Insider Cannabis: Law firms are eyeing psychedelics

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Happy Friday readers,

I hate to be cliche, but we are living in monumental times — with President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, it’s impossible to know what will happen next.

Despite the crush of the news cycle leading up to November, life still goes on, and Yeji and I still have a ton of cannabis news for you all.

Let’s get to it.


Here’s what we wrote about this week:

Lawyers who specialize in cannabis are eyeing the burgeoning psychedelics industry as companies studying magic mushrooms go public

Lawyers who specialize in the cannabis industry say they’re getting inquiries from a new kind of client: psychedelics companies.

The calls started coming in around a year to a year and a half ago, as the psychedelics industry began to ramp up and garner more investor dollars, half a dozen cannabis lawyers told Business Insider. Some firms say they’re diving headfirst into the psychedelics industry. Others say they’re watching the industry closely from the sidelines, waiting for more regulatory changes before they take on the new client base.

Flowhub just scooped up a senior exec from Glassdoor, and it’s the latest sign that the cannabis tech space is heating up

Stephanie Jenkins, formerly an exec at the job-hunting site Glassdoor, made the jump into the cannabis industry recently as Flowhub’s senior vice president of sales. Flowhub is a cannabis tech company that helps dispensaries track inventory and process sales. The startup — backed by $27 million in funding so far — was named to Business Insider’s list of the 15 buzziest startups in cannabis. 

The move sends a strong signal that investors and executives from inside and outside of cannabis think that the tech side of the industry has a lot of growth potential. 

Executive moves

Deals, launches, and IPOs

Policy Moves

  • House Democrats passed a sweeping stimulus bill that included the SAFE Banking Act, a piece of legislation that would allow state-legal cannabis businesses to access banking services much like any other business. It’s not likely to pass the Senate, however. My colleague Kimberly Leonard has what you need to know. 


A CPlant employee fills a bag with hemp flowers for export at the company’s farming area near Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020

AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico

Research and reform

Chart of the week

Wholesale cannabis sales skyrocketed in states like California, Arizona, and Colorado this August, compared to the same month last year, according to data from LeafLink Insights. The cannabis software company told Business Insider that year-over-year, between Aug 2019 to Aug 2020, gross merchandise value (GMV), the total value of merchandise sold, increased 132%.

Michigan, with a 112% increase, saw the biggest uptick, though that’s in large part to recreational sales coming online last December. Nevada — with a market heavily dependent on cannabis tourism — was the only state of the six surveyed to see a decline in sales year-over-year.

yrshx yoy wholesale cannabis sales aug 2019 vs aug 2020

Yuqing Liu/Business Insider

What we’re reading 

A political mystery: The cannabis money pushing to keep the US senate red (Cannabis Wire)

Cannabis vape companies are experiencing a sales boom during the pandemic (Tech Crunch) 

Gone to pot: New Zealand cools on legalising cannabis (The Guardian)

Mexico, plagued by cartel wars, on cusp of legal cannabis ‘green rush’ (Reuters)

Aurora Cannabis execs saw raises, bonuses despite multibillion-dollar loss (Marijuana Business Daily)

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