The Week In Cannabis: Illinois Goes Rec, Federal Commerce And Banking Bills, Surterra's $100M Raise And More – Yahoo Finance


While cannabis wasn’t really a hot topic in the Democratic presidential debate last week, it was trending in the news after Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker printed his autograph on the legalization bill, making the state the 11th to legalize adult-use marijuana. Commenting on the issue, Debra Borchart, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga what she likes most about Illinois’ approach is “that the legislation will also expunge the records of over 700,000 residents convicted of marijuana-related offenses.

“The bill also includes a ‘social equity program,’ which makes it easier for those with marijuana convictions to get business licenses and the program also allocates $12 million for startup businesses related to cannabis,” she said.

On the federal level, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced a bill into Congress that would allow for inter-state cannabis commerce. Another bill that would provide protections to banks that service legal cannabis businesses was passed in the House and is now in Senators’ hands.

Kyle Jaeger, associate editor of Marijuana Moment, is one of the people with their ears closer to the Hill’s beat when it comes to cannabis-related topics. When asked for commentary on these developments, he mentioned that, after years of inaction and stalling, Congress finally seems positioned to “take the incremental steps needed to legitimize and normalize this expanding industry.

“Freeing up banks to service cannabis businesses is considered one of the most commonsense legislative changes lawmakers can enact while advocates rally support for broader reform, and the bipartisan nature of the legislation bodes well for its passage in the Senate,” said Jaeger. The Senate’s appetite for inter-state cannabis commerce is yet to be seen, but recent legislative developments suggest a friendlier approach toward marijuana intiatives in general.” data-reactid=”23″>If you want to get this news recap in your email inbox every week, please subscribe to

Surterra CEO William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr. told Benzinga, “The results of our Series D funding round illustrate how much trust sophisticated, curated investors have in our vision, business model, and financial track record.”

Over the last five trading days:

Here are some of the top marijuana stocks (market cap above $500 million) in U.S. exchanges and how the performed over the last five trading days:

Surterra Wellness also acquired Boston-based Molecular Infusions (Mi). This marked the company’s third acquisition in six months. “Through Mi’s advanced R&D platforms, we will reimagine product formulations and delivery strategies, allowing patients and consumers to benefit from cannabinoids in more effective and predictable ways – both today and in the future,” said Wrigley, Jr.

After much legislative back and forth, Maine finally set up its legal framework for the sale of adult use cannabis, more than two years after citizens voted for legalized sales. Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill into law Thursday. The governor’s office said it will accept business license applications by the end of 2019. See more detailas here.

Founding Partner Catharine Dockery told Benzinga, “I’ve found that Vice Ventures is often a very divisive topic – some people think of us as drug runners or arms dealers, and others see us as social arbitrageurs. I tend to see us as much more of the latter. We have a catchy name and concept, to be sure, but we care deeply about working with founders who create products for consenting and informed adults. Binary approaches towards vices, from the prohibition of alcohol to the inclusion of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug, have had little success and have caused real social harm in the United States. The social winds of change are blowing, and if we execute on our thesis I’m confident we can deliver exceptional returns to our investors.”

“Pride Passion is such a special flavor and collaboration for Fruit Slabs. Being able to work closely with La Ganja Estranja and have a true ambassador bring our product to the LGTBQ community makes a huge impact,” said Roxanne Dennant, Fruit Slabs CEO. “This product is for everyone, but it is a uniquely honoring our LGBTQ friends.”

WGBH News in Boston, KPBS in San Diego, Arizona PBS, NJTV News and WTTW in Chicago recently collaborated to produce “Cannabis Country,” a half-hour news special covering the state of marijuana across the country.

WGBH News takes a look at the new Massachusetts recreational marijuana industry and also grapples with the lack of research on medical marijuana. KPBS takes a look at San Diego cannabis cultivators attempting to meet the demands of a burgeoning legal market. Arizona’s AZPBS takes a look at the business of medical marijuana through the lens of the banking industry, a tricky venture given the drug’s illegal federal status. New Jersey’s NJTV takes a criminal justice angle, digging into how possible legalization in the state would affect those in the criminal justice system with marijuana charges and how law enforcement would need to adapt to a change in legal status. Chicago’s WTTW speaks with both Illinois doctors and patients to learn more about the plant’s medicinal properties. 

Kate Zachry, news director at WGBH News said, “With ‘Cannabis Country’ we created a nationally relevant program by pooling the resources of local public media newsrooms across America. The program demonstrates the power of public media to uncover the stories most important to our communities and the flexibility of the system to deliver these stories to new audiences.”

The first cannabis cuttings were planted at the 160-acre field in the province hours after the license came through, Canopy said. See more details. The company also completed a transaction to acquire Canada-based KeyLeaf Life Sciences, a bio-product extractor company.

“Cannabis cultivators know how time consuming the monitoring and reporting of everything that comes with compliance can be. From tracking weights and inventory to ensuring plants of a certain growth stage are in the right place and information is accurately reported, the GeoShepard application empowers growers and garden employees to streamline the cumbersome process — easier, faster, more accurate – right from their smartphone,” said CEO Michael Lands.

“Since the end of CA’s Cannabis prohibition, I have followed the cannabis industry closely and saw its potential. Given my experiences in the wine and spirits space, I see the parallels between the two industries. I feel I can be a tremendous asset in broadening distribution of Vertical’s vast Cannabis/CBD brand portfolios, and in the designing of sales structures in the legal markets,” he told Benzinga.

The funds will be fundamental for the company co-founded by Kate Miller and Anna Duckworth, as it prepares to launch its owned product, expand its team, and scale its marketing and partnerships efforts.

“We’re building Miss Grass as a brand that represents how cannabis actually fits into our lives,” asaid Kate Miller, co-founder and CEO of Miss Grass. “When I worked in a medical dispensary in 2008, there weren’t any brands that did that, that authentically spoke to the modern consumer. In this evolving industry, creating a strong brand with a loyal community is the recipe for an enduring business. And with our direct relationship to our consumer we see there’s a huge appetite for our educational content, product curation, and real experiences. We’re excited to launch product based on what we know our community wants.” 

Allen told Benzinga, “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience in managing the business and finances of numerous companies in order to help MariMed capitalize on its innovative product and business strategies during this exciting period of growth in the cannabis and hemp industries. As an easing in the banking restrictions is being considered, we are closely analyzing every aspect to ready MariMed for the transition, as this normalization of the business cycle  will likely enable even more investment and growth.”

Vinay Tolia, Flowr’s CEO told Benzinga, “We had been looking for a global partner for some time and when we met the Holigen team we were extremely excited about their GMP, regulatory and pharma expertise plus the sheer scale of their assets. The combination of Flowr’s cultivation expertise and the mix of Hoiligen’s team and assets makes this a highly complementary acquisition to service the European and Australasia markets.”

The UK’s Centre for Medicinal Cannabis released its latest report. Titled “CBD in the UK: Towards a responsible innovative, and high-quality cannabidiol industry,” the report provides wide-ranging recommendations including amending existing out-of-date legislation; clarity relating to current policy; investment in medical research; and self-regulation among existing business owners. See more details.

True Leaf’s hemp-based supplements will be the first products for pets sold by a Namaste e-commerce platform when the line launches on Namaste’s

“We’re excited to expand our online direct-to-consumer strategy with Namaste,” said Darcy Bomford, Founder and CEO of True Leaf. “In addition to being in more than 3,500 stores worldwide, we’re seeing tremendous growth online with direct-to-consumer sales. We also look forward to working with Namaste as a key distribution partner when we launch our line of legally-compliant CBD products for pets.”

“We are pleased with the continued confidence in our cannabis tracking technology and look forward to further expanding our market presence as the industry grows,” said Zachary L. Venegas, Executive Chairman and CEO of Helix TCS, Inc.

Cannabis beverage company K-Zen Beverages announced the launch of its first brand, S-Shots, a line of cannabis-infused wellness shots developed with natural ingredients.

“With S-Shots, we wanted to create a brand of great tasting, convenient cannabis wellness shots that appeal to all cannabis users, from the experienced to the curious,” said K-Zen Beverages co-founder and co-CEO Judy Yee. “We’re on a mission to share the benefits of cannabis beverages, and with these four initial S-Shot SKUs, we’re excited to help consumers find the sensations they seek through consistent formulas, delicious flavors and rapid, predictable results.”

Ori Bytton, CEO of Natura Life + Science, said, “We believe Cannibble’s recipes and products solve an important problem in the edibles category, and we thrilled to be working with them to bring their products from Israel into the US market for the first time. This type of partnership is what Natura is all about given our commitment to help cannabis brands launch, scale, and ultimately thrive in the budding cannabis market. It’s a win for both of us – Cannibble will grow, and we will be able to offer our manufacturing partners and US consumers cannabis food products that they haven’t had access to before.”

CannAmerica Brands signed a non-binding letter of intent with Canna Provision for an exclusive license to manufacture and distribute CannAmerica branded cannabis infused gummy products and disposable vape pens, and Live Labs branded cannabis concentrate products, including droppers, shatter and wax concentrate products, and gelatin based capsules in Massachusetts.

“Expanding into the New England region has been a fundamental goal for CannAmerica, we’re looking forward to the prospects of our agreement with Canna Provisions and introducing our products to a thriving, new market,” said Dan Anglin, CEO and Co-Founder of CannAmerica.

“Daytrip is on a mission to set the gold standard for cannabis consumables. We plan to completely redefine expectations for CBD and THC infused products, and we’re thrilled with the initial reaction to our sparkling water line,” said Shawn Biega, CEO Daytrip.

Learn more about these and other news with out friends at Marijuana Money.

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

• Cannabis Advocate Jonathan Hay Drops New Jazz Album, Looking To Repeat Recent Billboard Success

• Scoop: ParcelPal Inks Deal With Ontario Craft Brewery Cowbell

• Study: Association Between Medical Marijuana, Opioid Deaths Could Be ‘Spurious’

• Medicine Man’s Andy Williams On M&A, Colombia: ‘We Can Become A Dominant Supplier Of Cannabis To The World’

• How Brands Can Benefit From Pride Month When Making A Genuine Effort

• Video: Five Minutes With Dr. Dina, Hollywood’s Medical Marijuana Maven

• But, Which Spectrum? What You Need To Know About Hemp And Its Chemical Compounds

• Cannabis Sits At The Epicenter Of The Plant-Based Medicine Movement

• A European Landscape: The 21st Century’s Women In Cannabis – And An Event For Us

• Cannabis May Treat Fibromyalgia Pain, According To New Study

• Why Marijuana Companies Are Rebranding Themselves As Health Care Companies  

• Here’s What CBD Can’t Do For You

• The Secret Sauce Behind The Best Performing Cannabis ETF In Canada

• Discussing MPX International’s South Africa Joint Venture With CEO Scott Boyes

• From Tea To THC: The Heady Rise Of Growpacker’s Stephen Boyd

• Cowen: Aurora Is ‘Top Pick In Cannabis’

• How Are New Innovations Driving The Cannabis Market Growth?

• Meet The 3 Biggest Industries Investing In Cannabis” data-reactid=”138″>Check out these and many other cannabis stories on

August 17-18: The 9th CannaGrow Expo will take place in Palm Springs, California, featuring more than 35 cultivation-focused educational sessions and an expo hall filled with cannabis-related technologies. “One thing that differentiates CannaGrow Expo from other cannabis events is the exciting educational content focused on the foundations of the cannabis industry,” says Jessi Rae, COO of CannaConnections, producers of CannaGrow, DispensaryNext and Science of Cannabis Summit. CannaGrow Expo will feature a special Extraction Summit and the popular Grower Networking Roundtables. Pass prices range from $69 – $399. For more information and to purchase passes, please visit for more information. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.” data-reactid=”153″>© 2019 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared here in

Leave a Reply