GRWG kicked off the first social equity initiative of its kind in the cannabis industry
Welcome back to our weekly series, Schaeffer’s Cannabis Stock News Update, where we recap what happened in the world of marijuana stocks, and look at how the cannabis industry is shaping up as we dive into 2022.
The United States saw four more states, including New York, Virginia, New Mexico, and Connecticut, legalize recreational marijuana in 2021. While South Dakota had passed a voter-driven legalization measure approved in 2020, that was undone by its Supreme Court in 2021.
That leaves 20 states where recreational cannabis is legal to start off 2022. As of late 2021, marijuana is classified at the U.S. federal level as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. In other words, cultivating, distributing, and possessing cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.
In addition, here is a quick summary of the major (and action-worthy!) cannabis stock news from last week:
Kicking off the holiday-shortened week on Tuesday, wholly-owned subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ:EVGN), Canonic, announced positive results from its pre-clinical studies focused on inflammatory and pain model systems based in Israel. Based on the preliminary results, EVGN identified specific cannabis varieties from its Precise medical marijuana product lineup that relieve inflammation and pain. The first of (hopefully) many medical-grade cannabis products from Canonic is anticipated to be released in Israel by 2023.
Tuesday also featured a socially-conscious announcement from major hydroponics name, GrowGeneration Corp. (NASDAQ:GRWG) confirming a partnership with Harvest 360 Technologies, LLC focused on launching a program in the U.S. to support social equity applicants. According to GRWG, “Today we announce NEXTGEN, the first initiative in our goal of supporting social equity and the inclusion of diverse applicants, including minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs, to identify and empower small cultivators.”
The board of directors at urban-gro, Inc. (NASDAQ:UGRO) approved an increase of $2 million to the cannabis company’s stock repurchase program on January 18. Now urban-gro can purchase up to $7 million shares of its common stock in the open market or in private as long as UGRO follows the guidelines set forth. Shares of UGRO jumped 4% on the news.
Spotify Technology SA (NYSE:SPOT) had formally opposed the trademark application by U.S. Software Inc. for cannabis software named POTIFY. On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld the opposition stating that a POTIFY trademark would dilute and blur trademarks held by Spotify.
On Wednesday, Martha Stewart and Canopy Growth Corp (NASDAQ:CGC) launched Martha Stewart CBD Wellness Topicals. Stewart’s CBD line with CGC already includes other CBD-infused products like gummies, softgels, and oils. According to Stewart, “I believe that living well can be simplified by focusing on practical and effective solutions, which is why I created this line of CBD Wellness Topicals with the Canopy Growth team.”
The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta granted a final approval on Wednesday for Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ:SNDL) to acquire all available shares of Alcanna Inc. Both companies’ boards of directors unanimously approved the deal while Alcanna shareholders have still not approved the acquisition at this time.
IM Cannabis Corp. (NASDAQ:IMCC) made an announcement on Wednesday that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Trichome JWC Acquisition Corp. completed the exportation of 399 kilograms of dried cannabis to Focus Medical Herbs Ltd. in Israel. Focus Medical is leading the launch of Israel’s medical marijuana market in the first quarter of 2022 under the WAGNERS brand.
On December 20, Agrify Corporation (NASDAQ:AGFY) reported that fourth quarter of 2021 bookings closed at over $250 million which is $150 million higher than AGFY’s earlier Q4 guidance of $100 million. New bookings is the unit of measurement used in assessing Agrify’s sales of its cultivation and extraction products. According to AGFY’s CEO, “2021 was a transformational year for Agrify. We have seen significant and consistent improvement in our financial results quarter-over-quarter. Additionally, the introduction of our TTK Solution has proven to address multiple pain points in the rapidly evolving cannabis and hemp industry, while simultaneously creating compelling and long-term value for our shareholders.”
A management shakeup took place on Thursday at Canadian-based Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) which included the promotion of John Griese to senior vice president and head of North American operations. Griese had previously been the chief operating officer at The Supreme Cannabis Co. until it was acquired by Canopy Growth Corp. This promotion was done without a formal press release from Cronos Group.