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Cannabis news briefs: Tilray goes into hemp seed business, Green Thumb buys Beboe, women are buying more weed, and MRI scans show no significant brain changes in pot smokers

Canadian licensed cannabis producer Tilray has announced a planned acquisition of Winnipeg-based industrial hemp grower/processor Manitoba Harvest for $316 million. Manitoba Harvest does not currently produce cannabinoid-rich hemp or CBD oil, but its hemp-seed products such as hemp granola, protein powder, and hemp milk are currently sold at 13,000 stores including Walmart, Costco, Kroger, CVS, and Amazon. Under new ownership, Manitoba Harvest now intends to develop hemp-derived CBD product lines.

Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a public statement, "Tilray's acquisition of Manitoba Harvest is a milestone for the cannabis industry. It builds on the strategic partnerships we have formed with consumer brand industry leaders and demonstrates our track record of disrupting the global pharmaceutical, alcohol, CPG, and functional food and beverage categories,".

And Manitoba Harvest CEO Bill Chiasson told CBC News, "Being part of Tilray will certainly give us an advantage."

[February: The marijuana stock momentum continues]

Tilray also recently acquired Ontario-based Natura Naturals Holdings giving Tilray an additional 662,000 square feet of cannabis cultivation space. Under the $52-million deal, Natura Natural Holdings greenhouse will now do business as High Park Gardens.

Source: Gage Skidmore

President Trump did not approve of Sessions’ stance of marijuana

Apparently, President Trump did not approve of Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding of Justice Department guidance on federal marijuana enforcement priorities. That is according an interview with Sen. Cory Gardner on the Cannabis Economy podcast.

 

In the interview, Gardner said he pulled Trump aside following a meeting in the Oval Office to express his opposition to the killing of the Cole Memo. Gardner claimed Trump expressed his opposition to the move saying, “This sounds like something my grandpa said in the 1950s.”

Green Thumb Industries Inc. buys Beboe brand

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTI) (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF) has acquired For Success Holding Company, the Los Angeles-based owner of Beboe branded cannabis products. Beboe is currently available in more than 125 retail locations in California and Colorado. Beboe also offers a line of hemp-derived CBD products. Recently, Barneys New York announced an exclusive partnership with Beboe for a first-of-its-kind luxury cannabis lifestyle and wellness concept shop.

Women are buying more weed

A recent report by California-based cannabis delivery service Eaze titled the “Eaze Insights Report,” suggests that the number of women buying weed nearly doubled in 2018, growing 92 percent. The total market share attributed to women rose 3 percent to a total of 38 percent. If the trend continues, the number of male and female cannabis consumers will be equal by 2022. The report was based on the buying habits of 450,000 consumers, as well as 4,000 anonymous surveys.

Does weed change the brain

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, and the University of Colorado at Boulder are saying cannabis use does not result in any significant changes in brain morphology in either older or younger users. Researchers also reported “no significant differences between groups” with regard to cognitive performance.

[How to assemble a multinational, vertically integrated, multi-brand cannabis conglomerate, with Weekend Unlimited CEO Paul Chu]

Researchers at Perelman School of Medicine compared brain scans of both occasional and frequent users and found “no significant differences by cannabis group in global or regional brain volumes, cortical thickness, or gray matter density, and no significant group by age interactions were found.” They concluded, “In sum, structural brain metrics were largely similar among adolescent and young adult cannabis users and non-users.” The report can be found here.

[CannTrust Holdings: Will the fire last?]

Researchers at the University of Colorado compared MRI scans of 28 cannabis users over the age of 60 who had, on average, used marijuana weekly for 24 years. The study showed no widespread impact on overall cortical volumes. Read this study report here.

These results are in stark contrast to the widespread effects of alcohol on cortical volumes which “might be expected to negatively impact cognitive performance.” Previous studies have reported the same results.

State-by-state

The governors of Connecticut and Illinois are both calling upon state lawmakers to legalize marijuana to generate revenue for their cash-strapped states. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that the state needed to “embrace some near term reasonable—and realistic—new revenue” in a speech detailing his budget proposal. Lamont argued that it is important to develop “new sources of revenue” beyond his budget proposals including legalizing recreational marijuana. 

✅ Let’s legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis.

✅ Let’s legalize and tax sports betting.

✅ Let’s enact a tax on insurance companies to help cover the costs of the state’s Medicaid program.

— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) February 20, 2019

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In Illinois, lawmakers are considering two proposals to legalize adult-use cannabis. HB0902 would create a regulatory system for licensing growers, retailers, and social consumption venues. Also, residents would be allowed to grow a whopping 24 plants at home. Another more conservative legalization proposal is expected soon.

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In Florida, a bill aimed at repealing a statewide legislative ban on smokable medical marijuana has survived the committee review process and is heading to the Senate floor. Sponsored by State Sen. Jeff Brandes, bill SB 182 would allow patients over the age of 18 to smoke marijuana but only if their doctor prescribes it as the best form of treatment. The bill originally required a second opinion for all patients seeking to smoke medical marijuana; however, the recent amendments struck this provision. Read all about it on Potnetwork.

[Marijuana stocks weekend investor roundup: Analysis of the week's most important events in the cannabis industry (February 23)]

A joint resolution introduced in the Florida Senate on Thursday calls for amending the state’s constitution to establish the right “to possess, use and cultivate cannabis.” According to the resolution, this right “may not be infringed, except that the transfer of cannabis by purchase or sale may be regulated by law as necessary to ensure public health and safety.” Proponents of the idea hope to add a referendum to the state’s 2020 ballot to allow the state’s voters to decided on the issue.

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In Vermont, a Senate committee has approved legislation calling for a state-regulated marijuana market and the creation of a Cannabis Control Board responsible for licensing and regulatory enforcement. And in New Jersey, an agreement has finally been reached on how to tax and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana. It’s anyone’s guess which state will become the first to create a regulated market via legislative action.

Around the globe

Another licensed producer in Canada, CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX:TRST), will be trading on the New York Stock Exchange. There is no information available as of yet as to when the stock will be available for trade, nor as to what the company’s new ticker will be.

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In Europe, the European Union Parliament agreed upon a non-binding resolution to promote research on and access to medical marijuana in the countries that form the. This comes just days after it was learned of the World Health Organization’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana. The resolution calls for greater clarity in cannabis laws, a reduction in regulatory barriers in research, and collaboration with the WHO in spite of international variation on the political treatment of cannabis. Pot Network’s Meg Ellis has more on this story.

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Authorities in Greece are currently considering twenty-eight separate international investment proposals to grow both medical and industrial cannabis. That is according to a report at New Cannabis Ventures by veteran “cannabis foreign correspondent” Marguerite Arnold. According to Arnold, the combined value of the projects comes to more than 350 million euros. Two of these proposals have been approved so far, two have already been rejected, and the remaining 26 are still pending.

And finally, PotNetwork is at Champs Las Vegas this week

PotNetwork is at Champs Las Vegas, the counter-culture trade show of all trade shows. Check out some of the fun we're having below:

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