Rising Number of Clinical Trials and Approvals are Growing the Medical Marijuana Market
October 23, 2018 at 09:00 AM EDT
NEW YORK, October 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Marijuana legalization continues to spread globally, largely due to the potential for medical uses. Here are some companies to keep an eye on in this expanding market. According to a report published by Coherent Market Insights, the global medical cannabis market was valued at USD 3.5 Billion in 2017 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.4% to surpass USD 20.17 Billion by 2025. The report indicated that the increasing clinical trials and approvals of medical cannabis products will drive the growth of the market. Medical cannabis is used to develop drugs that will enhance the treatment for diseases such as epilepsy and various types of cancers. Additionally, the growing acceptance of the mobile application, e-commerce and digital media is projected to fuel the growth of the medical cannabis market during forecast years. CLS Holdings USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC: ACBFF), Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTC: GTBIF), Cannabis Sativa, Inc. (OTC: CBDS), Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (OTC: LXRP)
Canada's new laws, officially making cannabis products legal from earlier this June, are expected to create a pioneering business environment. A report by CBC, University of Waterloo entrepreneurship professor, Nada Basir, explained, "Where I think we're going to see a lot of startup activity around this new legislation is in activities outside the traditional growth and transaction of the product… typically, historically, this is where we see innovation really happen because it becomes the survival of the fittest, and to survive you're going to have to figure out how to scale, how you can be more efficient, how you can save costs."
CLS Holdings USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) earlier this month announced that, "it has entered into an agreement with a Canadian agent (the "Agent"), whereby the Agent will assist the Company in selling on a commercially reasonable efforts private placement basis, up to US$40 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured debentures ("Debentures") with an issue price of US$1,000 per Debenture, convertible into units of the Company (the "Units") at the option of the holder at a conversion price of US$0.80 per Unit (the "Conversion Price") at any time prior to the close of business on the earlier of: (i) the last business day immediately preceding the maturity date of the Debentures, being the date that is three (3) years from the closing date of the Offering (the "Closing Date"), and (ii) the date fixed for redemption (as set out in the Debentures (the "Offering"). Each Unit shall be comprised of one common share of the Company (a "Common Share") and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, a "Warrant"). Each Warrant shall be exercisable into one Common Share at a price of US$1.10 per Warrant (the "Exercise Price") for a period of 36 months from the Closing Date… The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering to fund the upfront loan payment to In Good Health Inc., to fund construction activities at the Leicester facility, to complete improvements to the North Las Vegas cultivation facility and for general working capital purposes."
On September 17th, 2018 CLS Holdings USA Inc. also announced that, "it has executed two Letters of Intent (LOIs) to enter the rapidly growing Massachusetts market. CLS looks forward to the opportunity to enter the Massachusetts market, which has been operating as a legalized medical jurisdiction since 2015 and has approved legalized recreational use.
CLS has agreed in principle to loan $5 million to In Good Health, a licensed medical dispensary in Brockton, Massachusetts with a significant market share. Along with the loan, CLS will have an option to acquire InGood Health. InGood Health is located 25 miles south of downtown Boston and is one of the 38 licensed dispensaries in the state. The Brockton dispensary was the second licensed dispensary in the state and has been operational since September 2015, which has been medical only up until this time. In Good Health is currently servicing 17,000 registered patients and delivering to 1,700 homes with key product offerings of flower, concentrates, vapes, edibles, pre-rolls and tinctures.
CLS has also agreed in principle to form an 80/20 joint venture with CannAssist, which CLS will own 80%. CannAssist plans to build out a recreationally licensed cultivation grow facility in Leicester, Massachusetts. The planned Leicester 86,000 square foot facility is in possession of its host community agreement, is awaiting state acknowledgement of its pending recreational licenses and upon completion will be the third largest cultivation grow in the state. The Leicester facility is anticipated to produce its first harvest in the fourth quarter of 2019 and be able to produce 28,000 lbs of flower along with 858,000 grams of extract once it is operating at capacity. At current pricing of $3,500 per pound of flower and $40 per gram of extract, total capacity is expected to reach $120 million in revenue. CLS anticipates generating substantial positive cash flow from the joint venture.
Massachusetts has a population of 6.9 million people as compared to 5.6 million people in Colorado. Massachusetts is also centrally located to the dense population of New England with a less than 100-mile drive from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. In 2017, Colorado generated $1.5 billion in legalized marijuana sales and had over 500 licensed dispensaries and over 700 licensed cultivation facilities. Massachusetts currently has issued only 39 licensees.
Jeff Binder, Chief Executive Officer of CLS Holdings USA, commented, 'We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to enter the Massachusetts market. It's something we have been eyeing for a long time given the attractive characteristics and recent approval of adult use cannabis. This opportunity fits into our stated objective of entering markets that are on the cusp of implementing a robust adult use market.'
David Noble, President of InGood Health and Partner of CannAssist, commented, 'I am proud of all our team has accomplished to create a leading medical marijuana dispensary. I look forward to continuing our mission and hard work We look forward to the opportunity to be part of one of the top companies in the field. This will ensure that we can provide the highest quality products to patients and customers for many years to come.'
Jon Napoli, Managing Partner, CannAssist, stated, 'We have been working with the city of Leicester for the past 12 months on this project and are pleased to receive all necessary approvals. This will bring a number of employment opportunities to this community and we look forward to being a reliable partner and producing some of the finest quality cannabis in the state.'"
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCQX: ACBFF), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 500,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 18 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced that its common shares have been approved for listing on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"), and will commence trading effective the open of markets, October 23rd, 2018. Aurora's shares will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol "ACB", the same symbol the Company's common shares currently, and will continue to, trade under on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Existing shares of Aurora, which previously traded on the OTCQX under the ticker symbol "ACBFF", will now trade on the NYSE. "Our NYSE listing represents another important milestone that reflects our commitment to all stakeholders as we continue advancing domestic and international growth initiatives, which includes expanding our base of global institutional and retail investors," said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "Aurora has rapidly developed into a globally mature organization with industry leading and technologically advanced production facilities available to produce at unprecedented scale to meet the growing demand for high-quality cannabis both in Canada and abroad. We are also uniquely committed to leveraging our deep knowledge base to further scientific research into medical applications of cannabis, and developing novel, higher-margin product offerings that strongly differentiate Aurora from our competition.
Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF), a national cannabis cultivator, processor and dispensary operator, is dedicated to providing dignified access to safe and effective cannabis nationwide while giving back to the communities in which it serves. Green Thumb Industries Inc. and KW Ventures Holdings LLC recently welcomed the community to an open house on October 2nd at RISE York to tour the facility, meet the RISE team and learn more about Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. This event occurred before medicine was stocked at the dispensary to allow the entire community, not just patient card holders, to explore the site. RISE York will be GTI's fourth dispensary in Pennsylvania and its 14th dispensary in the nation. "We are thrilled to extend our retail footprint in Pennsylvania and to serve more patients in the state while offering additional choices for safe and effective medical marijuana," says GTI Founder & Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. "We believe access to medical marijuana is part of a comprehensive solution to curbing the opioid epidemic, a crisis which has affected the lives of so many in York. Unlike opioids, there is zero risk of overdose with marijuana."
Cannabis Sativa, Inc. (OTCQB: CBDS) is engaged in the licensing of cannabis related intellectual property, marketing and branding for cannabis based products and services, operation of cannabis related technology services, and ancillary business activities. Cannabis Sativa, Inc. recently announced that the United States Patent Office will issue the U.S. Patent number 10105343 titled "Cannabis based compositions and methods of treating hypertension" Marijuana Lozenge on October 23rd, 2018. The invention relates to a Cannabis-based pharmaceutical composition for the treatment of hypertensive disorders by submucosal delivery comprising a pharmaceutically acceptable base and an effective amount of at least one cannabinoid or endocannabinoid containing extract of a cloned hybrid of the plant Cannabis sativa, subspecies sativa and Cannabis sativa, subspecies indica of the CTSX-ISS lineage. "We are excited to see the patent finally get issued", said Chief Executive Officer Mike Gravel. "Cannabis Sativa made a bold deal acquiring this pending IP in the merger acquisition of Kush in 2014, which included Kubby Patent and Licenses. This lozenge patent is the second patent to be granted resulting from that agreement, following the December 2016 issuing of our patented marijuana strain, Ecuadorian Sativa."
Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (OTCQX: LXRP) has developed and out-licenses its disruptive delivery technology that promotes healthier ingestion methods, lower overall dosing and higher effectiveness of lipophilic active molecules. Lexaria Bioscience Corp. recently announced that it has been granted two new U.S. patents. Lexaria now has six granted patents in the U.S. and four granted patents in Australia. All ten of these patents are within Lexaria's first patent family, "Food and Beverage Compositions Infused With Lipophilic Active Agents and Methods of Use Thereof." Specifically, the two new patents are related to certain cannabinoid infused beverage compositions utilizing Lexaria's proprietary DehydraTECHTM process which continue to strengthen the Company's dominant intellectual property in the important cannabis beverage market. Newly granted patent numbers 10,103,225 and 10,084,044 provide protection for compositions as well as methods for making the compositions, each of which include the use of both non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD and also psychoactive cannabinoids such as THC. Lexaria is currently pursuing accelerated examination for patent applications in Australia based on these newest US patents and hopes to receive two corresponding Australian patents granted by the end of 2018.
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