PALM BEACH, Florida, December 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Canadian and North American Cannabis companies are quickly ramping up operations getting ready to meet the anticipated surge in demand when recreation customers could start ordering across Canada. Bill C-45, which will legalize cannabis across the country, largely leaves it up to the provinces and territories to determine how marijuana can be sold and used. Canada's Cannabis Act was introduced in the Canadian Senate this week, its last legislative stop. It appears the bill enjoys wide public support and the backing of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Retailers have been preparing to start selling legal marijuana in July, so the timing could be tight. But Canada's recreational marijuana market is expected to mean big dollars. Deloitte estimates the market will be at least $5B in sales in 2018, with an ancillary market of associated goods and services that could add another $20B. Current legalization efforts could be a wakeup call to all investors who were sitting on the sidelines as Canada is setting up and ready to make billions from legal marijuana operations. A few companies in the headlines this week include: Veritas Pharma Inc. (OTC: VRTHF) (CSE: VRT), Canopy Growth Corp.'s (OTC: TWMJF) (TSX: WEED), Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (OTC: CBWTF) (TSX-V: CBW), Namaste Technologies Inc. (OTC: NXTTF) (CSE: N), Future Farm Technologies Inc. (OTC: FFRMF) (CSE: FFT)
In major breaking developments in the industry today, Veritas Pharma Inc. (OTC: VRTHF) (CSE: VRT) (Frankfurt: 2VP) announces that Health Canada has issued its research and development subsidiary, Cannevert Therapeutics Ltd. ("CTL") a dealer's licence no. 2018/6970 under Health Canada's Section 56 exemption that will allow them to possess, produce, analyze, sale, send, transport, and deliver cannabis, hemp and related products. This is a significant step for CTL in that in conjunction with discovering and developing new therapeutic cannabis strains, it will also be a commercial service provider of diagnostic chemistry and biological testing for licensed producers under Health Canada guidelines. Read this full release and recent news releases for Veritas Pharma at: http://marketnewsupdates.com/news/vrt.html
Veritas Pharma CEO, Dr. Lui Franciosi, stated, "We are excited that Cannevert scientists will now not only be able to obtain a variety of cannabis strains and related products from multiple licensed producers in Canada, but also from around the world with newly acquired import permit. They will also be able to produce cannabis liquid extracts and even send them with an export permit to other parts of the world for further laboratory and clinical trial testing."
Although Cannevert's primary focus will continue to be the identification of new cannabis strains for the treatment of specific diseases and conditions, in the new year it will seek to expand its diagnostic chemistry team, purchase additional testing equipment and lease larger laboratory space on the University of British Columbia campus. The aim is to have a full contact service laboratory operating in later half of 2018. Dr. Franciosi goes onto say, "CTL will have an advantage over other analytical testing service providers in that it will also offer in vivo and in vitro assays to licensed cannabis and hemp producers to determine the therapeutic potential of their strains (e.g., batch-to-batch) under a contract research agreement."
In the near future Cannevert will also explore the feasibility of securing a license to grow select cannabis strains for research purposes within its laboratories. It is expected to be a more efficient process given that CTL has gone through the Dealer's license application process and the legalization of cannabis will occur in July 2018. As of January 1, 2018, Cannevert will be one of the over thirty laboratories licensed in Canada to conduct activities with cannabis and hemp: Health Canada: Laboratories licensed to conduct activities with cannabis.
In other developments of importance in the Canada and North American Cannabis Industry:
Canopy Growth Corp.'s (OTC: TWMJF) (TSX: WEED.TO) announced late last week its wholly owned subsidiary Vert Cannabis in Saint Lucien, Que., has obtained a production licence under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Vert Cannabis is a 7,000-square-foot craft cannabis production facility located in the small town of Saint Lucien, Que. "We're pleased to have obtained the licence and look forward to starting cannabis production in Quebec," said Adam Greenblatt, Quebec brand manager at Canopy Growth and cannabis industry pioneer. "The licensing of Vert Cannabis in Saint Lucien, combined with the recently announced Vert Mirabel joint venture with Les Serres Bertrand, positions Canopy Growth as Quebec's leader in both craft-scale indoor production and large-scale greenhouse production."
Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (OTCQB: CBWTF) (TSX-V: CBW.V) (doing business as Wheaton Income) has recently entered into a definitive agreement with its streaming partner CannTx Life Sciences Inc. to finance the construction of its cannabis production facility located in Puslinch, Ont. CannTx is a privately owned company that has applied to become a licensed producer under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Health Canada has confirmed that it has completed its paper review of the application and that CannTx needs to submit a confirmation of readiness to demonstrate that the facility is eligible for licensing. Pursuant to the agreement, the company will provide CannTx with $5-million related to the initial costs for the phase I construction of the facility, which is currently estimated to be 13,120 square feet. In addition, the company will provide CannTx with $7-million related to the phase II expansion of the facility, subject to the company completing satisfactory due diligence and the parties agreeing to a construction budget and timeline for the phase II expansion. The phase II expansion is expected to increase the cultivation area of the facility to effectively 24,000 square feet of pure cultivation space by using innovative vertical grow technology.
Namaste Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: NXTTF) (CSE: N.CN) announced this week it has signed a letter of intent with BRLEV Agricultural Crops Ltd., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Cannmart Inc., whereby BRLEV will supply Cannmart with high-quality medical cannabis, to be imported by Cannmart from Israel and offered in the company's on-line marketplace. BRLEV is Israel's largest licensed producer of medical cannabis, with over 40 years of experience in commercial agricultural production and export. BRLEV will work with Namaste to export medical cannabis to the Canadian market, which will fall under Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations guidelines. The LOI and the proposed medical cannabis supply agreement highlight Namaste's intentions of becoming Canada's leading on-line retailer for medical cannabis products, by focusing on importation of high-quality medical cannabis from industry-leading countries like Israel. Namaste believes that the demand for imported cannabis and the opportunity it presents has been largely overlooked. This deal solidifies Namaste's commitment in seeking the best cannabis products in global markets and offering them to Canadian cannabis users.
Future Farm Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: FFRMF) (CSE: FFT.CN) has set a closing date of Jan. 4, 2018, on its previously announced 10-acre operating greenhouse acquisition, which generated an estimated $2.6-million (U.S.) in revenue and $400,000 (U.S.) in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for 2017. This acquisition represents a major milestone for the company and positions it in the emerging Florida cannabis market, estimated by some to have $1-billion in annual sales by 2020. The company is also pleased to announce that it has secured a $4-million (U.S.) investment, its largest investment to date, from Yorkville Advisors Global LP. Proceeds from the private placement will be used to acquire the previously announced 10-acre operating greenhouse in Florida. The business and associated property have been approved at the county level for cultivation and processing of cannabis.
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