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🌿 CARES Act & Cannabis 🌿

🌿 CARES Act & Cannabis 🌿

Welcome back to our weekly newsletter, which outlines recent cannabis news you need to know about related to entrepreneurship, finance, legal, medicine, science, and technology.

Join us this Thursday, April 16 for a live CannaGather Digital: Cannabis Cultivation in 2020! RSVP (required) for free here. This week, we’ll host Josh Haupt (Chief Cultivation Officer at Medicine Man and Author of “Three A Light”) and Cassandra Maffey (CEO of Scalable Living Soil Technology) for an in-depth conversation about the current state of cultivation in our industry. If you’d like to speak at, sponsor, or otherwise collaborate on a future CannaGather Digital, email Rico Lamitte.

What’s going on this week: We take look at the CARES Act for cannabis companies. March sales paint a new picture of the industry. iAnthus can’t make its interest payments. A new study finds that cannabis may help ease symptoms of opioid withdrawal. And cannabusinesses give back to their communities.

Would you like to become a sponsor of our weekly Leaflet? Email me for more information.

Know someone who is just as cannacurious as you are? Be sure to share this newsletter to keep them in the loop!

// CannaGather Calendar

April 16 // CannaGather Digital // Cannabis Cultivation in 2020

COVID-19 is a dangerous, deadly pandemic that enjoys exponential growth through the interaction of nodes in a social network.

As such, we have cancelled all in-person CannaGathers through 4/21 and are exploring digital alternatives. 

The CDC’s guideline is that this will continue through mid-May and we hope to recommence in-person CannaGathers thereafter.

// Entrepreneurship

Cannabusinesses Do the Right Thing

All around the country, cannabis companies have taken important precautions and some have even pivoted to supply needed products to the masses amid the COVID-19 crisis. Here are just a few examples of how the industry’s entrepreneurs have stepped up:

  • Jahlibyrd, a California-based cannabis company, decided to make and brand hand sanitizer with a vodka producer. They also donated masks to health-care workers and offered industrial space to food kitchens. “We are just trying to cover this thing on all fronts,” said their head of construction.
  • Platinum, a cannabis product manufacturer in California and Michigan, sewed together masks for use inside the company and for donation to local hospital workers. They have also donated masks, gloves, and food to workers and consumers at cannabis facilities in California.  
  • Aloha Green Holdings, a Hawaii-based owner of cultivation, processing, and retail facilities, now produces hand sanitizer for medical patients and local emergency services, and has donated large amounts to hospitals and fire and police services. “Supporting out local community is a foundational goal for our company,” their CEO said.

What this means and why you care: Cannabis companies across the states seek to give back to their communities. For the industry and for individual entrepreneurs, solution-based actions and a focus on local communities couldn’t be more important at this time.

// Finance

Bad News for iAnthus, and more…

New York-based cannabis operator iAnthus can’t make its interest payments, and the company’s CEO is being investigated for a potential conflict of interest. This, after previous capital issues and litigation with an investor, presents a pretty troublesome outlook for the firm.

Monthly recreational marijuana sales in Colorado and Nevada declined this March for the first time. Although sales are are up in California and Washington, the rise wasn’t nearly as great as expected.

Oregon, on the other hand, sold $84.5 million in adult-use and medical marijuana products this March, a record for any month. Cannabis sales in the state are up 30% year-over-year from March 2019.

Ontario reversed its decision to close down private-sector cannabis shops, and stores are now engaged in e-commerce and deliveries. Although the province will not issue any new authorizations at this time, the ability for businesses to continue operation gives the sector an opportunity to maintain growth.

What this means and why you care: As the world deals with the COVID-19 crisis, the cannabis market reacts. Some firms like iAnthus will battle to survive and other companies will be forced adapt to their region’s regulations.

// Legal

CARES Act & Cannabis

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is one of the most expansive relief packages in American history, but the cannabis industry could be left out. Codie Sanchez, managing director at cannabis private equity firm Entourage Effect Capital, spoke with Marijuana Business Daily about the CARES Act and their suggestions for programs that cannabis businesses can utilize. Their main thoughts are listed below:

  • Review the entire bill, or reference this guide.
  • Apply early to potential programs through your bank or large Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders, such as Fountainhead.
  • If you have insurance, state-mandated business closures could trigger “civil authority” coverage (outlined here).

Codie Sanchez also highlighted credits that include the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), employer payroll tax delay, paid sick leave/payroll tax credits, and loss credits. She also lists some potential loans such as state-specific programs, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), relief loans, paycheck protection loans 7(a), rewards, and repayment.

Check out an expanded version of this information here.

What this means and why you care: The cannabis industry has generated billions of dollars and contributed large sums of taxes while employing thousands of workers, but the sector is potentially missed in the CARES Act. The advice from this outline mainly stresses two things: “act quickly and ask for the allowances you and your employees deserve.”

// Medicine, Science, & Technology

Cannabis for Opioid Withdrawal

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that cannabis may ease common symptoms of opioid withdrawal. In the study, 200 people with past-month opioid use were asked about their symptoms after the consumption of marijuana. 72% of respondents who used cannabis claimed that it eased their symptoms, with only 6.4% saying it made them feel worse.

Participants on average said that cannabis helped ease all 18 symptoms examined by the researchers. Anxiety was the most frequently reported improved symptom (76.2%), followed by tremors, trouble sleeping, bone and muscle aches, restlessness, vomiting, and hot flashes. Among the good news were some accounts of symptoms made worse (at much lower rates), such as yawning, runny nose, and teary eyes. Women reported a greater degree of relief than men. “These results show that cannabis may improve opioid withdrawal symptoms and that the size of the effect is clinically meaningful.”

Other recent studies had related conclusions. One found that opioid prescriptions are down in states with legal marijuana, and another showed that everyday cannabis use reduced opioid use in chronic pain patients. Federal funding has become more available for researchers so they can look into cannabinoids as a safer painkiller alternative. “At least four states already include opioid use disorder (OUD) as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.”

What this means and why you care: A majority of co-users of cannabis and opioids in this study believe cannabis helped them ease opioid withdrawals, but further studies will be conducted to gain clarity on the specifics of treatment. Look out for future examples of how cannabis can help the countless number of victims of opioid addiction.

// Community

CannaGather Digital

Last Thursday, we hosted another insightful live CannaGather Digital, where cannabis industry thought leaders joined up to discuss current events in the green business during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The online event featured Aaron Smith (NCIA, Co-Founder & Executive Director), Seun Adedeji (CEO of Elev8 Cannabis), and Shanel Lindsay, J.D. (Founder & CEO of Ardent Life). If you’d like to speak at, sponsor, or otherwise collaborate on a future CannaGather Digital, email Rico Lamitte.

Would you like to become a sponsor of our weekly Leaflet? Email me for more information.

Do you want to join the CannaGather team in another capacity? We would love to have you on board as we grow! Email CannaGather founder Josh Weinstein for more information.

Written by Justin Bernstein

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