NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently announced plans to expand cannabis research after a prolonged delay. The DEA said it hopes to receive a variety of compelling research about marijuana after the agency delisted CBD, or cannabidiol, from the Schedule 1 list last year.It is important to note, however, that the cannabis plant itself is still a Schedule 1 drug. CBD, meanwhile, is a compound found within the hemp plant, which falls within the cannabis family. Previously, cannabis research was heavily limited as there were only few researchers who were allowed to cultivate and provide cannabis for medical purposes. However, over the past several years, many researchers have delivered uplifting results from clinical trials that proved cannabis is a reliable and effective medical treatment. Now, medical cannabis is predominantly being used to alleviate symptoms associated with afflictions such as chronic pain, cancer, and epilepsy. The positive data has even led many U.S. states to legalize medical cannabis. And as of 2019, there were 33 states and the District of Columbia that have already moved to legalize medical cannabis. In general, the U.S. was one of the earliest adopters of medical cannabis when California first legalized medical use in 1996. Since then, a number of countries such as Australia, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, Thailand, and South Korea have all been influenced by the remarkable data and have also moved to legalize medical cannabis. As a result, the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by 2025 while registering a CAGR of 34.6%, according to data compiled by Grand View Research. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD)
While most regions are legalizing cannabis primarily for medical purposes, a number of countries have also decided to either decriminalize or legalize recreational use as well. Specifically, some countries are looking to legalize recreational use for the economic benefits as well as a means to end the war on drugs in high profile regions. In particular, countries such as Mexico, the U.S., and New Zealand are potentially likely candidates to implement nation-wide legislation in the coming future. Nonetheless, Canada and Uruguay are the only two countries that have fully legalized cannabis as of now. However, in an economic perspective, it was speculated that Americans spent roughly between USD 8.6 Billion and USD 10 Billion on legal marijuana in 2018, according to Marijuana Business Daily. And while the sales of cannabis are helping boost the overall industry, they also help drive bolster the economies of the states where the plant is legally sold. For instance, Washington has implemented a 37% sales tax on legal recreational cannabis, while California has implemented a 15% sales tax, while cultivators also pay a product tax per ounce. Notably, Washington collected the most taxes last year with an estimated USD 319 Million while California came in second with an estimated USD 300 Million in cannabis tax revenue, according to Niall McCarthy, Senior Data Journalist at Statista. Leafly said that the tax revenue is being used by states to support jobs in school, construction, drug abuse programs, and medical research. Moreover, the acceleration of the legal cannabis market created 300,000 jobs last year, bolstering the economy with higher tax revenues. "One of the biggest pro-legalization arguments was that states would be able to bring in a new source of tax revenue," said Liberty Vittert, Professor of Practice in Data Analytics at Washington University. "While there are still many unknowns surrounding the legalization of recreational marijuana, I believe that this shows that it will be a positive influence."
Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Yesterday, the Company announced that, "its wholly owned subsidiary, BC Craft Supply Co. Ltd ("BC Craft"), has signed over 100 micro-cultivator applicants ("Micros") across Canada to date.
Once licensed, a Micro can produce approximately 500 kilograms of dried flower per year in the 2150 sq ft legally allowed. With these supply deals in place, including the first three Micros licensed by Health Canada, Pasha anticipates being able to bring an excess of 50,000 kilograms of craft cannabis per year to market as more licences are issued. This would make Pasha one of the largest craft cannabis providers in the world.
Tens of thousands of grey market cannabis producers coast to coast still supply as much as 85% of the cannabis Canadians are consuming. Issues with quality, freshness, and availability have plagued legalization so far as industrial cannabis producers strive to grow mass quantities of cannabis. Prices for limited supplies of small batch craft cannabis flower, sold through online Provincial cannabis retailers are now exceeding $20 per gram, and little has been done to address the impact on local economies of not transitioning these farmers.
'Our objective in creating the BC Craft platform was to assist these craft producers in Canada that have been supplying Canadians their cannabis products for decades,' said Patrick Brauckmann, Executive Chairman of Pasha, 'and help them transition into the regulated market through Health Canada's new Micro licence.'
BC Craft enters into a supply contract to purchase a Micro's annual supply, and provides exclusive go-to market plans, with appropriate guidance and resources, in order to receive a micro cultivation licence from Health Canada, as well as market support and infrastructure to get their products to the legal marketplace.
'Reaching this milestone so early in our existence really speaks to the faith craft producers have put in us,' said Brauckmann. 'They know we share their values, and that we can help them succeed in the legal marketplace in a way they can believe in, by allowing them to do what they do best.'
About Pasha Brands: Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry and is developing a nation-wide network of craft cultivators to provide the nation with high grade quality craft cannabis. 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" 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 12 countries spanning 5 continents. Tilray, Inc. recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda., had received a standard manufacturing license and a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification, in accordance with the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) standards, for its Biocant Park manufacturing facility in Cantanhede, Portugal. This license and certification allow Tilray Portugal to manufacture and export GMP-certified dried cannabis as an active substance for medicinal products. Tilray's EU Campus in Portugal is a multi-faceted production facility that includes indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cultivation sites; research and quality control labs; as well as processing, packaging and distribution sites for medical cannabis and cannabinoid-containing medical products. To date, Tilray has invested approximately EUR 20 Million in the facility, which totals nearly 250,000 sq. ft. with additional room to expand. The site also serves as a hub supporting Tilray's clinical research and product development efforts across Europe. The Tilray EU Campus currently employs over 100 people, and that number is expected to double by the end of 2019, with production ramping up and multiple harvests anticipated in the coming months. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the inauguration of Tilray's EU Campus was hosted in April 2019. "This licensing and certification marks a critical milestone for our growth in Portugal and Europe. We're proud to increase our international export capacity and are looking forward to exporting dried cannabis as active substances from our EU Campus to legal jurisdictions in the EU and other international markets," said Sascha Mielcarek, Managing Director, Europe. "The next phase of GMP certification will allow us to utilize the full capacity of our multi-faceted facility and continue to serve more patients in-need."
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that it has closed its previously announced acquisition of four Redwood Holding Group, LLC operating subsidiaries. The transaction provides Cronos Group with a leading U.S. hemp-based products platform, including hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) infused skincare and other consumer products that are sold online and through retail and hospitality partner channels in the United States under the brand, Lord Jones™. Mike Gorenstein, Cronos Group's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "this acquisition is one of a number of new growth opportunities that is differentiating our company and our strategic direction. We are pleased to have completed this acquisition and look forward to working closely with Rob and Cindy to further build on their record of innovation and fully capitalize on the platform they have created."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 25 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced the completion of the previously announced plan of arrangement with Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. pursuant to which Aurora has acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Hempco not already owned by Aurora, reflecting a valuation of approximately CAD 63.4 Million on a fully diluted basis. Hempco is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aurora. The Hempco Shares will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange, and Aurora will apply to the relevant securities commissions for Hempco to cease to be a reporting issuer under Canadian securities laws. "Aurora is defining the future of cannabis and hemp, globally," said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "Through the addition of Hempco, we have assembled a world-class portfolio of high-quality hemp assets that together form the basis of a strong new operating division that will develop CBD-from-hemp around the world. Aurora Hemp brings together the cultivars, strategic partners, brands, and distribution networks to service medical, consumer, and wellness markets and further advances Aurora's entry into the US hemp food and hemp-derived CBD markets."
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) is a publicly traded, premium global organic cannabis company, with operations focused on medical cannabis markets in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as the Canadian adult-use market. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. recently announced that, following its launch in Ontario at the end of August, which marked the Company's entrance into Canada's recreational market, initial demand has exceeded expectations. TGOD's high-THC signature strain, Unite Organic, is performing well online and at dispensaries, triggering a second order from the OCS earlier than initially anticipated. "We are thrilled to witness such strong sales and positive feedback from retailers and consumers across Ontario, Canada's most populous province at 14.32 million people. We can see from the initial response that demand for high-quality flower is strong," commented Brian Athaide, Chief Executive Officer of TGOD. "Our team is working hard to ramp up production of our premium organic products as we get ready to expand distribution with additional strains and product forms as well as to other provinces in the months ahead. With our Hamilton hybrid greenhouse completed, and a second one nearing completion in Valleyfield, we are on track to distribute nationally early next year."
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