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CULTIVATED: Leafly reins in spending, 1906 pulls in an $18 million funding round, and more – Gustavo Mirabal Castro

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Gustavo Mirabal

REUTERS/Blair Gable

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.

Happy Friday everyone,

There was a slew of (mostly disappointing) cannabis earnings this week. MedMen, grappling with the fallout of the from the canceled Pharmacann acquisition, dropped close to 20% after reporting earnings after the market closed on Monday. The cannabis dispensary chain posted a net loss of $277 million over the past year and announced it planned on ‘tightening’ its focus to core markets in California, Nevada, Florida, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Hexo Corp posted disappointing — if unsurprising — earnings, losing $57 million (CAD) over the past quarter and announced it was delaying the launch of new products.

On the policy front, the USDA released its interim hemp rules this week and Bernie Sanders released his plan to legalize marijuana federally if elected. 

The plan would immediately deschedule cannabis, and would bar tobacco companies — one of which already owns a significant chunk of Cronos Group — from participating in the industry.

Last, if you want a discount to BI Prime to read my stories, sign up here!


Here’s what we wrote about this week:

A hot cannabis startup just raised $18 million in a down market by promising investors it can more than quadruple sales in a year. See the slides that show exactly how 1906 plans to pull that off.

The cannabis-edibles brand 1906 closed an $18 million funding round led by Navy Capital. The funding brings the company’s valuation to between $40 million and $50 million.

In an interview with Business Insider, 1906 CEO Peter Barsoom discussed some of the challenges around raising capital for cannabis companies in the private market and how he plans to more than quadruple revenue by next year. 

Barsoom gave Business Insider an exclusive look at the pitch deck that 1906 just used to raise the funds. 

Cannabis site Leafly is freezing hiring and canceling non-critical travel to rein in spending. We got the full internal memo.

Cannabis website Leafly is taking steps to limit spending, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.

Leafly is pausing most hiring, cutting all non-essential travel for employees, and reining in its yearly holiday party, according to a memo obtained by Business Insider. 

"We’re taking Q4 to get our very large new team settled and ready for 2020, while continuing to fill some select product and engineering roles, which is the responsible thing to do," a Leafly spokesperson said. 

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

Executive moves

  • John Kaden stepped down from embattled Canadian cannabis producer CannTrust’s board. Kaden is a co-founder and managing partner of Navy Capital, a cannabis-focused fund in New York.
  • John Fowler stepped down from his position as Chief Advocacy Officer at The Supreme Cannabis Company. Fowler co-founded Supreme Cannabis’ flagship brand, 7ACRES. The company has not yet announced a replacement.
  • Matt Miller resigned from his position as general counsel of Green Thumb Industries. He’ll be replaced by Beth Burk, who joins GTI from financial services firm Aon, on an interim basis.
  • California cannabis company Harborside ousted its CEO, Andrew Berman, who held the position since February 2018. He’ll be replaced by Harborside’s chairman, Peter Bilodeau, on an interim basis.
  • 48North Cannabis Corp’s former CEO, Jeannette VanderMarel, stepped down from the board of directors. She’ll be replaced by Alan Gertner, the founder of Hiku (Tokyo Smoke) and the former Chief Retail Officer of Canopy Growth. VanderMarel is now the CEO of Beleave, a Canadian cannabis company. 
  • Vertical Brands named Cynthia Cleveland as the cannabis firm’s new president. 
  • The Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit, has appointed Mark de Souza to its board of directors. De Souza is the CEO of Revolution, a Chicago-based cannabis company. 

Chart of the week

Recent headwinds around the cannabis sector notwithstanding, the industry is still set for some eye-popping growth in the US. Check out this chart from BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research: 

US consumers expected spend 30 billion cannabis next 5 years chartShayanne Gal/Business Insider

Stories from around the web

Business, not social justice, remains lobbying priority for large cannabis companies (Cannabis Wire)

Tainted vape pens selling 2-for-1 in illegal California stores (Leafly) 

Cannabis open houses are putting the high in high-end real estate (Wall Street Journal) 

Why we don’t know much about pot (Politico)

Did I miss anything? Have a tip? Just want to chat? Send me a note at or find me on twitter @jfberke.    

NOW WATCH: WeWork went from a $47 billion valuation to a failed IPO. Here’s how the company makes money.

See Also:


This is a contribution of Gustavo Mirabal to a better life

via Business Insider

November 1, 2019 at 12:51PM

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