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The Week In Cannabis: Linton Bullish On Canopy; Miley Cyrus, Sarah Silverman, Other Celebs Back Cannabis Company; Canada's New R&D License; And More

Javier Hasse

Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC )’s former CEO Bruce Linton, ousted from his spot earlier this year, said this week he was still buying shares of the company despite his termination. The company's strong cash position, international footprint and extensive intellectual property library are the main drivers of his bullish thesis.

Lowell Herb Co. announced the closing of a funding round supported by A-list celebrities Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman and Mark Ronson.

In a tweet sharing Benzinga’s article about these developments, comedian Sarah Silverman highlighted the company’s social equity program, which provides working opportunities to non-violent cannabis offenders, victims of unfair cannabis laws and racial bias in arrests.

Greenlane Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: GNLN ) announced a collaboration with Berner’s cannabis brand Cookies to begin U.S. distribution of the Cookies hemp-derived product line; Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA ) announced a strategic partnership for cannabis delivery in Canada with ParcelPal Technology Inc. (OTC: PTNYF ) (CSE: PKG); and Acabada ProActiveWear launched a line of CBD-infused clothing.

In Canada, biopharmaceutical cannabinoid research company and cannabis producer Avicanna Inc (TSX: AVCN) obtained a first-of-its-kind license to perform research and intellectual property development on cannabinoids at its facility in the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, known as the “Silicon Valley for life sciences.”

Only three days after this announcement, the company completed the export of its first batch of purified cannabidiol from Colombia to Canada for scientific research.

The Financial Post reported that at least three senior employees have left CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST ) following its massive licensing scandal.

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The National Institute for Drug Abuse, a federal institution, issued a notice of special interest encouraging grant applications on the "effects of changing cannabis laws and policies in the U.S. and globally on public health.”

Cannabis ETFs delivered considerable losses. Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF ) (TSE:HMMJ) lost 6.15%.

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ ) tumbled 5.6%.

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO ) was down 6.31%.

• The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX ) lost 6.21%.

• The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS ) fell 6.56%.

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY ) closed the period down 1.38%.

In Other News

U.S. cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc (CSE: MMEN) (OTC: MMNFF ) announced Monday the start of its delivery service across California, allowing consumers to experience the comfort of home delivery.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTC: CURLF ) said it has closed the purchase of Glendale Greenhouse, a deal announced at the end of June. The company also said it has begun its initiative with the Veterans Cannabis Project, an organization that campaigns for legal access of medical cannabis for veterans via the Department of Veterans Affairs in Oregon. The Veterans Cannabis Project initiative was launched previously in Maryland, making products accessible in Maryland, Arizona and Maine.

WeedMaps announced it would ban ads from unlicensed cannabis companies after years of complaints from legal retailers.

Cannabis cultivator and producer EXMceuticals Inc. (CSE: EXM) appointed former Dixie Brands (USA) Inc (OTC: DXBRF ) CEO Tripp Keber to its board of directors.

Root Engineers, the cannabis-focused division of Bend, Oregon-based Cole Breit Engineering, said the company and managing principal Laura Breit received approval from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to work in the state’s cannabis industry.

Michigan's Marijuana Regulatory Agency shut down Iron Labs of Walled Lake after finding the facility did not report marijuana to the state's tracking system that tested above the legal limit for contaminants.

True Leaf Brands Inc . (OTC: TRLFF ) said Tuesday that it's launching veterinarian-formulated CBD supplements for dogs that will be presented at the SuperZoo 2019 pet industry trade show in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles-based lifestyle cannabis company From The Earth held a fundraiser for its newly launched foundation. The From The Earth Foundation partners with communities to remove barriers to economic success through impactful investments and marijuana justice reform. The foundation has raised over $100,000.

Scott Page, a latter-day member of Pink Floyd , Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction , Chris Norton of Zappa Plays Zappa , Carmine Rojas and Derek Day joined forces to benefit the cause.

Helix TCS Inc (OTC: HLIX ) brought on Garvis Toler III, former global head of capital markets for the NYSE Group, as its president of data services.

Medicine Man Technologies Inc (OTC: MDCL ) announced another pending acquisition deal with what it said is one of Colorado's best-selling edible producers. The company was not named in the announcement.

"This is the classic David and Goliath story," Medicine Man CEO Andy Williams told Benzinga.

"As others succumb to the massive frenzy of bidding wars for overinflated and overpriced acquisitions occurring within the cannabis market, we have a thoughtful approach that focuses on growing our company with leaders in their respective fields: producers, manufacturers, extractors, and distributors."

The deal provides a retail distribution channel in nearly 600 dispensaries, allowing for cross-selling of products, according to the company.

"Once HB19-1090 goes into effect in November of this year, we believe our ability to close on this and other acquisitions will begin to accelerate, making us a leader in Colorado, one of the most mature markets in the U.S., and will also enable us to expand globally," Williams said.

USDA certified-organic companies RE Botanicals and Palmetto Harmony announced a merger Monday.

The new parent company, RE Botanicals Inc., combines the industry experience, marketing savvy and retail distribution of the RE Botanicals brand, founded by John Roulac (formerly of Nutiva), with the organic hemp farming and processing facilities of Palmetto Harmony, founded by Janel Ralph, to create a national USDA-certified organic hemp flower-to-bottle operation.

The new parent company RE Botanicals will continue to operate both brands, with a focus on expanding the market share of organic hemp CBD products.

Roulac will remain as CEO of the new RE Botanicals parent company, and Palmetto Harmony’s Ralph will be COO, running a South Carolina growing and manufacturing facility.

Launching this month exclusively in Fleur Marche, Australia's HEMPLE is bringing its nano-CBD high spectrum hemp extract Stigma to the United States.

Brooklyn Bioscience, a startup from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, received a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The company is working to develop pesticide-free cannabis using protein engineering methods that break down and detoxify organophosphates, a commonly used pesticide. Organophosphates, neurotoxins classified as one of the most hazardous classes of chemicals being used in the agricultural sector by the World Health Organization, are particularly toxic when vaporized and inhaled.

Willie’s Rescue, a new pet CBD line by country music legend Willie Nelson, is launching this week at SuperZoo in Las Vegas. The products are a broad line of hemp-derived CBD products for internal and external use in dogs, cats and horses.

Leafly announced the hiring of Kirk Beardsley as chief operating officer. Beardsley is an accomplished Fortune 500 retail executive with a track record of helping some of the world’s leading brands build and scale multibillion-dollar digital retail and marketplace businesses. Prior to joining Leafly, Beardsley served as executive vice president of strategic growth and head of Trunk Club at Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN ). The company also announced it will open an office in Austin, Texas.

Ayr, a vertically integrated multistate operator in the U.S., began trading on the CSE. Ayr was the first recreational cannabis-focused company with an enterprise value over $1 billion to list on NEO.

The strategic move to the CSE will allow Ayr to 'increase visibility with the investment community and expand its base of potential investors going forward," according to CEO Jonathan Sandelman.

Sun+Earth announced the launch of its organic certification program for outdoor cannabis, which goes beyond the organic standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and includes fair labor standards for cannabis farm workers.

AdvisorShares, the company behind the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF, filed plans for the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF . A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "MJUS."

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY ) said Wednesday it signed an agreement with Pharma GmbH (Cannamedical) through its subsidiary Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda. for the purpose of exporting $3.3 million in medical cannabis from Portugal to Germany this fall.

The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), which accounts for more than $1 billion of global cannabis market share, named Rezwan Khan as president.

Cannabis-focused software company Splitbud announced Wednesday its services have reached Los Angeles, allowing consumers to order cannabis for on-demand delivery or pickup. The company aims to expand further throughout California.

“Due to the state’s regulatory framework and high taxes, the legal cannabis market is inaccessible to many consumers. We believe all cannabis consumers deserve the right to buy tested and safe cannabis at an affordable price, which is why we are so excited to launch Splitbud in the epicenter of the cannabis industry," said Alice Moon, Splitbud's director of communications.

GreenAcreage Real Estate Corp. reported Wednesday the finalization of a private placement offering of 7.06 million common shares for aggregate gross proceeds of around $141 million.

California-based brand ManifestSeven (M7) advanced its B2C strategy with the acquisition of the Orange County dispensary Haven, which previously operated as ShowGrow.

BR Brands, LLC , a consumer packaged goods company serving the cannabis industry, announced Wednesday the first closing of its Series A capital raise as well as the acquisition of Mary’s Brands. Its capital raise was supported by strategic partner Rose Capital.

Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTC: CRLBF ) reported its unaudited financial results for the second quarter. Highlights from the report include its revenue rising253% year-over-year to reach $29.9 million, which the company attributed to its expansion into new markets and growth in the states where it already operates.

The company’s second-quarter adjusted EBITDA reached $14.5 million, versus $4.8 million in the same period last year. Cresco Labs disclosed a net loss of $3.9 million for the quarter, compared to a net income of $1.6 million in the same quarter last year.

C3 Industries entered the Michigan cannabis market with the opening of its first “high profile” dispensary in Detroit.

Green Growth Brands Inc. (OTC: GGBXF ) reported Thursday the closing of a bought deal short-form prospectus offering of units of the company for aggregate gross proceeds of CA$50.23 million ($37.7 million).

Vertically integrated cannabis producer, distributor and retailer Stem Holdings Inc. this week announced the launch of its first medical division, aimed at producing medical CBD products for the dermatology and gerontology markets.

48North Cannabis Corp. (TSX: NRTH) said Friday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rare Industries, Inc., also known as Quill, a vape technology brand.

Fruit Slabs, makers of organic, vegan, cannabis-infused fruit strip edibles, is now offering kosher-certified slabs in Pride Passion and Tropical Haze flavors.

"We are really excited to be kosher-certified for a number of reasons, the biggest reason being that it adds to the list of dietary specifications our product meets. Whether you're vegan, gluten-free, kosher or all of the above, you can wholeheartedly enjoy Fruit Slabs," CEO Roxanne Dennant told Benzinga.

CV Sciences, Inc. announced the further expansion of its PlusCBD™ Oil brand into the specialty retail channel with The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc.

More From Benzinga Cannabis

The following are some of the most interesting cannabis-related stories from this week.

Defying The Odds With A Dream, Some Weed, And A Ton Of Determination: The Inside Scoop On Frank Shamrock

• 'Data Is Key': MNP's Glenn Fraser Discusses Cannabis Consulting In A Newly Legal Market

• Do People Move To Access Legal Marijuana? Yes — Meet 'Medical Refugees'

• Cannabis And Crohn's Disease

• Researchers Unlock What Gives Cannabis Its Anti-Inflammatory Qualities

• Former MLB All-Star Shane Victorino Talks Plans To Give Back To Hawaii Through New Cannabis Venture

• Payment Processing, Banking Issues Continue To Hinder Small CBD Brands

• Is Weed The New Beer? 3 Key Stats Give Us An Idea

• 'THC Used To Be The Hero, Now It's CBD': A Chat With Hollywood Actor Turned Cannabis Entrepreneur Derek DuChesne

• Gerald Butt's Tweet On Canadian Cannabis Numbers Might Be Far-Fetched

• Cannabinoids Could Help Treat OCD, Researchers Suggest

• Muisca Capital Group's Carol Ortega On Why Cannabis Could Outgrow Colombia's Coffee, Flower And Banana Industries

• Black Dog LED, A Major Cannabis Lighting Provider, Has Plans For 'All Corners Of The Grow Operation'

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

Events Calendar

Sept.5-6: the Cannabis Science Conference is returning to Portland, Oregon. This year, “Amazon” John Easterling and special guest Olivia Newton-John will deliver a joint-celebrity plenary address, “Plant Medicine - A Personal Healing Journey.”

This year’s conference covers a wide selection of topics, including genomics, informatics, medical cannabis, testing and hemp science. It brings together a diverse group of people including laboratory personnel, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, patients, plant experts and scientists.

Sept. 6-8: HTBX International announced the first public cannabis consumption event set to take place in Denver. Dubbed The HTBX Solution , the event will debut HTBX’s newly licensed portable consumption space and will mark the first time the public will be legally permitted to consume cannabis in public. The HTBX unit will be accessible to adults 21 and older for cannabis consumption during the event, and patrons must supply and consume their own cannabis.

Sept. 12: iCAN Connect , an Israeli cannabis investor symposium, will take place at the Green Fig Restaurant in New York City, providing investors the opportunity to learn about the highly innovative Israeli cannabis industry, meet executives and researchers and evaluate investment opportunities.

Organized by the group behind the CannaTech series of global cannabis conferences, iCAN Connect is designed for qualified individual and institutional investors or their representatives looking for international medical or recreational cannabis investment opportunities.

Oct. 4-6: Argentina will hold its first big cannabis conference, Expo Cannabis, at the La Rural event hall in Buenos Aires. The event arrives at a key moment in the country’s regulatory history and the development of a nascent legal industry.

Oct. 11-12: CBD Expo MOUNTAIN will bring the largest CBD event platform to Denver to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. The event features more than 150 exhibitors, along with a substantial lineup of speaker presentations, panel discussions, demos and workshops from experts in the research, production, globalization, distribution and sale of CBD products. The themes for the expo are compliance and regulation and investments and business.

Oct. 11-12: the first-ever Budtender Awards are coming to Las Vegas, sponsored by cannabis financial technology company Canna Paid and cannabis educational program Clover Leaf University. The awards aim to pay homage to the nation’s top budtenders and the many facets of cannabis culture.

The two-day event offers panel discussions, a product and service expo, a closing night performance, awards show and after-party with a performance by hip hop artist Cypress Hill.

Oct. 22-23: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Chicago, Illinois! You know you can’t miss it. Go to https://www.benzingacannabisconference.com/ for more information.

Oct. 23-24: Marijuana Venture Magazine’s Retail and Dispensary (RAD) Expo , a national trade show focused on the retail cannabis industry, will return to the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The RAD Expo will feature presentations from industry veterans to speak about successful entrepreneurship and topics including merchandising, partnership management, interior store design and retail operations. The 2019 show will focus heavily on CBD products and CBD brands with a presence in health grocery stores, luxury retailers, pet stores and other retail categories that carry hemp-derived products.

Nov. 15-16: CBD Expo EAST will bring the largest CBD event platform to Orlando, Florida to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. The themes for CBD Expo EAST are globalization and spa + wellness.

Nov. 19-21: The Medcann World Forum 2019 will be held in the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta. The three days will focus on six pillars: medical, business, research, legislation, regulation and fintech.

The event will host Malta’s top policymakers, international regulatory experts and global business leaders.

Dec. 5-6: CBD Expo WEST will bring the largest CBD event platform to San Diego, CA to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. The themes for CBD Expo WEST are research and development and cannabinoid formulations.

Picture by Javier Hasse.

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