NEW YORK, June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- While the pandemic has been terrible for many industries and businesses, the cannabis market turned out to be an unexpected winner. In 2020, legal cannabis sales in the U.S were up 46% from 2019, reaching a new record of USD 17.5 Billion, according to cannabinoid market research firm BDSA. However, before the boom in sales, changes had to be made. The pandemic initially has disrupted the market, as only medical dispensaries were allowed to remain open, while recreational-use retailers were forced to close because they were deemed as unessential. Once the stores were allowed to be opened, the more familiar in-store experience had to change to a more modern approach, offering customers deals with the added ease of pickup options. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI), Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE:CL) (OTC: CRLBF)
Presently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for a majority of the market share, as progress is slowly being made in removing the stigmas associated with such products. Overall, the legal cannabis market is permeating throughout the U.S. and is helping to create a multi-billion-dollar industry. Because of the rapid pace with which this industry has grown and changed, there are concerns over possible cannabis abuse. One of the major concerns over cannabis abuse revolves around operating a vehicle while impaired. The National Institute on Drug Abuse highlighted that marijuana was the most common illicit drug found within the bloodstream of drivers who were involved in vehicle accidents, including fatal ones. As a result, companies within the cannabis marketspace began to develop the necessary technology for law enforcement agencies to use in crackdowns on drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) announced breaking news yesterday that, "it expects to ship its THC Breath Analyzer ("THCBA") to a clinic in the Northwestern U.S. for beta testing in the coming days. The collaborating clinic has a robust drug testing operation and is one of the top drug testing providers to employers within its respective state. This new beta-testing site will be an addition to beta-testing launched earlier in the year. The Company is also reviewing new opportunities for testing in the province of Ontario.
The Company has received early positive qualitative feedback of its THCBA device with regards to human factors usage of the device. Beta-testing has been ongoing with Alipour Medical Centre, an occupational health care provider located in Newport Beach California.
Dr. Nima Alipour, Chief Medical Officer of AMC, the Occupational Medicine Division of Hybrid Health Systems, stated, "My team and I have found the THCBA easy to use and have been impressed with its intuitive administrative and user functionality with the capacity to complete a breath test within 5 minutes per subject, we think this will be important for employers who conduct drug testing in various work environments and require quick results. We have provided feedback on breath sample collection, connectivity, battery management, handling and sanitation of the device. As occupational health practitioners based in California, we understand the challenges that employers are facing in providing relevant drug testing for both new and existing employees. This is an exciting new tool that can move drug testing for cannabis forward from where it is now, to providing actionable insights on impairment vs. legal and prescribed use."
Cannabix is seeking and reviewing additional beta-testing sites. Beta-testing of the THCBA prototype is focused on improving user and administrator experience, identifying cross-reactivity of other substances within a semi-controlled study population and to further train the device's machine learning database and sensitivity profile. The THCBA is a drug screening device for employers and other markets who are seeking a way to quickly, easily and non-invasively test for recent use of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") - the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment.
The Company also reports that it has expanded its facility in Burnaby, BC to among other things, accommodate assembly of more devices and bring on additional staff."
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Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) reported last month that it has released a Marketing Code designed to responsibly move the emerging cannabis industry forward. Cronos Group believes that those below the legal age of consumption should not be targeted in an adult-use cannabis market. Cronos Group recognizes there is a clear need for standards. That's why the Company proactively created its own and is sharing its principles publicly as a resource for the industry and policymakers. The principles in the Cronos Group Marketing Code apply to all marketing activities of all Cronos Group brands globally and will be communicated to all business partners in any work they do on the Company's behalf. The Marketing Code represents Cronos Group's commitment to responsible marketing standards. From the Company's leadership team to the teams staffing its marketing events, Cronos Group expects all such individuals to understand and follow these principles. The Company is actively implementing the training and protocols necessary to uphold these commitments. Cronos Group intends to live these values through our advertising, imagery, websites, social media, and marketing events.
HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) reported last week that it has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the entities that carry on the business of Redecan, Canada's largest privately-owned licensed producer, with leading market share across a number of categories, for a purchase price of USD 925 Million payable in cash and through the issuance of common shares of HEXO and subject to certain customary adjustments (the "Transaction"). "We articulated a plan to become a top three cannabis player in the Canadian adult-use market," said HEXO CEO and co-founder Sebastien St-Louis. "With today's announcement, we believe that we are on the verge of surpassing that objective to become the no.1 licensed producer by recreational market share. Building on our strong market momentum, the combination of HEXO and Redecan reinforces our position as an industry leader and creates a robust foundation for growth, efficiency at scale and improved financial results."
OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) announced last month the launch of Big Bag o' Buds, a lineup of dried flower products featuring a roster of well-known genetics and an exciting rotation of one-time offerings (OTO) in a 28g format. "Customers across the country continue to express the importance of large formats and new genetic offerings at an appealing price point," says Tim Emberg, Senior Vice President of Sales and Commercial Operations at Organigram. "Without a doubt, Big Bag o' Buds delivers on all of those points but also offers Canadian consumers a continuous pipeline of new cultivars reflecting our team's ongoing search for and development of new terpene profiles and phenotypic expressions."
Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE:CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) reported back in April the launch of Wonder Wellness ("Wonder") Gummies and availability in Illinois. The new low-dose edibles are enhanced with botanicals to complement the overall cannabis experience, and their simple packaging communicates desired effects so wellness-minded category newcomers can consume with confidence to add cannabis as a part of their daily lifestyles. "We're focused on growing our share through an innovation strategy that capitalizes on both market dynamics and edibles portfolio white space," said Greg Butler, Chief Commercial Officer at Cresco Labs. "Effect-forward, 5 mg gummies represent one of the largest market segments, and Wonder Wellness offerings address some of the most desirable consumer needs of relaxing, getting better sleep, and being happy. Wonder Wellness is built for the exact occasions when wellness-minded consumers are looking for products to enhance or improve their everyday experiences."
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