How to Invest in Cannabis as the Industry Matures

Although the legal marijuana industry is still very much an emerging niche for stock market participants, the market for investing in cannabis is maturing.

In a recent sign of how far the legal cannabis sector has come, BlackRock Funds has made substantial investments in dispensary operator Curaleaf Holdings, the same company that also announced it will sell products infused with a non-psychoactive hemp component in CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS) stores.

Institutional Investment, Industrialized Processes

The CVS deal indicates that cannabis products are becoming more mainstream. The BlackRock investment is a high-profile example of institutional money entering a space that has been called the Wild West of investing. “We expect to see a floodgate [open]of more institutional investment,” said Matt Karnes, founder and managing partner with GreenWave Advisors.

– Read the entire article at YahooNews.

Cannabis Advocates Drop Off Donations at Windsor Food Banks

Rain this past weekend kept the EPIC 420 Cannabis Festival from getting the attendance organizers were hoping for, but still they were able to support Windsor area food banks.

Event organizer Leo Lucier dropped off a truck and trailer full of groceries at Street Help on Monday.

Lucier later went to the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and helped fill their shelves with food and other necessities.

– Read the entire article at CTV News.

Illinois Opioid Alternative Program 2019

Illinois Opioid Alternative Program

Illinois residents who have been prescribed opioids now have an all natural alternative to the addictive and sometimes deadly painkillers. The aptly named Opioid Alternative Pilot Program will provide enrollees with access to medical marijuana for the duration of their treatment.

Illinois’ medical marijuana legislation was signed into law in 2015. The measure allowed patients with any of around 40 qualifying medical conditions to purchase and possess cannabis products at state-licensed dispensaries. Qualifying medical conditions include ALS, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma and many others. Since it was initiated, sales of medical marijuana have topped $260 million. The state has licensed more than 50 dispensaries.

The program was expanded to include the opioid alternative back in August of 2018. Along with the expansion, a fingerprinting and background check requirement was dropped.

The addition of the opioid replacement program is expected to dramatically increase the demand for medical marijuana in the state, while cultivators and dispensaries are scrambling to keep up with demand.

The Opioid Epidemic In Illinois

The dramatic and rapid rise of prescription opioids and the number of deaths resulting from their use is no less than an epidemic in the U.S. Opioids are responsible for 49,000 of the 72,000 drug overdose deaths in……

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The Cannabis Tally: 77 Municipalities Across Ontario Opt Out, 337 Opt In

Dozens of Ontario cities, towns and villages have hung keep-out signs on their borders, opting out of hosting pot shops.

On Wednesday morning, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s website had a decision recorded for all 414 communities granted the opt-out right by the province. The results: 77 municipalities had decided to prohibit the shops. These included large centres like Mississauga, Markham, Oakville, Pickering, Richmond Hill and Vaughan in the 905 regions surrounding Toronto. Toronto itself voted yes to the shops and is scheduled to see five open April Fool’s Day. The number opting in was 337.

Municipalities that chose to opt out by the Jan. 22 deadline can reconsider and welcome the stores anytime. But a decision to allow them is irrevocable.

Communities that refused the stores, however, have forsaken their full stake in a $40-million implementation fund the province is providing to help defray any increased policing, education or public health costs the shops may bring to welcoming municipalities.

– Read the entire article at The Star.

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High Times to Acquire Spannabis, Europe’s Largest Cannabis Event

Today, Hightimes Holding Corp., the parent company of High Times, announced its plan to acquire the assets and business of Feria Del Canamo, S.L., doing business as Spannabis—the European Union’s largest Cannabis industry event. Billed as part trade show and part research conference, Spannabis has plans to return to Barcelona for its 16th edition of the celebration this March. The festival, which also includes its own award ceremony crowning the best cannabis and cannabis-related products in the region, attracts tens of thousands of consumers annually from across the globe.

“Spannabis is one of the most prolific events in the cannabis ecosystem and one of the most well-known annual festivals within the EU,” says Adam Levin, High Times’ CEO. “This acquisition will provide an additional international platform for our customers looking for additional international exposure opportunities.”

The deal terms, which included $3 million cash due at closing, $4 million in Hightimes common stock, and two milestone payments for the show in 2020 and 2021.

The latest acquisition will expand on High Times’ impressive event production business, which includes entertainment festivals such as the Cannabis Cup, Reggae On the River and industry events like the High Times Business Expo, along with the recent proposed addition of the bi-annual BIG Show. This marks the second foray into Europe for the predominantly US driven brand and is a sign of the markets eventual globalization.

“We believe that High Times is the most recognizable brand in Cannabis across the world,” Levin says. “You can see our logo proudly displayed from New York to Singapore and we look forward to creating more access and experiences for consumers no matter where they live.”

“This deal is a game-changer for Spannabis,” says Carlos Palomino, the CEO of Spannabis. “We’ve idolized High Times for decades, so to be adopted by this groundbreaking team is nothing short of extraordinary! We know the future is bright for cannabis, and for High Times who has been leading this movement since many of us were in diapers. We look forward to continuing to push this thriving movement forward, together.”

The closing of the acquisition is subject to certain customary closing conditions. Accordingly, there is no assurance that the Spannabis transaction will be consummated. The transaction is expected to close during Q1 of 2019.

The announcement comes amidst the Hightimes Regulation A+ crowdfunding campaign, which has already raised millions of dollars from more than seventeen thousand investors across the globe.

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19 Stylish, Cannabis-Adjacent Gifts for Those Who Like to Smoke Weed

Your friend, significant other, sibling, parent — anyone!

We know it’s hard to find the right gifts for your loved ones, so we’ve compiled a ton of fashion and beauty-focused gift guides tailored to a range of interests and budgets. Check out our latest below and find more right here.

As marijuana continues to earn legalization for recreational use around the world, the act of smoking pot is rapidly transforming within the luxury market across fashion, beauty and media. (We’ve covered one, not two, but three very chic magazines on weed that just launched this year.) From designers getting inspired by the marijuana leaf’s aesthetic to new beauty brands banking on the benefits of CBD, the options for stylish cannabis-friendly products are plentiful right now.

– Read the entire article at Fashionista.