A few big news items came out of the cannabis industry this week.
Acreage Holdings submitted a cannabis-focused PSA to CBS Corporation for the Super Bowl and was rejected.
NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana was part of a group of investors that provided $75 million in venture capital to Caliva.
U.S. surgeon general Jerome Adams faced backlash from an anti-marijuana tweet.
And speculation about a potential decriminalization of cannabis in the U.S. hit new highs as the government shutdown lingered.
Related Link: Watch The Rejected Medical Marijuana Super Bowl Commercial: 'Cannabis Has Given Me My Life Back'
“Caliva's move this week to raise $75 million and bringing in star power is something I expect we'll see continuing among cannabis companies,” Debra Borchartd, CEO of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. “With the former CEO of Yahoo! Carol Bartz, who is also a former Cisco Board Member, and Joe Montana investing in the company's initial round of funding, Caliva instantly jumped to the top of hot cannabis company lists.”
Borchardt continued, “It will no longer be enough to have a hotshot scientist or acclaimed grower, companies will be looking for more board room stars from traditional industries and continue to tap former star athletes. While Acreage Holdings has focused on political big wigs, Caliva looked to the tech world. Either way, boards will need star power to compete.”
Over the last five trading days, including last Friday, since U.S. markets were closed Monday, the United States Marijuana Index, which tracks most of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., gained 3.7 percent, while the North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, rose approximately 3.8 percent.
Over the same period, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF /zigman2/quotes/200444869/delayed HMLSF +1.36% /zigman2/quotes/208856346/delayed CA:HMMJ +1.03% gained 4.5 percent, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF /zigman2/quotes/204332491/composite MJ +0.70% rose roughly 3.2 percent. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust /zigman2/quotes/209901640/composite SPY -0.18% closed the period down 0.26 percent.
Here are some of the top marijuana stocks (market cap above $300 million) in U.S. exchanges and how the performed over the last five trading days:
• Acreage Holdings : down 4.3 percent
• Aphria Inc /zigman2/quotes/207425803/composite APHA +3.10% : up 7.2 percent
• Aurora Cannabis Inc /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB +3.88% : up 4.2 percent
• CannTrust Holdings Inc : up 10.3 percent
• Canopy Growth Corp /zigman2/quotes/200603886/composite CGC +0.41% : up 11.3 percent
• Cronos Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206842762/composite CRON -0.86% : up 7.6 percent
• Curaleaf Holdings Inc /zigman2/quotes/205334348/delayed CURLF -1.12% : up 7.4 percent
• Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd /zigman2/quotes/204266798/delayed TGODF -3.07% :up 30.9 percent
• Green Thumb Industries Inc /zigman2/quotes/200716694/delayed GTBIF +3.62% : down 2.1 percent
• GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR /zigman2/quotes/209686240/composite GWPH -0.48% : up 0.9 percent
• iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc /zigman2/quotes/201709321/delayed ITHUF +0.50% : up 1.9 percent
• Marimed Inc /zigman2/quotes/209406908/delayed MRMD -7.00% : up 14.1 percent
• MedMen Enterprises Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201940908/delayed MMNFF +1.67% : up 9 percent
• OrganiGram Holdings Inc : down 6.4 percent
• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co /zigman2/quotes/200553749/composite SMG +1.51% : down 0.6 percent
• Tilray Inc /zigman2/quotes/209129655/composite TLRY +2.17% : down 1.9 percent
Customers of Amazon.com, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.04% ’s Whole Foods Market can now purchase what Emeral Health Bioceuticals claims is “the world's first doctor-formulated, cannabis-free endocannabinoid support supplements. Instead of using hemp or cannabis, these products are made with a blend of herbs and botanicals (like echinacea, peony and clove) that directly tap into the power of the endocannabinoid system by targeting both CB1 and CB2 receptors and by mimicking THC and CBD for longer-lasting health support.
“Endocannabinoid health is so much more than CBD and THC; and we’re thrilled to partner with Whole Foods Market to bring consumers a legal and more comprehensive CBD alternative," said Emerald Health Bioceuticals CEO, Jade Beutler. “Our products go beyond cannabis providing long-term wellness solutions for anxiety, sleep, inflammation, mood and brain health to keep the Endocannabinoid System in nature’s perfect balance.”
In an exciting development, we found out that Southern Sun Pharma Inc. could become the first Africa-focused cannabis company to trade on a major stock exchange. According to an announcement, Southern Sun has agreed to a reverse takeover of AIM3 Ventures Inc. . Upon completion of the transaction, the amalgamated company will trade on the TSXV.
“We are excited to partner with the highly successful AIM CPC franchise and to be on a path to be the first Africa-focused cannabis company to list on the TSXV,” CEO and founder Warren Schewitz told Benzinga.
High Times Holding Corp announced the acquisition of Spannabis Festival, the largest cannabis festival in Europe, for $7 million. The move will provide increased international exposure to the media and events holding company.
Verano Holdings hired former PepsiCo, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208744353/composite PEP +0.22% exec Ron Goodson as its president and Chief Operating Officer. Goodson will lead development and operations as well as oversee and expand Verano’s multi-state operations.