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Cresco Labs to enter Florida with Bluma Wellness acquisition
21.5 million residents, >$1b in medical cannabis sales, and a limited number of licenses make Florida an attractive state for any MSO not already in the market. After a $120m all-stock false start with Florida company VidaCann in 2019, Cresco is back in a $213m all-stock acquisition of its competitor Bluma Wellness.
Akerna reveals top 5 cannabis sales days of 2020
2020 was a year like no other, especially for the cannabis industry. Unexpectedly, cannabis’ main traditional “holiday” 4/20 did not even come out in the top 10 highest grossing days for cannabis sales in the year. Instead, national holidays and extended weekends were the blockbuster sales days, potentially because cannabis is a much more potent performance enhancer in dealing with holiday lockdowns than in mixed martial arts (see UFC note below).
Cannabis SPACs will remain popular in 2021 despite several challenges
SPACs are unique public vehicles that are effectively publicly traded cash looking to buy something within 24 months, and usually some sweeteners thrown in for the management team that put the SPAC together. A currently favored vehicle in public markets generally, cannabis SPACs are poised to be a potentially significant player in 2021 with a collective $2.5b in capital that must be deployed before the end of next year. Most cannabis SPACs intend to trade on NASDAQ, and so therefore can’t “touch the plant.”
USADA 'essentially' eliminating marijuana use as UFC violation
A testament to the momentum that cannabis has gained in the sports arena (where NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL have decreased or removed marijuana usage penalties), popular mixed martial arts promotion the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is no longer testing for cannabis outside of day-of screenings to determine whether or not the substance is being used as a performance enhancing drug during the bout itself. In fairness, based on our extensive research, we at Bengal were always skeptical of the performance enhancing benefits of cannabis in the pummeling of others.
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"Canna"nomics: January 15, 2021
Cannabis operators in the United States are rushing to take advantage of the currently favorable canna'nomic' environment. A unified Democratic government, albeit with thin control of the Senate, led to investor optimism, which in turn led to larger U.S. cannabis companies utilizing the resulting momentum to raise significant amounts of capital. Potentially tellingly, many of the raises are equity at a slight discount to market prices - far from the terms investors were demanding months ago. Investors wary of such large capital raises dampening stock prices, as notably happened with some large Canadian LPs, may be comforted by the fact that U.S. firms’ financial trajectories are distinctly different from their Canadian cousins - solid growth, with more players expected to inflect into positive cashflow from operations this year. Taken together, the financial and political developments foreshadow a year ahead that will be anything but dull.