Welcome to the Cannabis Countdown. In This Week’s Edition, We Recap and Countdown the Top 10 Marijuana and Psychedelics Industry News Stories for the Week of May 25th – 31st, 2020.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
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The cannabis business has followed a sort of “high risk, high reward” Silicon Valley, venture capital model. And it hasn’t really worked all that well. Enter Psychedelics, with the advantage of hindsight seeing what canna-businesses did wrong with their own plant-based wellness product that had a recreational side to it which tended to scare off serious investors.
Both campaigns appear well on their way to qualifying for the November ballot after submitting more than enough signatures ahead of the deadline. The Yes on IP 34 campaign is attempting to legalize Psilocybin for therapeutic use, while Yes on IP 44 is aiming to decriminalize drug possession and expand support for substance abuse.
Enter GrowGeneration (NASDAQ: GRWG) and Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG) (FRA: SCQA), the 2 biggest ancillary cannabis names and the companies responsible for providing the vital supplies that help make the industry tick. Since ancillary firms don’t physically touch the cannabis plant, they are able to list on major U.S. exchanges like the NYSE and NASDAQ, thus making them great options for investors with lower risk tolerance.
One is a for-profit company, Compass Pathways; another is a nonprofit, Usona Institute. Compass Pathways is a London-based company that received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA for its synthetic Psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression, meaning that its preliminary clinical evidence was so promising, the FDA will fast-track its review process.
The former Detroit Pistons point guard, who was a 12-time NBA All-Star and hailed as one of the 50 greatest players in the league’s history, is taking part in the upcoming Virtual Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on June 1.
Vivien Azer of financial services giant Cowen was the first senior Wall Street analyst to cover the emerging cannabis industry. Among Azer’s recent findings: Cannabis sales in the United States have continued to climb, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, the pace in which states are legalizing has tracked exactly in line with Cowen’s expectations.
Last week, we saw Numinus Wellness (TSXV: NUMI) (OTC: LKYSD) (FRA: LR23) commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange. The company focused on the use of Psychedelic therapies for the treatment of mental health issues, joins a small club of publicly-traded companies in the space, which also includes Bruce Linton and Kevin O’Leary-backed MindMed’s (NEO: MMED) (OTC: MMEDF) (FRA: BGHM), and Champignon Brands (CSE: SHRM) (OTCQB: SHRMF) (FRA: 496).
But other multi-state operators (MSOs) are doing well financially: Cresco Labs (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF), Curaleaf (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF), Green Thumb (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF) (FRA: R9U2) and Trulieve (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), among others. What makes a successful MSO these days versus the likes of Acreage Holdings (CSE: ACRG.U) (OTCQX: ACRGF) (FSE: 0VZ) and MedMen (CSE: MMEN) (OTCQX: MMNFF) (FRA: 0JS), which have scaled back by laying off workers and shuttering operations in a bid to slash costs? And what is required to survive and prosper in the future?
Now, for the first time, researchers have looked directly into how taking Psilocybin affects glutamate activity in the brain. And the evidence suggests that our tripping experience, whether good or bad, might be linked to glutamate.
While the last 1.5 years have tested the nerve of many investors, it also exposed the weak companies and similar to the dot-com bubble, separated the winners from the losers. With many of the losers of the Canadian cannabis bubble now gone or close to it, the field has been narrowed down creating a more attractive environment for the winners to flourish and their share prices to continue rising.