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

Javier Hasse

Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC), the largest cannabis company in the world by market cap, took the spotlight in the weed world this week when it reported fiscal third-quarter and nine-month earnings — and disclosed an error in a key metric a few days later.

“The $86-million spreadsheet error in the earnings report by Canopy Growth this week is really unsettling,” Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt told Benzinga. “This isn't a minor mistake. Plus, how does a mistake that big get past all of the accountants and internal auditors?”

To make things worse, “the admission of error was released at 11 p.m. and there was no comment from the company other than it was a formula mistake in the spreadsheet,” she said. “This type of mistake will definitely keep the analysts on their toes when reading Canopy's earnings.”

Following the results, GMP Securities' Martin Landry downgraded Canopy Growth’s Toronto-listed stock from Buy to Hold with a price target lowered from CA$70 ($52.87) to CA$65 ($49.09). Read more about it here.

Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB) and Supreme Cannabis Company Inc (OTC: SPRWF) also reported earnings this week, but didn't receive as much attention as Canopy.

CannTrust Holdings Inc (OTC: CNTTF) announced it will start trading on the NYSE Feb. 25 under the ticker CTST.

On the policy front, South Korea announced it plans to allow imports of weed starting next month.

Marijuana Stocks & ETFs

Over the last five trading days, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) gained 2.3 percent, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) rose roughly 2.25 percent. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period up almost 0.5 percent.

Top marijuana stocks (market caps above $400 million) trading on U.S. exchanges performed as follows over the last five trading days:

  • Acreage Holdings (OTC: ACRZF): up 1.45 percent.
  • Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA): up 5.7 percent.
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB): down 1.35 percent.
  • CannTrust Holdings Inc (OTC: CNTTF): up 19.8 percent.
  • Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC): down 6.2 percent.
  • Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON): up 3 percent.
  • Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTC: CURLF): up 3.7 percent.
  • Green Growth Brands Inc (OTC: GGBXF): down 3.8 percent.
  • Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd (OTC: TGODF): down 1.2 percent.
  • Green Thumb Industries Inc (OTC: GTBIF): up 10.2 percent.
  • GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH): up 0.7 percent.
  • Hexo Corp (NYSE: HEXO): up 5.5 percent.
  • Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (OTC: HRVSF): up 0.5 percent.
  • iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc (OTC: ITHUF): up 7.8 percent.
  • Marimed Inc (OTC: MRMD): down 6.4 percent.
  • MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTC: MMNFF): up 7.3 percent.
  • OrganiGram Holdings Inc (OTC: OGRMF): up 2.8 percent.
  • Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE: SMG): up 1.1 percent.
  • Tilray Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY): up 2.9 percent.

In Other News

Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTC: CNBX), a company working on personalized cannabinoid medicine focused on cancer and its side effects, submitted a protocol for the Helsinki Committee to conduct a nationwide study using Cannabics' high throughput screening platform. The platform, an automated cellular imaging and analysis platform designed for quantitative microscopy, will be utilized to analyze anti-tumor properties in cannabinoid compounds and chemotherapies on fresh biopsies.

If the proposed study is approved, Cannabics will be able to obtain, with patient consent, a live biopsy and blood sample to test drug sensitivity and drug resistance. 

When asked about the issue, Cannabics' CTO and co-founder Dr. Eyal Ballan told Benzinga: "While the opportunity to test live biopsies and blood samples may be a new route for Cannabics to explore, the end road remains the same. Cancer is personal, and we have to fight it on a personal level, meaning tailoring treatment plans to each person."

Testing a biopsy or blood sample allows Cannabics to develop a prediction model that points to the combinations of cannabinoids and chemotherapies that are likely to be the most potent, as well as the ones that are ineffective, sparing patients "unnecessary and unproductive treatment," the CEO said. 

Oppenheimer took a bullish stance Tuesday on Canadian cannabis producer Hexo Corp., but said it's a speculative play given the uncertainty of the sector in which the company operates. Read more about it here.

Tilray said it would buy hemp foods company FHF Holdings Ltd., also known as Manitoba Harvest, for up to CA$419 million ($317.53 million). More on this story here.

Aurora Cannabis announced a major management reshuffle amid margin challenges. This includes the promotion of Darren Karasiuk to chief commercial officer. Read all about the changes here.

In his second attempt, former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson received a preliminary approval for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Michigan.

Seasoned campaigner and cannabis advocate Lissa Satori joined the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS) — aka the Cannabis Health and Safety Organization — to serve as director of development. Satori will oversee the growth of the nonprofit on a national and international level using her cannabis policy expertise. 

Since 2012, Satori has been actively involved with various grassroots organizations and founded the Ohio Hemp Chamber of Commerce, the first Ohio Women Grow Chapter and United Ohio, a cannabis patient organization meant to unify Ohio stakeholders. She also served as campaign coordinator for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana and as outreach director for the Marijuana Policy Project's Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Michigan. 

FOCUS is a nonprofit that protects public health and consumer safety through the development carrying out of international, cannabis-specific good manufacturing practices. The organization has provided guidance on global cannabis policy at the World Health Organization, the United Nations and to national and international policy makers.

“I’m thrilled to be joining FOCUS at a time when the world has recognized our company is absolutely critical to building a safe legal and sustainable cannabis industry,” Satori told Benzinga.

Cannabiniers launched BASKiN GLOW,  a pharmaceutical-grade transdermal cream with a patented delivery system that's made with a 1-to-10 CBD-to-THC ratio. The cream has patented continuous release technology to deliver a high dose of THC into the bloodstream.

“BASKiN Glow is the perfect example of how a single product can account for a giant step in the continued maturity of the cannabis industry.  GLOW represents a product offering that is at the intersection of consumer preference and industry normalization," Kevin Love, Cannabiniers' vice president of market activations, told Benzinga. "Being a recreational-focused product, simply apply GLOW transdermal cream to any area of the skin and experience the effects of THC activation for up to six hours.” 

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ZYNE) received an International Intellectual Property Organization patent on a CBD-based pharmaceutical composition to treat osteoarthritis. More about this here.

MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTC: MLCPF) and MYM Nutraceuticals Inc. (OTC: MYMMF) announced separate plans to expand into Australia. See the full story here.

Medicine Man opened its newest retail dispensary in Longmont, Colorado. This opening comes after Medicine Man's January announcement to enter into a binding agreement that is expected to lead to the near-term acquisition of Medicine Man by Medicine Man Technologies (OTC: MDCL), a consulting, intellectual property licensing and products company in the cannabis industry. “This is an exciting time for Medicine Man Technologies as we continue to grow our footprint as leaders in the cannabis space. As we expand into retail stores, this will allow us to accelerate our continued growth. We plan to advance this trend of expansion and we look forward to what the future holds for Medicine Man Technologies," co-founder and CEO Andy Williams told Benzinga. 

Wana Brands unveiled one of the cannabis industry’s first-ever environmentally friendly containers, reducing waste from three layers to one. The containers now include a biodegradable plastic additive that will break down 90 percent faster if it does end up in a landfill.

“We know the cannabis industry has a waste problem, and we wanted have a positive impact on that issue at Wana Brands,” said Wana founder and CEO Nancy Whiteman. “Our new packaging is sleek and attractive while offering the ability to streamline operations across the cannabis supply chain, saving time, money and space. In addition to streamlining production, the new Wana packaging reduces both its environmental and storage footprints by eliminating the need for three layers of packaging, including a cardboard box, vial and plastic reclosable bag.”

AltMed Florida opened Wellington, Florida’s first medical cannabis dispensary and MÜV’s first on the east coast after three successful west coast dispensaries. “We have the widest variety of concentrates in the state and also offer a strain-specific portfolio of flower vape cups along with unique and patent pending products like our 72-hour transdermal patches and metered dose inhalers,” said Todd Beckwith, AltMed's global marketing director. “Being part of a destination medical complex with virtually every other medical discipline shows that mainstream medicine also has a place for medical cannabis."

Green Mountain CBD, a leading Vermont-based CBD oil brand, announced that it is transitioning the brand name Sunsoil for trademark reasons. “We are here to set the standard of quality in an emerging market with a more efficient process. This is providing a higher quality product at a better value for the people,” said Sunsoil CEO and co-founder Alejandro Bergad.

Read about this and other news with our friends at Marijuana Money.

Interesting Data & Information

The first clinical study assessing the effectiveness of hemp-derived cannabinoids in recovery from brain injury will be launched in the U.S. as part of a collaboration between the Flowering HOPE Foundation and Clover Leaf University. Read all about it here.

Related Link: Infographic: The Status Of Cannabis Legalization In Every State, Around The World

The Oscars are proving to be cannabis-friendly this year with edibles and cannabis vouchers in nominee swag bags. The GRIOT Gala Post Oscars After Party, hosted by "Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan, is an exclusive event for the industry to celebrate diversity and inclusion. This year the gala includes cannabis products like LucidMood mood-specific vape pens in the gift bags. Another unofficial Oscar swag bag includes Coda Signature cannabis-infused chocolates.

“I am extremely excited to participate in the GRIOT Gala and support the effort to raise awareness on diversity and inclusion. The cannabis industry must embrace these values wholeheartedly to create an equitable environment that brings justice to minority communities disproportionately targeted by prohibition," said Dr. Tristan Watkins, chief science officer at LucidMood.

"Our products are mild, predictable and designed to appeal to the new mainstream cannabis user. We believe that each new user that enjoys the benefits of cannabis is another small step toward federal legalization and smashing the stigma surrounding cannabis." 

According to New Frontier Data, Latin America offers a big opportunity for cannabis companies, with 17 million potential medical cannabis patients. Read more about this here.

More From Benzinga’s Cannabis Newsdesk

Read further for more interesting cannabis-related stories from this week:

“The 2019 Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference: Everything You Missed In Miami Beach” by Hannah Genig.

“Bulls And Bud Of The Week: Margins Matter And 'Hot Boxin' With Mike Tyson'” by Jeff Siegel.

Andrew Ward took a look at New York City’s CBD space in the wake of an edibles ban.

“A Chat With The CEO Behind The Cannabis Company With The 'BOSS' Ticker: 'There Isn't A Single Route To Success'” by Javier Hasse.

What you need to know about Barron’s cover story about marijuana stocks, by Nelson Hem.

New Frontier Data shared a look into the latest on legalization in New Jersey.

“The Takeaway from Cannabis in Davos” by Spencer Israel.

“The Farm Bill And The FDA: What Does Legal Even Mean?” by Nick Esquer.

“Video: Zack Darling Explains How To Use Data And Research To Create Differentiated Cannabis Marketing” by Green Flower.

“A Chat With Chris Boudreau, CEO Of Cannabis Courier Driven Deliveries” by Javier Hasse.

“Constellation Brands Projects 10-Cent Hit To Earnings From Canopy Growth Investment” by Dave Royse.

“Analysts Still Bullish On Constellation Brands After Conference 'Curveballs'” and “Seaport Global Initiates Bullish Coverage On A Dozen Cannabis Stocks” by Wayne Duggan.

“What Nearly Losing My Business 15 Times In 9 Years Taught Me About Persevering” by Christian Hageseth.

“From Injections To Edibles, The Fight Against Opioid Addiction Is A Multi-Pronged Approach” by Andre Bourque.

“Acreage Holdings To Open North Dakota's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary” by Alex Oleinic.

Check out these and other cannabis stories in our cannabis portal.

Events Calendar

Feb. 23: Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD, founder of the National Holistic Healing Center and chairwoman and acting CEO of Women Grow, is the keynote speaker at a free daylong conference aiming to help New Yorkers of color to join the ranks of those who own legal cannabis and hemp businesses. Elected officials including New York State Attorney General Tish James will join medical clinicians, grassroots community and health organizers, attorneys and cannabis/hemp entrepreneurs in a lineup of national, regional and local expert speakers and workshop facilitators for The Business of Cannabis at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Tickets are free.

Feb. 27-March 1: The 5th Annual Emerald Conference will be held at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, California. The conference brings together top scientists, extraction and cultivation professionals and visionary business leaders in a collaborative environment that fosters groundbreaking advancements.

Feb. 27: CannaImpact and Nextage Innovation announced their first annual Cannabis Tech Pitch Night in Tel Aviv, Israel. The purpose of the Pitch Night is to ignite innovation in the medical cannabis and tech industry and to provide pioneering startups with exposure to technology leaders, investors and potential partners, the organizers said. The winning startup will receive a complimentary creative package to help push their venture forward, as well as mentoring from cannabis industry leaders. 

Feb. 28: the inaugural SHECANN Summit, a day of conversation with cannabis industry “leaders, allies, investors, and policymakers focused on building a better future for the industry — one in which womxn and minorities are represented,” will be held at UC Berkley. The event is presented by Miss Grass and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business in partnership with Eaze.

March 29-30: The NoCo Hemp Expo will gather hemp industry people at the Crowne Plaza DIA Convention Center in Denver. “The sheer industry response and anticipation for this year's NoCo Hemp Expo has been off the charts," Morris Beegle, founder of NoCo Hemp Expo, told Benzinga. "We have expanded our business conference and farm symposium programming by 50 percent, added a new investor's forum and we sold out of exhibition space within 25 days of opening registration."

April 8-10: Cannabis Science Conference will host its first east coast event at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The Cannabis Science Conference, organized by CSC Events, LLC, will feature television icons and cannabis advocates Montel Williams and Ricki Lake, along with over 75 expert presenters.

April 17-18: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, the premier gathering of cannabis entrepreneurs and investors in North America, returns to Toronto. Keynote speakers include Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, Cam Battley, Alan Brochstein, Jon Najarian, Danny Moses, Jeanne M. Sullivan, Tim Seymour and many more! Find all the info you need at bzcannabis.com.

May 28-June 1: The Cons is a gathering of three trade and fan shows: the Cam Con, the Cannabis Con and the Inked Con, all under one roof, at the SLS South Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. The Cons 2019 will offer a variety of seminars with top industry panelists, networking parties and performance displays to benefit the industry’s content providers, models and affiliates. While these industries have differences, in many ways they overlap.  All three shows are model-driven, as they are the true industry ambassadors — which is the core value of The Cons.

Picture by Javier Hasse.

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