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Cannabis Briefs for March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

•Cresco Labs co-founder and president Joe Caltabiano has resigned from the company, effective immediately. No reason for his departure was given. Going forward, his management responsibilities will be taken up by CEO Charlie Bachtell and other members of Cresco’s leadership team. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Caltabiano said he plans to stay in the cannabis industry but has a different vision than what could be pursued with Cresco. The company, founded in 2015, operates three cultivation facilities and five dispensaries in Illinois and is present in a number of other states.

•Wakefield, Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings will acquire BlueKudu, a producer of cannabis edibles based in Colorado. BlueKudu’s chocolates and gummies are an established presence in the company’s home state. The acquisition will put Curaleaf in control of an 8,400-square-foot infusion kitchen and processing facility in Denver. BlueKudu products are currently sold in over 200 retail locations throughout Colorado. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

•Canopy Growth will close two greenhouses it operates in British Columbia, eliminating approximately 500 positions. It will also halt efforts to bring a third greenhouse into operation in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The two facilities being closed total approximately 3 million square feet of licensed production space and have been in operation for just over two years. The closures are part of Canopy’s larger initiative to cut costs. Now that outdoor grow operations are allowed in Canada, the company plans for them to play a larger role in supplying material for cannabis extracts, as such operations are much less cost-intensive than indoor grows.

•Former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton has formed a new U.S.-based hemp company with two other Canopy veterans. Linton has joined with former CFO Tim Saunders and former strategic advisor Geoffrey Whaling to form Collective Growth Corp., to be based in Texas. The company will reportedly focus on hemp processing, which has proven to be a significant bottleneck for the booming industry, which includes many hemp growers but few facilities capable of transforming the raw material. The venture is in its early stages but has received approval from the SEC to raise $150 million in an IPO set for March 17.

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