The Growth of Worldwide Spending on Legal Cannabis Products

Friday, March 2, 2018 Drug News
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LAS VEGAS, March 2, 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. Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTC: PVOTF), Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTC: VBIO), Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTC: OGRMF), Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTC: EMHTF)

The report also noted that Europe will have the potential to become one of the largest medical cannabis markets in the world. Tom Adams, Editor-in-Chief at Arcview Market Research and Principal Analyst at BDS Analytics, said: "California gets the media attention and Canada gets the investment dollars as they allow adult use, but Germany's move to make cannabis flower available for medical use in pharmacies was really the big news of 2017 from a worldwide perspective…The tables have turned in favor of legalization across the world and we predict that the trend will spread as research continues to support cannabis' effectiveness as a medication."

Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: PVOTF) also listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange under the Ticker 'PVOT'. On February 27th the company announced that, "the Company has completed the acquisition of ERS Holdings, LLC ("ERS"), a privately-held California company. As previously announced on December 20, 2017, ERS has developed a patented technology called "RTIC" Ready-To-Infuse-Cannabis (the "Patent"), relating to the transformation of cannabis oil into powder for infusion into a variety of food and beverage products such as capsules, K-Cups, stick packs, baked mixes, liquid shots, protein shakes, topicals, lotions, and bottled beverages. ERS has also filed several continuation patents that would allow cannabis powder to be combined with other health and wellness products such as natural sleep-aids, cold medications and vitamins.

Invented by Ross Franklin and Ed Rosenthal, the Patent "relates generally to methods and compositions of matter for enabling concentrated cannabis oil to be stable, emulsifiable and flavorless for use in hot beverages or food by combining cannabis oil with a starch powder or starch-derived powder.  Embodiments also relate to a variety of culinary uses for the stabilized, emulsified, flavorless concentrated cannabis oil powder."

Additionally, Mr. Patrick J. Rolfes has been appointed President of ERS Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pivot. Mr. Rolfes will focus on monetizing the intellectual property ("IP") and has already received expressions of interest from multi-national beer and spirits companies interested in partnering with Pivot to develop and commercialize THC and/or CBD infused branded products. Further, Mr. Ross Franklin, co-inventor of the Patent, has been appointed as ERS' Director of Research and Development and will continue to invent new and innovative ways to infuse cannabis into foods and beverages.

Alcoholic beverage sales fell by 15 percent following the introduction of medical marijuana laws in a number of US states, according to a new working paper by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University. The study also concludes that marijuana availability can reduce alcohol consumption. Another study by Deloitte suggests that "on sales of recreational marijuana alone, the Canadian marketplace could be as much as C$5B per year to start - a number on par with the Canadian spirit market (whiskey, vodka, rum, etc.). At the upper threshold, which takes into account the people who are 'likely to consume,' marijuana sales alone could be as high as C$8.7B, similar to sales generated by wine."

As a consequence, Molson Coors has acknowledged that legal cannabis is a "risk" to their business, stating in their most recent 10-K that "Although the ultimate impact is currently unknown, the emergence of legal cannabis in certain U.S. states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products or a change in consumer preferences away from beer. As a result, a shift in consumer preferences away from our products or beer or a decline in the consumption of our products could result in a material adverse effect on our business and financial results."

Dr. Patrick Frankham, CEO of Pivot, stated that "the RTIC family of patents will be transformational for the food and beverage industry. Based on our interaction with key players in the beverage market, we anticipate that there will be a significant substitution in consumer choices towards cannabis infused drinks. With this acquisition, we have positioned Pivot to be at the forefront of this enormous new market.  Closing this transaction will enable us to further engage interested parties to work with us on developing the full potential of these Patents. Pivot intends to monetize the Patents as quickly as possible and thus I am delighted that Patrick Rolfes and Ross Franklin have joined the Pivot team to accelerate the process."

Dr. Frankham also stated that "today's related financing confirms that our vertically integrated cannabis business model is differentiated in the Canadian marketplace and recognized by a strong sponsorship from a sophisticated institutional investor. The Company will continue working with its financial advisor, Origin Merchant Partners, to successfully close our pending acquisitions and aggressively execute the remainder of our business plan in 2018/2019."

Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO) is dedicated to unlocking the power of cannabinoids for the treatment of serious neurological and inflammatory disorders. On January 17, 2018, the announced it has submitted an orphan drug designation request for VITA-100 to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Vitality Biopharma's gut-targeted cannabosides enable delivery of THC without psychoactivity or intoxication, which may enable more widespread use of cannabinoids for treatment of pediatric digestive disorders.  Upon approval, VITA-100 would be designated as an orphan drug for the treatment of pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC), a form of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.  The U.S. Orphan Drug Act (ODA) of January 1983 is meant to encourage development of drugs for rare diseases, and review by the FDA's Office of Orphan Products Development can expedite the evaluation and eventual market approval of products that demonstrate significant promise for the treatment of these conditions. The Company has already completed studies that demonstrate the efficacy of cannabosides for treatment of preclinical models of colitis.  Cannabosides were able to reduce weight loss, decrease damage to the colon, and markedly improve gastrointestinal health compared to the placebo controls.

Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTCQB: KSHB) is a dynamic sales platform that provides unique products and services for both businesses and consumers in the cannabis industry. Recently, the company announced that the Company has hired a Regional Sales Director, Kyle Heverly, to expand its physical presence in the rapidly growing East Coast legal cannabis market. Since joining Kush Bottles in January 2018, Mr. Heverly has been working diligently to create an East Coast division in the Boston, Massachusetts area. As part of the expansion plans, the Kush Bottles team has already begun to build new distribution channels and customer relationships in an effort to expand the Company's footprint in the medical and adult-use markets on the East Coast. In addition, the Company announced that it is looking to open a new distribution facility in the Boston-area in an effort to streamline growth in this emerging marketplace. This also creates an opportunity to reduce shipping costs for East Coast businesses, and provide faster delivery of products.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: OGRMF) is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada. Organigram is focused on producing the highest quality, condition specific medical marijuana for patients in Canada. On February 12, 2018, the company announced that it has received an expanded cultivation license from Health Canada related to its previously announced Phase 2 expansion. As a result of this approval, cannabis plants were moved into these new rooms on a rolling basis beginning on February 10, 2018. The Company will be in a position to begin staggered harvests from these new rooms by the third week of April.  The remaining 13 rooms are expected to come on line by March 10 pending Health Canada approval. With the company's unique three-level canopy growing system, the 23 planned cultivation rooms represent an additional 10,800 kg/year of production capacity increasing the Company's capacity from approximately 5,200 kg/year to an estimated 16,000 kg/year.

Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) operates through Emerald Health Botanicals Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary and Licensed Producer under Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. On January 30, 2018, the company and Namaste Technologies Inc. have signed a Letter of Intent whereby Namaste and Emerald propose to enter into a definitive agreement to collaborate on strategic business opportunities worldwide and develop a fully-integrated e-commerce platform to serve as a retail channel for Emerald's patients. Under the terms of the Proposed Agreement, the companies would leverage Namaste's existing consumer databases, site traffic and e-commerce technology for marketing purposes along with Emerald's pharmaceutical and biotech expertise to develop medical cannabis downstream products tailored to specific markets and patients. Under the LOI, Emerald will enter into a medical cannabis Supply Agreement with Namaste's wholly owned subsidiary, Cannmart Inc. ("Cannmart"), whereby Emerald would supply proprietary strains of medical cannabis to Cannmart, a late-stage ACMPR applicant for a medical cannabis "sales-only" license.

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