The week of 4/20 came with no shortage of news. We saw a long list of online events to celebrate the international day of weed, while Los Angeles got its first cannabis and food drive-thru and Brazil authorized the production of its first cannabis-containing phytopharmaceutical product.
In the Middle East, Lebanon became the first country to authorize the production of medical cannabis. Australia issued its framework for regulating the free sale of CBD products. In Colombia, Clever Leaves closed a joint agreement with a subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corp (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) to enroll in a regional supply deal that will last at least one year, while Avicanna (OTC: AVCNF) closed a private placement deal led by Chinese pharma giant Tasly. It’s important to note that both companies mentioned above are domiciled in Canada, despite conducting business in Colombia.
And, in the U.S., Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a bill this week that would allow cannabis businesses to benefit from emergency stimulus packages related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, and Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado, drafted a bill to make cannabis businesses eligible to participate in disaster relief aid programs enacted by the federal government.
Find our cannabis, hemp and psychedelics news in Spanish on El Planteo.
Stocks were still up. Over the last four trading days:
• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) gained 2.95%.
• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO) rose 6.17%.
• The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) traded up 4.32%.
• The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS) gained 3.8%.
• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period down 1.26%.
In other news, Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) announced the launch of a product development partnership with the primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall. Working with the company, Goodall will co-develop natural health and wellness products for Neptune’s Forest Remedies brand.
Financial tech company Hypur Inc. partnered with Washington-based Salal Credit Union on a payment and delivery system for cannabis. Salal members will be allowed to use various cashless and contactless payments and arrange safe pickup via Hypur’s payment and banking platform.
More News From The Week
Cannabis information platform Herb is launching a new online ordering and pickup service for cannabis products in Canada.
While this type of offering has become quite popular in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers turn to options that minimize the amount of contact with other people, Herb Pickup is different in that it won’t charge customers or retailers for the service.
Medicine Man Technologies (OTC: MDCL) celebrated 4/20 with the announcement of its new corporate brand and two acquisitions.
The company, now known as Schwazze, has acquired dispensary brand Mesa Organics and extraction giant Purplebee’s.
Hollister Biosciences Inc. (CSE: HOLL) (OTC: HSTRF) reported a $1.2-million deal with AlphaMind Brands Inc., a company that works on creating a portfolio of legal mushroom-based health products, while running research and development programs managed by Dr. Nikos C. Apostolopoulos. The company has already developed several products in the forms of mushroom powders, tinctures, chocolate and teas.
MNI Targeted Media launched CannabX, a programmatic ad exchange for the cannabis industry. With inventory from over 15,000 publishers that has been pre-approved for both CBD and THC ads, CannabX empowers cannabis brands and dispensaries to reach target consumers to let them know they are open, doing deliveries, stocked with products and more.
The turnkey solution provides advanced targeting techniques including geo-fencing, behavioral targeting, contextual targeting, site retargeting, search history targeting and mobile app data targeting. It also provides attribution throughout live campaigns, which allows advertisers to track consumer activity and optimize their campaigns accordingly.
“Even in the best of times, there’s no such thing as business as usual, and this is especially true today. For cannabis marketers, just as legalization and access was becoming more the norm, the COVID-19 crisis has forced dispensaries to rethink and re-up their e-commerce channels. To keep messaging up to date and relevant, it is important to leverage data and insights together. The likelihood of increased demand is a fair bet, but the brands that are tactical and responsive with their messaging will be the ones that will thrive and see their brick-and-mortar sales continue when doors re-open,” said Tommy Shaw, director of digital planning at MNI.
From The Earth, a multistate cannabis company with operations in California and Michigan, announced an agreement with Onyx 7 to open five retail dispensaries across the state of Missouri.
Onyx 7 was recently awarded five medical dispensary licenses by the state of Missouri, all five of which will be known as “From The Earth” and are slated to open in the third and fourth quarters of this year. The stores will be located in Kansas City, Independence and Raytown.
“With current operations in California and Michigan, spreading the FTE brand is the next logical step for our company. We are thrilled to enter into this agreement with Onyx 7 as their principals have the same passion for creating best-in-class customer experiences that our patients and customers at From The Earth have come to expect,” CEO Dan Zaharoni told Benzinga.
Caliva is championing the efforts of its essential employees who are on the frontlines ensuring customers continue to have access to the cannabis products they rely on for their overall well-being. Beginning this month — April historically celebrates the cannabis industry — and remaining in effect through the duration of California’s “shelter-in-place” ordinances, Caliva said its essential workers will receive gratitude pay and supplementary benefits as part of the company’s 4/20 give-back initiative, “It’s a Joint Effort.”
To further honor Caliva’s commitment to social equity causes, a portion of proceeds from 4/20 product and merchandise sales will be donated to the Historically Black Colleges & Universities Cannabis Equity Initiative, an organization that empowers the next generation of leaders to take their place in the cannabis industry by increasing the pool of African American experts, entrepreneurs and leaders in cannabis-based careers, politics, educational programming and research.
Caliva said it will match up to $10,000 in donations made through Caliva.com to Silicon Valley Strong, an organization created in response to COVID-19 that addresses economic impact to Silicon Valley residents with the highest risk of displacement. To further support the community, Caliva said it has also donated thousands of PPE items to Valley Medical Center in Santa Clara, California as of Friday, April 17.
“We do not take California Governor Newsom’s designation of cannabis as an ‘essential’ business lightly,” said Caliva CEO Dennis O’Malley. “We know from experience that many of our customers rely on plant-based solutions for an array of health needs and chronic ailments. We are incredibly grateful for our employees’ dedication, ensuring that we can safely provide for our customers during the ‘shelter-in-place.’ This is just one of the ways that we can further support our workers and show our gratitude during these exceptionally challenging times.”
Cornbread Hemp, a Kentucky Proud hemp company, raised its goal of $107,000 in 17 days from 177 investors on the crowdfunding platform Wefunder.
A brand concept that the CBD industry hadn’t seen before, Cornbread Hemp said it takes 250 years of Kentucky hemp farming traditions and crafts them into top-shelf CBD products.
By selling a small percentage of the company, Cornbread Hemp said it will be able to expand its portfolio of Kentucky Proud, USDA-certified organic CBD products to customers and retailers nationwide.
Cornbread Hemp’s new investors include Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD, a board-certified oncology pharmacist; Gill Holland, a Louisville developer recently featured in the New York Times; and Render Capital. The other 174 investors come from 36 states and five continents.
“We would have been thrilled to raise a six-figure amount in 17 days under the best of circumstances. To raise six figures in 17 days during the COVID-19 crisis seemed impossible until we did it. This just gives us continued faith that Cornbread Hemp and our Kentucky Proud, USDA certified organic CBD oils are here for the long haul,” Jim Higdon, co-founder and chief communications officer at Cornbread Hemp, told Benzinga.
Leafy Gram, a new social networking platform created exclusively for millions of cannabis users and enthusiasts ages 21 and up, announced its official launch.
Until now, this rapidly growing community has lacked a platform where they can meaningfully connect, learn, share and elevate the conversation around cannabis. Leafy Gram was created to fill that need. It aims to provide an inclusive, content-rich, interactive place for trailblazers, advocates and industry experts to convene. And best of all, it is uniquely private and user-first, since Leafy Gram never shares its users’ personal information without their permission.
“While none of us could have predicted a global health pandemic that would normalize sheltering in place and social distancing, our team has stayed highly focused over the last month on continuing to build Leafy Gram, a new online platform for the 21-and-over cannabis community slated to launch this summer,” Earl Phillip, LeafyGram’s president and CEO, told Benzinga.
“We’re really proud of this app, which we’ve created to encourage authentic and informative conversations — something the cannabis community seems already notorious for. We hope enthusiasts, advocates, medical experts, growers, tastemakers and trailblazers will participate in early sign-ups beginning on 4/20, and start leveraging Leafy Gram to cultivate connections and conversations this summer in an industry that could well be the answer to a grim economy.”
Oceanside Dispensary announced it is open and operating with drive-thru service at 16 Magothy Beach Road in Pasadena, Maryland.
Moxie announced a new mission and vision for the company with an emphasis on sustainability, as well as new sustainable packaging for nearly all of its products.
Top Stories Of The Week
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Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.
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