Welcome to Cultivated, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

If you want a discount to BI Prime to read our stories, sign up here!

Happy Friday,

Earlier this week, Yeji and I caught up with WeedMaps CEO Chris Beals. We asked Beals about recent cuts at the startup, along with his take on the challenges facing the cannabis industry at the start of a new decade.

“Frankly, it felt like we were kind of getting bloated on some of these ancillary areas that had always been there, but just didn’t match kind of the speed and trajectory of where we’re going,” Beals said. 

Beals said he expects more cannabis companies — from publicly traded firms to tech startups — to resize in the coming months. We’re staying on top of all the job cuts here. 

Apart from that, I’ll be moderating a panel this afternoon at Green Market Report’s Economics of Psychedelic Investing Conference. Come say hi and listen in if you’ll be there. 


Here’s what we wrote about this week:

The CEO of troubled cannabis company MedMen told us investors were right to punish his stock. Now he says they’d be smart to bet on a turnaround.

MedMen, a flashy cannabis retailer with stores in locations like Las Vegas, Venice Beach, and Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, has been punished by investors.

Adam Bierman, the CEO of MedMen, says investors were right to send his stock lower, and that he’s working on a turnaround.

“The investor community and the street, they don’t really get anything wrong,” Bierman told Business Insider in a Thursday afternoon phone interview.

The company is working on restructuring, which Bierman says is about a month out from being completed, 

A VC firm led by a Net-A-Porter cofounder just made a big bet on cannabis beverages. Here’s an exclusive look at the pitch deck that helped Cann raise $5 million.

Cann, a low-dose cannabis-infused beverage startup, recently closed a $5 million seed round, led by Imaginary Ventures, a VC firm led by Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, and JM10 Partners. 

“We really wanted to find investors that looked at us less like a cannabis company and more like an alcohol substitute,” Jake Bullock, Cann’s cofounder, told Business Insider. The founders want to make a six-pack of Cann beverages “price competitive” with a six-pack of craft beer. 

Capital raises, M&A activity, partnerships, and launches

Executive moves

  • Canopy Growth has appointed Judy Schmeling, a Constellation Brands board member, as the chair of Canopy’s board. Schmeling has served as the chair of Canopy’s audit committee since 2018. Canopy also added Jim Sabia, an EVP at Constellation Brands, to its board. 
  • Two execs left Cronos Group, the company announced. David Hsu resigned as chief operating officer, and William Hilson stepped down as chief commercial officer. 

What we’re reading

Heavy marijuana users who started young drive differently — even while not stoned, study says (The Boston Globe) 

Officials say Arizona hemp crops testing positive for THC (High Times)

Bargain hunters fire up rally in cannabis stocks (Reuters)

The vaping panic is looking eerily like the start of a new drug war (Business Insider)

Did we miss anything? Have a tip? Just want to chat? Send us a note at cannabis@businessinsider.com or find Business Insider’s cannabis team on twitter: @jfberke & @jesse_yeji. You can also reach Jeremy on encrypted messaging app Signal on request. 

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2020-01-24 18:30:00
Image credit: source