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Cannabis Briefs for May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

•Cannabis sales in Illinois continued to set records in April. Total recreational sales last month fell just short of $115 million, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, with in-state residents accounting for $80 million while visitors contributed the other $35 million. Sales were up by approximately $5 million from the previous month, hardly the state’s biggest jump but a demonstration of consistent demand. For reference, Illinois is closing in on totals that are roughly triple the value of its first-month sales—$39 million—back in January 2020. In fact, out-of-state visitors alone nearly matched the January 2020 figure last month. Illinois has licensed over 120 retail locations, as of April 1.

•California cannabis brand Flow Kana has introduced a new Farmer’s Reserve line. Billed as “top-shelf, sungrown flower,” Farmer’s Reserve debuts with four strains from two Mendocino County homesteads, Woodman Peak and Livicated Farm, located in California’s famed Emerald Triangle growing region. Flow Kana says the high-THC Farmer’s Reserve offers terpenoid content measuring at least twice the industry average of 2.48% total, owing to being grown in small plots outdoors under full sunlight. The new flower brand is now available at dispensaries throughout California.

•Organigram CEO Greg Engel has resigned from his position. Engel has been CEO of the company since March 2017 and will act as a special advisor to the board of directors through the transition. In the interim, current board chairman Peter Amirault has been appointed executive chair to oversee day to day management. The development comes two months after Organigram announced a C$221 million investment from British American Tobacco in exchange for a 19.9% stake in the company. No reason for Engel’s resignation was disclosed.

•Chicago-based Verano Holdings has opened a flagship location in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The store, operating under Verano’s Zen Leaf label, is the company’s first within Chicago city limits. “Illinois’ cannabis market continues to experience significant growth as the economy reopens,” said George Archos, co-founder and CEO of Verano. “We’re hopeful that Zen Leaf West Loop will be a retail destination that helps drive foot traffic to assist the neighborhood’s hospitality industry bouncing back after a very challenging year.”

•Kindred Partners, the Canadian cannabis affiliate of Breakthru Beverage, has announced a new partnership with Breathing Green Solutions, Nova Scotia’s first licensed producer of cannabis, branded recreationally as Skosha. Kindred will now represent Skosha products in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Quebec. “This is an exciting addition to the Kindred portfolio and we look forward to bringing Skosha brand products to Canadian consumers,” said David Prodanovic, EVP, general manager of Kindred Partners. “In order to meet evolving consumer demands and help drive Breathing Green Solutions’ business forward, we’ll rely on our well-established business model, strong route-to-market approach and retail sales strategy built on strong relationships with the provincial boards.”

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