NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Early in December, Michigan started legally selling recreational cannabis, becoming the first state in the Midwest to legalize adult-use marijuana use. It is now the 10th state to legalize the sale of cannabis products for both recreational and medical use, further augmenting the perpetual spread of successful referendums supporting full legalization. However, despite widespread legalization efforts, many consumers still tend to purchase their products from illegal vendors. In particular, one year after Canada fully legalized cannabis, 60% of Canadians still obtain their products from black market dealers or sources that are not entirely legal. Nevertheless, the percentage has steadily fallen since Canada legalized cannabis back in October 2018. Currently, consumers purchase their products from the black market because it is typically much cheaper than obtaining goods from legal vendors. According to a study by Statistics Canada, legal cannabis now costs 65% more than black market products, increasing from 50% in the fourth quarter of 2018. And while legal cannabis may be expensive to most consumers, a study by Brightfield Group discovered that 43% of the respondents were willing to pay more for premium products, while just 34% were reluctant to pay more for certified organic goods. In the meantime, the cannabis industry is becoming more widely accessible to the public all around the world. And according to data compiled by ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics, worldwide consumer spending on legal cannabis reached an estimated USD 12.2 Billion in 2018. By 2022, it is expected for consumer spending to reach USD 31.3 Billion while registering a CAGR of 26.7% from 2017 to 2022. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), CV Sciences, Inc. (OTC: CVSI), KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI)
As sales of such products are becoming more prevalent, new and important regulations are expected to be implemented. Specifically, government regulators have voiced their concerns over the potential for cannabis abuse. Similar to abuse of alcohol, regulators are worried that consumers may commit some sort of activity that could endanger themselves or others while under the influence of the drug. It has been proven that large amounts of cannabis can have significant mind-altering effects, in turn, weakening the consumer and make driving, for example, more dangerous. As such, the need for a marijuana breathalyzer was understood. Government agents such as police officers can use the breathalyzer on someone who they may suspect is under the influence of marijuana. And according to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, driving while under the influence of cannabis is 1.65 times more likely to cause an accident. Furthermore, a recent article published by CNN explains that several tech startups and university scientists say they're close to commercializing something resembling a cannabis breathalyzer, "We aren't measuring impairment, we're measuring THC in breath where it lasts a very short period of time, providing objective data about THC in breath to law enforcement and employers to use in conjunction with other information they have gathered," said Hound Labs founder Mike Lynn, an emergency room doctor, reserve Deputy Sheriff and venture capitalist.
Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: BLO). Today, the Company announced breaking news that, "engineers have developed and deployed new ion optics methods that have resulted in a 6 times increase in analyte signal which has increased the sensitivity in the Company's FAIMS (field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry) ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") detection device. The Company has been working for the last several months on improving "ion optics" which is a critical component of the FAIMS system in order to better focus and maximize ion flow through the FAIMS cell "keyhole". Members of Cannabix advisory team, including Dr. Yost and Dr. Purves were instrumental in providing guidance on the latest technological enhancements leading to this improvement. Furthermore, the Company reports that Cannabix scientists have been testing with a single stage, direct breath with the FAIMS device, that allows for real-time collection and analysis of low volatility compounds without sample preparation.
In addition, Company engineers have been pushing forward development of its THC Breath Analyzer ("THCBA") which incorporates microfluidic sensor technology for the detection of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") from breath. As announced in November, engineers have reduced the size of several components inside the THCBA for a more compact device, over the course of December, engineers have been further optimizing breath sample chamber design and tested additional sensors that work in conjunction with microfluidic sensor. Furthermore, the form factor (exterior) design of the THCBA will see additional refinements in due course.
The Company reports that it has received notable media coverage from CNN in an article titled, 'Testing drivers for cannabis is hard. Here's why' published recently in CNN Business. The article makes mention of Cannabix Technologies' development work with its marijuana breathalyzer technologies. The full article can be viewed at: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/02/business/cannabis-breathalyzers-are-coming-to-market/index.html
About Cannabix Technologies Inc: Cannabix Technologies Inc. is a leader in marijuana breathalyzer development for law enforcement and the workplace. Cannabix has established breath testing technologies in the pursuit of bringing durable, portable tools to market to enhance detection of marijuana impaired driving offences on roads at a time when marijuana is becoming legal in many global jurisdictions. Cannabix is working to develop drug-testing devices that will detect THC- the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes intoxication- using breath samples. In particular, Cannabix is focused on developing breath testing devices for detection of recent use of THC, in contrast to urine testing for THC metabolite that requires an invasive collection and reflects usage, days or even weeks earlier. The devices will also be useful for other practical applications such as testing employees in the workplace where impairment by THC can be hazardous."
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CV Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: CVSI), a preeminent supplier and manufacturer of hemp cannabidiol (CBD) products, announced on November 11th, 2019, a new distribution partnership with Southeastern Grocers, Inc. with an initial launch at 115 Winn-Dixie stores in Florida and 37 BI-LO stores in South Carolina. PlusCBD™ Oil products are available at these stores as of November 3, 2019. CV Sciences' new distribution partnership with SEG's Winn-Dixie and BI-LO banners increases distribution and availability of a broad assortment of the Company's best-selling PlusCBD™ Oil products, including ingestible dietary supplements.
KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: KSHB), the premier producer of ancillary products and services to the legal cannabis and CBD industries, announced last month, the addition of four new compliant, hemp-derived CBD brands under its Retail Services partnership with C.A. Fortune, a leading full-service national consumer products sales and marketing agency focused on lifestyle brand partnerships. The four new hemp-derived CBD brands include, HeavenlyRx, B GREAT, Maye and Level Select. "For the past several months, we have been hard at work helping our CBD brands capture significant share in the rapidly growing, multi-billion-dollar CBD industry by onboarding them onto some of the largest national conventional retail chains," said Jason Vegotsky, KushCo's Chief Revenue Officer and President.
HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) launched Original Stash, its new value brand, in Ontario on Black Friday (Friday, November 29th, 2019). Adult-use consumers in Ontario may purchase 28 grams (1 oz) of quality dried cannabis flower at black market prices. "We are committed to playing a valuable role in eliminating the illicit market and in protecting public health and safety. That's why we are pleased to continue rolling out Original Stash across Canada, providing consumers with a quality product at a low price. Our experience with the launch of Original Stash in October demonstrates that there is a strong demand for this type of product," said Sebastien St-Louis, CEO and co-founder of HEXO.
Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI), the parent company of Organigram Inc., a leading licensed producer of cannabis, announced on December 23rd, 2019 that the first of its 'Cannabis 2.0' products have been released, including Trailblazer Spark, Flicker and Glow 510-thread Torch vape cartridges. "As a company, bringing the next-generation of cannabis products to market without delay was important to us. We are proud to support access to tested, quality derivative-based products that we expect to help strengthen the regulated market and benefit those who prefer those product types over others," said Greg Engel, CEO, Organigram.
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