Curaleaf Faces MA, CT Ownership Questions                                  View this email in your browser
Vol. 9, No. 3 - Feb. 4,  2023 -- Edited by Dr. Lloyd Covens
MISSOURI KICKS OFF ADULT SALES FEB. 6TH --  All 214 existing medical dispensaries are cleared to add adult-use to their offerings beginning Mon., Feb. 6th  where adults will be allowed possession of up to three ounces of flower.  More than 200,000 medical card holders will also now have the option for home growing and Missouri's Amendment 4 provides automatic expungements, and 3,518 offenders have been cleared since New Year's Day.  NORML estimates another 96,000 offenders will be cleared automatically.  Amendment 3 disadvantages new MJ entrants, with micro-businesses only allowed after mid-2024.  Local cities can only "Opt-Out" of local MJ sales with a 60% vote by citizens.
Big 4 MSOs Less Than 15% of 2022's MJ Sales at $32Billion
           U.S. sales of medical and adult-use cannabis is coming in at $30 to $34Bill-- including all legal CBD sales, estimated at $4.2Bil to $5Bil, but not including any delta-8 revenues.  Surprisingly, of all the top 9 publicly-traded top U.S. multi-state operators-- combined market share is less than 18%, meaning that more than $25Bil. in legal sales are still controlled held by state-based licensees.  While west coast MJ states have faded, industry experts expect significant 2023 growth from the roll-out of adult-use sales in New York, Maryland, Missouri, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  New medical states like Mississippi and  Alabama are beginning initial MMJ sales as well.

Over the next month, Portland-based  Whitney Economics is  revising it's $26.1Billion low estimate for 2022 (non-CBD) sales, noting that   "the final 2022 number may increase a bit, but we think this is the right range."  Noting the trade-off in some medical markets which have remained steady, founder/principal Beau Whitney predicts the new estimate "represents roughly a 5.28% year-over-year growth," adding that "some major markets have seen a 25% - 35% decline since 2021."   Post lock-down estimates for March 2020 through March, 2021 saw the industry growth shoot past 30-32%.  Higher annual projections from MJBiz $33Bill), and Cowen and Co. reflected higher growth expectations before weighing the 4th quarter, 2022 slowdown in sales.

       Watching the market capitalization drop by billions in value has set the pessimism alarm off in most quarters of the cannabis business side.  But pressure to grow more-and-more dispensaries has front-ended major expenditures, helping incumbents like Trulieve (Florida) and Green Thumb (Illinois) in their home states.   With Northeastern markets opening, long-term medical incumbents like Acreage Holdings, Verano and Ayr Wellness are are expected to see higher-than-average growth in 2023-24.  (See MSO by state chart below).

Not included in the estimated gross revenues of $32Bil figure are the rise of intoxicating hemp synthetic/ derivatives (sales of DEA approved delta 8/10 and synthetics) which are sold 70% online, and with significant “brick and mortar” market share in Texas, Florida and Virginia.   Across the country, new bills to control or ban delta8/10-plus synthetics are being considered in Georgia, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
With full-year reports due out next month (except for GTI which will report on Feb. 28 ), the publicly traded MSOs in the cannabis sector are expected to shave millions off their 3Q/2022 projections--the full impact of pricing compression, over-supply and consumer pullback on pandemic era budgeting.
With projected 2022 total sales released in projection by MSOs(Oct/22) our market share among the top 4 MSOs is:
  • Curaleaf ($1.4Bil or 4.4%), -- 149 stores in 19 states.
  • GREEN THUMB $1.3B for 4.1% - 78 stores in 14 states
  •  Trulieve at $1.2B for 3.75% -- 181 stores in 8 states.
  • and Verano if annual revenues are $1Bill, from its 121 stores in 13 states-- representing 3.1% market share of U.S. sales.
  • Canopy Growth, Cronos(PharmaCann/LivWell) and a future combined Cresco/Columbia Care are not included in the 16-18% market share calculation.
Tue., March 7 is Oklahoma RMJ Election Day
Make a donation -- and call your Oklahoma friends to get involved at or for signup:
Cannabis News Briefs

Following last week's FDA declaration that it would not use existing protocols for rules on CBD testing and safety, several relevant Congressional members offered their views.  Many of the best ideas-- in addition to new proposals to modify the upcoming 2024 Farm Bill-- has come from House bills previously filed--and needing to be re-introduced with the new Congress.  Of course, the CBD industry is wholeheartedly iin agreement with key FDA concerns-- content/sourcing safety, testing for potency and contaminants, and clear/honest product labeling.  Rep. James Griffith (R-VA) and former colleague, Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) both authored the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020, which dealt with most critical issues.  Rep.James Comer (R-Kentucky), who oversees the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, criticized FDA for refusing to begin clinical trial rule-making when it threw out three CBD maker petitions to proceed.  Maine Democrat Rep. Chellie Pingree is supportive of Griffith's Stabilization Act measure, as are key hemp supporters from Oregon-- Senators Ron Wyden(D) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D).

After shutting down five dispensaries and its large cultivation/processing centers in Colorado, Oregon and California-- CURALEAF said lost revenues without those assets would  exceed $50Mil.(from its estimated annual revenues of $1.4Bil), and may avoid more costly future losses as oversupply and low wholesale pricing continue to disrupt those western states.  But trouble in product over-supply  Massachusetts could be CURALEAF's next cutback, where is has  four stores.  
       In Mineola, NY, Curaleaf's Carle Place medical center--a huge sales generator in central Long Island -- local resistance may stop the MSO from adding adult-use access later this year. A separate adverse action may come from Massachusetts where cannabis regulators have confirmed that they are investigating certain CURALEAF ownership interests involving Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich-- identified as the controlling interest of several off-shore (CETUS,  Meliastove Investments ) complex funds sending CURALEAF up to $400Mil since 2016.  CURALEAF has called those investments as occuring before 2018, but further reporting by media outlets have pointed to millions flowing into CURA from Abramovich-controlled funds as flowing all the way to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nearly one year ago. Cannabis officials in Connecticut are reportedly also reviewing the ownership disclosure issue.  Last week, CURALEAF co-founder and executive chairman Boris Jordan addressed market conditions, and called certain accusations against his firm as "racist."
  Hear the Jan. 26 Toby Channabis-hosted interview at

Link of the Week-- With reports this week that Senate leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had convened a recent meeting to discuss next steps in Senate consideration of a revised SAFE Banking/expungements/social equity bill-- industry reaction was muted.  House action to pass SAFE-Plus remains problematic, and several cannabis watchers were forced to re-visit Schumer's year-long bottling up of SAFE, with a preference to push for his 236-page CAOA alternative. Reason magazine noted that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) also held up SAFE consideration,  and last month Booker "conceded that passing it would have been "easy." He squandered that opportunity in favor of a quixotic effort to pass a broader bill that was dead on arrival. His self-righteous, anti-capitalist posturing, which was echoed by the Drug Policy Alliance, made him complicit in maintaining a situation that puts lives at risk, all so he could claim a moral high ground he manifestly does not deserve."  See the analysis at:

With a major push from the U.S. Cannabis Council, 2022 brought the highest lobbying funding in legal cannabis effort, thus far.  CURALEAF, Columbia Care, Canopy Growth and TruLieve all dug deep to help fund some $5.43Mil. to push for SAFE banking and other initiatives.  According to an analysis of disclosures by OpenSecrets, which rounded up data from 20 top industry players-- cannabis interests collected slightly more than 202l lobbying total (from top 20 firms) of $5.22Mil. 

Snoop Dog is bringing his brand and brains to the work of Hempacco(,HPDG) a publicly funded San Diego, CA start-up which  will develop, manufacture, and market a line of various consumer packaged goods, including smokable hemp products, hemp paper, blunts, vapes, and edibles.  “I’ve been looking for the best team out there to produce hemp products with me, and this team has it all - the science, innovation, and the reach. I am excited to offer my Snoop Dogg products to my fans across the country through this partnership … and this is just the beginning,” said Snoop Dogg.   Hempacco  has extensive R&D capabilities with its team of chemists and innovative services, including smokeable hemp vending machine kiosks.

At age 90, superstar Willy Nelson is proud of his well-known support for cannabis.  "Well, it not only saved my life, it probably saved some other people's lives," Nelson told  E! News, noting " before I smoked marijuana, I was drinking a lot. And I might have killed a lot of people, too." Marking his 90th, Nelson plans a two concerts in Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl, April 29-30.

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