NEW YORK, June 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Marijuana has been classified as one of the most abused drugs in the entire world and despite its status as a controlled substance, it was highly accessible to consumers in regions around the globe. Marijuana is part of the cannabis family of plants and due to its psychoactive properties, it was virtually illegal in almost every country during the prohibition era. However, several countries have conducted clinical trials to better understand the efficacy of marijuana's chemicals as well as the entire cannabis plant. Researchers concluded that cannabis can be leverage for its therapeutic benefits to treat a variety of medical conditions. In addition, certain regions around the world believe that cannabis can be an economic growth driver. And as a result, a select few regions have legalized or decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis. According to New Frontier Data, there were approximately 263 million cannabis users worldwide among ages 15 to 65 in 2018 and the North American region dominated the marketplace with the most consumers. The data also suggested that approximately 15.1% of the North American region had used cannabis during 2018 and on average, 6% of the global population had used cannabis during the year. The region boasts a higher cannabis user base compared to other areas because of its early adoption as North America's cannabis legalization dates back to the 1990s when several U.S. states legalized medical cannabis. Now, more than half the U.S. has adopted medicinal cannabis legislation and some U.S. states have begun to legalize recreational cannabis after Colorado and Washington took the initial step in 2014. Then in 2018, Canada moved to fully legalize cannabis, following in Uruguay's steps and becoming the second nation to ever do so. According to data compiled by GlobaInfoResearch, the global marijuana market is expected to reach USD 7.97 Billion in 2019. By 2024, the research suggests that marijuana is projected to exceed a value of USD 35.0 Billion while registering a CAGR 28%. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP) (TSX: TPX), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN), Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE)
As consumer trends continue to change, cannabis-based companies are forced to adapt. In particular, the U.S. has had legal cannabis for quite some time now, whether it is medical or recreational. Specifically, in states like California, some consumers may have been using legal medical-grade cannabis for over two decades. And while some patients may not require cannabis on a daily basis, patients that suffer from ailments like chronic pain often require a daily dose of cannabis for their symptoms. The drawback for frequent users is that they develop a tolerance towards cannabis and in order to continually suppress the symptoms, patients would require more cannabis as their tolerance increases. Consequently, patients would be required to spend more money over a period of time to purchase their cannabis prescription. However, experienced cultivators have the ability to alter the makeup of a cannabis plant to help alleviate the issue. For instance, cultivators can avoid using artificial products and opt towards using more a natural setting such as direct sunlight. On the other hand, cultivators can use an indoor or greenhouse facility and create their own optimal grow house by controlling the temperature, humidity, lighting, and irrigation system. In particular, growing in an indoor or greenhouse facility can heavily impact the plant's trichome growth of the plant. Trichomes hold a significant portion of the cannabinoids, which dictate the potency of the strain and cultivators can create more trichomes by elongating the harvest time or avoiding artificial products that may damage the plant. Some cultivators have even taken another step by meticulously monitoring each individual plant to increase the outcome of premium buds. The fastidious process produces what is commonly known as "craft cannabis." Similar to craft beer, craft cannabis is known as an artisan profession where growers take pride in their work and strive to provide consumers with high-quality cannabis. Typically, craft cannabis is more common among small-to-midsized businesses because their grow facilities are most likely smaller when compared to large corporations. "There are many uncertainties facing the cannabis industry, the fate of craft cannabis among them. Cannabis, like other industries, may come to be dominated by a few large firms. But there is ample reason to believe a craft market can not only survive but thrive. Consumers are showing a preference for diverse and regional products, while some states are taking steps to promote small businesses and prevent the industry from consolidating. As the industry matures, craft cannabis should maintain a strong presence in the marketplace," said Ryan Stoa, Associate Professor at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.
Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Yesterday, the Company introduced, "BC Craft Supply Co. Ltd. ("BC Craft") as the first in its line of nearly a dozen leading craft cannabis brands that aim to rectify Canada's ongoing product shortage and quality issues. Through its subsidiaries, Pasha is Canada's first licensed producer exclusively focused on assisting the original cannabis industry in Canada in gaining access to the regulated market through Health Canada's new micro cultivation licensing regime.
BC Craft is helping Canada's leading cannabis growers acquire micro-cultivation licences by providing comprehensive support and advice, as well as all necessary testing, processing and packaging to help growers legally bring their products to market. With Pasha's recent acquisition of Medcann Health Products Ltd. ("Medcann"), a fully licensed, Health Canada approved facility, BC Craft is uniquely positioned to work with the thousands of craft producers in Canada that are now looking to transition into Canada's new regulated supply chain.
"I'm confident that what BC Craft Supply Co. will be able to contribute to the legal market will set the standard for craft production and supply chain management, not just in Canada but internationally," said Jason Longden, CEO of Pasha Brands. "Confidence in the brand has already inspired craft cultivators throughout British Columbia and from across the country to join our team, and we're eager to help solve Canada's ongoing supply issue with quality cannabis the legal market has yet to see."
Representing the first wave of Pasha's industry-shaking craft cannabis brands, BC Craft is a service provider in contract with some of Canada's best farmers to ensure their timely participation and competitive edge in Canada's burgeoning legal cannabis market. Spurred by a passion to support small businesses and pay respect to the cultivators that have always been the country's top choice for quality cannabis, the brand is working to assist in their transition into the market so that consumers can have legal access to legitimate and sought-after 'BC Bud' at long last.
With Medcann now part of the Pasha group, BC Craft will coordinate the purchase of craft cannabis from licensed micro cultivators under a supply agreement, kicking off the transition from the unregulated market—where nearly 85 percent of all cannabis sales in Canada still take place—to the legal one. Once micro cultivators are licensed and operational, BC Craft anticipates an annual supply of approximately 50,000 kilograms of cannabis per 100 micro cultivators in its supply chain. Industry estimates place the number of grey market producers in BC alone at as many as 20,000.
With BC Craft leading the charge in Canada to welcome "the other 85 percent" into the legal market, Pasha seeks to expand the reputation for quality that craft producers and prohibition-era brands established prior to legalization in Canada.
About Pasha Brands: Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a vertically integrated, prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry, which boasts an international reputation. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella. Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a licence to sell medical cannabis products in Canada. Pasha and BC Craft are also developing a craft cannabis campus, which is dedicated to bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada. BC Craft is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market. Pasha's common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol "CRFT". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com"
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Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP) (TSX: TPX) has defined brewing greatness for more than two centuries. Molson Coors Canada (MCC), the Canadian business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Company, and HEXO Corp. recently announced that they had closed the transaction announced on August 1st, 2018, to form a joint venture to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization. The joint venture, Truss, will be led by former Molson Coors executive, Brett Vye, in the role of Chief Executive Officer. Vye will report to the Truss board of directors consisting of three members appointed by MCC and two members appointed by HEXO. "With the backing of two partners with deep Canadian roots, proven success, and market-leading experience in the respective beverage and cannabis industries in Canada, Truss will hit the ground running," said Brett Vye, Chief Executive Officer at Truss. "When consumable cannabis is legalized in Canada, Truss will be ready to make its mark as a responsible leader in providing high-quality beverages for the Canadian consumer. Why "Truss"? We are joining together the extensive experience and excellent practices of each partner to build a powerful foundation for the future."
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) is the leader in pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric disorders. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted Fast Track Designation for the Company's lead development candidate Zygel™ (ZYN002 CBD gel) for treatment of behavioral symptoms associated with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). FDA's Fast Track program is designed to facilitate the development of drugs intended to treat serious conditions and fill unmet medical needs and can lead to expedited review by FDA in order to get new important drugs to the patient earlier. Zygel (CBD gel) is the first and only pharmaceutically-manufactured CBD formulated as a patent-protected permeation-enhanced clear gel, designed to provide controlled drug delivery into the bloodstream transdermally (i.e. through the skin). Recent studies suggest that FXS and other neuropsychiatric conditions may be associated with a disruption in the endocannabinoid (EC) system. "The FDA's decision to grant Fast Track Designation for Zygel underscores the significance and severity of the unmet medical need that exists for patients living with Fragile X Syndrome and their caregivers," said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba. "We believe that Zygel has the potential to be the first treatment indicated to directly address the core behavioral symptoms of this syndrome, and we look forward to working closely with the FDA to obtain approval to market Zygel as soon as possible."
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. iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. recently announced that CBD For Life, a top-ranked, national CBD brand in the U.S. which the Company agreed to acquire on March 29, 2019, has entered into an agreement with Urban Outfitters, a lifestyle-oriented general merchandise and consumer products store with 245 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The agreement places CBD For Life products in Urban Outfitters' e-commerce platform and top 6 retail locations in the U.S. The CBD For Life products are expected to launch in the select Urban Outfitters stores later this month. "Our partnership with Urban Outfitters represents a major step forward for CBD For Life, placing us in one of the United States' most successful retail chains that also serves as a tastemaker for the rest of the retail market," said Julie Winter, Chief Operating Officer of CBD For Life. "With the backing of iAnthus, we look forward to further growing our footprint and making our products top of mind for consumers around the world."
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".
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