This week started with some good news out of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which included a cannabis company in its AWS Data Exchange, a marketplace for data run by Amazon Web Services, for the first time ever. The company, Enlighten Dispensary Solutions, offers marketing solutions to marijuana businesses.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration outlined its approach to studying the current CBD marketplace. The federal agency penned a report titled, “Sampling Study of the Current Cannabidiol Marketplace to Determine the Extent That Products are Mislabeled or Adulterated.” The document was sent to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations on Thursday.
The report is the FDA’s answer to a “Joint Explanatory Statement” included in the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020” which stipulated mandatory testing requirements.
“The FDA is further directed to perform a sampling study of the current CBD marketplace to determine the extent to which products are mislabeled or adulterated and report to the Committees within 180 days of enactment of this Act,” the paper published on Dec. 20, 2019 read.
The new report includes a plan for a long-term sampling study, a summary of sample testing from past years, a description of the methodology, and preliminary results from a smaller 2020 near-term sampling study.
Financial technology company AeroPay introduced a new suite of digital payment solutions for cannabis businesses. The tech enables digital payments by utilizing so-called “smart bank transfers” and allows business-to-business (B2B) and customers-to-business (C2B) transfers.
Psychedelics company Synthesis Institute raised $2.75 million in a seed funding round led by Novamind Ventures.
CannaGlobal, Sansero Life Sciences, and Rise Wellness announced a merger to create a CannaGlobal Wellness, a new company focused on psilocybin wellness and research.
Psychedelic and nutraceutical brand Cybin Corp. and drug delivery company IntelGenx partnered to develop oral dissolving film for psilocybin consumption.
Village Farms International Inc.(NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF) purchased a stake in DutchCanGrow Inc. (DCG). The Vancouver-based company has become one of six equal shareholders in The Netherlands-based cannabis company.
Cookies, the cannabis brand launched by rap artist Berner, teamed up with music legend Rick Ross to introduce the strain Collins Ave.
Cannabis micropropagation company Conception Nurseries closed a $12 million Series A funding round led by Viridian Capital Advisors.
KushCo Holdings Inc.(OTC: KSHB) reported its net revenue continued to decline in the third quarter to $22.3 million. Following a year-over-year revenue drop of 14%, which the company recorded in the previous quarter, its third-quarter revenue was down by 46% compared to the same period last year.
KushCo said the revenue dip could be attributed to the company’s cost-cutting initiatives, which are a part of its 2020 plan, as well as a decline in sales of vape and natural products.
Nick Kovacevich, KushCo’s co-founder and CEO, said the third quarter of this fiscal year “was a successful transition quarter for KushCo, demonstrating the execution of our strategy to accelerate our path to positive adjusted EBITDA.”
Commenting on the results, Debra Borchardt, Editor-in-Chief of Green Market Report, told Benzinga, “KushCo took a bold move in deciding to cut ties with small customers who were less financially stable. While it hurt in the short run as revenues fell 46%, longer-term it was probably best to rip off the Band-Aid. Chasing down those small customers to pay their bills was probably no fun and a waste of resources. It was a brave move.”
Stocks were mostly in the green. Over the five trading days of the week:
- ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ): gained 1.3%.
- AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO): rose 2.8%.
- Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX): rose 2.5%.
- Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS): ended the week flat.
- SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period up 1.7%.
Halo Labs Inc. (NEO: HALO) (OTC: AGEEF) finalized two acquisitions in California. The Toronto-based company purchased a retail management company, Crimson & Black, and obtained a 66.67% interest in a North Hollywood cannabis dispensary applicant for a total of $11.5 million.
Bushel44, a technology company based out of Portland, Oregon, launched a business management solution created exclusively for the wholesale hemp industry. The Bushel44 platform offers hemp farmers, processors, product manufacturers and distributors with inventory and order management, task management, sales and marketing tools, and much more.
“After the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, we felt it was the opportune moment to develop a comprehensive platform specifically for the wholesale hemp supply chain,” John Manlove, CEO and founder of Bushel44, told Benzinga. “With so many ‘list and hope’ marketplaces out there, we knew that the industry desired a more robust solution that not only flattens the supply chain by connecting buyers and sellers directly, but streamlines processes and creates efficiency throughout an entire organization.”
Exclusive Brands announced a partnership with Platinum and Church Cannabis Co. as it expands its portfolio of brands to better serve Michigan’s new recreational market. Exclusive will be the only distributor of Platinum Vapes and Church products for the state of Michigan.
“We’re thrilled to be welcoming Church and Platinum to the growing Exclusive family. Michigan’s recreational market is booming and we’re excited to be expanding our portfolio of brand partners and product variety with companies that share our values of making clean and safe cannabis accessible to all,” a company spokesperson told Benzinga.
HempMeds, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana, Inc (OTC: MJNA), announced that its topical and beauty CBD products are now available for sale at Gelson’s Markets throughout Southern California. These products include a topical salve, shampoo, conditioner, body oil, body lotion, body wash, and sunscreen.
“Less than a decade ago many mainstream retailers in the U.S. wouldn’t even entertain the idea of carrying CBD products in their stores but as we’ve established safe testing practices and research efforts it has become much more accepted by grocers and other retailers throughout the country to begin with carrying these products,” said Raul Elizalde, co-CEO of HempMeds. “Selling our products in Gelson’s felt natural as we share a similar vision of providing consumers with the best wellness products on the market.”
Copperstate Farms appointed Aaron Chamberlin as CEO of its Good Things Coming edibles brand.
The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission told High Times it must stop accepting investments in its initial public offering. The company, currently under the helm of CEO Peter Horvath, missed a June 12 deadline to report its audited results.
According to securities attorneys Stephen Weiss and Megan Penick of Los Angeles law firm Michelman & Robinson LLP,High Times must make all reports for investors publicly available in order to accept traditional sales. The company chose to extend the date of its IPO from July 30, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2020.
Colombian operator Clever Leaves became the first cannabis company in Latin America to get a EU GMP certification for its facility.