Tech Is Enabling These 5 Shopper Trends. Is Retail Ready?

By Bryan Pearson

The wheel may be one of humankind’s greatest innovations, but keep in mind that it’s what the tool can do – not the tool itself – that guides history.

This applies to high-tech inventions as well. Retailers thought digital shopping would forever alter consumer behavior, but actually, it’s the implicit capabilities behind e-commerce that are feeding more widespread, and potentially daunting, change.

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Pentagon to establish new security standards for 5G technology

By Jackson Barnett

The Department of Defense (DOD) is working to create its own set of security standards for 5G, according to the department’s principal director for the technology.

Speaking at a 5G security summit hosted by Billington Cybersecurity, Joe Evans said the DOD must understand all hardware and software used — including cell towers and receptors — and that it would have its own set of security standards for procuring 5G networks.

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In the Battle over Bitcoin, It’s Bull vs. Bear in Elon Musk’s Brain

By Al Root

What do Cathie Wood, ESG investors, and central bankers have in common? They’re all involved in the bull and bear debate over Bitcoin—and they’re all vying for space in Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s mind.

Wood is a big Bitcoin bull. Her price target is $500,000, and cryptocurrency brokerage Coinbase is a top 10 holdings in her ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund. Musk, for his part, regularly tweets about crypto. And Tesla holds some $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin.

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Cannabis Prohibition’s Last Stand

By Will Yakowicz

It’s no secret: Most Americans believe cannabis should be legal.

Today, 17 states have legalized adult-use marijuana, meaning more than 40% of Americans now live in a state where marijuana is allowed for those over 21. More than 30 states allow at least some kind of medical marijuana access, which leaves only 2 that have not amended their marijuana laws at all—Idaho and Nebraska.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised that he and Sens. Cory Booker and Ron Wyden will introduce their cannabis legalization bill, but he hasn’t issued a timeline.

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Bitcoin rebounds after a wild weekend that took it below $32,000

By Sam Shead

The crypto market edged higher Monday after a week of hell during which billions of dollars were wiped off the value of bitcoin and ether.

The price of Bitcoin rebounded above the $38,000 level Monday after plummeting to less than $32,000 on Sunday. Bitcoin was up around 14.74% at $37,993.96 in the 24 hours leading up to 11:25 a.m. ET, according to CoinDesk data, which put the market cap of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency at around $711.1 billion.

Ether, the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency, rose from less than $1,800 on Sunday to over $2,400 on Monday. It was trading around $2,461.97 at 11:25 a.m. ET – up 26.1% over 24 hours and with a market cap of around $285.6 billion, according to CoinDesk.

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Switzerland eases EU medical tech import rules to avoid shortages

By Reuters

Switzerland said on Wednesday it will ease the import of medical technology products from the European Union in an effort to avoid shortages of essential supplies during a treaty row.

An accord with Switzerland’s biggest trading partner on mutual recognition of industrial standards that helps such products flow across borders is set to expire on May 26 and talks to extend it have run aground.

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Elon Musk Dismantles Bitcoin Bit By Bit

By Rob Berger

Like plucking the petals off a tulip, Elon Musk seems to be on a one-man mission to bring down Bitcoin. We’ll guess at why he’s doing it in a minute. Let’s first focus on what he’s doing and what it means for Bitcoin.

The current drama started on January 29, 2021. It was on that day that Elon Musk added the hashtag #Bitcoin to his Twitter bio. Bitcoin skyrocketed from $32,000 to $38,000 on the news. So much for fundamentals.

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MN House passes legal cannabis bill; no future in Senate

By Tim Pugmire

The Minnesota House voted 72-61 Thursday night to legalize cannabis for adult use — a significant step for the legislation. But Minnesota is unlikely to join more than 15 other states in making marijuana legal because majority Republicans in the state Senate will likely prevent it from becoming law this year. 

Under the bill, Minnesotans 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis in public and up to 10 pounds in their personal residence.

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Marijuana Megamerger Would Create a U.S. Cannabis Giant

By Connor Smith

Trulieve Cannabis said it plans to acquire Harvest Health & Recreation in a $2.1 billion all-stock deal. The U.S. cannabis deal would give Florida’s dominant player a notable southwestern U.S. footprint.

Trulieve (ticker: TCNNF) and Harvest Health (HRVSF) combined would be one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, in terms of sales. Combining analyst estimates for both companies puts the estimated 2021 revenue at $1.24 billion, only slightly below consensus estimates for Curaleaf (CURLF) at $1.26 billion. Trulieve would also be the most profitable, notes CEO Kim Rivers, pointing to consensus estimates for combined 2021 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or Ebitda, of $461 million.

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