NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Following Canada's legalization of cannabis, the North American cannabis industry is positioned to account for the majority of the global marketplace. Canada legalized recreational cannabis nationwide in October, making it the first G-7 country to do so. On the other hand, the U.S. currently only has 10 states, including the District of Columbia, that have legalized cannabis for recreational use, while 32 states have legalized medical use. Despite only having a fifth of the nation legalize adult-use cannabis, the U.S. alone dominates global sales, primarily driven by states such as California, Colorado, and Washington. Now, Mexico's President-elect party is moving to legalize cannabis as well. Senator Olga Sánchez Cordero, interior Secretary selected by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said that cannabis is causing violent drug wars and poverty. If Mexico moves to legalize cannabis, it would join Canada, Uruguay and several U.S. states that have already done so. In return, the North American market would see a substantial increase in legal sales and be a major growth driver for the overall global industry. According to data compiled by Imarc Group, the North American legal cannabis market was valued at USD 8 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 35 Billion by 2023. Additionally, the market is expected to register a healthy CAGR of 28% throughout the forecast period. Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC: BBRRF) (CSE: BBM), PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC: PHCEF) (TSX-V: PCLO), Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTC: KHRNF) (TSX-V: KHRN), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB)
Mexico is currently in the process of considering the legalization of cannabis as a means to control its ongoing drug war. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Canada have leveraged cannabis for medicinal and economic purposes. Medicinally, the two nations are using cannabis to treat various conditions such as chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, and epilepsy. Economically, Canada reported USD 48.5 Million in legal sales for the first two months of legalization, according to the Boston Globe. U.S. states such as California and Colorado reaped over USD 1 Billion in sales in 2017 and now states like Michigan and Nevada are positioned to achieve the same. Canada's legalization has left the U.S. and other nations to decide the legality of cannabis. Via the Associated Press, Democrat Oregon Senator Ron Wyden called prohibition a "failed policy that wastes resources and destroys lives." Wyden also said in a written statement, "Now that our neighbor to the north is opening its legal cannabis market, the longer we delay, the longer we miss out on potentially significant economic opportunities for Oregon and other states across the country."
Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC: BBRRF) (CSE: BBM) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: BBM). Just earlier today the company announced breaking cannabis news that, "that it has entered into a letter of intent (the "Agreement") for a joint venture (the "Joint Venture") with India Colorada S.A.S., ("India Colorada"), one of the leading Colombian artisanal brewers and producer of the oldest craft beer in Colombia, Cerveza Colón, to research, develop and commercialize non-alcoholic cannabis-based beverages.
"As consumer preferences continue to evolve away from smoked flower and towards healthier and more convenient products, we plan to be on the leading edge of innovating and commercializing these new product segments," stated Camilo Villalba, Chief Operating Officer of the Company. "We believe that our first mover advantage, combined expertise, and dedication to the highest standards of product quality, will position Blueberries as a leader in this rapidly emerging market."
The Joint Venture is expected to undertake the research, development and commercialization of non-alcoholic cannabis-based beverages with the goal of being first to market in Latin America. Pursuant to the Joint Venture, both companies will apply their respective expertise toward the research and development of beverages containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis, as well as cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound. The Joint Venture is expected to commercialize newly developed cannabis-based beverages through India Colorada's established and growing distribution channels in addition to Blueberries' distribution channels. The Joint Venture will make decisions regarding commercialization of the products in different countries where permitted by regulation on an individual market basis. Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, the parties intend to complete the development of new products and commercialization plan over the following 12 months. India Colorada is arms'-length to the Company.
About India Colorada S.A.S.
India Colorada is the owner of Cerveza Colón, the oldest craft beer brand in Colombia, and has an aggressive growth plan over the next 10 years which includes the renewal of the Cerveza Colón image, and the formulation of additional new recipes. For more information, please visit www.indiacolorada.com
About Blueberries Medical Corp.
Blueberries is a Colombia-based licensed producer of naturally grown premium quality cannabis with its primary operations ideally located in the Bogotá Savannah of central Colombia. Led by a specialized team with proprietary expertise in agriculture, genetics, extraction, medicine, pharmacology and marketing, Blueberries is fully licensed for the cultivation, production, domestic distribution, and international export of CBD and THC-based medical cannabis. Blueberries' combination of leading scientific expertise, agricultural advantages and distribution arrangements has positioned the Company to become a leading international supplier of naturally grown, processed, and standardized medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products.
PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC: PHCEF) (TSX-V: PCLO) is a global company privately held and headquartered in Canada, with a focus on processing and supplying all natural, medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products to large channel distributors. PharmaCielo Ltd. recently provided a corporate progress update in preparation for its public listing on the TSXV under the ticker PCLO, on January 18, 2019. "When Federico Cock-Correa and I founded PharmaCielo several years ago, we envisioned an organization that could leverage Colombia's natural advantages to become a leading global supplier of cannabis products, driving long-term value for shareholders and equally benefitting end users as well as the people of Colombia as a whole," said Anthony Wile, outgoing Chief Executive Officr. "Earlier this year, I accepted the interim role of CEO to meet the needs of the business during the public listing process as well as to provide leadership in expanding international initiatives as the Company advanced its cultivation and processing capabilities. Over the next several years, PharmaCielo will become a value-added partner and supplier of cannabinoid inputs to global end-product companies. David Attard has a proven track record of scaling profitable operations across multiple markets and distribution channels. I am confident that David and the team are well-positioned to generate profitable growth for shareholders as I return to my role as CEO of Grupo Jaque Ltd. and continue my contribution to the development of PharmaCielo as advisor."
Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQB: KHRNF) (TSX-V: KHRN) is positioned to be the dominant integrated cannabis company in Latin America. Dixie Brands Inc. (CSE: DIXI.U), one of the cannabis industry's leading consumer packaged goods companies, and Khiron Life Sciences Corp. recently signed a binding letter of intent to establish a 50/50 joint venture to introduce a full line of cannabis-infused products to the Latin American market. Dixie will also manufacture and distribute Khiron's Kuida® brand of cannabidiol (CBD)-based cosmeceuticals in the United States, targeting the growing Hispanic population. Completion of the JV is subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval. Alvaro Torres, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Khiron Life Sciences, stated, "This joint venture is a combination of two companies coming together to bring great brands with highly complementary products, distribution capabilities and expertise. The joint venture gives us important access to expand the reach of our Kuida® cosmeceutical brand into the U.S. market, and by introducing a proven set of product formulations, we can more effectively leverage the infrastructure and relationships we are putting in place across Latin America."
Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) is a world-leading diversified cannabis and hemp company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and softgel capsule forms. Recently, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (TSX: ATD.A) (TSX: ATD.B) had entered into a multi-year agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation. Through this partnership, Alimentation Couche-Tard is aiming to lean on Canopy Growth's cannabis expertise and leverage its experience with other age-restricted products to focus on the safe, responsible and lawful sale of cannabis, consistent with the legislation enacted by the federal and provincial governments. As two Canadian-made and globally-positioned companies, the London location will serve as an important entry to market that could lead to future international opportunities."We are proud to be working with a leading global company like Alimentation Couche-Tard to advise and assist in bringing a trusted cannabis brand to the people of London, Ontario. Our brand is synonymous with having informed staff who can help consumers find the right option for them, whether they are a new or an experienced consumer," says Mark Zekulin, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Canopy Growth.
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 22 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced that, further to the Company's press release dated December 7, 2018, the Company has entered into a Letter of Intent to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Farmacias Magistrales S.A., subject to customary due diligence provisions, the completion of definitive agreements, and regulatory and government approval. As previously announced, Farmacias recently became Mexico's first and only federally licensed importer to date of raw materials containing THC, gaining the necessary licenses, facilities, and permissions to import raw THC material, and manufacture, store, and distribute medical cannabis products containing over 1% THC. This transaction firmly establishes Aurora's first-mover advantage in one of the world's most populous countries, where more than 130 million people will have federally legal access to a range of Aurora's non-flower medical cannabis products containing THC. "This transaction positions Aurora with exclusive access to supply THC-containing medical cannabis to a large market of more than 130 million people, while also enabling us to capture the full margin of the medical cannabis we sell there," said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "Farmacias has a large distribution network of both retail outlets and pharmacies, which will enable us to quickly scale up our operations across Mexico. Integrating Farmacias with our operations in Canada and Latin America will not only accelerate growth, it will build substantial long-term shareholder value."
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