The Fluence by OSRAM research team is proud to announce the results of its latest research trials exploring the impact of spectra on cannabis yield and secondary metabolite production. During this session, David Hawley, Ph.D., will present the triple-replicate studies conducted in collaboration with Wageningen University under supplemental lighting and Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation with sole-source lighting. Each trial tested three cannabis cultivars under four different spectra ranging from broad, white light, to narrow-band, purple light, aligning with industry standards for greenhouse and sole-source lighting. The analysis revealed interesting findings regarding yield as well as cannabinoid and terpene concentrations. Join this session to hear the latest in cannabis research and learn how selecting the optimal light spectra can help you meet your commercial facility’s business and cultivation goals.
Aphria has closed its acquisition of SweetWater Brewing Company, a U.S.-based independent craft brewer, in a deal that Aphria CEO and Chairman Irwin Simon said will give the Canadian licensed producer an opportunity to build brand awareness in the U.S. ahead of federal legalization.
Aphria plans to introduce its adult-use cannabis brands, such as Broken Coast, Riff, Soleil and Good Supply, to the U.S. market as cannabis-free beverages through SweetWater products and harness SweetWater’s expertise in what Simon said is the growing, $29-billion craft beer market in the U.S.
“The beer and cannabis industry have been tied closely in recent years, as both industries are ripe for a cross-over audience,” Simon said in an email to Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “SweetWater Brewing Co. has a ready-made brand and fan base that is closely aligned with a cannabis lifestyle. Aphria sees a huge opportunity to pre-seed our cannabis brands in the U.S. through SweetWater in advance of U.S. legalization. As well, its distribution in 27 states and Washington, D.C. provided Aphria a recognizable foothold and infrastructure in the U.S. with long-term potential.”
In addition to establishing its own brands and growing its U.S. presence, Aphria will also introduce SweetWater’s beer and hard seltzer products to Canada.
Aphria and SweetWater share a strong focus on R&D and innovation, Simon said, and SweetWater is no stranger to the cannabis market—in 2018, the company introduced a beer with plant-derived terpenes that mimic the smell of cannabis. With growing legalization in the U.S., Simon said Aphria plans to introduce a CBD- or THC-infused canned seltzer in both the U.S. and Canadian markets.
“We believe beverages will become one of the biggest segments in the cannabis industry once adult-use cannabis is federally legalized and distribution regulations are modified in the U.S.,” Simon said. “The cannabis beverage category remains small currently because of how people are allowed to consume. Once regulations change and [more legal markets allow] people [to] consume cannabis beverages on-premise, it could change the dynamic of how big the category is.”
Looking ahead, Simon said he believes the acquisition will help position Aphria as a global cannabis-lifestyle consumer packaged goods company that will include non-cannabis operations in the U.S., Germany and Argentina.
“The opportunity for Aphria is tremendous,” he said. “In the near-term, we look forward to bringing more SweetWater brands to Canada, while we prepare to introduce Broken Coast, Good Supply, Riff and Solei brands to the U.S."
Chicago, IL and Denver, CO, December 3, 2020 - PRESS RELEASE - Hub International Limited (HUB), a leading global insurance brokerage, has announced that is has chosen Simplifya, a provider of operational and regulatory compliance software for the cannabis industry, to provide ongoing cannabis license verification in order to help identify and support valid cannabis operators with insurance coverage.
Licensing for cannabis businesses in the U.S. is particularly complicated. Compliance requirements vary by state, by the type of business, and by the physical location of the operation. And, licensing requires proper due diligence in order for cannabis businesses to operate legally and maintain compliance.
“Proof of insurance shows operational maturity and is an essential step for cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, transporters and distributors to keep growing their business,” said Jay Virdi, chief sales officer for Cannabis Specialty Practice, HUB International. “With Simplifya, HUB can more efficiently protect legitimate cannabis operators by ensuring their licensures are complete, valid, and active – all of which are non-negotiable necessities for securing proper insurance coverage.”
HUB’s Cannabis Specialty has more than 130 members servicing over 400 cannabis-related recreational and medical clients. HUB clients include companies across the cannabis spectrum throughout North America, including cultivating and harvesting, transportation, retail/dispensaries, manufacturing and laboratories, as well as wholesale and distribution centers. HUB understands the complexity of the cannabis industry and the many unique insurance coverage limitations and exclusions that can leave businesses exposed to risks. Noneof which can be secured without proper proof of licensure.
The Simplifya Verified platform currently monitors real-time cannabis license data for 34 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and all Canadian provinces. While each of these jurisdictions makes cannabis license information available; the format in which they provide it differs from state to state and by province, making manual monitoring both time and labor-intensive. Simplifya’s in-house legal team has completed the data collection of more than 35,000 license records and will provide HUB with an efficient and comprehensive view of client and prospect licensure status.
“One of the major hurdles still facing the cannabis industry is understanding exactly with whom you are doing business or, in the case of HUB, what type of cannabis business they are helping to secure insurance,” said Marion Mariathasan, CEO & co-founder of Simplifya. “Simplifya Verified provides companies with a much-needed risk management tool in order to be able to confidently invest in and provide services to legitimate, licensed cannabis operators."
Maryland-based vertically integrated cannabis operator Curio Wellness has announced a new funding program that will provide $30 million in startup capital to up to 50 minority business owners to allow them to open a Curio franchise in one of multiple states.
“At its root, it was born of an interest in making a statement about diversity,” Jerel Registre, managing director of the Curio WMBE Fund, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.
Curio CEO Michael Bronfein started thinking about ways to support diversity in the industry back in 2018, Registre said, and worked with one of the company’s key investors to move beyond Curio’s focus on a diverse employee base to create business ownership opportunities for women, minorities and disabled veterans.
Access to capital is a key challenge for many prospective business owners, Registre said, due to the cannabis industry’s limited access to banking, as well as diverse communities historically having a more difficult time accessing capital to build businesses.
“That is where the idea for a fund was born,” Registre said. “Then, as we looked at how to make sure that both the fund and the entrepreneurs were successful over time, we wanted to be able to provide operational support that went beyond advice, really. … We settled on franchising because that really enabled us to partner with the franchisees or the entrepreneurs to drive both the performance and the brand of the store in a way that created sustainable business and business models.”
How to best address diversity remains an important challenge as the cannabis industry matures and faces the prospect of federal legalization, Registre said, and in taking a stab at solving this issue, the Curio team hopes to bring industry stakeholders together on what a diverse marketplace really means.
Curio hopes to provide entrepreneurs access to franchises in up to 10 states, which will be chosen based on their regulatory structures and the overall health of their medical cannabis programs. Curio is largely a medical company with a clinical approach to cannabis, Registre said, and plans to launch its franchisees’ businesses primarily in medical markets.
The company is currently awaiting regulatory approval for its franchising model, but once it has the green light, it will establish an application process for prospective franchisees in early 2021. Registre will work with Curio’s president of retail services, Andy Cohen, to develop specific criteria for applicants.
“[We want potential franchisees] to be a great leaders, but there’s also an aspect of being excited for regulation,” Registre said. “We really need people who … are willing to color inside the lines, to really make sure that compliance is at the forefront of the management of the store.”
Curio will require franchisees to appoint a clinical director for each store, he added. “In a lot of cases, we expect that a clinician will seek to be the franchisee themselves and serve as the clinical director, and then [will hire a team with] experience around retail, marketing, sales and all of those other skills that will make for a successful store.”
As the franchisor, Curio will provide launch support to franchisees for the first six months to a year, including help in the licensing process, initial employee hiring and training, site selection, and the buildout of the dispensaries. In the longer term, Curio will help develop standard operating procedures for its franchisees, as well as provide day-to-day guidance in running the stores.
The company also offers Curio College, which will educate franchisees and their teams about the clinical aspects of medical cannabis.
“We need a mechanism to keep our franchisees and their employees current on the latest in research and development in the space,” Registre said.
Curio is currently fundraising for the program and is about halfway to its $30-million goal, which will ultimately allow the company to help launch 40 to 50 minority-owned dispensaries.
Curio’s franchising model ultimately leads to 100% ownership for entrepreneurs, Registre said, as the fund is structured as a launch vehicle rather than a permanent investment in each store. The franchisee will purchase the fund’s ownership over time, he said, and as capital is returned to investors, it will be reinvested in even more minority-owned businesses.
“From our perspective, when we looked at the opportunity to make a statement about diversity, it’s hard to assemble all the components to drive a long-term impact,” Registre said. “Even if you’re able to support an entrepreneur in receiving a license, there’s a need for ongoing support so they can get their business established, let alone operate successfully over time. So, we’re really enthusiastic and we have a lot of conviction around the idea that pairing the financing with the franchise element creates … a long-term relationship."
Toronto, CANADA - December 4, 2020 — PRESS RELEASE — Greentank Technologies Corp. announced today it has received Health Canada approval for a cannabis research license. This marks the first time a cannabis research license has been granted to any vape hardware manufacturer globally, and opens up the opportunity for Greentank to take an industry leadership role in the advancement of vape reliability, performance and safety.
Under the research license, Greentank can handle up to 10,000 grams of dried cannabis flower or 2,500 grams of cannabis extract for research purposes at the company’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada. This allows the company to comprehensively test its partners’ extracts in house for viscosity, fluidity, constituents, emissions and the various ways those extracts interact with different materials and hardware technologies to determine the best fits for each brand's formulations.
The research license also allows Greentank to import cannabis from legal foreign suppliers and conduct focus-group studies with its brand partners. This data will provide consumer feedback around taste, performance and user experience, as well as critical data surrounding vape emissions and interactions with various materials. Greentank expects its newly expanded research mandate will drastically shorten design cycles and accelerate product development by allowing the company to validate new hardware technologies more efficiently than ever before.
“In an industry that is on the cusp of some major regulatory changes, this research license is a huge milestone achievement for Greentank,” says Greentank CEO Dustin Koffler. “As the only vape hardware manufacturer in the world able to legally conduct formulation testing and research, Greentank is uniquely positioned to lead the way in regulatory compliance adoption. As a trusted advisor to brands we can facilitate first mover advantage in the adoption of new standards surrounding vape safety, reliability and performance by using science and data to validate the entire process.”
The announcement coincides with Greentank’s construction of its third vape device lab, a state-of-the-art product engineering and development hub operated under the stewardship of Greentank chief engineer and former Dyson engineering manager Pete Duckett.
The Greentank device lab is complete with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment including filling rooms, altitude, thermal shock, and vibration chambers, 3D printers, digital surface and micro-thermal imagers, drop shape analyzers, CNC machining, and even an autoclave.
“It's become clear that one-size-fits-all approaches do not work for THC delivery. This research license provides us with a tremendous opportunity to transform our approach to customization and hardware development to create safer, higher-performing next-generation technologies that will power the future of Greentank and the vape industry, as a whole,” says Duckett.
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