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Cannabis Briefs for September 10, 2019

September 10, 2019

•California cannabis producer and retailer Shryne Group has hired Elizabeth Baron as CMO. Baron was previously a brand manager for Diageo and spent nine years in various marketing roles at Moët Hennessy USA, finishing her time there as vice president, marketing for Grand Marnier. She has since served as vice president, marketing advisor for California cannabis brand Canndescent. At Shryne she will oversee marketing for the company’s brand Stiiizy and their push into retail, including their flagship store in Los Angeles.

•Denver, Colorado-based Coda Signature has expanded distribution to California. The company’s portfolio, which includes a variety of chocolate bars in flavors like Fire & Orange and Snap & Spice and chocolate truffles with appropriately musical names like Forte and Serenade Collections, among others, will be distributed in California by cannabis distribution specialist Herbl. Coda recently completed construction of a 20,000-square-foot production facility in Oakland and says it will hire more than 200 employees for its California operations by the end of 2020. The company also just launched Fruit Notes, billed as an elevated take on cannabis gummies, in Colorado.

•Aurora Cannabis and The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD) each announced that Aurora has sold its shares of TGOD, totaling 10.5% of those issued, for aggregate gross proceeds of C$86.5 million ($65.7m). Aurora no longer holds any shares of TGOD but continues to hold warrants to purchase another 5% of shares. TGOD said the transaction would significantly improve the company’s revenues and gross margin now that none of the cannabis they grow will be earmarked for Aurora. Terry Booth, Aurora’s CEO, said his company’s acquisition of Whistler Medical Marijuana Corporation made TGOD less important to its core strategy.

•Vancouver, British Columbia-based Pasha Brands has acquired Baked Edibles, a brand previously associated with a long-running cannabis bakery that operated before legalization. Under previous ownership, Baked Edibles produced cannabis edibles, oils, capsules, and topicals following a 2015 court ruling that guaranteed the right to possess cannabis derivatives for medical use. Pasha will rework the Baked lineup to conform to Health Canada’s standards for edibles that go into effect next month.

•Prolific cannabis retailer Fire & Flower has set an agreement to acquire eight dispensaries from Cannabis Cowboy Inc. for C$6.65 million ($4.3m). The locations, located in Calgary and elsewhere across Alberta, are in various stages of construction; two are fully built and a third needs minimal work. The acquisition brings Fire & Flower up to 38 total stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and the Yukon.

•Sproutly Canada has appointed Constantine Constandis to its board of directors as an independent director. Constandis has been on Sproutly’s advisory board since last November and was previously president, managing director of Pernod Ricard China. He was also previously CEO of Corby Spirit and Wine and CFO of Seagram Europe and Africa. Sproutly, a cannabis infusion R&D company, recently partnered with Moosehead Breweries to develop cannabis beverages.

•Johns Hopkins has opened the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, a $17 million endeavor that will study the therapeutic potential of LSD and psilocybin, the active chemical in magic mushrooms. The first of its kind in the U.S., the Center will focus on the use of psychedelics to treat anorexia, addiction, and depression. While cannabis has therapeutic effects for certain physical ailments, psilocybin shows promise in treating chronic depression and addiction, while MDMA—otherwise known as ecstasy—may be helpful treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Both Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California decriminalized mushrooms earlier this year.

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