NEW YORK, July 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Although cannabis thrives in tropical and temperate regions, the advancements made within the industry have now allowed cultivators to grow cannabis virtually anywhere. For outdoor facilities, temperatures must be within the range of 65 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, while humidity should be within the range of 60% to 85%, according to Leafly. However, cultivators can manipulate these factors inside an indoor or greenhouse facility with greater ease. Generally, indoor and greenhouse facilities are equipped with modern technology that can control the temperature, humidity, airflow, and light strength in order to ensure superior growth. While the structure of an indoor facility can be quite costly, it allows cultivators to control the entire growing process leading up to the harvest. Additionally, different facilities tend to be better for certain strains. For instance, sativa strains grow better in tropical conditions because of their tall figure and more open bud structure. On the other hand, indica can be more difficult to grow because it is short and has denser buds, making it harder for airflow to pass through. Nevertheless, some sativas can grow short, while some indicas can grow tall, according to Pat Goggins, a former commercial cultivator in Oregon. Goggins notes it is important for cultivators to understand the genetic makeup of the plant so cultivators can provide optimal growing conditions for each specific plant. Some popular tropic-grown sativa strains are Colombian Gold and Maui Wowie, originating from Colombia and Hawaii, respectively. Colombian Gold and Maui Wowie can be grown both indoors and outdoors, however, there are certain strains that are grown solely indoors. For instance, Northern Lights is a popular indica strain for indoor cultivators because it needs steady airflow to prevent mold build up and it yields an abundant harvest. Regardless if cultivators grow cannabis in a controlled setting or an outdoor facility, there will be a consumer demand in both market segments. Some consumers may prefer a more potent strain grown within an indoor facility, while others may appeal to a more natural, outdoor grown strain. As a result, according to data compiled by Imarc Group, the North American legal cannabis market is expected to reach USD 35 Billion by 2023 from USD 8 Billion in 2017. Additionally, the market is expected to register a healthy CAGR of 28% throughout the forecast period. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI)
Sativa and indica both derive from the cannabis plant, yet, they are widely different in their biological makeup. Typically, indica plants have more CBD than THC and are commonly used for mental and muscle relaxation. Meanwhile, sativa plants contain more THC than CBD and are effectively used for anti-anxiety and anti-depression. Notably, sativa is known to cause the cerebral-mind altering effects that marijuana is commonly associated with. However, breeders were able to cross-modify sativa and indica strains, creating a hybrid strain. Similar to how cannabis is grown, breeders can also manipulate strains by mixing two or more into a single strain. Some of the most popular hybrid strains include OG Kush, Blue Dream, and Pineapple Express. While they are hybrid strains, some can be indica or sativa-dominant, meaning that one of the effects may slightly outweigh the other. Breeding plays a large role in creating hybrid strains, but the growing environment is also a major factor. For instance, OG Kush is susceptible to powdery mildew, but pruning the plant will improve airflow. Furthermore, OG Kush buds require cautious care because they become extremely heavy and dense. Cultivators are more likely to hand-trim OG Kush buds because of their density, meaning that they will need to tend to each individual plant. Hand-trimming each plant it much more effective than using a piece of machinery because cultivators can maintain more of the cannabinoids within the buds and also increase the yield per harvest. The end result of this attentive procedure that cultivators undergo to produce premium cannabis is known as "craft cannabis." Over the past several years, craft cannabis has become popular among growers because of their passion for cultivating high-quality cannabis. However, craft cannabis is a precise and artisanal profession, meaning that it is more suitable for smaller cultivators. While they may be overshadowed by large players in the market, craft cultivators are able to produce the most exquisite quality of cannabis that large producers are simply cannot replicate. "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," said Ryan Stoa, Associate Professor of Law at Concordia University. "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."
Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Earlier last month, the Company announced the "addition of three well-respected cannabis experts to the growing Pasha family: Scientific researcher Dr. Cris Felipe Alves, second-generation cultivator and consultant Travis Lane, and lifelong cultivator Kemal Morris."
As a solution provider to the craft cannabis industry, Pasha subsidiary BC Craft Supply Co. Ltd. ("BC Craft Supply") aims to provide cannabis farmers with the tools to transition to new regulations governing the micro-cultivation licence category. These experts will assist farmers in making that transition.
"I'm thrilled to have these experts join our team, and, with their support, I look forward to disrupting the market with craft products that will help solve Canada's ongoing supply chain issues," said Patrick Brauckmann, Executive Chairman of Pasha Brands. "With these additions to the Pasha family, I'm confident that enthusiasm for craft products will continue to grow."
Dr. Cris Felipe-Alves has worked in academic and commercial settings in Australia, Asia, and North and South America, and holds a B.Sc in Biological Sciences from the University of Brasília, and a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Nagoya University. While working as a senior scientist at a global diagnostics company, he led a team of researchers from discovery to R&D and sales of molecular tools designed to detect cancers non-invasively. During this time, he became interested in the potential for cannabis as a curative agent against several types of cancer. Since then, he has worked as an extraction specialist and a Quality Assurance Manager. He will act as the Senior Quality Assurance Person at BC Craft Supply.
"Here at Pasha, I feel at home and am proud to be part of a brand house that has a focus on craft products," said Dr. Felipe-Alves. "I look forward to helping Pasha generate safe and efficient cannabis-based products that suit the needs of both recreational and medical consumers both in Canada and around the world."
Renowned cultivator and consultant Travis Lane has been growing cannabis for more than 20 years. An organic, living-soil-based cultivator who has advocated for the facilitation of pesticide-free, sun-grown cannabis production, Lane has been involved in the founding of numerous small cannabis businesses over the last decade, including a successful chain of storefront dispensaries, a thriving online mail order service, and was a founding partner in one of the most successful hydrocarbon extraction brands in the country. Under legalization, Lane has divested from the illicit market to focus on multiple Cannabis Act license applications, as well as his work with Groundwork Consulting, focused on government relations and licensing for cultivation and retail, and Levity Solutions, a multi-purpose cannabis consultancy focused on assisting aspiring legal cultivators. He will act as a consultant for Pasha Brands and its subsidiaries.
"The level of talent and expertise that exists in the prohibition-era marketplace is beyond impressive," said Lane. "These long-time innovators will represent a huge market factor once licensed, and I am proud to help Pasha facilitate this next wave."
Kemal Morris is a lifelong cultivator who has had his hands in the soil 'since before he could walk'. He watched his parents grow their own food - and cannabis - on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Soon after Canada launched its first medical cannabis program in 2001, he spent 14 years learning the intricacies of breeding and extract production. In addition, Morris has spent the last four years launching a prominent Canadian Licensed Producer. He is passionate about patients and has connected hundreds of struggling patients with medicine. As the Master Grower for Pasha Brands' owned Vancouver Island Licensed Producer, MedCann, Morris will act as facility designer, cannabis expert, educator and facilitator.
"After completing a four-year term in the regulated industry, I am excited to work with Pasha," said Morris. "I finally have the opportunity to share all that I have learned with the cannabis enthusiasts I came up with, and I'm proud to be part of a company that is breaking the big business mold - affording a rightful place to the people who risked everything to create this thriving industry."
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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Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) is a globally diversified and vertically integrated cannabis company with a presence across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that it had entered into a sponsored research agreement with the Technion Research and Development Foundation of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology to explore the use of cannabinoids and their role in regulating skin health and skin disorders. The preclinical studies will be conducted by Technion over a three-year period and will focus on three skin conditions: acne, psoriasis and skin repair. The endocannabinoid system and the cannabinoids that modulate its activity are believed to have an important role in regulating skin health and skin disorders. The research will utilize Dr. Meiri's cannabis strain database of over 80 cultivars and Cronos Group's strain specific cannabis oils to isolate and investigate the effects of individual and combinations of cannabinoids, potentially including rare cannabinoids, for treating acne, psoriasis and wounds using stem cell-derived organoid cultures developed by Dr. Fuchs' laboratory and mouse models. Cronos Group expects to be able to adapt the individual and combinations of cannabinoids to develop products for each of these three applications and expects to receive an exclusive, worldwide license to market and manufacture such products. "We are thrilled to begin this joint research with Dr. Meiri and Dr. Fuchs, who are among the most respected researchers in their fields," said David Hsu, Chief Operating Officer of Cronos Group. "Dr. Meiri's extensive cannabis strain database and capabilities in analytical testing provide a strong foundation for researching Dr. Fuch's world renowned stem cell organoids. Dr. Meiri and Dr. Fuchs' expertise coupled with Cronos Group's competencies in the cannabis industry make us optimistic about the future opportunities from this collaboration."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 24 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. and EnWave Corporation (TSX-V: ENW) recently announced that the companies had entered into a royalty-bearing commercial license agreement, providing Aurora with the exclusive rights to EnWave's patented Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV™) drying technology for the production of cannabis materials in the European Union, excluding Portugal. Aurora has also secured exclusive license options for both Australia and South America, excluding Peru, exercisable pursuant to minimum REV™ machine purchase order requirements. Additionally, Aurora has signed a non-exclusive sub-license to use REV™ technology in Canada. The companies furthermore announce that Aurora has placed a purchase order for two of EnWave's 120kW REV™ dehydration systems for its Aurora Sky and Aurora Sun facilities in Canada, as well as the intention to purchase a third 120kW REV™ dehydration system for its Aurora Nordic facility in Denmark within sixty days. The REV™ dehydration systems will be used to increase the throughput of material for extraction and use in derivative cannabis products. Aurora has also acquired a 10kW pilot-scale REV™ machine for product development, protocol development and R&D. "EnWave's technology offers very significant benefits that further improve the economic returns on our Sky Class facilities," said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "The technology provides us with industrial-scale flow-through, reducing working capital requirements, accelerating time to market from harvest, as well as increasing our ability to produce bulk-sale cannabis for extraction and use in derivative products. Our ownership interest in EnWave and the exclusive license arrangement in many of our current and target markets creates the potential to generate additional financial synergies."
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 it had received its license to process cannabis from Health Canada. The Health Canada license enables Neptune to handle dried cannabis, to manufacture and purify cannabis extracts and cannabis oil, and to sell its services to other license holders. With production activities anticipated to commence shortly at Neptune's 50,000 sq. ft. good manufacturing practice (GMP)-certified facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the Company expects to be able to generate revenues from existing supply agreements and conclude additional agreements shortly. "This is a thrilling moment for Neptune as our ambition to redeploy our core competencies to exciting consumer product categories by creating and delivering differentiated formulations for the burgeoning cannabis market becomes a reality. Neptune's long-standing scientific expertise in the formulation of natural health products supports our ability to deliver exceptional quality formulations for our business customers. The processing license granted by the agency puts us on a new growth trajectory, positioning Neptune as a provider of extracted cannabis products in this large, growing global market segment," said Jim Hamilton, President & Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.
Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI) is a NASDAQ Global Select and TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. Organigram Holdings Inc. recently announced that it had received approval from Health Canada for the licensing of 17 additional cultivation rooms within the Phase 4A/4B perimeter of the building. Thirteen of 31 Phase 4A cultivation rooms originally contemplated have previously been licensed. The 31st room initially contemplated for Phase 4A is being moved from the Company's 4A plans to its 4B licensing plans thereby adjusting Phase 4A from 31 to 30 rooms and Phase 4B from 32 rooms to 33 rooms. As a result of this approval, cannabis plants will be moved into these new cultivation rooms on a rolling basis commencing immediately. The Company anticipates being able to begin to harvest product from these newly on boarded rooms by the end of September, based on its historical cultivation timelines with the ability to ship dried flower as early as mid-fall of 2019. "Sustainable growth, exceptional quality and constant innovation are the pillars of our overall strategic approach," explains Greg Engel, Chief Executive Officer, Organigram. "We are proud to continue to increase our physical capacity to meet the needs of cannabis consumers across the country while also bringing new thinking and technology to our production."
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