NEW YORK, June 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In October 2018, Canada made history and became the second nation to legalize cannabis. Adding to the legislation's significance is the fact that Canada enjoys the status of a G-7 nation. Furthermore, the remaining G-7 nations have all since adopted full or partial medicinal cannabis legislation, except for Japan. And since legalizing the plant, Canada has seen a large influx of new users willing to try it out. In the first quarter of 2019, Statistics Canada reported that about 5.3 million Canadians, or 18% of the population, 15 years and older reported using cannabis during the period. Remarkably, the estimated figure was 14% higher compared to the same period a year ago when recreational cannabis was still illegal. Among the reported consumers during the quarter, approximately 646,000 said they used cannabis for the very first time, nearly doubling year-over-year. The statistics suggest that first-time users are now more inclined to try cannabis due to its newfound legal status. Despite having access to sanctioned cannabis, an abundance of Canadians still receive their cannabis supply from a black market vendor. However, the number of Canadian dabbling in the black market has significantly fallen following legalization. During the quarter, it was reported that an estimated 47% of cannabis users, or 2.5 million Canadians, obtained their cannabis from legal sources such as dispensaries and retailers, which have more than doubled year-over-year. Government agencies have stressed the importance of purchasing cannabis from a credible and authorized source because the supply is generally much safer, as typically, most consumers who purchase on the black market have no idea where their supply came from and what it was treated with throughout the growing process. On the other hand, licensed cannabis operators are required to fully disclose the process from when it is first planted to when it is sold to the consumer, or seed-to-sale. As the legal market continues to mature throughout Canada, more and more users are expected to dive into the industry for the first time. And if Canada's market continues to thrive and show positive results, other countries may be influenced and move towards legalization as well. According to data compiled by Verified Market Research, the global marijuana market was valued at USD 42.20 Billion in 2016. By 2025, the market is expected to reach USD 466.81 Billion while registering a CAGR of 35.3% from 2018 to 2025. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN)
As the Canadian market continued to evolve, cultivators and producers are striving to be more "crafty." Many of the smaller cultivators became more interested in producing higher quality and premium cannabis for consumers as opposed to mass producing on a large-scale. Typically, large-scale facilities will aim toward optimizing their yield to harvest as much bud as they can. On the other hand, smaller cultivators will grow on a more minute scale but tend to each individual plant more to ensure quality traits. The art of tending to each and every single plant is commonly known as "craft cannabis" within the marketspace and craft cultivators are aiming towards developing more trichomes as they contain a plethora of cannabinoids. Trichomes are appendages on plants and on a cannabis plant, they are the powerhouse of the cannabinoids. However, trichomes can easily be destroyed or damaged if they are not carefully picked. For instance, an excess amount of heat will cause them to burst open. Moreover, if the cannabis plant isn't properly trimmed, cultivators can lose trichomes during the process, which is another reason why craft cultivators tend to hand-trim their buds. "There are going to be places where we compete. But there are things that we'll be able to do and they won't," said Hezekiah Allen, Chairman of Emerald Grown. "We're probably never going to be the most price-competitive. But I think there's an attention to detail and a level of artisanship that I don't think can scale."
Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Earlier last week, the Company announced breaking news that, "they have hired cannabis-friendly former City Councillor Susan Chapelle to lead Government Relations and Affairs for the company. Her role will focus on initiating dialogue and lobbying government partners in an effort to assist craft cannabis producers transition from the illicit market into Canada's new regulatory framework.
Chapelle is a former City Councillor who served two terms on the District of Squamish Council (British Columbia). While on council, she was successful in shaping the District of Squamish cannabis regulations and helped pass progressive legislation for cannabis that has set the stage for industry growth. As a mayoral candidate in the 2018 election, she continued to advocate for equitable access to healthcare.
"Susan brings such strong passion for health advocacy and a clear understanding of the regulatory world that she is able to both educate municipal leaders and bring clarity to farmers looking to gain access to the legal framework," said Jamie Shaw, Chief Communications and Culture Officer of Pasha Brands. "Susan has demonstrated throughout her life and work that she is committed to bringing the concerns of both her constituents, and patients to the forefront, and she is proving to do the same for the cannabis growers that aim to have their products on the shelves of legal retailers without losing their independence."
Chapelle was educated in Community Economic Development at Simon Fraser University and is a graduate of the Executive Masters in Business Administration progam (MBA). She has over 30 years of business experience and opened the first multidisciplinary health care clinic in Squamish, British Columbia.
"I am excited to help municipalities and the provinces achieve their policy goals of a safe and legal cannabis industry," commented Chapelle on her new role. "Building an understanding of the new regulatory framework and the economic opportunities of localizing the BC cannabis economy with existing craft growers is a chance for rural BC to transition lost opportunities to a clean, scientifically advanced industry. I want my province to thrive in this space."
The most difficult challenge small farmers face is the complex regulations municipal, provincial and federal governments have in place for cannabis. With Chapelle working at the intersection of policy, science and land use, Pasha is confident it has positioned itself and partners to navigate through them successfully.
Pasha also announces that it has closed a non-brokered private placement (the "Offering") of convertible debentures (the "Debentures") in the principal amount of $2,307,456. The Debentures will mature on June 12, 2020 (the "Maturity Date") and bear interest at a rate of 10% per annum. The Debenture holders may convert at any time, all or a portion of the convertible loan principal into units (the "Conversion Units") of the Company at a price of $0.70 per Conversion Unit. Interest on the principal amount outstanding under the Debenture shall be payable in cash or Conversion Units issuable at the conversion price, at the discretion of the borrower.
Each Conversion Unit will consist of one common share (a "Common Share") and one half of one Common Share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, being a "Warrant"). Each whole Warrant shall be exercisable by the holder thereof to acquire one additional Common Share of the Company at a price of $0.70 for a period of 18 months from the Maturity Date.
The proceeds raised from the Offering are expected to be used to continue to grow the Company's operations and for general working capital purposes.
Pasha has also reached agreements with two creditors to settle (the "Settlement") payments relating to the acquisition of certain intellectual property associated with the trade name "CBD Therapeutics". The payments total $141,220, and are being settled through the issuance of 307,000 common shares.
All securities issued by Pasha in connection with the Offering, and the Settlement, will be subject to a four-month-and-one-day statutory hold period in accordance with applicable securities laws.
This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Pasha disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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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Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 500,000 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. recently announced its plans for the highly-anticipated expansion of the consumer cannabis market into vapes, concentrates, and edibles. The Company is also preparing to launch a national public awareness campaign this fall, educating consumers, provinces and retailers about the safe usage and consumption of these new derivative products. Through a combination of new and enhanced facilities, Aurora intends to produce new, high-quality products across the country in a variety of product categories. Aurora recently entered into a supply agreement with PAX Labs Inc., a leading consumer technology brand in cannabis. With the PAX partnership, the Company will have the market leading PAX Era device to compete in the Closed Loop category and will also launch a new range of vape products, at various price points, targeted to all major consumer markets through both 510 thread cartridges and disposable single-use units. "Aurora is the world's leading producer of high-quality cannabis and we're ready to introduce high-value product additions to this improved, federally legal market," said the Company's Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth . "From the beginning, we've invested in industry-leading production and distribution technology, and in consumer research to drive products to market that consumers will desire. These things, together with the dynamic partnerships we've entered into on the accessory and technology fronts, position us well for this new market launch in December as per Health Canada's recent regulatory amendments."
Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA) is a leading global cannabis company driven by an unrelenting commitment to our people, product quality and innovation. Aphria Inc. recently entered into an exclusive agreement with Toronto-based UNOapp Inc. to collaborate on the development of technology and analytics solutions for Canada's adult-use cannabis industry. Founded in 2010, UNOapp has developed proven technology, marketing and analytical solutions that has enabled more than 4,500 customers across the globe to engage with their customers and drive revenue. As part of the Agreement, UNOapp has granted Aphria a first option to commercialize any platform or solution developed from this collaboration in any international market outside Canada. "With our innovation-focused approach, Aphria is setting the pace for the evolution of the adult-use cannabis industry in Canada," said Jakob Ripshtein, President of Aphria. "Our industry's long-term future will be driven by consumer-centric, innovation-led product, brand and technology solutions. We are excited for this collaboration with a fantastic technology partner in UNOapp and look forward to developing industry-leading solutions that shape the adult-use cannabis market for years to come."
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) is a publicly traded, premium global organic cannabis company, with operations focused on medical cannabis markets in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as the Canadian adult-use market. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. recently announced its expansion into the global organic hemp CBD market with the launch of its Global Strategic Hemp Division. This new division will leverage TGOD's solid expertise in the European hemp CBD market to fuel growth and accelerate the development and commercialization of new products across its network of international partners. "With the global CBD market expected to hit USD 22 Billion in less than 3 years, it is clear that the segment is drawing substantial consumer demand," commented Brian Athaide, Chief Executive Officer of TGOD. "Our team has years of direct hands-on experience in the CBD space and we are excited to use this advantage to execute on a fast-moving market expansion strategy. CBD is a wellness product and has a natural fit with TGOD's certified organic positioning and the large segment of consumers who are increasingly demanding natural and organic products. The time to act is now, and TGOD has the team, the infrastructure and the capital to establish a significant presence in this market."
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. GrowHealthy, a Florida-based vertically-integrated cannabis operator, and its parent company, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc., recently announced the opening of two new retail locations in Orlando and Daytona, Florida in June 2019. These dispensaries will be GrowHealthy's fourth and fifth dispensary openings within the state of Florida. The new dispensaries offer a variety of locally sourced, lab-tested cannabis products including flower and pre-rolls, vape cartridges, topical salves, and oral dispensing syringes. All GrowHealthy products are quality controlled to the highest degree, tested for heavy metals, solvents and microbial contaminants. "As of May 2019, Florida has over 2,200 qualified physicians recommending more than 200,000 registered patients medical cannabis products to alleviate pain and other symptoms," said Randy Maslow, President of iAnthus Capital. "As these numbers grow, we are committed to making continued progress on our aggressive expansion plans for 2019 to keep up with demand. We look forward to providing each new community with high-quality products and the education-first buying experience that patients have come to expect from the GrowHealthy brand."
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