Canopy Growth to Acquire The Supreme Cannabis Company

CANADA: Canopy Growth Corporation and The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement under which Canopy will acquire all of Supreme Cannabis’ issued and outstanding common shares in a transaction valued at approximately $435 million on a fully-diluted basis.

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 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-tier cultivation 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 in June 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 www.sedar.com.

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.

 To view the Investor Relations Presentation click here. 

Curaleaf Completes Acquisition Of EMMAC And Secures $130 Million Investment From A Single Strategic Institutional Investor

EMMAC brings vertically integrated operations in Europe with a presence in key medical cannabis markets, including the UK, GermanyItalySpain, and Portugal

MASSACHUSETTS:  Curaleaf Holdings, Inc., a leading international provider of consumer products in cannabis has successfully completed the previously announced acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences Limited, the largest vertically integrated independent cannabis company in Europe, for base consideration of approximately US$50 million in cash and 17.5 million shares of Curaleaf, with additional consideration to be paid based upon the successful achievement of performance milestones. Curaleaf has simultaneously established Curaleaf International Holdings Limited in Guernsey to hold the EMMAC investment and further its European expansion.

To accelerate the expansion of Curaleaf International, Curaleaf has secured an investment of US$130 million from a single strategic institutional investor in exchange for 31.5% equity stake in Curaleaf International, implying a $413 million Post Money valuation, with US$80 million in cash available to spend. The subscription will fund the entire cash portion of the EMMAC acquisition consideration of US$50 million with the remaining US$80 million to be used to fund Curaleaf International’s current capital expenditures plan through 2022, as well as its pipeline of potential acquisitions. This infusion of outside capital into Curaleaf International significantly accelerates Curaleaf’s expansion plans in Europe by fully funding Curaleaf’s cash outlay for the EMMAC acquisition and providing the capital required to support Curaleaf International’s near-term European rollout. With its foreseeable expansion budget fully funded, Curaleaf’s new international business can focus on executing its further European expansion.

Curaleaf and the strategic investor have entered into a shareholders’ agreement regarding the governance of Curaleaf International pursuant to which Curaleaf will have control over operational issues as well as raising capital and the ability to exit the business. In addition, the strategic investor’s stake is subject to put/call rights which permits either party to cause the stake to be bought out by Curaleaf for Curaleaf equity starting in 2025.

Boris Jordan, Executive Chairman of Curaleaf, stated, “The successful completion of our acquisition of EMMAC, and the formation of our new Curaleaf International business, marks a transformational launching point for our entrance into the European cannabis market. Building on our market leading position in the U.S., this transaction establishes Curaleaf as the global, pure play, cannabis market leader by revenue and geographic reach. With our single strategic institutional investor, we have set a strong foundation for Curaleaf International’s future growth trajectory. On behalf of the Curaleaf Board of Directors and management team, we are thrilled to welcome Antonio Costanzo, co-founder and CEO of EMMAC, as the CEO of Curaleaf International, and the entire EMMAC team to Curaleaf.”

The new Curaleaf International platform includes cultivation, EU GMP-certified processing, distribution, and R&D operations across several key European medical cannabis markets, including the United KingdomGermanyItalySpain and PortugalTerra Verde, Curaleaf International’s European market cultivation facility in Portugal, is one of the oldest licensed cannabis growing facilities in Europe with approximately 2 hectares of cultivation area and is an industry leader on the cannabis production cost efficiency front. The Portugal based cultivation facility provides Curaleaf International with the potential to serve customers across key European medical cannabis markets as well as supporting exports to countries such as Israel, among others. Curaleaf International plans to significantly increase its cultivation capacity in 2021, and to exceed 10 tons per year by 2022, in order to accommodate future growth related to the expansion of access to cannabis across the major European medical and adult-use, as well as export markets. Curaleaf International also has an operational presence and partnerships in European Union countries that are enacting new medical cannabis access programs. Curaleaf International will also serve as the platform for other possible acquisitions in Europe and adjacent areas, and for its participation in pilot adult use programs.

Joseph Bayern, CEO of Curaleaf, commented, “As the consumer and political liberalization trends around cannabis that are sweeping the U.S. are increasingly taking hold across Europe, our expansion into the international cannabis market presents tremendous new long-term growth opportunities for Curaleaf. With the European population of nearly 748 million1, the potential European addressable market is more than twice the size of the U.S. addressable market2. With the ability to operate our new European business across country borders, with one or two cultivation sites and one manufacturing center to serve the entire region in most cases, combined with our ability to leverage the strength of our consumer packaged goods strategies and innovations from our U.S. operations, we see enormously positive implications for our ability to quickly and efficiently scale the business across Europe.”

Following the successful completion of the transaction, Mr. Antonio Costanzo has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf International, with the former EMMAC management team continuing to lead Curaleaf’s new European presence as well as driving local European strategy and day-to-day operations.

Antonio Costanzo, CEO of Curaleaf International, commented, “This is an important day for the European cannabis market as EMMAC transitions to Curaleaf International. I look forward to working closely with the Curaleaf team to shape the future of cannabis for our patients and customers around the world. We will retain our science-led approach to continue to deliver best in class cannabis products for Europe’s growing medical cannabis market, and will work closely to leverage the consumer packaged goods experience and innovation from the U.S. to capitalize on the emerging adult-use market as legislation allows. We are now very well positioned to realize our aggressive growth ambitions.”

Curt’s Cannabis Corner: Medical Cannabis Misinformation

Welcome to the next installment in the series of educational articles from technical writer Curt Robbins at Higher Learning LV and MJNews Network. This collection is intended for cannabis and hemp industry professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of the nuanced biochemistry of this specialand newly legalherb. 

This week readers learn about medical cannabis misinformation, a problem that has plagued the producers, processors, and consumers of the herb since the early 1900s. At the time, a wave of anti-narcotic legislation spurred by food and drug purity activism (a popular progressive movement after the turn of the century) was sweeping the state governments of the United States (led by, ironically, California in 1913). 

The era, sometimes referred to as “reefer madness,” involved the first generation of American pot prohibitionists, a small cabal of powerful bureaucrats aligned with corporate barons, all motivated by the common goal of cultural and corporate protectionism and characterized by pronounced bigotry.

This first wave of marijuana misinformation managers—who carefully crafted urban legends regarding supposed harms delivered by the herb—operated in sharp contrast to the modern carpetbagging companies that also make false claims about the plant, only theirs proclaim inflated benefits in an effort to spur sales.  


CURT’S

CANNABIS

CORNER 

Medical Cannabis

Misinformation

By Curt Robbins

 


A study released in March 2021 investigated the validity of medical cannabis information commonly available via the internet. The research examined the occurrence of phrases such as “marijuana health” and “cannabis benefits” in the lay press, as located using the Google search engine and the marketing service Buzzsumo (a fee-based “bank of social engagement data”).

The study sorted the information sources and articles retrieved into 81 categories. It revealed that a staggering 80 percent of the information retrieved was false. In addition, the study’s authors deemed only five percent of it to be “true” and factual.  

“Health claims were compared to…existing [clinical] trial evidence and categorized as not true, partly true, and true. Disagreements were resolved by discussion,” reported the study’s authors regarding their inclusion and evaluation methodology.

The researchers concluded that “the inadequacy of the current evidence enables the proliferation of untrue claims, which inform the current social discourse on the health benefits of cannabis” and warned that patients and wellness professionals “should be cautious consumers of health information on the internet given the current state of the evidence and proliferation of false claims.”

Non-Clinical Data Not Considered

It should be noted that this study compared the health claims that it found on the internet to “existing [clinical] trial evidence.” Much of the body of credible research regarding the medicinal efficacy of marijuana has been revealed not in clinical trials involving humans, but by animal studies (labelled in vivo). Other times, valid results are obtained from “test tube research” involving no living creatures (called in vitro studies). 

Many clinical practitioners and scientists believe that the data revealed by research outside of human trials is of real value, although it is objectively less reliable and yields less practical or usable data than that provided by carefully executed clinical trials. 

Expensive placebo-controlled double- or triple-blind human trials involving dozens or hundreds of carefully qualified test subjects are the gold standard for researchers in any area of medical science. However, the results of studies involving animals such as rodents often provide valuable insight into underlying biochemical mechanisms that are common to a range of mammals, beyond humans. 

The 2021 study, however, strategically did not encompass non-clinical trial evidence, creating what could be argued to be a bias in its data capture methodology (and, by extension, its conclusions). If the study had limited research to peer-reviewed journals involving both clinical and non-clinical published results, a significantly larger percentage of the articles almost certainly would have been categorized as true, beyond the meager 4.9 percent reported.

Dealing with Misinformation

Misinformation and urban legend have plagued humans and their businesses since the dawn of organized societies. It’s no secret to consumers that, sometimes, companies and their marketing campaigns make claims that are based not in scientific research, but rather in the greed of their owners or investors.

The internet and social media are rife with urban legends spurred by arguably unethical marketing claims from hemp and cannabis companies throughout North America. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to the issue of misinformation in the modern legal cannabis industry and its real impact on patients and lifestyle consumers.

Savvy entrepreneurs should obviously strive to ensure that their medical cannabis information sources are reputable. Many companies, including the author’s clients, refuse to develop content marketing materialssuch as product descriptions, blog articles, white papers, or other promotional assetsthat cite sources outside of peer-reviewed research studies published in reputable journals. 

While most organizations do not limit themselves to research results from clinical studies involving humans, the reliability of medical claims is obviously considerably greater when based on the results of large-scale, comprehensive human trials (more of which would benefit the industry).

Please remember to #LearnAndTeachOthers™ by sharing this article far and wide!

Four Reasons Why Cannabis Businesses Are A Growing Target For Cyberattacks

By Corey Tobin

In today’s dominantly digital world, there are many attributes that make cannabis businesses tempting targets for cybercriminals.

If you run a cannabis business—be it retail, cultivation, manufacturing or distribution—the question of whether you will experience a cyberattack isn’t a matter of if, but when.

So what’s behind these breaches? What’s at stake? And what should your business consider when developing its digital infrastructure?

Here are the top four reasons why cannabis businesses are often targeted by cyberattacks.

  1. It’s an emerging industry
    A recent report by Experian shows that emerging industries continue to be prime targets for cybercriminals. The reason? Often, these types of operations are more focused on the ins-and-outs of starting and growing their new business than they are about their potential exposure to a cyberattack, leaving them vulnerable.
  2. Dispensaries collect sensitive information
    To comply with state laws, cannabis dispensaries are required to obtain and store large quantities of personal information in their point-of-sale systems. In 2020, tens of thousands of pieces of private customer data from multiple U.S. marijuana dispensaries were stolen. Examples of leaked data included full names, photo IDs, phone numbers, home addresses, dates of birth, medical ID numbers, signatures and items purchased.
  3. The lingering stigma regarding cannabis use
    Some customers may not want the public to know they are utilizing cannabis – even though it is legal in their state. This can include high-profile patrons who wish to remain private and customers who do not want their employers to know they have purchased cannabis products. Whatever the reason, this has increased cyber extortion and ransomware attacks on dispensaries as hackers seek to target and extort personal information of patrons who have purchased cannabis products.
  4. It is an end-user driven industry
    From budtenders to cashiers, to shipping and receiving employees, dispensaries are primarily end-user based operations. Which is why, when it comes to cybersecurity concerns, your employees should be your first line of defense against a cyberattack. It is critical to properly train employees on best practices for safeguarding against cybersecurity risks, such as identifying nefarious emails and protecting customer data – to name a few.

Ultimately, you can’t eliminate the risk of a cyberattack completely. You can, however, make sure you have all the pieces in place to be in the best shape should you experience such an event. And it starts with building effective policy language and coverage.

As a cannabis industry specialist, I can help you stay informed on key coverages to protect your business.

If you have any questions related to your coverage, please contact me at ctobin@boltonco.com or 626-703-1556.

Follow along with Corey on Instagram and LinkedIn for more.

Cannabis Has A New Channel Connecting To 250 Million Televisions – In The United States Alone

New streaming media platform gives cannabis companies their best opportunity yet to showcase their brands and reach consumers all around the world through television, online, and mobile apps

NEW YORK: “A New Cannabis Channel” (ANCC), a far-reaching streaming television platform, is set to premiere next month on 4/20, the cannabis industry’s biggest day. The official channel name will be unveiled along with other exciting news in the weeks before the channel bows. Available on the most popular ways people find, consume and engage with content, ANCC offers unprecedented reach and exposure for cannabis, hemp and CBD brands.

ANCC is premiering globally on six television streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TV and LG Channels – services connected to 250 million televisions in just the United States alone. The channel will also be available online and accompanied by mobile apps for Android, iPhone, Amazon Mobile and Kindle.

 

“From the outside looking in, people may think that the cannabis industry is thriving, but there is still a lot of opportunity that has been out of reach,” said Dan Herer, of iconic Jack Herer™ Brands. “The cannabis industry needs to educate the marketplace, and cannabis businesses need a place to showcase their brands. By providing education through entertainment, A New Cannabis Channel blends the solution to these two challenges, opening the marketplace to tens of millions of people around the world like nothing else that is available.”

 

Despite the continuous march toward cannabis legalization in the United States – most recently with New Jersey and Virginia approving adult-use cannabis sales – the ability for brands to find and nurture large audiences remains limited, fractured and increasingly more complicated. Each state has its own regulatory framework, as do many localities, often constricting the manner and message that cannabis brands can use to reach target audiences. ANCC pierces through the complexity and restrictive regulations, offering cannabis businesses the best opportunity yet to advertise, build brand awareness and engage consumers.

With thousands of hours of high-quality video entertainment content, ANCC is empowered by 420MEDIA, which achieved historic firsts by airing 30-second cannabis commercial spots during prime-time programming on networks including BRAVO, Discovery and the History Channel, and the first-ever cannabis ads to air during an NFL Super Bowl. Viewers tuning into ANCC will see flagship series:

  • “5th Quarter” – Hosted by Super Bowl champion Marvin Washington, “5th Quarter” brings a new and higher standard to those seeking information about cannabis from the sports industry.
  • “Nurse Talk” – Cannabis personality “Nurse Heather” Manus, RN introduces important topics about medical cannabis in conversations with medical professionals and patients.
  • “Faces of Cannabis” – Profiling the biggest names in the cannabis industry including pioneers and the people building cannabis into a thriving industry.

 

“People don’t know where to buy, what to buy or how to use cannabis, and those are real problems we solve providing education through entertainment,” said Kerri Accardi, founder of 420MEDIA and the driving force behind A New Cannabis Channel. “Using engaging entertainment to solve the information problem opens new opportunities for cannabis brands, through advertising and product placements. We’re taking this solution even farther by using technology to make calls to action immediately accessible with the tap of a finger. The channel is free to watch, and brands can take full advantage of promotional opportunities for less than their trade show swag budgets.”

 

Leveraging the full internet-based streaming television feature set, advertising takes on a new look as brands are embedded and easily discoverable in every episode. Combined with permanently placed QR codes, viewers instantly leap from programming to product by tapping the screen of their mobile devices. Add-ons extend the reach of advertising with physical world promotional opportunities. And that is only the tip of the branding iceberg created by ANCC.

To get a sneak peek at ANCC streaming content visit its YouTube channel https://bit.ly/3bNDrcO.

Limited advertising and promotional opportunities remain for the 4/20 premiere. Cannabis, hemp and CBD brands interested in joining ANCC advertisers such as Jack Herer™ Brands, Curved Papers, and Chapman Health and Wellness should contact Mark Nockels at mark@anewcannabischannel.com.

“A New Cannabis Channel not only has the opportunity to dispel falsehoods and fiction of cannabis in all its forms, but the responsibility to expose the truth and facts long hidden and even removed from our understanding,” adds Herer. “This channel will not just show us how to survive in this future, but thrive in it. The truth is out: cannabis is the future.”

Greetings From New Jersey, Now The 15th State To Go Green

By Stu Zakim

After a long rollercoaster rider, which saw the Cannabis legislation in New Jersey go through many iterations, this past Monday, it finally became legal.  The Garden State now stands in a unique position of being the epicenter of legal Adult Use and medical Cannabis on the East Coast.  The bigger question is can the current infrastructure manage what will surely be a significant increase in consumers purchasing legal Cannabis without minimizing the importance of keeping the state’s over 100 thousand medical patients fully supplied with the medicine they need to manage their lives in a healthier way than opiates.

Stu Zakim and NORML:’s Keith Stroup

In most of the states where the voters or legislators have approved laws that make Cannabis use legal, there has been a major hit on the medical patients.  New Jersey, in learning from the other states, have addressed a number of issues to avoid making the same mistakes.  They need to be applauded for their focus on the patients rather than the Adult use consumer as it’s all about how the plant makes life better for all.

Besides the celebration of the approval of the bill and Governor Murphy’s signing of it, the new bill will finally deal with the long term impacts of social injustice and equity that have affected communities of brown, black and Latino’s.  No longer can the police arrest someone if they smell of Cannabis or alcohol based on that fact; there are other long needed corrections to how the police deal with underage and Adult use Cannabis in place thanks to the concerted efforts of industry leaders like Leo Bridgewater, Ed Devereux, Scott Rudder, William Caruso, Susanna Short, Happy Munkey and others.

Curved Papers founder Michael O’Malley and Stu Zakim at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade

From a financial perspective, New Jersey is situated between two of the most populous areas in the I-95 corridor on Amtrak – NYC and Philadelphia – and should reap those rewards as it expands its medical program and moves towards awarding more licenses before moving on the Adult Use dispensaries.

As a communications strategist who has spent 8 years preparing for this moment on the East Coast, validates all the principals my friend David Rheins created with his forward thinking Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and their many media properties (including MJNews Network and Marijuana Channel One used to help influence public opinion through educational programs long before others joined that space.

As the legalization process moves forward in NJ and hopefully NYC, please check MJNews for regular updates.  It’s going to be an exciting time and thanks for reading.

‘Nurse Heather’ Is Bringing Cannabis Education To A Mainstream TV Audience

CALIFORNIA: For more than a dozen years, Nurse Heather has been on the cutting edge of medical cannabis education.  Beginning April 20th, 2021, she’ll be taking that knowledge, and her cannabis nurses’ perspective, to a mainstream TV audience in her new role as host of “Nurse Talk”  — one of three on-demand programs debuting on 420MEDIA’s ANewCannabisChannel.com

Each episode of Nurse Talk will feature one-on-one  conversations with leading cannabis nurses, doctors, patients, pioneers, and celebrity athletes, exploring answers to common questions about medical cannabis, with a particular focus on understanding the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid therapeutics, and dosing.

MJNews’ David Rheins had an opportunity to sit down with Nurse Heather this week for an exclusive conversation, during which she explained that her relationship with the plant began as a teenager, where like so many she was introduced to marijuana as a recreational social lubricant.  It was only many years later, as a practicing healthcare professional, that Nurse Heather discovered the powerful medicinal benefits of medical cannabis. A knowledge that she learned directly from from her cannabis-using patients — not through nursing school, professional education, or other healthcare professionals who remained largely ignorant and skeptical of the plant.

As that firsthand patient and clinical experience grew, Nurse Heather began to share that knowledge with other healthcare professionals, and soon became a “go to resource,” public speaker and community leader, picking up the appellation “Cannabis Nurse Heather” along the way. 

Nurse Heather was invited to join an New Mexico dispensary license, assuming the responsibility of sharing with the dispensary staff all she had learned along her journey. She immersed herself on a mission to learn everything she could about the science of cannabis, participating at conferences like Patients Out of Time, Marijuana for Medical Professionals where first discovered the endocannabinoid system.

That knowledge blew “the top of my head off” she told MJNews, “I couldn’t unlearn it, and as a matter of fact I had to share it. It became a passion of mine to help educate my colleagues.”

“Nurse Talk” will debut on April 20, 2021, available for on-demand via Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android and iOS.

Acreage Announces Sale Of Florida Operations To Red White & Bloom Brands

NEW YORK:  Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced its subsidiary, High Street Capital Partners, LLC, has entered into a definitive agreement with Red White and Bloom Brands, Inc., pursuant to which the Buyer will purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Acreage Florida, Inc. for an aggregate purchase price of $60,000,000. Acreage Florida is licensed to operate medical marijuana dispensaries, a processing facility, and a cultivation facility in the state of Florida. The deal also includes the sale of property in Sanderson, Florida.

“The sale of our Florida operations is a significant step in our previously announced operating strategy to focus on those core markets that we believe will accelerate our path to profitability and position us for significant long-term growth and cash generation,” said Peter Caldini, Chief Executive Officer of Acreage Holdings. “The cash proceeds will significantly bolster our balance sheet and position us to accelerate our cultivation expansion projects and open additional dispensaries to support our growth into key adult-use cannabis states such as Illinois and New Jersey.”

Last summer, Acreage announced a focused core-market operating strategy in nine states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The Company currently has active operations and licenses in 13 states and continues to pursue divestitures of its remaining non-core state operations and licenses.

Deal Terms

Aggregate Purchase Price: $60,000,000 in cash, stock, and other cash considerations including:

  • An up-front cash payment of $5,000,000 upon execution of the definitive agreement.
  • An additional $20,000,000 in cash, $7,000,000 in the Buyer’s common stock, and $28,000,000 in promissory notes upon closing the transaction.

Acreage anticipates closing the transaction during the second quarter of 2021.

WeedMD Makes Changes To Leadership, Names George Scorsis Interim CEO

CANADA:  WeedMD, a medical cannabis licensed company operating in Strathroy, Ontario, has a new leader at its helm.

WeedMD announced that George Scorsis will take over as the organization’s Interim CEO. Since 2019, Scorsis has served as WeedMD’s Executive Chairman.  Currently, the company owns and operates a 158-acre state-of-the-art greenhouse and processing facility.

“As we continue on the path of executing our new product strategy and building an expanded distribution network, we are initiating a leadership transition that will position us strongly for this next phase. Additionally, the organization will focus on optimizing all aspects of the business,” Scorsis commented.

During his time at WeedMD, Scorsis has served in a variety of roles and has led initiatives and managed relationships with members and key stakeholders. He has over 25 years of business experience and was instrumental in restructuring Red Bull Canada, growing the company to $150 MM in revenue and also acted as President of Mettrum, a licenced producer.

In addition to this news, most recently, WeedMD announced the expansion of its Cannabis 2.0 product portfolio, with the introduction of terpene-infused vapes to be sold under its Saturday Cannabis branded line-up.  The flavored strains, which come in lemon haze and sour pineapple, are available to consumers through the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The launch of flavored vapes is another way the company is executing on its commercial growth plans.

“We are kicking off 2021 with a focused approach on increasing market share and commercial growth of our Color Cannabis and Saturday brands, while expanding our medical footprint through our Starseed portfolio. This includes an aggressive plan to transition WeedMD into a consumer-facing model of excellence. Ultimately becoming hyper-focused on driving meaningful results, while optimizing the organization for future success to deliver shareholder value,” George Scorsis commented.

The Saturday-branded vapes are produced at WeedMD’s extraction hub in Aylmer, Ontario and  join its line of Color Cannabis.

The debut comes after WeedMD began selling Black Sugar Rose to the Ontario Cannabis Store for adult-use earlier in December. WeedMD is the first cultivar to carry a terpene profile listing.  Black Sugar Rose is an indica-dominant hybrid whose whole flower product is currently available with a terpene profile of 3.6 per cent and THC level of 20 per cent.

Scorsis: “With Black Sugar Rose, we wanted to respond to the call for new cultivars, flower integrity, greater product diversity while responding to consumers’ request for less packaging.  Selling the product is just another way WeedMD is enhancing its appeal and accommodating an ever-evolving, national consumer base.”

Curtis Wallace, Head of Cultivation at WeedMD, added, “Cultivating and releasing Black Sugar Rose in Ontario is a proud achievement and pays homage to WeedMD’s cultivation pedigree and tradition for excellence.”

Terpenes are natural organic compounds that exist in all plants found in nature, including cannabis. They play a key role in aroma and flavour of individual cultivars and can be consumed in combination with cannabinoids.

WeedMD also made the decision to display total terpenes on its packaging at a time when cannabis users, and those who are new to cannabis, are looking for more information.

In an interview, Curtis Wallace said: “We now share full visibility on total terpenes, just like cannabinoids. Consumers and patients that are purchasing Color and Starseed flowers will value this new data point. From our perspective, a flower’s total terpene percentage is another number that matters, and knowledge is power.”

As WeedMD progresses into its next stages, George Scorsis will continue to work closely with the team to enhance customer experience, broaden distribution and work to increase sales on a national level.

 

Curved Papers & Empire State NORML Kick Off ‘Do The Right Thing, New York’ PSA Campaign

NEW YORK: This week Curved Papers and the New York State Chapters of NORML kicked off Do The Right Thing, New York, a PSA marketing campaign designed to raise awareness and support  for The Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA), one of two competing bills to legalize adult use in what will be the sixteenth or seventeenth state to do so.

As part of the campaign, Curved Papers produced a 7-page primer called “Seven Points About Legalization In New York State 2021,” which explains with pictures, why the MRTA is vastly preferable for cannabis community members, the consumer, the industry and the general public.

“Not only does the MRTA better address core issues of concern to the citizenry across New York State, equity, justice, home grow and sustainability,” Michael O’Malley, Curved Papers Founder told MJNews, “the CRTA is actually a poor solution, and moves all these issues in the wrong direction, or perpetuates problems the MRTA solves.”

Curved Papers is a licensee of NORML, and supports NORML with a royalty on its NORML Curved Papers, made from 100% organic hemp.

Curved Papers was granted the first Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the first NYC NORML Awards in 2019 and takes that honor seriously. A New York company founded by a guy from Brooklyn, the time is now for our home state.

Curved Papers and MJBA share the concept of “cannafest destiny,” the green wave of legalization moving from the West to the East which is finally really crashing on our New York shores. Time to do the right thing, New York!

If you’re a New Yorker, please use this convenient tool to reach out to your representatives in the Senate and the Assembly, and to the Governor, and let them know you support equity, justice, home grow and sustainability. Pass the MRTA now!

DTRTNY will be sharing this link during live online events for the next four Mondays! This Monday join a WATCH PARTY ACTION, featuring “Grass Is Greener,” the seminal film by Fab Five Freddie, a New Yorker if there ever was one.