Insider Cannabis: Psychedelics renaissance — Cannabis tech raking in millions — MedMen whiffs earnings

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Happy Friday readers,

With under three weeks to go until the election and (Zoom) conference season in full swing — not to mention, a batch of earnings this week and next — it's a been a busy time for us here on BI's cannabis team. 

On that front, I moderated two panels at Benzinga's Cannabis Capital Conference. I talked about brand development with rapper and Cookies CEO Berner and Gage Cannabis exec chairman Bruce Linton. I also hosted a fireside chat with Charlotte's Web CEO Deanie Elsner.

I'll be doing a slew of other panels and podcasts in the coming weeks, so let me know if you'd like links for tickets and such, happy to help out.

Next Thursday, you can catch me at the Vangst Virtual Cannabis Career Fair talking about a topic I know a thing or two about — cannabis journalism 101. 

What else?

Biden reiterated his campaign's pledge to federally decriminalize cannabis if he's elected at his town hall last night. You may remember his VP pick, Sen. Kamala Harris, said the same at the VP debate which sent pot stocks skyward.

Aphria and MedMen reported earnings this week. Aphria's were mixed, missing sales estimates, and the stock sold off. As for MedMen: revenue declined 40% sequentially from the previous quarter. Yeji has all you need to know there. 


Here's what we wrote about this week:

We got an exclusive look at the presentation a cannabis-tech startup used to raise $3.1 million by convincing investors its software can help farmers grow better pot

Trym is the latest cannabis-tech startup to close a major funding round.

The cannabis farm management software company closed a $3.1 million seed round, led by 7Thirty Capital. The round included a number of cannabis-focused funds. Trym CEO Matt Mayberry shared the pitch deck he used to raise the funds, as well as the insights he employed to help him close the round. 

'Psychedelics renaissance': Startups turning magic mushrooms into medicine are racing to go public

There is a "psychedelics renaissance" in motion, according to insiders in the industry, as shown by a rush of investor dollars and a number of public-market debuts. Some of the investors and banks working in psychedelics are the same ones who were involved with the cannabis boom and subsequent bust.

Business Insider spoke to five industry insiders, from company CEOs to investors. Despite the similarities, psychedelics insiders say that there are stark differences between cannabis and psychedelics.

Cannabis retailer MedMen is still struggling to reverse a sales slump, and the shares are tumbling

MedMen released financial results for the three months through June showing a 40% decline in revenue from the previous quarter. Executives blamed the sales slump on the coronavirus.

MedMen's stock tumbled 20 percent to 12 cents per share in trading on Friday morning. The company has faced a tough year, like many in the industry. Executives say they're optimizing their payroll and increase marketing to try and get on track.

Executive Moves

  • Cannabis testing lab CannaSafe brought on a new CFO, Matthew McCormack, and made a slew of other hires at the VP level. 

Deals, launches, and earnings

  • Nasdaq-listed hydroponics company GrowGeneration acquired Hydroponics Depot, Arizona's largest hydroponics store serving clients like Curaleaf and Harvest Health & Recreation. It's a sign that more companies are positioning themselves for Arizona's legalization vote on November 3. 
  • Michigan cannabis company Gage Cannabis launched a Reg A+ offering, seeking to raise $50 million before an official IPO process.  
  • Aphria reported earnings on Thursday, posting lower-than-expected losses but missing on revenue. On Friday morning, the stock was trading down a little over 1% after a near 15% drop on Thursday.
  • Halo Labs signed a definitive agreement to acquire UK-based cannabis company CanMart. 

Policy Moves

  • The Supreme Court rejected a case that challenged the constitutionality of marijuana's Schedule I status in the eyes of the federal government. The case was filed on behalf of Marvin Washington, a former NFL player, and Alexis Bortell, a 12-year-old medical cannabis epilepsy patient. 

What we're reading 

With eye on election and beyond, marijuana industry spends millions on lobbying (Marijuana Business Daily)

Weedfluencers: Rise in cannabis influencers leads to industry distrust (East Bay Express) 

Who are 2020's top marijuana legalization campaign donors? We've got all the data (Leafly)

Cannabis companies, betting on a Biden win, ready IPOs (Reuters)

The buzz-making, hangover-free promise of weed drinks (Esquire)

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