Future Legal Cannabis Sales Projected to Rise

Monday, October 16, 2017 Drug News
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FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, October 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a forecast

report by Arcview Market Research, growth in the legal cannabis market will re-accelerate in the beginning of 2018, as adult use (recreational use) sales are expected to ramp up in Canada, California,
and Massachusetts along with medical sales in Florida. The market is expected to grow from the $6.7 billion market value of 2016 and at a robust 27% CAGR to $22.6 billion in 2021. "Polls show that 80% of Americans approve of legal access to medical cannabis and 60% approve of full adult use legalization. That level of agreement is rare on any policy issue and it's allowing elected o?cials across the political spectrum to start to move past the stigma previously associated with this issue," Arcview Market Research states. Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (OTC: KWFLF), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTC: AXIM), 22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE).

"Retail sales in the U.S. from 20 jurisdictions were $6.5 billion, but according to Greenwave Advisors, that number is projected to grow to $30 billion by 2021. In order to meet the demand for customers, the growers and makers of infused products have to scale up their operations. More automation, more square footage and the ability to manage this fast growth are separating the mom and pop shops from corporate cannabis," Forbes reported.

Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (OTC: KWFLF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol 'CBW'. Just earlier today the company announced breaking news that it has entered an exclusive strategic alliance with the corporate owner of a national chain of convenience stores (the 'Convenience Store Group') to develop and implement cannabis distribution and retail sale opportunities at all Convenience Store Group locations (collectively, the 'Responsible Retailing Program'). The Convenience Store Group currently owns and operates over 350 convenience stores and convenience kiosks across Canada in high-traffic locations such as transit stations and commercial office buildings. Cannabis Wheaton believes that this distribution alliance is the first of its kind in Canada and allows the parties to collaborate and partner on cannabis distribution and retail sale opportunities including the active exploration of advanced age verification technologies to ensure the responsible retailing of cannabis at Convenience Store Group locations, if permitted by law (each, a 'CS Location').  

The strategic alliance gives the Company the exclusive right for 10 years to: (i) work with the Convenience Store Group to develop and implement any physical or online distribution or sale of any form of cannabis, cannabis-infused or cannabis-derived products (collectively, 'Cannabis Products') at any CS Locations; (ii) supply, or arrange for the supply of, all Cannabis Products to CS Locations for the distribution and/or sale of Cannabis Products, subject to applicable laws; (iii) develop consumer education best practices and guidelines in the retailing of Cannabis Products at CS Locations; and (iv) manage the display and/or advertising of Cannabis Products at CS Locations. All profits generated by the sale of Cannabis Products at CS Locations will be subject to a profit-sharing arrangement to be negotiated by the parties on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis if/when such distribution is legally permitted in such jurisdiction. In consideration for such exclusivity, Cannabis Wheaton will issue the Convenience Store Group warrants to purchase up to 1,000,000 common shares of the Company at an exercise price of $1.00 per common share for a period of 5 years.

Hugo Alves, President of Cannabis Wheaton commented, "This alliance is exciting for us and we look forward to working with a great group of experts who have a long history of handling regulated products such as tobacco and alcohol and have developed excellent age verification procedures to ensure that such products are only available to eligible purchasers. As evidenced by a recent study, convenience stores outperform the LCBO and The Beer Store when it comes to successfully implementing age verification procedures for age-restricted products. In order to bolster these already excellent protocols we intend to explore additional age verification technologies that can be implemented at eligible convenience store locations to ensure that the retail sale of cannabis is handled in a responsible fashion and in full compliance with regulatory requirements. We view this as an opportunity to work with one of the largest and most trusted distribution platforms in the country which provides trusted product access to remote locations across Canada."    

Chuck Rifici, Chairman and CEO of Cannabis Wheaton, stated, "We continue moving towards our goal of ensuring that Cannabis Wheaton and its streaming partners have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of distribution and retail channels and we view this alliance as a step in the right direction. Convenience stores are a cornerstone in Canada and have vast experience dealing with governmental agencies, regulated products and consumers. With over 27,000 locations in Canada, convenience stores offer un-paralleled access for consumers and are well equipped to deal with age-restricted products, a category which recreational cannabis will fall squarely into. We are excited to add another strategic partner to our platform and work together to create advanced age verification technologies and explore distribution and retail opportunities for our streaming partners as we continue to grow through diversity."

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. GW is advancing an orphan drug program in the field of childhood-onset epilepsy with a focus on Epidiolex® (cannabidiol), which is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms. On May 24, 2017, the company, along with its U.S. subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences, announced that The New England Journal of Medicine has published results from a Phase 3 study of Epidiolex®(cannabidiol) in children with Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex, GW's lead product candidate and the potential first in a new category of anti-epileptic drugs, is a liquid formulation of purified, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which is being studied for the treatment of a number of rare, severe pediatric-onset epilepsy disorders.

AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) focuses on the research, development and production of cannabis-based pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic products. Recently, the company announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Application Serial Number 14/982,610, a patent that claims the use of an ophthalmic solution comprising cannabinoids for the treatment of glaucoma and symptomatic relief of conjunctival inflammation. AXIM Biotech announced on March 21, 2017 that it retained the services of Ora®, Inc., a global Contract Research Organization, to perform the company's product development in glaucoma and dry eye syndrome utilizing cannabinoid-based therapeutics through its AX-1603 and AX-1606 clinical programs.

22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII) is a plant biotechnology company focused on genetic engineering and plant breeding which allows the increase or decrease of the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants. The Company's primary mission in cannabis is to develop proprietary hemp/cannabis strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops.The Company's ongoing research is product-oriented and focused on developing a range of next generation industrial hemp plants that contain optimized levels of medically important cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBC, and CBG. Recently, the company announced that the Company has closed a registered direct common stock offering with institutional investors to receive approximately $54 million in gross proceeds through the sale of 20.57 million shares of common stock at a price of $2.625 per share.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) is dedicated to improving the lives of people with severe health conditions where there is a high unmet medical need by developing and commercializing pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid medicines designed to meet the rigorous efficacy and safety standards established by global regulatory agencies. On September 28, 2017, the company announced positive top line results from an open label exploratory Phase 2 FAB-C (Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome Anxiety and Behavioral Challenges with CBD) clinical trial evaluating ZYN002 cannabidiol (CBD) gel in pediatric and adolescent patients with Fragile X syndrome (FXS).

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