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Governments Change Tune on Cannabis With Softened Regulations

Betty Tűndik

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Photo Image by Stuart Hampton
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FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

As the cannabis industry has expanded, the methods of ingestion have also changed. Traditionally, most consumers smoked cannabis in the form of what is called “flower.” Now, cannabis can be obtained in various forms as extraction methods have evolved from a simple drying and curing process to using chemistry to produce cannabis concentrates and oils. Recently, cannabis is commonly being used for medicinal purposes; to treat applications such as cancer, migraines, and arthritis. The medical benefits of cannabis have allowed the industry to grow rapidly over the past several years with Canada even legalizing cannabis entirely for both medical and recreational use just last year. Then, one month later, U.S. states Michigan, Missouri, and Utahlegalized cannabis on some form, bringing the number of states with cannabis legislation to a total of 33, as well as the District of Columbia. Additionally, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the U.S. Farm Bill into effect, allowing cultivators to grow hemp for commercial uses after decades of legal difficulty restricting the plant. Moreover, the continued research efforts conducted by major government organizations, such as the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Medicinal Cannabis, Health Canada, and the National Cannabis Industry Association, are providing positive data, linking cannabis to the successful treatment of certain medical applications. Despite the positive data, however, countries abroad are still sluggish in their approach of legalization. On the other hand, Canada and the U.S. are already well established markets, but they are still rapidly growing as the global market continues to mature. According to data compiled by IMARC Group, the legal North American legal cannabis market reached US 8 Billion in 2017. By 2023, the market is projected to reach USD 35 Billion, registering a CAGR of 28% from 2018 to 2023. AREV Brands International Ltd. (CSE: AREV), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN), The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (TSX-V: WTER), Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTC: EMHTF) (TSX-V: EMH), The Supreme Cannabis Company (OTC: SPRWF) (TSX: FIRE)

The cannabis marketplace is hindered by a lack of research and development, which remains the biggest concern for both consumers and federal governments. Both parties want clean and safe products to prevent illness or even deaths that may result from tampered-with goods. According to the 2018 National Cannabis Survey, which documented the fourth quarter of cannabis use following Canada’s legalization, 76% of Canadians who purchased cannabis said that quality and safety was the number one concern. In total, approximately 15% of Canadians reportedly used cannabis in the fourth quarter, and nearly half of that group used cannabis for non-medical reasons exclusively. Canada has only legalized cannabis for several months now, but the survey noted that the 15% of Canadians who use cannabis will grow to 19% whether it is for medical or recreational purposes. The propagation of cannabis legalization in recent years has now positioned the industry to become a major global marketplace. In particular, as the North American market continues to develop, the recreational market is expected to become the main global growth driver in the near future. “Over the next 15 years, the cannabis industry will split between medical and recreational. There will be a small number of cannabis-derived medicines that have passed FDA drug trials by large pharmaceutical companies. There will also be a large number of recreational companies selling cannabis and cannabis derivatives in a highly regulated environment (similar to alcohol distribution),” said Jake Heimarket, Chief Executive Officer at Plus.

AREV Brands International Ltd. (CSE: AREV) is currently listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: AREV).  Earlier last week, the Company announced breaking news that, “BC Bud Depot has commenced an intensive phase of developing new proprietary strains for the Company. Seeing a deficiency in the variety and qualities of cannabis strains made available to the medicinal and recreational markets by Licensed Producers in Canada, BC Bud Depot has begun germination and selection from its extensive proprietary genetics vault of breeding stock for new strain development. The BC Bud Depot genetics vault is a collection of over two hundred unique and elite cannabis strains collected over 20 years. Many of the strains are believed to no longer exist anywhere else in the world.

AREV, a cannabis integrator company through its holdings in BC Bud Depot has extensive cannabis genetics and breeding programs, is also pleased to announce today a strategic collaboration between BC Bud Depot with Lighthouse Genomics Inc., a national leader in cannabis genetic research involving high-value genetic traits and genome sequence analysis. This breeding partnership will allow BC Bud Depot’s Health Canada-licensed breeders to benefit from Lighthouse’s industry-leading technologies, and to apply genetic intelligence towards the accelerated production of proprietary genetic assets with rare traits and high consumer demand.

Lighthouse has conducted Whole Genome Sequencing on a population of ten BC Bud Depot cultivars, obtaining data from the entire DNA sequence – roughly 800 million base pairs per individual plant – at 15 times coverage, a level of accuracy unprecedented in the cannabis industry worldwide. Lighthouse’s work with the high-quality data from BC Bud Depot genetics allowed for a significant advancement in cannabis science, with over 25 Million variable locations detected in the genomes sequenced, as compared to approximately 450,000 reported in published studies, a 55-fold increase in the number of high-interest data points. The project team consisting of two PhD geneticists and seasoned cannabis breeders is led by Lighthouse Chief Science Officer Dr. Gina Conte.

‘Until recently, genetic data at this level of accuracy was available only in the field of human genomics,’ stated Dr. Conte, who designed Lighthouse’s proprietary analytic software. ‘We are able to detect the degree of genetic novelty, or ‘uniqueness,’ of individual genes of interest, and of the plant genome as a whole,’ she added.

‘Our project with AREV and BC Bud Depot uses cutting-edge science to accelerate the development of rare and unique genetic assets with valuable, targeted qualities,” stated Timothy Harvey, Lighthouse CEO. ‘We can rapidly detect those distinct cultivars with uncommon characteristics that stand apart from the cluster of genetically similar strains currently flooding the market. Identifying desirable genetic differentiators allows us to breed for innovation, targeted user experience and specific areas of benefit in health and medicine.’

Lighthouse is providing BC Bud Depot extensive consulting and two forms of reporting: a Genetic Assets Overview for the population as a whole, detailing genetic distance between cultivars, and a Genome Report for each individual plant sequenced. In addition to analysis including ancestry, genetic stability and genetic novelty, the Genome Report offers a comprehensive panel of functionally important and well-annotated genes, including those involved in cannabinoid and terpene synthesis, greatly facilitating genetically-informed breeding.

‘In each of our focus areas, from breeding to extraction and product formulation, AREV is committed to operating at the forefront of cannabis science and technology,’ stated CEO Mike Withrow. ‘The BC Bud Depot brand has a track record distinguishing them as leaders in cannabis breeding. It is natural that we collaborate with a company such as Lighthouse that leverages the most advanced technologies and expertise in the field of cannabis genetic science. Their work empowers the mandate of our breeding program to create proprietary genetic assets that are demonstrably without equal in the cannabis industry.’

Matthew Harvey, lead breeder for BC Bud Depot states, ‘Our mandate is to improve the quality of cannabis available to both medicinal and recreational consumers in Canada and abroad. We have the privilege of drawing upon a vault of seeds containing popular strains long thought to be lost to the world. This will ensure an improvement and expansion of the available cannabis gene pool.’

Mike Withrow, CEO for AREV Brands International states, ‘The ownership of BC Bud Depot’s vast genetic reservoir of historic strains allows us to apply new breeding techniques to creating the next generation of cannabis strains, with a broad appeal to consumers and industry. Our breeding programs will ensure that BC Bud Depot genetics continue to set the bar for quality in the industry, and we will select our cultivation partners based on their ability to bring out the very best in these strains.’

About AREV Brands International Ltd: AREV Brands International Ltd. (“AREV”) produces and delivers functional compounds and ingredients from its world-class extraction systems. AREV is revolutionizing the current delivery method of terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids. These premium ingredients and formulations are used in products targeted for sale in the natural health, medical, functional food, nutraceutical, sport nutrition and bioceutical markets. AREV innovates through extraction to produce extracts from specific selected plant and exude from trees that address 5 areas of health including Anxiety, Pain Management, Insomnia, Central Nervous System Disorders & Libido.”

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN) owns and operates best-in-class licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities throughout the United States, providing investors diversified exposure to the U.S. regulated cannabis industry. iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. recently announced that its U.S. subsidiary has entered into a letter of intent to acquire CBD For Life, a top-ranked, national CBD brand in the U.S. These products are designed for self-care, beauty, and wellness; and through a partnership with iAnthus, CBD For Life plans to expand its existing wholesale and retail platform to give more consumers access to its growing range of products. “Developing a strong CBD strategy is mission critical for cannabis companies to compete on a national scale while simultaneously entering the consumer product and retail marketplace,” said Hadley Ford, Chief Executive Officer of iAnthus. “With the acquisition of a name brand like CBD For Life, iAnthus is well positioned to increase our market share with greater exposure to patients and customers across the country.”

The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (TSX-V: WTER) has developed an innovative, state-of-the-art, proprietary electrolysis process that produces healthy alkaline water for a balanced lifestyle. The Alkaline Water Company Inc., with products bottled under the trademark Alkaline88®, recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, A88 Infused Beverage Division, Inc., has entered into an exclusive formulation, development, and supply agreement with American Nutritional Products Inc., headquartered in Carson City, Nevada. This Agreement solidifies the Company’s ongoing relationship with ANP to finalize the formulations for the Company’s Cannabinol (CBD) and infused products. ANP has agreed to initially develop 5 to 7 functional waters including 3 to 4 in the CBD area and 2 to 3 in the vitamin and antioxidant segment. Each will be uniquely formulated to match both consumer demands and taste profiles. Under the terms of the Agreement, A88 Infused will be granted the exclusive right to products developed by ANP, which will be used in the development of the Company’s new line of infused beverages. “For over 25 years, Maria Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer of ANP, has been an industry leader in the nutraceutical world. Her formulation team has over 40 years of experience in the development and marketing of infused beverages containing CBD, nutraceuticals, and organic flavoring, making them an ideal partner to work with in the development of our new line of products. We both recognized the synergies of our companies and this agreement was a logical extension of our recently signed co-packing agreement.  The depth of knowledge and expertise provided by ANP will ensure that A88 Infused is able to introduce some of its infused beverages to market by the end of this calendar year,” stated Richard A. Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Alkaline Water Company.

Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) (TSX-V: EMH) is a Canadian licensed producer of cannabis. Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced the launch of Verdélite Sciences Inc., a wholly-owned, Québec-based production subsidiary licensed by Health Canada. Formerly known as Agro-Biotech, Verdélite currently produces high-grade dried cannabis for medical and adult-use purposes. Emerald is nearing completion of its over USD 100 Million investment to secure and expand its multi-purpose facility to 88,000 sq. ft. and enable the complete cycle of indoor cultivation, product development and automated packaging of cannabis products. Upon reaching full production levels in mid-2019, Verdélite projects it will have created approximately 140 jobs. “We’re delighted to see our Québec-based Saint-Eustache facility coming online and adding to our capability to deliver high quality adult-use and medical cannabis products,” said Dr. Avtar Dhillon, President and Executive Chairman of Emerald. “The Verdélite team has been working tirelessly to bring to fruition one of the core assets in Emerald’s national and international development strategy.”

The Supreme Cannabis Company (OTCQX: SPRWF) (TSX: FIRE) is a Canadian publicly traded company committed to providing premium brands and products that proudly reflect its consumers, people and uniquely innovative culture. The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. recently announced that the Company expects its previously announced oil products line to be introduced to adult-use consumers in select Canadian markets starting April 2019. Supreme Cannabis plans to initially ship oil products to select markets before expanding distribution of its cannabis oil line to additional provinces which is expected by the end of June 2019. Each bottle will contain a proprietary blend of highly-purified cannabis oils and terpenes derived from plants grown by 7ACRES. “Premium oils require premium cannabis,” said Navdeep Dhaliwal, Chief Executive Officer of Supreme Cannabis. “Our formulation will leverage super-critical CO2technology to produce a high quality, purified cannabis oil which we re-formulate with the naturally occurring cannabis terpenes from our 7ACRES’ High-End CannabisTM. The result is a unique, plant-based cannabis oil that carries the award-winning qualities of our flower into an oil product for consumers looking for a premium cannabis oil experience.”

 

 

SOURCE: FinancialBuzz.com

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Cannabis

Oppenheimer & Co. To Host 19th Annual Consumer Growth and E-Commerce Conference

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (“Oppenheimer”) – a leading investment bank, wealth manager, and a subsidiary of Oppenheimer Holdings (NYSE: OPY) – will host its 19th Annual Consumer Growth and E-Commerce Conference on June 18-19 in Boston, MA. This year’s event features companies from prominent consumer brands such as Autozone, Domino’s Pizza, Express, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Six Flags Theme Parks, Tiffany & Company, Ulta, Walmart, Weight Watchers, and Yum Brands.

Of particular note, Oppenheimer is pleased to host nine of the market-leading companies involved with emerging trends in the Cannabis space this year. The event will also feature seven panel discussions, moderated by Oppenheimer Consumer Research Analysts, addressing emerging and disruptive trends in the consumer marketplace as follows:

  • Evolving Role of Technology in the Consumer Sector with Cooler Screens and Lindsay Goldberg LLC, moderated by Brian Nagel
  • A Discussion with Emerging Restaurant Brands with Aurify and B. Good, moderated by Brian Bittner
  • A Discussion on the Evolving US Food & Beverage Landscape with Lifeway, New Age Beverage, and United Natural Foods, moderated by Rupesh Parikh
  • Next Gen Brands Re-Shaping Landscape for Women’s Fashion with CARAA and Rothy’s, moderated by Brian Nagel
  • Exciting New Brands Shaking Up Home Products Space with Burkelman, LoveSac and Resident/Nectar, moderated by Brian Nagel
  • A Discussion on the Emerging CBD Landscape with Curaleaf and CV Sciences, moderated by Rupesh Parikh
  • Leveraging the Power of Digital to Connect with Consumers with Eight and FlexShopper, moderated by Brian Nagel

The conference features Oppenheimer’s Consumer Senior Research Analysts:

  • Brian Bittner, Managing Director Senior Analyst covering Restaurants
  • Brian Nagel, Managing Director and Senior Analyst covering Retail and E-Commerce
  • Rupesh Parikh, Managing Director and Senior Analyst covering Food, Grocery and Consumer Products
  • Ian Zaffino, Managing Director and Senior Analyst covering event-driven Special Situations

“Long-established business models are being upended by disruptive brands and technology, affecting consumer preferences and buying behaviors throughout the consumer industry. This year’s event aims to showcase the mix of market-leading and emerging companies driving and navigating these changes,” said Erica L. Moffett, Managing Director and Associate Director of Research at Oppenheimer. “From effortless payment methods to accelerated delivery times and customized products, consumers want a seamless experience. In order to succeed, companies must stay current on the evolving consumer and we are pleased to host a conference to explore this new landscape.”

Oppenheimer’s next conference will be the Montauk Emerging Life Sciences Summit, which will be held on June 26-28in Montauk, NY. The 22nd Annual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference will follow on August 6-7 in Boston, MA, followed by the Midwest Corporate Access Day in Chicago on August 15.

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (Oppenheimer), a principal subsidiary of Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (OPY on the New York Stock Exchange), and its affiliates provide a full range of wealth management, securities brokerage and investment banking services to high-net-worth individuals, families, corporate executives, local governments, businesses and institutions.

SOURCE Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

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iCAN: Israel-Cannabis CEO and Founder Saul Kaye to Participate at the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: canna-tech.co
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

iCAN: Israel Cannabis Founder and CEO Saul Kaye will participate at the World Cannabis Conference being held in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada from June 16-18, 2019.

Kaye, a leader in the global cannabis ecosystem will moderate a session entitled, “Innovative Methodologies and Emerging Topics in Global Cannabis Research.”  Panelists are Dr. Suzanne Sisley MD President and Principal Investigator, Scottsdale Research Institute and, Dr. Jerry King, R&D Consultant, CFS.  The session will take place at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre on June 18.

The World Cannabis Congress (WCC) is an exclusive, invite-only event for international cannabis leaders, influencers and trend setters. The event will have hundreds of attendees from around the world from business, government and medicine.

In addition to his leadership of iCAN: Israel Cannabis, Kaye is an industry advisor to the Medical Cannabis Caucus of the Israeli Parliament, as well as an advisor to the Ministries of Economy and Health in Israel. He is a licensed pharmacist and a successful entrepreneur with both retail and e-commerce experience. Saul has founded multiple companies spanning six countries across the US, EuropeIsrael and Australia.

Canada has truly been a global trailblazer in the cannabis industry.  Canadian cannabis companies and its stock market are influential and forward looking and we in Israel, the R&D capital of cannabis, collaborate with our Canadian friends on many different levels.  I look forward to participating at the WCC as the medicine and business of cannabis develops at breathtaking speed both in Israel and beyond,” said Kaye.

 

SOURCE iCAN: Israel Cannabis

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Loyalist College to launch Canada’s first Technology Access Centre for natural products and cannabis

Vlad Poptamas

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Dr. Kari Kramp, Principal Investigator for Loyalist College's Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis. (CNW Group/Loyalist College)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Loyalist College is the recipient of a $1,750,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program grant over five years to launch Canada’s first Technology Access Centre (TAC) for natural products and cannabis. In addition, Loyalist received $1Mthrough the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) to add specialized equipment to the TAC.

Loyalist was one of 90 recipients at colleges, cégeps and polytechnics across the country to receive part of the $73M in funding, announced today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. Through the CCI Program and the CIIF, this investment will help post-secondary institutions partner directly with local employers to facilitate commercialization and transform the results of research and development into new technologies to help businesses expand and grow.

The rapid growth of Canada’s cannabis, hops and natural products sectors positions Loyalist’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC) as a national innovation hub for small- to medium-sized enterprises. As a TAC, Loyalist will build on the ARC’s 15 years of natural product extraction expertise and analysis-based applied research. In transitioning to a TAC, Loyalist’s ARC will significantly increase the College’s capacity to lead applied research of commercially relevant natural products and cannabis, and to support innovation by enhancing industries’ access to sector-relevant expertise and technology.

The TAC initiative will cultivate an environment for College-industry partnerships to thrive while providing students with unparalleled opportunities for work-integrated learning; investigating extraction, isolation, and formulation; and product development. In partnership with the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC), Loyalist will support the Bay of Quinte’s burgeoning natural products and cannabis sectors to generate regional socioeconomic benefits, and to provide opportunities for a new generation of innovators. Loyalist will also offer companies across Canada a supportive, community-oriented platform from which to enhance their productivity, expand their reach and augment their competitiveness in the global market.

Quotes

“We are very grateful for NSERC’s continued support and proud to be Canada’s first TAC for natural products and cannabis. Loyalist currently has more than 25 companies interested in applied research, and as our ARC transitions into a TAC, we will be able to meet their requirements while significantly extending our network to help more companies to innovate. Our Biosciences and Cannabis Applied Science students will have the advantage of being involved in ground-breaking research that propels Canada forward as the world leader in cannabis and natural product developments.” – Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President & CEO

“It’s great to see this NSERC and CFI funding come through for Loyalist College’s launch of Canada’s first TAC for research in natural products and cannabis. Being able to conduct research in a state-of-the-art facility means that students working in the College’s ARC will be able to build up their expertise in product analysis; which can then be applied directly to commercial development. This is just the beginning of seeing a new series of natural products being designed, assessed, made and delivered from our region.” – Neil R. Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte

“I am so proud to see the innovation that is driving research and economic development in our rural community through Loyalist College’s ARC. Innovation is key to Rural Sustainability and this investment will ensure that we are training the next generation in the latest technological advances. I congratulate them on their NSERC and CFI grant, and wish them all the best of success.” – Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington

“The Quinte Economic Development Commission is proud to be a supporting partner with Loyalist College on this important initiative that is aligned with economic development opportunities and priorities in the region. The TAC will support industry research and innovation for companies in key industry sectors as well as helping students develop in-demand skills and experience. Congratulations to the team at Loyalist on launching this important project.” – Chris King, Chief Executive Officer, Quinte Economic Development Commission

 

SOURCE Loyalist College

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