The Wave of Cannabis Legalization is Impending Abroad

Thursday, July 5, 2018 Drug News
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FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, July 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

On June

19th, 2018, Canada had passed a nationwide legalization of recreational cannabis usage, following Uruguay to become just the second nation to do so. The U.S. had previously begun
the process of cannabis legalization for the majority of the West Coast, while almost all states have medical-use legalized to an extent. According to a report published by Hexa Research, the U.S. medical cannabis market size alone was valued at USD USD 5.44 Billion in 2016 and is anticipated to reach USD 19.48 Billion by 2024. Additionally, the industry is likely to witness strong growth during the forecast period due to the several medical benefits of cannabis products and the fast pace of legalization in the United States. Tidal Royalty Corp. (CSE: RLTY.U), Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC: ACBFF), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), Leafbuyer Technologies Inc. (OTC: LBUY)

Data provided by Technavio shows that legalization of cannabis for recreational and medical products continues to represent an emerging trend which is gaining traction around the globe. Currently, 28 States across the U.S. have legalized marijuana, while 15 others have authorized the use of CBD products. "The incorporation of new techniques in cannabis cultivation has resulted in the higher growth rate of the global legal cannabis market. The use of these advanced techniques has led to improved quality of the marijuana-derived CBD-oil products, which augurs well for the growth of the market," says a Senior Analyst at Technavio.

Tidal Royalty Corp. (CSE: RLTY.U) just announced breaking news earlier today that, "it has entered into a Letter of Intent ("LOI") with an established licensed operator based in Monterey, California ("Monterey Cannabis Company") to finance the expansion of the company's operations in the state.

The Monterey Cannabis Company is led by a seasoned management team with experience across cultivation, extraction and retail distribution. The company currently operate on a 21-acre property located in Monterey County, California, consisting of ~240,000 sq. ft. of commercial greenhouse space. The Monterey Cannabis Company's products are distributed through a network of dispensaries under a retail brand partnership.

Pursuant to the LOI, Tidal Royalty will provide the Monterey Cannabis Company with up to US $15.0MM to finance the expansion of the company's cultivation capacity and to establish a new processing facility that will enable it to bring a broader range of products to market. In return, the Monterey Cannabis Company will pay Tidal Royalty 15% of all net sales generated by the financed operations in California in perpetuity.

"We are very excited by this opportunity," said Paul Rosen, CEO & Chairman of Tidal Royalty. "This group has the combination of operational ability and pragmatism around capital allocation that we find is indicative of a sustainable business. Combine that with their intense focus on where the California market is going - rather than where it is - and we believe that they will be a strong player in the key state of California. We are very impressed with what they have done to date, and we are even more excited about what they will be able to do with Tidal Royalty's financial support."

With a population of 40MM, the state of California has the potential for its adult-use marijuana market to be one of the largest in the world. California legalized adult-use cannabis on January 1, 2018, and the market is expected to grow to US$3B by the end of the year, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

The LOI includes an exclusivity period during which the Monterey Cannabis Company will not negotiate with any other party. It further provides Tidal Royalty with a right of first negotiation on any future financing with respect to the company or any of its affiliates. Closing of the transaction contemplated by the LOI is subject to, among other things, the satisfactory completion of Tidal Royalty's diligence investigation, which is currently underway. Tidal Royalty expects to announce further particulars in respect to the contemplated transaction with the Monterey Cannabis Company upon the execution of a definitive agreement between the parties and the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.

In addition to the LOI with the Monterey Cannabis Company, Tidal Royalty has entered into 2 additional letters of intent and is in the process of evaluating multiple opportunities across the U.S. The company is currently engaged in advanced discussion with counterparties in California, Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, New York and Nevada. Tidal Royalty intends to provide further particulars on those discussions, as the parties get closer to reaching agreement on definitive terms.

Tidal Royalty has raised approximately $40MM to date by way of private placements, which it intends to use primarily for royalty financings and for general corporate purposes. The company was founded by experienced cannabis industry executives and provides expansion financing to licensed U.S. operators across multiple verticals, including cultivation, processing and manufacturing, dispensing, and ancillary services. Tidal Royalty directs interested stakeholders to visit its website at http://www.tidalroyalty.com to view the company's Corporate Presentation for more details, and the CSE's website to view the company's Listing Statement."

Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pruritus and pain by selectively targeting peripheral kappa opioid receptors. Cara Therapeutics, Inc. last month announced its positive top-line data from the adaptive Phase 2/3 trial of I.V. CR845 in patients undergoing abdominal surgeries. At the 1.0 mcg/kg dose, I.V. CR845 demonstrated statistically significant reductions in pain intensity compared to placebo at all pre-specified post-operative periods of 0-6 hours (p=0.001); 0-12 hours (p=0.004); 0-18 hours (p=0.013); and 0-24 hours (p=0.032). Additionally, I.V. CR845 treatment resulted in statistically significant reductions in the incidence of post-operative nausea and vomiting over the 24-hour period post-surgery for both 0.5 and 1.0 mcg/kg doses (p=0.006; p<0.0001, respectively). "We are very pleased that these data demonstrate the overall benefit of I.V. CR845 in both providing pain relief across surgery types up to 24 hours post-surgery and reducing post-operative nausea and vomiting, a significant medical need in the post-operative setting," said Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cara Therapeutics. "As there continues to be a critical need for new post-surgical analgesics like I.V. CR845 that lack abuse potential and traditional mu opioid side effects, we will be assessing all options, including discussions with regulators, as to how to best move this program forward."

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCQX: ACBFF) is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, with funded capacity in excess of 430,000 kg per year and operations across Canada and in Europe, is one of the world's largest cannabis companies. The Company had recently announced that through its wholly-owned German subsidiary Pedanios GmbH, has become the first licensed supplier of medical cannabis to patients in Malta. The import license issued by the Malta Medicines Authority was received on June 5, 2018, and Pedanios received the necessary export license from German authorities on June 21, 2018. After Germany and Italy, Malta is the third European Union member country where Pedanios currently sells medical cannabis. Two products, Pedanios 22/1 and 20/1, are being shipped to Malta today, and will become available in Maltese pharmacies shortly. "We are very pleased that through Pedanios, Aurora is the first supplier of medical cannabis to Maltese patients," said Neil Belot, Chief Global Business Development Officer. "With an established and highly regarded team, as well as unique regional distribution relationships, Pedanios provides Aurora with an early mover advantage in the large, highly regulated European market. Supplying products to the Maltese medical cannabis system further strengthens our visibility and brand recognition in Europe and internationally."

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) is a globally diversified and vertically integrated cannabis company with a presence across four continents. The Company recently announced that it has entered into a strategic distribution partnership with Delfarma Sp. Zo.o. Founded in 2004, Delfarma is a privately owned pharmaceutical wholesaler and was the first company in Poland to introduce international parallel import of medicinal products from European Economic Area countries. Delfarma distributes directly to over 5,000 pharmacies and more than 200 hospitals, a distribution network that reaches approximately 40% of the Polish domestic market. Under the initial five-year exclusive distribution agreement, Cronos Group's global subsidiaries will supply Peace Naturals branded cannabis products to Delfarma for distribution within Poland. Leveraging Delfarma's extensive distribution network, this partnership provides Cronos with unrivaled access to the Poland market. The parties are simultaneously working to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals within Poland for the full line of medical cannabis products with the aim to offer patients in Poland a variety of premium treatment options. "We are thrilled to partner with Delfarma, an innovative, established and reputable pharmaceutical leader," said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. "Delfarma's expertise and widespread distribution channels are aligned with Cronos' strategic focus on building an international distribution platform by partnering with existing industry leaders."

Leafbuyer Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: LBUY) is one of the most comprehensive online sources for cannabis deals and information. Leafbuyer works alongside businesses to showcase their unique products and build a network of loyal patrons. The Company announced last week that it has reported annual website traffic growth to Leafbuyer.com of 375%. Leafbuyer's new session numbers also grew nearly 30% from March 2018. The growth comes after the Company rolled out its new product directory and added major search functionality to its industry-leading cannabis deals database. Since May of 2017 the Company has also increased traffic to its blog by over 2000% and has seen a dramatic increase in the number of (1-3 rank) keywords in Google and Yahoo searches. Kurt Rossner, Leafbuyer's CEO, stated, "We are very pleased with the results since we went public last year. Our major expansion push has been in California and that traffic has increased by 740% year to year and Florida has increased over 800%. As we gain more traffic in a market it is easier for prospects to make the decision to come onto the platform and highlight their brand. A year ago, we had clients in 6 states, we are now in 14 states and growing."

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