Aphria Disputes Short Seller| Luxembourg May Legalize Cannabis | FDA Commissioner Considers US Marijuana Reform Inevitable

Stock Market

Aphria Plummets After Company Disputes Short Seller

Barrons // 12.4.18

Aphria (NYSE: APHA) and most marijuana stocks were down Tuesday after a report from Quintessential Capital and Hindenburg Research called the company a shell game that left its shareholders holding worthless assets. The report also claimed Aphria had connections with boom-bust stock Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT). The company and analysts came to the company’s defense rebutting the short seller, however the stock was halted for premarket trading for the news.

KushCo Holdings A Must-Own for 2019

The Motley Fool // 12.3.18

California-based KushCo Holdings (NASDAQOTH: KSHB) reported its fourth-quarter and year-end financial results, with full-year sales soaring 177% to $52.1M. Though it might take the company a year or two to become profitable on a recurring basis, but the Motley Fool’s Sean Williams considers the stock a “must own.”

Origin House to Buy Key Assets of California Cultivator Cub City

Market Watch // 12.4.18

The registered business name for Canada-based CannaRoyalty Corp. (OTC: ORHOF), Origin House announced Tuesday a deal to buy certain assets of California-based cannabis cultivator Cub City LLC for $7.03M. As part of the deal, Origin House will acquire a cultivation facility with a production capacity of 1,400 kilograms of flower per year.

Tilray Invests $2.9M in Canadian Cannabis Retailer Westleaf Ahead of Public Listing

New Cannabis Ventures // 12.4.18

IGC Resources Inc. (TSXV: IGC.H) and Westleaf Cannabis Inc. announced the closing of $20M financing which includes a $2.9M strategic investment from Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY). Westleaf intends to roll-out its differentiated cannabis concepts across Canada focusing on customer experience and branding. IGC received conditional approval from the TSX Venture Exchange for the proposed RTO transaction.

Aurora Launch Softgel Capsules

Growth Op // 12.4.18

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) has begun shipping cannabis softgel capsules for the Canadian medical and recreational markets. With a production capacity that could reach 1.4M capsules per week, the company will begin exporting the softgels to international markets in early 2019.

Emerald Health Receives License for Endocannabinoid Products

Nasdaq // 12.4.18

Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (TSXV: EMH) (OTCQX: EMHTF) announced its joint venture Emerald Health Naturals, has received product licenses from Health Canada to sell proprietary products designed to support the endocannabinoid system. The product line has no cannabinoids and is designed to impact stress, anxiety, restless sleep, pain, and other conditions.

Global News

Luxembourg Could Legalize Weed

The Spirits Business // 12.4.18

Luxembourg will be ushering in a new three-party coalition government, comprised of the Democratic Party, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Greens. The Consumer Choice Center announced that the coalition will legalize the recreational use of cannabis, making it the first country in the EU to pass such a motion.

Canada’s Wayland Group strikes medicinal marijuana deal in the Northern Territory  

ABC AU // 12.3.18  

The Wayland Group, a Canadian based cannabis company, is buying a significant amount of property in the Northern Territory of Australia. With the support of NT Chief Minister, Wayland is excited to bring the medical marijuana industry to this rural part of Australia and looks forward to globalizing their vertically integrated company. 

Australian Cannabis Bill Needs to be Properly Debated 

The Cannaberra Times // 12.3.18 

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is working to legalize small amounts of cannabis for personal use. Though Canberra, Australia’s capital, is considered one of the most progressive cities in Australia, many think the bill is too simple, and does not detail the specific laws relating to obtaining and regulating recreational cannabis. The topic will come to parliament next February. 


US News


FDA Commissioner Considers Cannabis Reform Inevitable

Analytical Cannabis // 12.3.18

In a recent appearance on CNBC the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb hinted that cannabis reform was inevitable. Gottlieb indicated that there was going to be a policy reckoning around the cannabis industry in the future.

Law Firms Build Practices Around Lucrative Cannabis Industry

Business Insider // 12.4.18

With the rapid spread of marijuana legalization across the US, law firms are profiting from guiding cannabis businesses through the tangled web of regulations surrounding the growing industry. As companies grow, merge, and gain attention as acquisition targets, they will need sophisticated advice tailored to their needs.

Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Thursday

NBC // 12.3.18

Recreational adult use cannabis will be legal in Michigan state on Thursday, December 6. Local cannabid defense attorney Bruce Leach reminds everyone to consume cannabis responsibly and lays out the laws outlined in Proposition 1.

Michigan Proposal Would Release Prisoners Serving Sentences for Marijuana Convictions

WZZM13 // 12.3.18

A bill introduced to Michigan legislature seeks to release prisoners who are serving sentences relating to the use, possession, or distribution of marijuana. In the last five years 49,928 people in Michigan have been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses. The bill proposes people incarcerated for cannabis offenses could petition the parole board for immediate release.

Medical Marijuana Advocates to Sue City of Ada Oklahoma

Fox // 12.3.18

Medical marijuana advocates plan to sue the City of Ada Oklahoma for passing zoning ordinances intended to keep cannabis businesses away from churches. Using a legal provision set aside for schools, the city hopes to keep cannabis businesses a minimum distance of 300 feet away from churches. Medical marijuana advocates argue that the restriction is unfair to businesses and a violation of the law set out by State Question 788 which only addresses schools.

Pennsylvania to Consider Adding More Medical Conditions to the List of Treatable Conditions for Medical Marijuana

TRIB Live // 12.3.18

Nate Wardle, the spokesman of the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the state Medical Marijuana Advisory Board approved a new process for amending and expanding the states list of 21 medical conditions treatable with medicinal cannabis. In the coming weeks the board will begin accepting research-based petitions to add qualifying conditions to the list.

Utah’s Compromise Bill Signed by Gov. Gary Herbert

KUTV // 12.3.18

Governor Gary Herbert signed Utah’s medical marijuana compromise bill Monday. Critics of the bill have called the compromise a usurpation of the voters will. The measure requires patients to carry a medical card and card will only be issued to patients who suffer from a list of approved medical diagnoses.

California News

Cannabis Retailers May Be Limited to 4 Store Fronts in SF

SF Chronical  // 12.3.18

Tuesday Aaron Peskin put a proposal before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that would restrict the number of licenses a cannabis retailer could apply for to four. Opponents of the amendment argue that the proposal would unfairly limit the number of storefronts of new applicants and could stagnate businesses that qualify for the Cannabis Equity Program.

California’s Counterfeiting Problem

MJ Biz  // 12.4.18

California’s cannabis vape cartridge manufacturers are facing a growing counterfeiting dilemma. Marijuana Business Daily’s John Schroyer highlights the difficulties enforcing trademark and intellectual property laws in the cannabis industry, noting that many vaporizer and cartridges are manufactured in China where the problem begins. The problem is compounded by the black market who sell the counterfeit products at a discount.

Canadian News

Atlas Growers™ Receives License for B2B Sale of Genetics and Cannabis Products 

Atlas Growers // 12.3.18 

Following a year of research, Atlas Growers, Alberta Canada, has expanded their Producer’s license to include business to business (B2B) sales of fresh and dried cannabis flower, cannabis seeds, live plants and cannabis extracts. In the upcoming weeks, Atlas plans to fill their 38,000 square foot facility and lab with over 450 cultivars of unique genetics. In the next year, the company hopes to expand operations to their 160-acre site, where their pending development permit would allow them to build a 1,000,000 square foot facility in Edmonton, Alberta.  

CannTrust’s Pelham marijuana tops Canadian Cannabis Awards 

Niagra Falls Review // 12.4.18 

The Lift&Co 2018 Canadian Cannabis Awards wrapped up Thursday and CannTrust won first place as the top producer, as well as taking home awards for the best high-CBD oil, balanced oil, sativa flower, hybrid flower and high-CBD flower.  

MediPharm Labs Wins Canadian Cannabis Start-Up of the Year 

New Cannabis Venture // 12.4.18 

Lift&Co named Toronto based MediPharm as the Top Cannabis Start-Up of the Year last week at the Canadian Cannabis Awards. MediPharm stands out in the Canadian market as the first and only company that focuses solely on the production and sale of extracted cannabis oil. Their narrow focus allows them to develop expertise and knowledge that they plan to capitalize on in the future. 

Largest Canadian Cannabis Grower Calls for Focus on Quality and Professionalizing of Industry 

Greenhouse Grower // 12.4.18 

At MJBizCon last month, CEO of Sundial Growers, Torsten Kuenzlen spoke about how the quantity driven cannabis industry needs to take a step back to focus on quality. Kuenzlen says the key to longevity as a company in the rapidly growing industry is to look to the beer and wine industry as a model for success. Sundial Growers aims to provide an industry standard of professionalism and product quality to ensure a profitable industry in the future.  

Pot is So Hot in Canada that Firms are Importing Workers 

BNN Bloomberg // 12.2.18 

Following a $1M loss due to unskilled staffing in their garden, Aphria Inc., Ontario, turned to the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program which allowed 50 temporary employees to come from Guatemala and the Caribbean to work in the company’s facility.  Aphria Inc. plans to bring up to 100 more employees to Ontario to help fill growing demand for workers in the cannabis industry. 

Medical Cannabis Research Turns to Seniors in Long Term Care Facilities 

GFarma News // 12.3.18 

A rising number of Canadian Seniors have been experimenting with Medical Cannabis to treat a wide range of ailments. The Ontario Long Term Care Association is starting a six-month pilot program with 500 seniors in a number of different nursing facilities. Specialists in Cannabinoid therapy for seniors are tracking pain, anxiety and sleep changes based on medicinal cannabis use. 


Bay Area Cannabis Researchers Claim Breakthrough Against Chronic Disease 

The Mercury News // 12.4.18 

Dr Michael Moskowitz, President of the Cannabis Research Consortium of Marin (County), studies THCV (tetrahyrdocannabivarin), one of the rarest and most medically beneficial cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. THCV acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anti-nausea, and anti-anxiety agent, with little to no harmful side effects. Moskowitz’s research aims to promote and commercialize the medicinal benefits of THCV, similar to the rising popularity of CBD.

Sampling Cannabis in Products and Matrices  

Science of Cannabis Online Symposium 2018 

Seth Wong, President, TEQ Analytical, gave a lecture at The Science of Cannabis Online Symposium 2018. Wong goes into the detailed sampling requirements for the cannabis industry in Colorado and covers sampling procedure and regulation in cultivation and processing facilities. The report discusses at length the troubles with sample heterogeneity and what better practices can do to overcome these challenges.

Columbia Care Launches Study to Prove Medical Benefits of Cannabis 

Cannabis Business Times // 12.3.18 

Columbia Care has teamed up with Columbia University to research and compare the active ingredients in cannabis products with the active ingredients in opioids in the only nationally funded study in the country. This project will expand on a former study by Columbia Care which proved that patients being treated with opioids reportedly decreased or stopped opioid use while using medicinal cannabis. CEO of Columbia Care wants to change the way scientists and policy makers view medical cannabis.

The Cannabis Industry Is Scaling with The Help Of New Technologies  

Forbes // 12.3.18 

Blockchain technology tries to offer solutions to the cash-centric nature of the cannabis industry and the lack of supply chain tracking and regulation. Over the next 3-4 years, crypto-currency and plant to product tracking using blockchain will be tested out in the industry.


Co-authored with the help of Madeline Berkman