NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In recent times, more and more celebrities have come out in support of the cannabis industry. Recently, famous Canadian rapper, Drake launched a joint cannabis venture to produce cannabis along with medicinal products and a wide range of clothing apparel. Drake now joins a handful of other celebrities who have also publicly endorsed the use of cannabis. Notably, celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Willie Nelson, Jay Z, Martha Stewart, and Rob Gronkowski have all entered into the cannabis marketplace. However, most of the celebrity-backed ventures typically focus on hemp-derived CBD products, even though celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa focus more on highly potent marijuana products. As such, the CBD market is much more attractive in the U.S. because of the passage of the Farm Bill in late 2018. The bill legalized hemp-derived CBD products as long as they contained 0.3% THC or less. Consequently, CBD products began to rapidly emerge throughout retailers across the country. However, industry experts believe that the recreational cannabis market will eventually dwarf the medical sector due to increasing legalization efforts. In particular, U.S. states such as California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington are expected to contribute billions of dollars collectively to the global market. Moreover, Canada is also rapidly growing and is also projected to become a global revenue driver for the cannabis industry. And according to data compiled by MarketsandMarkets, the global cannabis market was valued at USD 10.3 Billion in 2018. By 2023, the market is expected to reach USD 39.4 Billion while exhibiting a CAGR of 30.7% during the forecast period. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (TSX: CWEB)
While many celebrities only endorse cannabis, some have gone a step further and launched their own brands that produce cannabis. For instance, Willie Nelson operates his own cannabis company, Willie's Reserve. The company sells a variety of products such as dried flower, pre-rolled joints, edibles, and cannabis-based oils. Moreover, Willie Nelson grows his own cannabis, known as the Willie Nelson strain. The Willie Nelson plant is a tall and lanky plant and is typically grown within indoor or greenhouse facilities. Indoor facilities can typically yield an average of about 18 ounces of bud per square meter. Normally, the strain takes around 10 to 14 weeks to grow, and in some cases, it may take even longer to harvest. However, within indoor facilities, cultivators can typically adjust environmental settings in order to provide optimal growing conditions for the plants. As such, cultivators can tamper with the lighting, irrigation, and airflow of the facility in order to find the optimal settings. In particular, plants that are generally shorter and denser require more airflow compared to tall and lanky plants so molding doesn't occur. In the case of the Willie Nelson strain, cultivators have to check the top of the plant to ensure molding doesn't occur. As a result, the proper and adequate growing environment allows cultivators to grow superior buds and yield a larger harvest. Furthermore, some cultivators have taken on additional initiative to ensure the creation of superior cannabis products. This meticulous process is known as cultivating "craft cannabis," which is generally what most small cultivators engage in. Craft cultivators that take immense pride in their work and go above and beyond to produce premium-grade cannabis for their consumers. Specifically, craft cultivators normally avoid the use of artificial growth products and automation, unlike large licensed producers, which tend to use artificial products such as pesticides and machinery to automate the growing and harvesting process. However, the major drawback is that strains could have significantly less cannabinoids, leading to a weaker end product. "Nothing evokes passionate debate in the cannabis community like the threat of big business taking over. The arguments against big marijuana fill the internet. The heartfelt plea to preserve small farms is echoed throughout the US, Canada, and Jamaica," said Michael Camplin, Sales Manager for GGS Structures. "The real reason craft cannabis will never die, is human beings want choice. We all want freedom of choice in our lives. This is the foundation that many of today's cannabis farmers started on, and this is the essential human spirit.
Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). The company just announced breaking cannabis news this morning that, "Canada's largest craft cannabis brand house, last month called for the complete expungements of cannabis records, and a review of post-legalization enforcement. In the wake of raids on the nation's oldest compassion clubs and dispensaries, Pasha is now calling on the federal government to look into new models of medical access.
As legal adult-use is clearly failing to meet the needs of the same cannabis patients being left behind by the medical access program, and as an association of legal cannabis producers calls on the federal government to increase enforcement on brick and mortar and online illicit retailers, Pasha calls on the federal government to instead exempt Canada's earliest medical dispensaries, it's patients, and it's producers from the Cannabis Act, and to conduct a review of the current medical framework.
Several court cases have set precedents in Canada that have been largely ignored by successive governments. The right to access medical cannabis has been well-established by the courts, but this access is lacking. Not all patients who require cannabinoid-based medicine have access to online sales, fixed addresses, credit cards, or the funds required to purchase their medicine. For these reason and others, the recommendations following both R. v. Smith and Allard v. Canada touted the benefits of storefront access at dispensaries and compassion clubs.
What's more, access to medical cannabis is protected under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This access is also meant to include "protection from delay". The 2002 Report of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs found that medical dispensary practices were in line with therapeutic indications, and that moving forward, Health Canada should work with compassion clubs, rather than against them. By the Senate's own recommendations, these outlets should be part of Canada's existing medical cannabis framework.
Pasha supports this petition calling on the federal government to take action on these now 17 year old recommendations by supporting and encouraging the development of new models of access; to undertake a full review of the current state of medical cannabis access while including the organizations that inspired and impressed the Senate Committee in 2002; and to grant exemptions to medicinal dispensaries, their patients, and suppliers as the review is ongoing.
Pasha has focused on getting existing farmers into the legal adult-use market, but recognizes the need for improved medical access. "The pre- and post-legalization gold rush on both licit, and illicit, sides of the industry has skewed our understanding of what it means to safely access cannabis," says Jamie Shaw, Pasha's Chief Communications and Culture Officer. "The current framework fails patients, and without proper medical access, they are forced to purchase their medicine from the illicit market or go without. We hope that by gaining MP support for this petition, the public will get a chance to remind the federal government that it was medical patients that carved the path that we're on today, and it is they who still bear the brunt of bad policy."
The petition (e-2301) can be read here: https://www.pashabrands.com/petition-to-the-government-of-ca/
and has been filed with the House of Commons, and currently awaits MP support.
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 its subsidiary, 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" and on the FSE under the symbol "ZZD". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com."
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Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) is a global pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis and cannabinoids currently serving tens of thousands of patients and consumers in 13 countries spanning five continents. Tilray, Inc. recently announced that it had successfully imported medical cannabis into the United States from Canada in support of a new clinical trial. The study will test the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating patients with breast cancer who are suffering from taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy (TIPN) secondary to treatment with paclitaxel or docetaxel. This clinical trial is the first human study testing the effectiveness of medical cannabis to treat TIPN. "We're excited to support this groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind trial seeking to find a new treatment option for TIPN," says Philippe Lucas, Tilray's Vice President of Global Patient Research and Access. "Tilray is committed to advancing cannabis research through its support of clinical trials around the world as we continue to enhance our understanding of the potential benefits of medical cannabis."
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that it is expanding its global infrastructure network and innovation capabilities with the opening of a cannabinoid device R&D facility, based in Israel. The state-of-the-art facility supports Cronos Group's efforts to develop next-generation vaporizer products that are designed specifically for cannabinoid applications. Cronos Device Labs, which is equipped with an experienced team of product development talent, advanced vaporizer technology and analytical testing infrastructure, serves as the global center of R&D for the Company's vaporizer devices. The 23-member team at Cronos Device Labs, which brings to Cronos Group over 80 years of combined expertise in vaporizer development, is comprised of product designers, mechanical, electrical and software engineers, and analytical and formulation scientists. Cronos Device Labs significantly enhances Cronos Group's technology and development capabilities and is expected to enable the Company to deliver expanded product offerings to customers that are specially tailored to cannabinoid use. "The launch of Cronos Device Labs is an exciting next step on our journey to become a leader in cannabinoid innovation," said Cronos Group's Mike Gorenstein, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Vapor is already one of the most popular forms of cannabis consumption, and we see a clear opportunity for Cronos Group to introduce the next-generation of vaporizer products designed specifically for cannabinoid formulations. With a deep bench of engineering, analytical, scientific and design talent already in place, we are confident that Cronos Device Labs will play an important role in positioning the Company for long-term success by enabling us to build innovative vaporizer products that resonate with our customers and generate shareholder value."
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that it entered into an agreement to provide extraction services to a large U.S.-based farming services operation. Under the contract terms, Neptune will receive hemp biomass to be processed and transformed into crude oil extracts. The 2-year agreement could reach a total value in excess of USD 20 Million. The first shipment of biomass is expected to arrive at Neptune's North Carolina facility in the coming weeks. "This large contract will support our capacity expansion at our North Carolina facility and better position us to serve the growing United States market. Our expansion in North Carolina is on time and on budget with extraction capacity expected to reach an annual run-rate of 1,500,000 kg of biomass by December 2019. Demand for extraction and formulation services in the U.S. is currently strong with the ongoing harvest season and our tolling and formulation pipeline to deliver high quality full and broad spectrum extracts remains robust. This announcement represents a further step towards our customer and geographic diversification strategy," said Michael Cammarata, Neptune's Chief Executive Officer.
Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (TSX: CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-derived cannabidiol wellness products. Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. recently announced that The Kroger Co., America's largest grocery retailer, has begun carrying Charlotte's Web products in multiple states with a plan to roll out to a total of 1,350 store locations in 22 states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming). The announcement with Kroger marks a milestone for Charlotte's Web as the largest distribution ever through a single retailer. Charlotte's Web topical products will be available at the Kroger Family of Stores, including: Kroger, Dillons, Fry's, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Mariano's, Pick 'n Save, QFC and Smith's. "Since its founding, Charlotte's Web has been on a mission to make CBD products available for as many people as possible," said Deanie Elsner, Chief Executive Officer of Charlotte's Web. "This distribution reach through Kroger's market leading network of grocery stores is an enormous contributor to our mission. We are very appreciative of Kroger and all of our channel partners for the continued progress in expanding access to hemp-based health and wellness products."
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