Two swigs and a strip: The alternative cannabinoid roundup

The original Equity-Guru himself, Chris Parry, has written about each of these companies at length – he’s even signed ’em on as clients. But never one to rest on his laurels, Chris asked me to take a gander and see what I liked and what I didn’t.

You know what I’m not crazy about?

Weed.

At least, not in the delivery systems it’s been more traditionally available (side note: never had edibles which is definitely an oversight on my part). I can’t recall how long its been since I’ve puffed anything outside of a random snoot-full of second-hand exhale I’ve jogged through on the way to catch the train and I don’t have a medical need for it (a brief bout of pinkeye ain’t getting me a card).

Basically, I’m the new market and not to fear, the old market is always looking for new ways to up their game to outlive passing fads and make sure their way of business is sustainable and able to evolve to service the next generation of Cannabis consumers.

Don’t have time to air out weedstink for a brief flirtation with the feelgoods? Like your throat served raw from the inhalation of some medicine? Enjoy the jitters from a sour Red Bull pissing up your perfectly good vodka?  Me neither.

Fortunately we live in the glorious age of 2017, when even Twitter Diplomacy, Inaugural Splash Zones, and a general rollback of healthcare, education and individual rights can’t stop Cannaprogress (well… let’s hope).

Remove the more controversial chemicals and sup upon the multitude of health benefits (mayhap as a tasty cocktail mixer) of a formerly verboten substance sans sugar and caffeine in a formula that successfully eradicates the extra sautéd ass flavor of hemp oil?

Sure, take my money.

Lose the sticky stench and red eyes and pop a modest tab of glory under the tongue?

Done and done.  Money’s on the counter.  Take it.  *Please*

Suck the acrid smoke out of the equation and pop the pure high in a fruit drink, a cola… or a rum?  A whiskey?

Well we’ve got that too thanks much.

Money. Here. Take.

Tinley Beverages (TNY.C) holds a few promising cards:

Hemplify, a hemp oil based, non- psychoactive, sugarfree, vegan drink to get you through the workout or the nightclub.  It’s on California shelves predominantly with smaller beachheads in five other states and they recently rolled out an energy shot version.  Both versions come in two flavors which appear to have successfully vanquished the awful, awful taste of hemp oil while still providing the benefits of same.

The other?  Tinley 27,  an inspired collection of de-alcoholized pseudo spirits imbued with THC to take you through the tunnel of buzz with no hangover at the exit.

whatwhat?

Tinley’s THalCohol (my term not theirs) selection, particularly the THC infused whiskey is where I could comfortably pull up a chair and make my home.  Barrel aged taste + bongless headzap makes for an irresistible combo.  I want that cannabooze.  The only trick?  Still being developed with no firm date of release.

As a staunch believer in water as the healthiest drink, and my liquid energy represented by plain jane coffee, health/energy drinks aren’t my cup o’ tea, as it were.  That said I’d be a fool to discount Tinley’s ability to get their brand out in the immediate with a hemp-based drink that can cross state lines, fortifying the company coffers and sprinkling rose petals ahead of their stronger stuff.

They’ll have to hustle to make their voice heard amongst the many drink brands holding court and shouting for attention on the shelves but they are out there and thus far reception appears to be positive (though I’d like to see some sales numbers at this point rather than the overview of the distribution).

Tinley may also have a hole card.

The Medical/Recreational Cannabis community is close knit and these guys share board memberships like a 1970’s key party; it’s not unusual to see a lot of crossover.

Sometimes it’s a sleazy way to look impressive and blow up your stock so you can cash out your inside shareholders in a dick move but sometimes… sometimes it’s a strategy to allow for diversification within your common interests that allows you to complement your various holdings with like brands and keep your finger on the pulse of a shaky, still relatively nascent industry seeking both respectability and that one magic item that’s going to take off with the public.

Tinley shares board members with Aurora Cannabis and until recently,  Nutritional High (whose CEO David Posner stepped down from their board).  The one deals in the plant itself developing various strains for market. The other?  Edibles.  Chocolates, Gummies, etc.  One should also note both companies are no strangers to the ever watchful eye of Equity Guru.  These aren’t weedbro shysters.  And board members or no, the relationships are there to open doors and strategically partner and position.

Why reinvent the wheel when you can have the other guys pop theirs on your car?  Need some top shelf weed with all the right permits, strains and inventory?  Howdy neighbor.  Want to bolster your brand’s shelf presence with some added goodies?  Hey can I borrow a cuppa?

That’s a solid base of support rooting for Hemplify making the sales as they work to perfect the Tinley 27 line.  Tinley posesses the potential to either be merged with or strategically partnered with complementary businesses with skin in the game.

But I need to see that THalCohol (again, my pet name), which is still in the testing phase, rolled out, doing as promised.  On March 6th, Tinley posted an update that gives hope as their prototype 27 is sipped and sampled but they need to continue to keep strong with the communication and get this product bouncing.

https://www.dailymarijuanaobserver.com/single-post/2017/03/06/Tinley-Beverage-Provides-Update-on-Shareholder-Meeting

Hemplify is no small feat, but I’d prefer to know their gin is as good as their juice before jumping in.

At present its a cheap buy in to stick with them and bet on a positive outcome.  Here’s hoping they get it right because Lord knows I could use a drink.

Next up, Kushtown USA, which… well…

Ah Kushtown.

Kushtown my beautiful unintended.

Up until a few days ago Kushtown, briefly and almost FIN.C, was my favorite of this bunch; now it’s just a damn heartbreaker.  It’s the crush you worked up the courage to ask out who just started dating some dude in a band whose music is actually pretty good.  It’s getting Megatron for Hanukkah ’85 and breaking a piece off the first time you try to transform it.  It’s…  ah forget it Jake, it’s Kushtown.

http://m.marketwired.com/press-release/finore-mining-announces-termination-securities-exchange-agreement-with-kushtown-usa-2202903.html

Kushtown USA is also in the liquid edible business.  Their products are designed for the high, pure and simple.  And the products… dear Lord the products.

http://kushtownusa.com

https://equity.guru/2016/10/31/kushtown-usa-fin-c-playing-the-california-vote-like-a-boss/

That’s an insane flavor stable.  I’ll take a case of the blueberry soda and a couple of bottles of the hot sauce.  They have a shit ton of diverse beverage and condiment offerings.  They’re on the shelves in CA.  They’re selling with a bevy of good reviews.  Stupid me, stuck in New York where I can’t buy any of it. 

The worst thing I could have said about them prior to March 14th?

I hate the word “Kush”.

It’s like potheads everywhere group-thought a word requiring the least amount of effort to vocalize.  It is the perfect sound to let flop out of one’s mouth to summarize every tedious stoner I ever ran across, festooned with serapes, wisps of beard, sandals and that heavy lidded look of lazy contempt for anyone who didn’t spend their days in a haze, as though the mere act of getting high was an accomplishment.

Of course “Kush” has nothing to do with these wastrels of yore.   It’s reference to the Hindu-Kush mountain region in the Himalayas where the most coveted strains of weed hail from.  I know this.  You know this.  But holy shit, could there be a more slothful sound used to describe marijuana?  Nails on a chalkboard to me.

****This is an exceedingly stupid reason to pooh pooh a company.  ****

Hell, I’ve even used the term in past articles.  If that’s my biggest beef with these guys, that’s a pretty small steak.

Alas, their name is not the issue here.

Their blueberry soda is not the issue.

So…

WTF Kushtown?

https://equity.guru/2017/03/14/kushtownfinore-mining-fin-c-deal-falls-apart-in-due-diligence/

Truth is, we still don’t know the specifics, not really.  Finore Mining got spooked by some particulars while working up close and personal with their would-be transaction partner and evidently good from afar was far from good.

Finore is taking it on the chin in the short term but remains determined to find a company in the Cannabis sector it can do business with and they’ve got three million dollars freed up to secure somebody that wants to get serious and do it up right.

If Kushtown ain’t where it’s at, FIN certainly won’t be hard up for all the other weed companies who will surely come a courtin’ for a flush backer eager to fund a winner.

Kushtown itself has gone radio silent, left to its own devices with nary a ticker nor a buyer and barely a website.

Yet I still want a crack at that blueberry soda.

Mayhap they should start chatting up Tinley on how they could work together given their different yet complimentary models, basically turning into a Liquid Edible Voltron towering over Cali and marching over every state that can get it’s shit together regarding its MedRec rules and regulations.

What a juggernaut that would be.

Pop in some of fellow company EAT’s eats and you have a weed kaiju impervious to conventional weaponry that could take on the puritanical industry obstacles by rebranding what it means to consume Cannabis (I’m sure the beer and wine companies will get their feathers ruffled, something to keep in mind given the fucking their lobby helped put to Absinthe when it was gobbling up their market share.  http://www.absinthe.se/absinthe-facts-and-history). 

Once liquid edibles proliferate the market it’s only a matter of time before you have Blue Moon’s Green Moon, Bud Light Bud and/or E&J Gallo present the Red White and Green Collection, so making damn certain your company is everyone’s go-to brand of drinkable high needs to take serious priority in 2018-19 (the years legalized states may have clarified their regulations on sales in addition to possession- it’s a slow roll.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis_by_U.S._jurisdiction#By_state).

In other words, get your shit together guys.

Our last contender is Lifestyle Delivery Systems (LDS.V) who are presently serving the medicinal end of the spectrum.  Their product?   Cannastrips, an oral suppository placed under the tongue to deliver THC to the bloodstream to combat pain, sleeplessness or mood swings, all with a few varying flavors for taste.  Imagine your standard under the tongue dissolvable breath strip but oh so much more.

Of the three companies, Cannastrips is simultaneously the most compelling and the most daunting.  Their product promises to be the most direct, potent high but with that comes far more restrictions on the market; I don’t see a recreational OK any time soon but they’ll have medical locked… if the trials bear out.

Trials were announced January 18th.  Grab a thick book.  It might be awhile.

That doesn’t mean they can’t be profitable and it doesn’t mean that one day they too can join the ranks of recreational usage.  It’s anyone’s guess as to when that future will arrive but for now, if they can get it right, something that should, nay, must take as much time as needed to perfect, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.  But that “if”- that’s big.

LDS has met some bumps on the road and it’s the wise investor that takes not of both the mistakes and the contrition.  And for that there’s no coverage better than our coverage.

https://equity.guru/2016/12/23/clearing-the-decks-cannastrips-lds-c-ceo-sits-with-equity-guru-and-answers-hard-questions/

So the Meas have Culpaed and the company is back on track doing what it should be- trying to crack the Next Big Thing in cannabis.  I’m all for it. Trials should just be getting off the ground and LDS needs to be right on top of this chatting up every advancement, every new step.  Their credibility rests on getting a green light on green strips and this is their “hero or goat” moment. 

But if you want to be a part of the next wave, TNY and LDS look to be on track to put out some dazzling goods.  Of the two, LDS walks the tighter rope with all their focus on their golden goose of Cannastrips  as TNY has Hempify in the health aisle bringing in dollars while the Tinley line of THalCohols are put through their paces. 

If either company can get it right, dividends abound.   As for Finore, it’s starting the long climb back up the ladder and it’s hungry and primed to make the legit weed company acqusition.  At .17 and slowly, haltingly stabilizing after making the hard calls, it’s a good time to give these guys a little line and see how far out they can take it. 

Damn.  I really want a drink now.

 

–Posted on behalf of Mark Dankel

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: Lifestyle Delivery Systems and Tinley Beverage Company are EQUITY.GURU clients.

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