Cannabis Insider Bulletin: May 7

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we bring you an overview of the offers, trends and people driving the global multi-billion dollar cannabis boom.

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Welcome to this week’s Insider Cannabis.

First off, my interview with Aurora Cannabis CEO Miguel Martin seemed to strike a chord with readers on social media – many didn’t like the idea of ​​comparing cannabis to Monsanto, a company that was often a lightning rod for criticism of GMOs and pesticides and their role in our food supply and agricultural economy.

Despite this, the point is valid: cannabis is an agricultural product. Growth will shift to more profitable strategies as legalization expands to new jurisdictions.

Whether there will be a cannabis company that ends up looking like Monsanto is a difference of opinion, depending on who you talk to. Many cottage producers don’t agree with this and don’t want it to happen.

But when the CEO of one of the world’s biggest cannabis companies says that’s what he expects to see, it’s worth listening to whether you agree or not.

Then Yeji and I spoke with Tilray’s new CEO, Irwin Simon, after the long-awaited merger with Aphria closed on Mondays.

Simon, a legendary full-fledged negotiator – he was the CEO of Hain Celestial, a Nasdaq-listed health food and supplement company – told us that the Tilray-Aphria merger was one of the most difficult deals to close. of her career.

This is because so many of Tilray and Aphria shareholders are retail investors who bought shares on platforms like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade, it was really difficult to get them to stand for the proxy vote.

“You know, no one has a phone at home anymore. No one answers their cell phone at an unknown number. When you send a power of attorney to someone’s house or apartment, it goes in the trash. “Simon told us when we asked why delayed. They had to come up with new strategies to get around this problem, like texting shareholders directly, among other ideas.

We would love to hear from you if this is a problem you have seen in your business. Contact us at [email protected] and [email protected]

Finally, I will be moderating a panel with Steve Hawkings, CEO of the US Cannabis Council and Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, and others at the Prohibition Partners live (virtual) conference from May 18 to 20. Yeji will host a panel at the Benzinga Global Small Cap conference Thursday.

Tune in if you can.

And as always, if you like this newsletter, please share it with your friends, coworkers, boss, spouse or anyone who would appreciate it as well.

– Jeremy Berke (@jfberke)

Here’s what we wrote this week:

Cannabis giant Aurora CEO explains why laser focus on plant genetics and predicts cannabis ‘Monsanto’ will emerge

Aurora CEO Miguel Martin said in an interview with us that a cannabis ‘Monsanto’ with a deep genetic library would soon emerge. Cannabis users are picky and want specific tastes, smells and “highs” from their weed.

Companies with intellectual property and genetics will be able to enter new markets more easily, Martin said.

Ascend Wellness is the latest cannabis company to go public. Its CEO says its IPO is a sign the industry is growing.

Ascend Wellness Holdings, a U.S. cannabis company, began trading on CSE on Tuesday. CEO Abner Kurtin said in an interview that he opted for an IPO rather than a reverse merger to attract top investors.

He added that he wanted the 3-year-old company to go public to have a “currency” for acquisitions.

Pornhub in Acquisition Discussions with Group of Investors Led by Canadian Cannabis Entrepreneur

Pornhub is in talks to sell to an investor group led by Chuck Rifici, a former Liberal Party of Canada official, sources say. It is not known if Rifici has raised funds for the transaction or if other investors are involved.

Canadian lawmakers are going after Pornhub after recent controversies.

2 major cannabis investors say their best advice is to buy shares in cannabis companies held back by weird rule

If you’re looking for a cannabis opportunity, invest in companies affected by 280E, top investors said in a webinar hosted by Yeji and myself. 280E is a section of the federal tax code that prevents cannabis companies from deducting their regular expenses.

Industry experts say they expect this rule to change – unlocking potential for massive growth and profit.

2 cannabis giants have conquered the market using opposing strategies. A Wall Street analyst explains why they are his best choices.

Over the past year, a handful of American cannabis companies have become pioneers. Space giants Curaleaf and Trulieve have pursued opposing strategies.

But a senior analyst told us they were both poised to be successful if federal legalization happened.

4 New York City Cannabis Companies Told Us They Plan To Intensify Cultivation And Prepare For Wholesale Now That The State Has Legalized Recreational Marijuana

New York legalized cannabis. Cannabis companies currently in New York City say they are generally happy with the law. Companies like GTI and Curaleaf have told us they are looking to scale up the crop to meet demand.

Executive moves

  • It’s over with the old and the new at Tilray, after the long-awaited merger with Aphria closed on Monday, by deposit of securities. Irwin Simon officially took over as CEO, and he brought much of his Aphria leadership team with him: Carl Merton succeeded Michael Kruteck as CFO, and Jon Levin stepped out as as COO – his replacement has yet to be appointed.
  • Greg Engel is to resign of his role as CEO of Canadian cannabis producer Organigram. He will be replaced daily by Peter Amirault, the Chairman of the Board, until a new CEO is found.
  • Tahir Johnson is join the nonprofit project on marijuana policy as director of social equity and inclusion. Johnson also plays the same role at the US Cannabis Council, an industry trade group.

Offers, launches and IPOs

Income overview

  • Cronos Group has published its Q1 tax results Friday morning, reporting net income of $ 12.6 million and EBITDA loss of $ 37 million.
  • Next week we’ll have a busy week of income (deep breathing): Curaleaf, Charlotte’s Web, Acreage Holdings, MedMen, Trulieve, Sundial Growers, Aleafia Health, Village Farms and Aurora Cannabis are expected to report next week. We’ll talk to a good chunk of the businesses and listen to calls when we can – look for our take out next week.

Policy changes

  • Last Friday, Representative Peter Meijer and Representative Lou Correa reintroduced the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, 2021, which would allow the AV to perform clinical trials with medicinal cannabis. Senator Jon Tester and Senator Dan Sullivan introduced Bill Companion to the Senate.

Graph of the week

Marijuana is popular – look no further than the predicted demand for weed in New York City. By 2027, MPG Consulting and Viridian Capital Advisors predict New Yorkers will consume £ 1.185 million:

New York Weed Demand Information Bulletin

Shayanne Gal / Insider

What we read

Are there any arguments in favor of legalizing heroin? (The New Yorker)

As more states legalize marijuana, drug convicts want their records erased (PBS)

A religious community and the weed farm in the middle of it (The New York Times)

Crypto temptation of cannabis (WeedWeek)

Part of New York Marijuana Business ‘Grounded’ (The New York Times)

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About Joseph Hedrick

Joseph Hedrick

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