Welcome to Cultivated, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom. .
Never a dull week when it comes to cannabis. Thursday marked year one of Canada’s legalization experiment, and while the country (my homeland) is to be lauded for sticking its neck out and becoming the first G7 country to legalize, the results have been mixed at best for consumers, investors, concerned citizens, and anyone else affected by such a monumental shift in social policy. It’s worth revisiting this story .
Let’s go to the market:
All eyes were on Aphria’s earnings this week as the Canadian cannabis company posted its second straight quarter of profitability after in December of last year.
Analysts and industry watchers considered Aphria to be something of a bellwether stock for the Canadian cannabis sector one year into legalization as many companies have seen their share prices crater this year – the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF has fallen 55% – amid lower-than-expected retail sales and other industry headwinds.
My colleagues over at Markets Insider have the scoop on what else went on in the sector this week, including to get back onside with regulators, (miss you Kawhi), and some in the market.
In New York, Gov. Cuomo with the leaders of Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania – which is also now weighing a legalization bill – to come up with a regional plan to legalize cannabis and set standards around vaping.
Cuomo called the issue “one of the most challenging” he’s had to address in his time as governor.
Here’s what we wrote about this week:
As becomes one of the most hotly-debated topics in Congress, some of the largest Wall Street banks are slowly dipping their toes into the industry.
The chief psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, is illegal under US federal law . Most federally chartered US investment banks won’t raise money or advise on deals for companies that are actively violating federal law, no matter how attractive the growth prospects of the industry are.
Still, the banks are starting to figure out how to serve cannabis companies and develop relationships within the nascent but expanding industry, in a bid for first-mover advantage if or when the market opens up thanks to changes in federal law.
BIGR Ventures, a Colorado-based fund that focuses on the food industry, made its first foray into the . The firm led a $3 million Series A investment round into RE Botanicals, a CBD tincture, oil, and oral capsule startup.
BIGR partner Carole Buyers explained why the firm decided to invest in an interview on Thursday.
We’ve been researching the CBD industry for over a year,” Buyers, one of BIGR’s partners, said. “It was the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018 that really gave us the green light to go ahead and invest.”
Capital raises, M&A activity, partnerships, and launches
- Washington DC-based cannabis company on Thursday.
- California-based Ikanik Farms , an indoor medical cannabis cultivator in Colombia.
- Cannabis tech company , led by Evolv Ventures, a venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz, and including Poseidon Asset Management and others.
- Former Seahawks linebacker and three-time Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu , a company that sells CBD oils and capsules. Tatupu joins a list of ex-NFL players who have entered the CBD space, including Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
- TILT Holdings . Conder previously founded Blackbird Logistics Corporation, which is now part of TILT.
- Canadian cannabis company , the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s close confidante Gerald Butts, to its board. Butts is a veteran of other big-ticket boards, including Canada Goose.
Chart of the week
It’s worth revisiting this chart, which we , in light of the one year anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada.
After a number of scandals involving publicly traded Canadian cannabis companies, Canadians have a dim view of operators in the industry:
Stories from around the web
(The New York Times)
(Las Vegas Review-Journal)
(The Associated Press)
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