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WeedWeek Exclusive: Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy

Acreage Holdings

In April, Canadian player Canopy Growth agreed to acquire multi-state operator (MSO) Acreage Holdings for $3.4 Billion, solidifying Canopy's position as the world's largest cannabis company.

In late June, Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy sat down with WeedWeek to discuss the deal, how the market will shake out, and whether Acreage board member John Boehner owes anyone an apology.

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Canopy Fires Linton

Noam Galai/ Getty Images

Ontario-based Canopy Growth, the world's largest cannabis company, fired CEO and co-founder Bruce Linton. Bottom line: He was spending too much money. ��Jesse has all the deets at WW Canada.

With a non-compete covering the Canadian cannabis sector, Bloomberg suggests Linton will be heading join theto the U.S.:

  • “Anybody who’s dumb enough to launch a new cannabis company in Canada, I don’t know what they’re doing, they should have been at it six years ago. Canada is done,” he said.

At New Cannabis Ventures, Alan Brochstein reviews the post-Linton "Canopy Growth Ecosystem."


Analyst: $22B in U.S. Sales by 2022

An analyst at Canaccord Genuity predicted $22B in legal U.S. cannabis sales by 2022.

  • Bobby Burleson anticipates 2019 domestic sales of $12.8B and a growth rate of 20% annually.
  • REC legalization in Illinois was key to him increasing his forecast.

Quick Hits

  1. After failing to deliver REC, and expanding the state's MED program, N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is exploring decriminalization. Garden state voters appear likely to vote on REC in November 2020.
    NJ.com, AP
  2. Cannabis Wire visits Ohio's "fractured, disheartened cannabis movement."

Facebook (Barely) Budges on CBD Ads

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell visited a hemp farm

Facebook agreed to run ads for topical CBD products only, Digiday reports. The ban has infuriated brands trying to gain access to the platform.


Members of Congress are stepping up pressure on the FDA to regulate hemp-derived CBD, though it may still take years.
The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brought U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on a tour of a Kentucky hemp farm.
Forbes--Tom Angell

Quick Hit

  1. Israeli vets want to prescribe MED for dogs stressed out by missile attacks. [Not noted in the story: THC is widely considered dangerous for dogs.]
    Jerusalem Post

Investor: Influencers Industry "On the Precipice..."

Writing in AdWeek, investor Matthew Nordgren describes how influencers and forms of guerilla marketing have replaced conventional digital advertising for pot brands.

  • He writes, "Whether it be a pop-up event at a music festival, a conference where companies and investors gather or simply a clean, attractive display at a storefront in a local neighborhood, cannabis and hemp brands should look to quietly infiltrate day-to-day life in an organic way."
  • Nordgren is CEO of Arcadian Fund, which invests in ancillary companies.

Quick Hit

  1. The combination of materials in vape cartridges make them "almost impossible" to recycle.

Has Legalization Peaked?

Where now?

In a WSJ letter to the editor, NORML executive Paul Armentano refutes claims by anti-legalization author Alex Berenson that legalization has peaked.

  • Armentano: "No state has ever repealed a marijuana legalization law, and two-thirds of adults—including majorities of self-identified Democrats, Republicans and independents."
  • Though Berenson claimed failures to legalize in New York, New Jersey and other liberal states show "The pushback against marijuana has only begun."
  • Berenson also suggests the possibility of a "narrow compromise" around REC legalization involving restrictions on advertising, a legal age of 23 to 25 and potentially potency limits.

A post at the libertarian Cato Institute suggests a "two-pronged strategy" for federal REC legalization.

Quick Hit

  1. Using cannabis during pregnancy doubles the risk of premature birth, a study found.
  2. In the Guardian, I asked if cannabis can treat anxiety. It's complicated.

What About the Oldsters?

A new survey of older Coloradans gauged their attitudes to legalization and consumption habits.

  • The survey found seniors, the fastest growing group of cannabis users, are "blurring the lines between MED and REC."
  • Lead researcher Brian Kaskie, a professor of health policy at the University of Iowa, said: When we started this research many of my colleagues suggested that this was just about retired baby boomers entering old age who have come back to cannabis as a way of returning to their youth... “But we learned older adults who are using cannabis...are experiencing symptoms and conditions that seem amenable to cannabis."

"The Equity Con"

A piece in the liberal American Prospect suggests governments are thinking about equity all wrong.

  • "The government deciding to give consumers’ money to a few thousand lucky license winners, even if it is a relatively diverse group, is a poor attempt at equity," Jon Walker writes.
  • [Editorial: As it looks right now, 'a few thousand' is wildly optimistic.]
  • Instead he proposes a government run system, similar to what exists in some parts of Canada, which will reinvest in communities most damaged by the war on drugs.
  • As far as I'm aware, no state has seriously considered anything like this.

Early Money Moves into MED Psychedelics

Stat News meets Christian Angermayer a wellGerman businessman betting big on medical uses for psychedelics.

Separately, Axios talks to Catherine Dockery, an investor and former Walmart exec, who is starting a vice investment fund.

  • Areas of interest include cannabis, alcohol, harm-reduction tobacco products, sextech, gambling and "highly addictive" eSports.
  • Since Dockery isn't a doctor, she says psychedelics will have to reach market before she'll consider investing.
  • Investors include Silicon Valley heavyweight Marc Andreessen and investor Bradley Tusk.

Weed Slang Keeps Changing

The N.Y. Times takes a lengthy trip through what people have called cannabis through the centuries.

  • Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster (the dictionary people) says, "Words we think of today as leftovers from the 1960s are really leftover from the 1930s,” he said. But it is important to look even further back, he added. Terms like cannabis and ganja go back centuries, and have long been used to describe the plant and its medicinal properties."

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