NEW YORK, June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The support for cannabis legalization is reaching all-time highs every year as more countries continue to explore opportunities within the cannabis industry. In the early 2000s, approximately 31% of Americans supported the legalization of marijuana. By 2018, six in every ten Americans, or more precisely, 62% said that marijuana should be legalized, according to Pew Research Center's survey. Not surprisingly, most millennials are in favor of legalizing marijuana compared to other generations. Approximately 74% of millennials advocated for legalization, while 63% of Gen Xers and 54% of Baby Boomers supported the movement. Moreover, politicians have also begun shifting their stances on the matter. The survey highlighted that 69% of Democrats said marijuana should be legal while the Republican party remains split with 45% in favor and 51% opposed. Nevertheless, support among Republicans has risen from just 39% in 2015. The growing support comes as more and more countries and U.S. states continue to move towards legalization whether it's for medical or recreational use. While medical cannabis is currently more widely available compared to recreational cannabis, the North American region's recreational market is witnessing substantial growth. And although the U.S. still has not federally legalized cannabis, many speculate that it will follow in the footsteps of Canada and Uruguay in fully legalizing the plant. Overall, the U.S. has established its large market because of its early adoption of the plant, which dates back to the 1990s. Nonetheless, the Canadian cannabis market is still developing and maturing and the two countries are expected to continue to dominate the overall global market. According to data compiled by Mordor Intelligence, the global cannabis industry was valued at USD 14.5 Billion in 2018. By 2024, the market is expected to reach USD 89.1 Billion while registering a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2024. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI), Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF) (CSE: CL), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) (CSE: CURA).
The medical cannabis segment currently dominates the overall industry in large because of its global reach. Regardless of the split between the medical and recreational segments, the two markets both acknowledge a need for more personalized strains and despite legalization, many consumers still obtain their supply from an unknown black market seller. While it may be cheaper in some instances, consumers have no idea where their cannabis was grown, what it was treated with or even its potency. However, in regions where cannabis is legalized for either medical or recreational use, businesses are expected to provide transparent information regarding the strain. In other words, consumers in legalized regions now know where their cannabis was grown, which specific seed was used, and what artificial products were used to treat it. Henceforth, retailers and dispensaries can also provide the potency and the genetic makeup of the strain. Typically, most strains are hybrid mixes, meaning they're a mix of both indica and sativa strains. An indica strain may be more appealing to first time users because it provides more of a deep relaxation effect. On the other hand, a sativa dominant strain is more appealing to frequent users because of its cerebral-altering effects. Furthermore, breeders and growers can also alter strains by growing cannabis in a controlled setting. In certain indoor or greenhouse facilities, cultivators can control the humidity, irrigation, air circulation, and even the lighting. By providing the plants with optimal conditions for their growth, cultivators can create healthier products and larger harvests. Moreover, some cultivators have even taken the extra step and have begun to monitor each individual plant to achieve higher-quality buds. The attentive and controlled care for each cannabis plant is most commonly known to create "craft cannabis." While large corporations can produce tons of cannabis consistently, consumers often want variety. And as a result, more and more consumers are beginning to shift towards craft producers for their specialized cannabis. "There are times when you want comfort, and seek out the same old, McDonalds, or KFC. You know what you are going to get every time you drink a Coke. Big Marijuana could possibly fill this need in time. But, sometimes, you want a different taste sensation, a different retail experience, and that is where the niche players fill a void that gigantic corporations create by virtue of streamlining for a mass market," said Michael Camplin, Sales Manager at GGS Structures."
Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Earlier this week, the Company introduced, "BC Craft Supply Co. Ltd. ("BC Craft") as the first in its line of nearly a dozen leading craft cannabis brands that aim to rectify Canada's ongoing product shortage and quality issues. Through its subsidiaries, Pasha is Canada's first licensed producer exclusively focused on assisting the original cannabis industry in Canada in gaining access to the regulated market through Health Canada's new micro cultivation licensing regime.
BC Craft is helping Canada's leading cannabis growers acquire micro-cultivation licences by providing comprehensive support and advice, as well as all necessary testing, processing and packaging to help growers legally bring their products to market. With Pasha's recent acquisition of Medcann Health Products Ltd. ("Medcann"), a fully licensed, Health Canada approved facility, BC Craft is uniquely positioned to work with the thousands of craft producers in Canada that are now looking to transition into Canada's new regulated supply chain.
"I'm confident that what BC Craft Supply Co. will be able to contribute to the legal market will set the standard for craft production and supply chain management, not just in Canada but internationally," said Jason Longden, CEO of Pasha Brands. "Confidence in the brand has already inspired craft cultivators throughout British Columbia and from across the country to join our team, and we're eager to help solve Canada's ongoing supply issue with quality cannabis the legal market has yet to see."
Representing the first wave of Pasha's industry-shaking craft cannabis brands, BC Craft is a service provider in contract with some of Canada's best farmers to ensure their timely participation and competitive edge in Canada's burgeoning legal cannabis market. Spurred by a passion to support small businesses and pay respect to the cultivators that have always been the country's top choice for quality cannabis, the brand is working to assist in their transition into the market so that consumers can have legal access to legitimate and sought-after 'BC Bud' at long last.
With Medcann now part of the Pasha group, BC Craft will coordinate the purchase of craft cannabis from licensed micro cultivators under a supply agreement, kicking off the transition from the unregulated market—where nearly 85 percent of all cannabis sales in Canada still take place—to the legal one. Once micro cultivators are licensed and operational, BC Craft anticipates an annual supply of approximately 50,000 kilograms of cannabis per 100 micro cultivators in its supply chain. Industry estimates place the number of grey market producers in BC alone at as many as 20,000.
With BC Craft leading the charge in Canada to welcome "the other 85 percent" into the legal market, Pasha seeks to expand the reputation for quality that craft producers and prohibition-era brands established prior to legalization in Canada.
About Pasha Brands: Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a vertically integrated, prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry, which boasts an international reputation. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella. Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a licence to sell medical cannabis products in Canada. Pasha and BC Craft are also developing a craft cannabis campus, which is dedicated to bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada. BC Craft is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market. Pasha's common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol "CRFT". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com.
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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 24 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced that the Company had been selected by the German Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte BfArM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) as one of three winners in the public tender to cultivate and distribute medical cannabis in Germany. The Company was awarded the maximum number of 5 of the 13 lots in the tender over a period of four years with a minimum supply of 4000kg total. The cannabis produced will be sold to the German government and supplied to wholesalers for distribution to pharmacies. "We are very proud to have been selected as one of only three companies by the German government, which is a great achievement by our team," said Neil Belot, Chief Global Business Development Officer. "Having the highest rated concept is a strong validation of the Aurora Standard cultivation philosophy, as well as of our track record in the delivery of safe and high-quality medical cannabis products to the German system. We commenced delivering dried cannabis flower from Canada to the German market in 2017, and recently added cannabis extracts to our offerings for German patients. Winning the tender reflects a natural evolution for Aurora, establishing a more prominent local footprint in this important international market with over 82 million people."
Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI) is a NASDAQ Global Select and TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. As the legalization of adult use recreational cannabis continues to transform the cannabis landscape in Canada and around the world, Organigram Holdings Inc. recently announced it has signed an exclusive agreement with Feather Company Ltd., a cannabis innovator and lifestyle brand committed to the production of premium-quality products that enhance the cannabis experience for customers. The disposable vaporizer pen and 5/10 thread cartridges for targeted adult-use customer segments will be available following legalization of this product category currently scheduled to come into effect as of October 2019. Organigram, through the Edison Cannabis Co. brand, has an exclusive license to Feather's proprietary vaporizer pen technology and form factor. The relationship will also allow Organigram to represent Feather across Canada from a commercial perspective. This agreement reflects both companies' commitment to transformative thinking and unique customer experiences. "A successful recreational cannabis market requires that licensed producers and their partners continually reimagine the cannabis experience," says Ray Gracewood, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Organigram. "It is critical for Organigram to find unique ways to offer customers the kind of value that will help differentiate our brands. The future is in providing unique opportunities for customers to explore the product."
Cresco Labs Inc. (OTCQX: CRLBF) (CSE: CL), based in Chicago, is a leading U.S. cannabis company with experienced management, access to capital and a demonstrated growth strategy. Cresco Labs Inc. recently announced the opening of new VidaCann medical cannabis dispensaries in the cities of Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida. With the opening of the new dispensaries, VidaCann now has 12 operating dispensaries throughout the state of Florida. Cresco Labs has entered into an agreement to acquire the ownership interests of VidaCann, one of the largest and most advanced providers of medical cannabis in Florida. The acquisition of VidaCann is expected to close within the next 30 to 90 days, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including approval by the Florida Department of Health. "Since announcing the acquisition in March, VidaCann has continued to execute on the expansion of its retail footprint," said Cresco Labs Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Charlie Bachtell. "The new dispensaries in Pensacola and Jacksonville provide a retail presence in two of the largest cities in Florida, which will improve our ability to capitalize on the very strong growth in the Florida market with more than 10,000 new patients being registered each week. Upon the closing of the acquisition, we project that Cresco Labs will have the fifth largest network of retail dispensaries in the state of Florida, which will provide us with an immediate meaningful presence in this market and an excellent platform for driving future growth. By the end of 2019, we expect to have up to 20 dispensaries operating in Florida, and that number will grow significantly in 2020 when our license converts to an unlimited number of dispensaries."
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) (CSE: CURA) is the leading vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator in the United States. Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it had completed the acquisition of the Emerald dispensary in Gilbert, Arizona, whose license is held by Absolute Healthcare, Inc., an Arizona non-profit corporation. The signing was announced earlier on May 21, 2019 and the transaction was closed on May 29th, 2019. The dispensary is expected to be rebranded as Curaleaf over the next month. Emerald is the only dispensary licensed to operate in the Town of Gilbert which is located in the Metro Phoenix area. It is one of Arizona's largest and longest standing medical cannabis retailers, serving over 44,000 unique patients since 2014. Curaleaf has the largest footprint of single-branded retail stores in the U.S. and is executing on its strategy of building a national brand in highly populated states. Curaleaf will continue to explore opportunities to open additional locations throughout the state of Arizona in 2019.
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