Top Tier Cannabis Market Companies are Continuing to Develop Rapidly in North America

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 General News
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NEW YORK, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past few years, the cannabis

industry has witnessed tremendous momentum. As legalization efforts continue to expand globally, the industry is positioned to become a global economic driver. Now, the rising use of medical cannabis is also causing many countries to adopt some form
of cannabis regulatory stance. While the medical cannabis segment accounts for a majority of the global marketplace, the U.S. and Canada are expected to fuel the recreational market, eventually causing a shift between the two segments. The U.S. alone is expected to dominate the global cannabis industry, as states like California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington have already delivered over a billion dollars in sales. Furthermore, recent states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use, like Michigan and Massachusetts, are also expected to disrupt the cannabis industry. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 9.3 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by 2025. Additionally, the industry is expected to witness a robust CAGR of 34.6% from 2018 to 2025. CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U), Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF), CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST), Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTC: GTBIF) (CSE: GTII), Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTC: HRVSF) (CSE: HARV) 

Michigan became the most recent U.S. states to legalize cannabis during the 2018 midterm elections in November as the U.S. currently has 10 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Moving forward, states like Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York are all expected to follow suit. Primarily, most states are legalizing cannabis for its therapeutic effects and the economic growth it can deliver. However, some states are also looking to reduce criminal offenses regarding cannabis-related cases. Recently, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, outlined in his cannabis bill that municipalities that are home to cultivators or manufacturers would collect the revenue from a 2% tax on products within their jurisdiction. Cities and townships would collect 3% tax revenue on products sold by retailers. Murphy is also adamant on ending a criminal justice system that charges individuals for petty cannabis crimes. "The industry totaled more than $8 billion in sales in 2017 and employed more than 120,000 people. As more states move to legalize cannabis, these numbers will only rise, potentially providing a new stream of revenue and jobs to local economies. But to realize these benefits, policymakers must address conflicts between state and federal regulations that impede the growth of the cannabis economy," said the Joint Economic Committee Democrats in a National Cannabis Economy report.

CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CLSH.U). Earlier last week, the Company announced that, "it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire an 80% ownership interest in CannAssist, LLC. This agreement, along with the previously announced option agreement to acquire In Good Health, marks a continuation towards CLS's goal to become a significant entity in the rapidly growing Massachusetts market.

CannAssist has entered into a contract with the City of Leicester and has applied for a state cultivation grow license. The planned Leicester 86,000 square foot facility is expected to produce its first harvest in Q1 of 2020. This facility is expected to produce 28000 pounds of flower along with 240,000 grams of extract.  Once fully operational, total revenues from the facility are anticipated to exceed $100 million. CLS anticipates generating substantial positive cash flow from the grow facility.

Massachusetts has a population of 6.9 million people as compared to 5.6 million people in Colorado. Massachusetts is also centrally located to the dense population of New England with a less than 100-mile drive from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. The city of Denver currently has approximately 364 dispensaries compared with the entire State of Massachusetts, which currently has less than 50.

Jeff Binder, Chief Executive Officer of CLS Holdings USA, commented, 'We are extremely excited to enter into this agreement. The market dynamics in Massachusetts are compelling for large scale cultivation. The current cultivation in Mass is approximately 800k square feet, while demand is expected to exceed 8,000,000 square feet. This opportunity fits into our stated objective of entering markets that are on the cusp of implementing a robust adult use market'.

About CannAssist: CannAssist has entered into a contract with the city of Leicester and has applied for a state cultivation grow license.  It plans to build a facility that upon completion will have 86000 square feet of cultivation space making it one of the top 3 facilities in the state. The company expects to begin operations and realize its first harvest in Q1 of 2020.

About Oasis Cannabis: Oasis Cannabis has operated a cannabis dispensary in the Las Vegas market since dispensaries first opened in Nevada in 2015 and has been recognized as one of the top marijuana retailers in the state. Its location within walking distance to the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas in combination with its delivery service to residents allows it to efficiently serve both locals and tourists in the Las Vegas area. In February 2019, it was named "Best Dispensary for Pot Pros" by Desert Companion Magazine.

In August 2017, the company commenced wholesale offerings of cannabis in Nevada with the launch of its City Trees brand of cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products. http://oasiscannabis.com

About CLS Holdings USA, Inc:CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (CLSH) is a diversified cannabis company that acts as an integrated cannabis producer and retailer through its Oasis Cannabis subsidiaries in Nevada, and plans to expand to other states. CLS stands for "Cannabis Life Sciences," in recognition of the Company's patented proprietary method of extracting various cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and converting them into products with a higher level of quality and consistency. The Company's business model includes licensing operations, processing operations, processing facilities, sale of products, brand creation and consulting services."

Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF) 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 its 50%-owned joint venture for large-scale, low-cost, high-quality cannabis production, Pure Sunfarms, received from Health Canada the seventh amendment to the cultivation license for its 1.1 million sq. ft. greenhouse in Delta, BC. This amendment permits Pure Sunfarms to expand its cannabis production area by approximately 206,000 sq. ft. to a total of approximately 1.03 million sq. ft. (16 grow rooms). With this amendment, the entire growing area at Pure Sunfarms' greenhouse is now licensed for cultivation. The newly licensed area is expected to be planted by the end of March 2019. "It is a monumental achievement for Pure Sunfarms to complete its cultivation licensing of more than 1 million square feet and, very shortly, be in full commercial production – just over a year from receiving initial approval from Health Canada to begin growing," said Michael DeGiglio, Chief Executive Officer, Village Farms. "Pure Sunfarms has rapidly become one of the largest cannabis operations in Canada and is establishing itself as a reliable, large-scale supplier of quality, safe cannabis products to the Canadian market which continues to be challenged by a shortage of supply. With thousands of kilograms harvested, the Pure Sunfarms facility continues to perform well, with yield and quality of the product continuing to meet or exceed our expectations, and the team continues to execute on plan."

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST) is a federally regulated licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis in Canada. CannTrust Holdings Inc. recently announced that it has obtained the necessary permitting from the Town of Pelham to proceed with its Phase III expansion with the construction process set to commence immediately. The revised Phase III expansion is permitted for a footprint of up to 390,000 sq. ft., compared to the 600,000 sq. ft. in the Company's initial application. However, with enhancements to the Phase III facility above and beyond the specifications initially contemplated, CannTrust maintains its total production capacity forecast of 100,000 kg per year after completion of the Phase III construction. "We are pleased with the outcome of the discussions with the Town of Pelham," said Peter Aceto, Chief Executive Officer of CannTrust. "We believe this decision reflects our view that we are a trusted member of the community and that we are intent on listening to our stakeholders. The demand for our medical and recreational products continues to be well in excess of supply and we are keen to move ahead with the Phase III expansion and meet our capacity targets. We also continue to evaluate several strategic alternatives to meet and increase our initial production capacity goals. We are actively pursuing strategic acquisitions of land and facilities, both inside and outside Ontario and hope to update shareholders with these initiatives in due course. Our active patient count continues to increase, and the recreational market is currently undersupplied. We intend to make every effort to serve these markets with our award-winning products."

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF) (CSE: GTII), a national cannabis cultivator, processor and dispensary operator, is dedicated to providing dignified access to safe and effective cannabis nationwide while giving back to the communities in which they serve. Green Thumb Industries Inc. recently closed on the acquisition of For Success Holding Company, the Los Angeles-based creator of the lifestyle suite of Beboe branded cannabis products. The acquisition was previously announced on February 5, 2019. Beboe is the leader in luxury cannabis whose mission is to destigmatize legal cannabis through heightened experience and education. Beboe is best known for its thoughtful design aesthetic of its iconic rose gold vaporizing pens and edible pastilles, and each product is curated with a unique blend of socially dosed THC and CBD. Beboe is currently available in more than 125 retail locations in California and Colorado and via home delivery across California. In 2018, Beboe launched a direct-to-consumer hemp-derived CBD line of products and introduced several collaborations, including a CBD-infused drink with wellness brand Dirty Lemon. "The meticulously-crafted suite of Beboe products supports the premium segment within GTI's brand portfolio and is firmly aligned with our long-term growth strategy," said GTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. "Beboe has an extremely talented team, a robust innovation pipeline, an aligned vision on the future of cannabis and a ground-breaking partnership with Barneys New York. We are thrilled to have the visionary Beboe team officially on board with GTI."

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF) (CSE: HARV) is one of the first consistently profitable, vertically integrated cannabis companies with one of the largest footprints in the U.S. Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. recently announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Verano Holdings, LLC, an arm's length third party, one of the largest privately held multi-state, vertically integrated licensed operator of cannabis facilities, in an all-stock transaction for an estimated purchase price of approximately USD 850,000,000 based on a share price of CAD 8.79. The combined company will be one of the largest multi-state operators in the U.S., as measured by licenses held and facilities permitted. Upon completion of the transaction and regulatory approval, Harvest will hold licenses that will allow it to operate up to 200 facilities in 16 states and territories across the country, including 123 retail dispensaries. Following completion of the transaction, the combined company is expected to be operating 30 dispensaries, eight cultivation facilities and seven manufacturing facilities, with expected further aggressive operational expansion. By the end of 2019, Harvest expects to have over 70 dispensaries, 13 cultivation facilities and 13 manufacturing facilities in operation. The company expects continued growth in 2020. "The combination with Verano fits perfectly with our vision of creating the world's most valuable cannabis company," said Jason Vedadi, Executive Chairman of Harvest. "We are confident that this is an opportunity to continue to leverage each of our company's strengths and drive continued shareholder value, while at the same time achieving the scale we know will give us a leadership position in one of the largest cannabis markets in the world."

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