Cannabis news briefs: Canopy Rivers goes public, Aurora Cannabis goes global, medical professionals go for cannabis
Canadian marijuana firm Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED) (NYSE:CGC) spun off its venture-capital arm Canopy Rivers. The new company makes minority investments in marijuana startups. The company, which makes minority investments in burgeoning marijuana concerns run by teams with a track record of success hopes to become the "Google Ventures of cannabis." To date, the firm has made 11 investments in smaller cannabis companies.
Canopy Rivers entered the Toronto Stock Exchange via a reverse takeover of a company formerly known as AIM2 Ventures. Shares of the company began trading on the exchange at $18.44 Thursday morning.
Canopy Growth owns an approximate 25 percent stake in Canopy Rivers and controls about 90 percent of the voting rights. Three-quarters of the venture’s roughly $200 million of investments have come from institutional investors.
"Canopy Rivers presents a world of opportunity for its partners and for Canopy Growth," CEO Bruce Linton said in a press release. "In Canopy, I don't want to be in the business of growth directly, by trying to make bets on stocks through buying and selling," CEO Bruce Linton told the Canadian program Midas Letter last week. "In Rivers, we want to be in that business. We're not just putting cash into them; we're putting intellectual skills and expertise."
Aurora Cannabis purchases Lithuanian hemp companies
Canada's second largest licensed producer, Aurora Cannabis, purchased two Lithuanian hemp companies for a total of $7.3 million, in cash and stock. Aurora bought seed contractor and processor Agropro UAB, and Borela UAB, a processor and distributor of hemp-based food products.
It’s the second major acquisition by a Canadian cannabis company in Europe in the past month. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd., Ancaster, Ontario, bought Polish hemp firm HemPoland for $17.4 million.
CWNevada sued by lenders
Despite full, first-year sales of $420 million in sales and two sales of integrated chains at $50 million each, one major player in Las Vegas is reportedly being sued by investors. CWNevada, which holds several licenses and markets cannabis through its Canopi stores, says it will respond to charges by lenders that it has fallen behind in repaying some $15 million in investments. Earlier this summer, dispensary chain "The Grove" sold for a reported $53 million, while in northern Nevada, Sparks-based chain, Nevada Relief, sold for $50 million.
Marijuana news briefs: State-by-state
Utah's governor Gary Herbert seems to think his state's voters are likely to pass the state’s medical marijuana measure this November. Herbert pledged to use his office's "bully pulpit" to ensure lawmakers take action on medical marijuana no matter what happens with Proposition 2, and he is leaning on calling a special session to address implementation. Herbert said while he will vote against the ballot measure, he intends to help lawmakers reach a compromise on a "common sense position."
The California Department of Taxes and Fee Administration has listed the cities which will raise their local sales tax portion of the marijuana taxation on October 1st. Those municipalities may be joined by local tax increases in Los Angeles and El Segundo, based on local votes. These cities are effective for their raises:
In Nevada, Cannabition, a museum celebrating all things cannabis has become Las Vegas’ newest attraction. Currently planned for the facility, are installations such as one featuring a faux grow complete with artificial plants under bright lights to simulate an indoor growing facility, Hunter S. Thompson’s famous “Red Shark” Chevrolet Caprice, and Bongzilla, a 24-foot-tall glass bong.
“Our goal when people come out of this is that they don’t fear the cannabis industry if they are not believers in the industry,” founder J.J. Walker told The Associated Press. “Cannabition is not about just serving people that like marijuana, it’s about serving the masses that want to learn about cannabis and or just have fun and go do a cool art experience.”
Majority of medical professionals favor cannabis legalization
Support for medical marijuana among the healthcare industries now tops 70 percent in most professional categories, while the support for legalization for recreational use is favored by more than half of all segments. A poll of healthcare professionals released September 12 by Medscape Medical News reported results from 417 physicians, 1,054 nurses, 171 healthcare administrators, 79 pharmacists, and 79 psychologists. Of the physician group, some 59 percent said they had suggested some medical marijuana alternative possibilities to patients. For each group, the first figure shows support general public access for adults.
Top cannabis stocks by market cap
New Frontier Data has a new report out detailing the top cannabis stocks over the past year, and the market-leaders may be surprising. Check them out in this week’s Cannabit: