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The Week In Cannabis: Brazil Regulates Sales, Michigan Starts Adult Sales, Lil Wayne Goes Green, Federal Agencies Move Forward

Javier Hasse

The largest country in Latin America, Brazil, has finally regulated cannabis sales.

The Brazilian sanitary regulatory agency, or ANVISA, which functions similarly to the United States Food and Drug Administration ruled this week to allow the import, production and sale of cannabis-based products. Furthermore, while ANVISA did not come out with regulations for legal cultivation the Federal Court of the Federal District of Brasilia authorized one specific company, Schoenmaker Humako Agri-Floriculture, part of the Terra Viva group, to import industrial hemp seeds and grow plans with THC concentration below 0.3%.

Meanwhile, New Zealand released a draft cannabis legalization and control bill for public debate; the U.S. National Credit Union Administration adopted a new policy that makes it easier for people with past drug convictions and other simple crimes to be employed by credit unions; and the Department of Agriculture released draft regulations for hemp production.

Four federal agencies issued a joint statement clarifying the legal status of hemp businesses and their requirements for obtaining financial services; while in Michigan, we saw adult-use cannabis sales commence with strong results.

“Even though we're seeing a real shakeout between the solid and shaky companies, the macroeconomics of the industry continues to improve,” said Debra Boarchardt, CEO of Green Market Report. “Michigan began its legal adult-use sales this week opening up a new market for cannabis companies. Plus, banks were told they no longer have to file SARS reports with hemp growing clients. These are two important events and while most are focused on the troubles of several companies, let's not lose sight of major positive developments.”

Rapper Lil Wayne launched his own high-potency cannabis product line, GKUA Ultra Premium.

If you want to get this news recap in your email inbox every week, please subscribe to https://tinyletter.com/javierhasse

Cannabis stocks continued to decline, dragging ETFs down again. Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) was down 2.51%.

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) lost 2.43%.

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO) was down 5.59%.

• The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) tumbled 4.56%.

• The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS) slipped 6.91%.

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period up 0.18%.

More News From The Week

Benzinga was nominated as Best Business at The Cannabis Business Awards. Vote before Sunday following this link.

The celebrated Los Angeles cannabis café, Lowell Café, changed its name to the Original Cannabis Cafe.

"The historic nature of Original Cannabis Cafe looks to the future as being a home to the cannabis industry as a whole and the community within the city of West Hollywood. The restaurant will continue to offer elevated farm-to-table cannabis and seasonal dishes,” said executive chef and partner Andrea Drummer.

Australian bio-therapeutics company Zelda Therapeutics Ltd (OTC: ZLDAF) completed its merger with medicinal cannabis and cannabinoid science company IIera Therapeutics LLC, to become Zelira Therapeutics Ltd. The company announced it will bring its first pharmaceutical grade franchise product line HOPE® to Louisiana under its newly branded name. The company says that products will be available to patients before the end of first quarter 2020.

A research team at Garrahan Children’s Hospital, a public pediatric research hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, completed the continent’s first clinical trials on CBD. The study adds overwhelming evidence of the compound’s efficacy in treating refractory epilepsy in children.

7NRG announced it would be sponsoring The Basketball League (TBL), a professional basketball league based in Indianapolis, Indiana, seeking to educate personnel about CBD. The company said this partnership is the first of its kind and believes it will change the way the sports industry views CBD when pertaining to athletes. “Our focus is on educating the league versus driving sales,” said 7NRG Co-Founder Treyous Jarrells.

A recent test of products CBD products conducted by Remedy Review found the majority of products contained less CBD than advertised, while some contained potentially dangerous solvents and pesticides. The results add to a series of stories that point to a need for more oversight and quality standards in the CBD industry.

“There's the issue of people getting their money's worth,” said Marc Lewis, executive editor of Remedy Review. “But, based on recent headlines, we were also concerned by the solvents and pesticides in the vapes. It's another reminder that consumers need to scrutinize products before they purchase.”

Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA) (NYSE: APHA) announced its Aphria Diamond growing facility subsidiary obtained an $80-million credit facility with a Canadian chartered bank.

PharmaCielo Ltd. (TSXV: PCLO) (OTC: PCLOF) started trading on the OTCQX Best Market.

Bay Area-based cannabis company Harborside Inc (OTC: HSDEF) (CSE: HBOR) appointed Tom DiGiovanni as chief financial officer.

Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) appointed Katy Dickson as President of its subsidiary Manitoba Harvest.
Green Peak Innovations obtained approval for licenses to grow and sell cannabis for recreational use in Michigan.

Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTC: CRLBF) signed an equity distribution agreement with Canaccord Genuity under which the company is authorized to sell up to CA$55 million ($41.3 million) of subordinate voting shares.

U.K. cash shell Spinnaker Opportunities agreed to acquire the Israeli cannabis firm Kanabo Research.

Cannabis packaged goods company Bhang Inc.'s (CSE: BHNG) (OTC: BHNGF) interim president, Jamie L. Pearson, will take upon the role of president and CEO. Scott Van Rixel has resigned from the position of CEO.

Cannabis technology company Vertosa completed a $6 million Series Seed Funding Round co-led by AFI Capital Partners and Welcan Capital. Vertosa produces active ingredients for infused product makers.

Elixxer Ltd (OTC: ELIXF) announced Global Canna Labs, Elixxer's 30% owned Jamaican cannabis producer, exported 10 kilograms of cannabis from Jamaica into Canada. This cargo represents the largest of its kind known to date and represents an important advancement for the Caribbean cannabis industry.

After serving as head of marketing for Beboe Brands, known as the “Hermès of Cannabis,” and occupying executive roles at fashion and lifestyle labels worldwide, Kiana Anvaripour has joined Sweet Flower as chief marketing officer.

Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) has set its first foot into the U.S. CBD market, with the launch of First & Free, a hemp-CBD line aimed at the U.S. consumer markets.

The Resource Innovation Institute (RII) appointed two new Technical Advisory Council working groups for lighting and HVAC, composed of leading cultivators and experts from organizations. Through the guidance of these working groups, RII is finalizing Best Practices Guides for lighting and HVAC for cannabis cultivation & controlled environment agriculture.

“Cannabis cultivators face cost pressures that require them to operate their production facilities more efficiently. And with the entire cannabis industry just recently becoming regulated, there is no standard terminology or set of operating procedures. Resource Innovation Institute has brought together the leading experts across the sector to develop the first peer reviewed best practices guides. These guides will provide cultivators with the tools they need to succeed from a trusted resource. The advice is also relevant to cultivators of any crops grown in controlled environments,” said Derek Smith, Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute.

Bluebird Botanicals announced it has officially become a Certified B Corp™, making it one of the first CBD companies to achieve this accomplishment. Becoming a Certified B Corp™ means the company boasts high standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

On the heels of its 10-year anniversary infused cannabis beverage maker Keef Brands is rebranding with a new logo, product names and packaging. The refreshed look is currently being rolled out on the company’s beverage products in Colorado and California. The rebrand will be showcased in full by early next year.

Multifaceted cannabis technology company Enlighten acquired the media assets of cannabis content provider Cannabis Club TV. The acquisition means Enlighten will now be broadcasting content in more than 1,000 dispensaries and retail venues. This will deepen Enlighten’s media focus and further the company’s reach to cannabis consumers globally.

Canada's Lift & Co Corp (CVE: LIFT) (OTC: LFCOF) also announced it was partnering with Enlighten to enter the U.S. market.

Core One Labs Inc. (CSE: COOL)(OTC: CLABF) reported third-quarter revenue of $605,427, in line with revenue of $600,649 in the same period of 2018. In addition, the company announced it has signed a letter of intent to cultivate cannabis for a famous California brand, Golden State Banana.

Global Cannabinoids, a bulk and wholesale supplier of U.S. hemp-derived cannabinoids, officially opened its new online store powered by Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP).

22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE: XXII) a plant biotechnology company focused on tobacco and cannabis plant research, announced the initial closing of an investment in Panacea Life Sciences Inc, a company specialized in CBD. Investments are anticipated to total $24 million, in a combination of cash and 22nd Century stock.

Cannabis oriented investment manager, Silverleaf Venture Partners LLC, and investment research firm Hedgeye Risk announced Thursday a strategic partnership.

Cannabis retailer Harborside (OTC: HSDEF)(CSE: HBOR) opened the first cannabis dispensary drive-thru in Southern California, and the second in the state.

Online cannabis retailer Driven Deliveries Inc. (OTC: DRVD) reported that it generated more than $1 million in revenue in October and $1.2 million in November.

Supreme Cannabis Company Inc (OTC: SPRWF)(TSE:FIRE) announced the appointment of Jackie Poriadjian-Asch as a new independent director of its Board, effective Dec. 10.

Cannabis microdosing-focused media brand mymilligram has launched a direct-to consumer subscription box featuring some of its staff’s favorite low-dose marijuana products: the mymilly box. The boxes include products from brands such as Saka, Artet, Pantry, Lightly Lifted, Kiskanu, Level, Apothecanna, and Humboldt Apothecary. Products are also available for individual purchase.

The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) is expanding to the west coast with the opening of a new office in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Pittsburgh-based non-profit says it is adding a new location to meet the needs of its fast-growing membership.

“We have a risk management model that focuses on people and the training needed to succeed in the cannabis business. The Las Vegas offices will allow our organization to be more accessible in the major markets of Nevada, Colorado and California, and creates an opportunity to easily connect with members and service partners on both coasts,” said Rocco Petrilli, chairman of the NCRMA.

Cannabis brand Shango teamed up with Michigan businessman Adnan “Andy” Shango to open its first Michigan medical cannabis retail location in Lapeer. “The Township of Lapeer opted in when the call for medical marijuana was too loud to ignore,” Shango said.

Franny’s Farmacy opened its newest CBD dispensary in Asheville, NC. “Franny's Farmacy is proud to provide safe access to high-quality CBD products across the SouthEast. We are committed to supporting & educating our customers about the benefits of the incredible hemp plant,” Franny Tacy, co-CEO of Franny’s Farmacy, told Benzinga.

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

  • What Are Cannabis Moon Rocks And How Do You Consume Them?

  • Meet mymilligram, The New Cannabis Midcrodosing Box

  • New Cannabis Products: Wax Capsules, CBD Beverages, Sexual Wellness Line And Odor Eliminator

  • New Cannabis Products: A Blunt Club, Canna-Wine, Affordable CBD And The Insane Infused Gravy

  • 'Giving Tuesday' Inspires Cannabis Social Equity Initiative In Sacramento

  • What The Vape Scare Means For Cannabis Sales

  • Moms, Presidents And Open Letters: The Tango For Cannabis Legalization And Home Growing In Latin America

  • The Keys To Understanding Psilocybin's Medical Value, Market Potential

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on Benzinga.com/cannabis

Events Calendar

December 11–13: MJBizCon returns to Las Vegas with the largest cannabis business conference in the world.

February 24–25: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference comes back to Miami, Florida, with an impressive lineup of top tier speakers. Check out the lineup and details here.

Picture by Javier Hasse.

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