The Week In Cannabis: CannTrust Rallies Unexpectedly, Josh Kushner And Shane Victorino Join The Industry, And More

The Week In Cannabis: CannTrust Rallies Unexpectedly, Josh Kushner And Shane Victorino Join The Industry, And More

In a week with relatively few cannabis news items, Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones filed a bill to decriminalize the possession and delivery of cannabis; the Mexican government announced a public hearing to discuss the legalization and regulation of cannabis; Josh Kushner’s Thrive Capital entered the marijuana space, leading the closing of a $35-million Series B funding round for cannabis wholesale marketplace LeafLink; and KPMG withdrew its CannTrust Holdings Inc (NYSE: CTST) financial statements for 2018 and 2019, a few weeks after the company was involved in a licensing scandal in Canad

CannTrust shares spiked Friday, closing the day up more than 43.5%. 

In other news, Canada-based TerrAscend Corp (OTC: TRSSF) (CSE:TER) announced it is acquiring Pennsylvania-based Ilera Healthcare in a transaction valued between $125 million to $225 million.

TerrAscend is a portfolio company of Canopy Rivers Inc (OTC: CNPOF), the investment arm of Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC).

Arcadia Biosciences (NASDAQ: RKDA) announced a hemp products joint venture, Archipelago Ventures, involving Shane Victorino, a former MLB player and son of Maui Mayor Mike Victorino. Vapen CBD, a subsidiary of Vapen MJ Ventures Corp (OTC: VAPNF) will assist in the construction and operation of Archipelago’s Hawaiian hemp extraction facilities.

U.S. senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast and said that, if elected president, he would legalize marijuana federally.  

“You can argue the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but marijuana ain’t heroin. So we have to end that. That’s what I will do. As president of the United States, I believe we can do that through executive order. And I will do that,” he said. 

Despite a "bear market," the cannabis sector saw signs of life due to earnings reports from Aphria and GW Pharmaceuticals, Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt told Benzinga. 

“Earlier in the week, Aphria delivered a sales number that lifted the entire group and then GW Pharm reported strong Epidiolex sales. The good news was welcomed by investors, and even though stocks struggled along with the broader market, it was a much-needed positive move.” 

Cannabis ETFs

Over the last five trading days:

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) gained 0.44%.

• The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) rose 0.78%.

• The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO) was down 0.68%.

• The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) rose 0.43%.

• The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS) tumbled 0.73%.

• The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) closed the period down 0.34%.

In Other News

Pasha Brands Ltd (OTC: CRFTF) started trading on the OTC Markets.

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC-ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH), the British manufacturer of the CBD drug Epidiolex, said Tuesday that the medication posted net sales of $68.4 million during the quarter and $101.9 million in the first half of 2019. GW Pharma posted $72 million in revenue in the quarter versus $3.3 million in the same period last year.

Epidiolex has been prescribed to more than 12,000 patients since its launch, the company said. Patients are now being recruited for a Phase 3 trial in Rett Syndrome.

GW's second-quarter EPS of 21 cents was higher than a 25-cent loss in the same quarter last year, and sales of $72.038 million beat a $47.05-million Street estimate.

Morgan Stanley analyst David Lebowitz maintained an Overweight rating on GW Pharma and increased the price target from $234 to $238. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Elemer Piros reiterated an Overweight rating and $229 price target.

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