Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: New York Says “Yes” to Legal Cannabis

Cannabis policy secured a victory this week when New York state officials reached an agreement to move ahead with a recreational legalization policy.

Additionally, a new report shows that a pension fund managed by the Japanese government has found a way to benefit from the cannabis green rush despite the country’s strict views against the drug.


Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.

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New York reaches agreement for legal recreational market

After much speculation and a heavy back-and-forth dialogue, New York officials have closed on a deal to get recreational cannabis legalized in the state.

The New York Times reported that the policy framework will allow for cannabis lounges, but there won’t be sales anytime soon as state legislators must set up actual program rules and regulations for cannabis.

The victory for cannabis policy in New York comes on the heels of New Jersey setting up its own recreational cannabis policy. Experts had suggested the legalization effort in New Jersey could put pressure on neighboring states to do the same.

A projection from Marijuana Business Daily shows New York could become a US$2.3 billion per year market for cannabis sales.

Japanese fund invests in Canadian cannabis

While its national policy still holds cannabis in contempt, recent financial disclosures reported by Bloomberg indicate that as of last summer, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) held stakes in some of the largest Canadian cannabis names.

The fund holds approximately US$80 million in Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGN,TSX:WEED), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON,TSX:CRON) and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB,TSX:ACB).

Cannabis is illegal to hold, grow or sell in Japan. While figures show cannabis use has been on the rise in Japan, it’s clear views on the drug still have a long way to go before changing.

GPIF’s total cannabis-related investments amount to only a very small portion of the fund’s total $1.6 trillion in assets. However, GPIF is still among the top shareholders for Canopy and Aurora.

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“We are dedicated solely to ensuring long-term returns for our members,” GPIF spokeswoman Nao Honda told Bloomberg, while declining to confirm if the fund retains its Canadian cannabis stakes.

Cannabis company news

  • Zenabis Global (TSX:ZENA) told investors it is changing the date and location for an approval meeting planned to determine the fate of its takeover deal by HEXO (NASDAQ:HEXO,TSX:HEXO). The appointment will now be held online on May 13 due to rising COVID-19 concerns.
  • Trulieve Cannabis (CSE:TRUL,OTCQX:TCNNF) shared its Q4 and full-year operating results for 2020 with shareholders. As part of its extensive report, the company projects its 2021 revenue will be between US$815 million and US$850 million; in terms of its adjusted EBIDTA, the firm projects a range of US$355 million to US$375 million.
  • Alcanna (TSX:CLIQ) and YSS (TSXV:YSS,OTCQB:YSSCF) completed a business transaction that will see them combine by way of a reverse takeover. YSS will now become Nova Cannabis and its shares will trade under the ticker symbol “NOVC.”
  • Charlotte’s Web Holdings (TSX:CWEB,OTCQX:CWBHF) issued its Q4 2020 and year-end financial results. CEO Deanie Elsner highlighted five patents earned by the company in 2020 for the brand protection these carry. The company, however, posted net losses for both the operating quarter and the full business year.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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