for more information about the upcoming Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Oct. 22-23 in Chicago.

Meanwhile, shares of DionyMed Brands Inc (OTC: DYMEF) went on a volatility roller-coaster, as the CEO and COO resigned, and the company defaulted its debt obligations.

“The implosion of DionyMed is a story that we may see get repeated more often in the future months,” Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. “The company has imploded quickly after basically not making debt payments.

“Usually the creditors try to work out a deal so that they get at least something. In this case, as it looked like more creditors were beginning to line up with their palms out. In this case, GLAS has demanded $24 million, which is probably going to bankrupt the company. The CEO and COO have resigned. A spectacular flame out that we sadly may see more of in the future.”

Finally, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a number of bills aimed at making tax laws more fair to cannabis businesses in the state, and Houseplant, the cannabis company co-founded by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, in partnership with Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC), launched two new product lines.

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Cannabis ETFs delivered big gains. Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) rose 3.63%

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) gained 5.15%

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO) was up 4.38%

• The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) advanced 3.89%

• The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS) rose by 3.62%

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period up 0.7%

More News From The Week

Greenbox Robotics, manufacturers of robotic CBD and cannabis retailers, joined forces with Solvent payment processing. The two companies view the strategic alignment as a symbiotic relationship.  

“greenbox Robotics has been on the cusp of disrupting how the CBD and Cannabis industry thinks about retail. Solvent is thrilled to provide the missing piece, compliance driven payments. You will not find a more passionate team than greenbox under the leadership of CEO Zack Johnson. We’re excited to be a part of their current and future impact to the retail industry,” says Brian Meyer, Solvent Co-Founder & VP of Business Development. 

Famed artist Richard Prince is now in the cannabis industry. Cannabis consumers can find Katz + Dogg at select MedMen Enterprises Inc (OTC: MMNFF) stores. The Katz + Dogg line includes flowers, vape pens and pre-rolled joints, and will be sold at only four of MedMen’s Los Angeles locations, bringing together the worlds of contemporary art and next generation cannabis retail.

SLANG Worldwide Inc (OTC: SLGWF) entered into a strategic partnership with Cookies, a cannabis and lifestyle brand foundedby Bay Area rapper and entrepreneur Berner, to bring its products products to the Colorado market. Cookies’ dried flower and concentrates will add to SLANG’s well established product portfolio presence in Colorado, joining top selling brands O.PenVape, District Edibles, Bakked concentrates and Pressies.

“We are proud to add the Cookies brand to our growing and diverse product portfolio in Colorado to increase our presence in one off the biggest cannabis markets,” SLANG Worldwide CEO Peter Miller said. “Berner and the Cookies family are passionate advocates and connoisseurs that continue drive cannabis culture.”

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) sold 42 million AusCann Group shares through a market block trade at 15 cents per share for gross proceeds of $6.3 million. The sale accounts for Canopy Growth’s total 13.2% interest in AusCann.

Flowhub, a cannabis retail management platform closed an oversubscribed $23-million Series A financing round led by; Evolv Ventures, the venture fund supported by Kraft Heinz; and Poseidon.

Valens GroWorks Corp. (TSX: VGW) (OTC: VGWCF) reported third-quarter revenue of $16.5 million, an 87.1% quarter-over-quarter jump. The cannabis extraction company achieved positive adjusted EBITDA of $9.8 million in the quarter versus $2 million in the second quarter. It posted net income of $5.9 million or 5 cents per share, a reversal from a net loss of $10.5 million or 10 cents per share in the prior quarter.

Avicanna Inc (TSX: AVCN) (OTC: AVCNF) joined the OTCQX Markets and received a United States Department of Agriculture national organic program certification from Control Union Certifications, for its hemp cultivar. It has also attained registration for extra 15 genetic strains of cannabis.

springbig, a leading provider in cannabis CRM and loyalty marketing technology announced its 10 million customer milestone since its launch in 2017. In April, springbig hit its 5 million customer milestone, which means the company doubled in the span of six months. In addition, springbig was announced as South Florida’s No. 2 fastest growing technology company, capturing 23% of the market share among 43 million adult users with plans to multiply its customer base in the coming months as they integrate their innovative programs with new retailers and as more states enter the recreational space.

“We are thrilled to reach our 10 million customer milestone as we continue to provide dispensaries around the country with the most accurate tools to organically grow their businesses, increase retention, ROI and sales,” said Jeffrey Harris, Founder and CEO of springbig. „The latest sales statistics underscores the efficacy of springbig’s services and we look forward to integrating our innovative programs with new retailers next year as more states enter both the medicinal and recreational space.”

The United Natural Products Alliance welcomed Mile High Labs as the first hemp company to join its organization. The announcement was made during UNPA’s annual meeting at Supply Side West, the dietary supplement industry’s premier trade show in Las Vegas. UNPA President Loren Israelsen noted the decision was made in part by Mile High Labs’ “clear commitment to quality, science and research together with a world-class facility and a committed and competent management team.” 

Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu has launched his new line, ZoneIn CBD, motivated by years of suffering from chronic pain derived from a lifetime of competitive athletics.

Vertically integrated cannabis company Holistic Industries closed a $55-million funding round.

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB) announced plans to roll out vapes, concentrates and edibles, for sale starting in December.

Better Choice Company (OTC: BTTR), an animal health and wellness CBD company, said Wednesday it signed a definitive agreement to acquire holistic pet foods company Halo, Purely for Pets.

SOL Global announced that shareholders approved the company’s name change to „Bluma Wellness.” The change reflects SOL Global’s transition to becoming a multistate operator, and will go into effect within the upcoming weeks. „We have assembled an incredibly talented and seasoned management team that is excited to build up Bluma’s operations in Florida and the proposed operations in Michigan and California,” SOL Global CEO Brady Cobb told Benzinga. 

SOL Global’s 'One Plant’ Brand found that its proprietary delivery model saw continued growth by 20% or more, week after week since July, making it one of the fastest growing delivery services for medicinal cannabis in Florida, despite having a single retail location.

„We outsold competitors who have over a dozen brick and mortar locations,” SOL Global CEO Brady Cobb told Benzinga. „This is a testament to the power of our home delivery model and how One Plant cuts right to profit.”

Planet 13 (CSE: PLTH) (OTC: PLNHF), the world’s largest cannabis dispensary announced the opening of its Phase II expansion at its Las Vegas superstore. The 4,500 sq-ft restaurant/bistro/pizzeria and café, across the grand-entrance hall from the dispensary, seats 150 and features a greenhouse concept design that brings the outdoors inside.

“Planet 13 continues to set the standard for exceptional cannabis experiences giving visitors the ability to shop, eat and have fun all in one luxurious cannabis-themed complex,” said Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13. „The 3,000 plus daily visitors to our Cannabis Entertainment Complex can now have the option to enjoy a gourmet coffee and delicious food and walk across the hall to experience the best cannabis dispensary in the world.”

Nextleaf Solutions (OTC: OILFF) announced that it entered into an agreement to consolidate Nextleaf Labs under the Nextleaf Solutions name. Nextleaf Labs, located in greater Vancouver, was granted a Standard Processor license earlier last month. Nextleaf Solutions currently holds eight issued patents relating to cannabinoids.

Paul Pedersen told Benzinga, „We’re thrilled to expand our operations as we move towards developing and acquiring additional patents pertaining to industrial-scale extraction, purification, and formulation of THC and CBD. As we get into the next wave of legalization, we’re proud to power the technology behind many of these 2.0 products such as infused beverages and vapes.”

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

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Events Calendar

Oct. 22–23: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Chicago, Illinois! You know you can’t miss it. Go to for more information.

Oct. 23: Vangst will be participating in Santa Rita Jail Re-Entry Job & Resource Fair to help inmates who are eager and ready to be employed immediately or within the next six months. There will be 100 inmates and up to 20 employers participating in this job fair. Vangst will be the only cannabis employer at this event and will be there to discuss the different types of jobs that are available in the cannabis industry today. 

Oct. 24: Patients, advocates, business professionals, and the Midwest community is invited to learn more about the budding cannabis industry at Sensible Minnesota’s 3rd Annual Minnesota Cannabis Summit. The event will take place at the Anderson Center of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Oct.25–27: Humble Bloom is offering its HB Field Trip, a weekend retreat at Aster Farms and Lodge at Blue Lakes, in beautiful Lake County, California. “Aster is excited to celebrate the harvest with the amazing community assembled by Humble Bloom,” says Sam Ludwig president of Aster Farms. “Spreading the word on sustainability, responsible farming, health and wellness is a pillar of our company and we look forward to educating and sharing out knowledge to guests, colleagues and the community.”

Oct. 28: in Ontario, Canada at Blue Mountain Village, the tourism and cannabis industry will come together for the first time for the 1st Annual New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit. The 1-day event, will feature trailblazers and experts who are already creating canna-tourism experiences such as cannabis-friendly hotels, resorts, festivals, spas, activities and more. “Canna-tourism can have a major economic impact, both directly and indirectly for both industries, similar to wine tourism.” Says Jennifer Mason, Founder, New Heights. “This Summit is designed to bring together the two industries to forge partnerships in order to build experiences and attract new customers. Recent market research indicates the future cannabis consumer looks  more like a wine tourist than the stereotypical ‘stoner’. There are many untapped opportunities, Canada is posed to lead the industry with culinary tourism, spa and wellness experiences and more.”

Oct. 27–28: Benzinga Cannabis Managing Director Javier Hasse will speak at The Fourth Annual Cannabis LAB (CLAB) Conference & Expo in Miami. Other speakers include Brady Cobb, CEO of Sol Global Investments Corporation; Ricky Williams, Vice President of Real Wellness; Gerry Greenspoon, Co-Founder of Greenspoon Marder Law; Matthew Ginder, Senior Counsel at Greenspoon Marder Law; Brett Finkelstein, Managing Director at Phyto Partners LP;  Jose Javier Hildago, CEO of FLUENT Cannabis; Jared Mirsky, CEO of Wick & Mortar; Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve; Jon Robbins, Partner of Akerman LLP; David Tran, Co-Founder of Dope Media; Chloe Villano, Founder of Cannabis Business Awards; Rosie Mattio, CEO of Mattio PR; and many others.

Picture by Javier Hasse.

© 2019 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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