Medical Cannabis Sales Projected to Rise Thanks to Legalization Efforts

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Drug News
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NEW YORK, October 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a report

published by Ameri Research, the global legal cannabis market was valued at $14.3 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach global sales of $63.5 billion in 2024, with a CAGR of 21.1 percent
during the forecast years. The report stated that rising demand for both recreational use and medical use is one of the key factors that drives the market. North America dominated the legal cannabis market, with a market share of over 49 percent. More and more states in the U.S. legalized cannabis for either medical use or recreational use due to the growing tax revenue from product sales. Currently, 29 states allow the sale of medical cannabis and out of these 8 states allow the sale of cannabis for recreational use. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (OTC: KWFLF), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), Cannabis Sativa, Inc. (OTCQB: CBDS), Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO)

Cannabis have been widely used for medical applications. The report indicated that some of the key applications include pain management, arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's, and others. While the consumption of medical cannabis for cancer is expected to grow at the fastest pace over the next few years due to rapid increase in the number of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (OTC: KWFLF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol 'CBW'. On October 16th the company announced that, "it has entered an exclusive strategic alliance with the corporate owner of a national chain of convenience stores (the 'Convenience Store Group') to develop and implement cannabis distribution and retail sale opportunities at all Convenience Store Group locations (collectively, the 'Responsible Retailing Program'). The Convenience Store Group currently owns and operates over 350 convenience stores and convenience kiosks across Canada in high-traffic locations such as transit stations and commercial office buildings. Cannabis Wheaton believes that this distribution alliance is the first of its kind in Canada and allows the parties to collaborate and partner on cannabis distribution and retail sale opportunities including the active exploration of advanced age verification technologies to ensure the responsible retailing of cannabis at Convenience Store Group locations, if permitted by law (each, a 'CS Location').  

The strategic alliance gives the Company the exclusive right for 10 years to: (i) work with the Convenience Store Group to develop and implement any physical or online distribution or sale of any form of cannabis, cannabis-infused or cannabis-derived products (collectively, 'Cannabis Products') at any CS Locations; (ii) supply, or arrange for the supply of, all Cannabis Products to CS Locations for the distribution and/or sale of Cannabis Products, subject to applicable laws; (iii) develop consumer education best practices and guidelines in the retailing of Cannabis Products at CS Locations; and (iv) manage the display and/or advertising of Cannabis Products at CS Locations. All profits generated by the sale of Cannabis Products at CS Locations will be subject to a profit-sharing arrangement to be negotiated by the parties on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis if/when such distribution is legally permitted in such jurisdiction. In consideration for such exclusivity, Cannabis Wheaton will issue the Convenience Store Group warrants to purchase up to 1,000,000 common shares of the Company at an exercise price of $1.00 per common share for a period of 5 years."

Hugo Alves, President of Cannabis Wheaton commented, "This alliance is exciting for us and we look forward to working with a great group of experts who have a long history of handling regulated products such as tobacco and alcohol and have developed excellent age verification procedures to ensure that such products are only available to eligible purchasers. As evidenced by a recent study, convenience stores outperform the LCBO and The Beer Store when it comes to successfully implementing age verification procedures for age-restricted products. In order to bolster these already excellent protocols we intend to explore additional age verification technologies that can be implemented at eligible convenience store locations to ensure that the retail sale of cannabis is handled in a responsible fashion and in full compliance with regulatory requirements. We view this as an opportunity to work with one of the largest and most trusted distribution platforms in the country which provides trusted product access to remote locations across Canada."    

Chuck Rifici, Chairman and CEO of Cannabis Wheaton, stated, "We continue moving towards our goal of ensuring that Cannabis Wheaton and its streaming partners have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of distribution and retail channels and we view this alliance as a step in the right direction. Convenience stores are a cornerstone in Canada and have vast experience dealing with governmental agencies, regulated products and consumers. With over 27,000 locations in Canada, convenience stores offer un-paralleled access for consumers and are well equipped to deal with age-restricted products, a category which recreational cannabis will fall squarely into. We are excited to add another strategic partner to our platform and work together to create advanced age verification technologies and explore distribution and retail opportunities for our streaming partners as we continue to grow through diversity."

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid treatments, announced on September 28th, positive top line results from an open label exploratory Phase 2 FAB-C (Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome Anxiety and Behavioral Challenges with CBD) clinical trial evaluating ZYN002 cannabidiol (CBD) gel in pediatric and adolescent patients with Fragile X syndrome (FXS). The study successfully met its primary endpoint, achieving a 46% improvement in the total score of Anxiety, Depression, and Mood Scale (ADAMS) at week twelve compared to baseline. ZYN002 also achieved clinically meaningful improvements in all measures of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist for Fragile X (ABC-FXS), which address the key symptoms of FXS including social avoidance, temper tantrums, repetitive movements, and hyperactivity. "We are thrilled with the positive clinical results of ZYN002 in the FAB-C trial; it is a major step forward for the hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide with Fragile X who currently have no approved therapeutic options to treat their symptoms," said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, along with its U.S. subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences, announced on May 24th, that The New England Journal of Medicine has published results from a Phase 3 study of Epidiolex(cannabidiol) in children with Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex, GW's lead product candidate and the potential first in a new category of anti-epileptic drugs, is a liquid formulation of purified, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which is being studied for the treatment of a number of rare, severe pediatric-onset epilepsy disorders. "The publication of results from this landmark study by The New England Journal of Medicine and the accompanying editorial commentary highlight the potential of Epidiolex to address the significant unmet need in Dravet syndrome," said Justin Gover, GW's Chief Executive Officer. "We remain committed to these patients and their families, and are determined to make this important new medicine available to them as quickly as possible."

Cannabis Sativa, Inc. (OTCQB: CBDS) is engaged in the licensing of cannabis related intellectual property, marketing and branding for cannabis based products and services, operation of cannabis-related technology services, and ancillary business activities. Cannabis Sativa announced on August 2nd, that the Company has acquired a controlling interest in PrestoCorp (a.k.a. PrestoDoctor), an online telemedicine platform providing access to knowledgeable physicians for a safe and confidential way to get a medical marijuana recommendation using secure video conferencing technology. President & CEO of Cannabis Sativa, David Tobias said, "We are pleased to bring PrestoDoctor on board as a subsidiary of Cannabis Sativa. Combining our resources should be a great benefit to both companies. We are eager to assist PrestoDoctor in the roll out of their medical marijuana programs in several new states this year, and hope to see the continued growth of PrestoDoctor for years to come. We believe telemedicine is the future."

Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO) is dedicated to unlocking the power of cannabinoids for the treatment of serious neurological and inflammatory disorders. On October 19th, Vitality Biopharma announced additional positive preclinical efficacy results for the treatment of colitis. "The prospect of gut-restricted cannabinoids that modulate the local gut immune system but avoid the traditional psychoactive effects of THC is compelling and timely, and could be very well received not only by patients and their families but also by other treating physicians," said Dr. David Ziring, a pediatric gastroenterologist and consultant to Vitality Biopharma. 

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