White men dominate the cannabis C-suite

[ad_1]

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court, wrote a statement that raised some eyebrows across the cannabis world this week.

After the court declined to hear a challenge to 280E — the Reagan-era IRS rule that forbids cannabis companies from deducting regular business expenses — Thomas said that the federal government’s prohibition on marijuana “may no longer be necessary,” given the number of states that have legalized it for both medical and recreational use. He called the federal government’s enforcement of marijuana prohibition more “episodic than coherent.”

It’s fair to say Thomas is probably not going to become a legalization advocate — rather, he’s a conservative judge pushing back against high tax burdens on small businesses and federal overreach in this specific case.

If you’re interested, you can read our deep dive into the consequences of 280E for cannabis companies here.

What else?

In last week’s newsletter, I wrote about how we see the continued conflict between state and federal cannabis laws play out every day here in the US.

Another point: 21-year-old star runner Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended after testing positive for marijuana. She likely won’t be able to run in the 100-meter dash at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, where she was a medal favorite. In an interview with the Today Show, Savannah Guthrie pointed out that Richardson was in Oregon when she tested positive — a state where marijuana has been legal for almost six years.

It’s also worth noting that THC can show up in tests up to a month after consumption. Plus, there isn’t any evidence that marijuana is performance-enhancing.

If you missed it: I went on the High Rise podcast with Cy Scott of Headset and Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management to discuss our reporting for the Insider newsroom-wide “Cost of Inequity” project — I’d encourage you all to read through some of the great reporting our colleagues did as well. 

You can listen to that here.

I’ll be off next week, but you’ll be in good hands with Yeji.

– Jeremy Berke (@jfberke

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news. 

Here’s what we wrote about this week:

Top executives at the 14 largest cannabis companies are overwhelmingly white men, an Insider analysis shows

Insider asked the largest cannabis companies in the world who makes up their C-suite. White men make up 70% of top execs, we found. Black execs make up 7% of the cannabis C-suite. This story is part of a larger newsroom-wide project: The Cost of Inequity. 

A hot CBD startup just raised a fresh $50 million — and the CEO said the company is eyeing an IPO as early as next year

CBD startup Kadenwood just closed a $50 million Series B, giving the two-year-old company a valuation of over $350 million. The round was led by The Craftory, a venture-capital fund that invests in growth-stage consumer startups, and Arcadian Capital Management, a venture fund focused on cannabis. 

A top Wall Street analyst lays out 4 reasons why under-the-radar cannabis stock Ayr could pop 49%

Viridian Capital Advisors analyst Jonathan DeCourcey says Ayr Wellness is his top cannabis stock pick and said the company’s stock is discounted considering its track record.

Former engineers from Microsoft and Facebook just raised $23 million to dominate a crucial but overlooked piece of the biggest US cannabis market

Nabis, one of the largest distributors in California’s cannabis industry, just closed a $23 million Series B round. We got an exclusive interview with the company’s CEO Vince Ning who said he’s focused on doubling the company’s footprint in California.

Aurora Cannabis

A team member of Aurora Cannabis works in the grow room at Aurora Sky cannabis growing greenhouse in Alberta, Canada, in this 2018 handout image.

Alberta Cannabis Inc/Handout via REUTERS


Executive moves

  • Cannabis distribution company HERBL announced on Wednesday that COO Art Smuck is retiring. Former Whole Foods exec Robert Turner will take over.
  • Jushi Holdings said on Wednesday that former AB InBev exec Leonardo Garcia-Berg will join the company as COO, while Erich Mauff is stepping down from his roles as co-president and board member
  • Cannabis law expert Rachel Gilette is joining Holland & Hart to launch the firm’s cannabis practice

Deals, launches, and IPOs

  • California cannabis company Glass House started trading on the NEO Exchange on July 5. It went public through a combination with Mercer Park, a SPAC.
  • Cannabis company Clever Leaves said on Monday that it had launched “Project Change Lives,” a research initiative that will pledge $25 million of medical cannabis to US researchers.
  • Trulieve said on Wednesday that it had completed its $13.5 million cash and stock acquisition of a cannabis store in Massachusetts.
  • Hemp and CBD company Vertical Wellness is going public on the CSE via a merger with CannaFarma Corp.
  • Tilray is launching Broken Coast BC Lager in the US, through SweetWater Brewing Company. It’s a way to get their Broken Coast cannabis brand in front of consumers in the US before they’re able to sell actual cannabis.
  • And in other Tilray news, the company said in a proxy statement that it is seeking to increase the number of shares to pursue M&A opportunities. 
  • Cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg is launching an ESG practice

Policy moves

  • Marijuana legalization took effect in Virginia and Connecticut on Thursday, while medical marijuana laws went into effect in South Dakota.  
  • Mexico‘s Supreme Court struck down cannabis prohibition on Tuesday in an 8-3 ruling, decriminalizing the use of recreational cannabis in the country. 
  • Apple will now allow marijuana delivery services on the app store, though only in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal. 

Research and data

  • The Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School announced on Wednesday that it had launched a new research Initiative on psychedelics. The program, called POPLAR, is funded by the Saisei Foundation and long-time psychedelics proponent Tim Ferriss among others. 

Chart of the week

Ontario‘s cannabis market has seen steady growth throughout 2020, thanks to the increase in dispensaries, according to market-research firm Brightfield Group. The province more than tripled its store numbers.

cannabis weekly newsletter chart about Canada dispensary locations

Ontario tripled its dispensary…

[ad_2]

Read More: White men dominate the cannabis C-suite