Illinois to Record $1 Billion Marijuana Sales by Year's End, Surpassing Liquor

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Newsweek 04 May, 2021 - 10:17am 11 views

Is weed legal in Louisiana?

Cannabis in Louisiana is illegal for recreational use. First time possession of the drug remains a criminal offense but was decriminalized statewide in 2015 to a $300 fine and/or 15 days in jail. Possession of marijuana has also been decriminalized in the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. wikipedia.orgCannabis in Louisiana

New York City Revelers Legally Light Up at Annual Cannabis Parade & Rally

Yahoo Entertainment 04 May, 2021 - 12:00am

On March 31st, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to legalize weed — beginning the process of opening recreational cannabis dispensaries in the next year or two, and legalizing adult use and possession immediately. And in an unprecedented move, the state now allows marijuana to be smoked anywhere tobacco is allowed. While that doesn’t include parks — like Union Square, where this year’s march originated on Saturday, May 1st — the cops seemed to let it slide, and as marchers took to the streets, it was perfectly legal for everyone (21-plus) to light up as they walked. This year, those at the rally were even joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who pledged to bring federal cannabis legalization “the right way.”

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Fire & Flower is one of Canada’s leading cannabis retailers with a network of more than 80 corporate-owned stores, 28 of which are in the 14 million people Ontario market. In addition to being licensed to sell cannabis in several provinces, the company has developed best-in-class proprietary retailing technology — HifyreTM digital platform — seamlessly connecting consumers with cannabis products. The advanced retail sales platform leverages data to deliver personalized, effective, consumer and partner engagements. At Benzinga’s latest cannabis capital conference, Fire & Flower CEO Trevor Fencott discussed the company’s eagerness to bring the brand and its retail technology platform to the U.S. Competing Where It’s Most Competitive Fire & Flower has been fighting tooth and nail in Canada and succeeding in this environment. Alberta has 1 store per 8,000 people, which is more competitive than Colorado. Unlike many vertically integrated multistate operators (MSOs) that are fighting over the limited license, oligopoly states, Fencott is taking Fire & Flower’s successful operating model and plans to compete in key established cannabis market states in the U.S. The company makes the legal transition to the U.S. after it signed a licensing agreement with American Acres. With this agreement, the company will effectively license its store brand, along with its operating system and Hifyre tech to a group of dispensaries located in California, Arizona and Nevada. The agreement also gives the company the option to acquire American Acres at a discount in the event of federal legalization or when otherwise permitted by the policies of any stock exchange on which Fire & Flower’s securities are listed for trading. Fencott believes Fire & Flower’s tech-forward approach is the pillar of retail as product innovation is driving new categories and new consumer demands. And, since product selection in the U.S. is more varied and innovative, a company like Fire & Flower would add immense value. “The Canadian retail market is very competitive compared to the vertically integrated U.S. MSO model,” said Fencott. “That licensed producer model was not successful. It soaked up a lot of capital, and from a capital markets perspective, we’re suffering from this perceived hangover of Canadian-licensed producers building million square foot facilities that are now shutting down.” “We are not producers — dedicated retail is different from that. We’ve purpose-built our company to compete in retail, which is customer acquisition and building lifetime customer value.” Fencott concluded, “We spent the last three years honing our model. Along that journey we’ve perfected our tech platform, we’ve got an expansion partner and now we’re taking that step.” Key Partnerships to Increase Fire & Flower’s Footprint Fire & Flower has a great strategic partner in Circle K, a convenience store giant that has a multibillion-dollar market cap under the company Alimentation Couche-Tard. It has more than 16,000 locations in 25 countries and pulled in $54 billion in revenue last year. Today, Circle K owns 19.9% of Fire & Flower and through a series of warrants has a path to own up to 50.1% of the company by 2023 while injecting hundreds of millions in growth capital. This deal provides an opportunity for Fire & Flower to gain a strong footprint in the U.S. and the rest of the world. In addition to capital, Circle K and Fire & Flower have an increasing number of strategic operational initiatives that demonstrate how the companies can work together to scale. For instance, the companies have a pilot program where small Fire & Flower stores are colocated with Circle K’s, taking advantage of the retail giant’s existing real estate portfolio. Fencott views the pilot program stores as convenience-oriented distribution nodes that extend Fire & Flower brand experience stores as part of a broader corporate strategy to reimagine the cannabis retail landscape and provide a highly competitive operating model for U.S. market entry. “Fire & Flower was built from scratch with the sole goal of being the best retailer in cannabis,” said Fencott. “We took all the best practices from successful existing retailers and built a cannabis company around that as opposed to starting a company for the sake of a cannabis license. We did it intentionally. Our organized strategy is going to pay dividends when we enter a competitive market.” How Fire & Flower’s Valuation Compares with its Competitors To really understand how well Fire & Flower competes with its competitors, it’s worth noting the massive gap in valuation between the company and its Canadian retail competitors as well as top U.S. MSOs. Source: ATB Capital Markets and FactSet as of April 8, 2021 Source: New Cannabis Ventures and Yahoo Finance as of March 29, 2021 Canadian Retail companies like Cronos, Canopy Growth, and Tilray have enterprise value-to-sales (EV/sales) multiples of 17x, 13x and 12x respectively. U.S. MSOs like Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries, Trulieve, Cresco Labs, Ayr Wellness, and Planet 13 Holdings have enterprise value-to-revenue multiple (EV/R) multiples of 10.1x, 5,6x, 5.2x, 3.3x, 2.6x and 7.9x respectively. Fire & Flower has an EV/sale and EV/revenue multiple of 1. This essentially means that the Fire & Flower’s total value (market capitalization, debt, preferred shares, minority interest, and cash and cash equivalents) is the same as the sales it generates. The low ratio positions the company as a low-risk and attractive investment for a retail giant like Circle K. To learn more about Fire & Flower, you can visit its website here. Fire & Flower (TSE: FAF) is a partner of Benzinga. The information in this article does not represent the investment advice of Benzinga or its writers. See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaLexaGene's MiQLab to be a Game Changer for Veterinary CareQualigen Therapeutics Plans to Combat COVID-19 Variants© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

After 65 years of smoking weed, Tommy Chong has returned to the format he started with at the age of 17: a joint. Cannabis “is my life’s work,” the cannabis advocate, comedian and actor told Benzinga during a virtual press conference Monday, showing off a homemade bamboo joint holder he uses to cool the smoke. On Wednesday, Chong is launching his brand of pre-rolls in Michigan with in-state production partner MKX Brands in a dozen strains at a starting lineup of 20 dispensaries. The first production run of the pre-rolls is sold out and a second batch is in production, with plans to add more dispensary locations where Chong’s pre-rolls will be available, said MKX Brands CEO Sam Kaoud. Chong said he hopes to sell so much product “that it will be worth our while to get invested into grows.” This is the latest development in Chong’s long history with the Great Lakes State, from playing guitar with the Motown band Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers in the 1960s to numerous appearances at venues like the Ann Arbor Hash Bash and B.D.T. Smoke Shops. The last time the 82-year-old professional stoner came to Michigan, he said he was stopped at the airport, where the TSA found a “big jar of weed” in his son’s knapsack. “My son threw me under the bus” at the TSA checkpoint, Chong said with a laugh. (The two escaped unharmed and with their stash intact.) Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana in 2008 and recreational marijuana in 2018 with ballot questions. Recreational cannabis sales in the state began Dec. 1, 2019. Related Link: Cannabis According To Tommy Chong: 'The Only Bad Weed Is No Weed' Chong On What The Pandemic Means For Cannabis Chong, who’s been vaccinated for the coronavirus and said he’s eager to return to Michigan for a visit, said the last year has made clear that cannabis is an essential medicine. “The pandemic really shot down a lot of myths — the lies — about cannabis that were floating about for years,” he told Benzinga, adding that bars were closed while dispensaries were open, and many of those bars will never reopen. Cannabis is “sobering up the world,” he said. “Everybody’s becoming sober. Alcohol was the biggest problem.” Chong, who served nine months in federal prison in 2003 for selling branded bongs online and shipping them across state lines, called on President Joe Biden to strip cannabis of its Schedule I DEA status and acknowledge its medical benefits. “What I want the government to do is grow up,” the “Up In Smoke” star said. “Reschedule it. That’s all. He [Biden] can do that from his office with the stroke of a pen.” The plant's DEA scheduling is “just pure racist law,” he said, adding that he’s working on efforts to free people who remain imprisoned for cannabis convictions. “There are still people in jail right now in states that are legal that are doing life in prison for something that is deemed essential and legal.” Where To Buy Tommy Chong’s Pre-Rolls In Michigan Chong’s pre-rolls go on sale Wednesday, May 5 in Michigan. The initially available strains are Cherry Punch, Donkey Butter, Cookies & Cream, Crunch Berries, Triple Chocolate Chip, Wedding Cake, Banana Daddy, MAC Gas, Purple Triangle Kush, OG Cookies, Purple Ghost and Now & Later Cookies. The following medical and adult-use stores are carrying the pre-rolls: Metro Detroit: Shango Hazel Park, THC Detroit, Herbal Healing, The Flower Bowl, House of Dank Centerline, Herbology River Rouge Bay City: Herbology Bangor, Fire Creek Bay City, Hashish Boyz, Dispo Lapeer: Pure Lapeer, Xplore Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti: Exclusive Ann Arbor, The Patient Station Jackson area: Pinnacle Addison Border towns: Pinnacle Morenci, The Nest Camden Kalamazoo/Battle Creek: Great Lakes Holistics, Fire Creek Battle Creek Grand Rapids: Exclusive Grand Rapids Tommy Chong with the pre-rolls he's launching in the Michigan cannabis market with MKX Brands. Courtesy photo. See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaDerek Chauvin Found Guilty On All Counts In George Floyd's Killing© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Exclusive: Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says the Biden administration wants to “save lives in the Black community.” President Joe Biden is taking aim at the tobacco industry with another racial equity move to ban menthol cigarettes. The administration’s decision stands to be a life-changing proposition, especially in the Black community, which is harder hit with nicotine addiction than other groups.

The three largest U.S. drug distributors, facing their first trial over claims that they fueled the opioid crisis, said responsibility for ballooning painkiller sales lies with doctors, drugmakers and regulators. AmerisourceBergen Corp, McKesson Corp and Cardinal Health Inc are defending themselves against a lawsuit brought by the city of Huntington and Cabell County in West Virginia. "We intend to prove the simple truth that the distributor defendants sold a mountain of opioid pills into our community, fueling the opioid epidemic," Paul Farrell, a lawyer for Cabell County, said in his opening statement in Charleston, West Virginia federal court.

Pabst Labs Joins Forces with Tinley’s to Manufacture Cannabis-Infused “Not Your Father's” Root Beer in California Pabst Lab’s non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused ‘Not Your Father’s’ Root Beer will be produced at Tinley’s Long Beach facility. (concept artwork shown). THIS NEWS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S. PERSONS LOS ANGELES and TORONTO, May 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Tinley Beverage Company Inc. (CSE:TNY, OTC:TNYBF) (“Tinley's” or “Company”) is pleased to announce that the cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic version of the popular ‘Not Your Father’s Root Beer’ beverage will be produced at the Company’s Long Beach facility. ‘Not Your Father’s Root Beer’ is a hard root beer distributed nationally by Pabst Brewing Co. It quickly became one of the USA’s top selling craft beers in 2015, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. With its smooth and balanced profile, NYF has become a national sensation enjoyed by consumers of all ages and backgrounds. The cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic version of the product will be produced in Tinley’s facility in Long Beach, California together with Pabst Labs. It will contain a 10 mg dose of THC in each 12 fl oz bottle, and it will be made available in cannabis dispensaries throughout the state of California. Pabst Labs is also working with Tinley’s to plan the launch of additional products from the Pabst Labs brand portfolio. “Tinley’s facility is ideally equipped to produce our glass bottled products, including pasteurization and other options,” said Chuck Barlick of Pabst Labs. “This, combined with their team’s deep technical manufacturing expertise, will enable us to launch a broad variety of drinks from Pabst Labs” NYF Brand Manager Mark Faicol added, “Introducing ‘Not Your Father’s Root Beer’ to cannabis consumers in California is a welcome expansion of our growing family of brands. Its smooth and balanced flavour has broad appeal, from discerning craft drinkers to cannabis consumers. NYF provides a unique and flavourful offering for those who prefer beverages as their primary method of cannabis consumption. Our team at Pabst Labs has always prioritized taste and experience in our beverages and are proud to offer our ‘Not Your Father’s’ 10mg Root Beer as a fast acting, social and hangover-free experience.” “Pabst Labs has emerged as a forward-thinking beverage leader, extending strong mainstream brands into the growing cannabis beverage category, said Rick Gillis, President, Tinley’s Western USA. “These quality brands offer new options to consumers who are increasingly choosing cannabis.” “We look forward to the launch of this favourite brand, and to working with the Pabst Lab team on additional products using their other strong nationally-recognized brands,” said Ted Zittell, director of Tinley’s. Pabst Brewing Company does not have a financial stake in Pabst Labs and will not share in the proceeds from cannabis-infused ‘Not Your Father’s’ Root Beer sales. About Pabst Labs Pabst Labs is headquartered in Los Angeles and is solely responsible for the production, marketing, and sales of cannabis-infused products. Pabst Labs is committed to producing high quality cannabis infused beverages and products under brands that push the category forward. About The Tinley Beverage Company and Beckett’s Tonics The Tinley Beverage Company (OTC:TNYBF, CSE:TNY) manufactures the Becketts Classics™ and Beckett’s 27™ line of non-alcoholic, terpene-infused spirits and cocktails. Beckett’s products are available in mainstream food, beverage and specialty retailers, as well as online across the United States. Cannabis-infused versions of these products are also offered in licensed dispensaries throughout California. Expansion to Canada is underway for both product lines. Tinley’s facility in Long Beach California contains the state’s most versatile and technologically-advanced cannabis-licensed beverage manufacturing equipment. Please visit www.drinkbecketts.com, www.drinktinley.com, Instagram @drinktinleys and @drinkbecketts for recipes, product information and home delivery options. Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains or refers to forward-looking information and is based on current expectations that involve a number of business risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, political risks, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry. Forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update them or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances other than as required by law. Products, formulations and timelines outlined herein are subject to change at any time. For further information on The Tinley Beverage Company and Beckett’s Tonics, please contact: The Tinley Beverage CompanyTed Zittell(310) 507-9146info@drinktinley.comTwitter: @drinktinleys and @drinkbecketts Instagram: @drinktinleys and @drinkbecketts www.drinktinley.comwww.drinkbecketts.com OTC:TNYBF CSE:TNY A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/67226b60-18ef-412d-9460-9cc7382f45c9

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