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California Cannabis Licensing Authorities Unveil New Unified License Search Tool

California Cannabis Licensing Authorities Unveil New Unified License Search Tool

Editor’s Note: Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers spoke at Cannabis Conference Virtual on Sept. 15 during a Fireside Chat with Cannabis Conference Editorial Director Noelle Skodzinski on Monitoring and Improving Company Performance and Capital.” For more information, please visit www.CannabisConference.com.

TALLAHASSEE, FL, Sept. 16, 2020 /CNW/ – PRESS RELEASE – Trulieve Cannabis Corp. has announced that it has entered into definitive agreements pursuant to which Trulieve has agreed to acquire cultivator and producer PurePenn LLC and Pioneer Leasing & Consulting LLC, as well as dispensary operator Keystone Relief Centers LLC, doing business as Solevo Wellness.

Key Transaction Benefits:

  • Delivers an accretive transaction on an EBITDA basis
  • Broadens Trulieve’s multi-state footprint to Pennsylvania, the fifth most populated and limited-license state, adding to Trulieve’s existing operations in Florida, California, Massachusetts and Connecticut
  • Expands Trulieve’s cultivation footprint with the addition of one of Pennsylvania’s leading cultivators and producers with 35,000 square feet of existing cultivation, with planned expansion to 90,000 square feet by Q1 2021
  • Adds three fully operational dispensaries in premier Pittsburgh-area locations to Trulieve’s rapidly growing retail footprint of 60 dispensaries nationally
  • Provides Trulieve with the ability to enter the Pennsylvania market with existing vertical operations
  • Further strengthens Trulieve’s experienced leadership with engaged and aligned local management teams

Kim Rivers, Trulieve CEO, stated, “We are extremely excited to announce the acquisition of PurePenn and Solevo as these companies are proven and profitable operators with strong management teams, state of the art facilities, a premium product portfolio, and strong patient base.”

Rivers continued, “We believe Pennsylvania is one of the most attractive cannabis markets in the United States and these acquisitions align with our focus on expanding within the northeast. The combination of these companies, coupled with Trulieve’s supply chain expertise, customer and brand-centric approach, and ability to profitably grow will propel us into a strong leadership position in the state.”

PurePenn

PurePenn is a cultivation and production company, producing pharmaceutical-grade medical marijuana products. It offers a range of products such as concentrates, flower, oil, capsules and tinctures, and its portfolio includes some of the highest THC potencies in the Pennsylvania program, with 750mg THC per 30mL bottle tincture and the original THCA sand with potencies in excess of 96%. PurePenn currently operates a 35,000-square-foot cultivation and processing facility in McKeesport, Penn., which is undergoing expansion to 90,000 square feet, expected to be operational by Q1 2021. The PurePenn facility also provides room for future expansion as Trulieve grows its operations in Pennsylvania.

Under its current 100% wholesale model, PurePenn’s sizeable cultivation footprint supplies an extensive distribution network, including Solevo and other private and public medical marijuana companies.

The acquisition allows Trulieve to expand its cultivation presence into the Pennsylvania market.  As of the end of the second quarter of 2020, the state of Pennsylvania reported that out of the 33 companies permitted to cultivate in the state, only 26 grower/processors were deemed operational, and of those, only 15 of those were actively shipping to dispensaries.

“We are excited to join Trulieve, as well as Solevo, who we have an established relationship with, and see this as an incredible opportunity to combine Trulieve’s seed to sale structure with our wholesale model,” said Gabe Perlow, CEO of PurePenn.  “We look forward to continuing to add to our cultivation to meet the wholesale demand in the state, as well as being part of a vertical integration model – the best of both worlds.  The announcement today provides new opportunities for PurePenn and we believe this will accelerate our already rapid growth.” 

Solevo Wellness

Solevo owns and operates three dispensaries, located in premier Pittsburgh-area locations, including the first dispensary to open in Allegheny County in February 2018. Solevo is dedicated to providing medical marijuana relief solutions for Pennsylvanians certified with serious medical conditions such as intractable pain including arthritis, and other serious medical conditions including glaucoma, cancer, autism, Parkinson’s disease, MS, IBS and HIV/AIDS.

The acquisition expands Trulieve’s retail presence into the fifth-most populated state in the U.S., with approximately 13 million people and an expanding medical marijuana patient base of 330,000 patients as of June 30, 2020. The medical market size in Pennsylvania is estimated to be US$420 million in 2019 and is anticipated to grow to US$575M by the end of 2020, according to BDS Analytics. As of the end of the second quarter of 2020, only 87 of the potential 198 dispensary locations were operational and servicing the 330,000 patients in the state.

“We are extremely excited to join Trulieve to bring their strong brand presence to the Pennsylvania market.  We share the same patient-centric core values and strive to develop best-in-class service by providing quality products and delivering the highest standard of professional care,” said Dr. Robert Capretto, Chairman of the Board of Solevo. “We are looking forward to bringing the Trulieve brand to the market, which we anticipate will be well-received by our patients and communities.”

Proposed Transactions

Trulieve has agreed to acquire PurePenn for an upfront payment of $46 million, comprised of $27 million in Trulieve subordinate voting shares and $19 million in cash, plus a potential earn-out payment of up to approximately $60 million in Trulieve Shares based on the achievement of certain agreed EBITDA milestones.

Trulieve has agreed to acquire Solevo for an upfront purchase price of US$20 million, comprised of $10 million in cash and $10 million in Trulieve Shares, plus a potential earn-out payment of up to approximately $15 million in Trulieve Shares based on the achievement of certain agreed EBITDA milestones.

Both acquisitions are agreed as of Sept. 16, 2020. The transactions are subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and are expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2020. Each acquisition is an arms length transaction and neither involve a finder’s fee. The acquisitions will result in a change of control for both PurePenn and Solevo.

The Trulieve Shares issued in conjunction with the transactions are subject to various hold periods of up to 18 months following the closing date of each respective transaction.

Advisors and Counsel

For both the PurePenn and Solevo transactions: Canaccord Genuity Corp. is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to Trulieve, and Akerman LLP is acting as legal counsel to Trulieve. Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLC is acting as legal counsel to PurePenn and PLC and Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe LLC is acting as legal counsel to Solevo.

Published at Wed, 16 Sep 2020 20:40:00 +0000

Missouri Sends $2.1M In Medical Marijuana Revenue To Military Veterans Health Programs

Missouri Sends $2.1M In Medical Marijuana Revenue To Military Veterans Health Programs

When it comes to supporting military veterans with medical marijuana revenue, Missouri is beginning to put its money where its mouth is.

The first-ever transfer of cannabis revenue to a state veterans fund just place, with more than $2.1 million routed from the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC), where it will fund health services for those who have served in the military.

The payment comes just ahead of the opening of Missouri’s first medical cannabis dispensaries, which regulators said Friday are expected to begin business later this month.

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Published at Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:55:38 +0000

Delaware State University Receives Federal Grant for Hemp Research

Delaware State University Receives Federal Grant for Hemp Research

Delaware State University has received a $591,628 grant from the National Science Foundation for hemp research. The endowment will allow undergraduates to participate in the university’s College of Agriculture, Science and Technology hemp research program.

The project, called the “Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) Hemp Initiative Project,” will be interdisciplinary, involving university science disciplines.

According to the university, chemistry students participating in the program will investigate extraction techniques for the desired end-use of hemp products and biofuel feedstock. Biological sciences students will be engaged in cancer research, investigating the conditions under which CBDinduces cell death versus when cells are protected against cell-damaging stressors.

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Published at Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:58:02 +0000

The Next Level for Cannabis Stocks (GRWG, CURLF, SGMD, APHA)

The Next Level for Cannabis Stocks (GRWG, CURLF, SGMD, APHA)

As we head into the upcoming election on November 3, investors should anticipate major shifts in market behavior.

The uncertainty surrounding this election is palpable, not just because of the intense polarization that marks our current political moment, but because of added uncertainty drawn from the fact that, in a recent Pew research poll, nearly 70% of republican voters said they would vote in person at the ballot box on election day while over 75% of democrats said they were likely to vote by mail.

As both parties work to lay down strategies to support the narrative around this transition that best aids their partisan cause, markets shiver in anticipation of widespread social disarray as both seek to delegitimize the other’s claim to the throne after January.

That could create a lot of capital motion in the weeks ahead, as big money managers scramble to diversify and capitalize on new themes. One of those new themes that could vacuum up a lot of wandering capital is in the cannabis space, as we run toward multiple new legalization votes on state ballots as well as the potential that a putative Biden administration might quickly move to decriminalize on a national level.

As such, we put together a list of some interesting stocks in the space that could represent strong opportunities for speculators over the coming period, including: GrowGeneration Corp (NASDAQ:GRWG), Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:CURLF), Sugarmade Inc (OTCMKTS:SGMD), and Aphria Inc (NASDAQ:APHA).

GrowGeneration Corp (OTCMKTS:GRWG) trumpets itself as a company that, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates retail hydroponic and organic gardening stores in the United States. Currently, GrowGen has 27 stores, which include 5 locations in Colorado, 5 locations in California, 2 locations in Nevada, 1 location in Washington, 4 locations in Michigan, 1 location in Rhode Island, 4 locations in Oklahoma, 1 location in Oregon, 3 locations in Maine and 1 location in Florida.

GrowGen carries and sells thousands of products, including organic nutrients and soils, advanced lighting technology and state of the art hydroponic equipment to be used indoors and outdoors by commercial and home growers.

GrowGeneration Corp (OTCMKTS:GRWG) just announced that it believes it has uncovered fraudulent attempts to manipulate the Company’s stock. On August 21, 2020, an organization calling itself “Hindenburg Research” published false and defamatory statements about certain Officers and Directors of the Company designed to provide a false impression to investors and to manipulate the market to benefit short sellers.

According to the release, GrowGen intends to collaborate with law enforcement and regulators to ensure that any criminal activity is investigated and prosecuted. GrowGen will be taking steps to ensure that the organization ceases and desists from all illegal and otherwise wrongful activity. GrowGen will vigorously defend the value of the Company on behalf of shareholders and investors.

The stock has suffered a bit of late, with shares of GRWG taking a hit in recent action, down about -6% over the past week.

GrowGeneration Corp (OTCMKTS:GRWG) managed to rope in revenues totaling $43.5M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 123%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($14.8M against $18.8M, respectively).

Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:CURLF) operates as an integrated medical and wellness cannabis operator in the United States. Curaleaf Inc.’s Florida operations were the first in the cannabis industry to receive the Safe Quality Food certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative, setting a new standard of excellence.

It cultivates, processes, markets, and/or dispenses a range of cannabis products in various operating markets, including flower, pre-rolls and flower pods, dry-herb vaporizer cartridges, concentrates for vaporizing, concentrates for dabbing, tinctures, lozenges, capsules, and edibles. The company also provides non-cannabis services to licensed cannabis operators in the areas of cultivation, extraction and production, and retail operations.

Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:CURLF) most recently announced the grand opening of Curaleaf Brandon, the company’s 31st location in Florida. The new location, located at 846 E. Brandon Blvd, is the third new dispensary in the Tampa / St. Petersburg / Clearwater metropolitan area this quarter.

Curaleaf is committed to serving the growing base of 394,000 registered medical patients in Florida, which is one of the nation’s fastest-growing medical cannabis markets in the country. In August, the company opened new dispensaries in Clearwater (2081 Gulf to Bay Blvd.) and South Tampa (3030 W. Gandy Blvd.). The company’s strategic expansion in the Tampa Bay area will provide patients and caregivers expanded access to high-quality medical cannabis products, including Select, America’s #1 cannabis oil brand.

The stock has suffered a bit of late, with shares of CURLF taking a hit in recent action, down about -4% over the past week. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -19%.

Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:CURLF) generated sales of $162.8M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 25.4% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($167.2M against $176.4M, respectively).

Sugarmade Inc (OTCMKTS:SGMD) operates now mostly through its controlling stake in BudCars, a leading California cannabis delivery company that operates on a traditional retail model with consistent 45-50% gross margins on cannabis inventory.

Sugarmade’s BudCars model has been feasting on increasing market share during the pandemic for obvious reasons: cannabis consumers can order their favorite products and have them delivered right to the door in touchless convenience. That dynamic has presented SGMD shareholders with a dramatic boom over recent months.

Sugarmade Inc (OTCMKTS:SGMD), to further drive that boom, recently announced that it is submitting an application to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control to expand into cannabis cultivation as part of a strategic plan to partially verticalize its BudCars model, a process that management strongly believes will further increase the Company’s gross profitability over the long-term and provide a rapid potential path to branded product development. The Company has already secured a property containing a 5,000 square-foot indoor premium cannabis cultivation facility located in very close proximity to its Sacramento BudCars hub.

Jimmy Chan, CEO of Sugarmade, noted, “BudCars is a high margin, high-growth business. But it will still benefit from verticalization. Because we have access to our end-market consumer directly and we have cultivation expertise and a premium grow facility, an expansion into cultivation to connect the dots is a clearly advantageous move. In addition, because BudCars is a rapidly growing distribution channel, we will have a clear edge in the marketplace in terms of the capacity to establish our own branded cannabis product line.”

Even with that news, the action hasn’t really heated up in the stock, with shares moving net sideways over the past week.

Sugarmade Inc (OTCMKTS:SGMD) has been posting major growth updates on a regular basis over the past couple months as its BudCars model takes apparent flight. The rate of sales growth expected from the company in 2020 has walked up a steep ladder, with the latest guidance suggesting we could see it north of $30 million in annualized sales by year-end.

Aphria Inc (NASDAQ:APHA) has been setting the standard for the low-cost production of safe, clean and pure pharmaceutical-grade cannabis at scale, grown in the most natural conditions possible. Focusing on untapped opportunities and backed by the latest technologies, Aphria is committed to bringing breakthrough innovation to the global cannabis market.

The Company’s portfolio of brands is grounded in expertly-researched consumer insights designed to meet the needs of every consumer segment. “Rooted in our founders’ multi-generational expertise in commercial agriculture, Aphria drives sustainable long-term shareholder value through a diversified approach to innovation, strategic partnerships and global expansion, with a presence in more than 10 countries across 5 continents.”

Aphria Inc (NASDAQ:APHA) recently announced it has entered into a Strategic Supply Agreement with Canndoc Ltd., a subsidiary of InterCure Ltd. (TASE: INCR) (TASE: INCR.TA), one of Israel’s largest and most established medical cannabis producers.

According to the release, under the terms of the Agreement, Aphria will supply Canndoc with dried bulk flower over a two-year period, with the option to extend for two additional terms of two years each, and an option for an additional year after that if the parties agree to terms.  During the first two-year term and each additional term, if applicable, the Company will provide Canndoc with 3,000 kgs. of bulk dried flower, which will be processed into finished product, co-branded under the Aphria and Canndoc brand names, and sold exclusively within the Israeli market.

While this is a clear factor, it has been incorporated into a trading tape characterized by a pretty dominant offer, which hasn’t been the type of action APHA shareholders really want to see. In total, over the past five days, shares of the stock have dropped by roughly -4% on above average trading volume. All in all, not a particularly friendly tape, but one that may ultimately present some new opportunities. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -3%.

Aphria Inc (NASDAQ:APHA) managed to rope in revenues totaling $152.2M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 18.4%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($497.2M against $170.4M).

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Published at Mon, 14 Sep 2020 05:31:44 +0000

Can medicinal cannabis help intellectually disabled children with behavioral problems?

A pilot study is currently underway in Australia investigating the efficacy of medicinal cannabis as a treatment for severe behavioral problems in intellectually disabled children. It’s hoped the research will eventually move into larger clinical trials following anecdotal reports that medicinal cannabis can reduce incidents of aggression and self-harm in children.

The study is being led by Daryl Efron, from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and is initially just working with 10 children aged between eight and 16. This preliminary study is designed to first evaluate the practicalities and feasibility of the treatment ahead of a larger-scale trial.

“The medications most often prescribed for these children are stimulants, antidepressants and anti-psychotics, which all carry a risk of serious side-effects,” says Efron. “There is little research into new drugs to help these children, but medicinal cannabis has been shown to be effective to treat other medical conditions, including some severe epilepsies in children, and chemotherapy side effects and multiple sclerosis in adults.”

To read more…

Change is coming to Michigan’s marijuana industry regulations

March 1st, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) signed executive order 2019-7. The order created the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The agency will officially replace the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board this week.

The change involves more than just reprinting office stationary.

The new agency will be responsible for administering laws related to medical marijuana (which has been legal for a decade) and recreational marijuana (which Michigan voters approved last November).

To read more…

Fetterman reports high support for cannabis legalization, decriminalization

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman told Democratic lawmakers on Monday that residents in 50 counties have shown strong support for legalizing recreational cannabis for adults.

Appearing Monday before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Democratic Policy committees, Fetterman shared the preliminary findings from his statewide recreational marijuana listening tour, which began in January, and will take him to each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to hear residents sound off on the policy debate.

Bills in the House and Senate would make recreational marijuana legal for all Pennsylvanians over the age of 21. But the legislation faces staunch opposition from Republican leaders in both chambers, who have final say on what bills make it to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.

To read more…

Opportunities for Mass Spectrometry in the Cannabis Industry

The legal cannabis industry in North America is worth over $10 billion and employs more than a quarter of a million people, and yet the industry as a whole is decidedly still in its infancy. By comparison, the most recent future projections (from April 2019) expect the global legal cannabis market to be worth over $146 billion USD by the year 2025.

Given the potential for such great value, it is important that the industry has the correct tools to deal with this sort of growth without falling victim to those who may skirt the standards of safety and integrity for personal gain. For this, the cannabis industry may wish to look to the more established pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries for good industry standard practice.

To read more…

CBD companies warned about making false medical claims

(by Shamard Charles, M.D., NBC News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters on April 2 to three companies that market CBD products, saying the companies are making false claims about treating diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

The agencies assert that three companies — Nutra Pure, PotNetwork Holdings, and Advanced Spine and Pain — are falsely advertising the effectiveness of supplements that contain cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. The products are marketed under names such as “Hemp Oil,” “CBD Softgels,” “CBD for Dogs,” “Liquid Gold Gummies,” and “CBD Oil.”

One company in particular — Nutra Pure — advertises that scientific research supports their claims that their CBD product is an effective anti-seizure medication.

To read more…

Getting off opioids with medical marijuana: Patients turn to pot over pills

For much of the past two decades, 51-year-old Angie Slinker took a cocktail of narcotics, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications to manage the pain stemming from a car accident in 1998. She had between 50 and 60 surgeries, but her pain persisted, and doctors kept giving her more pills.

“It was just a vicious cycle,” she told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “You started taking something for pain, and before you knew it, you were into another surgery. Which brought on anxiety.” To treat the anxiety, doctors prescribed more pills. And when she felt depressed, they added even more medications.

All the drugs left in her a fog. She spent most of her days in bed. When Slinker woke up, she was in pain and looking for immediate relief.

To read more…