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The Week In Cannabis: Coronavirus Drop, Major Financing Agreements, Psychedelics Getting Hot

Javier Hasse
·9 mins read

This was another brutal week for cannabis stocks, with all major ETFs posting double-digits losses. Over the last five trading days:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) lost 13.7%.

  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO) tumbled 17.4%.

  • The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) dropped 16.4%.

  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS) shed 17.8%.

  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period down 2.2%.

“Certainly the Covid19 virus is affecting some cannabis companies, especially the vape producers who experienced supply chain interruptions from China,” said Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report. “However, if sales remain strong at dispensaries, this could be a big test for the claim that the cannabis industry is recession-proof. If that's the case, this becomes a strong argument to get back into select stocks.”

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A long list of cannabis events have also been cancelled, postponed, or transitioned to a digital or online format. Check out Leafly’s list of cancelled events.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee passed two pieces of legislation concerning cannabis: one directing the Veterans Administration to start research on marijuana, and one allowing V.A. doctors to fill out medical marijuana recommendations.

Michigan announced it would be phasing out the sale of marijuana by caregivers to regulated operators in three steps, with a cutoff date of Sept. 30. Starting Oct. 1, medical cannabis caregivers won't be allowed to sell products to licensed businesses, the state regulatory agency said.

Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) priced a $90.4 million equity offering at $4.76 a share. Shares plummeted after the announcement.

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) and TerrAscend Canada Inc., a subsidiary of TerrAscend Corp. (CSE: TER) (OTC: TRSSF), signed a loan financing arrangement worth CA$80.5 million ($58.59 million) pursuant to a secured debenture. In addition, Storz & Bickel, a cannabis vaporization technology company owned by Canopy, launched a new web-based, Bluetooth-enabled app, which allows iOS and Android users to regain remote control of their vaping experience, following the suspension of vaping apps by Apple.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (CSE: HARV)(OTC: HRVSF) finalized the initial tranche of a non-brokered private placement offering of up to $100 million of multiple voting shares at a price of $141 per share. The Tempe, Arizona-based company said it obtained proceeds from a group of investors in the total amount of about $56 million, issuing 397,162.42 multiple voting shares.

Hightimes Holding Corp., the publishing and events company behind High Times Magazine, Dope Magazine and the High Times Cannabis Cups, has received approval for trading under the ticker symbol “HTHC.”

Planet 13 Holdings (OTC: PLNHF) is entering the wholesale market after strong performances of their own in-house brands.

Psychedelic medicine company Mindbloom opened an upscale psychedelic therapy center on New York City’s 5th Avenue. Meanwhile, Mind Medicine (OTC: MMEDF) (NEO: MMED) formed a technology evaluation, acquisition and scientific integrity board committee focused on further developing the company’s clinical trial pipeline and IP portfolio of psychedelics.

More News From The Week

The Center for Food Safety released a “Hemp CBD Scorecard,” which evaluates dozens of CBD companies on how their products are produced and processed. The Scorecard found that 72% of companies are using organic ingredients on their product labels, with 89% publicly posting test results for pesticides and other contaminants on their website, an important first step toward providing transparency to the public.

“Given that consumers are paying top-dollar for CBD products, they deserve to know how these products are produced and if they are tested for pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants which may be present in CBD products,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director at Center for Food Safety, publisher of the “Hemp CBD Scorecard.”

Veritas Farms (OTC: VFRM) announced that Doctor Daniel Connors, PhD, has joined the company as the new VP of Research and Development. Previously Dr. Connors was an Analytical Chemist for the United Stated Food and Drug Administration. He has worked to maintain the safety of the United States food and medical supply. Dr. Connors has built and operated laboratories, managed teams of specialized scientists generated multiple new patents and has produced and maintained health, safety and environmental records and policies for large corporations.

Alexander Salgado, CEO and co-founder of Veritas Farms, stated, “Doctor Connors is an unbelievable addition to the Veritas Farms team. The extensive background and knowledge that Dr. Connors brings to the table is truly invaluable. We are honored to begin working with Dr. Connors and we are very excited to share some of our planned developments with the world.”

Lucid Green, a trust and transparency platform developed exclusively for the cannabis industry, announced a brand partnership with Rove, a producer of vape technologies and cannabis oils. Rove is immediately implementing the LUCID ID technology on all of its packaging for its product lines across numerous markets.

Lucid Green's LUCID ID utilizes QR-codes that consumers can easily scan with a smartphone camera to access accurate and detailed product information, all in one platform. The partnership will allow consumers to easily verify Rove product authenticity, earn rewards, view verified test results and receive guidance on product dosage and effects. 

View more earnings on TLRY

Happy Brain announced that it has licensed the intellectual property rights to renowned cannabis brand Kushy Punch to manufacture and sell products throughout California. Happy Brain will manufacture Kushy Punch products through a wholly-owned, licensed manufacturing subsidiary, Varavo. This will allow Happy Brain to reach Kushy Punch’s patients, recreational consumers, and new customers. Consumers can expect to see Kushy's mainstays as well as an expanded product suite with new flavors, smaller doses and low-calorie offerings on dispensary shelves throughout California by the end of March.

“Being licensed to manufacture Kushy Pnch’s products speaks to the integrity, value, and desirability of their formulations and will empower us to reach Kushy Punch’s loyal medical patients, adult-use consumers, and new consumers. We are looking to be on all dispensary shelves in California by the end of the month with Kushy’s mainstays as well as an expanded product suite,” said Happy Brain CEO Arutyun Barsamyan.

Connecticut-based Harbor Hemp Company announced that it is now the exclusive CBD partner to the New England PGA. The deal will include Harbor Hemp as presenting partner of the NEPGA Pro-Pro Stroke Play Championship this summer as well as other events throughout the year.

“Signing with the NEPGA is another clear example of CBD being accepted into the mainstream,” said Glen Boggini, co-founder of Harbor Hemp Company. “More golfers are using CBD to help their training and recovery and we are thrilled to be working with the NEPGA to bring the brand to their membership and beyond.”

BR Brands LLC entered into a binding term sheet to merge with Dixie Brands Inc. (OTC: DXBRF) (CSE: DIXI). Per the agreement, BR Brands will acquire the publicly traded company via a reverse takeover. The transaction is expected to close y the third quarter, leaving BR Brands and Dixie shareholders owning around 80% and 20%, respectively, of the resulting issuer.

Columbia Care Inc. (OTC: CCHWF) (NEO: CCHW) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 financial results Tuesday, with quarterly adjusted revenue of $24.5 million — a year-over-year increase of 123%. For the full year, the cannabis company posted adjusted revenue of $78.8 million, which represents and increase of 100% from 2018.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) posted its financial report for the fourth quarter and full year 2019. The company reported zero revenue versus $86,000 in the fourth quarter of 2018. For the quarter, the company posted a net loss of $10.71 million, or 46 cents per share, higher than the net loss of $7.8 million and44 cents per share in the same period of 2018.

California cannabis and hemp cultivator Goldenseed has added former NBA player Jason Richardson to its Board of Advisors. Richardson, a 14-year veteran of the NBA and two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion, has also invested in the company.

In his role, Richardson will support the brand’s growth through its Regulation A stock offering as well as advise Goldenseed on promoting the potential wellness benefits of cannabis products, particularly among the athletic community.

Vireo Health International Inc (OTC: VREOF) (CSE: VREO) closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement offering of 13,651,574 units of the company. The offering was coordinated by Bruce Linton, Vireo's executive chairman and the former CEO of Canopy Growth. The offering was authorized at a price per Unit of C$0.77 (56 cents) for up to a total amount of $10 million.

Wana Brands recently inducted champion snowmobiler Wesley Bowerman into its Wana Athletes Program.

Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. (NYSE: CANF) (TASE: CFBI) announced new pre clinical results showing that cannabis-derived CBD "fractions" constrain the expansion of human fat cells by 60%.

Online cannabis retailer and consumer logistics company Driven Deliveries Inc. (OTC: DRVD) announced the completion of its acquisition of Budee Inc., another company operating in the cannabis delivery space. The two companies were working together via a joint venture since the fourth quarter. Budee services more than 115,000 consumers per year, and is expected to contribute $7.7 million in online sales to its new parent company. Salvador Villenueva, former CEO of Budee, has been appointed President at Driven Deliveries.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) submitted a Type II Variation Application to the European Medicines Agency, applying for authorization of its Epidyolex — Epidiolex in the U.S. — cannabidiol oral solutionfor the management of seizures related to tuberous sclerosis complex.

Zenabis Global Inc. (TSX: ZENA) (OTC: ZBISF) cut its overall workforce by 25%. The layoffs are part of an effort to increase efficiencies, reduce quarterly expenses and cash outlays by about $2 million.

Top Stories Of The Week

Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:

  • Why Restructuring Efforts Don't Necessarily Signal The End Of A Cannabis Company's Downturn

  • A Snapshot Of America's Medical Marijuana Markets: New Hampshire

  • Utah Takes First Steps Into Medical Cannabis Marketplace: 'They Saw The Will Of Their Citizens'

  • A Look Into Eaze's M Equity Raise, Move Into Branded Cannabis Products: 'Retail Has Value'

  • Coronavirus, Weed And Nicotine: Are Smokers And Vapers Facing Greater Risks?

  • New Cannabis Products: OId Pal's Vacation Vape, Refrigerated Flower And Moxie Edibles

  • New Cannabis Products: Kush Queen's Minor Cannabinoids Line, Sports Gel And Lowell Herb Co. x Fire Flower Farm Strain

  • LA Marathon Got Its First Cannabis Sponsor

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

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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