Spending on Legal Cannabis Projected to Increase

Monday, March 5, 2018 Drug News
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NEW YORK, March 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a recent report

published by Arcview Market Research, in partnership with BDS Analytics, worldwide spending on legal cannabis is expected to reach $57 billion by 2027. While spending in adult-use cannabis market is expected to reach $38.3 billion. North America is projected
to dominate in legal cannabis market due to accelerating pace of legalization for both medical and recreational cannabis. The spending in North American is expected to grow from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion in 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent during the forecast year. WeedMD Inc (OTC: WDDMF), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR), General Cannabis Corp. (OTC: CANN), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC: ACBFF)

According to Benzinga, Viridian Capital President Scott Greiper explained that the cannabis industry received $1.23 billion investments in the first five weeks of 2018, up from $178 million a year earlier. Viridian Capital Advisors' Vice President Harrison Phillips said: "Investments in cultivation and retail this year have been driven predominantly by the Canadian player. This has been happening pretty consistently from late 2016 through 2017. This reflects the necessity to scale cannabis businesses, to get some kind of advantage, and to explore strategic opportunities, both through acquisitions and international expansion."

WeedMD Inc (OTC: WDDMF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol 'WMD'. On March 1st the company announced that it, "has submitted an application to obtain a Health Canada Dealer's License ("Dealer's License") under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act ("CDSA") and its associated regulations. The Dealer's License will enable WeedMD to conduct research and development ("R&D") and store cannabis derivatives that are not currently covered under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ("ACMPR"). The Dealer's License also positions the Company to export cannabis oils and concentrates to international markets, as well as to process natural health products.

"As we ramp up our cannabis production to a rate of more than 20,000 kg annually, the Company will be supporting its commercial initiatives with R&D to expand its product offerings for domestic and international markets. With our new state-of-the-art laboratory at the Aylmer facility, we will be able to conduct research to bring novel formulations and dosing methods to market with a Dealer's License," said Dr. Luc Duchesne, Chief Scientific Officer of WeedMD. "Additionally, we will be able to test cannabis products in-house which will increase efficiencies and enable us to collect valuable data about strains and their desired effects."

This is another R&D initiative that WeedMD is undertaking, having recently announced its partnership with the world-renowned Technion-Israel Institute of Technology here. Under the WeedMD-Technion partnership, WeedMD will submit 25 of its strains for inclusion in the Cannabis Data Project, which maps strains and their efficacy in treating certain medical conditions. As there are only a limited number of Dealer's Licenses amongst the 90 Licensed Producers in Canada, securing this license is a critical step in advancing WeedMD's medical and recreational growth strategies. The Company will work both independently and with research institutions to accelerate innovation for cannabinoid applications and delivery systems and further its position in the global cannabis market."

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative transdermal pharmaceutically-produced cannabinoid treatments for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric conditions in patients with high unmet medical needs. On January 3, 2018, the company announced that it will concentrate its focus on rare (meeting the US FDA designation of an orphan disease, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.) and near-rare (affecting fewer than one million people in the U.S.) neurological and psychiatric disorders with high unmet medical needs. In 2018, the Company intends to develop ZYN002 in a pivotal Phase 2/3 program in Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and in Phase 2 programs in refractory epilepsies, including adult refractory focal epilepsy and developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE) in pediatric and adolescent patients. Additionally, the Company plans to initiate Phase 2 development of ZYN001 in Tourette Syndrome by year end 2018. Zynerba is currently developing ZYN002, the first and only patent-protected, pharmaceutically-produced CBD that is formulated as a permeation-enhanced gel for transdermal delivery. Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) is the leading provider of creative real estate capital solutions to the medical-use cannabis industry. On December 18, 2017, the company announced that it closed on the previously announced acquisition of the property located at 5900 West Greenhouse Drive in Willcox, Arizona, which comprises approximately 358,000 square feet of greenhouse and industrial space. Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, the Company entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with a subsidiary of The Pharm, which intends to continue to operate the property as a medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing facility in accordance with Arizona medical-use cannabis regulations. The initial term of the lease is 15 years, with two options to extend the term for two additional five-year periods. The lease provides for an initial annualized aggregate base rent of $2,520,000, payable monthly, which is equal to 14% of the sum of the purchase price of the property and the TI Allowance, subject to an initial partial base rent abatement.  General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQB: CANN) is the comprehensive national resource for the highest-quality service providers available to the regulated cannabis industry. On February 2, 2018, the company announced that its client, Green Leaf Medical LLC, a leading grower and supplier of medical cannabis in Maryland, has successfully harvested its first crop and has passed all state-required laboratory tests. Now producing an estimated 500-600 pounds of high-quality medical marijuana on a monthly basis, Green Leaf is one of the leading fully approved suppliers in Maryland. Green Leaf also announced that it has begun the next phase of its expansion, increasing the size of its facility to approximately 50,000 square feet, a 67 percent increase from current capacity. The expanded grow house should be completed before the end of the year, raising production totals to nearly 1,000 pounds per month. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCQX: ACBFF) wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., is a licensed producer of medical cannabis pursuant to Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. Recently, the company announced that it has entered into an agreement to become a medical cannabis supplier to Shoppers Drug Mart. Subject to Health Canada's approval of Shoppers Drug Mart's application to be a licensed producer, under the terms of the agreement the Company will supply Shoppers Drug Mart with Aurora branded medical cannabis products. It is expected the products will be sold online, as Canadian regulations currently restrict the sale of medical cannabis in retail pharmacies.

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