CULTIVATED: Cannabis One lures a top dealmaker, Gronk gets into CBD, and Hound Labs raises a fresh $30 million

CULTIVATED: Cannabis One lures a top dealmaker, Gronk gets into CBD, and Hound Labs raises a fresh $30 million

FILE PHOTO: A Cannabis plant is pictured at the


A Cannabis plant is pictured at the "Weed the People" event as enthusiasts gather to celebrate the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Portland, Oregon


Introducing Cultivated, our new 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.

Happy Friday and Labor Day weekend everybody!

I safely returned on Monday from an epic 8-day canoe trip in Canada's Yukon territory with a few buddies. It was quite an adventure, and really cold. I've never been happier to get back to New York.

Let's get down to it:


This week saw a slew of cannabis earnings. Green Thumb Industries beat on revenue, posting a 228% increase year-over-year. Curaleaf - hot off two near-billion-dollar acquisitions - posted lower-than-expected revenue but gave a rosy picture for 2020, and the embattled Tilt Holdings reported a 13% increase in revenue over the first quarter of 2019, though with a $48.9 million loss.

On the policy front, the DEA said earlier this week that it will begin processing applications for researchers to study the cannabis plant, eliminating one of the largest barriers in developing good data - and therefore good policy - around cannabis legalization. Attorney General William Barr publicly supported the move.

New York State, while falling shy of its goal to legalize cannabis outright, said it would expunge the records of 160,000 residents convicted of low level marijuana-related crimes. New York's marijuana decriminalization law went into effect on Wednesday.

I'm also excited to announce that next Wednesday BI will be hosting its first ever cannabis webinar with marijuana analytics company Headset.

Earlier this year, Headset raised $12 million and inked deals with market research firm Nielsen and accounting firm Deloitte.


You can join Headset CEO Cy Scott in an exclusive BI Prime webinar on September 5th at 2 PM EST as he takes readers through his pitch deck and explains how he convinced VCs, including early Juul investor Poseidon Asset Management, to buy in.

Poseidon partner Emily Paxhia will also weigh in about the unique challenges of investing in cannabis and how she picks winners in a crowded market. I'll be moderating the conversation. You can sign up here.

- Jeremy

More stories from around the BI newsroom:

Brand house Cannabis One just brought in a top dealmaker to chase down unconventional deals in the nascent sector

Publicly-traded Cannabis One hired Joshua Mann, a former oil and gas exec and investment banker, to lead the charge on sourcing new deals.


I spoke with Mann about how he's looking for unconventional deals that larger cannabis companies are avoiding: smaller dispensaries and brands doing $5-10 million in revenue, or companies that need "a haircut."

The startup behind the world's first marijuana breathalyzer just raised a fresh $30 million and offered a glimpse at how the device works

This one's from my colleague Erin Brodwin. Hound Labs, a startup that aims to make the first marijuana breathalyzer, raised a fresh $30 million on Tuesday.

The California-based company also published the first study offering a glimpse at how the handheld device works. It contains some important limitations.

Rob Gronkowski talks becoming an advocate for CBD, fasting, changes to the NFL, and whether he feels the 'itch' to return to football

My colleague Scott Davis on BI's sports desk had this illuminating interview with former New England Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski. In the interview, Gronk talks about his new partnership with CBDMedic, and how CBD has helped him heal from a litany of injuries.

The NFL does not allow players to use any cannabinoid-derived drug for recovery.

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

Executive moves

  • Elisabeth Baron, a marketing executive with experience at LVMH and Diageo, has joined the California-based Shryne Group as its CMO.
  • Kevin Albert, a partner at private equity firm Pantheon, has joined NorCal Cannabis's board of directors.

Chart of the week

This one comes from BDS Analytic's recent report. It shows why cannabis companies are paying such close attention to California. If the state can get its regulations right, it's set to be one of (if not the) largest cannabis markets in the world.

Just take a look at the growth BDS projects for the state:

california legal cannabis spending chart

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Stories from around the web

The great Seattle pot heist (Politico)

A global revolution in attitudes towards cannabis is under way (The Economist)


Can cannabis go green? (Nature)

Roll up, roll up: capitalism will drive cannabis legalisation in Ireland (The Irish Times)

'The system is swamped.' Canada can't keep up with requests to study cannabis (Science Magazine)