🌿 Leaflet: Michigan & Illinois Join the Party 🌿 canabodial
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.
What’s new this week? MJBizCon 2019 kicks off while Michigan and Illinois become the most recent states to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Scientific studies paint new pictures for medical patients. And Wall Street traders continue to bet against the industry.
CannaGather LA hosted a night focused on distribution and manufacturing last week, and CannaGather Colorado previewed MJBizCon with MJBiz Daily’s CEO and Founding Editor. Be sure to join us at a CannaGather in your city, where we continue to network and explore the latest progress in our communities as the reach of cannabis increases.
Know someone who is just as cannacurious as you are? Be sure to share this newsletter to keep them in the loop!
// CannaGather Calendar
December 17 // New York, NY // 2019: A Year in Review with State Senator Diane Savino & (depending on impeachment schedule) Congressman Jerry Nadler
MJBizCon 2019 is Here!
Taking place this week, MJBizCon brings 35 thousand cannabis business professionals to Las Vegas, with programming lined up to appeal to entrepreneurs in a wide range of sectors. The main gathering will host a series of B2B events at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but global recognition of the conference expands its significance to provide additional avenues to “learn, network, explore, reward, and get business done.” Highlighted events include a speaking session with Netflix Founder and CEO Marc Randolph, the Investor Intelligence Conference, and the MJBiz Daily Awards.
In other news (and to piggyback off of last month’s discussion regarding Drake/Canopy Growth and the role of celebrities in the industry), two big names made splashes this week. Iconic rapper Lil Wayne released his own brand of high-THC products, called GKUA Ultra Premium, tasted and approved by the artist himself. Also, NBA star Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures has joined the Strategic Advisory Board of cannabis venture capital firm Canopy Rivers.
What This Means and Why You Care: MJBizCon provides a great opportunity for cannabis entrepreneurs of all levels to leverage a large and diverse network of industry-participants. The week is a chance to make connections and learn about new products and emerging trends.
Traders Stay Bearish on Cannabis Stocks
Wall Street continues to bet against the cannabis market, according to a new report from the financial analytics firm S3 Partners. Their statistics show that the current climate has added a net of approximately $1.4 billion of short positions for the industry through the first 11 months of 2019. The data collected also reveals that four of the top-ten stocks with the highest borrow fees are cannabis companies (Aurora Cannabis, Tilray, Hexo, and Aphria), indicating a high demand to short. The North American Marijuana Index has fallen over 44% this year as disappointing earnings reports, falling price targets, and the vaping crisis create headaches for the industry.
Now let’s take a look at some of the activity from the week: Canopy Growth announced their “Cannabis 2.0” product line (which includes a Distilled Cannabis concept, chocolates, vape cartridges, and vape pens) will begin rolling out in January; California-based cannabis and hemp infusion technology company Vertosa closed a $6 million seed funding round; Leaf Trade, a cannabis tech startup from Chicago, raised a $4.5 million seed round; and Denver-based GrowGeneration, a chain of retail hydroponic centers, commenced trading on the NASDAQ.
What This Means and Why You Care: The cannabis industry hosts a volatile market, so it is important to understand where things stand on a regular basis. 2019 has seen list of negative signs slash stocks, but as the industry matures and legalization efforts continue, keep an eye out for a shift in the new year.
Michigan and Illinois Add to Growing U.S. Legalization
It’s official! Michigan residents are now able buy legal recreational cannabis, making them the first in the Midwest to adopt this policy. Illinois will join in on the fun when sales begin on January 1 with a bill that lays out other important steps forward. Criminal justice aspects of the Illinois legislation open the door for a massive expungement of records (numbers may reach 77 thousand) of individuals previously convicted of cannabis possession, and social equity components give minority business owners unique abilities to gain early traction within the new industry.
These recent events contribute to the rapid shift in policy. Last year, states such as Missouri, Utah, and even Oklahoma voted to legalize medical cannabis. The uptick brings the number of states with legal recreational use to 11 (plus Washington, D.C.), with 33 states that legalized it medically. This is all in addition to the rise of hemp and hemp-derived products (such as CBD), which were legalized a year ago after passage of the Farm Bill.
What This Means and Why You Care: Widespread cannabis legalization is happening. Even though the pace might feel slow, and although failed New York and New Jersey legislation brings disappointment, the overall movement looks to be unstoppable.
// Medicine, Science, & Technology
New Scientific Studies This Week
Scientists researching the effectiveness of topical CBD Oil in symptom relief of peripheral neuropathy published their findings in the Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology journal this week, concluding that a “transdermal application of CBD oil can achieve significant improvement in pain and other disturbing sensations in patients with peripheral neuropathy.”
The Journal of Clinical Oncology conducted a survey of oncologists revealing that “about half thought [medical cannabis] was beneficial for older adults with Cancer.” Another study, published in Contemporary Therapies of Medicine, found that “cancer survivors are increasingly interested in using medical cannabinoids for symptom relief and treatment-related side effects.”
A test looking into the “short-term effects of cannabis consumption on cognitive performance in medical cannabis patients” was published in the Applied Neuropsychology: Adult journal. The observational study showed that “performance on neuropsychological tests remained stable or even improved during the acute intoxication stage, and continued to increase during Recovery.” The outcome provided no evidence that THC-intoxication caused any decline in cognitive ability.
What This Means and Why You Care: The ability of cannabis to treat a range of medical issues is finally coming to light as researchers gain interest and funding in a legal environment to test new products and theories.
LA and Colorado Host Exciting Events
CannaGather LA had an educational night last Tuesday focused on cannabis distribution and manufacturing. Guests included Distru CEO Blaine Hatab, Rocky Mountain Cannabis Consulting CEO BriAnne Ramsay, Green Bits Founder Ben Curren, and Vicente Sederberg corporate & securities attorney Ilya Ross.
In Colorado, CannaGather sat down with MJBiz Daily CEO and Founding Editor Chris Walsh to talk about his path through the cannabis industry and what to expect at this week’s MJBizCon.
Do you want to get involved and join the CannaGather team? We would love to have you on board as we grow! You can email CannaGather founder Josh Weinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Written by Justin Bernstein