Cannabis Trends are Leading to Greater Consumer Spending

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 Drug News
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NEW YORK, June 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to data published

by Arcview Market Research, in partnership with BDS Analytics, worldwide spending on legal cannabis is expected to reach USD 57 Billion by 2027. At the same time, spending in the adult-use cannabis market is expected to
reach USD 38.3 Billion. North America is projected to dominate the legal cannabis market due to the accelerating pace of legalization for both medical and recreational cannabis. Consumer spending in North America is expected to grow from USD 9.2 Billion in 2017 to USD 47.3 Billion in 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 18% during the forecast year. BLOCKStrain Technology Corp. (TSX-V: DNAX), India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC), Freedom Leaf Inc. (OTC: FRLF), Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (OTC: GLDFF), Surna Inc. (OTC: SRNA)

Tom Adams, Editor-in-Chief at Arcview Market Research and Principal Analyst at BDS Analytics explained, "Our data shows positive indicators across the board for the legal cannabis industry, in North America and around the globe. The passage of the 2016 ballot initiatives and continued maturation of the existing Adult-use markets are the primary drivers of the growth this year. That's nothing compared to what we can expect in 2018 and beyond from Nevada's tourism, and California and Canada planning to launch Adult-Use sales in 2018."

BLOCKStrain Technology Corp. (OTC: BKKSF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker 'DNAX'. Earlier last week the company announced that, "cannabis pioneer Derek Pedro has agreed to join Blockstrain Technology Corp.'s advisory board.

Mr. Pedro was a co-founder and master grower at Maricann Group Inc., an early licensed producer under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), and is currently the design, cultivation and production partner at WeedMD Inc., where he designed and supervised construction of that company's production facility in Ontario.

Mr. Pedro's experience in the legal Canadian cannabis industry extends back to 2003 when he first cultivated cannabis for medical patients under the older Medical Marijuana Access Regulations, which he turned into a co-operative business with 14 locations, designed to provide low-cost medical cannabis to patients with lower incomes. Mr. Pedro later built the first hybridized cannabis greenhouse in Canada, allowing growers to produce high-quality cannabis in a modified greenhouse setting.

As Canada shifted to the new, government-controlled model of cannabis production under the ACMPR, Mr. Pedro again played a pivotal role by bringing 54 live strains and 25,550 seeds into the legal cannabis system. Today, many of those strains form a major part of Canada's genetic seed bank for cannabis. Mr. Pedro is also heavily involved in research and development as one of Canada's premier breeders of new cannabis strains, including Pedro's Wine Gums, the most popular strain currently sold by WeedMD.

Robert Galarza, chief executive officer of Blockstrain, says having Pedro's deep expertise on the advisory board is critical as the company develops its software for use in the evolving legal cannabis industry in Canada.

"There are very few people in the world who have the breadth and depth of knowledge of our industry as Derek Pedro," stated Mr. Galarza. "He is both a pioneer and a legend in this industry, and his knowledge of strain genetics and production systems is incredibly beneficial to us as Blockstrain builds and adapts its platform for licensed producers and other industry stakeholders in Canada."

Mr. Pedro says he is keen to join the advisory board, as he feels Blockstrain's proprietary software answers a core issue that has plagued his own business since the beginning of the legal cannabis industry under the MMAR.

"A while ago I was asked by a colleague, 'how can you protect your intellectual property of the strains you develop in this industry,' and my answer was, 'right now, you can't," Mr. Pedro says. "But I had long thought it was very important that we develop such a system, so when the team at Blockstrain explained what they were doing, and how they were doing it, I was very excited."

Mr. Pedro says the key elements he wants to see developed are the ability to protect a grower's intellectual property and the ability for governments to accurately track and trace shipments of cannabis.

"Blockstrain's system addresses both those issues with a very elegant solution, and I have no doubt that this company and its software will play a major role in the growth of the legal cannabis industry, not just in Canada, but around the world," Mr. Pedro said."

India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC) has developed a patent-pending cannabis-based combination therapy to treat endpoints of Alzheimer's including plaques, tangles, anxiety, agitation and other NPS, which it plans to market through Canadian and U.S. medical dispensaries in early 2018. India Globalization Capital, Inc. announced on April 10th, 2018 that it has filed a method and composition patent with the U.S.P.T.O. for the formulation of Hyalolex (IGC-507), which helps address some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease including the buildup of plaques and tangles, anxiety, aggression and sleep disorders among others. This patent filing enables IGC to pursue the commercialization of this formulation in U.S. states where medical cannabis is legal, as well as in selected European countries. As previously announced, IGC will start its marketing activities in Puerto Rico with subsequent initiatives in ten key markets in the U.S. According to CEO Ram Mukunda, the Company will also incorporate the formulation and active ingredients in its website and through its presentations. "As this evolves our Company will evidence its goal of becoming a market leader in specific areas where we will have a head-start, such as Alzheimer's," he said.

Freedom Leaf Inc. (OTCQB: FRLF), The Marijuana Legalization Company®, is a group of diversified, international, vertically-integrated hemp businesses and cannabis media companies, announced May 1st that Las Vegas-based, Nevada State Senator, Richard S. Segerblom, who led the drive for the legalization of marijuana in Nevada, has agreed to join the Freedom Leaf Board of Directors. The other Directors include: Paul Pelosi Jr., Chairman, Freedom Leaf CEO Clifford J. Perry and Freedom Leaf EVP Raymond P. Medeiros. Senator "Tick" Segerblom commented: "Freedom Leaf shares my vision that Las Vegas is the perfect home for marijuana and hemp companies. Nevada's corporate laws and tax structure are second to none. Joining the Freedom Leaf Board enables me to take that message throughout the nation, Canada and the world."

Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (OTCQB:GLDFF), a Canadian company with operations in multiple jurisdictions including Oregon, Nevada and Canada, is one of the largest cannabis oil and solution providers in North America, and a leading cannabis products company built around recognized brands, announced on May 17th that it has signed a letter of intent (the "LOI") to acquire two large cannabis cultivation facilities and their associated cultivation licenses, one in Northern Nevada and another in Northern California, that are owned by the same operators. "Signing this LOI provides Golden Leaf with an opportunity to secure an agreement that would significantly expand our cultivation capabilities in the high-growth Nevada and California markets, both of which have commenced adult-use sales within the past 12 months," commented William Simpson, CEO of Golden Leaf. "This opportunity to acquire an established enterprise, with strong brand recognition and positive cash flow generation is consistent with our strategy to build a vertically integrated operation spanning cultivation, processing and retail driven sales, and to utilize accretive acquisitions to enable Golden Leaf to harvest highly desirable boutique strains as a key component of a multi-prong growth strategy that can be applied across multiple jurisdictions."

Surna Inc. (OTCQB: SRNA) designs, engineers and manufactures application-specific environmental control and air sanitation systems for commercial, state- and provincial-regulated indoor cannabis cultivation facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Surna Inc. announced today operating and financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2018 along with our recently approved transition plan for the company's husband and wife co-founders. "We are encouraged to see that our investments in upgrading our engineering personnel and increasing the effectiveness of our sales and marketing outreach over the last two quarters are beginning to be realized through increased net bookings.  While we are not satisfied with our recent declines in gross margin, and which was partly attributable to legacy internal procedures, we remain focused on improvement in this area through a combination of more disciplined pricing using enhanced pricing software, better absorption of fixed costs as we convert our increased bookings into revenue, and the implementation over time of lower-cost supplier alternatives.  We remain confident that with the new people, engineering know-how and improved processes that we now have in place, we are well positioned for expected future growth."   Chris Bechtel, the Company's CEO stated.

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