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.
European News Again Today! – Curaleaf International, part of Curaleaf Holdings (TSX:CURA, OTC:CURLF), has acquired Can4Med, a pharmaceutical wholesaler in Poland specializing in cannabinoid medications. This strategic acquisition enhances Curaleaf’s presence in Poland’s medical cannabis market, aiming to improve patient access to cannabis products and expand its offerings in Europe. The merger leverages Can4Med’s distribution network and Curaleaf’s commitment to regulatory compliance and product innovation, strengthening their position in a growing market with a large patient base seeking medical cannabis.
TILT Holdings Inc. (CBOE: TILT, OTC: TLLTF) and its subsidiary, Jupiter Research, have partnered with Travis Barker’s Barker Canna Co. to launch a line of vegan, cruelty-free cannabis vaporizers in California, with plans for further expansion. This collaboration combines Jupiter’s hardware expertise with Barker Canna Co.’s focus on high-quality cannabis products, offering live rosin and rechargeable vaporizers. The partnership aims to provide an affordable, premium vaping experience, reflecting TILT’s focus on innovation and quality in the cannabis market. (As a Vegan, today, I learned that Vegan Cannabis is a thing, lol.)
Executive Changes Each Day Continue to be the norm: Avant Brands Inc. (TSX:AVNT, OTCQX:AVTBF) announced CFO Miguel Martinez’s resignation, effective March 1, 2024, to explore new opportunities. Jeremy Wright, Avant’s original CFO from 2017 to 2019, will return as interim CFO on the same date. Wright brings over 20 years of management experience, having previously helped raise over $45 million for the company. Martinez will assist until March 19, 2024, for a smooth transition. Avant, based in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada specializes in premium cannabis products, operating across Canada
Earnings Season is Heating Up – NewLake Capital Partners (OTC: NLCP) has announced it will host its earnings call for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2023, on March 11, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. ET. As a leading provider of real estate capital to state-licensed cannabis operators, NewLake specializes in sale-leaseback transactions, third-party purchases, and funding for build-to-suit projects. The company, an internally managed real estate investment trust, owns a portfolio of 31 cultivation facilities and dispensaries, all leased on a triple-net basis to single tenants. Further information can be found on the NewLake website, but to see our Cannabis Earnings Calendar for all companies come to the TDR website.
Let’s add to the rescheduling timeline news drama: Marijuana Moment claims a Biden administration official told them that rumors about an imminent marijuana scheduling announcement are unfounded. Despite hints after the HHS recommended moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, the official stated no decision timeline is set. This comes as lawmakers increase advocacy for reform, but the nature of scheduling decisions means an announcement could still happen.
Cannabis produces a lot of state tax revenue: Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro proposes legalizing adult-use cannabis to match the legislative progress of neighboring states and boost the state’s economy. Shapiro’s plan includes generating $14.8 million in tax revenue in its first year and offering expungements for past offenses, aiming to address social equity. The initiative, set for rollout by 2025, expects to create $250 million in annual revenue, with investments in justice initiatives and benefits for the state’s agriculture.
Atai Life Sciences N.V. (NASDAQ: ATAI) has named Anne Johnson as Chief Financial Officer. Johnson’s experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries supports Atai’s mission to develop mental health treatments. This move aims to bolster the company’s leadership as it progresses its therapeutic pipeline.
Bloomberg’s Tiffany Kary shared some interesting points on the framework on Psychedelic Studies that I never noted before: Share explained that an FDA scientist raised concerns that the “nocebo effect” could bias psychedelic drug trials, such as those for MDMA and magic mushrooms, used in treating mental health issues. This effect occurs when participants guess if they’ve received the drug or a placebo, potentially skewing results. The FDA has issued guidance to mitigate this issue, amidst growing public interest in psychedelics’ therapeutic potential.
A study was released yesterday, here is a summary, but check out our comments and the full story on the TDR Website. The National Institute on Drug Abuse study indicates U.S. psilocybin mushroom seizures have escalated from 402 in 2017 to 1,396 in 2022, with a rise in total weight from 226 kg to 844 kg. Middle-aged adult use has increased, often for perceived health benefits in unregulated settings. Growing research interest in psilocybin for mental health is contrasted by the risks of non-medical use, highlighting the need for ongoing observation of its use and impact within the complex U.S. legal framework.
Notice the bold statement in the study above, this is what this bill is about: California lawmakers have proposed a bill to allow adults over 21 to undergo psychedelic therapy under professional supervision. This initiative, introduced after Governor Newsom vetoed a decriminalization bill last year, targets mental health and substance use challenges. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener and Assembly member Marie Waldron, would enable the use of substances like psilocybin, DMT, MDMA, and mescaline in therapy, with mandatory screenings and follow-ups. It seeks to regulate underground therapy practices without allowing personal possession, inspired by similar laws in Colorado, and Oregon.
More Republican Psychedelic Support: Yesterday, the Indiana Senate approved a bill funding psilocybin research with a 47-1 vote, bypassing a push for medical marijuana legalization. The legislation, now heading to the House, aims to explore psilocybin’s use in treating mental health issues among veterans and first responders. A proposed amendment for a medical cannabis program by Sen. Greg Taylor was not advanced. The psilocybin research initiative, effective upon passage, will set up a fund to support studies comparing its efficacy against existing treatments, with a July 1 deadline to establish administrative procedures.
According to my calculator, Bitcoin ETFs as of last week are 17% of all global crypto currency assets! CoinShares data highlights a shift in bitcoin investments to the U.S. ETFs like BlackRock and Fidelity, drawing $7.7 billion and balancing a $6 billion outflow from GBTC. This indicates market stabilization and investor confidence in bitcoin. Significant inflows into new ETFs and a rise in digital asset investments to $53 billion globally reflect cryptocurrencies’ growing acceptance. The U.S. market’s keen interest in ETFs signals a new cryptocurrency investment era, underscoring the shift from traditional funds to ETFs as a key development in the investment landscape. Read the full story on the TDR website.
AI and Crypto in one: Bittensor’s crypto token $TAO has increased over 90% in two weeks, hitting a $3 billion market cap. The network rewards developers with $TAO for creating valuable AI models, as part of an initiative by the Opentensor Foundation to promote open-source AI development. Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin recently endorsed Bittensor, emphasizing its role in enhancing AI through crypto incentives. The network boasts nearly 70,000 active accounts and has issued about 5.8 million $TAO tokens, promoting a collaborative and merit-based ecosystem for AI innovation.
Here is some Ethereum drama and a funny X post to explain below. According to Coindesk over the weekend, several “insiders” reportedly made over $1.3 million from trading the Ethereum version of the meme coin dogwifhat (WIF), which is not affiliated with the Solana-based WIF launched in November. According to Lookonchain, over 12 wallets acquired 24 million Ethereum WIF tokens for $3,000 worth of ether, benefiting from knowing the exact timing of the token issuance and trading start. The token’s price spiked from fractions of a penny to 30 cents before plummeting over 80% due to concerns about ownership and authenticity. The creator of the original “dogwifhat” meme, known as @issa, clarified on social media platform X that they had no affiliation with the $WIF team, despite the Ethereum WIF tokens seeing around $7.7 million in trading volume from over 4,500 holders in the past 24 hours.
Meta Platforms has mandated that users label AI-generated audio and visual content on their platforms, with unexplained penalties for non-compliance. Meta’s Policy Executive Nick Clegg stated Meta’s ability to tag AI-generated images and is developing similar tools for audio and video. The company will soon identify and label AI content from external sources like OpenAI and Google Bard across its platforms. This measure is part of Meta’s effort to ensure users are aware of the artificial nature of the content they see and hear.
Will AI Remain Unchanged by the Time Training Occurs? Recall that at this point last year, ChatGPT 4.0 hadn’t been introduced. The UK government has allocated over £100 million to update AI regulation, with £10 million dedicated to training regulators across various sectors. This funding aligns with public calls for tighter AI regulation and transparency in business practices. A response to last year’s consultation emphasizes a context-based regulatory approach and the potential for future mandatory safety requirements for AI developers. Key regulators are set to outline their AI risk strategies by April 30, aiming to boost public confidence.
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