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🌿 Cuomo Addresses New York 🌿

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    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.

    New York looks ahead to potential legalization plans in 2020. Scientists make a breakthrough discovery. The industry attempts to overcome headaches that defined last year’s market. And cannabis entrepreneurs begin partnering with mainstream businesses.

    CannaGather Los Angeles hosted their inaugural 2020 event, linking up with major cannabis players to discuss new local, state, and nationwide regulations, including what has changed, what to expect, and how to stay compliant.

    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

    January 15 // Orange County, CA // CGOC January 2020

    January 16 // Baltimore, MD // Bubbling Up: Science & Cannabis

    January 21 // New York, NY // Cannabis Market Playbook 2020: A Brand Insider’s View

    January 30 // Detroit, MI // CannaGather Detroit Kickoff

    February 4 // Los Angeles, CA // CGLA February 2020

    // Entrepreneurship

    Partnerships with Mainstream Businesses

    As cannabis becomes more widespread and accepted by the public, entrepreneurs in the industry have the chance to team up with mainstream businesses – a sign that the industry is maturing. Examples range from CBD gummies and infused drinks to pharmaceutical-grade medications. These opportunities come with a list of benefits and hazards.

    Marijuana Business Magazine took a close look at five partnerships between cannabis companies and mainstream businesses, some successful and some failed (give it a read!). These include:

    • Case study 1: AbsoluteXtracts (CannaCraft) and Lagunitas Brewing Co.
    • Case study 2: Plus Products and Casper Sleep
    • Case study 3: CV Sciences and CVS Pharmacy, CV Sciences and Kroger
    • Case study 4: Vireo Health and Ligand Pharmaceuticals
    • Case study 5: Isodiol and Asian-American Trade Associations Channel

    What This Means and Why You Care: Cannabis entrepreneurs can now expand into new sectors and leverage the network of select mainstream industries. With this power comes great responsibility, and case studies such as these help to better understand how to make these partnerships successful.

    // Finance

    Recent Business News

    Here’s a look at some of the major cannabis business stories from this month:

    Aurora Cannabis officially listed its Exeter, Ontario greenhouse for sale, setting a price of C$17 million. MKM Partners analyst Bill Kirk notes that the move “implies massive writedowns” are coming. “We are also discouraged with the visibility of Aurora’s strategy,” he says, adding that “investors were unaware Aurora was trying to sell Exeter.”

    Sales by cannabis packager KushCo were significantly hurt by the vaping crisis. Their fiscal first quarter earnings of $35 million are a significant dip from the fiscal fourth quarter revenue of $47 million. KushCo Chief Executive Nick Kovacevich said that a “widespread industry slowdown [was] caused in large part by the black-market vaping crisis.”

    Canadian cannabis tech company Keep Labs pulled out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) after the Las Vegas-based conference outlined constraints on promoting certain products. Organizers prohibited Keep Labs from “mentioning the word cannabis, showing cannabis in promotional materials, or discussing what the Keep device does,” saying that acceptance of marijuana is not widespread enough yet.

    What This Means and Why You Care: The cannabis industry looks to turn over a new leaf in 2020, but not without obstacles. Businesses are still dealing with repercussions of the major headaches that came to define 2019.

    // Legal

    NY Legalization: A Top Administrative Priority

    In his State of the State address last week, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo made clear that marijuana legalization will be high on the list of administrative priorities in 2020. Cuomo signed a bill in Summer 2019 that further decriminalized marijuana possession and allowed individuals with prior cannabis convictions to have their records expunged, but last year’s efforts to get cannabis legalization passed were unsuccessful. This year, however, he has higher hopes. In the State of the State brief book, Cuomo laid out the philosophy behind his continued efforts: “Cannabis legalization has the potential to have a significant economic impact on distressed areas in NY, creating thousands of new jobs, spurring billions in economic activity, and generating an estimated $300 million in tax revenue when fully implemented.”
    Cuomo’s speech broke down the basic principals of the proposed system, highlighting the ways his new plan could create economic growth, enhance social progress, allow restorative justice, and promote public health. It also includes the creation of the “Global Cannabis Center for Science, Research and Education” through the SUNY system, where research will focus on toxicity, bioavailability, dosing mechanisms, and safety practices related to cannabis use. By prioritizing social equity first through various licensing opportunities, he intends to increase accessibility to capital and technical assistance, while generating an increase in equity entrepreneurs. 
    What This Means and Why You Care: While Cuomo’s plans for legalization are, for the time being, just plans, his State of the State address underlines the hopes for 2020. NY will be looking to its government leaders to develop and execute a successful plan that benefits the local economy and focuses on social equity.

    // Medicine, Science, & Technology

    A Breakthrough Discovery

    Italian researchers have discovered two new compounds: THCP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol) and CBDP (cannabidiphorol). When isolated, they found that THCP binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors of human’s endocannbinoid system. Their breakthrough, described in a report published by the journal Nature, suggests that THCP could be 30 times more potent than THC.

    Scientists set out to research the effectiveness of cannabinoids for dystonia patients. Dystonia is “a movement disorder characterized by sustained or intermittent muscle contractions causing abnormal movements and postures. Patients could also also “display non-motor signs and symptoms including psychiatric and sensory disturbances.” The researchers concluded that “cannabinoids seem to be effective in single cases but further studies are required to improve our understanding on their role as complementary treatment in dystonia.”

    In a study released by the European Journal of Epilepsy, researchers were able to find that “newly available evidence supports earlier findings that cannabidiol probably reduces the frequency of seizures among children with drug-resistant epilepsy.”

    What This Means and Why You Care: The discovery of THCP could be linked to the variety of effects from different strains of cannabis. The expansion of our knowledge in this area will help provide clarity for many facets of the industry moving forward.

    // Community

    CGLA 2020 Kickoff!

    Industry professionals linked up at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club last week for the final CGLA event in Santa Monica before the move to a larger facility in Mid City. Green Bits Compliance Officer Brittany Radice and Calvia’s Director of Government Affairs Hirsh Jain joined as keynote speakers. They covered 2020’s new local, state, and nationwide regulations, including what has changed, what to expect, and how to stay compliant.

    Cameron and Shannon Hattan, Co-Founders of of industry-leading brand Fiddler’s Greens & High Tide Distribution, also joined CGLA to share their amazing story of navigating the industry through several “extinction” events, dominating sales in a crowded sea of brands, and how they’ve successfully navigated the BCC and Metrc era while staying true to their roots.

    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 josh@cannagather.com for more info.

    Written by Justin Bernstein

    Contribution by Michela Proto

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