NBA stars John Wall, Carmelo Anthony invest in cannabis company LEUNE

National Basketball Association stars John Wall and Carmelo Anthony are new investors in a cannabis company.

The pair helped California-based LEUNE raise roughly $5 million in a round that includes NBA agent Rich Paul, entertainer La La Anthony, music manager Anthony Saleh (clients include Future and Nas) and venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital.


LEUNE said it would use the funds for marketing and expanding its products as it looks to capitalize on more states legalizing marijuana.

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Torrey Pines Community Planning Board, local residents condemn proposal for new cannabis business


The retail cannabis business under consideration, Cookies, would be located at 11330 Sorrento Valley Rd., near three existing cannabis businesses.

The community plan doesn’t prohibit cannabis businesses, but planning board members and residents who spoke during public comment said they don’t fit with the biotech and industrial character of the area. Some said the community plan should be amended to more unequivocally define that character for future projects.

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Looking For Marijuana Stocks To Buy? 2 Analysts Expect To Have Upside In 2021

Looking For Marijuana Stocks To Buy? 2 Analysts Expect To Have Upside In 2021

Looking For Marijuana Stocks To Buy? 2 Analysts Expect To Have Upside In 2021 | Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™

Published at Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:10:34 +0000

Canopy Growth Makes Major Canadian Acquisition

Canopy Growth Makes Major Canadian Acquisition

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (NASDAQ: CGC) and The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. (TSX: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) (FRA: 53S1) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreemen under which Canopy will acquire all of Supreme Cannabis’ issued and outstanding common shares (the “Supreme Cannabis Shares”) in a transaction valued at approximately $435 million on a fully-diluted basis (the “Transaction”).

Canopy Growth has announced a definitive agreement to acquire The Supreme Cannabis Company. (CNW Group/Canopy Growth Corporation)

Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, Supreme Cannabis shareholders will receive 0.01165872 of a Canopy common share (the “Exchange Ratio”) and$0.0001 in cash in exchange for each Supreme Cannabis Share held. The Transaction provides Supreme Cannabis shareholders with a premium per Supreme Cannabis Share of approximately 66% based on the closing prices of the Supreme Cannabis Shares and Canopy common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) as of April 7, 2021 .

The Transaction is expected to provide several benefits to both Canopy and Supreme Cannabis shareholders. Notably, following completion of the acquisition, Canopy will possess a strengthened brand portfolio including one of Canada’s leading premium brands, 7ACRES. Brand growth is anticipated with distribution supported by Canopy’s robust sales and distribution network as well as superior consumer insights and R&D capabilities. In addition to receiving a market premium, Supreme Cannabis shareholders will also benefit from Canopy’s US CBD business and conditional positioning for continued exposure to the US market expansion. Further value will be derived through the scalable Kincardine, Ontario production facility, which has a demonstrated record of producing premium flower at low cost.

Key Transaction Highlights

  • Solidifies Canopy’s leadership position in the Canadian recreational market, well-positioned for growth: The Transaction combines Canopy’s preeminent position with Supreme Cannabis’ Top-10 position in Canada to create a pro forma Canadian recreational market share of 13.6% (1) , including 7ACRES holding Canada’s number one premium flower brand position, number one in PAX vapes, and Top-5 in pre-rolled joints (2) .
    • Combined pro forma market share estimated to be 23.3% of the premium flower segment in Ontario and 21.4% in British Columbia (3) .
  • Adds premium brands to Canopy’s portfolio: The addition of Supreme Cannabis’ premium brands, 7ACRES and 7ACRES Craft Collective, complement Canopy’s current consumer offering and will strengthen Canopy’s brand portfolio, with both brands expected to continue to grow with further investment and expansion. Supreme Cannabis’ Blissco and Truverra brands also add breadth to Canopy’s market presence in both the recreational and medical markets.
  • Brings a premium, low-cost and scalable cultivation facility to Canopy’s production capabilities: Supreme Cannabis’ hybrid-greenhouse cultivation facility at Kincardine, Ontario has a demonstrated capability of consistently producing premium flower from sought-after strains at low cost with significant potential for scaling.
  • Secures an immediate attractive premium for Supreme Cannabis shareholders: The Transaction provides Supreme Cannabis shareholders with a premium per Supreme Cannabis Share of approximately 66% based on the closing prices of the Supreme Cannabis Shares and Canopy common shares on the TSX as of April 7, 2021 .
  • Participation by Supreme Cannabis shareholders in the future of Canopy: The Supreme Cannabis shareholders will receive Canopy common shares pursuant to the Transaction and will have access to Canopy’s consumer insights, advanced R&D and innovation capabilities as well as the opportunity to participate in the future growth of the US market based on the Company’s conditional positioning for rapid market entry. Post-Transaction, Canopy’s industry-leading balance sheet and cash position of approximately $2.5 billion positions the company for further expansion and product development.
  • Opportunity to achieve potential cost synergies estimated at approximately $30mm within two-years: Canopy anticipates post-Transaction cost synergy opportunities across both cost of goods sold and sales, general and administrative expenses, as it optimizes and integrates Supreme’s operations and shared services.

“As we continue to expand our leading brand portfolio, we’re excited to reach more consumers through Supreme’s premium brands and high-quality products, further solidifying Canopy’s market leadership,” said David Klein , Chief Executive Officer of Canopy. “Supreme’s deep commitment to superior genetics, top-tiercultivation and strict quality control, paired with Canopy’s leading consumer insights, advanced R&D and innovation capabilities, is expected to create a powerful combination that aligns with our strategic focus to generate growth with premium quality products across key categories.”

“This transaction is a testament to the value created by all the teams at Supreme and will be beneficial to all of our stakeholders,” added Beena Goldenberg , President and CEO of Supreme Cannabis. “We have been successful at delivering great products that achieved strong customer loyalty, and operating at levels of efficiency that are industry-leading. We have also built a highly sought-after premium brand in 7ACRES. Combining Supreme Cannabis with Canopy – a Canadian market leader with exposure to the United States – presents a significant value creation opportunity for both companies. We look forward to working with Canopy to complete this transaction.”

Transaction Details
The Transaction will be effected by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act , requiring the approval of at least two-thirds of the votes cast by the shareholders of Supreme Cannabis voting at a special meeting of shareholders to consider the Transaction expected to be held inJune 2021 . Canopy has entered into voting support agreements with certain of Supreme Cannabis’ directors and officers pursuant to which they have agreed, among other things, to vote their Supreme Cannabis Shares in favour of the Transaction.

In addition to shareholder and court approvals, the Transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals including, but not limited to, TSX approval and approval under the Competition Act ( Canada ) and the satisfaction of certain other closing conditions customary in transactions of this nature. The Arrangement Agreement includes customary provisions, including non-solicitation, “fiduciary out” and “right to match” provisions as well as a termination fee of $12.5 million payable by Supreme Cannabis to Canopy in certain specified circumstances.

Assuming timely receipt of all necessary court, shareholder, regulatory and other third-party approvals and the satisfaction of all other conditions, closing of the Transaction is expected to occur by end of June 2021 .

A full description of the Transaction will be set forth in the management information circular of Supreme Cannabis (the “Circular”), which will be mailed to Supreme Cannabis shareholders and filed with the Canadian securities regulators on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”) at .

Approvals and Recommendation
The Transaction was approved by the board of directors of each of Canopy and Supreme Cannabis, and Supreme Cannabis’ board of directors recommends that Supreme Cannabis shareholders vote in favour of the Transaction.

Each of BMO Capital Markets and Hyperion Capital provided the Supreme Cannabis Board of Directors with an opinion, dated April 7, 2021 , to the effect that, as of the date of such opinion, the consideration payable pursuant to the Transaction is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Supreme Cannabis shareholders, in each case, based upon and subject to the respective assumptions, limitations, qualifications and other matters set forth in such opinions.

None of the securities to be issued pursuant to the Transaction have been or will be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), or any state securities laws, and any securities issuable in the Transaction are anticipated to be issued in reliance upon available exemptions from such registration requirements pursuant to Section 3(a)(10) of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable exemptions under state securities laws. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.

Advisors and Counsel
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is acting as strategic and legal advisor to Canopy.

BMO Capital Markets is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Supreme Cannabis and provided a fairness opinion to the Supreme Cannabis board of directors. Hyperion Capital Inc. provided an independent fairness opinion to the board of directors of Supreme Cannabis. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is acting as legal counsel to Supreme Cannabis.


Source: Provincial Boards; Headset Note: This market share data differs from Canopy’s internal market share data provided during Canopy’s previous earnings calls due to different methodologies and time periods. Market share data represents 01-Oct-20 through latest available data: Provincial Board data for ON online, PEI, NS (27/28-Mar-21) and NB (17-Mar-21); and Headset data for ON retail (28-Feb-21) and AB, BC and SK (31-Mar-21).


Market share data represents 01-Oct-20 through latest available data: Provincial Board data for ON online, PEI, NS (27/28-Mar-21) and NB (17-Mar-21); and Headset data for ON retail (28-Feb-21) and AB, BC and SK (31-Mar-21).


Internal Canopy Growth management estimate.

About Canopy Growth
Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED, NASDAQ:CGC) is a world-leading diversified cannabis and cannabinoid-based consumer product company, driven by a passion to improve lives, end prohibition, and strengthen communities by unleashing the full potential of cannabis. Leveraging consumer insights and innovation, we offer product varieties in high-quality dried flower, oil, softgel capsule, infused beverage, edible, and topical formats, as well as vaporizer devices by Canopy Growth and industry-leader Storz & Bickel. Our global medical brand, Spectrum Therapeutics, sells a range of full-spectrum products using its colour-coded classification system and is a market leader in both Canada and Germany . Through our award-winning Tweed and Tokyo Smoke banners, we reach our adult-use consumers and have built a loyal following by focusing on top quality products and meaningful customer relationships. Canopy Growth has entered into the health and wellness consumer space in key markets including Canada , the United States , and Europe through BioSteel sports nutrition, and This Works skin and sleep solutions; and has introduced additional federally-permissible CBD products to the United States through our First & Free and Martha Stewart CBD brands. Canopy Growth has an established partnership with Fortune 500 alcohol leader Constellation Brands. For more information visit .

About Supreme Cannabis
The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. , (TSX: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) (FRA: 53S1), is a global diversified portfolio of distinct cannabis companies, products and brands. Since 2014, the Company has emerged as one of the world’s most premium producers of recreational, wholesale and medical cannabis products.

Supreme Cannabis’ portfolio of brands caters to diverse consumer and patient experiences, with brands and products that address recreational, wellness, medical and new consumer preferences. The Company’s recreational brand portfolio includes, 7ACRES , 7ACRES Craft Collective , Blissco , sugarleaf , and Hiway . Supreme Cannabis addresses national and international medical cannabis opportunities through its premium Truverra brand.

Supreme Cannabis’ brands are backed by a focused suite of world-class operating assets that serve key functions in the value chain, including, scaled cultivation, value-add processing, automated packaging and product testing and R&D. Follow the Company on Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn and YouTube .

We simply grow better.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements or information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Canopy, Supreme Cannabis or their respective subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements or information contained in this news release. Examples of such statements include statements with respect to the timing and outcome of the Arrangement, the anticipated benefits of the Transaction, the estimated potential synergies as a result of the Transaction, the anticipated timing of the Supreme Cannabis special meeting of shareholders and the closing of the Transaction, the satisfaction or waiver of the closing conditions set out in the Arrangement Agreement, including receipt of all regulatory approvals. Risks, uncertainties and other factors involved with forward-looking information could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including assumptions as to the time required to prepare and mail meeting materials to Supreme Cannabis shareholders; the ability of the parties to receive, in a timely manner and on satisfactory terms, the necessary regulatory, court and shareholder approvals; the ability of the parties to satisfy, in a timely manner, the other conditions to the completion of the Transaction; the prompt and effective integration of Canopy’s and Supreme’s businesses and the ability to achieve the anticipated synergies contemplated by the Transaction; inherent uncertainty associated with financial or other projections; risks related to the value of the Canopy common shares to be issued pursuant to the Transaction; the diversion of management time on Transaction-related issues; expectations regarding future investment, growth and expansion of Canopy’s and Supreme’s operations; regulatory and licensing risks; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial and stock markets; risks related to infectious diseases, including the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic; legal and regulatory risks inherent in the cannabis industry, including the global regulatory landscape and enforcement related to cannabis, political risks and risks relating to regulatory change; risks relating to anti-money laundering laws; compliance with extensive government regulation and the interpretation of various laws regulations and policies; public opinion and perception of the cannabis industry; and such other risks contained in the public filings of Canopy filed with Canadian securities regulators and available under Canopy’s profile on SEDAR at and with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission through EDGAR at , including Canopy’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2020 , as amended, and in the public filings of Supreme Cannabis filed with Canadian securities regulators and available under Supreme Cannabis’ profile on SEDAR at , including Supreme Cannabis’ annual information form for the year ended June 30, 2020 .

In respect of the forward-looking statements and information concerning the anticipated benefits and completion of the Transaction and the anticipated timing for completion of the Transaction, Canopy and Supreme Cannabis have provided such statements and information in reliance on certain assumptions that they believe are reasonable at this time. Although Canopy and Supreme Cannabis believe that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information or forward-looking statements in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Should one or more of the foregoing risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although Canopy and Supreme Cannabis have attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and Canopy and Supreme Cannabis do not undertake any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information or forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities laws.


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Published at Thu, 08 Apr 2021 12:03:00 +0000

Making An April 2021 Watchlist? 2 Top Marijuana Stocks Right Now

Making An April 2021 Watchlist? 2 Top Marijuana Stocks Right Now

Making An April 2021 Watchlist? 2 Top Marijuana Stocks Right Now | Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™

Published at Mon, 05 Apr 2021 14:10:32 +0000

Jushi Holdings Announces Update on Expansion Project at Pennsylvania Grower-Processor Facility

Jushi Holdings Announces Update on Expansion Project at Pennsylvania Grower-Processor Facility

The SAFE Banking Act is back in Congress, and political momentum is swinging in favor of the cannabis industry’s need to normalize its relations with financial institutions.

Safe Harbor Services’ credit union banked $3 billion in cannabis funds last year, part of a vast but fairly under-the-radar ecosystem where businesses are building rapport with smaller independent financial institutions like regional credit unions. There’s a lot to know to make sure that it’s a productive relationship, and federal reform is only one piece of the puzzle. Much of the work falls to the cannabis business, of course.

Here, we spoke with Safe Harbor Services Vice President Amanda McComb about some of the recent trends and changes that she’s seen in banking the cannabis industry.

Eric Sandy: Could provide a bit of a biographical sketch of Safe Harbor, as of early 2021, and the scope of how the business is interacting with cannabis businesses?

Amanda McComb: We started our cannabis banking program in 2015 and have since gone through 15 state and federal exams. So, it’s been a long haul, most specifically just for the cannabis program to make sure that we were staying in compliance and doing it in a safe and sound way. We also started a national [cannabis] program back in 2017. A lot of our clients that we bank here in Colorado were going out of state, and we wanted to follow them out of state because it’s really important for us to see all of their business—to be able to stand in front of the money and say that they’re legitimate businesses and that they’re operating within compliance, within their regulations. So, we started following them out of state and realized really quickly that we couldn’t be the only financial institution to bank the nation as a whole. We started working with other financial institutions to give them a compliance program that had obviously gone through multiple exams and had feedback from our regulators that we’d really tried to fine-tune.

So, we have about seven or eight different financial institutions that we work with throughout the nation. Here in 2021 we’re actually consolidating all of our cannabis-related initiatives into a new company called Safe Harbor financial. It’s combining those relationships with financial institutions and our relationships with cannabis clients and putting it all together in one company and then expanding the services that we offer to the industry. We’re working on lending and other initiatives to support the industry and bring them more normalized banking, because, as I’m sure you know, they just haven’t had a lot of normalized banking or lending or investments. The CEO of [Safe Harbor’s] credit union is essentially stepping down from the credit union and running this new company, focusing all of her efforts on all things cannabis-related and then moving into other ventures like virtual currencies and things that might be of use to the cannabis space at some point.

ES: What are some of the common misconceptions that Safe Harbor has run into? Are there certain banking-related questions that cannabis businesses are bringing to you that they haven’t fully grasped yet?

AM: As the cannabis industry gets more normalized and more states pass regulations surrounding cannabis, there’s the misconception that it could just be a regular bank account or a regular business account. Unfortunately, like we saw with the 15 state and federal exams, it just can’t be a normal business account at this point. Even if the SAFE Banking Act were to pass, it’s still so close to that black market history. There is still a pull because it’s so expensive to be in the cannabis space—especially places like California where they had cannabis before they really had regulations.

Trying walk that back and put regulations on these companies that have been selling for some time is expensive and labor-intensive for the companies. When they go to get a bank account, we’re very intrusive and we always consider ourselves the nosiest bankers around because we have had to ensure that they are legitimate businesses. There’s just so much compliance that has to happen on our end in order to protect the financial system as a whole, that it is more expensive. We can’t offer the variety of products that we could offer, quote unquote, normal businesses or normalized businesses.

ES: On the due diligence side of the conversation, what are some ways that these cannabis businesses might help prepare to work with a financial institution?

AM: We collect a lot of the same data that they would provide to get their license with their state. If they’re very organized and keep all of that together, it’s a good place for us to start. Having sophisticated or at least up-to-par bookkeeping and accounting [helps], so that we can look through their financials—specifically if they haven’t been banked. That’s one of the hardest parts: trying to prove that the funds that they’ve earned when they were unbanked are legitimately earned in their state. Having solid records so that we have something to rely upon when our regulators come in and ask, “How do we know that these are legitimate funds?” is important.

ES: Going back to those 15 state and federal exams, could you elaborate on what that looks like? And do those exams differ from state to state in any substantial way?

AM: Typically, a financial institution will be on a 12-month to 18-month exam schedule, and when we started our program, it was a lot of education for us and the regulators. It was a lot of discussion of what cannabis banking looks like. Not a lot of our regulators had experience in financial institutions that banked cannabis. The exams were very collaborative in us trying to figure out the safest way to bank this and to not make it impossible for the cannabis industry to bank—but also to ensure safety and soundness for our institution and for the financial system as a whole. It was a lot of back and forth, collaborative efforts that actually prompted us to develop our own compliance software in-house that we, from all of the feedback that we were getting from regulators, were able to streamline and male as easy as possible.

ES: One of the questions we’ve gotten pretty frequently over the years is from cannabis business owners trying to find credit unions who are willing to work with them in the cannabis space at all. So, how can credit unions signal to the cannabis industry that they’re open to this business, and how do these relationships start?

AM: At this point, what I’ve seen is it’s a lot of word of mouth. A lot of financial institutions are hesitant to come out publicly and say that they are banking cannabis because it does bring additional scrutiny. It can also be a reputation risk with our peers and with vendors that we work with. In my world, cannabis is more normalized just because I’ve had a front seat to it, but in talking to other financial institutions, they tend to be a lot more conservative with their risk. A lot of times it’s word of mouth between clients, which can be difficult because a lot of them are under NDAs with financial institutions. Some of it is just seeing the checks, if you’re getting checks from [financial] institutions. That’s not always super reliable, because the institution might not know that they’re banking cannabis necessarily.

There are some things to keep in mind, though, as the cannabis industry is looking for bank accounts and really investigating the financial stability of the institutions. Most of that is publicly available information. A lot of institutions, especially smaller institutions, think that cannabis will be the solution to their financial problems or the recessionary possibility. Sometimes, those are the ones that go out of business quickly because they just don’t have the capacity to handle all the compliance that’s necessary. So, it’s on the cannabis industry to do a little research on the financial institutions that they start to work with.

ES: Given that, what were some of the prime movers for Safe Harbor, years ago, to be willing to step into this space?

AM: The biggest one was community safety. When we started talking to the industry, a lot of Colorado was unbanked. We were hearing stories about these entrepreneurs who hadn’t been in a cash-intensive space. Working in a financial institution, we understand the risks of cash. We go through robbery trainings. A lot of my coworkers have been through robberies. So, we understand that level of risk. And when you’re talking to the industry and they’re going to ATMs late at night, shoving cash in ATMs and doing payroll in cash, the risk that we saw was very intimidating. We wanted to help in the sense of providing a place to put their cash—and they wouldn’t have to manage it. The other thing is, credit unions were really founded to bank the underbanked and serve the underserved. There didn’t really seem to be a more modern version of that than the cannabis industry, especially as they were being shut out of financial institutions and having to operate in cash. Those two are large driving forces for why we got into the industry.

ES: From your perspective, what sort of trends are you watching out of Washington—or what sort of aspects of federal reform, maybe in the SAFE Banking Act, are you looking for that would be legitimately helpful for the industry?

AM: The SAFE Banking Act will be helpful to institutions that are still willing to take on something that would be high-risk. FinCEN [The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network] is our ultimate regulator. I’m hoping that if something federally passes like the SAFE Banking Act, then FinCEN can respond and give us more detailed guidance on what they’re specifically looking for in cannabis banking. They do have a guidance for us. It’s from 2014, so it’s a little outdated, especially with how fast the industry is moving at this point. It allows for institutions to come in and bank [the industry] without being prosecuted, just because it’s cannabis. Right now, with anti-money-laundering rules and BSA, what we’re doing could be determined as money laundering since it’s federally illicit funds.

So, a lot of working with our regulators was really being able to stand in front of that money and say, “No, this was legitimately earned in my state, and we are doing the best effort or a good faith effort to ensure compliance and ensure that it’s all legitimate.” That side probably won’t go away. While it does open the door for institutions to get in, they still are going to have to have the compliance resources to still stand up and say, “This isn’t from the black market. It is legitimate money,” even if the SAFE Banking Act passes.

It’s an interesting discussion to have with financial institutions, because most of us are federally insured and it is a complicated conversation to have. It’s not just the cannabis space where we’re looking for money laundering and things like that, but it does have those close ties to the black market. We’re just a few years outside of it, you know?

ES: California and Colorado have come up, but, just in terms of geographic scope, are there any major differences in how banking regulations are playing out in newer cannabis markets, like an Ohio or a Florida?

AM: With a lot of the newer states coming up, it’s an interesting change in banking because a lot of our initial due diligence changes. We aren’t trying to show legitimacy to their funds, because a lot of times it’s just investment funds or owner contributions to get these licenses off the ground. With the newer markets, the initial due diligence is typically a bit easier because they’re going through the licensing process, so they have all the documents handy. There isn’t a lot for us to go in and validate. A lot of the states have learned from some of the mistakes that California and Colorado and Oregon and Washington and all of us made initially getting into it.

A lot of the newer states are a little bit easier. It’s funny, though, because a lot of [the new cannabis businesses] are the ones that think that it should be normalized banking because they just haven’t had that history of not having banking. What’s also interesting is new states like Florida and Michigan and others, they have very sophisticated backing. There’s Fortune 500 and there’s a lot of this sophistication in their management and control. It’s different from some of the mom-and-pop shops that we saw initially, and it’s very fascinating to see where the industry is going as far as being publicly traded in Canada and all of the international aspects that are coming into the cannabis industry.

Published at Thu, 01 Apr 2021 18:28:00 +0000

2 Marijuana Stocks Investors Are Keeping On Their April Watchlist

2 Marijuana Stocks Investors Are Keeping On Their April Watchlist

2 Marijuana Stocks Investors Are Keeping On Their April Watchlist | Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™

Published at Wed, 31 Mar 2021 12:00:16 +0000

Best Marijuana ETFs For April 2021

Best Marijuana ETFs For April 2021

Best Marijuana ETFs For April 2021 | Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™

Published at Mon, 29 Mar 2021 19:30:59 +0000

Vangst Launches New Executive Talent Service

Vangst Launches New Executive Talent Service

Students at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) interested in entering the New Jersey cannabis industry after graduation can now receive industry training and education while in school.

Back by popular demand, MCCC announced on March 22, it would offer a second medical cannabis training course in May.

Sarah Trent, CEO of Valley Wellness, a medical cannabis dispensary, designed the course to educate, train and prepare individuals for entry-level positions in the cannabis industry.

“Working in the cannabis industry isn’t just about knowing how to work in a grow or knowing how to be patient-facing in a dispensary,” Trent said. “Really, the best staff members, even for entry-level positions, have a well-rounded education, and so I developed a class that is made to make that well-rounded employee.”

The course was initially only offered at Raritan Valley Community College (RCVV) in New Jersey but recently expanded to MCCC as enrollment and demand began to increase, Trent said.

“I ran the program three times in 2020 with about 50 students each, and after the ballot initiative passed, we saw numbers really increase,” Trent said. “So, we just started running the class at Mercer and ran the first class starting Jan. 25, 2021, where we had roughly 70 people enrolled in that class. And right now, I’m currently running a March class at Raritan Valley, and we have over 80 students.”

As New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an adult-use cannabis legalization bill last month, following voters’ approval of a constitutional amendment last fall, there has become a need for experienced individuals in the field. 

“There are so many open jobs because all of the existing operators are ramping up production,” Trent said. “Because one of the requirements under the new law says the existing operators cannot start selling to the adult-use market until they can certify to the newly formed commission that they have enough product to meet patient demand first. So, I don’t know of a single operator in New Jersey who is not hiring right now for multiple positions.”

Trent said she wanted to find a way to help employees and employers. The course creates an opportunity to make cannabis training and education more accessible to individuals to fulfill that need. 

Since the course started, Trent has offered free tuition to the first five veterans who sign up for the program; however, she wanted to find a way to expand that concept to low-income individuals who need financial assistance in the state, she said.

“We get a lot of requests like, ‘Hey, do we have to pay this all up front?’ or ‘Do you know, where can I find some scholarship assistance?’,” Trent said. 

As Trent began to look for sponsors to help create scholarships, she was introduced to the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA), with whom she has partnered with to provide six scholarships for the May training course at MCCC.

Shaya Brodchandel, chair of NJCTA and CEO of Harmony Dispensary, a fully vertical alternative treatment center, said the partnership was a ‘no-brainer,’ as he believes education is essential in the cannabis industry, but accessibility to the instruction is lacking, he said

Suppose an individual wants to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant or wants to study one of the various other trades. In that case, he or she has easier access to that education as a university or school likely teaches it. Still, in the cannabis industry, there isn’t much precedent where people can go and get a proper education, he said.

“For us, [the partnership] was a natural fit from the education standpoint,” Brodchandel said. “We are also going to provide scholarships and interviews immediately after. So, within a month, the [students] will have interviews with local retail and cultivation companies. As these [jobs] become available, we will be reaching out to participants and letting them know there are job opportunities. So, it’s really connecting education with the industry and putting best practices in motion as best as we can.”

Some of the roles that the course can prepare individuals for is a variety of entry-level cultivation positions, as well as patient-facing and dispensary staff positions such as a patient care agent or a wellness associate, where individuals can help patients, fill orders, work in the packaging department and more, Trent said.

Additionally, Trent is working toward making the class applicable to entry-level jobs in a manufacturing lab, as some of those positions do not require a college degree.

The next medical cannabis training course at MCCC will begin on May 3.

The course takes around 15 hours to complete and costs $500 to enroll. It is taught in five modules over five consecutive Monday nights on Zoom from 6-9 p.m., Trent said.

“Module one is the basics of cannabis laws. Module two is the basics of cultivation, harvesting and manufactured products, where students learn what manufactured products are in New Jersey right now and how they are made. Module three is the endocannabinoid system and testing. Module four is dispensary-specific training, compliance, tracking dosing administration, and module five is industry speakers,” Trent said.

Scholarship applications for the May 3 course are now open until April 12. Students must reside in specific New Jersey zip codes, demonstrate a financial need and be 21 years or older to apply.

“I think that this is a great opportunity for the colleges and universities to help connect education with the industry,” Brodchandel said. “This is the first in New Jersey of hopefully many that we’ll be seeing happening for connecting hires. I want to continue participating in these programs, and I hope to see this growth throughout the coming months. I think the timing is now, and the opportunity is tremendous for us to make a positive impact. Now is our time to execute and to deliver on all that we’ve been working on. So just proud to be a part of this.”

Published at Mon, 29 Mar 2021 17:00:00 +0000

Byers Scientific, Iowa State University & Odor Experts Identify Volatile Chemical Compound Responsible for Cannabis Odor Complaints

Byers Scientific, Iowa State University & Odor Experts Identify Volatile Chemical Compound Responsible for Cannabis Odor Complaints

Reliable heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment can cost upward of $300,000 or more for a 5,000-square-foot growing facility in the cannabis space. Proper lighting might cost just as much.

But those environmental controls become less effective for an ideal harvest if they are not complemented by the intelligent application of air distribution through engineered ductwork, which isn’t overly complicated nor expensive in the grand scheme of a productive room, according to Geoff Brown, vice president of technical solutions for Quest.

Often an afterthought, airflow is currently the biggest hump for growers in relation to environmental controls, but it doesn’t have to be, Brown said. Through Quest’s partnership with Hawthorne Gardening Company, growers now have access to the Airflow Mapping service, a computer-aided analysis that calculates or predicts where a diffuser’s air will travel. In turn, growers have access to custom solutions to their specific facilities without making major changes to those facilities.

Featured here, Brown shares more about Airflow Mapping, the importance of intelligent air distribution, working with manufacturers, return on investment and other pertinent knowledge to help avoid oversights associated with environment controls.

Q: Why is airflow so important in cannabis cultivation?

A: Ultimately it just comes down to building productive plants. TIP 1 Good air circulation at the leaf is what allows the leaf to breathe, to get rid of the oxygen around the leaf and to absorb more CO2 to make sure that the transpiration is happening and that you don’t have a locally deficient vapor pressure deficit (VPD). It’s really how the system needs to work. In my opinion, airflow is the single most overlooked thing in cannabis right now, or at least it is the next hump to get over.

The hump 10 years ago was, “Oh, shoot, we’re going to put cooling units in these rooms and hopefully they’ll do enough for dehumidification.” And then there was a dehumidification problem. Now there’s a notion, “We’re putting cooling units and dehumidifiers in, so we don’t have to think about airflow.”

So, how has that been addressed? Well, people have thrown in rotation fans in the space to move air around, but there’s no real concerted effort at managing airflow, or at least thinking intelligently about how airflow works in your room. It’s an afterthought at best.

TIP 2 Proper engineered ductwork is relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of indoor grow rooms. A 5,000-square-foot, which is a big room, and a productive room, might cost $20,000 in ductwork. And properly designed ductwork reduces the need for air-rotation fans in the space.

TIP 3 Air-rotation fans, although they’ve been used successfully, are actually a really bad thing for an efficient growth. For one, every watt they consume is an additional watt that needs to be removed from the space by a cooling system. So, you pay to run the fan and then you pay to cool off the fan. And most of those fans are also relatively inexpensive, open-pole motors. They can’t be cleaned properly between grows. So, you end up with either a vector for infection in your space or a fan that’s a pain to clean. The bottom line is it’s not a good use of resources, it’s not sustainable, and there’s a better way to manage it.

Q: What exactly is the Airflow Mapping service that Quest and Hawthorne have partnered to offer indoor operators?

A: Airflow Mapping is basically using computer-aided design to calculate or to predict where each airflow stream, or where each diffuser’s air will go. It uses things like internal duct pressure and velocities and volumes to predict or map out very accurately what the airflow in the space is going to look like. It truly creates an airflow map in the space. Typically, those are presented as velocity maps.

TIP 4 Roughly 5 feet per second is the ideal speed through the canopy, and Airflow Mapping shows very easily what your duct concept is going to give you in terms of overall rotation in the space. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to do your duct design and to test your duct design without needing to sacrifice a million-dollar room.

Q: Is Airflow Mapping a one-time analysis, or are there certain components installed that provide continual, live readings?

A: Airflow Mapping is a completely computerized analysis. The Quest IQ systems are designed as constant velocity and volume systems. So, Airflow Mapping day one versus day 50 versus harvest day, the only change is the height of the canopy. TIP 5 There are only a couple of different models that need to be done to accurately reflect what’s happening in any given room.

Typically, you’ve got an engineer who has designed ductwork systems, who has laid out his or her best estimate or best experience of what that ought to look like. We run it through the Airflow Mapping tool and then are able to either tweak the engineer’s design or strategically apply air-rotation fans to hit trouble spots instead of relying on them for the entire room.

TIP 6 That’s typically what we’re doing, is we’re looking at that design and saying, “Yes, this is reasonable. It’s not going to cost too much money to fix that particular corner. So, let’s apply in our rotation fan, but let’s de-stratify that one particular problem area and move on with our lives.” It allows us to do that without sacrificing a plant, or having a bad harvest, or having powdery mildew developed in the corner because it’s a stratified air mass. These are the kinds of things that we can determine in the computer, and map out in the computer, prior to a grower running the facility.

Q: The Airflow Mapping modeling software is the same software used by NASA engineers to design space shuttles—is that what makes the service groundbreaking to the industry?

A: Absolutely. Software like that has existed for a long time, but it has typically been reserved to agencies like NASA using it to determine the heating of individual tiles on a space shuttle at reentry, or velocities over individual parts of the ship. So, the technology itself is not new, but its application in anything other than specialized military projects or NASA is new and has become more of a commonplace in the past few years among high-performing organizations that have brought the software to the prosumer market.

Q: The Airflow Mapping basically helps indoor growers with custom solutions to their specific facilities without making major changes to those facilities, correct?

A: Exactly. TIP 7 Airflow Mapping is able to quickly identify potential problem areas that are much easier to change in the design phase than after everything is installed and after you’re stepping on the master grower to make ductwork changes in a space.

Q: What’s the importance of good ductwork to achieve an ideal airflow?

A: It’s not just a matter of putting up whatever ductwork happens to be cheaper or fell off your sheet metal guy’s truck. TIP 8 Real ductwork with good diffusers, getting the right flow, and getting the right throw out of your diffusers and out of your duct design is crucially important. So, it really does need to be an engineered system to do that properly.

Right now, there’s a lot of interest in things like fabric ducts because they’re quick and easy to put up. They’re quick and easy to take down and launder between grows, if you ever need to. TIP 9 But even something like that duct, you can get real air devices in it. You can get real diffusers with long-throw devices or high-velocity patterns that get air in the right spot. That is very important.

TIP 10 That’s only useful if you have enough airflow out of your HVAC system to make it work. That’s where with Quest IQ handling the entire needs of the space, the heating, cooling and dehumidification of the space in one unit, we run a higher than typical airflow than you would out of a rooftop package cooling unit, for instance. The extra airflow plus good duct design means that we’re able to get the canopy movement and get the penetration into canopy to get the real leaf movement that we’re looking for without requiring the use of some of the band-aids that have been put in previously, like air-rotation fans.

Q: When it comes to tracking the canopy velocity, is it ideal for airflow to be moving horizontally, vertically or both?

A: Like anything, it depends. TIP 11 It’s going to depend on the type of grow, the type of lights and the tiering of it. We’re seeing a lot more multi-tiered rows—two, three, four levels sometimes—particularly with LED lights being more common and not dealing with quite as many heat issues as the market has previously. That’s going to affect where air distribution is effective.

Also, getting the air in the right spot is important. It can be difficult sometimes with a typical grow room, 14 feet tall, and you’ve got a supply grill on the roof and your return is up top, because your equipment is on the roof. It can be hard sometimes to get the air down low. TIP 12 That’s where a good air device with the right amount of throw to get the air to the canopy matters.

In my perfect world, TIP 13 I would love to see supply and return happen opposite each other. So, if you’re going to supply high and pull air down through the canopy, your return would be low to help that, to not have as much opportunity for stratification, or vice versa, right? If you’re going to supply low, which some people do, they supply into the under-table ductwork or something like that, and then pull or draw air up through the canopy to have a high return, that’s going to be situational. Sometimes it’s just growers get shoehorned into things because they’re retrofitting an existing building. They’re not building a facility from scratch; it’s what is available to them.

Regardless of what is available to them, the Airflow Mapping can help them determine the best way to lay out that airflow pattern. Whether it’s a high supply, low return, or whether they’re forced to do a high supply, high return and would naturally have some stratification problems, we can help mitigate that through the Airflow Mapping.

I’m not sure that I’m comfortable putting my hat in the horizontal versus vertical versus both. TIP 14 I think all of them can be applied properly with some intelligent thought.

Q: What other oversights do cultivation facilities make when it comes to airflow?

A: One is that example of high return, high supply. If you were to look over your head right now, if you’re in your office, you’d probably see one of those four-way supply grills. They have no throw and they’re not designed to, because they’re designed to get air from a 9-foot ceiling down to a 6-foot breathing space.

We often see rooms that have those same style of diffuser in a 14-to-16-foot-high room and high supply. TIP 15 Issues like that are going to naturally cause stratification, where you’ve got a high supply, you’ve got high return. You don’t have a good air device. You’ve got your lights that sort of naturally create a bit of an umbrella or barrier to the air dropping down low. You may have horizontal air-rotation fans giving you a bit of an air curtain. And you’ve got a space that’s always going to be stratified as a result.

TIP 16 Reducing air-rotation fans can reduce your overall HVAC demand costs by something like 8% to 10% a year. So, if you’re talking about a typical room that would easily spend $50,000 a year in energy, you’re going to save $5,000 a year by doing ductwork properly. It pays for itself very quickly.

Q: Do taller or bushier plants play a factor in dead-zone considerations for facilities?

A: They absolutely can, as well as moving racking. Between the two we can often end up with situations with a bit of an aisle effect, where air doesn’t penetrate well into the canopy and will naturally go where there’s less air resistance. TIP 17 If you’ve got moving racking where you’re no longer working in the room and your rack home position changes on a daily basis, or changes versus where the ductwork was designed, you can end up with a situation where the air isn’t going into the canopy the way it ought to and instead is finding the easy path.

That can happen as well with bigger or bushier cultivars, or cultivars with thicker canopies. It absolutely can be harder to get air into the canopy. TIP 18 That’s where an intelligent application of under-canopy ductwork may make more sense, where you draw air up through the canopy in a vertical way instead of trying to push it from the side on an angle. But that’s quite application-specific. It’s really going to depend on the cultivar that you’re trying to grow.

Q: How can a grower with movable racking avoid airflow problems?

A: Movable racking is becoming very common, of course, TIP 19 but home positions for that racking are not always well-respected and can absolutely cause problems if you’ve got an engineered system and then you change some aspect of the system, like where the plants are. You can certainly have a negative impact on your airflow there.

There is an education piece in ensuring that the person in the room who’s working on the plants understands the impact of maybe not quite following standard operating procedure and not returning the rack to the right spot because, “Who cares if it’s a rack in the same room; what does it matter?”

I’m a big proponent of process improvement overall, TIP 20 but a big part of process improvement is knowing the why and having everybody know and understand why something is being done, not just, “Those are the rules, so do it.” Understanding why the racks need to be in the right spot when you leave the room matters.

Again, I just think air distribution generally is the biggest problem facing this industry. It’s the one that’s most ripe for some good education right now.

Published at Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:05:00 +0000