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The Week's Bengal News Bite - August 26th, 2021

  • Booming Massachusetts marijuana market offers select cultivation, retail opportunities (MJ Biz Daily) | After a slow start in late 2018, recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts are surging – and on pace to exceed $1.2 billion this year and reach as much as $2.6 billion by 2025. Cannabis businesses are attracted to a market that is densely populated and a licensing regime that prevents an oligopoly by allowing companies to operate only three adult-use stores and 100,000 square feet of cultivation canopy.
  • Legal weed dispensaries banned in more than 70% of NJ towns (NJ Herald) | When New Jerseyans finally go to buy their first ounce of legal weed, they may not be able to find a licensed dispensary nearby. Nearly 71% of towns across New Jersey — some 400 municipalities — completely opted out of the recreational cannabis industry, passing ordinances that prohibit cannabis cultivation facilities, manufacturers, wholesalers distributors, delivery companies, and legal weed dispensaries.
  • U.S. cannabis insurers get ready to roll as Federal legalization nears (U.S. News) | Insurers are quietly gearing up for a potential ten-fold increase in sales to the booming $17.6 billion-a-year cannabis industry as Congress inches closer to legalizing pot at the federal level.  The industry only wrote about $250 million in policies last year, insurance agents estimated, with a handful of carriers offering limited property and liability coverage.
     
  • The Oligarch and the Marijuana Fund (Rolling Stone) | Dima Bosov brought millions of dollars from Russia to California, thinking the emerging cannabis industry would be a safe bet for easy money. He was wrong. [Genius Fund] might have been overlooked as another expensive weed venture going belly-up. But a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed a month later, on April 24th, attracted notice: The company’s former head of security-turned-CEO, Francis J. Racioppi, alleged “a sordid tale of corporate mismanagement, subterfuge, and fraud.” Within weeks, Bosov would be dead. [Editor's Note: This article should not be read as typical of the industry, but is just highlighted as an interesting, well-reported story.]
     
  • Cannabis firms catch a whiff of opportunity in Brazil (Reuters) | International cannabis companies are showing interest in Brazil, both its large consumer market for medicinal products and a proposal that could legalize planting of the crop. Major producers like Colombia's Clever Leaves and Canada's Canopy Growth are developing and selling medicinal cannabis products to a Brazilian consumer segment estimated at 10 million to 13 million people. This results from a 2019 regulatory change allowing the import, sale, and manufacturing of such products. 
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We’re Bengal. We’re an aligned group of people with the good fortune of having immersed ourselves in the emerging cannabis industry. We pride ourselves on intentionally selecting where we place our attention; we’re lucky that way. We aim to roll up our sleeves and be partners, whether as a trusted advisor, capital provider or friend. We feel like we’ve made every mistake and can hopefully help prevent others from the same. Our lessons learned keep us humble and we are balanced by an inner confidence borne from our track record and trusted relationships; we are most grateful for these vibrant connections. We simply like to help and get aligned with great people and great opportunities.

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