General

Interviewer | Frank A. Segall

Narbé Alexandrian is the President and CEO of RIV Capital, an investment and acquisition company specializing in cannabis in the U.S. market. Zachary George is the CEO of Sundial Growers Inc., a licensed cannabis producer based in Canada. Together they join partner and chair of Burns & Levinson’s Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Frank A. Segall to share insights and stories about their journeys into the cannabis space, business strategies, and what’s next on the horizon for the marijuana industry.

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Moderator | Scott Moskol

Payment, delivery and e-commerce platforms have been evolving, innovating, grabbing market share and attracting serious capital. Thought leaders from companies that are blazing trails in the cannabis industry with new technologies share strategies on how to be dominant players in the space.

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Moderator | Max Riffin

How is the cannabis industry accessing capital? What is the status of the M&A market? Are SPACs the new exit? How are deals being structured, and who are the active players? Our panel of experts consists of buyers and sellers, capital sources and advisers who offer answers rooted in firsthand experience.

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Navigating Regulation & Legislation: Where Are We Really Headed?

Moderator | Scott Moskol

The marijuana industry’s ever-evolving regulatory and legislative updates create layers of complexities and hurdles for businesses and investors – but can also generate ample opportunities. Our panelists will share opinions on the latest legal and political developments, predictions on what’s next, and strategies to take advantage of new opportunities and thrive in this shifting space.

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SPACs – Hedging Risks in Light of SEC’s Urge for Market Slowdown

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), or “blank check” companies, have been one of the most popular investments and investment vehicles over the past year – an alarming 308 SPACs have gone public since the start of 2021. In particular, SPACs have played a major role in supporting the marijuana funding boom since the cannabis industry faced a drought in late 2019. In just the first three months of this year, three SPAC initial public offerings have totaled over $570 million.

However, signals glaring from the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) have attempted to slow down the momentum of the SPAC market. A few of these public statements so far this year include:

  • A public statement in March 2021, by Paul Munter, Chief Accountant of the SEC, highlighting the complexities encompassed by the trustworthiness of the SPAC financial reporting, governance and quality of audits.
  • A public statement on April 8, 2021, by John Coates, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, indicating that SPAC’s compliance with disclosure and filing requirements are in the close purview of the staff, and underscores legal liability corresponding to SPAC disclosures once a target is acquired.
  • A public statement made on April 12, 2021,
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Vape Shipping Ban Looms Ahead

In December, President Trump signed a 5000+ omnibus bill into law titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The bill was highly publicized for extending certain COVID-relief measures to small businesses, such as revitalizing the Paycheck Protection Program. Another facet of the CAA was a provision which bans the United States Postal Service (USPS) from shipping Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).

Cannabis vaporizers are captured in the CAA’s broad and vague definition of ENDS, which are defined as “any electronic device that through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to users inhaling from the device.” The definition includes a component, liquid, part or accessory of the vaporizer device, without regard to whether the component, liquid, part or accessory is sold separately.

The CAA provided that the USPS must develop regulations within 120 days on how it will implement its ban on shipping and handling ENDS.

The USPS released its proposed rule on February 19, 2021 titled “Treatment of E-Cigarettes in the Mail.”

Currently, shipping cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through the USPS is prohibited unless, as set forth in the exceptions, they are mailed between authorized tobacco businesses or are small shipments between individuals … Keep reading

Massachusetts HCAs & Community (Excessive) Impact Fees

On February 3, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) heard a case that raised questions to a grievance cannabis operators in the Commonwealth have been grueling over for years. In the case of Mederi Inc. v. City of Salem, Mederi Inc. was denied a host community agreement (HCA) by the city of Salem after applications for the city’s five adult-use recreational marijuana retailer licenses were slotted. As a part of the Superior Court’s (Feeley, J.) ruling, the court found that the Massachusetts legislature did not intend for the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) to have the authority to review the contents of HCAs under G. L. c.94G (the Statute).

Marijuana applicants are not only required to enter into HCAs with a host community as directed by the Statute but also are required by the CCC’s regulations in order to be accepted for licensure. During oral arguments, the justices of the SJC raised several questions against the regulatory scheme conducted by municipalities across Massachusetts, charging operators fees disguised such as “charitable donations” and “traffic enhancement fee[s]” that force such businesses to make annual obligations well over the maximum 3% community impact fee allowed by the Statute.

The panel highlighted … Keep reading

Delta-8-THC: Legal THC?

 

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (popularly referred to as THC) is widely considered the rock star of cannabinoids. However, Delta-9-THC isn’t the only cannabinoid with psychoactive effects that is emerging on the scene. In fact, it was forced to share the spotlight with its lesser-known cousin, Delta-8-THC, in a recent Rolling Stone article. Does this mean we should expect to see a new cannabinoid rising star on the horizon?

As Rolling Stone highlighted in its article, there is good reason to buy into the hype surrounding Delta-8.

In some ways, Delta-8 sounds too good to be true. But it isn’t. For people who want to feel the psychoactive effects of Delta-9 yet find it gives them paranoia or anxiety, Delta-8 is a quasi-legal option available online. And unlike Delta-9, Delta-8 is significantly cheaper, making it a viable option for some people looking for a short uplifting feeling without being intoxicated. But judging by how much attention Delta-8 has been getting by law enforcement, the trend might be short-lived. Despite the burgeoning success of Delta-8 over the past year, any day can be the cannabinoid’s last.

In fact, the two analog cannabinoids share a lot in common. They are nearly identical … Keep reading