TLDR – TDR News highlights – February 13th to 14th

Get a quick update on today’s essential news! We’ve condensed the most important information about Cannabis, Psychedelics, Crypto, and AI into a brief format, saving you time and keeping you informed as you start your day. 


Cannabis with Beverage continues its marriage……

Breckenridge Distillery, part of Tilray Brands (NASDAQ: TLRY, TSX: TLRY), secured three awards at the 2024 World Whiskies Awards, including World’s Best Finished Bourbon. The accolades, also recognizing the distillery’s marketing efforts, follow a blind tasting of over 1,490 spirits. These achievements underscore the distillery’s commitment to quality and its standing in the industry without promotional embellishment.

High Tide(Nasdaq: HITI, TSXV: HITI) secured a distribution agreement with Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation to supply cannabis products in Manitoba through its subsidiary Valiant Distribution Canada. This arrangement enables Valiant to store and distribute products, streamlining High Tide’s distribution capabilities in Canada and building on its operational experience.

Cannabis Policy:

The Neobi/Deloitte report and lawyer Harrison Jordan highlight that lowering excise taxes in Canada, revising possession limits for unopened cannabis, and extending retail hours could help legal cannabis compete with the illicit market by addressing price, regulation, and convenience issues. Read all about it on the TDR Website!

Youngkin is next in Virginia, will he Veto?…..

Both chambers of the Virginia legislature have passed differing bills to legalize and regulate cannabis retail sales for adults over 21, set to begin on January 1, 2025. The House bill proposes a 9% tax, while the Senate’s version suggests 16% plus state and local taxes. NORML’s Development Director JM Pedini advocated for both bills, recommending amendments to reduce criminal penalties related to personal cannabis use. With the crossover to the opposite chambers, the bills face amendments and a conference committee reconciliation. Virginia NORML’s Executive Director Pedini highlighted the urgency to establish a legal market to counter the growing illicit trade and ensure consumer safety. Governor Youngkin has previously expressed disinterest in cannabis legislation.

According to Forbes, Hawaii legislative committees have approved a bill for recreational marijuana legalization, which allows adults over 21 to possess marijuana and grow plants at home, effective from January 1, 2026. The bill, facing opposition from state departments and law enforcement for public health concerns, includes the formation of a Hawaii Cannabis Authority for industry regulation. Amendments include a special excise tax and expunging certain past convictions. Approval from the full Senate, House, and Governor Josh Green is pending for it to become law.

News 19 in Columbia, South Carolina reports that the state Senate has approved the Compassionate Care Act with a 26-17 vote, advancing a medical marijuana bill that sets strict guidelines for the therapeutic sale and use of medical cannabis, overseen by a physician. The bill, which excludes smoking but includes oral and topical forms, follows a similar measure that the Senate passed in 2022 but was defeated in the House. The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Tom Davis, believes changes made to the bill, such as stricter dispensation regulations, will aid its passage in the House. The bill’s progress comes as part of a renewed effort after last year’s defeat, and South Carolina joins 37 other states in considering medical cannabis legislation.


Back to Denver for Psychedelic Science ……

MAPS has scheduled the Psychedelic Science 2025 conference for June 16-20 in Denver, offering a platform for exploring psychedelic research across various disciplines. The event follows the 2023 conference, which drew over 22,000 participants. Future updates on the 2025 conference will be shared via MAPS’s communication channels.

Psychedelic Capital Markets:

MindBio Therapeutics (CSE:MBIO) completed a Phase 2a clinical trial, a first of its kind, for microdosing LSD at home in patients with Major Depressive Disorder. The trial, which used a proprietary form of LSD called MB22001, aimed to measure changes in depression severity using the MADRS scale. Results are pending. Additionally, MindBio is conducting a Phase 2B trial for existential distress in late-stage cancer patients, following a Phase 1 trial that showed positive safety, mood improvement, and sleep quality in healthy individuals.

Psychedelic Policy:

According to the Chicago Tribune, an Indiana House committee has passed a Senate-approved bill funding psilocybin research for mental health treatment, focusing on conditions like PTSD and depression, particularly in veterans and first responders. The bill, which does not legalize psilocybin but supports clinical trials, was amended to include alcohol and tobacco use disorders. It necessitates a fund administration process by July 1 and was supported by testimonies highlighting psilocybin’s therapeutic potential.

Psychedelics Studies:

At UC Berkeley, Gül Dölen investigates how psychedelics like MDMA affect brain learning periods. Her notable study on octopuses revealed MDMA’s socializing effects, suggesting psychedelics can reopen brain development windows, critical for learning. This research points to new treatments for mental health disorders by combining psychedelics with therapy. Dölen’s ongoing work explores using psychedelics for broader therapeutic applications, such as stroke recovery. Her scientific inquiry into psychedelics’ potential for brain therapy is recognized as a significant contribution to the field.


Great Trade……

According to Reuters, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund invested $200 million in bitcoin and ether last year, ahead of a market upturn. This investment reflects Silicon Valley’s growing interest in cryptocurrencies after the market’s slump in 2022. The venture capital firm, an early crypto backer, had previously sold its crypto holdings before the 2022 downturn, netting $1.8 billion. The recent purchases indicate Thiel’s ongoing support for cryptocurrencies as alternative investments. Founders Fund, with over $12 billion in assets, continues to focus on crypto, highlighted by hiring Joey Krug to lead its crypto investments.

Remember how we mentioned yesterday that Barron’s writing about Ethereum was evidence of the coin going mainstream? Now, Franklin Templeton, a truly old-school firm, is entering the scene. Just two decades ago, “Templeton” began annual unitholder meetings with a religious prayer……….

Franklin Templeton has submitted an application for a spot Ethereum ETF in the U.S., planning to include staking for shareholder income. The firm, with $1.5 trillion in assets, aims for the ETF to be listed on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. This initiative places it among others like BlackRock and Fidelity seeking SEC approval for Ethereum ETFs. Decisions on these applications are anticipated by mid-2024. Franklin’s late entry into the Ethereum ETF space reflects its broader interest in blockchain technology, indicating a potential expansion beyond its recent spot Bitcoin ETF launch.


At the World Governments Summit in Dubai, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, emphasized the urgent need for global oversight of the rapidly advancing AI industry to address potential societal misalignments and ensure ethical development. Advocating for the creation of an international regulatory body similar to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Altman highlighted the risks of leaving AI companies to self-regulate amidst their rapid commercialization. This call for regulation aligns with a changing perception of AI in education and responds to legal challenges, such as The New York Times’ lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft. Read all about it on the TDR Website!

X’s exclusion from a tech agreement against AI election interference reveals a significant gap in industry efforts. With major companies like Adobe, Google, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, and TikTok participating, X’s absence questions the initiative’s effectiveness. This agreement is crucial as over 50 countries face upcoming elections, aiming to mitigate AI’s disruptive potential on democracy. However, without full industry cooperation, including X, the initiative’s impact on protecting electoral integrity remains uncertain. Read all about it on the TDR Website!

Open AI Blog reports that ChatGPT is testing a memory feature to enhance future chats by remembering user-provided information, giving users full control over this memory, including options to manage, delete, or disable it. This initial rollout targets a small group of users, aiming to improve ChatGPT’s responses based on past interactions. Privacy and safety are prioritized, with steps to avoid sensitive information unless explicitly saved by users. Enterprise and Team users will find this feature useful for streamlining tasks, with assurances of data control and privacy. GPTs will also have individual memory capabilities, allowing for tailored interactions without shared details between different GPTs.

Want to keep up to date with all of TDR’s research, subscribe to our daily Baked In newsletter.    Missed yesterday’s TLDR TDR update, check it out here.

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More