It’s merger mania, with SPACs, RTOs, mergers, and more

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It’s hard to ship a newsletter when the deals keep getting wilder!

We finished the last issue with the bombshell announcement of the acquisition of Caliva and Left Coast by Subversive Capital’s SPAC, and figured that would warrant a deep dive. But deals, it would seem, are very not dead, with another (bigger) SPAC, a game-changing mega reverse takeover (RTO), an even more mega-merger of Canadian giants, and seemingly more action to come. Let’s break it down.

First off, before we forget Subversive in all the news, it’s still very worth talking about. The new company (the somewhat generally named “The Parent Company”) touts “a vertically integrated platform that includes cultivation, manufacturing…


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Jason Weinberger (President, Strike 2) shares key takeaways from ebbu’s rebrand

The cannabis industry is, by all accounts, growing like a… weed, with direct revenue expected to top $15 billion this year in the United States.

Industry outsiders might be surprised, however. Despite the monstrous sales growth, there are still no powerhouse cannabis brands in the United States. Even in Canada, where cannabis is legal nationally, the vast majority of brands have between 1–15% brand awareness among current cannabis users.

That’s shockingly low — but presents a tremendous opportunity. Without any well-established companies owning the minds and wallets of cannabis users, any brand, has the chance to make its mark. Imagine…


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NuRange Coffee’s founders think it might be the key to a perfect brew.

Talk about an epic pivot. Colin Ricker and Zach MacAffer, co-founders of NuRange Coffee, shared their journey from minor Instagram fame to becoming budding experts on crafting the best crossover cup of coffee and CBD.

If you like in-depth analysis, unique guest perspectives, and no holds barred takes on cannabis news, subscribe here.


Can a bold vision and cutting-edge facility make Six Labs synonymous with Michigan cannabis?

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We discussed the path to starting Six Labs, building a cannabis business in Michigan, and more with Joe Ori, Six Labs co-founder and general counsel.

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Joe Ori, Six Labs Co-Founder, General Counsel and Government Relations

My belief in the health benefits of cannabis is very personal. I was an unreformed advocate for cannabis. As an athlete, I experienced similar trials and tribulations that you see from a lot of professional athletes in regards to how to manage their own pain. I was very sympathetic to that.

I played football from an early age — I was recruited to play at…


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CULTA’s Wholesale Director Jared Miller shares on how their vertical cannabis business is thriving in Maryland

What does it take to excel as CULTA has in the Maryland market? What do you see as unique to Maryland?

CULTA was founded by Maryland natives in 2015 to focus on craft cannabis and cannabis concentrates. We partnered with some well-established growers from Colorado and the rest is history.

CULTA is a team-first, people-oriented culture. We have one common passion: craft cannabis. Many patients and activists on the East Coast have been involved in this culture for a long time but CULTA is now recognized both regionally and nationally.

It’s all about synergy, communication, and alignment. Finding other like-minded teams to build relationships with is the best place to start.


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Could coronavirus… create canna-jobs?

Farhaj Mayan is the CEO of Kanna, a fully integrated training and hiring platform for the cannabis industry. He shared his recent thoughts on how COVID-19 is catalyzing changes across all aspects of cannabis business operations.

Historically, the industries that are viewed as cannabis’ closest comparisons — alcohol and healthcare — are considered recession-resistant. In the financial crisis in 2008, the U.S. saw prescription drug cost inflation ranging from 3 — 5% during and after the downturn. Similarly, we believe that the cannabis industry will perform well during an economic downturn and continue its rapid growth.

Cannabis is medically legal…


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Canix CEO Stacey Hronowski wants to help compress canna-costs while conquering compliance with a modern ERP

What led you to start Canix? What pain points did you see?


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Very Scarce founder Steve Weiner shares on Humboldt’s heritage and craft cannabis’ future

Perhaps contrary to some people’s expectations, there’s a fairly strong representation of veterans in cannabis. How did you end up working in cannabis?

As with a lot of people, I experimented with cannabis personally in high school (sorry if you’re reading this Mom and Dad). Unlike most, however, I had to give it up, full stop, when I went to the Naval Academy and spent the next 10 years as an active member of the military.

My first job as a nuclear submarine officer in the Navy had more parallels to cannabis than you’d imagine — regulation, administration, managing people and complex operations.

“Radioactive material’s track-and-trace system, pound-for-pound, is almost identical to cannabis (although the Navy version was perhaps administered better).”

My “adult”…


Tanisha Robinson is leveraging her unique background in entrepeneurship, beer and more to craft a distinctive CBD beverage

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The CBD beverage space is quickly crowding with different concepts, but few brands boast a founder with a resume like yours. Can you tell me about your early career?

I’m a U.S. army veteran, where I served as an Arabic linguist before getting into entrepeneurship. I’ve been building businesses ever since — built some tech stuff and e-commerce companies, and I’ve even burned a few things to the ground.


Leaf Trade’s strategy: stay focused and follow their customers’ lead

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Cannabis tech companies can sometimes be hard to understand and evaluate. On one hand, there’s undoubtedly pressing needs within the industry which innovative software can help solve. On the other, so many canna-tech businesses appear looking like “green” clones of broader technology platforms in other industries, or seem unfocused, trying to do it all for every company within the cannabis supply chain.

It’s these typical dynamics that made my conversation with Michael Piermont quite interesting. As President and Chief Revenue Officer at Leaf Trade, a Chicago-area cannabis startup, he’s already operating in fundamentally different territory than many West Coast peers…

Cannablurbs

Cannablurbs is a weekly update on all things cannabis — and this is where we share our longer thoughts.

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