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Pot Stocks, ETFs, Top News And Data From The Cannabis Industry This Week

Benzinga logo Benzinga 6/15/2018 Javier Hasse

In a big step for cannabis and hemp, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed a 2018 Farm Bill that includes hemp legalization language.

“It is no secret that industrial hemp boasts the most significant potential for global economic impact from the cannabis industry. Hemp is a commodity. It can produce more than 25,000 products with uses that range from nutritional health foods, biofuels, some of the most advanced and sustainable construction materials, fabric, plastic, paper and the list goes on and on,” said Cynthia Salarizadeh, managing partner KCSA Strategic Communications.

“Hemp stands to become a strong global commodities market and an environmentally sound alternative to many of the outdated products and materials currently in use," she added. "This is the future and it is going to be very profitable for those involved. It is surprising that legislation to advance this area on this level has taken so long, but when you understand the disruptive nature it embodies and the massive economic potential it boasts, it then makes sense. From an investment stand point, this is definitely an opportunity to pay close attention to and get in on fast."

 

In the markets, the go-public frenzy in the cannabis industry continued. This week, it was Green Thumb Industries and 48North.

“Green Thumb’s strategy is that they seek out the smaller state markets as opposed to other companies that focus on California. They want to be the big fish in the smaller ponds,” Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report told Benzinga. “48North is zeroing in on women’s products, which I love. But then, there isn’t much information as to what these products will look like."

Despite the news, the United States Marijuana Index, which tracks 17 of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., lost almost 1 percent this week, while the North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, tumbled 3.6 percent.

Over the last five trading days, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) slipped 4.9 percent, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) lost 4.8 percent. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) was down 0.4 percent.

Stock Moves

Here are some of the top marijuana stocks in U.S. exchanges and how the performed over the last five trading days:

22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE: XXII): down 5.1 percentAphria Inc (OTC: APHQF): down 5.3 percentAurora Cannabis Inc (OTC: ACBFF): down 4.5 percentCannabis Sativa Inc (OTC: CBDS): down 6.4 percentCannTrust Holdings Inc (OTC: CNTTF): down 9 percentCanopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC): down 2.3 percentCronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON): down 3.5 percentGW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH): down 7.7 percentHiku Brands Company Ltd (OTC: DJACF): down 3.7 percentIndia Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC): down 3.8 percentiAnthus Capital Holdings Inc (OTC: ITHUF): up 15.8 percentMassRoots Inc (OTC: MSRT): down 7.9 percentMedReleaf Corp (OTC: MEDFF): down 7 percentScotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE: SMG): down 0.5 percentTHC Biomed Intl Ltd (OTC: THCBF): down 5.2 percentZynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ZYNE): up 0.8 percent

In Other News

A consortium of cannabis-related media professionals are conducting a Cannabis Media Survey. You can answer following this link.

Green Thumb Industries (CVE: GTII), a multi-state cannabis cultivator, dispensary operator and consumer packaged goods company that produces and distributes a portfolio of cannabis branded products, started trading June 13 on the Canadian Securities Exchange. The company raised approximately $67 million through a brokered and non-brokered private placement. With a vertically integrated supply chain, GTI owns and operates seven manufacturing facilities, distributes a suite of branded cannabis products, and operates a chain of retail locations in seven highly regulated, limited supply U.S. markets: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida and Nevada. GTI’s revenue in 2017 exceeded $20 million.

“Our successful RTO is a big milestone for GTI and we’re pleased with how things are going but we are heads-down, singularly focused on our ‘Enter, Open, Scale’ and capital allocation strategy to create long-term value for our shareholders. We believe the market is ripe with opportunities to further solidify our national footprint to distribute brands at scale. This is just the first inning,” Founder & Chairman Ben Kovler told Benzinga.

GemmaCert, the company behind the cannabis composition and potency testing “lab-on-a-desk,” announced the opening of a new funding round seeking to raise an additional $5 million to $6 million to help it advance the commercialization of its testing solution and product roadmap. To date, the company has raised just over $3 million including investments from European-based NEO Ventures Inc., Beverly Hills-based Applied Biosciences Corp (OTC: APPB), and Tel Aviv-based Arba Finance Company Ltd.

GemmaCert delivers a unique hybrid testing solution that combines Food and Drug Administration-endorsed near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology with visual image analysis, extensive data science, and machine learning to accurately report THC and CBD potency of cannabis flower in about one minute.

In the last couple of weeks, BioTrackTHC closed its previously announced merger agreement with Helix TCS Inc (OTC: HLIX) and launched a new collaboration with MainStem, a web-based ancillary business supplies distribution company. This agreement provides BioTrackTHC customers with a marketplace accessed within their seed-to-sale software to streamline business supplies purchasing while providing up to 30 percent off of traditional pricing via exclusive wholesale price points.

“With the Helix-BioTrack merger complete, both teams will be able to leverage one another's resources and expertise, and in doing so, will create more value for our customers and shareholders,” said Patrick Vo, President and CEO of BioTrackTHC. “Both the merger with Helix and the collaboration with MainStem will result in meaningful outcomes to the customer, with MainStem being the first change that is immediately available and already providing cost savings to the businesses who rely on us.”

Leading vaporizers and cannabis technologies brand PAX Labs, Inc. is partnering with vertically integrated cannabis company Oregrown, to celebrate Pride month in Oregon and raise money for three leading Oregon LGBTQ organizations: PFLAG of Central Oregon, Out Central Oregon and the Human Dignity Coalition in Portland. The collaboration will feature a unique, limited edition Rainbow Craze pod for use with the PAX Era, a hybrid mix with 73.3 percent THC packed full of tropical flavor. Proceeds from the sale of Rainbow Craze will be donated to the three LGBTQ groups.

“Pax is committed to celebrating and honoring diversity and equal rights,” said Bharat Vasan, CEO of Pax Labs. “Oregrown is a valued partner and we are happy to be able to work with them on this fundraising initiative which does such meaningful and crucial work on behalf of the Oregon LGBTQ community.”

The New York City Bar Association announced it supports the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act, (A.3506-B - AM Peoples-Stokes/S.3040-B - Sen. Krueger). The Act would create a system for the production, distribution and adult non-medical use of marijuana in New York State.

Alt Thirty Six announced a partnership with cannabis wholesale platform CannTrade. The partnership signifies the official launch of access for all CannTrade clients, including 400+ cannabusinesses, to Alt Thirty Six’s digital payment platform, which eliminates the need for cash in the cannabis industry by using blockchain technology and Dash, a decentralized digital currency, to facilitate the transfer of funds.

“The cannabis industry has a significant cash problem, especially when it comes to the large, wholesale transactions that are commonly facilitated through our platform,” said CannTrade President Adam Holub.

Alt Thirty Six’s blockchain technology allows for immediate payment transactions that take less than one second to process, eliminating the risk typically associated with cryptocurrency transactions and market volatility. “By providing a seamless, easy-to-adopt payment solution, our goal is to change the way cannabis businesses across the country operate and to ultimately take the industry fully cashless” said Ken Ramirez, co-founder and CEO of Alt Thirty Six.

Cannabis media and brand platform PRØHBTD announced a Series A round of investment totaling $8 million. This was the single largest round of funding for a media-related company in the cannabis industry. The lead investors were by Serruya Private Equity, The Delavaco Group and Cresco Capital. The Series A follows an initial $4 million of seed funding from investors such as Donald Glover. The funding will be used to accelerate PRØHBTD’s slate of original content, make new key hires and deepen the expertise and capabilities across the company through strategic acquisitions.

“Having strong financial partners in our business is critical to the future growth of PRØHBTD. The mainstreaming of cannabis requires building bridges between emerging brands, consumers and culture as a whole and we are now well positioned to accelerate this,” said CEO Drake Sutton-Shearer.

Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC: MJNA) subsidiary HempMeds received import permits for a THC-free cannabidiol (CBD) product in Argentina – where very few providers are selling CBD products today. The company will sell its Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X for compassionate use when prescribed by a licensed physician.

“As legislation continues to rapidly change, the Latin American market has become a significant opportunity for us to expand global access to CBD," said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. "We hope to continue to educate citizens and government officials in Argentina on the many therapeutic benefits of CBD and we hope that the success we see with patients there will lead to us gaining import permits in other Latin American countries as well."

Cannabis companies conglomerate Altitude Products won Best Float at the Las Vegas Pride celebration.

Leslie Bocskor, President of Electrum Partners, spoke at the CannaMexico World Summit in San Cristobal, Mexico, held May 30-31. The main focus of the Summit was to gather leaders in legal cannabis who have global vision and reach to discuss the emerging opportunities in the cannabis industry in Mexico.

“In many cases, our work with government agencies is pro-bono, where we will go in and work with policy makers and help construct functional regulatory frameworks and public policy. Our goal as good corporate citizens in Mexico and other Latin American countries is to get the right regulatory infrastructure laid out beforehand because it is so critical to the success of all stakeholders,” Bocskor said.

Dr. Rav Ivker's new book, “Cannabis for Chronic Pain” was released this week. This guide will help people use cannabis as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for relieving chronic pain. In his book, Dr. Rav uses his extensive knowledge and experience as a functional medicine physician to provide a step-by-step guide for readers to discover the pain-relieving potential of cannabis.

“While the number of patients using medical marijuana increases every year, misconceptions about cannabis and whether it’s harmful or dangerous still exist. In my book Cannabis for Chronic Pain, I chronicle marijuana’s profound potential for healing anyone afflicted with seemingly incurable pain,” Dr. Ivker said.

Find out more about these and other news on 48North (TSX: NRTH), 22nd Century Group, Aurora Cannabis, and more, with our friends at Marijuana Money.

Interesting Data

As Canada prepares to become the first G-7 nation to legalize recreational cannabis, New Frontier Data released information on the 10 largest Canadian public cannabis companies.

As the firm explains, “Canadian companies can export products internationally, dramatically increasing the size of the potential consumer base beyond the country’s 36 million residents. The export opportunity, coupled with a clearer more transparent regulatory environment when compared to the U.S., has propelled Canada’s top LPs to stratospheric valuations.”

However, they warn about two inherent risks to this thesis: overcapacity and international competition.

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by Accretive Capital LLC

A Headset report revealed that the average cannabis store in the U.S. saw about 30 percent of its workforce turnover in a year. It’s worth noting that high-growth stores (over 40 percent growth rate) have higher turnover rates. High-growth stores saw 60 percent of their budtenders leave in less than 3 months, possibly due to burnout. Stores between 20 percent and 40 percent growth have a much more stable workforce, with 67 percent of budtenders staying past 6 months. This data suggests that, while there is no direct correlation between turnover and business growth, it seems like the people who are growing a little slower and steadier do benefit from lower turnover.

“Budtenders drive a significant amount of the purchasing decision at retail and investing in budtender staffing can pay large dividends for retailer organizations. Understanding turnover is a great starting point to budtender analysis and can help make your retail locations more successful in the long-term,” CEO and Founder Cy Scott told Benzinga.

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by Accretive Capital LLC

Source: Headset.

Events Calendar

June 18: Cynthia Nixon, gubernatorial candidate for New York, will be hosting an evening of food, drinks and conversation with the NYC Cannabis Entrepreneurial and Advocacy Community, and featured speakers including Hypur Ventures’ Tahira Rehmatullah.

June 22: Cannabis Marketing DIY Sesh in with Celeste Miranda, CEO of The Cannabis Marketing Lab, and Haylee Kobylenski, TCML's VP of Marketing, in Anaheim, California.

July 25-27: NCIA Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in San Jose, CA.

July 27  28: Cannacon Boston.

August 17–18: Benzinga is hosting its first Cannabis Capital Conference in Toronto, Canada. Speakers include:

Larisa Bolivar: Managing Partner, TCMS Global Executive Director, Cannabis Consumers CoalitionMarvin Washington: Former NFL Player and Cannabis AdvocateTim Seymour: Managing Partner, Triogem Asset ManagementAlan Brochstein: Founder, 420 InvestorGiadha Aguirre de Carcer: Founder and CEO of New Frontier DataJavier Hasse: Author of Start Your Own Cannabis Business.Harrison Phillips: Vice President of Viridian Capital AdvisorsPhil Carlson: Managing Director of Investor Relations, KCSAMarc Lakmaaker: Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Development, Aurora Cannabis Inc.Brett Roper: CEO, Medicine Man TechnologiesLewis Goldberg: Managing Partner, KCSACynthia Salarizadeh: Managing Partner, KCSA and Co-Founder, Industry Power WomenNatasha Raey: Head of Public Relations, Sail Cannabis (MVC Technologies).Jeanne M. Sullivan: General Partner, Arcview Ventures.Aras Azadian: CEO, Avicanna Inc.

Read all about it here.

Picture by Javier Hasse

a person standing in front of a fence© Cannabis, Marijuana, Weed Plant - By Javier Hasse
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