May 16, 2014, 2:06 PM
- The Minnesota Legislature passes a bill restricting the use and sale of electronic cigarettes. It now heads to Governor Mark Dayton's desk for his signature.
- The bill requires child-proof packaging for all e-cig liquids, prohibits their use in schools, prohibits their sale from mall kiosks and requires them to be kept behind the counter in stores. The law allows local governments to pass more stringent restrictions and ensures penalties for those who sell e-cigs to minors.
- E-cig use is also banned in hospitals, healthcare clinics, doctors' offices, most government buildings, all facilities owned by the University of MN or MN State Colleges and Universities, including dorm rooms and licensed daycare facilities, including home daycare during operating hours.
- The bill is a watered down version of an earlier bill that would have treated e-cigs the same way as conventional cigarettes.
- Related tickers: (MO) (BTI) (LO) (PM) (ECIG) (VAPE) (HPNN) (MCIG) (MWIP) (NTRR)
May 7, 2014, 9:01 AM
- Minnesota state senators vote 48-18 in favor of legalizing physician-prescribed medical marijuana. The bill will permit up to 55 dispensing centers around the state although the health commissioner could approve additional sites.
- Patients could legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot to be ingested in pills, oils or vaporized just shy of combustion. Smoking weed would still be illegal.
- The bill allows for a research study to assess the effects of medical marijuana in pill or liquid form in patients with severe illnesses.
- The Senate's version differs from the House's version so more work needs to be done before it passes over the Governor's desk.
- (CANV) (CBIS) (GWPH) (MJMD) (NVLX) (RFMK) (SKTO) (VAPE) (NTRR) (MWIP) (MCIG)
Apr. 16, 2014, 1:54 PM
- The Colorado Department of Agriculture extends a Commercial Industrial Hemp Registration to CannaVest (CANV). This permits the company to grow and process industrial hemp.
- The first harvest may happen as early as September.
- Share are up 48% to $25 on 96K shares in today's trading.
- Average daily turnover is only 21K shares so retail investors should tread carefully.
- (HEMP) (MWIP)
Apr. 16, 2014, 12:18 PM
- Television producer Verde Media Group (VMGI +38.5%) creates a Biotech Division to capitalize on the legalized cannabis movement. The division will develop platform technologies for extracting highly purified THC and cannabidiol (CBD) and their use in various delivery systems such as sublingual, inhaled and blended with food products.
- The Biotech Division subsidiary Butazyme LLC signs an agreement with Asia-based Phoenix Energy to produce omega-3 oils.
- (CBIS) (ENDO) (HEMP) (LATF) (MWIP) (VAPE)
Apr. 9, 2014, 9:29 AM
- Encouraging demand prompts MediSwipe (MWIP) to buy another 80 acres in Colorado that it will use to sublease individual parcels to marijuana cultivators. This follows its original purchase of 80 acres announced last month.
- The second plot of land holds a "decreed non-tributary well" water right giving the company access to a substantial amount of water that it will lease to its licensed growers.
Apr. 7, 2014, 2:39 PM
- In a salute to trend-grabbing entrepreneurs everywhere, Hempamericana files an S-1. The industrial hemp firm plans to sell 34M shares to the public via a self-underwritten best-effort offering @ $0.12 per. Shares will trade on the OTCBB if a market maker agrees to pick up the issue.
- The company's sole employee is CEO Salvador Rosillo. He intends to use the ~$4M proceeds to execute his business plan of developing, manufacturing and marketing hemp-based products.
- Potentially undermining his plan's robustness is the statement on page 5 concerning the use of the proceeds: We intend to use the net proceeds to us for working capital and other general corporate purposes, however we do not have any specific uses of the net proceeds planned.
- The firm's balance sheet shows assets of $100.
- Further complicating matters is Mr. Rosillo's Chapter 7 bankruptcy a few years ago.
- Although not in the medical cannabis arena, industry followers still should find Hempamericana's filing an interesting read.
- (MDBX) (HEMP) (TRTC) (MWIP)
Mar. 26, 2014, 9:13 AM
- WSJ reporter Donna Kardos Yesalavich highlights the real estate side of the burgeoning cannabis industry.
- Zoned Properties (ZDPY) bought a 5-acre complex including 83,000 sq.ft. of warehousing in Tempe, AZ for $4.6M and another parcel in Gilbert, AZ for $1.1M. It plans to lease the assets to medical pot firms.
- MediSwipe (MWIP) acquired 80 acres in CO for the modest sum of $122,500, but will invest up to $5M in greenhouses and infrastructure. It expects to charge $15/sq.ft. to pot growers. This is about a 3x premium over local prices for warehouse space. The company reports it has three tenants in line to lease a total of 15 acres starting as early as May.
Feb. 14, 2014, 4:04 PM
- Volatile marijuana stocks have closed with big gains after the Treasury Dept. and deputy U.S. attorney general established banking regulations for licensed sellers. Notable gainers: MDBX +21.8%. MJNA +5.1%. GRNH +4.3%. AVTC +10.4%. MWIP +7.6%. HEMP +1.7%.
- The rules allow banks to do business with marijuana sellers deemed to be obeying state laws, and not running afoul of eight principles, which include selling to minors and trafficking marijuana to states where it's illegal to do so. However, banks will have to file suspicious activity reports detailing transactions made by marijuana vendors.
- The National Cannabis Industry Association calls the ruling, which comes six weeks after Colorado began legal marijuana sales, a "huge victory." But many observers think top U.S. banks will still tread cautiously.
- FINRA has issued a warning about potential marijuana stock scams.
Jan. 9, 2014, 5:25 PM
- Medical Marijuana (MJNA +4.3%) is up 25% YTD on the pink sheets as investors continue making speculative bets on pot-related plays following the start of legal marijuana sales in Colorado on Jan. 1.
- On the other hand, several peers gave back a big chunk of their recent gains today: GRNH -52.4%. AVTC -15.8%. MDBX -18.6%. HEMP -24.1%. MWIP -21.9%.
- But GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH +23.5%), a more established name that yesterday priced a 2.4M-share follow-on offering at $36, went in the other direction.
- With demand outstripping expectations, Colorado is (for now) arguably seeing the marijuana equivalent of the 1970s oil crisis: Long lines, shortages, rationing, and soaring prices have become the norm for licensed dispensaries.
- Words of caution from seasoned investors about putting money into pot plays are easy to find. Fund manager Frank Igarra: "There might be one or two that survive, but having seen crazes like this, people have been burned by them a lot. The average investor should think twice."
- FINRA issued a warning in August about potential marijuana stock scams.
Jan. 3, 2014, 4:49 PM
- Investors apparently have taken the big crowds outside marijuana retailers in Colorado as a harbinger of potential growth in the still-new industry after the state launched the first legal U.S. sale of recreational pot.
- Most of the companies that could benefit are very small, with MediSwipe (MWIP), which sells transaction processing systems to the medical industry, perhaps the most established; others include GreenGro Tech (GRNH), which sells growing systems and equipment popular with pot farmers; Medbox (MDBX), which makes storage and dispensing machines for controlled medicines; and GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH), which focuses on medicines derived from marijuana.