Legal Cannabis Projections Indicate Strong Growth

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 Drug News
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NEW YORK, January 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a report by

Arcview Market Research, consumer spending on U.S. legal cannabis reached $6.7 billion in 2016, up 34 percent from $5 billion in 2015. North American legal cannabis spending is estimated to
reach $22.6 billion in 2021. According to the report, the annual growth rate is expected to stay above 20 percent for years past 2021. As a result of the increase on consumer spending on legal cannabis, retail sales taxes increased by over $500 million in 2016 in Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Almost 1.9 million North Americans utilize legal cannabis to treat conditions such as chronic pain and polymorphic seizures, etc. Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTC: PVOTF), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP), AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTC: AXIM), General Cannabis Corp. (OTC: CANN)

As legalization increases within the States, more Americans have access to purchasing cannabis. Democratic member, representative Earl Blumenauer said, "More than two-thirds of Americans now live in jurisdictions that have legalized either the medical or adult use of marijuana." In addition to dealing with chronic pain, the report indicates that states with legalized medical cannabis have a decreased amount of deaths due to overdosing on opioid painkillers. The report states that, "in November, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science published a study finding that the annual rate of deaths due to overdose on opioid painkillers was nearly 25% lower in states that permitted medical marijuana, and that the effect had grown stronger in the five years after states approved medical marijuana."

Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: PVOTF) also listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange under the Ticker 'PVOT'. On December 29th the company announced breaking news that, "It has commenced development of PGS-N001, a 1% Oral Cannabidiol (CBD) improved solubilisate product with its German technology partner SolMic GmbH. Pivot previously announced the licensing of worldwide rights for SolMic Technology in the field of cannabinoids and has now initiated the next stage of the agreement to complete formulation, development, testing and manufacturing in preparation for launch in legalized cannabis markets in 2018. PGS-N001 is a bio-cannabis product. It will be formulated and developed to treat a variety of indications such as the treatment of Chemo-Induced Nausea & Vomiting (CINV), a major therapeutic problem in the Cancer Supportive Care area."

According to published data, "the global medical marijuana market is expected to reach a value of US $55.8 billion by 2025", according to a report by Grand View Research Inc. "Several states have approved the use of cannabis in medical applications such as chemotherapies and pain management. The growing number of states and countries getting approval for using cannabis in therapeutic applications is one of the crucial factors driving the demand over the coming few years."

Dr. Wolfgang Schoenfeld, SolMic GmbH's Chief Executive Officer, states that "I am very pleased to continue to work with the Pivot Pharmaceuticals team to develop novel cannabinoid products and therapies using our proprietary SolMic formulation technology. Our technology strongly enhances bioavailability of cannabinoids and improves product attributes such as stability, odour and masks unpleasant tastes, thus making it a better product experience for patients and consumers."

Dr. Patrick Frankham, Pivot's Chief Executive Officer, states that "following our technology portfolio review meeting held in Montreal, Canada, we decided to advance this asset from our pipeline in order to have a world class bio-cannabinoid product containing CBD isolate available for commercialization in 2018. The selection of PGS-N001 will target markets where there is an existing framework for approved use of the drug in medical applications."

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 December 29, 2017, the company announced it has submitted its Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Epidiolex® (cannabidiol or CBD) as adjunctive treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome, two highly treatment-resistant forms of childhood-onset epilepsy. GW has received Orphan Designations from the EMA for Epidiolex for the treatment of LGS, Dravet syndrome, and recently, West syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. In October 2017, GW completed the submission of its rolling Epidiolex New Drug Application (NDA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), also for seizures associated with LGS and Dravet syndrome. This NDA has been accepted by the FDA for Priority Review.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP) is a Phase 3 clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat rare, chronic, and serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. On December 22, 2017, the company announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical study of anabasum for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus ("SLE"). SLE is an uncommon autoimmune disease associated with significant morbidity, reduction in quality of life and a 2.4-fold increase in standard mortality rate. The disease affects primarily women of child-bearing age, with increased prevalence and morbidity among African Americans and other minority populations. Anabasum is a synthetic, oral, small-molecule, selective cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) agonist that preferentially binds to CB2 expressed on activated immune cells and fibroblasts.

AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) focuses on the research, development and production of cannabis-based pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic products. On November 21, 2017, the company announced clinical trial results from its first phase II pilot trial for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with the company's CanChew +® CBD (cannabidiol) functional, controlled release chewing gum. Study results indicate that CanChew+® was well tolerated by the IBS patients and no significant adverse side effects were observed by any participants of the trial. All patients who participated in the study experienced decrease in their levels of pain score. On top of the overall reduction, the trend curve suggests 50% higher pain reduction when patients were on CanChew+® compared to the active placebo, which suggests that CBD content did lend to a decrease in pain score. As overall pain scores were reduced, the study also validates AXIM's use of its proprietary chewing gum delivery system.  

General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQB: CANN) is the comprehensive national resource for the highest-quality service providers available to the regulated cannabis industry. On December 21, 2017, the company signed a $955,000 two-year contract to manage a grow facility in California. This represents the largest single contract the company has undertaken since inception. The Company also plans to provide significant other services, including hardware and supply procurement, in addition to the initial contract terms. This new contract for Next Big Crop, the business consulting and management arm of General Cannabis, represents the second major California-based project for the company. Iron Protection Group, the firm's security division, opened an office near Sacramento earlier in 2017.  

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