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Cannabis Briefs for December 17, 2019

December 17, 2019

•Two Roots has added a new seasonal, non-alcoholic, THC-infused beer to its range. Shadow Monk is made in a Belgian dubbel style with specialty malts, dark candi sugars, and yeast. It joins Mango Dango and Grapefruit Fight in Two Roots’ seasonal portfolio. The newcomer is available in individual cans and four-packs across Nevada and California. Two Roots’ other offerings include Enough Said, New West, Tropical Infamy, RCG, and Sonder, all of which have 5 milligrams of THC per can.

•Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced that the league’s drug policy has been updated to allow the use of cannabis by players. Effective at the start of spring training next year, all “Natural Cannabinoids” will be removed from the “Drugs of Abuse” banned substances list that governs what players are and are not allowed to consume. Synthetic THC products are still forbidden. Going forward, cannabis-related misconduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related misconduct. Educational programs on “the dangers of opioid pain medications and practical approaches to marijuana” will be mandatory for all players and club personnel.

•Tilray has completed a merger with Privateer Holdings in a move that ultimately amounts to Tilray absorbing its own largest investor and corporate parent. Privateer is the private equity firm focused on the cannabis sector that formed Tilray in 2013. The company received a boost in 2014 when venture capitalist Peter Thiel backed Privateer with his Founders Fund. Privateer holds 75 million Tilray shares, or 77% of the company. The merger is an all-stock transaction in which all of Privateer’s outstanding capital stock was cancelled and converted to the right to receive Tilray common stock.

•Wakefield, Massachusetts-based Curaleaf has appointed Joe Bayern as president, effective immediately. Bayern joins from Indus Holdings, another cannabis company, where he has been president since January of this year. Before Indus, Bayern was CEO of Norwegian beverage company Voss, among other roles. At Curaleaf he will collaborate to lead the company and oversee its growth, reporting to CEO Joe Lusardi. Curaleaf currently operates in 12 states with 51 dispensaries, 14 cultivation sites, and 13 processing sites.

•The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has rolled back its vape quarantine issued in November. Vaporizers and vaporizer products (oil) are now legal to sell again provided they pass testing for vitamin E acetate, thought to be the culprit in the wave of vaping-induced illnesses that has hospitalized over 2,400 people and killed 52. Going forward, manufacturers will be required to list their products’ active and inactive additives, including the amount infused or incorporated during the manufacturing process, including thickening agents, thinning agents, and specific terpenes.

•On January 1, Ontario will eliminate the lottery system that has governed retail licensing in the province and remove the license cap that has stunted growth in the adult-use market. In its place will be an open allocation system that would issue a license to anyone capable of applying and passing background checks. Individual companies will be allowed to own up to 75 stores by September 2021. Cannabis producers in Ontario will be able to open shops on their premises as well, in a boon to a number of major producers based there.

•Cannabis One, a brand house, is merging with dispensary franchiser One Cannabis. Cannabis One has a number of brands in its portfolio, most notably Honu, whose edibles, flower, and other products are distributed in Washington State. One Cannabis, meanwhile, franchises cannabis retail under its Unity Rd. brand. Under the agreement, Cannabis One will purchase all outstanding shares of One Cannabis. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

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