Emerging Legal Cannabis Market Expected to Grow Significantly

Thursday, August 2, 2018 Drug News
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NEW YORK, August 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to research published

by Technavio, the legal cannabis market is projected to grow at a CAGR of about 24% by 2021. Increasing popularity of CBD oil is one of the primary growth factors for the market. The research indicates that the expanding influence of online retailing
in states where cannabis products were legalized helps increase sales. Customers prefer to pay using debit cards or credit cards, thereby avoiding time-consuming journeys and billing queues. The extensive use of online retailing by consumers is drawing the attention of manufacturers who are planning to focus on the internet-savvy customer segment and explore the new online retail format. CLS Holdings USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH), Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR), Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTC: EMHTF)

A major sector of the cannabis industry is cannabis edibles, also known as cannabis-infused foods. Technavio's market research expects that the edible products market will witness considerable growth during the period 2018-2022 and register a CAGR of over 25% by the end of the period. Edible products are intended to be used for both medical and recreational purposes, depending on its cannabinoid compounds. The recent trend of legalization for recreational purposes help increase the popularity of such products. Cannabis is now widely accepted in countries such as the US, Canada, Spain, Chile, Israel, Germany, and Australia.

CLS Holdings USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) announced last week the, "appointment of Frank Tarantino as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Tarantino brings big four public accounting and private and public company management and financial expertise, which will be extremely beneficial in leading the Company through its next phase in organic growth and acquisitions.

Mr. Tarantino stated, "I am pleased to join CLS post acquisition of Oasis Cannabis and look forward to working with the executive team in its strategic transition into vertically integrated operations, and expanding its operations in Nevada and other key markets."

Mr. Tarantino has more than 18 years of executive management experience in public and private companies and six years of experience in public accounting. Prior to joining CLS, Mr. Tarantino was the COO/CFO of Wild Things, an outdoor clothing manufacturer and retailer serving the US Military and foreign governments. Prior to Wild Things, Mr. Tarantino worked as the Vice President of Finance at Cornerstone Brands, an acquisition and holding company concentrating on high end, online and direct mail retailers. Mr. Tarantino was involved with several acquisitions and managed the company's bank syndicated credit line, which peaked at $135 million. Mr. Tarantino also worked on raising capital for both Wild Things and Cornerstone Brands. In the early stages of his career, Mr. Tarantino worked as an auditor for Coopers and Lybrand, now Pricewaterhouse Coopers, in the Boston office where he concentrated on auditing financial institutions, banks, broker dealers and institutional investors.

Mr. Tarantino earned a BS in Accounting and Finance from Babson College, Wellesley, MA and earned his Certified Public Accountant Certificate from the State of Massachusetts."

Mr. Lamadrid has elected to resign due to personal considerations. CLS Chief Executive Officer Jeff Binder stated, "We thank Mr. Lamadrid for working with us as we expanded into vertically integrated operations, and seeing us through the entire process of acquiring Oasis."

Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP) business unit Molson Coors Canada and leading Canadian cannabis producer, The Hydropothecary Corporation, announced on August 1st, 2018 that they have entered into a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization. "Canada is breaking new ground in the cannabis sector and, as one of the country's leading beverage companies, Molson Coors Canada has a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting and rapidly expanding consumer segment. This new venture is consistent with our growth strategy and our commitment to being First Choice for Consumers and Customers by ensuring that Canadians have access to high-quality products that meet their evolving drinking preferences," said Frederic Landtmeters, President and Chief Executive Officer of Molson Coors Canada. "While we remain a beer business at our core, we are excited to create a separate new venture with a trusted partner that will be a market leader in offering Canadian consumers new experiences with quality, reliable and consistent non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages. We look forward to partnering with HEXO, a recognized leader in the medical cannabis space in Canada that will bring robust production capacity, a track record of innovation, and, most importantly, shared values when it comes to doing business the right way and earning the trust of consumers."

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. On June 25, 2018, the Company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has approved EPIDIOLEX® (cannabidiol) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age or older. EPIDIOLEX is the first prescription pharmaceutical formulation of highly-purified, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid lacking the high associated with marijuana, and the first in a new category of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Product availability is pending rescheduling which is expected to occur within 90 days. The EPIDIOLEX clinical development program included three randomized, controlled Phase 3 clinical trials and an open-label extension study.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) is a self-advised Maryland corporation focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized industrial properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for their regulated medical-use cannabis facilities. In July, the Company announced that it closed on the acquisition of a property located at 96 Palmer Road in Monson, Massachusetts, which comprises approximately 55,000 square feet of industrial space situated on approximately 5.4 acres. The purchase price for the property was $12.75 million. Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, the Company entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with Holistic Industries, Inc. ("Holistic"), which intends to continue to operate the property as a medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing facility in accordance with Massachusetts medical-use cannabis regulations. The initial term of the lease is 20 years, with three options to extend the term for three additional five-year periods.

Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) announced this week that their that their 50/50 joint venture for large-scale, low-cost, high-quality cannabis production, Pure Sunfarms, has received its cannabis sales license from Health Canada. Pure Sunfarms is now permitted to immediately begin selling product from its expanding inventory of high-quality dried cannabis, including to Emerald Health Therapeutics, under their previously announced supply agreement, as well as to address significant demand from other licensed producers. This sales license also positions Pure Sunfarms to secure supply agreements with provincial government distributors for the imminent legal adult-use marketplace. "Pure Sunfarms is moving at remarkable speed to become a significant cannabis supplier and, with our high operational quality standards, we achieved a very rapid turnaround on this license. We greatly appreciate Health Canada's timely responses to all of our submissions," said Chris Wagner, CEO, Emerald Health Therapeutics.

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