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The Week In Cannabis: Federal Research Bill, George Lopez, Brazil, Morocco, Columbia Care And More

As we near the end of the first half of 2021, we can see cannabis stocks traded mostly up by double digits, with the Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE:CNBS) delivering gains of more than 50% year-to-date.

This week, however, stocks posted mixed performances.

Over the five trading days of this week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ): gained 2.5%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO): advanced 0.66%.
  • The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (NYSE:MSOS): dropped 1.9%.
  • The Cannabis ETF (NYSE:THCX): was up 0.5%.
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE:CNBS): gained 2.5%.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) closed the week up 0.39%.

On the policy front, a U.S. House Committee passed a bill that would enable researchers to analyze cannabis products from legal dispensaries. This new provision is part of a large transit bill, which has now passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, advancing to the full chamber for consideration.

Under the current law, scientists are allowed to use only limited amounts of cannabis formations that come from the only federally authorized source, the University of Mississippi. 

On the road to capturing the Latino market George Sadler, CEO of Platinum Vape, announced on Thursday’s Benzinga Cannabis Hour show that his company is partnering with comedian George Lopez to launch his cannabis brand Chingón.  

“George Lopez had called us about some of our products and about doing a brand,” said Sadler who naturally jumped at the chance. “So look for Lopez’s brand, Chingón, which is going to be coming out really soon.”

A special committee of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies passed a bill that would enable cannabis cultivation for medicinal and industrial purposes.

After being postponed on several occasions, the passing of this project meant a defeat for the conservative pro-Bolsonaro ruling party, which, according to O Globo, was firmly opposed to the bill and acted accordingly. Indeed, the battle was a close one: with 17 votes in favor and 17 against, the tie had to be broken by the chairman of the special committee, deputy Paulo Teixeira (PT-SP).

Benzinga Cannabis’ content is now available in Spanish on El Planteo.

In Morocco, the upper house of Parliament approved a bill to legalize the cultivation and commercialization of cannabis for medicinal and industrial uses.

With 41 votes in favor and 11 against, the upper house approved the bill, less than two weeks after the initiative was voted in the lower house.

However, the Moroccan Minister of the Interior, Abdeluafi Laftit, recalled that “the illegal use and consumption of marijuana is still prohibited in the country.”

Private equity firm Viridescent Capital Partners and its affiliate Viridescent Management LLC announced the closing of more than $125 million on its mREIT, Viridescent Realty Trust (VRT).

Acreage Holdings Inc. (OTC:ACRDF)’s founder, Kevin Murphy, launched Viridescent Capital Partners in 2020. He serves as the company’s founder and chief investment officer.

CBD wellness brand Vybes teamed up with popular hip-hop artist Matthew Tyler Mustok, better known as Blackbear, as it launches its newest beverage in honor of the musician – Blackbear Hibiscus.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE:CURA) (OTCQX:CURLF) announced a strategic partnership between its Select brand and Rolling Stone. 

The partnership will leverage Select’s resources and experience creating progressive, industry-leading cannabis products alongside Rolling Stone, which has a legacy of celebrating this connection and a long history of reporting on the fight to legalize cannabis.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NASDAQ: ACB) (TSX:ACB) will roll out three new proprietary cultivars under its adult-use cannabis brand San Rafael ’71. The three cultivars are dubbed Stonefruit Sunset, Lemon Rocket and Driftwood Diesel.

Policy, Science And Data

The Connecticut Senate passed a bill to legalize marijuana early Tuesday morning after a marathon debate that finally ended in a 19-17 vote. 

The legislation that will regulate and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older is now headed to the House of Representatives for final approval.

The New Jersey Senate Health Committee passed a medical cannabis-related bill (S3799) on Thursday to provide financial support programs for children, seniors, and crime victims in need of medical cannabis treatment.

Two-thirds of Americans now support all-drug decriminalization, according to a new survey from the Drug Policy Alliance and the ACLU.

The survey shows that 66% of Americans would support eliminating all criminal penalties for drug possession and redirecting resources toward a public health approach. Moreover, 83% of respondents said they think the “War on Drugs” has failed.

The United States Cannabis Council (USCC) released the results of a poll that demonstrates a promising shift in opinion on federal cannabis reform. 

The survey, conducted by Change Research, found that nearly 70% of registered voters in Arizona, Utah and West Virginia support federal cannabis legalization and want their Senators to vote in favor of federal reform this year.

The survey also found all three states polled an average of over 50% in favor of expunging records for non-violent cannabis offenses and allowing medical cannabis to be prescribed to veterans.

Zelira Therapeutics (ASX: ZLD) (OTCQB:ZLDAF) is set to begin a cannabinoid-based clinical trial on chronic pain in retired professional and amateur athletes.

The Washington State University Faculty Senate and Board of Regents have formed a Center for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach (CCRPO) with the idea of overseeing the schools’ comprehensive cannabis research.

Financings And M&A

Columbia Care Inc. (NEO: CCHW) (OTCQX: CCHWF) finalized its purchase of Green Leaf Medical, LLC, for $240 million in stock and cash.

Ayr Wellness Inc. (CSE:AYR) (OTCQX:AYRWF) announced the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act with respect to its proposed acquisition of GSD NJ LLC in New Jersey. As the waiting period expired without a second request for information, the $101 million transaction is expected to close in July 2021 subject to certain closing conditions, including final approval from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Adult-use sales are anticipated to begin Q1 2022

Ayr announced in December 2020, that it planned to acquire Garden State Dispensary (GSD), which is one of the 12 existing vertical permit holders in New Jersey and one of the state’s original six alternative treatment centers. Adult-use cannabis was legalized in New Jersey in Nov. 2020.

Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE:RWB) (OTCQX:RWBYF) secured roughly $44.5 million in financing.

22nd Century Group, Inc. (AMEX:XXII) raised $40 million through a previously announced registered direct offering of its 10 million common shares at $4.00 per share.

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX:TGOD) (OTC:TGODF) is selling its Valleyfield, Quebec-based facility to Cannara Biotech Inc. (TSXV:LOVE) for a total of $32.7 million.

Aleafia Health Inc. (TSX:AH) (OTCQX:ALEAF) is poised to raise up to $30 million through the newly established at-the-market equity program.

Curio closed on a $26 million mortgage with Severn Bank acting as the main finance partner. The news comes on the heels of the Maryland-based company’s $22 million capital raise with new and existing investors.

Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ:FLGC) made a strategic investment of 2 million Euros ($2.42 million) in Hoshicap Portugal Unipessoal Lda, a subsidiary of Hoshi International. The investment will solidify Flora’s position as a preferred strategic supplier to Hoshi’s EU processing facilities in Malta and Portugal, and provide Flora with a port for the importation of compliant, high-quality Colombian outdoor cannabis flower and derivatives to the European Union (EU). 

California-based cannabis supply chain solutions company HERBL has acquired Blackbird, a Nevada-based cannabis distributor and direct-to-consumer software solutions company, will integrate its e-commerce platform with HERBL’s retail services in Nevada and California.

Terra Tech Corp. (OTCQX:TRTC) is acquiring SilverStreak Solutions Inc.

Golden Triangle Ventures Inc. (OTC:GTVH) announced the acquisition of Sonder Fulfillment, LLC.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE:TRUL) (OTCQX:TCNNF) finalized its purchase of Solevo Wellness West Virginia LLC and its three West Virginia dispensary licenses. The $650,000 acquisition was previously announced in April.

Earnings Reports

Acreage Holdings, Inc. (CSE:ACRG) (OTC:ACRGF) saw consolidated revenue climb to $38.4 million in the first quarter of 2021, marking a 58% spike compared to what the New York-based company reported for the same period of 2020.

Retail revenue grew sequentially by 3% and 47% year-over-year to $25.8 million.

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (CSE: PLTH) (OTCQX: PLNHF), home of the world’s largest dispensary SuperStore near the Las Vegas Strip, is seeing a rapid rebound in tourist traffic.

The surge in tourism is reflected in the company’s latest numbers with $11.2 million in sales in May and gross margins above 50%.

Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE:JUSH) (OTC:JUSHF) reported a significant boost in revenue in 2020. Revenue jumped 689.6% year-over-year to $80.8 million over the last year, according to the Boca Raton, Florida-based cannabis company’s earnings report Wednesday.

Find all the details on these and other earnings reports on Benzinga Cannabis’ Earnings Center.

Other News

The Bob Marley Museum, in Kingston, Jamaica, is finally getting the one thing it was missing: ganja.

According to information procured exclusively ahead of an official announcement, the Marley family and Docklight Brands will open a Marley Natural-branded dispensary at Bob Marley’s former home and recording studio. The Marley Natural product lineup, including THC and CBD products as well as accessories, will be sold there.

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) (TSX:TLRY) announced the launch of a new brand dubbed Symbios.

The company simultaneously launched new medical cannabis topicals under the Aphria brand.

The Flowr Corporation (OTCQX:FLWPF) will export up to 500 kilos of premium dry cannabis flower in bulk into Israel.

Creo announced collaborations with Fifth & Root and Joiya to introduce new CBG skincare products using Creo’s proprietary CBG. Recent studies show that CBG can act as a natural multi-functional antioxidant to help skin heal, hydrate and delay aging.

Creo has also unveiled its first annual Creovate event, which will bring together experts to discuss the cannabinoid ingredients revolution. The event will be held virtually on June 22, 2021. Actor and director Jaime King will be the featured celebrity keynote speaker.

Body and Mind Inc. (CSE:BAMM) (OTCQB: BMMJ) obtained license approval for its Ohio production facility as well as local approval for its manufacturing facility in California.

CURE Pharmaceutical (OTC:CURR) has signed an agreement with Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC) to produce federally compliant medical cannabis, CBD and THC products.

Executive Moves

Find out all about the latest executive moves at:

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

Top Spanish stories:

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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