Legal Cannabis Market Might be Beneficial to U.S. Economy

Friday, March 3, 2017 Drug News
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NEW YORK, March 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

According to data published by New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis market

was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016, and is projected to grow at 13% CAGR through 2025. During the same period, adult use sales are projected to grow at a 25% CAGR, from $2.6 billion to $11.2
billion
, assuming no additional states will pass legalization measures before 2025. The data also estimates that due the increasing popularity of cannabis product and legalization campaigns across the U.S, the market will create approximately 283,000 jobs by 2020. Invictus MD Strategies Corporation (OTC: IVITF) (CSE: IMH.CN), Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA), Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC: ACBFF), Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF),

Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, said,"These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy. While we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline. We expect the cannabis industry's growth to be slowed down to some degree in the next 3 to 5 years, however with a projected total market sales to exceed $24 billion by 2025, and the possibility of almost 300,000 jobs by 2020, it remains a positive economic force in the U.S."

Invictus MD Strategies Corporation (OTC: IVITF) (CSE: IMH.CN) is focused on three main verticals within the burgeoning Canadian cannabis sector. Last week Invictus MD announced that, further to its news release dated February 7, 2017, it has successfully entered into a definitive option agreement with a Late Stage Applicant ("OptionCo") under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ('ACMPR') to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of OptionCo from its current shareholders (the 'Vendors').

OptionCo had its Pre-license from Health Canada in early January 2017 and expects to receive a license to cultivate under the ACMPR in short order. OptionCo has built 60,000 square feet of secured perimeter for its current production facility located on 150 acres (the 'Property') in the Province of Alberta. OptionCo has already submitted plans for additional buildings on the Property including a 30,000 square foot facility. Assuming OptionCo receives the requisite regulatory approval to cultivate, OptionCo has future expansion plans on the 150 acre Property to establish itself as a leader in the Canadian cannabis industry.

The Vendors stated, "OptionCo has built 60,000 square feet of secured perimeter for its current purpose-built production facility located on 150 acres. We have already submitted plans for additional buildings on the Property as part of our phase II plans, including a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art production facility with the option to add an additional 20,000 square foot second floor. OptionCo has future phase III expansion plans for our 150-acre property, up to 3 million square feet of buildable property, which has a footprint larger than 60 football fields; OptionCo is focused on establishing itself as a leader in the Canadian cannabis industry."

"From day one, we have been very clear: to acquire production capacity under the ACMPR is a key driver to increasing shareholder value", said Dan Kriznic, Chairman and CEO of Invictus MD. "Given our ability to aggressively expand the commercial scale of the OptionCo property, we will make key capital investments that enable us to rapidly ramp up production capability. With OptionCo and our combined long-term capacity from our 33.33% stake in AB Laboratories Inc., a Licensed Producer under the ACMPR, and our 33.33% stake in AB Ventures and binding LOI with PlanC BioPharm Inc., now in the late stages of the application process, we are very well positioned to become one of the largest producers of cannabis in the Canadian sector."

Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company, focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pain and pruritus, by selectively targeting peripheral kappa opioid receptors. The main naturally occurring ligands for this system, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), activate a number of cannabinoid receptors, including CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors and associated ligands are mainly localized in the brain, whereas CB2 receptors are found mainly in peripheral tissues, particularly immune cells such as leukocytes and mast cells, which have shown to be involved in pain and inflammatory responses. Cara is developing lead molecules that selectively modulate peripheral CB receptors without targeting CNS cannabinoid receptors. Peripheral CB receptor modulators will be initially developed as a novel therapeutic approach for neuropathic pain, a condition currently without consistently effective therapies. Cara's most advanced CB compound, CR701, is in preclinical development.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP) is a clinical stage drug development company targeting rare, chronic, and serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases with clear unmet needs. The company's leading product, Resunab, is a first-in-class, synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug that targets chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes by triggering an endogenous pathway called "Resolution of Inflammation." Resunab is currently being evaluated in four separate Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus, four diseases in which inflammation and fibrosis drive morbidity and mortality. Resunab also has the potential to treat additional rare, inflammatory diseases.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCQB: ACBFF) unveiled the second generation of its popular mobile application, incorporating a number of enhanced features to provide a significantly upgraded user experience to new and existing clients of the Company. Coupled with Aurora's industry leading same-day and next-day delivery services, the app further expands the Company's e-commerce strategy, a key differentiator in the legal cannabis market. Aurora's wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., is a licensed producer of medical cannabis pursuant to Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF) is a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada. Canopy Growth represented an ideal opportunity to conduct R&D and document the tangible benefits of its technology platform with cannabis. Canopy Growth has partnered with Indoor Harvest Corporation, that is involved both in the cannabis industry and in the wider agricultural industry. The Company believes it can then more easily go out and market the platform to countless other companies in the growing cannabis industry.

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