Cannabis Market Growth Accelerates as Cultivation Techniques Evolve

Friday, July 27, 2018 Drug News
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NEW YORK, July 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a recent report

published by Forbes, Brightfield Group indicated that the global cannabis market value had crossed the USD 7.5 Billion mark at the end of 2017 and is projected to breach USD 30 Billion by 2021.
The United States currently accounts for about 90% of the entire market but its dominance of the cannabis market is likely to decline to about 57%, due to the legalization of cannabis products around the world. Canada is considered to be one of the largest markets for cannabis products and the country has legalized cannabis on a national scale this June. However, earlier this year, California voted in favor of recreational cannabis laws, which were officially implemented at the beginning of this year. WeedMD Inc. (OTC: WDDMF), Vitality Biopharma (OTC: VBIO), Namaste Technologies Inc. (OTC: NXTTF), AXIM® Biotechnologies Inc. (OTC: AXIM), Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTC: EMHTF).

A research by Technavio shows that the legalization of cannabis for recreational and medical products continues to represent an emerging trend which is gaining traction around the globe. Currently, 28 States across the U.S. have legalized marijuana, while 15 others have authorized the use of CBD products. "The incorporation of new techniques in cannabis cultivation has resulted in the higher growth rate of the global legal cannabis market. The use of these advanced techniques has led to improved quality of the marijuana-derived CBD-oil products, which augurs well for the growth of the market," says a Senior Analyst at Technavio.

WeedMD Inc. (OTC: WDDMF) is also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture under (TSX-V: WMD). Earlier last week the Company announced, "the results of its annual meeting of shareholders and to provide a corporate update detailing its recently accomplished milestones and current growth initiatives.

'As a trusted and proven LP in the cannabis industry, WeedMD has a reputation for pursuing complimentary business and corporate development initiatives in the emerging cannabis market,' said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. 'We have a strong balance sheet which allows us to comfortably execute our expansion plans as well as provides us with the flexibility to continue pursuing strategic relationships and partnerships in Canada and internationally. We remain committed to our expanding medical business as well as capitalizing on the upcoming adult-use market opportunity.'

Go Forward Plan: WeedMD is focused on delivering shareholder value through disciplined execution of its core strategy: a differentiated medical platform, focused on long-term care and seniors market; product innovation, led by industry-leading genetics, a leading cultivation program, and research and development capabilities; and a multi-channel distribution strategy, with institutional supply agreements for both medical and adult-use markets. With more than USD 50 Million in treasury, all of WeedMD's operational and expansion commitments are fully funded.

Funded Capacity: WeedMD is fully funded for more than 640,000 sq. ft. of indoor and greenhouse production. The Company's recently licensed state-of-the-art greenhouse, in Strathroy, Ontario is now operational, with two 10,000 sq. ft. grow rooms in cultivation and a further sixteen 10,000 sq. ft. flowering rooms coming online by year-end. Furthermore, the Company has begun retrofitting an additional seven acres of greenhouse onsite, expected to commence cultivation in early 2019. An additional 50 acres of land is also available on the property for low-cost outdoor cultivation, pending regulations.

Quality Product & World Class Genetics: WeedMD has a comprehensive catalog of leading genetics which has contributed to the cultivation of quality production for both its medical patients and future adult-use consumers. In addition, by selling clones and starting materials to more than 20% of licensed producers, WeedMD has established an ancillary business with recurring revenue and high margins.

Multiple Distribution Channels: WeedMD has experience and execution in the long-term care and seniors care markets as demonstrated by its multiple established supply contracts covering more than 3,400 beds. In addition, WeedMD has also secured a supply agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart. For the upcoming adult-use market, the Company has negotiated supply agreements with both Alberta Gaming, Liquor, & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) and British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) to date, with additional supply agreements expected to be announced soon.

Production Innovation: WeedMD continues to pursue research, development and formulation for both medical and for adult-use products. In medical, six products selling through three brands have been established. For adult-use and future natural health product (NHP) markets, the Company has pursued infused beverages with a best-in-class partner in Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) and is working jointly with Revive Therapeutics Ltd. (TSX-V: RVV) for CBD-based therapeutics.

Branded Product Strategy: WeedMD has an established brand portfolio covering a wide product spectrum across the medical market. The Company anticipates adding more brands as the medicinal market evolves but will start with WeedMD (medical), Axis (oil for long-term care and seniors), Entourage (oil for ACMPR patients) and Phivida (infused beverages)

Annual Shareholder Meeting: WeedMD is pleased to report that all matters were approved at the Company's annual and special shareholder's meeting held on July 11th, 2018. The shareholders re-elected Keith Merker, Michael Kraft, Bruce Dawson-Scully, Gail Paech, Kevin McGovern and Rick Moscone as Directors of the Company to hold office until successors are duly elected or appointed.

In addition, in accordance with the rules and policies of the TSX Venture Exchange, the Company's shareholders re-approved WeedMD's "rolling" incentive stock option plan. The Company's shareholders also re-appointed RSM Canada LLP, as the Company's auditor to hold office until the next annual meeting of shareholders or until its successor is duly appointed, and the directors of the Company were authorized by shareholders to fix the auditor's remuneration."

Vitality Biopharma (OTCQB: VBIO) is a cure development company, dedicated to unlocking the power of cannabinoid "prodrugs" as a means to treat serious neurological and inflammatory disorders. The Company recently announced that it has received approval from both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the State of California Research Advisory Panel which permits the Company to continue development of its novel cannabinoid pharmaceutical prodrugs. Despite cannabis attaining legal status within the State of California and in many other states across the U.S. for medical and recreational purposes, pharmaceutical research and development continues to be closely regulated by the DEA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vitality Biopharma's operations are in compliance with federal controlled substance regulations and are enabling development of a novel class of cannabinoid prodrugs that avoid psychoactivity. The Company's lead compound VBX-100 is a proprietary prodrug of THC that is targeted to the gastro-intestinal tract, meaning it reduces or avoids entry of THC into the bloodstream or brain.

Namaste Technologies Inc. (OTC: NXTTF) operates the largest global cannabis e-commerce platform with over 30 websites in 20+ countries under various brands. Namaste recently announce that the Company has signed an e-commerce and technology services agreement with BlissCo Cannabis Corp Inc., whereby Namaste will provide services including access to Namaste's technology platforms, software integrations and e-commerce services including those powered by Namaste's e-commerce artificial intelligence (AI) platform, BlissCo is a Canadian licensed producer and distributor of high-quality medical cannabis that operates an Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ("ACMPR") cultivation facility based in Langley, BC.

AXIM® Biotechnologies Inc. (OTC: AXIM) focuses on the research, development and production of cannabis-based pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic products. The Company recently announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Application Serial Number 15/146,668, a patent on a methodology developed by the company for extraction and purification of the cannabinoid molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, most commonly known as THC. This first-of-its-kind process enables the company to produce cGMP-compliant, pure THC molecules to be used as the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in products currently undergoing research for multiple indications and delivered in a variety of pharmaceutical formats such as the company's proprietary controlled-release, functional chewing gum delivery system. Most significantly, AXIM® Biotech plans to utilize this methodology to extract THC for use in its MedChew® RX program that aims to treat pain and spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients.

Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) is a Licensed Producer under Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and produces and sells dried cannabis and cannabis oil for medical purposes. The Company recently announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch ("BCLDB") to supply its high-quality cannabis products to the BCLDB to serve the adult-use market throughout the province. Emerald is focused on product innovation that will command high profit margins; differentiating marketing, distribution, and sales strategies; and securing significant supplies of safe, quality, and low-cost production, whether internally cultivated or externally sourced. "Based on our assessment of the BC market opportunity and our expected production capacity, we are now allowing for approximately 13,000 kg of product allocation for the BC nonmedical market over the next year and a half," said Chris Wagner, CEO at Emerald.

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