Cannabis Sector Update: Distribution Deals, Product Innovations, and More

The market-moving news that dropped this week in the cannabis industry

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Welcome back to our new weekly series, Schaeffer's Cannabis Stock News Update, where we recap what happened in the world of marijuana stocks this week and we will look ahead at the pot stocks to watch in the upcoming week.

Investor interest in the cannabis industry continues to grow and the leading players continue to break through legal barrier after legal barrier. Right now, nine states and D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana and 29 states have legalized medicinal marijuana. Normally, when we talk "cannabis stocks," we are talking about companies that sell both recreational and medicinal cannabis. More and more companies, though, are starting to see the opportunity presenting in this quickly growing industry and we are continuing to see more marijuana IPOs on the calendar.

Here's a quick roundup of the cannabis sector news this week (September 28 through October 2):

Greenlane Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:GNLN) unveiled the first machine produced pre-rolled cones in the market on the last day of September. Clients can now purchase machine-made pre-rolled cones in cone blends like Organic Hemp, Natural Brown, and Rice.

cbdMD, Inc. (NYSE:YCBD), one of the most well-known cannabidiol (CBD) brands, announced today that PRO Group will distribute their brands nationwide. PRO Group is, an international merchandising and marketing organization with nearly 80 distributors operating more than 140 distribution centers within the United States. PRO Group's sales volume exceeds $6 billion through its member distributors through its alliance with the VAL-TEST Group. PRO Group has has selected cbdMD, Paw CBD and the CBD brands for distribution utilizing its national network immediately, effective today.

Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), a marijuana giant based in Canada, announced yesterday that the company has plans to launch THC-infused beverages in the United States next summer in partnership with Acreage Holdings. Acreage Holdings is a U.S.-based marijuana company that Canopy has had its eye on acquiring for a while now, pending federal legalization of pot in the United States.

Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ:VFF) announced on Monday September 28 that Pure Sunfarms has received authorization to sell cannabis extract (as well as edible and topical cannabis products) from Health Canada, This is an extension on their Health Canada standard cannabis processing license, allowing internal extraction operations to commence ahead of vape and bottled oil product launches slated in the coming months.

NewAge, Inc. (NASDAQ:NBEV), the Colorado-based social selling and distribution company utilizing a network of businesses worldwide, announced on October 1, that the merger agreement for acquisition of ARIIX has been amended and is expected to be completed by the end of November 220. it has amended the merger agreement for the acquisition of ARIIX and that it expects to close the transaction no later than November 30, 2020. According to the CEO of ARIIX, “The strength of our two companies coming together will have significant benefits to all our stakeholders around the globe."

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), a big pot stock amongst retail traders, experienced a stock price drop on September after the Canadian cannabis producer shared the news that activist investor, Nelson Peltz, had resigned as a senior advisor to Aurora. This is just the latest shake-up for a company trying to rein in costs and find a way to profitability.

Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ:APHA), a global leader in the cannabis industry confirmed today that the company will release its quarterly financial results for its fiscal first quarter of 2021 in 2 weeks, on October 15.

In more general sector news, cannabis vape companies have been experiencing a major boom in sales as the pandemic seems to be pushing consumers toward acceptance of cannabis. The more legalization of marijuana that we see across the US, the more new consumers will begin to enter the market. From startups to major players, several leading manufacturers have reported seeing a boom in sales since the start of the coronavirus crisis. It sees there has been a turning point around cannabis in 2020, with consumers waking up to the level of sophistication around cannabis instead of just labeling it an illicit drug.

Finally, as election day 2020 approaches, polling data is being released in the four states that are voting on recreational cannabis legalization initiatives. If all (or even most) of these state legalization measures are approved by voters, even without nationwide legalization, the cannabis market stands to grow substantially.

In New Jersey, the latest poll found that 65% of likely voters support recreational legalization. In Arizona, conflicting polling data was released with one poll that found that 57% of likely voters support recreational cannabis legalization while another found that only 46% support legalization. In South Dakota, approximately 60% of likely voters support recreational cannabis legalization according to a recent poll. Finally, the latest poll from Montana reported that 54% of likely voters support recreational legalization statewide.

There are no notable earnings announcements expected in the cannabis sector at this time for next week.

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