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Cannabis Briefs for January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

•Leading Canadian cannabis company Tilray announced in a regulatory filing that it has ended its Fluent joint venture with Anheuser Busch to develop cannabis beverages. The partnership, announced in December 2018, was exclusive to Canada and was conducted through AB InBev’s Labatt Breweries subsidiary, with each company at the time pledging up to $50 million to develop THC and CBD drinks. With the partnership concluded, Tilray “retained the manufacturing equipment associated with CBD and THC beverages, obtained a royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide license to utilize the technology related to the manufacture of CBD and THC beverages, which was developed by the joint venture, and negotiated a co-manufacturing arrangement to manufacture CBD beverages on behalf of Fluent,” according to the SEC filing.

•California governor Gavin Newsom said he is open to revising the tax burden on the cannabis industry. The announcement comes after numerous cannabis business leaders signed a fiery letter warning that the industry is on the verge of collapse due to high tax burdens and other problems. Advocates, farmers, and business owners also gathered outside the state capitol building in Sacramento last week to voice similar concerns. “It is my goal to look at tax policy to stabilize the market,” Newsom said. “At the same time, it is also my goal to get these municipalities to wake up to the opportunities to get rid of the illegal market, the illicit market, and provide support in a regulatory framework for the legal market.”

•Southern Glazer’s has added Defy CBD beverages to its distribution portfolio. Co-founded by NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis, the Defy brand’s Recover+CBD drink includes 20mg of CBD hemp extract, 10% coconut water, as well as vitamins, potassium, and electrolytes. It comes in Lemonade, Mixed Berry, and Orange Citrus flavors and retails at $35 a six-pack of 16.9-ounce bottles on the company’s website.

•Moncton, New Brunswick-based Organigram announced financial results for the quarter ended November 30, in which net revenue rose 22% sequentially to C$30.4 million ($24m). The company maintained its position as the No.-4 Canadian licensed producer by market share at 7.5%, up from 4.4% a year ago, and launched 13 new SKUs during the period. Those new products include Edison Jolts, an ingestible cannabis extract lozenge, as well as Monjour, a wellness brand focused on CBD. The company took a net loss of C$1.3 million ($1m) in the quarter, a significant improvement from the C$34.3 million ($27.3m) loss it took in the same quarter a year ago.

•Cannabis delivery company Eaze announced the opening of its first brick and mortar locations under its own name. The first Eaze Dispensary is located in San Diego, California and was previously called Apothokare. The company also acquired another dispensary in Santa Ana, California, which will continue to operate under the Weden brand until January 28. The move follows the August 2021 announcement that Eaze acquired cannabis retailer Green Dragon, which gave it a foothold in Colorado and Florida.

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