Growing Support for Cannabis Legalization Fuels Industry as a Global Marketplace
FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
Aug 27, 2019, 09:00 ET
NEW YORK, Aug. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Canada made headlines in 2018 after it became the second country in the world to completely legalize cannabis for adult use. The spur of legalization efforts has drawn in millions of people worldwide who are curious to try cannabis. Pia M. Mauro, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, highlighted that the increase in daily and nondaily usage among adults was predominantly due to legalization efforts, attitudes and risk perception. Predominantly, most consumers are using cannabis for medical purposes because of the global widespread accessibility. For instance, dozens of countries such as Australia, Colombia, France, Germany, Spain, the U.K., and parts of the U.S. have adopted a medical cannabis legislation. Although medical cannabis is legalized in these regions, it is still heavily regulated and authorities only allow it for specific chronic medical conditions. Medical cannabis is primarily being used for patients suffering from severe pain, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. While medical cannabis much more globally accessible, there is still a large demand in legal recreational markets such as Canada and the U.S. Moreover, other countries such as Mexico and New Zealand are exploring opportunities within the recreational market. The growing support for cannabis legalization is further propelling the industry and establishing it as a prominent global marketplace. 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. Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (OTC: MICWF) (CSE: MWM), General Cannabis Corp. (OTC: CANN), Aleafia Health Inc. (OTC: ALEAF) (TSX: ALEF), Terra Tech Corp. (OTC: TRTC), Vivo Cannabis Inc. (OTC: VVCIF) (TSX-V: VIVO)
Up until the 1990's, cannabis was essentially illegal in almost every country. In 1996, the U.S. reshaped the industry after California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis. Then, in 2014, Colorado and Washington completely disrupted the industry after becoming the first two states to legalize recreational use. In particular, Colorado has witnessed its legal sales exponentially rise since its first year of legal recreational sales. In 2014, Colorado reported USD 683.52 Million in cannabis sales. To put it into perspective, Colorado has reported USD 817.71 Million in legal sales during the first half of 2019, putting the state on track for yet another record-breaking year. On the other hand, Canada had a rather disappointing first quarter of legalization, largely due to federal imposed barriers. For instance, the Canadian government limited the number of licenses that were distributed to cultivators and curtailed retail operating hours. These restrictions hurt businesses due to the rapidly growing demand which quickly began to outweigh the supply. Some provinces experienced severe shortages, which forced a few retailers to shut down their businesses. However, industry expert Michael Armstrong, Professor at Brock University expects shortages to halt by the end of 2019 due to the accelerating production rates. Specifically, Armstrong cites data from 2017 and notes that production rates have drastically increased over the past few years. He highlights that many producers have been stockpiling cannabis supplies and are continuing to produce at faster rates. Additionally, Canadian provinces like Ontario and Alberta have pledged to issue more licenses for operators to meet consumer demand. The cannabis industry still remains in its infancy stage, but as pre-existing markets continue to develop and other nations explore opportunities, the market is positioned to become a disruptive global 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."
Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (OTC: MICWF) (CSE: MWM) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: MWM). Earlier today, the Company announced breaking news that, "has received a Health Canada Cannabis Research License to develop its aerobic waste digester technology for the treatment of cannabis waste. The license, effective for five years commencing August 23, 2019, will be used to further develop the world's first waste treatment system that alters and denatures cannabis waste while recovering reusable water. The Company's R&D team, led by Chief Technology Officer and Founder, Dr. Bob Bhushan, will employ the new license to accelerate and expand the cannabis waste and wastewater programs, both through its industry-leading Cannavore™ waste processing system and through its developing facility wastewater management program at the Micron Waste Innovation Centre in Delta, BC.
"The Micron R&D team is focused on the current and future needs of cannabis facilities seeking sustainable waste management, both solid and liquid," said Dr. Bhushan. "Accordingly, the Company is developing the most efficient, compliant management of green waste through our Cannavore digester technology. In addition, we are now expanding our wastewater treatment protocol to better assist licensed producers domestically and internationally to reclaim, reuse or compliantly discharge all facility wastewater generated in the cultivation of cannabis."
Cultivar and Cannabinoid Profiling Program
Micron will also begin profiling and cataloging cannabis cultivars, also known as strains, to identify resin and fiber content. Under the auspices of the Company's new research license, in-house characterization test programs will commence to identify optimal microbe and enzyme blends for the highest performance in the Cannavore™ digestion process. Micron's proprietary live agent blends, based on its patented bioprocess, can then be targeted for the most rapid and efficient destruction, digestion and denaturing of biomass and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) according to leaf, flower and stalk ratios and cannabinoid content.
Environmental Consulting Services
Further to Micron's Cannavore™ solid waste management program, the Company is now positioned for core competency in overall cannabis facility wastewater management. Dr. Bhushan, who has over 20 years of experience in digestion science and wastewater treatment in Canada and internationally, will lead Micron's cannabis facility wastewater mitigation consulting services, which will be offered to existing and planned cannabis facilities seeking to sustainably address both green waste and water management through the reclamation and purification of facility wastewater.
"Micron's team of scientists and engineers, assisted by the support of strategic partners Aurora Cannabis Inc. and BC Research Inc., is unique in the world in terms of specialization, experience and knowledge in the management of solid cannabis waste and the purification of cannabis-containing wastewater," said President and CEO Alfred Wong. "We intend to leverage this valuable portfolio of expertise to expand our potential revenue base, consulting to and servicing cannabis cultivators seeking overall sustainable, compliant solid waste and wastewater management.
Cannavore™ Collaboration with Aurora Cannabis Inc., Organivore™ and New Verticals Update
Micron's Cannavore™ waste system prototype continues to meet milestones at Aurora's Mountain facility near Calgary, where is it undergoing full throughput processing and stress testing. The world's first closed-loop cannabis waste processing system was designed to Aurora's specifications to be a clean technology solution to process organic waste generated from the growth and cultivation of cannabis, while mitigating concerns about the potential environmental impact.
Micron currently has additional Cannavore™ systems under construction, working with strategic partner BC Research Inc. Micron's Organivore™ food waste system prototype is currently being upgraded with new technology developed for the Cannavore™. In the Company's New Verticals Program, additional waste targets are being assessed in food processing and brewing and spirits, using the on-site laboratory and Organivore™ test unit at the Company's Innovation Centre.
About Micron Waste Technologies Inc. - Micron is a leading green technology company that develops organic waste treatment and water reclamation systems. Micron focuses on developing solutions for organic waste and specialized waste streams including cannabis cultivation waste. Micron's patented aerobic bioprocess substantially reduces the volume of organic waste, minimizes greenhouse gas emissions generated from trucking and landfilling, and produces clean water that meets municipal effluent discharge standards. The Company has a strategic partnership with Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB, NYSE:ACB), one of the world's leading cannabis companies. In addition, Micron is partnered with BC Research Inc, part of the NORAM Group of Companies, with extensive experience in large scale private and municipal wastewater treatment systems. Micron is a public company with listings on the CSE: MWM, OTC: MICWF, and in Frankfurt: 7FM2. Please visit www.micronwaste.com for further information"
General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQX: CANN) is the comprehensive national resource for the highest quality service providers available to the regulated cannabis industry. General Cannabis Corp recently announced that it has entered into a non-binding term sheet to acquire substantially all of the assets of a licensed recreational cannabis retailer in Denver, Colorado (the "Business"). The seller of the Business operates a retail cannabis dispensary in Denver. This potential transaction follows the Company's recent announcement of its entry into non-binding term sheets to acquire other licensed cannabis entities in Colorado. The Company is taking these actions based on the signing of Colorado House Bill 1090 ("HB-1090"), a recently approved law allowing public companies to own Colorado-licensed cannabis companies. Once the regulations surrounding the implementation of the law are finalized, the Company plans to enter into a binding transaction for the Business. "We are pleased to announce our plans to acquire a fourth licensed Colorado cannabis operator," said Michael Feinsod, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Cannabis. "This planned acquisition would bring our skillset to North Denver. The Business we plan to acquire is well located and would provide another strong piece to our expansion strategy. This facility would pair us with another operator and expand our customer base, allowing us to leverage our skill set as HB-1090 is implemented. We look forward to integrating this facility, and its team, into the General Cannabis family upon consummation of the transaction. This potential acquisition will bring our anticipated owned dispensaries to three, our anticipated cultivation space to approximately 45,000 square feet, and one infused products manufacturer license within the state of Colorado."
Aleafia Health Inc. (OTCQX: ALEAF) (TSX: ALEF) is a leading, vertically integrated cannabis health and wellness company with four primary business units: Cannabis Cultivation & Products, Health & Wellness Clinics, Cannabis Education, and Consumer Experience with ecommerce, retail distribution and provincial supply agreements. Recently, Aleafia Health Inc. has been granted approval by Health Canada for outdoor cannabis cultivation. On June 7, 2019, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary Aleafia Farms Inc., was granted a new Standard Cultivation License (the "Licence") issued under Health Canada's Cannabis Regulations at the Company's Port Perry facility. "Our promise made last year to cultivate outdoors in 2019 is now a reality," said Aleafia Health Chairman Julian Fantino. "We will continue to lead the way in low-cost production. This milestone exponentially increases our total cultivation footprint while securing product supply for our medical cannabis patient base."
Terra Tech Corp. (OTCQX: TRTC) operates through multiple subsidiary businesses including: Blüm, IVXX Inc., Edible Garden, and MediFarm LLC. Terra Tech Corp. recently announced that all of its currently operating California facilities have been issued a provisional license from the State of California, which is valid for one year and requires METRC compliance. The issuance of these licenses ensures that operations will continue in a lawful and uninterrupted manner for the next year. Chief Executive Officer, Derek Peterson, said, "I would like to thank the State of California for recognizing our efforts to ensure transparency and regulatory compliance at all our locations, and for issuing these provisional licenses, including one for our recently renovated Oakland cultivation facility. We are proud to be using the METRC software system to record the inventory and movement of our cannabis products through the commercial supply chain; this system advances the State of California's objectives to promote a regulated, safe and conscientious cannabis market so that consumers can be assured that the products they're buying are safe."
Vivo Cannabis Inc. (OTCQX: VVCIF) (TSX-V: VIVO), based in Napanee, Ontario, is recognized for trusted, premium cannabis products and services. VIVO Cannabis Inc. recently announced that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, ABcann Medicinals Inc., has been granted a Standard Cultivation licence from Health Canada for its Kimmetts facility. Kimmetts, an innovative seasonal greenhouse site in Napanee, Ontario, is VIVO's third licensed production facility. Phase 1 of the planned development of Kimmetts includes four positive-pressure airhouse structures with 86,000 square feet of cultivation space. The new site will increase the Company's annualized cultivation capacity by 4,000 kilograms, bringing its total internal licensed capacity to over 12,000 kilograms. "This approval represents another significant milestone achievement for VIVO and a major step toward helping us reach our business goals," said Barry Fishman, Chief Executive Officer of VIVO. "I am extremely proud of our Napanee team demonstrating that innovation and a focus on quality are part of our DNA. Our team in Napanee, as well as the team at Health Canada, worked tirelessly during the approval process. We applaud Health Canada's efforts in playing a vital role in ensuring a safe cannabis supply chain for Canadians."
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