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Week in Review: Tilray to Acquire Beverage Brands from Anheuser-Busch

Tilray acquires Anheuser-Busch brands
PHOTO roxxyphotos

Current Events

Week in Review: Tilray to Acquire Beverage Brands from Anheuser-Busch

ICYMI: Catch up on the week’s latest news from across the cannabis spectrum.

In this week’s cannabis news round-up, Tilray Brands to acquire beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch; Jesse Ventura aims to be political pot pioneer; Connecticut sees $13M in adult-sue sales in July; and RAW donates $100K to JUSTÜS Foundation to boost legacy cannabis operators.

Tilray acquires Anheuser-Busch brands
PHOTO Gotta Be Worth It

Tilray Brands to Acquire Eight Beer & Beverage Brands from Anheuser-Busch

Tilray Brands, the world’s largest cannabis company, is now set to become the 5th-largest craft brewer and 15th-largest overall brewer in the US by acquiring eight popular beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch, including Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company and HiBall Energy. The deal includes the brands’ employees, breweries and brewpubs and will be completed in cash, with the transaction expected to finalize later this year.

These additions to Tilray’s portfolio diversify the company’s US beverage alcohol category segment. It already own renowned brands SweetWater Brewing Company, Montauk Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company and Green Flash Brewing Company. Tilray also owns Breckenridge Distillery, an award-winning spirits brand and Happy Flower CBD sparkling non-alcoholic cocktails.

“Today’s announcement both solidifies our national leadership position and share in the US craft brewing market and marks a major step forward in our diversification strategy,” said Tilray’s Chairman and CEO, Irwin D. Simon. “We’re excited to work with the teams behind these iconic brands that command great consumer loyalty and have a history of delivering strong award-winning products with tremendous growth opportunities. Tilray is fully committed to invest in and champion the future of the US craft beer industry by fueling new innovation that excites and further accelerates the growth of its consumer base.”

Photo courtesy of Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura Aims to Be Political Pot Pioneer

Former Minnesota Governor and iconic wrestler Jesse Ventura, a vocal advocate for adult-use cannabis legalization, is reportedly planning to enter the cannabis industry in his home state. With the recent legalization of cannabis in Minnesota, Ventura aims to launch his own cannabis brand, utilizing his image and identity to promote the product.

According to a press release, he envisions this move not only as an economic boost for the state but also as an opportunity to keep the cannabis business and its profits within Minnesota, emphasizing his desire to contribute to the local economy by partnering with companies based in The Gopher State.

“I’d prefer to do Minnesota—put my name with Minnesota companies and make cannabis a prosperous business in Minnesota by Minnesotans, keeping the money in Minnesota,” Ventura said. “We’ve always been a great farm state. There’s no doubt Minnesota can produce corn, we can produce wheat—we can also produce the best cannabis in the world, too. There’s no doubt we can do that also.”

Earlier this year, Ventura made a significant step by testifying before a state senate committee in support of adult-use recreational cannabis legalization. This marked his first time testifying in front of a legislative committee in Minnesota.

Ventura’s involvement in cannabis advocacy dates back to his time in office when he championed the cause. He was elected as Minnesota’s governor in 1998 as a Reform Party candidate and served a single term. He also attended the signing ceremony by current Governor Tim Walz, solidifying the North Star State’s move towards cannabis legalization.

Connecticut State Capitol. PHOTO jglazer75

Connecticut Sees $13M in July Adult-Use Cannabis Sales, Medical Sales Dip

Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis sales in July hit $13 million, while medical cannabis sales amounted to $10.6 million, data from the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) revealed. During the month, adult-use customers bought 324,177 products, while medical cannabis patients purchased 279,240 items.

For July, the average price for adult-use products stood at $39.92, slightly higher than the $39.66 average for medical cannabis products. Among the sales, 52% were from flower products, vapes made up 31% and edibles constituted 11%.

Since its January launch, adult-use cannabis sales have consistently grown in Connecticut, rising by around $500,000 from June to July. In the same period, medical cannabis sales dropped from roughly $11.4 million to $10.6 million.

Year-to-date, Connecticut dispensaries have seen about $68.9 million in adult-use sales and approximately $76.5 million in medical cannabis sales. While medical cannabis sales initially outweighed adult-use sales in the first four months of adult-use availability, the trend has reversed over the past three months.

Medical cannabis sales remain exempt from sales and excise taxes in th Constitution State. For adult-use purchases, a transaction limit of 7 grams of raw flower (or its equivalent) persists. Medical cannabis patients can buy up to 5 ounces per month without facing individual transaction limits.

RAW founder Josh Kesselman. Photo courtesy of RAW Rolling Papers

RAW Donates $100K to JUSTÜS Foundation to Boost Legacy Cannabis Operators

RAW Rolling Papers has contributed $100,000 to the JUSTÜS Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding legacy cannabis operators in entering the legal market. The donation, stemming from the RAW Seeds Fellowship grants, will be divided among legacy operators who have been adversely affected by cannabis laws enforced by the justice system.

To qualify for the fellowship, a legacy operator is defined as someone who primarily engaged in cannabis-related activities outside of the legal framework before legalization, spanning a period of five years. The grants, amounting to up to $20,000 per recipient, aim to facilitate the launch of legal cannabis businesses for these operators.

The JUSTÜS Foundation has committed itself to facilitating the transition of legacy cannabis operators into the legal market. Their educational initiatives encompass diverse programs such as the Woman Warrior Initiative, Safe Smoke Sesh Series, Octogacy, Mental Health First, The Revolutionary Cannabis Series, Cannabis Accounting Roundtables, and JUSTÜS JUMP Ins.

Josh Kesselman, RAW’s founder, pointed out the significance of supporting the pioneers who laid the groundwork for the industry.

“As the industry undergoes a significant transformation, emerging from the shadows and embracing legality, it’s crucial that those who built it from the ground up are the beneficiaries, along with the communities they come from,” Kesselman said in a press release. “While major companies are rushing to take advantage of new laws legalizing cannabis, we need to support the small entrepreneurs who are the true lifeblood of this industry.”

Scheril Murray Powell, COO of JUSTÜS Foundation, described the organization’s mission as breaking down barriers. She explained that integrating legacy operators is pivotal for diversifying the legal cannabis market and contributing to a robust and inclusive industry that promotes societal health and wellness. Additionally, the program may offer smaller grants of up to $15,000 to various legacy operators, aiming to assist them in launching legal cannabis businesses or pursuing careers in the legal cannabis sector.

Steve DeAngelo, founder of JUSTÜS Foundation, underlined the importance of recognizing the significant role that legacy operators played during the prohibition era and advocated for their fair treatment as heroes rather than criminals.

“Instead of being excluded from the legal cannabis industry, legacy operators should be warmly welcomed into it,” he said. “They should be honored as the brave pioneers and accomplished experts they truly are, not ostracized or excluded because they’ve been convicted for breaking unjust laws that should never have been passed. These grants will help return opportunities to legacy cannabis entrepreneurs that shouldn’t have been taken away from them in the first place.”

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