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The psychedelics company you’ve never heard of



Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.


Hello everyone,

Well, I’m back from Italy — Yeji was right: I ate too much pasta and gained a killer tan. I also packed on a few extra pounds I’ll probably have to surf off this Fall.

The public comment period for the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, the broad legalization bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer along with Sens. Booker and Wyden in July, ended on Wednesday. 

The comments, from industry trade groups, advocacy groups, as well as legalization opponents, are a revealing look at where priorities lie and how the final legislation will take shape. 

Some of my biggest takeaways: There’s a lot of opposition to opening up interstate commerce right off the bat. That comes from both social equity-focused groups and trade groups that say allowing it would undermine social equity initiatives. They say it would allow big, well-capitalized tobacco companies to consolidate the industry rapidly, pushing out smaller players.

From Shaleen Title at the Parabola Center:

“Sudden interstate commerce may bring oversized new entrants to the market, such as Big Tobacco, certain retail and online platform giants, and others that have demonstrated no sincere commitment – indeed, active hostility – to social and economic justice, public health, and workers’ rights.”

Trade groups, like the US Cannabis Council — which includes some of the largest cannabis companies — said that the next version of the CAOA should have much lower taxes and that the Treasury Department should be the primary regulator for the industry, among other changes.

And last, legalization opponents like Smarter Approaches to Marijuana called for strict control of advertising, and THC caps. 

There are too many smart comments to get to here, but we’ll be reporting on the legislation as it takes shape.  

What else?

At the risk of being excessively self-promotional here, I wanted to point you all to a short documentary that our team produced on the key challenges with starting a marijuana business — and so much more about the cannabis industry featuring yours truly. Let me know what you think:

Why Starting A Marijuana Business Is So Hard | Big Business

Just as an aside, to all our readers in the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia area, I hope you are dry and safe and emerged relatively unscathed from Ida.

– Jeremy Berke (@jfberke

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news. 

Here’s what we wrote about this week:

Top biotech VCs are betting on GH Research, a $1 billion psychedelics company that you’ve never heard of

GH Research is quietly pursuing medicine for treatment-resistant


that’s based on a psychoactive compound found in the Sonoran Desert toad. Though the Dublin-based firm is the third-largest psychedelics company in the world, it’s chosen to remain under the radar, avoiding press and public announcements, as it garners big investor backing. 

The pullback in cannabis stocks creates a prime opportunity for companies to scoop up smaller players. A top Wall Street analyst names 7 prime targets.

Deal mania is gripping the cannabis industry and the recent pullback in US cannabis stocks is creating a prime opportunity for large cannabis firms to scoop up smaller players. Analysts laid out 7 prime targets.

The future of New York’s $7 billion cannabis industry will be shaped by these 29 power players

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced two nominations to the regulatory bodies tasked with standing up the state’s adult-use cannabis market. Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander and Chair of the Cannabis Control Board Tremaine Wright are among the 29 power players shaping the larger industry.

Executive moves

  • The Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation said on Tuesday that it had appointed Sarah A. Chase as executive director. 
  • Cannabis compliance firm Metrc hired Zahid Ali as its new chief technology officer. The company’s previous CTO, Jesse Naranjo, will become chief product officer.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

  • US cannabis company TerrAscend announced on Wednesday that it would acquire Michigan-based Gage Cannabis in a $545 million all-stock deal. 
  • Planet 13 Holdings purchased a Florida medical cannabis license from Harvest Health & Recreation for $55 million. The company says it plans to open cannabis superstores in Miami and Orlando. 
  • Israel-based cannabis company Intercure began trading on the Nasdaq on Monday. On Tuesday, the company announced a deal to acquire some of medical cannabis pharmacy chain Cannomed’s assets. 
  • California-based cannabis company Lowell Farms said on Tuesday that it had closed an $18 million equity private placement led by Beehouse Partners.
  • US cannabis giant Green Thumb Industries said on Wednesday that it had acquired Massachusetts-based GreenStar Herbals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Canadian cannabis firm The Valens Company announced two deals this week. It is acquiring cultivator and processor Citizen Stash Cannabis Corp. in an all-stock $54.3 million deal and acquiring value cannabis brand Verse Cannabis.
  • Sam Adams-maker The Boston Beer Company is partnering with Entourage Health Corp. to sell cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic beverages in Canada. 

Policy moves

Research and data

  • The City University of New York’s Medgar Evers College will offer a minor in cannabis, open to all students in the CUNY system. The program will partner with social equity-focused groups, like Women Grow and the Webber Wild Impact Fund
  • A new study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that the legalization of cannabis in Canada had no effect on traffic-related injuries.

Cannabis jobs

  • Cannabis retailer Eaze is hiring a principal blockchain engineer to help the company solve banking and payments issues. 


  • Harborside released its Q2 results on Monday, reporting $15.4 million in revenue, and a net profit of $1.8 million.

What we’re reading 

‘Swazi gold’: grandmothers in Eswatini growing cannabis to make ends meet (The Guardian)

The Oligarch and the Marijuana Fund (The Rolling Stone)

Small North Coast cannabis farms face daunting future (Press Democrat)

How Much Legal Cannabis Is In California? It’s A State Secret. (Forbes)

Trulieve hits a bump in its path to leading Florida’s medical marijuana industry (Miami Herald)

Merrill Mellows Approach to Marijuana-Related Businesses (AdvisorHub)



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