Welcome to Cultivated, our weekly newsletter where we give you an insight into the offers, trends and personalities that drive the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.
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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. weekend everyone,
It's not until mid-January, but it already feels like a lot has happened in cannabis.
Before we begin, let me introduce myself: my name is Yeji and I am Business Insider's new (and first time) cannabis editorial fellow. Like Jeremy, I come from Canada. I want to contribute to cultivated regularly while I am here, and sometimes I take over for the week, as I am today.
Let's get to it, shall we?
Canopy Growth's new CEO, David Klein (former CFO of Constellation Brands) officially began his new position this week, over a month after the news was announced. Other executive moves include a new COO (Jon Levin, a former Revlon executive) and CFO (Michael Kruteck, formerly at Molson Coors) in Tilray, and a new Chief Strategy Officer in Fyllo, a cannabis marketing technology platform.
We talked to some of the best VCs investing in cannabis this week and asked them where they were excited to spend their money in 2020. Areas that came up again and again include: advertising technology, international opportunities for CBD and hemp , drug delivery platforms, laboratory testing and synthetic cannabinoids.
We also reported on layoffs at CBD and hemp companies Mile High Labs, and GenCanna. You can find ways you can reach us safely at the bottom of this newsletter if you have a tip.
This is what we wrote about this week:
2 hemp and CBD startup just laid off workers as the industry faces a unique challenging phase  Mile High Labs, a Colorado-based CBD manufacturer, laid off 20 employees. CFO Jon Hilley said in an interview that layoffs represent just under 10% of total employees, out of a total of 250 before layoffs.
GenCanna, a private Kentucky-based hemp and CBD manufacturer founded in 2014, laid off 65 workers in December. Even with layoffs, the company started with 162 employees in 2019 and ended the year with 224 employees after layoffs, excluding seasonal workers. Steve Bevan, the company's president and CEO, pointed to increasing automation of the hemp and CBD supply chain as one of the reasons for the layoffs. "Due to significant advances in technology, we need fewer people to do more," Bevan said.
Cannabis companies have cut over 1,000 jobs in recent weeks as the industry struggles with a & # 39; toxic & # 39; landscape. We keep track of all the cuts here.
We track layoffs in the cannabis industry. With more than 1,000 jobs that have been reduced in recent weeks, the once-thriving industry appears to be struggling with a downturn.
Here are the 14 largest venture capital companies making deals in the cannabis industry, and where they were looking to place their next efforts
We spoke to some of the top venture capital firms in the cannabis industry. We identified the top VCs based on how many investments they made in 2019 and asked them which verticals and companies they were looking to invest in 2020. The companies said they were looking to invest in areas such as advertising technology, international opportunities for CBD and hemp, drug delivery platforms, laboratory testing, and synthetic cannabinoids.
VC invested in cannabis increased over $ 2 billion in 2019, but a decline at year-end raises questions about 2020
We looked at how much money VCs put into cannabis in 2018 and 2019, and analyzed when investments rose, when they went down, and why, using data from PitchBook. Although investments fell steeply in the second half of 2019, the year's slowest quarter (Q4) drew nearly as much as the first two quarters of 2018 combined, which indicated a continued growing industry.
In other news this week:
- Fyllo, a cannabis marketing technology platform, announced that it has purchased CannaRegs, an online subscription service and technology platform. This acquisition follows Fyllo's recent $ 18 million financing round, which ended in September. Amanda Ostrowitz, Founder and CEO of CannaReg, will step down as the new Chief Strategy Officer for Fyllo.
- In cell news, Carlos Santana, the ten-time Grammy-winning guitarist and longtime advocate for cannabis, announced a partnership with Left Coast Ventures to develop cannabis and CBD brands.
This week's overview
Here is a look at how much VCs have invested in the cannabis industry over the past two years. Read more about it here.
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