Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.
Happy Friday everyone,
We’ve got a quick one for you this afternoon while we gear up for the September sprint. This week, my colleague Dan DeFrancesco covered the launch of AdvisorShare’s MSOS, a new ETF focused solely on US cannabis.
The US cannabis market is potentially huge, and because of federal illegality, most investors are locked out of betting on the upside. AdvisorShares' Dan Ahrens told us he wants to change that, and you can read more about how he put the ETF together here.
Pennsylvania is looking to legalize. The US House will vote on cannabis legalization. Biden isn’t quite there yet, but most cannabis industry investors and execs I speak with say a Democratic victory in the White House and the Senate could open a floodgate of investment in the industry.
More to come on that.
Here’s what we wrote about this week:
A first-of-its kind ETF focused solely on the burgeoning US cannabis industry is prepping a launch after spending a year navigating regulatory red tape
This one is from me and my colleague Dan DeFrancesco. AdvisorShares, an investment firm, is launching a new US-focused cannabis exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca on September 2, AdvisorShares Chief Operating Officer Dan Ahrens told Business Insider.
NYSE’s listing requirements meant that MSOS could only include securities listed at NYSE, Nasdaq, Toronto Stock Exchange, or the TSX Venture Exchange. To get exposure to cannabis companies that fall outside those trading venues, MSOS will use derivatives handled by a third party.
The business opportunities awaiting entrepreneurs in 'cannabis tourism,' which could pick up as US citizens travel more domestically
From Andrew Ward, a freelancer who writes on cannabis for BI and other publications.
Cannabis tourism, or travel and experiences influenced by the legalization and use of marijuana, is a market full of promise that now finds itself in a space rife with change because of COVID-19. But several experts in the field say it will continue to show promise going forward.
After March and April, Colorado saw spikes in dispensary sales that outperformed last year’s figures, which showed that cannabis businesses could survive in even the toughest economic environments.
- Cannabis and hemp testing company Kaycha Labs has named Alan Silverman as its new CFO.
Deals, launches, and policy moves
- Neptune Wellness, a wellness company with holdings in the Canadian cannabis and US hemp industry, has signed an agreement with Unilever to expand and distribute products including Dove Soap, hand sanitizer gels, and more.
- Columbia Care is entering into an all-stock deal to acquire Green Solution, a Colorado cannabis dispensary chain. Columbia Care will take over 23 dispensaries and six grow houses in Colorado, and the deal is expected to close on September 1.
- Key Investment Partners announced it has closed financing in two cannabis startups: Springbig (which we’ve covered here), and Front Range Biosciences, a biotech firm working across cannabis, hemp, and coffee. Front Range Biosciences is looking to raise a $30 million Series B.
- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf formally asked state legislators to legalize cannabis for adults to boost the state’s economy, which has been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
- The US House of Representatives will vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, a bill that would legalize marijuana and expunge records of those convicted for marijuana, in September, Majority Whip James Clyburn said. The bill will face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate if passed.
What we’re reading
Are cannabis shops targeting California’s Black, Latino and poor communities? (Denver Post/The Cannabist)
Study: Vaping-related lung illnesses much lower in states with legal cannabis (Marijuana Business Daily)