Widespread Global Cannabis Legalization is Expected to Drive Big Sales Revenues

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 Drug News
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FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, June 26, 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. WeedMD Inc. (OTC: WDDMF), GW Pharmaceuticals Plc. (NASDAQ: GWPH), Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR), Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTC: VBIO)

While California is the largest cannabis market, Canada is projected to show strong sales as well. Deloitte's report projects the Canadian market will be worth at least USD 5 Billion in sales in 2018. According to the New York Times, Tony Dean, the Senator who sponsored the bill in the Chamber, said that, "We've just witnessed a historic vote for Canada, the end of 90 years of prohibition. Now we can start to tackle some of the harms of cannabis." Mr. Dean continued, "We can start to be proactive in public education. We'll see the end of criminalization and we can start addressing Canada's USD 7 Billion illegal markets."

WeedMD Inc. (OTC: WDDMF) also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture under (TSX-V: WMD). Yesterday the company announced breaking news that, "a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis, is pleased to announce that the first batch of cannabis plants have been transplanted to its modern greenhouse located in Strathroy, Ontario and are scheduled for harvest by September 2018.

"Our initial crop of plants successfully entered our recently-licensed Strathroy greenhouse last week and our first 10,000 sq. ft. grow room is now fully operational," said Keith Merker, Chief Financial Officer of WeedMD. "With this hybrid, large-scale, modern greenhouse, we will be able to produce quality cannabis with maximum efficiency. This facility will be the prominent source of supply for our medical cannabis patients and for future adult-use consumers across Canada and emerging international markets. I want to acknowledge and thank our incredibly dedicated, passionate and experienced best-in-class cultivation team."

Strathroy Greenhouse Facility Update: 

  • Secured Health Canada cultivation licence for the first four grow rooms at its Strathroy facility on June 11, 2018
  • Initial harvest expected by September 2018
  • Phase I, 220,000 sq. ft. retrofit is scheduled for completion this fall, with plans to progressively bring a total of 20 grow rooms online expanding annual production to more than 21,000 kg
  • Phase II fully-funded expansion is underway with an incremental 175,000 sq. ft. conversion representing additional potential annual yield of more than 12,000 kg, bringing the total to more than 33,000 kg by this year-end
  • Phase III involves retrofitting the remaining 215,000 sq. ft., bringing total square footage to 610,000 sq. ft, and total annual production capacity to more than 50,000 kg

For more information, access our investor presentation here and corporate video here."

GW Pharmaceuticals Plc. (NASDAQ: GWPH) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. GW Pharmaceuticals plc, along with its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich Biosciences, announced on June 25th, 2018, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved EPIDIOLEX®, an oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age or older. EPIDIOLEX is the first prescription pharmaceutical formulation of highly-purified, plant-derived cannabidiol, a cannabinoid lacking the high associated with marijuana, and the first in a new category of anti-epileptic drugs. Product availability is pending rescheduling which is expected to occur within 90 days. LGS and Dravet syndrome, which develop in childhood, are rare, severe forms of epilepsy that are notoriously treatment-resistant. Most patients with LGS and Dravet syndrome require multiple seizure medications and the majority are resistant to currently approved AEDs. The day-to-day impact of these conditions is significant with high rates of early mortality. "Today's approval of EPIDIOLEX is a historic milestone, offering patients and their families the first and only FDA-approved CBD medicine to treat two severe, childhood-onset epilepsies," said Justin Gover, GW's Chief Executive Officer. "This approval is the culmination of GW's many years of partnership with patients, their families, and physicians in the epilepsy community to develop a much needed, novel medicine. These patients deserve and will soon have access to a cannabinoid medicine that has been thoroughly studied in clinical trials, manufactured to assure quality and consistency, and available by prescription under a physician's care."

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) is a self-advised, Maryland corporation focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized industrial properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for their regulated medical-use cannabis facilities. Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. recently announced that it closed the acquisition of the property located at Lot 1, Hopping Brook Road, Holliston, Massachusetts, and entered into a long-term lease and development agreement with a subsidiary of PharmaCann LLC for an approximately 26,000 square foot industrial facility and an approximately 32,000 square foot greenhouse facility on the property. The purchase price for the property was USD 3.0 Million. The PharmaCann subsidiary is also expected to construct the two buildings at the property, for which the Company has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to USD 15.5 Million. Assuming full reimbursement for the construction, the Company's total investment in the property will be USD 18.5 Million. PharmaCann operates two cultivation and processing facilities and four registered medical-use cannabis dispensaries in Illinois, one cultivation and processing facility and four registered medical-use cannabis dispensaries in New York, and one medical-use cannabis dispensary in Massachusetts. "We are very pleased to extend our relationship with PharmaCann and support their continued growth into new states," said Paul Smithers, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "We believe that PharmaCann's highly skilled team of professionals sets a very high bar for operational excellence and quality, and we look forward to the continued expansion of their platform to reach more and more patients in need."

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 including CBD manufacturers. Kush Bottles recently announced that it has launched a new division, Koleto Packaging Solutions, that will bring new, FDA-compliant packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical and veterinary industries. The global pharmaceutical packaging market is expected to reach USD 158.8 Billion by 2025. Kush Bottles plans to utilize its expertise from its industry-leading cannabis-focused packaging business to supply packaging solutions to these two new markets. The new division will be run by Edd Pratt, Executive Vice President, and is expected to serve pharmaceutical companies and veterinary clinics across the United States. Kush Bottles' CEO Nick Kovacevich, commented, "As a leading provider of packaging solutions to the cannabis industry, we have an unrivaled track record of creating products that are elegant, while remaining compliant with all of the various state and local regulations. This expertise makes us uniquely suited for scaling our institutional knowledge into other heavily-regulated industries. Virtually all of our products are related to other industries and we see important applications for our child-resistant containers that adhere to stringent FDA regulations, which we believe makes these products relevant to pharmaceutical and veterinary clients."

Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO) is dedicated to unlocking the power of cannabinoids for the treatment of serious neurological and inflammatory disorders. The Company recently announced that it has received approval from both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as well as the State of California Research Advisory Panel, which permits the Company to continue development of its novel cannabinoid pharmaceutical prodrugs. Vitality Biopharma's operations are in compliance with federal controlled substance regulations and are enabling development of a novel class of cannabinoid prodrugs that avoid psychoactivity. The Company's lead compound VBX-100 is a proprietary prodrug of THC that is targeted to the gastrointestinal tract, meaning it reduces or avoids entry of THC into the bloodstream or brain. VBX-100 is produced on-site using an enzymatic biosynthesis process and will be produced according to cGMP pharmaceutical standards for use within clinical trials across the United States. Despite cannabis attaining legal status within the State of California and in many other states across the U.S. for medical and recreational purposes, pharmaceutical research and development continues to be closely regulated by the DEA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, the California Research Advisory Panel, a part of the California Attorney General's Office, also approved Vitality's cannabinoid pharmaceutical development activities. Robert Brooke, CEO and Co-founder of Vitality Biopharma adds that, "Our team first pioneered a novel biosynthesis process for our cannabinoid prodrugs, and now they've successfully scaled it in a way that could enable widespread supply for clinical trials and even commercialization. This puts us in an enviable position within our industry, and we look forward to seeing what else can be achieved in the months and year ahead."

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