The Growth of Legal Cannabis in Approved States

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 Drug News
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NEW YORK, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

A new report by New Frontier

Data estimates that the legal cannabis market was worth $6.6 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16%, or reaching more than $24 billion by 2025.
As more states have legalized medical cannabis as oppose to recreational, the medical market is projected to grow at 12% CAGR through 2025, or growing from $4.7 billion in 2016 to an estimated $13.3 billion in 2025. States where sales of cannabis products are legal, anticipate generating significant tax revenues as a result. 22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII), Axim Biotechnologies Inc. (OTC: AXIM), GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP)

New Frontier Data, CEO, Giadha Aguirre De Carcer said: "During this tough economy, states are looking for any way to close their budget shortfalls and it appears that cannabis may hold an answer for them. New Frontier Data looked at the potential revenues that could be generated from state cannabis taxes and found that in this year alone, states could raise nearly $750 million and triple that number by 2020. These revenues will have a meaningful impact on state programs and provide governors with much needed breathing room in their budgets."

22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII) is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. On March 23rd, 22nd Century Group announced that, "today that the Company's research collaboration with strategic partner Anandia Laboratories, Inc. in Vancouver, Canada, has resulted in new industrial hemp plants that have zero tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent in cannabis.

Cannabis sativa (marijuana, hemp) has been used for millennia as a source of fiber, food (oil and protein), medicine and as a recreational psychoactive drug. Drug type cannabis (marijuana) that is typically used for medical and recreational purposes contains high levels of THC and is defined as a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Accordingly, the presence of THC in industrial hemp is one of the biggest challenges facing the industrial hemp industry. Hemp crops are tested for THC levels; under U.S. federal law, crops containing above 0.3% THC are required to be destroyed. Currently, farmers cannot obtain crop insurance to protect against this risk. 22nd Century has developed a solution to this problem by creating industrial hemp plants that contain zero THC."

"We are delighted that our exciting research with Anandia Labs has created zero THC plants and altered levels of cannabinoids suitable for both industrial hemp and medical marijuana," explained Dr. Paul Rushton, 22nd Century's Vice President for Plant Biotechnology. "We anticipate that our zero THC hemp plants will form the basis of a new generation of industrial hemp and medical marijuana varieties. These markets are projected to be multi-billion dollar markets in the near term."

A leader in the cannabinoid research and development, Axim Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM), has retained the services of a global Contract Research Organization, Ora® Inc., to perform the company's upcoming product development (based on AXIM' IP) and clinical trials for treating glaucoma and dry eye utilizing cannabinoid-based therapeutics. Ora is the world's leading ophthalmology CRO for advancing products from pre-clinical through approval and post-market phases. Ora will run the clinical programs under the supervision of Prof. Robert Ritch, Surgeon Director Emeritus and Chief of Glaucoma Services at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Biopharmaceutical company that develops therapeutics from its cannabinoid product platform in a range of disease areas, GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) primary focus is on disorders of the central nervous system including epilepsy. The company's lead cannabinoid product candidate is Epidiolex®, a liquid formulation of pure plant-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, which is in development for the treatment of a number of rare childhood-onset epilepsy disorders. GW Pharmaceuticals commercialized the world's first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription drug, Sativex®, which is approved for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis in 29 countries outside the United States.

Clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative transdermal synthetic cannabinoid treatments, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) has completed enrollment in the Phase 2 STAR 1 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in adult patients with refractory epilepsy. Of the 224 patients that have been screened, 170 patients have been randomized into the trial and there are 19 patients still in the eight-week baseline period. The Company expects to meet or exceed the 180 patient target for randomization in this trial once all patients have completed the baseline period. Patients are receiving either 195 mg or 390 mg of CBD in ZYN002 4.2% gel or placebo daily for 12 weeks.  The primary endpoint of the trial is the median reduction in seizure frequency per 28-day period compared to baseline. Top-line results are expected in July/August 2017.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP) is a clinical stage drug development company targeting rare, chronic, serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. The company's lead product candidate, JBT-101 is a novel synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug that preferentially binds to the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) expressed on activated immune cells and fibroblasts. CB2 activation triggers endogenous pathways that resolve inflammation and halt fibrosis. Preclinical and Phase 1 studies have shown JBT-101 to have a favorable safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile. It has also demonstrated promising potency in preclinical models of inflammation and fibrosis. JBT-101 is designed to trigger the production of "Specialized Pro-resolving Lipid Mediators" that activate an endogenous cascade responsible for the resolution of inflammation and fibrosis, while reducing production of multiple inflammatory mediators. In effect, JBT-101 triggers endogenous pathways to turn "off" chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes, without causing immunosuppression.

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