Cannabis' Plethora of Medical Applications is Driving its Legality Push Worldwide

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 General News
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NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As the cannabis industry continues to develop, researchers are beginning to uncover additional benefits within the plant's biological content. Primarily, cannabis is currently associated with its CBD and THC compounds because of their abundance. And through extensive clinical studies,

researchers have discovered that the two compounds are widely different in their biological makeup, as THC is the active psychoactive property found within the marijuana plant, while CBD is the non-psychoactive content derived from the hemp plant. Nonetheless, despite the differences, both plants fall under the cannabis family. While THC and CBD are most commonly associated with cannabis, researchers have realized that there are over a hundred cannabinoids found within the cannabis plants. Notably, CBN or cannabinol has become an increasingly popular cannabinoid. CBN comes from the oxidation and decomposition of THC from the hemp plant, meaning that when THC is heated and exposed to CO2, it converts into CBN, according to Sara Brittany Somerset, a public speaker for cannabis advocacy who has appeared at the Cannabis Media Summit and World Cannabis Congress. Similar to hybrid mixtures of THC and CBD, CBN can be infused with other cannabinoids such as CBD and the combination of CBN and CBD can help alleviate insomnia. Despite CBN and CBD both deriving from the hemp plant, CBN is known to cause sedating effects, while CBD causes more of a relaxed effect. Moreover, CBD is known to mildly suppress appetite, while CBN can, on the other hand, stimulate appetite. Overall, the wide-ranging and versatile uses of cannabis have helped bring the plant into the global spotlight. For instance, a single cannabis plant can help aid patients with dozens of varied medical conditions. However, many countries still do not recognize cannabis as an appropriate medical treatment, but nonetheless, a handful have already taken the step forward in an effort to push through and recognize cannabis as a legal medicine. And as more countries continue to understand the medical efficacy of cannabis, other nations are expected to be influenced as well. According to data compiled by MarketsandMarkets, the global cannabis market is projected to grow from USD 10.3 Billion in 2018 to USD 39.4 Billion by 2023. Furthermore, the market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 30.7% during the forecast period. Smart Decision, Inc. (OTC: SDEC), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF) (CSE: CURA), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE: XXII)

The widespread normalization of cannabis highlights the increasing amount of people who support the legalization of cannabis. However, despite its propagation, the cannabis industry still suffers dearly due to the advertising regulations it is saddled with. For instance, social media companies such as Facebook and Instagram have limited and kept track of cannabis advertising because the plant is still federally illegal. Nevertheless, the industry is constantly gaining awareness and support from consumers. Legalization efforts first began in the U.S. back in the early 1990s, when California was the first state to legalize the medical use of cannabis. Now, unlike other countries, the U.S. has given its states the jurisdiction to dictate whether cannabis will be legal or not. As a result, movements for legalization had begun to thrive throughout the nation. In the beginning, cannabis legislation was primarily being adopted solely for medicinal cannabis. However, in 2012, Colorado completely changed the country's perspective on cannabis after the state legalized its recreational use. Since then, recreational cannabis has become legal in 10 states, including Washington D.C., while medical cannabis is legally found in 33 states. Overall, the timeline of cannabis legalization highlights the sheer number of people who have accepted and understood the benefits associated with cannabis, whether it is economically or medically. In the U.S., over 62% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis entirely, almost double the amount in 2000, according to Pew Research Center. "As we continue to see the legalization of Marijuana grow in each state, there is no doubt that entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists are eager to break into the cannabis industry and start new businesses," said Niki Romo, Creative Director for KronicSites.

Smart Decision, Inc. (OTC: SDEC) announced today that, "it has begun to negotiate with several of the top CBD brands in the industry, with LOI's to be reported.

'Now that we are hard at work in the development stage of our CBD algorithm, we've been speaking to quite a few major CBD brands to enable them to be 'first out of the gate' in using our upcoming CBD algorithm with their own products. Not only will this make it easier for consumers to navigate their CBD products efficiently, but will also help clear up the everyday confusion of purchasing the right CBD for their needs.' said Adam Green, CEO of Smart Decision, Inc.

Eric Gutmann, Treasurer & Secretary of Smart Decision, Inc. further states that, 'We have the benefit of speaking to CBD companies that are truly industry pioneers. These are companies that have proven themselves to not only sell great CBD product, but be on the forefront of consumer education. At the end of the day, working with the top CBD companies, will only make our upcoming algorithm even more rewarding for the consumer.'

Smart Decision, Inc. will provide further details on brand partnerships in the coming months.

About Smart Decision Inc: Smart Decision Inc. has researched and is developing algorithms for the consumer and business LED Lighting and CBD markets. With their patent-pending "Smart Decision" algorithms, the confusion of selecting the right product(s), whether for LED or CBD, will be significantly reduced. Ultimately, Smart Decision Inc. believes that selecting the right product the first time, dramatically cuts down on product returns and creates of positive purchasing experience for the consumer."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Smart Decision, Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgTMIHvBTu8

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) is a publicly traded, premium global organic cannabis company, with operations focused on medical cannabis markets in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as the Canadian adult-use market. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. recently announced that, following its launch in Ontario at the end of August, which marked the Company's entrance into Canada's recreational market, initial demand has exceeded expectations. TGOD's high-THC signature strain, Unite Organic, is performing well online and at dispensaries, triggering a second order from the OCS earlier than initially anticipated. "We are thrilled to witness such strong sales and positive feedback from retailers and consumers across Ontario, Canada's most populous province at 14.32 million people. We can see from the initial response that demand for high-quality flower is strong," commented Brian Athaide, Chief Executive Officer of TGOD. "Our team is working hard to ramp up production of our premium organic products as we get ready to expand distribution with additional strains and product forms as well as to other provinces in the months ahead. With our Hamilton hybrid greenhouse completed, and a second one nearing completion in Valleyfield, we are on track to distribute nationally early next year."

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) (CSE: CURA) is the leading vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator in the United States. Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it had signed a definitive agreement granting it an option to acquire Ohio Grown Therapies medical cannabis cultivation and processing licenses and facility in Ohio. OGT was awarded preliminary cultivation and processing licenses by the Ohio Department of Commerce in 2018. OGT is building out its 32,000 sq. ft. cultivation and processing facility in Johnstown, Ohio. At completion, the facility will be comprised of 15,000 sq. ft. for two-tier cultivation and 7,500 sq. ft. for processing. Curaleaf is advising OGT on the buildout and expects to acquire OGT's cultivation and processing licenses as well as the lease to the Johnstown facility in the second half of 2019, subject to regulatory approval. "Curaleaf's expansion into Ohio is another step in our goal to be the most accessible cannabis company in the country, providing patients with high-quality, reliable products," said Joseph Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf. "This transaction is reflective of our strategy to become vertically integrated with a focus on limited license markets. As the seventh most populous state in the country, Ohio is an emerging cannabis market with strong growth potential and we plan to continue pursuing opportunities that increase our exposure to this expanding customer base."

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 25 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced the completion of the previously announced plan of arrangement with Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. pursuant to which Aurora has acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Hempco not already owned by Aurora, reflecting a valuation of approximately CAD 63.4 Million on a fully diluted basis. Hempco is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aurora. The Hempco Shares will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange, and Aurora will apply to the relevant securities commissions for Hempco to cease to be a reporting issuer under Canadian securities laws. "Aurora is defining the future of cannabis and hemp, globally," said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "Through the addition of Hempco, we have assembled a world-class portfolio of high-quality hemp assets that together form the basis of a strong new operating division that will develop CBD-from-hemp around the world. Aurora Hemp brings together the cultivars, strategic partners, brands, and distribution networks to service medical, consumer, and wellness markets and further advances Aurora's entry into the US hemp food and hemp-derived CBD markets."

22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE: XXII) is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows the increase or decrease in the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in hemp/cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. 22nd Century Group, Inc. recently announced that the 2018 Farm Bill will greatly enhance the Company's research activities around low-THC Cannabis sativa L. Recently, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, including an important provision to legalize hemp, defined as Cannabis sativa L. containing not more than 0.3% THC (the compound in cannabis responsible for psychotropic effects). Cannabis plants with higher levels of THC (i.e. marijuana) remain illegal under federal law. As a Research Partner of the State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, and with extensive experience in plant biotechnology and genetics, 22nd Century scientists are uniquely capable of exploiting cannabis DNA. The new law will allow 22nd Century to expand the Company's research activities, to add to the Company's cannabis intellectual property portfolio, and to increase the Company's cannabis germplasm library through the legal interstate commerce of proprietary low-THC Cannabis sativa L. plants. "In ending the legal uncertainty that low-THC cannabis research has entailed, and by opening the door for legal sales of hemp across state lines, the 2018 Farm Bill will result in a vibrant and growing marketplace for 22nd Century's unique varieties," explained Dr. Paul Rushton, Vice President of Biotechnology at 22nd Century Group. "With a sizeable head-start in low-THC Cannabis sativa research in collaboration with the Company's fully licensed and accredited partners, 22nd Century is poised to take advantage of hemp's new legal status and to develop and commercialize new hemp/cannabis varieties for the medical and agricultural fields."

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