The Medical Cannabis Industry Continues its Spread Around the Globe

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 General News
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NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The cannabis industry has emerged as one of the fastest-growing global industries due to its widespread adoption. While cannabis is still monitored under international regulations, many countries have either legalized or decriminalized the plant, which has heavily accelerated the industry's

growth. Moreover, industry experts also believe that increasing advancements in genetic development, as well as the intellectual property of cannabis, is further driving the market. In particular, countries such as the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, and Colombia are experiencing overwhelming growth. And specifically, most countries are legalizing cannabis for medical applications because of the multitude of therapeutic benefits that have been associated with cannabis. Researchers have unraveled that the cannabinoids prevalent within cannabis buds have medical benefits. And while cannabis is currently not an approved treatment for either cancer or chronic pain it is approved in several countries to treat conditions such as epilepsy, AIDS, HIV, and multiple sclerosis. As numerous countries have begun entering into the medical cannabis industry, many others are still hesitant because of the psychoactive property that the marijuana plant has long been associated with. While certain regions allow for the use of THC for medical purposes, most countries are using CBD, the non-psychoactive component found within the hemp plant. Furthermore, the medical cannabis industry is primarily being accelerated by the growing number of users ages 50 and above. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for medical cannabis as the possibility of contracting a chronic disease increases after the age of 50. According to Mordor Intelligence, the cannabis market is expected to reach USD 89.1 Billion from USD 14.5 Billion in 2018. Additionally, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2024. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTC: PBIO), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN), MariMed Inc. (OTC: MRMD).

While there is still much more to understand about the cannabis plant and its components, researchers have already collected enough vital information to undermine the social stigma revolving around it. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated in a report that CBD is the nonpsychoactive property found within the cannabis plant. Moreover, the WHO said that to date, CBD exhibits no effects of indicative abuse or dependence potential and there is also no evidence of public health related problems associated with CBD. Specifically, the U.S. and Canada have a large CBD consumer base, as notably, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration legalized the use of CBD to treat Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically do not respond to antiseizure medications, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The FDA ultimately approved a CBD-based drug for epilepsy after numerous studies showed that CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases, it was able to stop them all together. While CBD is not FDA approved for other conditions, individual studies have discovered that CBD can be used as a treatment for numerous other afflictions. According to a report by Healthline, which was reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, an associate professor and holistic healthcare practitioner, there are various studies that have concluded that CBD was effective in suppressing medical conditions. For instance, a study in 2008 compiled data between the late 1980s and 2007 and discovered that CBD was effective in overall pain management without adverse side effects. Additionally, a 2016 study applied CBD gel to rats and noted that it reduced inflammation and overall pain in the rats' affected joints. Lastly, a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute tested oral sprayed CBD oil extracts and revealed that CBD helped with pain management in cancer, but mentioned that more studies and clinical trial are required in order to progress further. A multitude of independent and individual studies have also concluded that CBD is effective, but typically, most trials had only a couple hundred participants. And the FDA has denoted that it requires clinical trials with over thousands of patients for it to potentially approve CBD as a viable medicine. And as clinical trials continue to ramp up, large-scale studies are expected to occur within the shortcoming years. "We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain," said Peter Grinspoon, physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School. "Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can't pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it's difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won't affect other medications you are taking."

Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) earlier last month announced, "The initial sale of its revolutionary BaroShear K45 processing system. This novel instrument system is based on the Companys proprietary Ultra Shear Technology (UST) platform. The BaroShear K45 is a unique and powerful nanoemulsification system designed to resolve one of the most critical problems facing CBD manufacturers today: the extremely poor water solubility of CBD Oil."

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that has been broadly demonstrated to offer powerful health benefits, addressing a variety of challenging medical conditions. CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant in an oil form. After ingestion of CBD, because oils are not well absorbed by human and other animal water-based bodies, most of the CBD is flushed from the system, leaving little of the product absorbed and circulating to provide its beneficial properties. Because of these solubility issues, many CBD products on the market today contain a costly and inefficient over-abundance of CBD, and/or undesirable chemicals that may be have been used to try and improve its solubility in water.

Processing most oil-based products into nanometer-size droplets in emulsions with water (nanoemulsions) often improves their absorption, medicinal benefits, visual appearance, and sensory presentation. Unfortunately, traditional processing methods used to make nanoemulsions struggle with this challenge. PBIs patented UST platform uses ultra-high pressure to create extreme shearing forces that create highly stable, homogenized nanoemulsions of materials that normally do not mix, such as CBD Oil and water. To view PBIs UST-processed CBD Oil being added to a soft drink, a sports drink, and a beer, please use the following link: PBI UST CBD Video 040219.

Mr. Christopher Holden, Founder of Nano CBD Cosmetics LLC, commented: "We are thrilled to be the first purchaser of the BaroShear K45 system. This groundbreaking technology will enable companies producing nano-scale CBD emulsion products to meet the ever-increasing demand for CBD nanoemulsion products. In fact, our own nano-CBD products are currently selling faster than we can produce them. However, with PBIs cutting-edge technology, we expect to increase our nano-emulsified, water-soluble CBD production capacity to many multiples of what it is todayand that is huge."

Mr. Dan Jorgenson, a Director of Nano CBD Cosmetics LLC, said: "We strongly believe that nano-emulsified CBD products will soon become established as an important new standard in the industry. Consequently, Chris and his team have spent significant time working on the development of our own nanoemulsification strategies, while concurrently evaluating options from multiple sources. In the end, we came to the inescapable conclusion that PBIs BaroShear K45 CBD processing system offers the most important opportunity that we have identified to truly revolutionize the water-soluble, nano-CBD industry."

The total cannabinoid market is expected to hit $89 billion by 2024 (https://mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/cannabis-market), with CBD oil-based products being the cornerstone of the non-psychoactive portion of this exploding market. For CBD products commonly consumed orally - including CBD oils in edibles and beverages - absorption is typically below 10% (ERTH 8/28/2018: Water Soluble CBD - The Science of Nanoemulsions and Bioavailability). PBI believes that processing with the UST-based BaroShear K45 system will deliver greatly improved absorption results (potentially as high as 90%) for CBD and a universe of other oil-based supplements.

Richard T. Schumacher, President and CEO of PBI, said: "From my first meeting with both Dan and Christopher earlier this year, I was impressed with their knowledge of the industry, the quality of their products, and their dedication to their company and customers. I was most impressed with their commitment to make and sell only the highest quality CBD products possible. Although they have spent significant time and money developing their own methods to make water-soluble CBD, they ultimately were compelled to invest in PBIs UST-based method for achievement of truly superior and stable nanoemulsion results. They are fully committed to switching to the BaroShear K45 system as it becomes available from our initial production run. We applaud their dedication to their customers and feel privileged to welcome them into the PBI Family."

Mr. Schumacher continued: "We are also pleased to announce that we are in advanced discussions with over a half dozen additional companies about the potential of their purchasing the BaroShear K45 processing system. Since we plan to make only about a dozen processing systems in our initial manufacturing run, we are optimistic that purchase orders will be received for all available BaroShear K45 systems well before our original forecast of September 30, 2019. This is truly an exciting time to be a stakeholder in PBI."

About Pressure BioSciences, Inc: Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) is a leader in the development and sale of innovative, broadly enabling, pressure-based solutions for the worldwide life sciences industry. Our products are based on the unique properties of both constant (i.e., static) and alternating (i.e., pressure cycling technology, or PCT) hydrostatic pressure. PCT is a patented enabling technology platform that uses alternating cycles of hydrostatic pressure between ambient and ultra-high levels to safely and reproducibly control bio-molecular interactions (e.g., cell lysis, biomolecule extraction). Our primary focus is in the development of PCT-based products for biomarker and target discovery, drug design and development, biotherapeutics characterization and quality control, soil & plant biology, forensics, and counter-bioterror applications. Additionally, major new market opportunities have emerged in the use of our pressure-based technologies in the following areas: (1) the use of our recently acquired, patented technology from BaroFold, Inc. (the BaroFold technology) to allow entry into the bio-pharma contract services sector, and (2) the use of our recently-patented, scalable, high-efficiency, pressure-based Ultra Shear Technology (UST) platform to (i) create stable nanoemulsions of otherwise immiscible fluids (e.g., CBD Oil and water) and to (ii) prepare higher quality, homogenized, extended shelf-life or room temperature stable low-acid liquid foods that cannot be effectively preserved using existing technologies."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Pressure BioSciences, Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLUdLrHPC2g

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that its Solutions Business has begun offering turnkey product development solutions with hemp-derived ingredients to business customers in the United States. A U.S.-based supply chain of licenced hemp extract producers has been established, and initial purchase orders are now being processed. Neptune boasts long-standing experience in the management of custom and white label turnkey product development solutions comprising a diverse array of product forms including softgels, liquids, topicals, emulsions, and water-dispersible powders. Branded ingredients and products that have contributed to Neptune's success, such as MaxSimil® and ECSentialsTM formulations, could potentially be used in unique combinations with hemp ingredients, particularly as the U.S. regulatory framework around hemp extracts and cannabidiol (CBD) evolves. "The U.S. market for hemp is developing rapidly and represents a significant opportunity for the consumer products industry. Neptune is now offering products and services to American brands that want to create a unique hemp-based portfolio, with products made exclusively in the U.S. for the U.S." said Jim Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.

Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE) is a clinical stage, antibody-centric, biopharmaceutical company developing new therapies to turn malignant cancers into manageable and possibly curable diseases. Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced that it has established a new business unit to focus on the market potential for its innovative water soluble cannabidiol (CBD) formulation technology. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been under consideration within the pharmaceutical side of Sorrento for its interesting pharmacological properties and potential clinical benefits in multiple central nervous system, autoimmune or inflammatory disease and pain related indications. "Without distracting from our pharmaceutical business, we have the ability to leverage another Sorrento innovative technology – this time from our formulation experts – and make it available to the broader consumer market" stated Dr. Henry Ji, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Sorrento Therapeutics. "Longer-term, we may consider spinning off our CBD consumer business into an independently operated company if appropriate, while our research and clinical development team continues to explore the potential pharmaceutical applications of cannabidiol (CBD) for the medical markets."

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN) owns and operates best-in-class licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities throughout the United States, providing investors diversified exposure to the U.S. regulated cannabis industry. CBD For Life, a subsidiary of iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc., recently announced that it is continuing to expand its retail presence with a partnership with Dillard's, Inc. "We're excited for our products to be featured on the shelves of one of the largest and most well-regarded fashion retailers in the United States," said Beth Stavola, Co-Founder of CBD For Life and Chief Strategy Officer of iAnthus. "The ability to reach an even broader audience via the well-established customer base of a great partner like Dillard's brings us another step closer to achieving our end goal of establishing CBD For Life as a household name in beauty and wellness."

MariMed Inc. (OTCQB: MRMD) is dedicated to improving health and wellness with the highest quality hemp and cannabis products. MariMed Inc. recently announced that its MariMed Hemp subsidiary will acquire 70% of MediTaurus, LLC, owner of the international Florance™ brand of CBD health and wellness products and extensive intellectual property (IP) relating to cannabis formulations. The Florance™ brand is established in the U.S. and EU with online distributors, wholesalers, pharmacies and physicians. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. This is the first acquisition for MariMed Hemp, which was formed to optimize MariMed's strategic investment in GenCanna Global, Inc., the Kentucky-based producer of compliant, quality CBD derived from hemp. Bob Fireman, Chief Executive Officer of MariMed Inc., noted, "This transaction is extremely important for MariMed for three reasons: First, from an operational standpoint, the Florance™ brand jump-starts our MariMed Hemp division with an established, premium line of CBD health and wellness products and formulas in the U.S. and the EU, global licensing of MediTaurus IP; and a network of established European relationships. Florance™ provides a ready platform for new product introductions, including diversity of the uses of hemp including food, food supplements and topicals. MariMed will help rapidly scale up production, distribution and licensing partnerships throughout the major U.S. markets where MariMed operates and sells; Second, with MediTaurus and its co-founders, including Dr. Žiburkus, comes a wealth of expertise and research experience into the benefits and function of compounds found in cannabis and hemp. Dr. Žiburkus will be both a trusted advisor and continue his key roles of needed scientific research and balanced education of the medical community on the benefits cannabinoids offer for a variety of health conditions; Finally, MediTaurus is a perfect fit with MariMed's mission, values and corporate culture to unlock and introduce the known and yet-to-be-discovered health benefits of cannabis and hemp."

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