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A new cannabis company claims the title of “world’s largest.”
Tilray might just become Canopy Growth’s fiercest competitor: the company announced that it would combine with another Canadian giant, Aphria.
The new Tilray (which is already listed on Nasdaq as TLRY), will have 2,500 employees and offices in four countries: US (where Tilray was born, out of Seattle-based Privateer Holdings); Canada (where both companies operate), Portugal (where Tilray has its “EU campus”), and Germany (where Aphria is one of three licensed growers of medical cannabis).
When the deal is finalized, Aphria CEO Irwin Simon will be CEO of the new Tilray, and current CEO Brendan Kennedy will join its board. Irwin will be the board chair, and the remaining seven seats will include six from Aphria and one from Tilray.
Other industry news: Acreage has a new CEO, Aurora (again) cuts back, Verano to go public.
In June, Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy resigned amid Canopy Growth’s restructuring of its pending acquisition of the company. Now, six month later, Acreage has named as its CEO Peter Caldini, a former president at Pfizer North America (Consumer Healthcare).
And Aurora announced that it “has shuttered operations at the Aurora Sun facility and reduced production at its Aurora Sky facility by 75%,” moves that CEO Miguel Martin called “hard decisions … to improve cashflow.”
This summer, the company cut 25% of its corporate staff, and 30% of its production staff, resulting in hundreds of jobs lost. It closed five production facilities, leaving remaining production to be done at Sky and three others.
The company later also announced significant losses, as Martin acknowledged that the company had “slipped.”
Recently, we noted in our newsletter that WM Holding Company, LLC is expected to go public at a $1.5 billion valuation via a merger with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp., which is already listed on Nasdaq.
Now, US multistate operator Verano Holdings plans to go public, except on the Canadian Securities Exchange, via a reverse takeover, at a $2.8 billion valuation. In case you missed it, Harvest Health & Recreation had planned to acquire Verano in a deal then valued at $850 million, one of the highest-valued deals of its kind to-date, but that deal was called off earlier this year.
Australia OKs OTC CBD.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has moved to “down-schedule” low-dose CBD from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3. Now, up to 150 mg/day can be “supplied over-the-counter by a pharmacist, without a prescription.”
Though, there are no such approved products listed yet on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, and the announcement notes that “companies can now lodge an application.”
Senator Rand Paul introduces a hemp bill.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has introduced the Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (HEMP) Act of 2020. In a statement about the introduction of the bill, Paul said that the legislation was in response to farmers’ concerns about the .3% threshold. Any hemp that contains more than .3% must be destroyed, and Paul’s bill would raise that ceiling to 1% THC.
The bill would also help law enforcement differentiate between hemp and its higher-THC cousin through the use of a seed certificate that shows that the hemp was “grown from 1% THC seed.” Finally, the bill would also clearly define the lab testing error levels related to THC.
“For years, I’ve led the fight in Washington to restore one of Kentucky’s most historically vital crops by legalizing industrial hemp. We achieved a hard-won victory, but there is still work to do to prevent the federal government from weighing down our farmers with unnecessary bureaucratic micromanaging,” Paul said in a statement.
“My legislation will help this growing industry reach its full economic potential, and I am proud the bill has strong support all the way from local Kentucky farmers and activists to national groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation.”