North American Legal Cannabis Market Set to Grow as Production Capabilities Increase

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Drug News
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NEW YORK, October 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to data from

IMARC, the legal cannabis market in North America was valued at USD 8 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 35 Billion by 2023 while growing at a compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% during the forecast years. The rising acceptance for both medical and recreational cannabis is one of the factors that drives the market growth. Decriminalization and legalization in the North American region have continued in recent years. The increasing number of U.S. states and countries legalizing cannabis has resulted in improved quality and safer control measures for cannabis products. In addition, the production capacities of cannabis in North America are growing rapidly during the past few years due to the increasing use of cannabis for medical treatment. Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (OTC: MICWF), Village Farms International, Inc. (OTC: VFFIF), AXIMŽ Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTC: AXIM), Cannabis Sativa, Inc. (OTC: CBDS), Invictus MD Strategies Corp. (OTC: IVITF)

Medical cannabis is now legal in 30 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., while nine states and D.C. have legalized recreational use. Canada is also set to legalize cannabis for recreational use this year, with sales expected to begin on October 17th. According to CNBC, Matt Karnes, Founder of industry analyst firm GreenWave Advisors, said, "multinational companies that are stepping in, or potentially want to step in, are all eyeing Canada, whereas I believe the United States clearly has the most robust and compelling opportunity for cannabis."

Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (OTC: MICWF) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: MWM). Last week, the Company reported, "positive results from the optimization of the Cannavore™ cannabis waste processing units with Aurora Cannabis Inc. ("Aurora") (TSX: ACB). The Company will now optimize the technology for sub-zero operations, as well as add computerized remote operating capabilities, following which Micron will commence to offer the units commercially.

'We are very pleased with the outcome of the trial and are now moving into commercialization and will begin selling the units to the wider cannabis industry,' said Micron president Alfred Wong. 'With the onset of adult usage in Canada and a rapidly growing international cannabis market, the number of operators in the sector has increased dramatically. Current waste disposal methods are expensive and inefficient. Our technology not only significantly improves the economics of cannabis waste disposal, but also streamlines compliance procedures, leading to a substantial reduction in time requirements to deal with waste handling. With our technology, customers will be at the forefront of innovation and environmental stewardship, showing leadership through commitment to clean air and water in Canada and around the world.'

Micron's first Cannavore was trialed at Aurora's Mountain facility near Calgary, which is one of seven Aurora facilities. Subject to Micron's technology meeting certain milestones per a collaboration agreement announced in December 2017, Aurora has committed to installing Micron's technology at its other facilities. Site visits have commenced for Aurora Vie in Montreal and Aurora Sky in Edmonton. Micron is developing additional units earmarked for these sites.

'With guidance from Aurora, we have developed a system which checks a box previously overlooked by cannabis cultivators,' said Dr. Bob Bhushan, Micron co-founder and chief technology officer. 'Data capturing and processing is invaluable and now customers using the Cannavore can go beyond "seed-to-sale" and mine cannabis waste analytics to improve efficiencies, reduce staff time, aid compliance and help evaluate growing operation metrics.'

The industrial-grade Cannavore pulverizes and renders cannabis waste in combination with a proprietary blend of microbes and enzymes designed and developed by Micron. Importantly, as part of Micron's full-system waste treatment platform, effluent from the digester is further treated to derive clean greywater which can be re-used in growing operations. Alternatively, the treated regulatory-compliant greywater from the Cannavore, which meets municipal discharge standards, can be safely discharged. Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in cannabis waste are further biologically treated via a proprietary process to denature cannabinoids present, keeping them out of watersheds where they could bio-accumulate.

The Micron Cannavore was engineered based on proven technology used by the Company in its Organic Waste Digester Unit. The world's first closed-loop cannabis waste processing system was designed to Aurora's specifications to be a clean technology solution to process organic waste generated from the growth and cultivation of cannabis, while mitigating concerns about the potential environmental impact.

The Cannavore Digester and the Organic Waste Digester units have been awarded an Industrial Design Certificate of Registration from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), with patent pending in the United States."

Village Farms International, Inc. (OTCQX: VFFIF) is one of the largest and longest-operating vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America and the only publicly traded greenhouse produce company in Canada. Village Farms International, Inc. recently announced that it has been accepted as a member of the board of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable (http://www.hempsupporter.com), a coalition of dozens of companies and major national grassroots organizations advocating for the full and permanent legalization of hemp in the United States. Village Farms is one of the first large agricultural companies and the first greenhouse grower to join the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. "Village Farms has been at the leading edge of new agricultural opportunities that can more profitably leverage our decades of experience as a vertically integrated greenhouse grower coupled with the scale and excellence of our North America greenhouse operations," said Stephen C. Ruffini, Chief Financial Officer of Village Farms International. "We look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable's pursuit of establishing hemp as a legal agricultural commodity."

AXIMŽ Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) is an innovative biotechnology and pharmaceutical company focusing on research, development and production of cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. AXIMŽ Biotechnologies, Inc. recently announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent ("LOI") with Impression Healthcare Limited, Australia's largest home dental impression company, for exclusive distribution of all AXIMŽ Biotech products throughout Australia and New Zealand. Per the LOI, both parties will endeavor to co-develop new products, initially for pre-clinical and phase 1 trials (among other clinical trials), including an oral rinse liquid targeted for the treatment of oral mucositis, strep throat, oral infections and gum disease. Pending initial discussions and an internal review of AXIMŽ Biotech and its product offerings, Impression will collaborate with the company for the licensing and distribution of its current and future cannabinoid-based therapeutic products for distribution in Australia and New Zealand. "As regulations standardize and public opinion of cannabinoid-based therapeutics becomes more widely supportive, it is essential for AXIMŽ to focus on capturing international markets at this stage of our company's growth," said George E. Anastassov, MD, DDS, MBA and Chief Executive Officer of AXIMŽ Biotech.

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, Inc., subsidiary PrestoDoctor, recently announced that it is currently providing online medical marijuana recommendations to Pennsylvania residents via its HIPPA compliant trusted online recommendation platform https://Prestodoctor.Com/ , offering residents a convenient online option when it comes to getting their Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card. "Easier access to alternative care is the driving mission at Presto Doctor, and has made PrestoDoctor the #1 rated online medical marijuana recommendation platform," said Chief Executive Officer Kyle Powers, "We are committed to serve patients in Pennsylvania with the integrity we have displayed in California, Nevada and New York."

Invictus MD Strategies Corp. (OTCQX: IVITF) is a global cannabis company offering a selection of products under a wide range of lifestyle brands. The Company recently announced that it has completed its first shipment of recreational cannabis to British Columbia on time, following its inaugural shipment to Alberta. Staff have been working around the clock to meet aggressive deadlines set to ensure Invictus products are available to adult consumers on October 17th, 2018. This significant milestone was made possible by the Company's balanced and deliberate approach towards cultivation and regulatory compliance. While Invictus focused on expansion of its cultivation facilities, Acreage Pharms secured excise stamps and Health Canada approved packaging for the adult recreational market early, allowing Purchase Orders to be completed on time and without issue. "I am so proud of what our team has accomplished to date," said Dan Kriznic, Invictus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With just weeks remaining until recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada, it is amazing to see our vision come to life. Now we are looking ahead to opening day, and we are ready."

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