MMJ Business Daily

An industry in flux: Cannabis mergers, acquisitions on the rise

By John Schroyer

Cannabis industry mergers and acquisitions have been on the rise over the past year, and industry watchers say the number of sales and transactions is almost certain to continue as the marijuana trade at large matures.

A few examples from recent months:

  • One of the oldest marijuana dispensaries in Denver was sold to a Colorado chain.
  • The two top-selling recreational marijuana retailers in Washington state went on sale with an initial price tag of $50 million.
  • A 58,000-square-foot MJ production facility in Las Vegas was put on the market.
  • A longstanding California company

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MA lawmakers set hearings over new rec cannabis law

A legislative battle over recreational marijuana could be on the way in Boston, with public hearings poised to begin.

State lawmakers are set on holding hearings, starting next week, to address possible tweaks to the recreational cannabis law approved by Massachusetts voters in November, a move that marijuana advocates are calling a “false narrative,” according to the Associated Press.

“The new law requires no legislative fixes,” Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the state’s rec campaign, told the AP.

Regardless, Massachusetts state lawmakers indicated they may try to make changes to the new law. They are permitted

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Denver may allow marijuana shops to stay open later

The Denver City Council may roll back the mandatory closing time for cannabis retailers from 7 p.m. to either 10 p.m. or perhaps midnight under a proposal being considered by a special committee.

But don’t expect an imminent decision. The issue will remain unresolved for at least a few more weeks, as the council solicits additional public input.

Mandated closing times for Denver marijuana shops makes them less competitive than many other retailers that are technically located in other metro-area municipalities and suburbs that allow MJ shops to stay open as late as midnight, the Denver Post reported.

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Cannabis marketing platform gets added funding, raises $3.5M

Baker, a Denver-based software provider that links cannabis dispensaries with their customers, announced it has secured $1.6 million in additional funds, bringing its total seed round funding to $3.5 million.

Poseidon Asset Management, a marijuana-focused investment management firm in San Francisco, led the funding round. Other funders were chiefly existing investors, including serial entrepreneur Michael Lazerow as well as Base Ventures and XG Ventures, two venture capital firms based in California.

 Baker said it would use the money to fund its continued growth.

Baker’s marketing automation platform is designed to help dispensary owners serve customers – from online ordering to in-store

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Marijuana CEO calls for strict product testing in Canada

The CEO of one of Canada’s biggest medical marijuana cultivators wants to see the country’s public health department implement a strict system of product testing for cannabis companies after recent pesticide-related recalls.

Marijuana companies should foot the bill for the increased inspections and tests, said Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria Inc., adding that such systems are common in pharmaceutical sector, according to The Globe and Mail.

Neufeld’s call comes after two Canadian marijuana growers, OrganiGram and Mettrum Inc. (since acquired by Canopy Growth Corp.) were forced to recall cannabis because of pesticide contamination. Both companies now

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Marijuana’s taxing situation: Q&A with political activist Grover Norquist

By John Schroyer

Grover Norquist, the clean-cut, conservative keeper of the anti-tax pledge signed by nearly half the sitting members of Congress, defies pretty much every stereotype of marijuana supporter there is.

But he has been a vocal ally o…

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Canadian medical cannabis grower added to key stock index

The Canadian cannabis industry has taken another leap toward the mainstream now that Canopy Growth Corp. is being added to the influential S&P/TSX Composite Index.

Canopy, one of Canada’s federally licensed medical marijuana cultivators, will be the country’s first cannabis company to be included in the index’s health care sector, The Globe & Mail reported.

The company, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, will be added to the index prior to the start of trading next Monday.

Institutional investors and index funds rely on the S&P/TSX index when deciding which stocks to purchase, according to the newspaper. Canopy’s

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Toronto cops: Medical marijuana outlets linked to organized crime

High-profile Canadian medical marijuana dispensary owners Marc and Jodie Emery were arrested, jailed and released on bail last week, while Toronto police accused the couple of links to “high-level drug traffickers.”

The Emerys own Cannabis Culture, a brand which includes dispensaries in Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton, as well as a magazine and other retail offerings.

Police took 250,000 Canadian dollars ($185,984) in cash in several currencies, 65 kilograms (143 pounds) of cannabis and 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) of marijuana extract and other drug paraphernalia after searching seven Cannabis Culture outlets and multiple residences on Thursday, according to the

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Florida medical cannabis bills make for hazy business climate

Medical marijuana isn’t shaping up to be the big business opportunity in Florida many cannabis executives were hoping for.

Although medical marijuana was approved overwhelmingly by Florida voters in November, the shape of the MMJ industry is still very much in question. And state lawmakers don’t appear to be moving toward any kind of solution.

whopping six bills are competing in the Florida Legislature, the Sun Sentinel reported, and each would set up a regulatory framework for medical cannabis businesses. The measures all have varying provisions that range from allowing just 12 MMJ producers for the entire

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Chart: Marijuana business licensing backlog in Alaska

By Eli McVey

After legalizing adult-use cannabis in 2014, Alaska’s recreational marijuana industry is just now getting off the ground.

But an understaffed state regulatory agency has been slow to license new businesses, and significant amounts of red tape at the local level have prevented some licensees from opening their doors.

While growing pains are to be expected for a new market starting from scratch – Alaska had no medical marijuana industry before legalizing recreational cannabis – the slow rollout has caused significant supply shortages and some of the highest retail prices marijuana in the nation.

Alaska’s rec

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