Is This Legalization? | MedMen’s Lawsuit a Lesson For Cannabis Industry | Aphria Hits 52 WeeK Low

Is This Legalization?

The Morning Blunt // 12.17.18
Legal cannabis opportunities don’t appear to be attractive enough to undermine black markets, even for those best positioned for legal success. Denver-based cannabis processors the Diamond Baron (DB) and TNT Extracts (TNT) had promising careers in the cannabis space until an investigation turned up that the companies were involved in illegal cannabis operations linked to a stolen car ring worth over $1.1M. Antupit and Eldred argue that the regulated market that is intended to disrupt the black market is failing to be competitive due to state and municipal governments staking claim to huge revenues generated by the cannabis industry's steep taxes.

MedMen’s Lawsuit A Lesson for the Cannabis Industry

Canna Law Blog // 12.16.18
California’s popular cannabis retail company, MedMen was recently hit with a class action lawsuit from two former employees who allege MedMen failed to pay them for all hours worked, failed to pay for overtime, failed to provide mandatory meal and break periods, and failed to keep accurate records of all hours worked by employees. Canna Law Blog’s Megan Vaniman urges cannabis companies who are unsure if they are compliant with state and federal laws pertaining to employment practices, to seek out cannabis employment attorneys to evaluate their business and provide guidance.

Aphria Trading Hits 52-Week Low After Class-Action Suit Filed

The Motley Fool // 12.16.18
Trading at a near 52-week low, Aphria (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) may have just begun to unravel. A class-action lawsuit has been filed and critics of the stock argue there is little reason to trust management. While the company's stock is one of the better valued stocks, it comes with risks that aren't worth taking. The Motley Fool's Mat Litalien recommends sticking with companies like Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC), CannTrust Holdings (OTCMKTS: CNTTF) (TSE: TRST), Cronos (NASDAQ: CRON), and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB).

Trump’s New Chief of Staff is an Ally to the Marijuana Movement

Civilized // 12.15.18
New hire for White House chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney may be one of the biggest supporters of cannabis reform in the White house. Mulvaney has supported cannabis related legislation and his past voting decisions are a good sign that he will be involved in changing the federal views on cannabis.


This Fund is Betting On Cannabis & Tilray is Driving its Performance

Business Insider // 12.17.18
The Seattle-based Zevenbergen Capital Investments firm features the $29M Zevenbergen Genea Fund. The fund is in the 99th percentile of all competing funds over the last 1 and 3-year periods. No stock was more instrumental in boosting the Genea fund than Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY). The fund focuses on long-haul, high-growth stocks and sees opportunity in the cannabis sector.


New Cannabis Ventures // 12.14.18 TerrAscend Corp. (CSE: TER) (OTCQX: TRSSF) announced that it has agreed to terms on a $75M credit facility managed by JW Asset Management LLC. The facility is intended to give TerrAscend access to non-dilutive capital for acquisitions in the US.  

HEXO Corp. Could Be An Acquisition Target

Cantech Letter// 12.16.18
Russell Stanley of Beacon Securities views HEXO Corp (TSX: HEXO) (OTCMKTS: HYYWF) as one of the few cannabis firms with large-scale low-cost production. In addition to the company's newly released quarterly results, HEXO is slated to begin listing on the New York Stock Exchange before the year's end, and compared to other Canadian cannabis stock, has a discounted valuation.

Organigram Delivers 76% Sales Growth

Nasdaq // 12.14.18
Organigram Holdings (NASDAQOTH: OGRMF) announced its fourth quarter and full year financial results, reporting a 76% sales growth. The company reported a quarterly revenue of CA$3.21M and remains focused on expansion efforts.

Pyxus Lost 72% Since Mid-October

Seeking Alpha // 12.14.18
Pyxus International (NYSE: PYX) has lost 72% of its equity value since mid-October after quarterly reports sent disappointed investors running. Seeking Alpha’s Cornerstone Investments advises investors to focus on pure-play opportunities in the cannabis sector rather than Pyxus.

CSE: The Go-To For US Cannabis Stocks

Market Watch // 12.15.18
The Canadian Securities Exchange has become a prime destination for US cannabis companies looking to list a stock offering. Major US exchanges as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture refuse to list US cannabis firms who break federal prohibition laws. In the last year the CSE has roughly tripled the amount of cannabis-related deals to $1.88B in 2018 with cannabis deals accounting for over 70% of the total amount raised on the exchange. US companies account for roughly 60% of all cannabis related deals conducted on the CSE according to the SEC.

Partnership & Acquisition Targets for 2019

Motley Fool // 12.15.18
According to Motley Fool’s Sean Williams, institutional investors may be more likely than ever to snap up partnerships or acquisitions with Aphria (NYSE: APHA), Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB), and The Green Organic Dutchman (NASDAQOTH: TGODF).

Tilray Invests $7.5M in ROSE LifeScience Inc.

Follow The Money Investor Group // 12.14.18
Friday Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced an investment in Quebec cannabis producer ROSE LifeScience Inc. of CA$7.5M. The company also announced a supply, distribution, and marketing agreement between ROSE and Tilray’s wholly owned subsidiary High Park Farms Ltd.

Global News

WHO Withholds Cannabis Scheduling Recommendations

Canna Law Blog // 12.15.18
The World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence was scheduled to make a recommendation about the international legal status of cannabis to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs on December 7, 2018. The ECDD, needing additional time for clearance reasons, announced it would temporarily withhold the report until January. The ECDD’s report will be discussed and put up for a vote in March of 2019.

Farm Bill’s Global CBD Boom Might Disrupt Marijuana Industry

Green Entrepreneur // 12.14.18
The 2018 Farm Bill was sent to President Donald Trump’s desk last week. If signed the piece of legislation will legalize the production of industrial hemp, paving the way for CBD to enter the mainstream. The passing of the Farm Bill will lead to Consumer Packaged Goods companies will join the hemp sector, a global hemp market, and even the transition of brands from marijuana to hemp. Hemp legalization may also slow the expansion of medical marijuana in more conservative states.

Mexico Will Consult With Other Countries For Cannabis Legalization Advice

Marijuana Moment // 12.15.18
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs announced that the government will be discussing cannabis legalization with other legal countries to learn about implementing reform policies.

US News

NY Recreational Marijuana Plan Coming Together


WHEC // 12.13.18


Lawmakers in New York state are drafting plans to make recreational marijuana legal in the state. The legislation will be used as a framework for the rules and regulations as the state’s needs become clearer. In the first week of January, the governor will present his budget to the state and more information regarding cannabis legislature for 2019 will be announced.

First Facility in Ohio Approved to Operate

WTRF // 12.13.18
In Wintersville Ohio, Cresco Labs has been approved to operate the first medical dispensary in the state. They will have edibles, vape pens, cartridges, oral sprays, pills and transdermal products on the shelves. Once the products have all been tested, they will be opening their doors to the patients who qualify for the medical ID with one of the 21 conditions.

Washington Cannabis Regulators Lift Candy Ban

Seattle Times // 12.16.18

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board finalized a policy limiting shape and color variations in edibles to be sold in recreational dispensaries. The list will be published publicly in January. All efforts to regulate edible packaging are to deter children from consuming the products.

US Pharmaceutical Schools Are Now Teaching About Medical Marijuana

Civilized // 12.15.18
Sixty two percent of the pharmaceutical programs around the country have added cannabis to their curriculum. States that have not yet legalized medical marijuana are still training their pharmacists to be able to assist patients who are using medical marijuana, anticipating legalization in the near future.

Boston Bank is Taking on Cannabis Clientele

Boston Business Journal // 12.13.18
The first bank in Massachusetts has announced that they have taken cannabis clients, despite the industry’s reluctance to enter the recreational market. BayCoast bank said they have taken on five cannabis companies that operate in the recreational market.

New Jersey Bill Considers Recreational Marijuana

NY Times // 12.14.18
In New Jersey, legislation that will pave the way for recreational marijuana in the state will be voted on by Legislature on Monday. The proposals consisted of, marijuana delivery services, cannabis consumption areas, promoting ‘micro-businesses’ and promoting minority owned businesses. The legislation also included a stipulation that cannabis cannot be grown on any private property, it must be taxed and sold from a controlled, yet to be determined, site. More information to come following the decision.

Virginia Convenience Stores Unknowingly Selling ‘Pure Marijuana’

NBC 12 // 12.16.18
County convenience stores in Virginia were selling CBD products sold as ‘hemp flower’ that after tested, were reported to be ‘pure marijuana’. The CBD market is unregulated and there is no way to know what you are purchasing. Because of their cooperation, the store owners have not been prosecuted.

Green Rush Daily Sold for $7 Million

Benzinga // 12.14.18

Scott McGovern sold his media company Green Rush Daily to High Times Magazine for $7 million. After only 19 months, his website had 6.5 million visitors a month under the tagline “The voice of the Cannabis Revolution”. Green Rush Daily had a social network of over 1 billion combined followers and one facebook video had 65 million views.

Cannabis Business in Denver Hit With $8.8M Judgement

Denver Post // 12.14.18
Sweet Leaf Cannabis business have been ordered to pay $8.8 million in fines after they failed to comply with the owner of Denver properties they were buying. The ruling of the judge shows that cannabis businesses are being treated the same way as any other business.

Third Retail Store Opens in Salem

Mass Live // 12.15.18
Customers lined up for the grand opening of Alternative Therapies Group in Salem, the third recreational retail store to open in the state of Massachusetts. Despite their appointment only policy, over 30 people were in line at 9am when the store opened.

Getting Around the Law by Gifting Marijuana in Michigan

Forbes //12.15.18
Like many other states that have legalized recreational marijuana but have not established a dispensing system, Michigan has found a way to bypass the law by gifting marijuana. A candy company in Ann Arbor sells “munchie bags” that include your choice of snacks, with a free bag of marijuana. Until Michigan figures out how to tax and regulate marijuana, the black market will continue to find loopholes in the state.

California News

Breakdown of California’s Proposed Cannabis Regulations

Pot Network // 12.14.18
The three agencies that govern California’s cannabis industry are the Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Public Health, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Recently a draft of proposed regulations was submitted for approval by the California Office of Administrative Law. Take a look for a breakdown of provisions in the proposition.

Cannabis Company Caliva is Recruiting Uber Drivers

Forbes // 12.16.18
Caliva, a Cannabis Delivery Company out of California is working to fill the growing demand for marijuana deliveries by additional hiring drivers. The company approached Uber and DoorDash drivers with full-time contracts, 401K plans and benefits to entice them to work for Caliva. The local police department gives a background check to the drivers and adds them to a registry. The drivers are given a special ID badge to carry the product in their vehicle. In the last year, Caliva has almost doubled its workforce, with 200 hires in the last six months.

Public Bank in California Proposed by Cannabis Growers

Press Democrat // 12.16.18
Lawmakers in Sacramento are talking about how a state-owned bank would help the cannabis industry into the financial mainstream. The state will soon release the analysis from the Attorney General’s office.

Suspiciously High Percentage of California Pot Passing Safety Tests

ABC News // 12.16.18
Record high numbers of marijuana products in California are passing the safety tests required to be sold to consumers. The closing of Sequoia Analytical Labs raises questions as to the legitimacy of their results, throwing the entire testing system into question. The company was caught conducting faulty tests and ended up surrendering their license to the state. California now has to reanalyze their regulations and governing of the legal market.

County’s First Marijuana-Only DUI

KGET // 12.14.18 Kern County in California just closed its first case for a marijuana-only DUI, where an intoxicated driver hit another car which resulted in a fatality. The court found Rudolfo Contreras guilty of second-degree murder while impaired by marijuana. The justices were unanimous in his 20-years-to-life sentence.

San Diego Auditing Marijuana Dispensaries

Los Angeles Times // 12.16.18
The city of San Diego is trying to boost their tax revenue from dispensaries, and auditing to ensure they are complying with the 5% city tax on all cannabis sales. On July 1st, the city tax is set to increase to 8%, generating more than $6 million in revenue. Medical Patients are exempt from paying the tax when they provide a physician’s recommendation.

Canadian News

Vancouver Closes Illegal Cannabis Stores

Leafly // 12.14.18
BC Supreme Court decided to close the unlicensed retail shops operating in the black market in Vancouver. The city has 10 applications pending for recreational dispensaries but there are currently no licensed shops operating in the city. TMore than 3,700 tickets have been issued and the city has collected close to $3M in fines.

Ottawa Prime Minister Hopeful Supply Shortages Will be Resolved in 2019

Prince George Citizen // 12.14.18
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expects the cannabis supply shortage to disappear within the next year. Trudeau spoke publicly about his lack of support for the new Quebec legislation, raising the legal age from 18 to 21. He is working to eliminate the black market entirely.

Ontario Holds Lottery for Pot Shop Licenses

BNN Bloomberg // 12.14.18

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will use a lottery system to determine who will become eligible for one of up to 25 licenses being given out by the government. Due to severe supply shortages, the government plans to use a phased approach when introducing the retail cannabis stores.


Genomic Leaps and Bounds

Bloomberg Environment // 12.14.18
Genetic cannabis research at the University of Northern Colorado is working to isolate terpenes and study how they can enhance the health benefits of CBD without any intoxicating effects. There is also an interest in breeding a hardier plant that can withstand mold and pests. Genetic research is proving to be difficult with the lack of wild ancestor plants, scientists say there are too many unknowns in the genome.The cannabis industry will soon be using marker-assisted selection, where a molecular marker highlights a gene and speeds up breeding. Fungal resistance will be the first gene that they attempt to edit. Many breeders refused to work with the lab, comparing them to monsanto and fearing their genetically modified crops. Despite the pushback, the lab continues on with their biotech research into the cannabis plant.

Sativex Trial With ALS Spasticity Patients

Med Page Today // 12.14.18
Scientists in Italy conducted a trial studying the effects of an oromucosal spray containing THC and CBD cannabis extracts on ALS patients to reduce spasticity and pain. 59 adults with ALS who were on a stable dose of medication were entered into the double blind study and randomly chosen to receive the nabiximols (sativex) mouth spray or the placebo. After six weeks, 55% of the patients receiving the nabiximols reported improvements, while only four out of the 30 patients receiving the placebo reported any positive changes. The study had some limitations and questions have been raised about the legitimacy of the results, however the patients who improved while taking the oral spray reported a decrease in spasticity and a dramatic reduction in chronic pain.

Medicinal Plant Chemistry Program at Northern Michigan University

Mining Journal // 12.16.18
Northern Michigan University has a new Medicinal Plant Chemistry program that has attracted over 200 students to the university in the last three semesters. The coursework is a blend of chemistry and biology that gives students the choice of an entrepreneurial or bioanalytical focus of study. The university recognizes the demand for qualified technical personnel in the cannabis industry and is excited to integrate cannabis into their curriculum as the laws change in the state.