PALM BEACH, Fla., April 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The worldwide explosion of the recreational and medical cannabis markets, and submarkets, appears that it will continue for years to come. New industries have been born, new mega-companies are growing and other new worldwide players will undoubtedly emerge. When new industries with almost unlimited revenue growth rates appear, the companies need an edge on their competition to survive the consolidations and mergers, to come out on top. Sometimes that edge is having and protecting their IP… with patents. An article from a UK and European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney firm discussed the view from the UK. It said: "Following high profile legalisation in territories around the world (for example Canada, some states in the US and limited medicinal allowability in the UK), industry and financial institutions are recognizing the commercial potential of cannabis… And where there is commercial potential, there will be a demand to protect innovations made to capitalize on the market. A quick search on a global patent database indicates over 7000 granted patents which include the word cannabis, including over 1000 in Europe and UK. However, given that recreational cannabis is presently illegal in many places (for example, most places in Europe and federally in the US), can you patent something which is illegal? Additionally, since cannabis is natural and has been known since ancient times, can you patent something which is so well known?" Active companies in news today include: Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. (OTCQB: OILFF) (CSE: OILS), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQX: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS), Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSX: WEED), The Valens Company Inc. (OTCQX: VLNCF) (TSX: VLNS).
The article continued: "You cannot patent a discovery… (but) the cannabis plant, with its inherent chemical constituents, occurs naturally. A person would not be able to patent the naturally occurring plant or the chemicals found naturally in the product. However, that person would be free to patent methods of extracting or using chemicals from the plant, methods of making synthetic versions of those chemicals or making other chemicals derived from those natural chemicals. Arguments would need to be made that these chemicals or uses have industrial applicability, for example having a plausible medicinal effect. Many governments do not recognize the medicinal effect of cannabis constituents or only recognize the medicinal effect of cannabinoids (such as the US government). However, this has not followed through to various patent offices, which have granted companies protection over a variety of cannabis derived pharmaceuticals."
Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. (OTCQB: OILFF) (CSE: OILS) BREAKING NEWS - Nextleaf Solutions Awarded Patent in Emerging European Cannabis Markets - Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. ("Nextleaf", "OILS", or the "Company"), the world's most innovative cannabis extractor announced today that it has been awarded a patent in Europe, vital to the low-cost production of cannabis distillate.
"We are optimistic about the trend in Europe of governments following Canada's lead in the legalization of cannabis," said Paul Pedersen, CEO of Nextleaf Solutions. "We have validated our extraction and distillation technology here in Canada, the world's largest and most well regulated federally legal jurisdiction. Nextleaf's global IP strategy allows for speed to market by exporting our 'Made in Canada' technology into emerging cannabis markets," stated Pedersen. "When you look at the companies that own the most cannabis patents throughout Europe, you find Canopy Growth, GW Pharma, Pfizer, and Nextleaf Solutions."
According to a report by international cannabis research firm Brightfield Group, domestic cultivation and pressure on Europe's healthcare system to allow general practitioners to prescribe cannabis as medicine, will result in a compound annual growth rate of 98% from 2020-2025. The Brightfield Group expects the entire European market to grow to over $3.1bn by 2025. The report, entitled "European Cannabis 2020" anticipates the UK, which legalized medical cannabis in 2018, to experience the largest cannabis medical market growth rate in Europe during that period.
This issued European patent pertains to a proprietary closed loop chilled solvent feed apparatus for post-extraction cannabinoid processing, and mirrors a patent previously granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. In 2020, the Company validated patents in strategic European jurisdictions including, but not limited to: Germany; Italy; the U.K; Spain; Portugal; Poland; and Denmark. Nextleaf's patents in emerging European cannabis markets reinforce the Company's vision of developing IP that improves CBD and THC oil economics globally through the production and standardization of cannabinoid-based products.
According to data from Prohibition Partners, medical cannabis imports to Germany grew 37% in 2020. The Prohibition Partners data also says Germany imported a record 3,264 kilos of cannabis in Q4 2020, bringing the yearly import total to 9,249 kilos.
In February 2021, plant-derived CBD was added as a legal ingredient in cosmetics by a key market regulator for trade in the European Union. The change was the result of the European Union's high court declaration in November 2020 that CBD derived from hemp was not a narcotic under an international drug treaty and would be subject to EU law on the free movement of goods among EU members. The demand for medical cannabis and CBD products continues to increase in Europe, and Nextleaf considers its European intellectual property strategy central to the Company's global aspirations.
"We know that medical cannabis acceptance in Europe will be a major catalyst to jump-start Pharmaceutical participation because these jurisdictions collectively manufacture and export over 70% of all drugs and medicines consumed globally," said Pedersen. "We are starting to see the value of IP come to the forefront of the industry with the largest cannabis company in the world, Canopy Growth, launching a cannabis extraction patent infringement lawsuit against GW Pharma this past December." Read more news for Nextleaf Solutions by visiting: https://www.nextleafsolutions.com/press-releases/
In other industry news of note:
Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSX: WEED), a world-leading diversified cannabis, CBD and vaporization device company, recently announced Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits ("Southern Glazer's"), the world's pre-eminent distributor of beverage alcohol, as the distribution partner for its U.S. portfolio of CBD-infused beverages. This partnership announcement follows the recent launch of Quatreau – Canopy's first line of CBD-infused beverages sold in the U.S market.
"Through this groundbreaking partnership, we will leverage Southern Glazer's established distribution network to bring our CBD beverage portfolio to retailers and consumers across the U.S. market," said Julious Grant, Chief Commercial Officer, Canopy Growth. "The leadership team at Southern Glazer's shares our values, priorities, and future-forward view of the category. Together, we are committed to creating an immediate strategic route to market for Canopy's premium CBD beverages."
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), a world leader in discovering, developing and delivering regulatory approved cannabis-based medicines, recently announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved the Type II variation application for EPIDYOLEX® (cannabidiol) as an adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with TSC, for patients two years of age and older. This approval, which represents the third indication for GW's cannabidiol in Europe, paves the way for the expanded launch of the medicine across Europe.
"This is an exciting moment for patients, and their families, who are affected by this debilitating disease and may benefit from this treatment. This approval is the result of the continued dedication of GW and the physician and patient communities to address this serious unmet medical need," said Justin Gover, GW's Chief Executive Officer. "We now look forward to working with each European member state to make EPIDYOLEX® available to appropriate patients across Europe, as quickly as possible."
MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQX: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS) recently announced through its wholly owned subsidiary, it has signed a new agreement with MT Pharma, based in Malta to supply premium, GMP certified, finished dose cannabis oil for patients.
MediPharm Labs continues to see significant growth opportunities ahead as numerous pharmaceutical, medical, wellness customers and brands continue to chose MediPharm as their preferred partner for turnkey GMP certified manufacturing and proven global supply chain distribution capabilities. "The global cannabis marketplace continues to grow at a rapid pace which is prompting established pharmaceutical, wellness and brand companies to enter the industry. Many have chosen to develop products, secure a GMP certified supply chain and open distribution channels through a partnership with MediPharm," said Keith Strachan, President and Interim Chief Executive Officer, MediPharm Labs. "We are proud to be the provider of choice for pharmaceutical and wellness companies in 9 countries and counting. These customers have contracted MediPharm to provide a turnkey solution to enhance their offerings with innovative high quality wellness products, and future potential registered pharmaceutical drugs containing cannabis, to meet patient and physician demand for personalized therapeutics and medicines."
The Valens Company Inc. (OTCQX: VLNCF) (TSX: VLNS) a leading manufacturer of cannabis products, recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Green Roads and its majority owned manufacturing subsidiary (collectively, "Green Roads") in a cash and share transaction (the "Green Roads Acquisition" or "Acquisition") for closing consideration of US$40 million, plus up to an additional US$20 million in contingent consideration (the "Milestones Consideration") payable upon the business achieving certain EBITDA milestones (the "Milestones").
With the Acquisition of Green Roads, The Valens Company strengthens its capabilities to supply US domestic and global markets with an expanded product offering. Additionally, the Acquisition provides immediate entry into the US market with a trusted and leading CBD health and wellness brand with an established manufacturing and distribution platform. The Green Roads Acquisition is expected to be accretive to the Company in 2021. If all the Milestones are met in 2022, the transaction represents approximately 4.5x fiscal 2022 EBITDA. On a pro forma basis, the combination of Valens and Green Roads results in a business which generated total revenue of C$111.6M in 2020.
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