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Denver is forming a new cannabis work group.
The city and county’s new Marijuana Licensing Work Group will “make recommendations regarding marijuana licensing.”
Specifically, the group will discuss licensing as it relates to two bills signed into law last May by Governor Jared Polis. One bill allows for cannabis delivery and the other for hospitality licenses, both only in jurisdictions that “opt in.” The group will discuss whether and how Denver should participate, with a focus on how “to promote and encourage full participation in the marijuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition,” according to the announcement.
• Co-Chair: Ashley Kilroy (Executive Director, Denver Excise & Licenses)
• Co-Chair: Molly Duplechian (Deputy Director, Denver Excise & Licenses)
• Councilwoman Kendra Black
• Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca
• Councilman Chris Hinds
• Kenneth Allison, All About Hemp, LLC
• Anshul Bagga, Denver City Attorney’s Office
• John Bailey, Black Cannabis Equity Initiative
• Sarah Belstock, Denver Health and Hospital Authority
• Truman Bradley, Marijuana Industry Group
• Diane Cooks, community representative, Montbello resident
• Shawn Coleman, 36 Solutions
• Jaqueline Flug, Drizly, LLC
• Michelle Garcia, Mayor’s Office of Social Equity and Innovation
• Michel Holien, Denver Public Schools
• Henny Lasley, Smart Colorado
• Clarissa Krieck, National Cannabis Industry Association
• Jason Moore, Denver City Attorney’s Office
• Dan Pabon, Medicine Man Technologies
• Jessica Scardina, Vicente Sederberg LLP
• Ean Seeb, Special Advisor on Cannabis, Governor Polis’ Office
• Ryan Tatum, Cultivated Synergy
• Art Way, Equitable Consulting
• Sarah Woodson, The Color of Cannabis
*** Of note: Jaqueline Flug is the former General Counsel to the New York State Liquor Authority.
Florida will start accepting hemp applications.
On April 16, the United States Department of Agriculture approved Florida’s long-awaited hemp regulations and program. On April 27, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services launched a Hemp Cultivation Licensing Portal for those hoping to grow hemp in the state to apply online.
Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a statement that this was the latest step “as we continue building our state hemp program into a national leader.”
“We’re working to ensure that applying for a license is streamlined and simple, so Floridians interested in growing hemp can quickly get started.”
iAnthus CEO is out.
The company formed a “special committee” earlier this month to look into reports that CEO Hadley Ford acted “in a conflict of interest and has misused iAnthus’ resources to his own benefit.”
They found that “two allegations were substantiated.” Specifically, two loans to Hadley totaling $160,000 were not disclosed to the board. One of those came from “the managing member of iAnthus’ senior secured lender, Gotham Green Partners.”
Specifically, iAnthus had raised $36 million from Gotham and other investors in December. The day after that deal closed, Ford borrowed $100,000 from one of Gotham’s managing members, to be paid by the end of March, which didn’t happen.
This has been a rough month for iAnthus, which, as Cannabis Wire noted in our newsletter, postponed earnings and instead formed a special committee for “implementing the operational and financial restructuring of the Company.”
“The decline in the overall public equity cannabis markets, coupled with the extraordinary market conditions that began in Q1 2020 due to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 (“COVID-19”) pandemic, have negatively impacted the financing markets and have caused liquidity constraints for the Company. Despite its best efforts as of this date, the Company has not been able to secure a further round of financing since December 20, 2019, whether as part of the larger financing plan previously announced on September 30, 2019 or from other sources,” the company wrote in the announcement.
“iAnthus attempted in good faith to negotiate with the holders of the Secured Debentures for temporary relief of interest payments, but the parties were not able to reach a satisfactory agreement. As a result, iAnthus and its subsidiaries did not fund the March 31, 2020 interest payment totaling $4.4 million to the holders of the Secured Debentures and Unsecured Debentures.”
iAnthus co-founder Randy Maslow will be interim CEO.
Cresco kills acquisition deal.
Last September, Cresco announced the acquisition of Tryke Companies. At the time, the deal was valued at $282.5 ($55 million cash). But now, that deal is over, and Cresco will instead pay “equity valued at $1.25 million as total consideration for the termination.”
Tryke, which has locations in Nevada and Arizona, is perhaps best known for its Reef Dispensary in Las Vegas. The company is also the only distributor of Wiz Khalifa’s branded Khalifa Kush products in both states.
Cresco CEO and co-founder Charlie Bachtell said in the announcement, “Our acquisition of Tryke has been impacted by regulatory delays, a decline in capital markets, and now COVID-19, which brought additional risk to this transaction. Given these events, we feel the resources previously targeted for this transaction are better invested in our existing markets, where we have high visibility and certainty of return on capital.”
As Cannabis Wire has been reporting, a number of cannabis companies are cutting back, citing COVID-19.
Vape company adds Canopy Growth founder as an advisor.
Los Angeles-based company Omura announced that it has raised a total of $5 million, some of it from Canopy Growth founder and former CEO Bruce Linton, who also joined the company as an advisor.
Since his ouster from Canopy, Linton has also joined as an advisor to Vireo, and you can read Cannabis Wire’s Q&A with him about that new endeavor here.
Mexican lawmakers talks legalization efforts.
As Cannabis Wire reported earlier this month, lawmakers in Mexico asked the Supreme Court for an extension on their deadline to legalize cannabis by month’s end. Lawmakers now have until December to legalize cannabis for adult use.
Senator Julio Ramón Menchaca Salazar, who has been active on the legislation, recently reiterated its importance, in particular when it comes to peace, social security, health, and human rights.
“It is a momentous decision for the country,” he said. (Read the entirety of his comments.)