Another week has passed and a lot has been happening on all fronts of the northern cannabis world. Business, government, culture, and potency are all colliding as MedMen comes from the south, Aurora announces a 35% THC kief product, legalization legislation moves forward, and a player appeals to the NFL for access to medical cannabis.
These are the top stories in weed from May 26 to June 1, 2018.
Los Angeles-based cannabis retailer, MedMen began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange this week.
This was accomplished by a reverse takeover of Canadian oil and gas shell Ladera Ventures Corp., which was already listed on the CSE. Since acquiring Ladera, the company set its sights on moving north of the border.
The company follows a philosophy of vertical integration, controlling everything from production to the retail of their product. MedMen already owns a total of 18 facilities across three states that either grow or sell cannabis.
The Financial Times is reporting that this move has raised the company’s value to $2 billion, it is now the largest company on the CSE, and will give MedMen access to the Canadian market.
Alberta’s Aurora has announced the release of a high-grade kief product called “Aurora Frost,” an extremely potent flower that boasts 35% THC.
According to a press release the kief “consist primarily of trichomes, the resinous glands rich in active pharmaceutical ingredients, including terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD.”
The product is shipping in child-safe, glass bottles. Products are sold in one gram increments, priced at $35 per gram and $25 per gram for “compassionate pricing patients.”
Potency is verified by a third party laboratory results on potency, terpene profile, and contaminant analysis.
“Successfully developing…technology needed to produce these high-quality products at commercial scale, provides us with a remarkable advantage in addressing this niche of the cannabis market,” said Terry Booth, CEO.
On May 31, Hiku Brands posted their first-quarter results after the company launched in January 2018.
“The first quarter of 2018 was one that focused on solidifying our vertically integrated cannabis company and positioning us to win in the legal adult-use market in Canada,” said Alan Gertner, CEO of Hiku.
The company revenue was small, posting at only $246,143 with the total retail cost of sales coming to $202,431, for a gross profit of $15,554.
Still early days for the Tokyo Smoke offshoot, the company continues charging ahead also having merged with WeedMD.
“We are excited about our announced merger with WeedMD, a recognized leader in the medical cannabis sector,” said Gertner. “WeedMD brings considerable scalable production and seasoned R&D capabilities giving Hiku immediate access to cannabis flower, concentrates and innovative products that we believe will bolster our ability meet customers’ needs.”
Legislation to legalize recreational cannabis passed a key stage in the Senate, as the body voted to move bill into several committees for further study.
In its second reading, senators voted 44 to 29 to pass the bill.
If it had failed, the House of Commons would be forced to begin the process of legalization over again, drafting new legislation and completely derailing legalization for Summer 2018.
Conservative senators made 28 votes against the bill, while all but one Independent senator, PEI’s Sen. Mike Duffy, voted to move forward.
“I think it’s an important statement by the majority that this bill must advance,” Peter Harder, the government’s representative in the Senate, told reporters after the vote.
“This is a bill that is of high interest to the Senate. There are many issues to be dealt with, and it’s important that second reading passed tonight so the Senate could get on with its study, meeting with experts, and deciding if the bill can be improved in any fashion.”
According to a report by the BBC, Mike James, a 27-year-old free agent, believes he is the first player to submit a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to the NFL for cannabis.
He submitted a similar request in May of 2018, but it was rejected because he could not “indisputably prove he suffered chronic pain.”
He said he has continued to negotiate with the league.
“Submitting the TUE was a huge risk. I may have sacrificed my career to do it,” James told BBC Sport.
“But for me, there was no running from it anymore. I’m in a position to be able to do something myself, to give me back my life, and help the players in the league.”
James was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, but broke an ankle during his first season.
Doctors prescribed painkillers, but James became dependent on the pills and struggled with addiction. His hope is that an approval for cannabis can provide him with a safe means of treating his injuries while continuing to pursue his athletic career.