NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Hemp has been used for centuries for its multi-facet applications. Previously, hemp was primarily used for industrial applications such as manufacturing textiles, fabrics, and linen. The industrial segment was the largest driver for the overall hemp market, however, following legislative efforts, the hemp-derived CBD market has emerged as the primary driver. Hemp was also commonly used as a medicinal treatment for convulsions, rheumatism, dysentery, and insomnia. However, health officials around the world had deemed hemp unsafe for consumers because it was derived from the cannabis plant. As a result, the entire cannabis plant was listed as a Schedule 1 substance solely because of its marijuana component. The marijuana plant is packed with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while the hemp plant is typically cannabidiol (CBD) dominant. Although the two plants fall under the cannabis family, they are widely different in their genetic makeup and effects. THC is the compound that is commonly known to cause psychoactive effects on the consumer, while CBD is generally known to have relaxing and soothing effects. However, despite the genetic differences, both THC and CBD are known to alleviate certain medical conditions. Researchers have even highlighted that both THC and CBD can effectively treat symptoms associated with cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. However, because THC causes mind-altering effects, health officials are more inclined to accept CBD as a medicinal treatment than THC. As a result, countries such as Canada, Germany, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S. have legalized CBD for medical purposes. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global cannabidiol market is expected to reach USD 9.69 Billion by 2025 while registering a CAGR of 32.6% during the forecast period. Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB), MariMed Inc. (OTC: MRMD), Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTC: EMHTF) (TSX-V: EMH), Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (OTC: LHSIF) (CSE: LHS), Puration Inc. (OTC: PURA).
Predominantly, the overall CBD market is driven by the medical sector. Generally, most consumers intake CBD through forms of capsule or concentrate. And while CBD is typically associated with a medical treatment, in some countries, there are little to no regulations regarding CBD in foods. For instance, in Italy, regulators have allowed CBD oil with 5%, 10%, and 50% to be sold within Italian markets and those categorized under the food aromatic preparations are allowed to be purchased without a prescription. According to the Italian Law 242 of 2016, hemp plants containing less than 0.2% THC is legal and can be used to produce products such as foods and cosmetics, according to Cannabis Radar. Similarly, Canada's second wave of legalization is underway and is expected to legalize edibles and beverages. On the other hand, in the U.S., it is currently prohibited to add CBD foods and beverages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has noted that there is not enough research and data on CBD to approve it as an additive to edibles. Nonetheless, consumers can still easily purchase CBD-based products at their local convenience stores or even on e-commerce platforms. Typically, most consumers tend to purchase CBD capsules or oils, however, products such as topicals, tinctures, edibles, and beverages have become increasingly popular. And while CBD still sits within a gray area of the cannabis market, research and studies are continuing to push CBD into mainstream consumer products. Eventually, industry experts believe that CBD can become more of a supplement like antioxidants and vitamins currently are. "CBD has a number of known properties beneficial to the human condition, and research is just beginning," Aster Farms President Sam Ludwig told Civilized. "There are two markets for CBD: as a supplement, mild pain reliever and relaxant, and in larger doses, as a truly beneficial remedy for a variety of serious illnesses. There is no doubt it will be dominant supplement for years to come. CBD-heavy flower can be a very effective relaxant for both mind and body. However, people looking for CBD only will find the cleanest and most focused relief in the form of tinctures and capsules. We think the CBD flower market is a trend and will give way to the more concentrated forms. Like an Omega-3 for the body and mind."
Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: NLB). Yesterday, the Company announced breaking news that, "it has entered into a Retail Implementation Agreement dated August 30, 2019 (the "Agreement") with New Implementation Program, LLC ("NIP"). Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, NIP will provide to the Company distribution services and sale of the Company's CBD branded products to NIP's vast community of operators, partners, retailers and distributors in the United States of America. NIP will present and contract its retail locations for the purpose of selling up to three SKUs of the Company's product offerings at each NIP location. The Company and NIP are currently selecting the best regions to roll out the initial one thousand locations launching through the 2019 holiday season and expanding up to ten thousand locations over the next coming months.
NIP is an entity of the Association Partners Organization ("AP") and Asian American Trade Association Council ("AATC"). The AP and AATC are national trade associations representing a network of retailers, buying groups, regional sub-chapters, primary and affiliate groups, distributors and other trade organizations, with aggregate reach of up to 90,000+ retail locations across the United States of America.
Joshua Bartch, CEO of NewLeaf, commented, 'We couldn't be more ecstatic about striking this deal with the C-Store powerhouse of AP who reaches groups like the AATAC. This Agreement propels Newleaf to join the ranks as a premier level cannabis and hemp company and significantly expands Newleaf's existing footprint in the marketplace. Looking at the select roster of companies that AP has agreed to work with, we are truly grateful and honored to be one of them. We have spent the past twelve months perfecting and market testing our current product offerings to make sure we were ready for rapid growth. Over the past months, the company has seen rapid sales growth and this furthers our expansion. We are working hard in preparation and scale to ensure that we hit the ground running for this holiday season roll out.'
'It is evident that CBD related products are here to stay and will quickly eclipse energy and vapes as the most successful new category in retail history,' said Paul Rock, AP's Chairman and AATAC Board of Directors Trustee. 'Our approved programs will fill voids in product format and consumer demand that currently exist and will provide NewLeaf the opportunity to take full advantage of the retail scope offered by our retailer groups who are the front lines of the impending CBD product explosion.'
In consideration for NIP's services, the Company has agreed to pay NIP's program costs of $USD528,000, in two phases: (i) $USD284,000 due upon signing of the Agreement and for the first 500 NIP locations; and (ii) $USD244,000 due upon the 500 NIP location activation and completion of the Company's review period.
About Association Partners: Association Partners is composed of representatives and affiliates from various trade organizations and groups across the United States of America. AP has strategic relationships and partnerships with retail location chains and holds leadership roles within the largest trade associations for independent convenience and gas stations in the United States of America.
About Asian American Trade Associations Council: The Asian American Trade Associations Council is composed of delegates from various business retailer groups across the United States of America with each group having as few as 100 or as many as 10,000 or more retail locations. The aggregate reach of AATAC is 90,000+ retail locations in the corner store, general retail outlet, convenience store, and gas station (C-Store) industry. AATAC's primary and affiliate members operate many franchises of the most popular branded C-Store retailers such as 7-11, Circle K, Sunoco, Chevron, 76, BP, Arco, ampm, Kangaroo, Shell, Marathon, and many others.
About NewLeaf Brands: NewLeaf Brands, Inc. is an innovative Cannabidiol ("CBD") lifestyle Company. Through the Company's wholly-owned subsidiaries We are Kured, LLC, Drink Fresh Water, LLC, ReLyfe Brand, LLC and TeaLief Brand, LLC the Company's main business activities encompass the development, marketing, and distribution of CBD products (including vaporizer pens/cartridges, hot/cold tea, softgel capsules and beverages) throughout North America, South America, and Europe. In addition, NewLeaf Brands, Inc. has extensive retail and cultivation land investments in Oregon, USA."
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MariMed Inc. (OTCQX: MRMD), a multi-state cannabis operator, is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of people through the use of cannabinoids and cannabis products. MariMed Inc. recently announced that the HempEngine™ group of its MariMed Hemp subsidiary had signed an exclusive agreement with one of the largest beverage distributors located in the Northeast U.S., serving more than 8,500 on- and off-premise locations. Under the terms of the agreement, the HempEngine platform will be placed in locations in Rhode Island and Connecticut that include retailers, liquor stores and supermarkets. These locations will receive the HempEngine turnkey CBD marketing platform, a complete "store-within-a-store" package, pre-stocked with a range of CBD products focused on a location owner's particular criteria. In addition to curated brands, HempEngine includes the tech-enabled re-marketing platform, Sprout™. HempEngine supports retailer sales and marketing decisions to maximize returns and sales efficiency. The rollout is expected to begin in October. "This major distribution agreement enables MariMed Hemp to further penetrate the fast- growing hemp CBD space," commented MariMed Chief Executive Officer, Bob Fireman. "Its revolutionary platform creates powerful new distribution opportunities for our hemp-derived CBD brands."
Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) (TSX-V: EMH) is a Canadian licensed producer of cannabis products, with strategic initiatives focused on differentiated, value-added product development for medical and adult-use customers supported by novel intellectual property, large-scale cultivation, extraction, and softgel encapsulation, as well as unique marketing and distribution channels. Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. recently shipped 9,960 40-ml units of its SYNC 25 CBD oil to Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Emerald-branded Indica-dominant CBD oil offers consumers a smoke-free product alternative. "CBD oil has become an increasingly popular product on the market today, and our cannabis-derived SYNC 25 is an example of the high-quality products that consumers can expect from Emerald," said Dr. Avtar Dhillon, President and Executive Chairman of Emerald. "With our range of expertise in the research and development of science-driven products, we will continue to expand our product portfolio and meet consumer demand."
Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (OTCQX: LHSIF) (CSE: LHS) is the cannabis provider committed to providing a trusted, high quality cannabis experience based on our genuine care for all cannabis users and a focus on operational excellence from seed to sale. Liberty Health Sciences Inc. recently opened its 17th dispensary in Panama City, Florida on September 3rd, 2019, subject to approval from the Florida Department of Health. This is Liberty's first dispensary to open in Bay County. "We are delighted to inaugurate our 17th dispensary in this beautiful and historic Panama City location," said Victor Mancebo, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Liberty. "Local officials have welcomed Liberty with open arms, and we are truly proud to assist in the economic recovery of one of Florida's uniquely historic cities, following the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Our patients in the panhandle will now have an additional location where they can source their medicinal products as we continue our strong pursuit in scaling our Florida operations and extending our dispensary count. We are also on track to open three additional dispensaries in September, subject to Florida Department of Health approval."
Puration Inc. (OTC: PURA) has been a water purification company that designs, develops, engineers, produces, markets, and distributes personal and group systems that filter, purify, clean, extract or otherwise improve the quality of water on a cost effective, affordable basis, with a minimum of environmental impact. Puration, Inc. recently announced a new CBD infused beverage, TranquiliTeaCBD. The series of corporate releases follow PURA's CBD beverage industry survey results and corresponding analyst research update recently published in conjunction with PURA's pre-marketing initiative for its new CBD infused beer, coffee and tea. PURA recently entered into a select number of partnerships with third party producers of beer, coffee and tea with the intention of producing CBD versions of all three. As a result of the survey results, which indicated consumers primary interest in consuming CBD was for the treatment of anxiety and that the preferred beverage for consuming infused CBD was tea, PURA has decided to lead with its new beverage announced today, TranquiliTeaCBD. A CBD extract has already been developed and flavor profiles are also developed. A logo and label are in the works and expected to be complete within the next thirty days. TranquiliTeaCBD is on track to be available for sale to consumers by year end.
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