NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently announced plans to expand cannabis research after a prolonged delay. The DEA said it hopes to receive a variety of compelling research about marijuana after the agency delisted CBD, or cannabidiol, from the Schedule 1 list last year. It is important to note, however, that the cannabis plant itself is still a Schedule 1 drug. CBD, meanwhile, is a compound found within the hemp plant, which itself falls within the cannabis family. Previously, cannabis research was heavily limited as there were only a few researchers who were allowed to cultivate and provide cannabis for medical purposes. However, over the past several years, many researchers have delivered uplifting results from clinical trials that proved cannabis is a reliable and effective medical treatment. Now, medical cannabis is predominantly being used to alleviate symptoms associated with afflictions such as chronic pain, cancer, and epilepsy. The positive data has even led many U.S. states to legalize medical cannabis. And as of 2019, there were 33 states and the District of Columbia that have already moved to legalize medical cannabis. In general, the U.S. was one of the earliest adopters of medical cannabis when California first legalized medical use in 1996. Since then, a number of countries such as Australia, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, Thailand, and South Korea have all been influenced by the data and have also moved to legalize medical cannabis. As a result, the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by 2025 while registering a CAGR of 34.6%, according to data compiled by Grand View Research. Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Pyxus International Inc. (NYSE: PYX), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON)
Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has reached several milestones to almost completely redefine itself. In particular, most legislation passed was strictly for CBD applications, however, individual states in the U.S. have also moved to pass their own cannabis legislation as well. Notably, the U.S. passed the Farm Bill in 2018 which essentially federally legalized hemp-derived CBD products. Shortly afterward, many retailers began to stock CBD products on shelves as well as on e-commerce platforms. Moreover, Michigan and Illinois passed ballots to legalize recreational cannabis. And both markets are expected to witness immense revenue growth in their first year. For example, Michigan is projected to bring in annual sales of USD 949 Million after the market is fully established in 2020, according to the state House Fiscal Agency. On the other hand, Marijuana Business Daily projects that Illinois' recreational cannabis program, which will launch in early 2020, could generate upwards of USD 2.5 Billion a year. To put it into perspective, Colorado, which legalized recreational cannabis in 2014, reported USD 1.54 Billion in annual cannabis sales in 2018. Overall, the forecasts for Michigan and Illinois highlight that the misconceptions and stereotypes revolving around cannabis are beginning to fade amongst the public. Researchers are continually releasing data and clinical trials that proves cannabis is a major economic growth factor as well as a breakthrough treatment within the healthcare industry. "The industry is at about 5 percent of what it will be someday," concurs Tyler Stratford, Director of Client Operations for cannabis consulting firm Canna Advisors. "Even if the path forward isn't straight, we're certainly on a path forward. The tide has changed, and there's no turning it back now."
Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: NLB). Yesterday, the Company announced that, "its new CBD oil formulation, which contains high-end CBD distillate, flavorless hemp derived terpenes and flavored terpenes in Pineapple Express, Strawberry Diesel and OG Kush.
With the recent news of the harmful side-effects caused by vaping cutting agents, like MCT, VG, and Vitamin E, Kured has partnered with Floraplex Terpenes, LLC ("Floraplex") to provide a 100% plant based oil formulation. Floraplex is known throughout the industry as a leader in the hemp derived terpenes space for CBD vaporizer pens and cartridges.
Benjamin Martch, CEO Kured and CMO of NewLeaf commented, 'With the recent studies coming out, our management team has decided to change our formulation to 100% plant derived oil. These hemp terpenes are flavorless and still keep the oil tasting great after adding our flavor terpenes that we source from Eybna based out of Israel. I feel great about this change in formulation to stay on the forefront of the CBD industry.'
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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Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) is the leader in pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric disorders. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted Fast Track Designation for the Company's lead development candidate Zygel™ (ZYN002 CBD gel) for treatment of behavioral symptoms associated with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). FDA's Fast Track program is designed to facilitate the development of drugs intended to treat serious conditions and fill unmet medical needs and can lead to expedited review by FDA in order to get new important drugs to the patient earlier. Zygel (CBD gel) is the first and only pharmaceutically-manufactured CBD formulated as a patent-protected permeation-enhanced clear gel, designed to provide controlled drug delivery into the bloodstream transdermally (i.e. through the skin). Recent studies suggest that FXS and other neuropsychiatric conditions may be associated with a disruption in the endocannabinoid (EC) system. "The FDA's decision to grant Fast Track Designation for Zygel underscores the significance and severity of the unmet medical need that exists for patients living with Fragile X Syndrome and their caregivers," said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba. "We believe that Zygel has the potential to be the first treatment indicated to directly address the core behavioral symptoms of this syndrome, and we look forward to working closely with the FDA to obtain approval to market Zygel as soon as possible."
Pyxus International Inc. (NYSE: PYX) is a global agricultural company with 145 years' experience delivering value-added products and services to businesses and customers. Pyxus International, Inc. recently announced the opening of its affiliate, Criticality, LLC's, industrial hemp extraction and purification facility located in Wilson, North Carolina. The 55,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility was unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening event on March 12th. The facility is designed to follow good manufacturing practices and operate in compliance with dietary supplement standards. The hemp processed at the facility will be used to expertly craft and responsibly produce "Korent," Criticality's line of cannabidiol oil (CBD) products, as well as develop new products in its innovation pipeline. "Through our investment in Criticality—a North Carolina-based hemp processor—our goal is to become a leader in the production of CBD and related consumer products," said Pyxus President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Pieter Sikkel. "The opening of the facility is a critical step in achieving that goal and is a glimpse of what's to come in the future."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 25 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced the completion of the previously announced plan of arrangement with Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. pursuant to which Aurora has acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Hempco not already owned by Aurora, reflecting a valuation of approximately CAD 63.4 Million on a fully diluted basis. Hempco is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aurora. The Hempco Shares will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange, and Aurora will apply to the relevant securities commissions for Hempco to cease to be a reporting issuer under Canadian securities laws. "Aurora is defining the future of cannabis and hemp, globally," said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "Through the addition of Hempco, we have assembled a world-class portfolio of high-quality hemp assets that together form the basis of a strong new operating division that will develop CBD-from-hemp around the world. Aurora Hemp brings together the cultivars, strategic partners, brands, and distribution networks to service medical, consumer, and wellness markets and further advances Aurora's entry into the US hemp food and hemp-derived CBD markets."
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that it has closed its previously announced acquisition of four Redwood Holding Group, LLC operating subsidiaries. The transaction provides Cronos Group with a leading U.S. hemp-based products platform, including hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) infused skincare and other consumer products that are sold online and through retail and hospitality partner channels in the United States under the brand, Lord Jones™. Mike Gorenstein, Cronos Group's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "this acquisition is one of a number of new growth opportunities that is differentiating our company and our strategic direction. We are pleased to have completed this acquisition and look forward to working closely with Rob and Cindy to further build on their record of innovation and fully capitalize on the platform they have created."
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