Last Update: 7/9/2019

 

The back story is not that the "dirty hippies" so loathed by one Planning Commissioner will ruin local neighborhoods.  Obviously - temporarily - they'll mint money, which is more than anyone else around here does.  The real story is that governments at every level are cooperating - with their greed for Sin Tax licensing fees and invasive, crushing regulatory burdens, to drive the price of entry so high that only corporate behemoths can afford the capital costs.  That's where we're headed now. 

 

Remember this the next time you hear your local politicians blow their own horns about supporting small business.  The air is filled with empty words and empty promises.

 

Think about that when you look at the ghosts of business in downtown Whitmore Lake.  - JGN

 

CNN:   CEO's ouster highlights growing pains for cannabis industry, Alicia Wallace, 7/5/2019

Canopy was ambitiously deploying a multi-billion dollar war chest from alcohol giant Constellation Brands, which invested C$5 billion (US$3.78 billion) in the company last year and owns 38% of Canopy stock.

Detroit Free Press:  Troy business is a world leader in hemp extraction, Anna Bauman, 7/3/2019

Nick Tennant spent eight months hunched over his dining room table learning how to assemble steel parts into a machine he saw as the future of the marijuana industry.  The first trial run produced exactly what the young entrepreneur wanted: lustrous gold CBD oil.

It’s been seven years, and Tennant is still making equipment modeled after that first prototype. It sold more than $1 million in equipment in the first 90 days of business and now hits that number in equipment sales every week to the industry's top brands.

CNN:  Wrigley chewing gum heir, former Patrón CEO all in on cannabis, Alicia Wallace, 6/28/2019

He believes Surterra could be even bigger than the multibillion-dollar chewing gum and mint company, of which he served as president and CEO until 2006. Mars, the confectioner that makes M&Ms and Milky Way, bought the Wrigley Company for $23 billion in 2008.

 

Surterra has been on an expansion bent since last fall when Wrigley invested $65 million in the firm and later took the helm as CEO. It has quickly grown from a holder of medical cannabis licenses in Florida and Texas to a multi-state operator, brand developer, and science and technology innovator.

 

Surterra signed licensing deals with the company behind "The Endless Summer" surfing documentary and singer Jimmy Buffett to sell Endless Summer and Coral Reefer-branded cannabis, respectively. The company also acquired operations in Nevada and Massachusetts, and it entered into a $100 million agreement with biotech firm Intrexon on a fermentation-based cannabis cultivation technology.

MLive:  $15 Million investment to redevelop Gibraltar Trade Center as a Marijuana-Grow Op, Amy Biolchini, 6/22/2019

Thanks to a $15 Million personal investment by the Chairman of the McLaren Macomb hospital’s Board of Trustees and longtime Republican donor, James George, the former Gibraltar Trade Center -- known for its larger-than-life billboard on Interstate 94 in Mount Clemens -- will soon have a second life as a marijuana grow facility.

 

The nearly 300,000-square-foot trade center at 237 N. River Road was purchased in 2017 by James George, a local developer and businessman, through his company Hidden Ridge Investments LLC.

CNN:  Cannabis sales could hit $15 billion globally this year, Alicia Wallad, 6/20/2019

Detroit Free Press: Gibraltar Trade Center to be turned into medical marijuana facility, Micah Walker and Christina Hall, 6/18/2019

The city commission voted last December to allow medical marijuana sites in the city after significant research on the topic. The approved sites are in commercial and/or industrial areas of the 4-square-mile city, Dempsey said. The city received 13 applicants, which brought in $65,000 in fees to the city. The three-member committee of city officials approved the permits.

 Macomb Daily: Mount Clemens grants medical marijuana licenses for Gibraltar, Kraatz sites, Mitch Hotts, 6/16/2019

In terms of the economic impact for city government, the move is projected to generate about $65,000 in annual licensing fees.

 

“That may not seem like a lot of money, but it is to Mount Clemens,” Mayor Barb Dempsey said.

 

CNN Business: MedMen expands its cannabis retail empire to Florida, Alicia Wallace, 6/14/2019

Company runs 35 stores in the US

Detroit Free Press:  In the Upper Peninsula, weed is a lonely pursuit for its one and only dispensary, Kathleen Gray, 6/10/2019

CNN Business:  Veteran cannabis company joins US firms listing on Canadian exchange, Alicia Wallace, 6/10/2019

Harborside, a prominent Bay Area dispensary chain, on Monday joined a growing wave of American cannabis companies that have listed shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange as a means of accessing capital to operate and grow businesses still deemed illegal under US federal law.

 

As of Monday, about 170 cannabis companies were trading on the CSE, with roughly 40% of those firms having material operations in the US, said Richard Carleton, CEO of the exchange. US cannabis companies raised $3.2 billion in 2018 and are on track to surpass that total this year, Carleton said, noting close to $1 billion has been raised by CSE cannabis firms to date.

 

Most have come to the CSE as a result of a reverse takeover. Los Angeles-based MedMen made perhaps the biggest of such deals when it listed on the CSE in 2018. At the same time, legal Canadian operators, such as Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis, have been able to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

Newsweek:  How AgraFlora set out to become one of the top cannabis producers in Canada, Stephnie Romine, 5/29/2019

PropagationServicesCanada 2 2Mftsq BC greenhouse

Merry Jane: Former Prohibitionist John Boehner Will Make Millions Off Marijuana, Randy Robinson, 6/4/2019

According to a New York Times report, Boehner owns 625,000 shares in Acreage Holdings, a cannabis investment firm that bankrolls legal pot operations in 14 states. He joined the board at Acreage last year, just two years after retiring from Congress.

 

In May, Acreage announced a deal with Canopy Growth, the world’s largest cannabis company. The deal basically sells Acreage off to Canopy for over $3 billion — but only after the US federally legalizes weed. Acreage’s investors will receive an additional $300 million once the deal is finalized. The sale is expected to value Canopy at $18 billion.

USA Today:  

 

Reason: Las Vegas, Which Just Authorized Cannabis Lounges, Aspires to be the 'New Amsterdam, Jacob Sullum, 5/15/2019

Cannabis waste disposal is becoming big business as firms look to monetize marijuana, hemp biomass, Kristen Nichols, 5/2/2019

Marijuana waste gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to enter an emerging cannabis sector that turns plant refuse and post-extraction leftovers into marketable products that range from animal bedding to construction materials.

Marijuana Business Daily:  Cannabis group Curaleaf to acquire Cura Partners for CA$1.27 billion, 5/1/2019

$420M Equity raise sets US cannabis industry record, Bank of America begins marijuana coverage, MedMen exec turnover & more of the week’s top MJ news, 4/26/2019

Pax Labs, a San Francisco manufacturer of vape pens, raised $420 million, the largest amount ever raised for a U.S.-based marijuana company.  That number – far larger than initial targets of $150 million – came from both existing and new institutional investors. Pax, which spun off from e-cigarette maker Juul in 2017, formed in 2007.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Chris Carey initiated coverage of the broader industry and some of its market leaders: Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, The Green Organic Dutchman, Hexo Corp. and Supreme Cannabis.

Marijuana firm Cresco Labs inks landmark $823 million acquisition of Origin House, Lisa Bernard-Kuhn, 4/1/2019 

The acquisition will boost Cresco Labs’ footprint in California, where Origin House is a top cannabis distributor, delivering more than 50 brands to 500-plus dispensaries across the state.
All told, the combined company will boast licenses for up to 51 retail locations and more than 1.5 million square feet of cultivation across 11 states, Cresco said in a news release.

Harvest Health sets cannabis industry standard with $850 million acquisition of multistate operator Verano, Lisa Bernard-Kuhn, Nick Thomas, 3/11/2019

Upon closing, the all-stock deal with Verano will give Harvest one of the largest footprints among multistate cannabis operators with 123 dispensaries in 16 states.

Verano, which acquired a Massachusetts cannabis company in February, was attractive to Harvest because it has stakes in 10 operating facilities across the United States and more than 45 licenses under development.

All told, the deal puts Harvest on pace to have more than 70 dispensaries, 13 cultivation facilities and 13 manufacturing facilities operating by the end of 2019, according to a news release from the company.