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Star Power and Artisanal Cultivation Add New Dimensions to the Cannabis Market

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: rootmmj.com
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The evolving cannabis market has gained substantial popularity through the advocacy of prominent public figures. Cannabis used to be a taboo in most societies, however now, cannabis is becoming a topic that is publicly endorsed by millions. Notably, a handful of celebrities have brought the industry into the spotlight with their support as influential figures such as Seth Rogan, Snoop Dogg, Olivia Wilde, Jay Z, Danny DeVitoWiz Khalifa, and Willie Nelson have all voiced their supportive opinions on the legalization of cannabis. Furthermore, certain celebrities have even launched their own cannabis-based brands for consumers to enjoy. For instance, Willie Nelson operates his own cannabis company called “Willie’s Reserve.” On his site, he sells a variety of products such as pre-rolled joints, dried flower, edibles, and oil concentrates. Moreover, Nelson has his own strain that was bred for him. The strain is named directly after him and causes uplifting and euphoric effects for its consumers. According to Wikileaf, many users have said they feel an increase in their creative spark and are filled with energy. Additionally, the strain is also popular among those looking to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, other consumers have utilized the strain to suppress nausea, glaucoma, migraines, and inflammation. The Willie Nelson strain is comprised of two Sativa strains, Vietnamese Black and Highland Nepalese. Generally, before the emergence of the legal cannabis market, many consumers had no idea where their supply came from. However, following the proliferation of legalization, vendors are required to disclose the seed-to-sale process of the plant to consumers. And overall the plant’s legalization is causing more consumers to avoid the black market and purchase their cannabis from a legal source instead. As a result, by 2024, the cannabis market is expected to reach USD 89.1 Billion from USD 14.5 Billion in 2018, according to Mordor Intelligence. Additionally, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2024. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF) (CSE: CURA), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN)

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 12 weeks to grow, and in some cases, it may take even longer to harvest. Within indoor facilities, cultivators can adjust the environmental settings in order to provide optimal growing conditions for the plants. For instance, cultivators can finagle 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 for the Willie Nelson strain, cultivators have to check the top of the plant to ensure molding doesn’t occur. As such, the proper and adequate growing environment allows cultivators to grow superior buds and yield a larger harvest. Furthermore, some cultivators have taken an additional step to assure that the buds are more potent and natural. Smaller cultivators usually engage in growing “craft cannabis,” which is the meticulous process of growing cannabis by hand. On the other hand, large scale producers grow tons of cannabis and usually use machinery to harvest. The use of machinery can potentially reduce the number of cannabinoids within the buds and also decrease the yield. As a result, craft cultivators tend to hand-trim and monitor each and every individual plant to protect the cannabinoids. “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). Earlier last week, the Company announced that, “its common shares are now listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE) trading under the ticker symbol “ZZD”.

Pasha operates as a brand house representing Canada’s most established craft cannabis cultivators, producers and retailers. This listing serves as the European market’s first look at the vertically integrated craft cannabis organization. Within the Pasha umbrella resides award-winning brands that have firmly established themselves in British Columbia – a region known around the world for its high-quality craft cannabis product. The Company’s common shares will continue to trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the ticker symbol “CRFT.”

‘Our Frankfurt listing is an important step in the Company’s growth, enabling European investors and capital managers to participate in our success as we continue to expand Pasha globally,’ said Patrick Brauckmann, Executive Chairman of Pasha Brands. ‘We are excited to now be trading on multiple liquid global exchanges, which offer access to the Company’s shares for institutional and retail investors all over the world.’

The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is the largest of the seven stock exchanges in Germany with over 1.4 million securities tradable such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, ETCs, ETNs, funds, warrants and certificates.

 

SOURCE FinancialBuzz.com

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Cannabis

Strainprint™ Technologies Welcomes Organic Medical Cannabis Producer to Growing List of Subscribers

Vlad Poptamas

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Strainprint™ Technologies Ltd, the leader in cannabis data and analytics is pleased to expand their nation-wide coverage with the addition of Stewart Farms.

Stewart Farms is a late-stage applicant headquartered in Alberta that is building a 100,000 sq. ft. vertical aquaponics farm in Saint StephensNew Brunswick. They will be utilizing automation, vertical farming, and land-based aquaculture to produce medical grade organic cannabis for both recreational and medical markets in Canada. All of their products will be free of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic nutrients. At full capacity, they will reach more than 10,000 kgs per year of organically farmed cannabis and more than 200,000 kgs of organic tilapia.

Stewart Farms’ long term vision is to deliver tools and products to support  future customers and patients during their health and wellness journeys. “Through our partnership with Strainprint we gain direct access to their incomparable data and analytics tools. This will aid us in educating a wider audience on the medical benefits and best practices of cannabis-based medicine,” said Tanner Stewart, Co-founder & CEO of Stewart Farms. “We know our customers are looking to consume more than dried cannabis. We know Canadians of all legal ages are trying to sort through their personal engagement with cannabis as a medicine. What we want to know, on an ongoing basis, is what is and is not working for people. Strainprint’s patient-led data services will give us the insight needed to create custom products and further understand the benefits of our existing products. Finally, our goal is to partner with companies and teams that truly have people’s best interest at heart. Caring about a patient’s success is what makes up the core of the Strainprint team. We couldn’t be happier to move forward with them at our side.”

Stewart Farms will access the Strainprint Analytics web platform, the most sophisticated cannabis analytics platform available to improve product development. Strainprint Analytics is built on top of the largest and most granular scientific data set of its kind in the world, with more than 1.3 million anonymized, patient reported medical cannabis outcomes and more than 65 million data points on strain efficacy.

“We’re thrilled to provide our real-time, crowd sourced data to an environmentally conscious company that uses innovative, cutting edge farming technology to produce top-tier medical cannabis,” said Strainprint CEO, Andrew Muroff. “Our organizations are equally committed to improving lives using cannabis therapy, and our shared core motivation is to provide guidance and support to help cannabis patients achieve their health goals.”

 

SOURCE Strainprint Technologies Ltd.

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Cannabis

Field Trip Ventures Inc. Retains KCSA Strategic Communications as Public Relations Counsel

Vlad Poptamas

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Greenery Map, the world’s first and only cannabis search engine to allow users to search for cannabis products based on their desired mood, medicinal use, and method of consumption, is now offering users – both businesses and consumers – the opportunity to register and connect to the app in an entirely mobile way. Previously, businesses were required to access GreeneryMap.com from a desktop in order to manage accounts and connect to the inventory API system, but that road block has been removed, allowing for an entirely mobile experience through the Greenery Map app.

App users turn to Greenery Map to help them decide on the strain of Cannabis and product that is right for them depending on their desired mood or medicinal effect. Following the matching, consumers are given a detailed history and description of the strain so that they can make educated purchases, cutting down on time that budtenders need to spend with patrons and speeding up the purchase process. Consumers can then see all of the ways to purchase said product, including the nearby dispensaries that have it in stock, online options, and even delivery options through the app. Greenery Map fully integrates with a dispensary’s inventory API system to update in real-time and give consumers real-time information on dispensary stock for the item they are looking for. The Greenery Map system also provides cannabis businesses in both the B2B and B2C sectors a private database to share and sell information and products. For Cannabis businesses, Greenery Map also offers the opportunity to open bank and merchant accounts through their partnership with PayHouse Consulting Group.

 

SOURCE Greenery Map

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Artificial Intelligence

WeBank, IBM and Other Organizations Jointly Held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning in conjunction with IJCAI 2019

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: chinadaily.com.cn
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Once a concept, AI is now ushering in a key stage of application. What’s the solution to the data silos among businesses? Given the enhanced regulation on data at home and abroad, what’s the solution to data privacy and security concerns? What’s the status quo of Federated Machine Learning and how to establish an ecosystem for FML in the future?

WeBank, IBM and other organizations jointly held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning for User Privacy and Data Confidentiality (FML’19) in conjunction with the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-19) on Aug. 12, 2019, to further discussion on these issues.

President of IJCAI, Chair of FML Steering Committee, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang delivered opening remarks at the workshop. Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google presented keynote addresses. In the panel discussion, top scholars from WeBank, Bar-Ilan University, IBM, Squirrel AI, Google, Huawei, Clustar, Sinovation Ventures and many other renowned enterprises and universities shared and discussed their findings and experience in FML as an emerging AI technology.

This workshop received 40 papers, of which 12 were presented during the workshop, 19 presented via poster. Awards include Best Theory Paper Award, Best Application Paper Award, Best Student Paper Award, Best Presentation Award. Selected high quality papers will be invited for publication in a special issue in the IEEE Intelligent Systems journal. All these attracted numerous scholars to engage in discussions and join efforts for building the FML ecosystem.

Experts from IBM and Google Share Groundbreaking Findings with a Focus on the Theory and Application of FML

Privacy and security are becoming a key concern in our digital age. On 25th May last year, the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the EU, the toughest Act on data privacy protection, stressed that user data collection must be open and transparent. A series of laws and regulations from China and overseas also pose new challenges to the traditional way of handling data and model for cooperation. Seeking ways for AI to adapt to this new reality became top priority, a demand that led to this workshop on FML.

A wealth of solutions and breakthroughs were shared by Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google in their speech on FML.

Besides how FML can help tackle challenges in the business world, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad also shared the concept of Fusion AI, which means to train models on widely distributed data sets, but fuse them to produce one equivalent to what centralized training would yield. “Unlike traditional machine learning, in Fusion AI, model parameters are shared and data is not transferred, which makes Fusion AI model better than models that moving data centrally.” Given the widely distributed data, the development of Fusion AI and FML became ever important and imminent.

“FML enables machine learning engineers and data scientists to work productively with decentralized data with privacy by default,” said Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google. He also shared with us how FML works and its use cases at Google. In the case of Gboard, as on-device data is privacy sensitive or large or is more relevant than server-side proxy data, and labels can be inferred naturally via user interaction, the application of Federated RNN compared to prior n-gram model can increase the accuracy of next-word prediction by 24%, and the click rate of prediction strip by 10%.

Major Figure Panelists Discuss the Way Ahead for FML

The moderator of the panel discussion, AI Principal Scientist of WeBank Dr. Lixin Fan joined panelists including Professor Benny Pinkas from Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad of IBM Academy of Technology, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard Tong, Research Scientist of Google Dr. Jakub Konečný, Dr. Baofeng Zhang from CTO Office of CBG Software in Huawei, Executive VP of Clustar Dr. Junxue Zhang, VP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng and other experts in a host of in-depth exchanges with attendees, to shed light on the way ahead for FML.

Experts shared thoughts in the panel discussion on questions including but not limited to: How to meet the security and compliance requirements? Is there a way to extend the value of data while observing user privacy and data security? Given the classic trade-off between data regulation and development of AI, how to achieve the long-term goal of establishing a stable and win-win business ecosystem?

List of Award-Winners

Best Theory Paper Award, Best Application Paper Award, Best Student Paper Award and Best Presentation Award selected by all attendees were announced at the closing of the workshop.

Best Theory Paper Award: 
Preserving User Privacy for Machine Learning: Local Differential Privacy or Federated Machine Learning? By Huadi Zheng, Haibo Hu & Ziyang Han;

Best Application Paper Award: 
FedHealth: A Federated Transfer Learning Framework for Wearable Healthcare. By Yiqiang ChenJindong WangChaohui YuWen Gao & Xin Qin;

Best Student Paper Award: 
Quantifying the Performance of Federated Transfer Learning. By Qinghe JingWeiyan Wang, Junxue Zhang, Han Tian & Kai Chen;

Best Presentation Award: 
Federated Generative Privacy. By Aleksei Triastcyn and Boi Faltings.

President of IJCAI, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard TongandVP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng presented the awards.

“The mission of this International Federated Machine Learning Workshop is to facilitate further understanding in the academia, business community as well as legal and regulatory institutions by promoting the establishment of FML ecosystem in the hope that more businesses will join and build a platform for students aspired to work in FML to find research teams that suit them,” said Professor Qiang Yang.

Held Aug. 10-16, 2019 in Macao, China, IJCAI-19 is one of the leading International Academic Conference on AI, attracting over 3000 AI research personnel and experts. The 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning (FML’19) was a highlight for experts joining this event. Visionaries in the academia and industrial sector expressed the willingness to be part of the effort for academic research, application of FML in the future, and the development and boom of AI ecosystem.

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