TDR’s Top 7 Cannabis Developments For The Week Of December 25

Welcome to TDR’s review of the Top 7 Cannabis Developments for the week of December 25. Aside from presenting a synopsis of news events, interviews and closing market prices for publicly-listed companies.

7. Vext Announces Exchange of $4.6 Million Debt for Common Shares

Vext Science has entered into definitive agreements with the holders of the company’s existing 11.25% secured non-convertible debentures, pursuant to which the Debenture holders will convert all of the outstanding $4.6 million principal amount of Debentures, together with accrued and unpaid interest up to December 31, 2023 and a 2.5% conversion incentive fee, for an aggregate of 27,700,625 common shares of the company.

6. Trulieve Announces Closing of $25 Million Financing

Trulieve Cannabis announced the closing of a commercial loan secured by a cultivation site in Florida for aggregate gross proceeds of $25 million. Trulieve will pay interest at a fixed rate of 8.31% for the duration of the five-year loan. Lenders were comprised of two banks, with First Federal Bank serving as lead agent.  The Company intends to use the net loan proceeds for general corporate purposes.

“We are pleased to announce this non-dilutive financing, particularly given the current macroeconomic backdrop,” said Trulieve Chief Executive Officer, Kim Rivers. “This loan provides Trulieve greater flexibility and bolsters our cash position as we focus on preparing for growth catalysts.” 

5. Biden Poised To Loosen Restrictions On Marijuana, But Some Say It’s Not Enough

The US government appears poised to announce next year the most sweeping changes in decades to how it handles marijuana, the psychoactive drug dozens of states allow to be sold from storefronts, but which federal law considers among the most dangerous substances.

Evidence suggests that Joe Biden’s administration, responding to a policy the president announced last year, is working on moving marijuana to schedule III of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), a change from its current listing on the maximally restrictive schedule I. That would lessen the tax burden on businesses selling the drug in states where it is legal, and potentially change how police agencies view enforcement of marijuana laws.


Chart Of The Week—Number Of Cannabis-Related Charges Under The Controlled Drugs & Substances Act Falls Drastically Since Legalization

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Podcast Of The Week—TerrAscend Chair Jason Wild’s Outlook for 2024

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Widely Held MSOs & LP Weekly Performance

CompanySymbolPrevious Week CloseEnd Of Week Close% Change On Week
AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETFMSOS6.516.956.75
Aurora CannabisACB0.48270.4762-1.34
Ayr WellnessAYRWF1.901.8029 -5.11
Canopy GrowthCGC5.145.11-0.58
Cresco LabsCRLBF1.501.3558-3.15
Curaleaf HoldingsCURLF3.754.068.26
Green Thumb IndustriesGTBIF10.6011.296.50
High Tide Inc.HITI1.601.631.87
Marimed Inc.MRMD0.29480.282-4.34
TerrAscend Corp.TSNDF1.511.637.94
Tilray BrandsTLRY2.192.305.02
Trulieve CannabisTCNNF5.075.212.76
Verano HoldingsVRNOF3.904.4814.87


4. Marijuana Legalization Advancements In Several Countries Were Among The Biggest International Cannabis News Stories Of 2023

Beyond major marijuana developments in the U.S. at the federal and state levels this year, momentum for drug policy reform continued to build across many parts of the globe in 2023.

From the issuance of the first licenses in the European Union for nonprofit cannabis associations to the EU’s largest economy taking steps toward legalizing marijuana for adults, a number of countries, especially in Europe and South America, marked drug reform milestones in the past year.

In the news…

22nd Century Group has closed the sale of its hemp/cannabis operations. The transaction will significantly reduce the Company’s operating costs going forward, a key step in its goal to achieve cash positive operations.

Arizona has awarded the first round of Justice Reinvestment Grants to 18 community nonprofits, state officials announced last week. The program, created by the state’s 2020 marijuana law, is funded by revenue from taxes on legal cannabis sales.

Ascend Wellness Holdings announced the opening of an Ascend Dispensary Outlet, located at 1206 Recker Rd, Piqua, Ohio. The dispensary will be Ascend’s fourth in the state of Ohio and 34th across its seven-state footprint.

Ayr Wellness insider buying to end the year…

BioHarvest Sciences has closed the second and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement of convertible notes previously announced on October 19 and October 20, 2023.

BYND Cannasoft Enterprises announced the filing of early warning reports by Yftah Ben Yaacov (“Yftah”), Marcel Maram, Avner Tal and Carmel Zigdon advising of the decrease of their ownership following the registered direct public offering that closed on December 21, 2023.

Californians that partake in cannabis use in their off-work down time will have more employment protections beginning Jan. 1 thanks to new laws.

Canadian study, recently published in the journal Archives of Public Health, has found that high school students are reporting decreased access to cannabis following its legalization for adults in 2018.

cbdMD, Inc. reported its quarterly and full fiscal financial results on Friday for Sept. 30, 2023, revealing a 27% year-over-year drop in fourth-quarter net sales to $5.7 million.

Curaleaf Executive Chair Boris Jordan with an appearance on CNBC’s Fast Money

Germany: Coalition has reportedly agreed on a number of significant changes to the country’s landmark cannabis act.

High Tide announced that its Canna Cabana retail cannabis store located at 5700 Mavis Road, Mississauga, Ontario will begin selling recreational cannabis products and consumption accessories for adult use.

High Tide announced that its Canna Cabana retail cannabis store located at 457 Hazeldean Road Kanata, Ontario has begun selling recreational cannabis products and consumption accessories for adult use. 

High Tide reflected on its key milestones for 2023.

Japanese health ministry on Tuesday decided to ban six synthetic cannabinoids with structures similar to HHCH, which was recently designated an illicit drug after gummies containing the compound made a number of people fall ill.

MSOS ETF finished down $0.04, or 0.57% in 2023…

New Jersey will see more than $1 billion in cannabis sales in 2024, official predicts as more dispensaries open.

New York: Governor Kathy Hochul (D) vetoed legislation allowing licensed cannabis growers to sell products to tribal retailers, disrupting a lifeline for surplus cannabis.

NYS Office of Cannabis Management approves two operators…

Organigram Holdings has mailed and filed a management information circular and related materials for its annual and special meeting of the holders of its common shares to be held on January 18, 2024.

Republican congressman says that while he’s personally opposed to marijuana legalization, it makes sense to reschedule it under federal law to free up research that could help guide lawmakers on developing a possible “regulatory framework” for cannabis products.

Researchers have published more than 32,000 scientific papers on marijuana over the past 10 years—including over 4,000 in 2023 alone—according to an analysis from NORML that again calls into question critics’ claims that cannabis is insufficiently studied to be legalized.

Shiny Health & Wellness released its third quarter fiscal year 2024 financial results for the three months ended October 31, 2023.

Trulieve Cannabis announced the opening of two new medical dispensaries in Crawfordville and Crestview, Florida.

U.S. beer industry facing a ‘5-alarm fire as consumers shift to other alcoholic form factors… and cannabis?

U.S. states continued to lead the country’s push for marijuana legalization during the past year.

Wisconsin lawmakers have now officially presented a proposal to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.

3. Tesla Investor Ross Gerber Calls On DEA To Reschedule Cannabis: ‘Absurd We’re Still Waiting’

It wasn’t long ago when Ross Gerber, president and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management and an enthusiastic Tesla Inc. investor, said that the nine things he focuses on in his investment decisions included “things that used to be illegal,” one of which is cannabis.

Since Gerber made that remark nearly two years ago, cannabis has become legalized in the vast majority of the country as Ohio became the 24th state to approve adult-use marijuana in November joining 38 others with legal medical marijuana. 

2. Bipartisan Wisconsin Lawmakers Officially Introduce Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

A bipartisan group of Wisconsin lawmakers have formally introduced a measure to decriminalize marijuana possession after previewing the proposal earlier this month. Sponsors hope the limited, noncommercial reform will win enough support to clear the state’s GOP-controlled legislature and become law in parallel with a separate limited medical cannabis bill that Republican leaders say will be filed in January.

Assembly Bill 861, introduced by Reps. Shae Sortwell (R), Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (D) and Dave Considine (D), along with Sen. Lena Taylor (D), would remove the threat of jail time for simple possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis, replacing criminal charges with a $100 civil penalty.

1. Johns Hopkins Researchers To Follow ‘Nationally Representative Cohort’ Of 10,000 Marijuana Patients In Federally Funded Study

A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University will track 10,000 medical marijuana patients over a year or more in an effort to better understand the efficacy and impacts of cannabis therapy.

Funded with a five-year $10 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the research team will work with federal researchers and the nonprofit Realm of Caring, among others, to collect data around dosing, delivery methods, the chemical composition of products, possible medication interactions and other treatment details.

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