- FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week, New York became the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis, and in doing so is now expected to become one of the nation's largest markets. New York's new law to tax and regulate cannabis includes various major provisions designed to create a diverse business mix of large and small operators, and it will invest 40% of the anticipated tax revenue into underserved communities, expand medical marijuana access and allow for businesses such as delivery operations and cannabis cafes. All in all, New York State has the potential to become one of the largest legal cannabis markets. According to Marijuana Business Daily, a cannabis industry financial resource, an adult-use market in New York would generate USD 2.3 Billion in annual sales by its fourth full year. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF), Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI)
Medical cannabis products are still more popular in the United States when compared to products for recreational use. After the U.S. passed the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp-derived CBD products became increasingly popular among consumers. Many used such products to help alleviate medical symptoms such as chronic pain, depression, stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Therefore, in recent years, doctors throughout the U.S. started prescribing patients with CBD to treat their ailments. Nonetheless, the concern over cannabis abuse is still a major drawback for the market. For instance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse highlighted that the long-term effects of constant cannabis use for recreational purposes can alter brain development and cause memory impairment and affect learning functions. Consequently, this can affect a user's ability to perform daily functions. As a result, companies within the cannabis marketspace began to develop the necessary technology for law enforcement agencies to better police drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) just announced breaking news that, "it will begin beta testing its THC Breath Analyzer ("THCBA") with a private drug testing clinic located in the Northwestern United States. Cannabix expects to deliver its version 3.0 THCBA prototype to this clinic in the coming weeks to begin a breath testing with select patients. The Company and the clinic have entered into a non-disclosure agreement. The collaborating clinic has a robust drug testing operation and is one of the top drug testing providers to employers within its respective state. The high-volume clinic has a diverse range of patients and focuses on private sector testing for alcohol and illicit drugs. The clinic has extensive experience beta testing with new drug testing technologies. In the recent past, the collaborating clinic was selected to be an early tester of oral swab devices, which have been authorized for use in certain jurisdictions.
Beta-testing of the THCBA prototype will be focused on training the device's machine learning database, to help determine sensitivity ranges and improving user and administrator experience. Furthermore, this data will help with identifying cross-reactivity of other substances with the study population. The THCBA is a drug screening device for employers and other markets who are seeking a way to quickly, easily and non-invasively test for recent use of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") - the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment.
Current forms of testing for marijuana use can identify THC ranging from minutes to days prior to actual use, making it difficult to show the difference between the two. Studies¹ have shown that breath is a better indicator of impairment than saliva and urine because THC is present in breath for a relatively short period of time (1-3 hours); whereas, it is excreted at detectable levels in other body fluids for many hours, days, or even weeks after smoking. This short time period of detection in breath aligns with the peak impairment window."
(1) Olla P, Ishraque MT, Bartol S. 2020. Evaluation of Breath and Plasma Tetrahydrocannabinol Concentration Trends Postcannabis Exposure in Medical Cannabis Patients. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Res.; 99-104.
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Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) and Tilray, Inc. announced on February 23rd, the launch of the website: www.aphriatilraytogether.com. This new, dedicated resource seeks to provide shareholders of both companies with pertinent information, news and updates leading up to the special meetings of shareholders at which Aphria's and Tilray's respective shareholders will vote on the resolutions necessary to implement the proposed business combination of the two companies (the "Transaction"). The website will also allow shareholders and other interested parties to register for Transaction updates that are made publicly available, so they receive information directly to their e-mail addresses. Irwin D. Simon, Aphria's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, "The receipt of HSR Clearance and Competition Act Approval represent a significant step forward in bringing together these two companies, and we are incredibly pleased that we remain on track to complete our business combination in the second quarter of calendar year 2021. Together, Aphria and Tilray expect to have a robust strategic footprint in Canada and internationally with the operational scale necessary to compete more effectively in today's consolidating cannabis market. We believe our strong, flexible balance sheet, cash position and access to capital will provide us with the ability to accelerate long-term sustainable growth and deliver attractive returns for shareholders."
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) announced on March 23rd, the launch of Select Squeeze, a fast-acting THC-infused beverage enhancer featuring Nano-emulsification technology. In addition to the product's innovative nature, the debut of Select Squeeze marks a significant milestone as one of the cannabis industry's widest national product launches. Select Squeeze is among the first cannabis products with mass availability as it becomes accessible to a total addressable population of 94 million adults age 21+. "Curaleaf has been on the forefront of creating sophisticated cannabis experiences and introducing high-quality, consistent consumer products in a variety of form functions," said Joe Bayern, CEO of Curaleaf. "We're incredibly excited to launch Select Squeeze across multiple states, as this new product not only addresses the rising market demand for edibles and beverage products but also underscores the mainstream adoption of cannabis products across a diverse array of U.S. consumers."
Cresco Labs Inc. (OTCQX: CRLBF) announced on February 16th, the closing of its acquisition of Verdant Creations dispensaries in Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Newark and Marion, Ohio (collectively "Verdant"). These acquisitions give Cresco four additional dispensaries, bringing the Company's dispensary presence in Ohio to five – the maximum allowed by the state. "In 2020, we demonstrated the growth and leverage that can be created by focusing only on the most strategic markets, executing high-quality cultivation at scale, distributing our branded products onto every shelf and focusing on targeted, consumer-focused, high-volume retail. In 2021, we're using the same playbook to go deeper in strategic states, including Ohio," said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs' CEO and Co-founder. "The Verdant acquisition significantly deepens our position in Ohio, a market that looks structurally similar to Illinois and Pennsylvania in the early years of those medical markets. We are thrilled to be amplifying our operations in Ohio this year and look forward to bringing our brands to more patients throughout the state."
Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI), the parent company of Organigram Inc. announced yesterday it has acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of The Edibles & Infusions Corporation ("EIC") (the "EIC Acquisition") for consideration of USD 22.0 Million, plus up to an additional USD 13.0 Million in shares (the "Milestone Consideration") payable upon the EIC business achieving certain earnout milestones (the "Milestones"). The EIC Acquisition further broadens Organigram's continuum of product offerings and provides an operational footprint in Western Canada. "EIC is an important acquisition to ensure Organigram is consistently at the forefront of cannabis product development. The integration of EIC will continue to provide our consumers access to innovative cannabis products while leveraging Organigram's national sales and distribution network," said Greg Engel, Chief Executive Officer of Organigram. "Edible products remain an important product category to Organigram and EIC represents an ideal partner with which to expand our market presence in this category as well as other derivative cannabis categories. EIC's commitment to research and development, continuous innovation, and its confectionery market leadership strategically aligns with Organigram's domestic and international strategy. We value James Fletcher's tremendous knowledge of confectionary manufacturing and proven track record of fulfilling the product needs of some of the world's largest retailers at Cavalier Candies."
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