EXCLUSIVE: Why The US Virgin Islands Are Fertile Soil For Cannabis Businesses

Who says all cannabis opportunities are on the continent? To speak of one, the case of the U.S. Virgin Islands is quite captivating and holds incentives and potential in the cannabis sector. 
U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., an active supporter of cannabis legalization, shared insights on the territory’s current — and potential — status with Paul Josephson, partner at cannabis industry practice group Duane Morris, on Wednesday at Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference.
“A governor who really gets economic development,” as Josephson said, Bryan said the region is on the cusp of an unprecedented economic surge. “We have a $4-billion economy right …Full story available on Benzinga.com

Meet The Winners Of The 2023 Benzinga Cannabis Awards And Join The Chicago Conference Online

Winners of the second annual Benzinga Cannabis Awards were announced at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference underway in Chicago on September 27-28. 
This coveted recognition highlights the cannabis industry's luminaries, from trailblazers and innovators to advocates who are helping to advance all facets of the industry, including media, technology, research and more. 
And the winners are…
Brett Roper Award for Lifetime Achievement
Ed Perlmutter (Former US Rep)
Best Social Equity Award Success Story
Bob Fireman Award For Entrepreneurship
Shanel Lindsay, founder of Ardent Life 
Cannabis Advocate of the Year
Weldon Angelos, president & co-founder of Mission Green
Most Impactful Cannabis …Full story available on Benzinga.com

EXCLUSIVE: The SAFER Banking Act Is A Long-Awaited First Step Towards The Economic Legitimacy Of The Cannabis Industry, Says Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Panelist

“We are thrilled that the Senate Banking Committee has approved the SAFE Banking Bill,” said Boris Jordan, founder and chairman of Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF), reflecting the sentiments of cannabis industry stakeholders following the historic approval of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act.
This significant development occurred amid the buzz of the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, where cannabis sector leaders are currently gathering, echoing a harmonious blend of excitement and anticipation.
See Also: Cannabis Stocks Jump As Senate Committee Approves Cannabis Banking Bill
A Journey Marked by Persistence
The SAFE Banking Act, an earlier version of the bill, passed in the House of Representatives seven times but had not advanced through the Senate under both Democratic and Republican control, CNBC reported, which added that lawmakers excluded it from a $1.7 trillion government funding bill late last year.
Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien lauded the legislative move and its broader implications for the workforce and operational efficiencies.
“Passing SAFER banking is a necessary part of this process and can help improve working conditions while easing operational burdens for employers across the country,” said O’Brien, bridging the nexus between regulatory …Full story available on Benzinga.com

Cannabis Stock Movers For September 27, 2023


Global Hemp Group (OTC:GBHPF) shares closed up 68.42% at $0.01
GrowLife (OTC:PHOT) shares closed up 42.86% at $0.001
Heritage Cannabis Holding (OTC:HERTF) shares closed up 26.67% at $0.01
Elixinol Wellness (OTC:ELLXF) shares closed up 18.29% at $0.00
Indiva (OTC:NDVAF) shares closed up 16.81% at $0.03
1933 Industries (OTC:TGIFF) shares closed up 11.54% at $0.02
MJ Holdings (OTC:MJNE) shares closed up 9.89% at $0.02
Cansortium (OTC:CNTMF) shares closed up 7.50% at $0.11
BioHarvest Sciences (OTC:CNVCF) shares closed up 7.46% at $0.14
Trees (OTC:CANN) shares closed up 7.39% at $0.16
Neptune Wellness Solns (NASDAQ:NEPT) shares closed up 5.19% at $1.42
CLS Holdings USA (OTC:CLSH) shares …Full story available on Benzinga.com

Crypto Twist, SAFER Banking Act Insights: Cory Gardner, Ed Perlmutter At Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

At the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, key figures in the cannabis industry engaged in discussions about the U.S. Senate Banking Committee passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act — and a surprising twist involving cryptocurrency, offering valuable insights into the intricate negotiations surrounding cannabis and crypto legislation.
The SAFER Banking Act
Ed Perlmutter, a longtime advocate for cannabis reform, a former representative and now a partner at Holland & Knight, shared the significance of recent events in cannabis legislation.
The cannabis industry, operating on an all-cash basis, is now one step closer to being able to use banking and financial systems.
He discussed the urgent need to address banking challenges faced by the industry and commended the bipartisan effort behind the SAFE Banking Act.
“This has been a roadblock for years… It's in sync. And, you know, so you have some opposed, but those that want to move this thing are really doing their best to move it forward,” Perlmutter said, emphasizing the persistent efforts to overcome obstacles in cannabis banking reform.
Former Sen. Cory Gardner, who played a crucial role in …Full story available on Benzinga.com

EXCLUSIVE: Canopy Growth, SNDL, Village Farms Could Capture US Cannabis Market Opportunity

The Senate Banking Committee approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act on Wednesday, marking the first time Senate members have voted in favor of legislation that would allow cannabis businesses access to banks.
Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, Illinois, several prominent players in the cannabis space discussed the broader regulatory landscape in the U.S.
“We can't touch the plant,” said Ann Gillin Lefever, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Village Farms International Inc (NASDAQ: VFF).
Most cannabis companies have viable operations, but they can't cross the border given current federal regulations. In order to maintain Nasdaq listing requirements, cannabis companies can't engage in any plant-touching activities.
Cannabis companies have proven that they can survive. The ones that are still around are battle tested, Lefever said. 
“Let's not forget this is a business that was nothing five years ago,” she said.
Canopy Growth Corp (NASDAQ: CGC) CEO David Klein explained that most people don't realize that a lot of cannabis companies have a significant presence in the U.S.
“We already have operations in the U.S., but … you have to work around regulatory requirements in order to create value out of those businesses,” he said.
Canopy Growth's U.S. businesses are already profitable, but …Full story available on Benzinga.com

EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis Catalysts Praise SAFER Momentum, Plus State Market Prospects

The cannabis industry is poised for some serious growth owing to the historic clearance of the SAFER Banking Act by the Senate’s Banking Committee.
Trulieve (OTCMKTS: TCNNF) CEO Kim Rivers couldn’t be clearer facing Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference audience on Wednesday, Sept. 27: “It’s SAFER Banking Day. Today's historic, right? We've never had a vote in the Senate, period, on a true cannabis policy, standalone measure.”
Although “there's always a little bit of last minute back and forth on these things” and the story is expected to continue around section 10, Rivers says, she still finds the proposal’s “postured well” in Senate — including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call to move it “forward and expeditiously.”
CCC’s keynote speaker told Alliance Global Partners’ managing director Aaron …Full story available on Benzinga.com

Cannabis Banking Reform Sparks Reactions From Advocates, Marijuana Retail Giants

After seven tries, Wednesday’s Senate Banking Committee vote to move a cannabis reform bill to the Senate floor marks the first time that Senate members have agreed to consider alleviating the major burden facing the billion-dollar banking cannabis industry: access to banking and financial institutions and all that implies. 
The 14-9 vote provides the bill with sufficient bipartisan support to pass through the broader Senate, the main stumbling block for getting this essential piece of regulatory reform over the finish line. 
An organization that has been advocating for cannabis legalization for more than 50 years says that it’s quite impossible for any industry to operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions.
Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: What's Next For …Full story available on Benzinga.com

EXCLUSIVE: What's Next For Cannabis? Industry Experts Discuss Game-Changing New Policies

Cannabis reform has moved one step closer to reality at the federal level on Wednesday, with the Senate Banking Committee approving the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act.
“It's all about applying pressure to get things done.” That's according to Emily Paxhia, co-founder and managing partner at Poseidon Investment Management, who joined the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Wednesday in Chicago, Illinois, to talk about what institutions are looking for and how investors are looking at new opportunities in cannabis.
The regulatory milestone that would enable legal cannabis businesses access to banks and financial institutions has been in the works for almost a decade. It's one of the main cannabis market catalysts, alongside the rescheduling of marijuana, that would prompt investors to pour their capital into private businesses that are waiting on the sidelines, according to the four experts who joined a panel discussion moderated by Pablo Zuanic, the managing partner at Zuanic & Associates.
AdvisorShares CEO Dan Ahrens also joined Paxhia on the stage at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. AdvisorShares is portfolio manager of the Pure …Full story available on Benzinga.com

EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis Companies On Importance Of Brands Going Mainstream, Entry Into Consumer Packaged Good Market

Cannabis brands need to market to a mainstream audience, while also focusing on their target customer.
This unique balance was a common theme from speakers at the 2023 Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, Illinois, for a panel on positioning cannabis brands as consumer packaged goods (CPG) products.

L to R: Michael Piermont (Moderator), Patricia Rosi (Acreage Holdings), Sandy Li (Wana Brands), David Knight (Jones Soda), Luke Anderson (Cann)
Cannabis Going Mainstream: Companies in the cannabis space going mainstream can provide broader access to consumers, something that Acreage Holdings Inc (OTC: ACRHF) Chief Marketing Officer Patricia Rosi prided herself on.
“For me, that means consumers can easily purchase and purchase again,” Rosi said. “CPG for me also means building a business engine, driving business performance, a repeatable growth model.”
Rosi said cannabis companies going mainstream were focused on the brand, which was “the driving force” of everything Acreage Holdings does. She added the company has a vision to become mainstream and bring its brands nationwide.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for 12 years.”
Beverage company Cann had a unique position in going mainstream with a focus on branding differently.
“We decided to position Cann as a mainstream CPG …Full story available on Benzinga.com

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