The Week In Cannabis: Charlotte Figi's Passing, Epidiolex's De-Scheduling, Stocks Up And More

The Week In Cannabis: Charlotte Figi's Passing, Epidiolex's De-Scheduling, Stocks Up And More

A shortened week came with a no shortage of news for the cannabis community and industry.

We must start with a deeply sad event: the passing of 13-year-old Charlotte Figi in the hands of COVID-19.

Charlotte had become a face for the cannabis legalization movement after Colorado cannabis growers, the Stanley brothers, developed a strain of marijuana that was high on CBD and very low on THC, to help her parents treat her very rare form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome. In a heartbreaking post, the Stanley brothers described Charlotte’s bravery: “Charlotte was ten feet tall and carried the world on her shoulders.”

But it seems her activism was not in vain, for this week we learned the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration descheduled GW Pharmaceuticals plc's GWPH Epidiolex, a cannabinoid-containing drug that is used to treat Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This came only days after the FDA granted the same drug Priority Review status.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he doubted adult-use cannabis legalization would make it to this year’s legislative session as expected, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Illinois announced recreational cannabis sales had almost hit $110 million in their first three months; Netflix Inc NFLX announced it would be launching a new marijuana cooking show, "Cooked with Cannabis"; Caliva said it would be offering its own delivery services and digital, contacteless payments via a partnership with Hypur.

Over the last four trading days (markets were closed Friday):

  • ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ gained 4.8%
  • AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO rose 5.6%
  • Cannabis ETF THCX traded up 4.3%
  • Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS gained 4.5%
  • SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY closed the period up 7.7%

Find our cannabis, hemp and psychedelics news in Spanish on El Planteo.

In addition, Benzinga Cannabis debut its Spanish landing page and daily cannabis news coverage in the same language.

In other news, Zelira Therapeutics Ltd ZLDAF ZLD announced its medicinal cannabis trial to treat insomnia has met its objectives. The company said it has received the final report for the trial, which indicates its formulation — dubbedZTL-101 — has produced “statistically significant and dose-responsive improvements” in Insomnia Severity Index scores compared to the placebo.

More News From The Week

Garden Society added several brands to its commerce site, offering products from House of Saka, Juna, Kikoko, Sonder, and Sweet Releaf. Customers in Sonoma and Napa counties can order online for home delivery.

"One of Garden Society's core values is community, and at this time especially it's so important to support each other. We are happy to be able to bring some of our favorite women-owned brands to the doorsteps of their customers," said Karli Warner, co-founder of Garden Society. "Every single sale matters now for every single company. We are stronger and better together."

Canndescent launched its third brand, Baker's Cannabis Co., the brand's super affordable cannabis friend.

Created to deliver low cost, high quality products that appreciate a consumer’s cannabis routine, the company accelerated the brand launch by 90-days, recognizing that consumers need economic relief in this time of crisis. Scrapping the marketing campaign originally slated for Q320, Baker’s will instead redirect a portion of its marketing budget to purchase hand sanitizer for all of its participating stores.

Out and About CBD announced the successful raise of $1.55 million in angel funding, with proceeds allocated to the underwriting of its April 2 launch of a “do good, do well” mission aimed specifically at the LGBT community.

This is a community that suffers anxiety levels at more than twice the national level, Out and About spokespeople explained. “Some forty million US adults currently use CBD (which was re-classified as a legal agricultural product in the 2018 US Farm Bill) to help address issues such as stress, insomnia and local pain.”

Out & About CBD has committed to giving back 5% of all proceeds to recognized LGBT non-profits and for the month of April is donating 15% of all sales to The Trevor Project which is dedicated to reducing bullying and suicides by LGBT youth.

According to company co-founder Wayne Carkeek who grew up in a small town in Montana and came out after a stint in the Marines: "Until now the LGBT community has been generally overlooked by the CBD world; we plan to change that and become the thought leader for this influential audience that can benefit greatly from this novel and important wellness trend"

The Hemp Industries Association of FL (HIAF) is asking Florida elected leaders to designate hemp businesses as critical infrastructure so that they may remain open. Many hemp products such as hemp grain, hemp seed oil, hemp protein powder, food, beverages, salves, and tinctures are available for purchase at grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies that are currently still open and operating.  As manufacturers of hemp-based goods and the retailers that host these products are authorized to remain operational, it would align with the vision to allow hemp-based retailers to stay open for business under similar expectations as grocers.

“Hemp products are critical to the wellness of many who have epilepsy, MS, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, pain, anxiety, and insomnia,” shared Carlos Lopez-Cantera, former Lieutenant Governor of Florida and president of HIAF. “By not designating hemp businesses as critical infrastructure, it disrupts the supply chain, not allowing these essential products to reach the people they serve.”

Leafwell added a telehealth option to its practice, allowing for online medical marijuana consultations.  Medical director Dr. Steven Salzman explained, “Telehealth has been a fantastic addition to our practice, allowing us to see a greater number of patients, in particular those who are at higher risk of infection or from remote or underserved communities. In times like these, we realize that some of the things we take for granted - like being able to speak to a provider when you are sick - is particularly difficult for those who cannot actually get to a clinic easily. Telehealth platforms and various states expanding their telemedicine services has made reaching those in need much easier.”

AltMed Florida’s MÜV Medical Cannabis dispensaries announced the launch of its new free MÜV Strainprint App, which helps Florida patients track and report which strains, ingestion methods and dosages provide optimum outcomes. It’s a customized tracking, monitoring and reporting app, designed to anonymously share patient experiences to improve outcomes for the Florida medical cannabis community.

“With limited access to clinical trials, Strainprint provides a rare glimpse into data shared by patients who report which types of medical cannabis products produce the best results,” said AltMed Director of Corporate Affairs Todd Beckwith. “For example a patient could try a 1:1 THC/CBD tincture to treat a specific symptom and using the app they receive an alert prompting them to rate from 1-to-10 how they feel after a certain time. This data is then pooled together with other anonymous users’ feedback so patients can learn what has worked well for others treating the same symptom.”   

Wana Brands launched in Oklahoma. “While a lot of attention is given to very large markets such as California, Wana has seen tremendous success in the Midwest states which tend to get less attention but are very attractive nonetheless,” noted Nancy Whiteman, CEO, Wana Brands. “Oklahoma has been very aggressive in providing its citizens with access to an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. It is one of most exciting markets, and we are looking forward to continuing our strong position in the region with our award winning products.”

Cannabis operator Cresco Labs CL CRLBF obtained the final state approval for opening the first recreational-use cannabis dispensary in downtown Chicago.

Cannabis operatorHarvest Health & Recreation Inc. HARV HRVSF reported fourth-quarterrevenue of $37.8 million Tuesday, up123% from the same period in 2018. For the full year, thePhoenix, Arizona-based company reported revenue of $116.8 million versus $47 million in the prior year.

NewLeaf Brands Inc. NLB NLBIF 0NF, which makes the hemp-oil infused beverage TeaLief, signed a letter of intent to purchase Mydecine Group, a company that specializes in medicinal mushroom and fungi. The purchase price is about $850,000.

Health care solutions company AXIM Biotechnologies Inc AXIM plans to use a new patent to formulate a chewing gum with cannabinoids and nicotine that aids tobacco smokers in overcoming their addiction.

Cannabis industry supplier KushCo HoldingsInc. KSHB reported its second quarter financial results with net revenue of $30.1 million, down by 14% from the same period in 2019.

The Cypress, California-based company said revenue from its “core” customers was of $24.6 million, accounting for 82% of total revenue, and being up by 227% from the same period in the prior year.

Psychedelics research company Champignon Brands SHRM SHRMF announced Friday it is acquiring AltMed Capital Corp.

Run by Dr. Roger McIntyre, AltMed has been operating a ketamine clinic, the Health Canada-approved Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence (CRTCE), for more than 18 months now.

Dr. McIntyre is well known in his field, having published more than 600 articles. AltMed’s director, Pat McCutcheon, is the co-founder and CEO of MediPharm Labs LABS MEDIF.

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