NEW YORK, May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- With the rise of the cannabis industry, well-known and influential public figures have begun entering into the marketspace. In particular, many are either creating their own brands or investing in specific companies. For instance, Ontario-based cannabis giant, Canopy Growth, has partnered with several celebrities such as Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in efforts to promote and sell the Company's branded flower, softgels, and pre-rolled marijuana formats. Additionally, Canopy Growth had also already partnered with Martha Stewart to advise the Company in developing new products such as hemp-derived CBD products. However, under Canada's regulations, the "use of testimonials and endorsements in promotions and on any promotion that invokes a specific way of life" to sell cannabis are prohibited even though licensed cannabis companies are allowed to enter into business relationships with celebrities, according to Marijuana Business Daily. Additionally, Health Canada has mentioned that having a celebrity as a business advisor is not prohibited under the Cannabis Act. Furthermore, public figures such as Melissa Etheridge and Snoop Dogg have already released their own branded products. Melissa Etheridge, an American songwriter, created her own line of products after she turned to marijuana while she was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2004. Etheridge publicly highlighted the medical benefits of cannabis and belief that it will completely reshape the way the medical and healthcare industry approach the plant. Extensive research conducted by medical institutions and scientists has since discovered that cannabis can be effectively used to treat a variety of medical conditions such as symptoms associated with cancer, chronic pain, Alzheimer's, Parkison's, and epilepsy. Moreover, positive clinical trial results ultimately led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the first cannabis-based treatment for epilepsy patients. Overall, the growing support and adoption by influential public figures, as well as continuing clinical trials, position the cannabis industry to become an explosive scene. As the industry continues to grow, it is expected that more investments will pour in from public figures as well as from other public or private sectors. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market is projected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by 2025 while exhibiting a CAGR of 34.6%. Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) (TSX-V: RIV), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB)
The widespread normalization of cannabis highlights the increasing amount of people who support the legalization of cannabis. However, despite its propagation, the cannabis industry still suffers dearly due to advertising regulations it is saddled with. For instance, social media companies such as Facebook and Instagram have limited and kept track of cannabis advertising because the plant is still federally illegal. Nevertheless, the industry is constantly gaining awareness and support from consumers. Legalization efforts first began in the U.S. back in the early 1990s, when California was the first state to legalize the medical use of cannabis. Now, unlike other countries, the U.S. has given its states the jurisdiction to dictate whether cannabis is legal or not. As a result, movements for legalization had begun to thrive throughout the nation. In the beginning, cannabis legislation was primarily being adopted solely for medicinal cannabis. However, in 2012, Colorado completely changed the country's perspective on cannabis after the state legalized its recreational use. Since then, recreational cannabis is legal in 10 states, including Washington D.C., while medical cannabis is legal in 33 states. Overall, the timeline of cannabis legalization highlights the sheer number of people who have accepted and understood the benefits associated with cannabis, whether it is economically or medically. In the U.S., over 62% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis entirely, almost double the amount in 2000, according to Pew Research Center. "As we continue to see the legalization of Marijuana grow in each state, there is no doubt that entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists are eager to break into the cannabis industry and start new businesses," said Niki Romo, Creative Director for KronicSites.
Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) (TSX-V: RIV) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: RIV). Earlier today, Les Serres Vert Cannabis Inc., a subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation and a portfolio company of Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSXV: RIV; OTC: CNPOF) announced breaking news that it, "has received its final cultivation licence from Health Canada. All 700,000 sq. ft. of operating space at Vert Mirabel is now licensed for cannabis production. Vert Mirabel was established in December 2017 between Canopy Growth, Canopy Rivers, and Les Serres Stéphane Bertrand ("Bertrand").
'We are thrilled that the operational infrastructure at Vert Mirabel is now fully online with over 500,000 sq. ft. already in production,' said Olivier Dufourmantelle, Chief Operating Officer, Canopy Rivers. 'Vert Mirabel is a key asset for Canopy Rivers as it provides exposure to a commercially scaled source of locally grown, premium quality cannabis for distribution into Québec and across the country.'
The licence for Vert Mirabel increases the facility's growing space by 190,000 sq. ft. It brings Canopy Growth's total Canadian licensed production footprint to approximately 4.6 million sq. ft, another step towards its nearly 5.6 million sq. ft. national platform. The Vert Mirabel facility leverages Bertrand's multi-generational greenhouse operational expertise to produce high-quality cannabis.
'The final licence for Vert Mirabel strengthens our operations and will allow us to increase supply to meet the recreational market demand,' said Mark Zekulin, President and co-CEO, Canopy Growth. "From everyone at Canopy Growth, we congratulate the Bertrand's and their team for achieving a fully licensed, large-scale cannabis operation in under 18 months.'
Bertrand is a large-scale greenhouse operator and, prior to converting to cannabis, it was the largest producer of pink tomatoes in Canada. 'We are proud to announce that our venture with Canopy Growth and Canopy Rivers has reached this milestone,' said Stéphane Bertrand. 'Obtaining this licence will allow us to pursue our production goals in order to expand our footprint to meet the needs of the Québec market.'"
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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."
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), founded in 1998, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. GW Pharmaceuticals plc and its U.S. subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences Inc. recently announced positive top-line results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 clinical trial of EPIDIOLEX® (cannabidiol or CBD) CV in the treatment of seizures associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare and severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy. In this trial, EPIDIOLEX met its primary endpoint, which was the reduction in seizure frequency compared to baseline of the Epidiolex 25 mg/kg/day dose group vs placebo (p=0.0009). Results for both the 25 and 50 mg/kg/day dose groups were similar, with seizure reductions of 48.6% and 47.5% from baseline respectively, vs 26.5% for placebo (50 mg/kg/day vs placebo, p=0.0018). All key secondary endpoints were supportive of the effects on the primary endpoint. The safety profile observed is consistent with findings from previous studies, with no new safety risks identified. "The positive results from this trial represent the fifth positive Phase 3 trial for EPIDIOLEX and follows the recent U.S. launch of EPIDIOLEX for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. These new data show EPIDIOLEX reduced TSC-associated seizures, which include both focal and generalized seizures types, expanding the body of reliable science supporting the use of EPIDIOLEX," stated Justin Gover, GW's Chief Executive Officer. "With these data, we look forward to submitting an sNDA to the FDA in the fourth quarter with the goal of expanding the product label in 2020 to help the lives of patients suffering with TSC."
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) is a self-advised Maryland corporation focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized industrial properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for their regulated medical-use cannabis facilities. Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. recently announced that it had closed on the acquisition of a property in Saxton, Pennsylvania, which comprises two buildings totaling approximately 266,000 sq. ft. of industrial space. The purchase price for the Pennsylvania property was USD 13.0 Million (excluding transaction costs). Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, IIP entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with a subsidiary of Green Leaf Medical, LLC (Green Leaf Medical), which intends to operate the property as a licensed medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing facility. Green Leaf Medical has redeveloped approximately 103,000 sq. ft. of the industrial space for medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing, with the remaining approximately 163,000 sq. ft. of industrial space available for future redevelopment. As the pioneering real estate investment trust (REIT) for the medical-use cannabis industry, IIP partners with experienced medical-use cannabis operators and serves as a source of capital by acquiring and leasing back their real estate assets, in addition to offering other creative real estate-based capital solutions. "We are pleased to add multi-state operator Green Leaf Medical to our premier tenant roster," said Paul Smithers, President and Chief Executive Officer of IIP. "Green Leaf Medical has achieved tremendous success in Maryland in a short period of time, and is focused on replicating that model across a number of states, including Pennsylvania. We are thrilled to serve as one of their capital sources to allow them to continue those expansion initiatives and reach an ever-growing number of patients across the Northeast."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB) recently announced an update on the status of Aurora Sun, the Company's latest and largest Sky Class facility, which is currently under construction in Medicine Hat, Alberta. To support the rapidly growing global demand for high-quality medical cannabis in Canada and abroad, the facility will be expanded to 1.62 million sq. ft., representing a 33% increase from its originally planned 1.2 million sq. ft. With the Sky Class production philosophy proven at Aurora Sky, the Company is confident in projecting an expected production capacity at Aurora Sun in excess of 230,000kg of high-quality cannabis per annum. "Aurora Sun represents the next evolution in our Sky Class facility design, delivering massive scale, low cost production, and consistent, high-quality cannabis," said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "Particularly in newly-opened markets, establishing first-mover position and embedding Aurora's market share and brand requires a stable and reliable supply of high-quality cannabis for these markets. The increased scale of Aurora Sun reflects our expectations for the long-term growth in global demand, especially the higher margin international medical markets which will be faced with significant supply shortages for the foreseeable future. Sun is also designed with flexibility in mind to enable us to quickly meet changing market demands, particularly as breeding and cultivation technologies evolve and as customer preferences and requirements change."
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