Consumers Demanding Luxury Cannabis Products Turn to Craft Cultivators

Thursday, August 1, 2019 General News
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NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As the cannabis market continues to flourish, entrepreneurs within the market space are now beginning to transition towards high-end luxury products. In most retail industries, a luxury brand is usually prevalent for consumers with lavish lifestyles. Similarly, with the emergence of the

cannabis market, luxury brands have become an increasingly popular product segment. Luxury brands such as Defonce, Beboe, and Jungle Boys have created premium products such as high priced strains and designer vaporizers. Moreover, designer paraphernalia and beauty products have also been propelling the luxury segment of the cannabis market. In particular, the beauty sector of the cannabis market is experiencing a large volume of consumers. Specifically, many consumers are using CBD, or cannabidiol, which is extracted from the hemp plant. CBD has become a popular health and wellness product because it is rich in vitamin A, C, and E as well as other minerals. Vitamin A helps promote cell production to keep the skin healthy. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production to reduce signs of aging, while Vitamin E blocks radicals, slowing the aging process, according to Dermstore. As such, companies are cashing in on the opportunity and are starting to develop unique products such as tinctures, topicals, lotions, and skin patches with health-conscious customers in mind. The thriving CBD beauty industry even led large corporations to add CBD-based products to their shelves and now, consumers can find luxury brands at high-end retailers such as Lord & Taylor, Barneys, Neiman Marcus, and Sephora. According to Mordor Intelligence, the cannabis market is expected to reach USD 89.1 Billion from USD 14.5 Billion in 2018. Additionally, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2024. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON)

While luxury cannabis-based beauty products have become widely popular, there is also a large demand for premium and high-quality flower strains. In turn, cultivators seized the opportunity and have developed some of the most complex and potent strains yet for savvy consumers. "Craft cannabis" has come into the spotlight because frequent consumers are seeking strains that would immediately stand out in the crowded dispensary shelves. Craft cannabis is similar to craft beer, both are seen as artisanal professions and involve a lot of man-hours to create a superior product. Craft cultivators undergo a tedious and tiresome process in order to ensure that their products are of high quality. For instance, craft cultivators tend to grow indoors because they have full control over the growing environment. Even though the facility is automated by technology controlling the airflow, irrigation, humidity, and lights, cultivators take n extra time and tend to each and every individual plant; in order to maximize the quality and yield, cultivators meticulously inspect each plant to check for signs of molding or a possible bug infestation. Moreover, cultivators also avoid using artificial products such as pesticides to create a more organic and "natural" product. Generally, smaller cultivators engage in craft cannabis because it is easier for them to manage their facilities. Large-scale licensed producers typically use machinery or automated systems that manage their grow houses, which can diminish the quality and overall yield of each separate harvest. "I completely agree that passion, care and attention to every detail is required to produce superior-quality cannabis with rich cannabinoid and terpene profiles. There cannot be compromises to nutrient-source quality, environmental control nor labor practices," said Kenneth Morrow, Founder of Trichome Technologies. "I firmly believe those who produce the best cannabis, regardless of scale, will always have customers, and those who do it ethically and sustainably possess even more strategic advantages."

Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Yesterday, the Company announced, "the acquisition of a national brand known as Earth Dragon Organics – a leading pre-legalization manufacturer and purveyor of small batch cannabis-infused topicals, based in British Columbia.

Since its inception in 2012, Earth Dragon Organics has typified the variety of smaller, female-led and patient-focused businesses that flourished during cannabis prohibition. Earth Dragon Organics supplied THC- and CBD-infused topical products to those seeking relief from muscle pain, arthritis, nerve pain, migraines, and multiple sclerosis, among other conditions, combining cannabis with local, organic ingredients including arnica and essential oils to harness the qualities of THC and CBD.

'Becoming part of the Pasha Brands family is a huge milestone for Earth Dragon Organics in that it will allow us to scale up and make these handmade, craft products more available to the entire country,' said Tessa Serra, founder of Earth Dragon Organics and Pasha's newly hired product manager. 'This partnership is a great match and I'm looking forward to the evolution that is about to take place.'

The line of handmade products including balms, creams, body butters, sunscreen, bath salts and more are not currently available as all sales have ceased to prepare their entrance to the regulated framework with product manufacturing located at Pasha's licenced processing facility on Vancouver Island. Pasha has acquired all of the brand's trademarks, names and intellectual property and will re-launch the brand in the Canadian regulated market after the appropriate regulations is passed on October 17, 2019. According to the federal Canadian Cannabis Survey 2018, in the last year alone, the number of Canadians using topicals for pain relief has doubled (from seven to 14 percent).

'This is exactly the kind of business legalization has been leaving behind, and Pasha is honoured to help bring Tessa's passion for creating sustainably made, handcrafted cannabis-infused topicals into the legal market,' said Patrick Brauckmann, Executive Chairman of Pasha Brands. 'We're lucky to have her skillset as a product developer and manufacturer on the Pasha team, and glad we will be able to make her cherished products available again soon.'

Following the passing of regulations that will enable licensed producers to make and sell edibles, extracts, and topicals, Pasha will seek provincial and territorial distribution for the brand. The company has already submitted an Earth Dragon Organics product line in an application to the Ontario Cannabis Store.

About Earth Dragon Organics: Inspired by the cannabis conscious community of Salt Spring Island BC, Earth Dragon Organics is a craft cannabis topical brand embodying the natural beauty of the West Coast. Highlighting the profound benefits of cannabis and the alchemy of traditional herbal remedies, Earth Dragon Organics' innovative skincare line offers nourishing treatments for all skin types and conditions.

About Pasha Brands: Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a vertically integrated, prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry, which boasts an international reputation. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella. Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a licence to sell medical cannabis products in Canada. Pasha and BC Craft are also developing a craft cannabis campus, which is dedicated to bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada. BC Craft is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market. Pasha's common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol "CRFT" and on the FSE under the symbol "ZZD". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com"

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Pasha Brands Ltd. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-Re7xyxt-s 

Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), a global pioneer in cannabis cultivation, processing and distribution, announced on July 11th, that it has successfully imported Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-certified finished medical cannabis oral solutions into Ireland intended for nationwide distribution.  "This development in Ireland represents an exciting turning point for patients," says Catherine Jacobson, Tilray's Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs. "We're proud to have the opportunity to provide patients in Ireland with access to Tilray's standardized GMP-certified medical cannabis products, and we're thrilled to see an increasing number of countries improve access to medical cannabis. We will continue to do our part to increase access for patients in need around the world."

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), the leader in innovative pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric disorders, announced earlier this summer that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued US Patent No. 10,314,792, titled "Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder with Cannabidiol" which includes claims directed to methods of treating autism spectrum disorder by administering a therapeutically effective amount of synthetic cannabidiol.  This patent follows the previously announced issuance of US Patent No. 10,213,390, titled "Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome with Cannabidiol" which includes claims directed to methods of treating Fragile X Syndrome by administering a therapeutically effective amount of synthetic or purified cannabidiol.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN), which owns, operates, and partners with best-in-class regulated cannabis operations across the United States, earlier in July announced several recent milestones in Massachusetts. On July 18th, the City of Worcester License Commission voted to issue iAnthus' subsidiary, Mayflower Medicinals, Inc., a Retail Marijuana License to operate an adult-use dispensary.  The Company's medical marijuana cultivation and processing facility in Holliston has been operational since January 2018. In addition to supplying Mayflower Medicinals' medical dispensary in Boston with high quality flower, pre-rolls, distillate, and edibles, the Holliston facility also supplies over 18 other medical dispensaries in the state on a wholesale basis.

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) announced in July that it has entered into an agreement to acquire an 84,000 square foot GMP compliant fermentation and manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Canada from Apotex Fermentation Inc. As previously announced, Cronos Group has entered into a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. to produce cultured cannabinoids. Research and development under this partnership is progressing, and as associated milestones are hit, this new facility is expected to provide Cronos Group with the ability to produce cultured cannabinoids at commercial scale with high-quality and high-purity. "This acquisition will provide the fermentation and manufacturing capabilities we need to capitalize on the work underway with Ginkgo once the milestones under that partnership are achieved," said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. "Together with Ginkgo, we are bringing innovation and the power of biological manufacturing to the cannabis industry, aiming to allow for cannabinoid production at large scale and with greater efficiency than is currently possible with traditional cultivation and extraction. We continue to be very excited about the opportunities ahead." 

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