Widespread Cannabis Reform Continues With Growing Patient and Elderly Use

Widespread Cannabis Reform Continues With Growing Patient and Elderly Use

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, March 26, 2019

NEW YORK, March 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Following Canada's legalization of cannabis and the U.S.'s ongoing efforts, cannabis-based companies have seen their revenue grow substantially over the past few years. In the past quarter alone, major events had occurred within the North American region, bolstering the cannabis industry further. Last year in October, Canada legalized cannabis entirely for both medical and recreational use. Shortly after, U.S. states Michigan, Missouri, and Utah legalized 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 effort 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, is providing positive data, linking cannabis to the successful treatment of certain medical applications. Overall, the ongoing research and studies, as well as legalization efforts, are expected to propel the global cannabis industry. As more positive results about the plant flow in, additional countries are expected to adopt certain cannabis legislation, particularly for medicinal use. On the other hand, the U.S. and Canada are expected to fuel the global recreational market. According to research compiled by MarketsandMarkets, the global cannabis market is expected to grow from USD 10.3 Billion in 2018 to USD 39.4 Billion by 2023. Furthermore, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 30.7% during the forecast period. CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF) (CSE: CURA), KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTC: EMHTF) (TSX-V: EMH)

Cannabis advocacy and use have also grown exponentially over the past decade. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, in 2018, 62% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, which has nearly doubled in the past ten years. Additionally, a New York University study had revealed that the number of U.S. adults between the ages of 50-64 who use cannabis has doubled in the past decade. Moreover, the number of adults ages 65 or older, who also use cannabis, have increased sevenfold. Among the older generation, many are using cannabis primarily for medical applications as cannabis has been associated with the treatment of certain medical conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, Alzheimer's, arthritis, and epilepsy. The explosive rise within the cannabis industry has also led many companies to seek out after funding opportunities as well as listing on major stock exchanges. According to Viridian Capital Advisors, cannabis-based companies raised USD 13.8 Billion in funding in 2018, which is four times more than the amount raised in 2017. "Up until about 6 months ago, the majority of most of the activity was outside the U.S. market because of the continued issue with federal illegality and lack of commercial banking and lack of interstate commerce," Viridian President and Founder Scott Greiper said. "Larger pools of capital, public and private, are starting to get comfortable that the U.S. market will become the largest market in the world."

CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CLSH.U). Earlier this month, the Company announced that, "it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire an 80% ownership interest in CannAssist, LLC. This agreement, along with the previously announced option agreement to acquire In Good Health, marks a continuation towards CLS's goal to become a significant entity in the rapidly growing Massachusetts market.

CannAssist has entered into a contract with the City of Leicester and has applied for a state cultivation grow license. The planned Leicester 86,000 square foot facility is expected to produce its first harvest in Q1 of 2020. This facility is expected to produce 28000 pounds of flower along with 240,000 grams of extract. Once fully operational, total revenues from the facility are anticipated to exceed $100 million. CLS anticipates generating substantial positive cash flow from the grow facility.

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. The city of Denver currently has approximately 364 dispensaries compared with the entire State of Massachusetts, which currently has less than 50.

Jeff Binder, Chief Executive Officer of CLS Holdings USA, commented, 'We are extremely excited to enter into this agreement. The market dynamics in Massachusetts are compelling for large scale cultivation. The current cultivation in Mass is approximately 800k square feet, while demand is expected to exceed 8,000,000 square feet. This opportunity fits into our stated objective of entering markets that are on the cusp of implementing a robust adult use market'.

About CannAssist: CannAssist has entered into a contract with the city of Leicester and has applied for a state cultivation grow license.  It plans to build a facility that upon completion will have 86000 square feet of cultivation space making it one of the top 3 facilities in the state. The company expects to begin operations and realize its first harvest in Q1 of 2020.

About Oasis Cannabis: Oasis Cannabis has operated a cannabis dispensary in the Las Vegas market since dispensaries first opened in Nevada in 2015 and has been recognized as one of the top marijuana retailers in the state. Its location within walking distance to the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas in combination with its delivery service to residents allows it to efficiently serve both locals and tourists in the Las Vegas area. In February 2019, it was named "Best Dispensary for Pot Pros" by Desert Companion Magazine.

In August 2017, the company commenced wholesale offerings of cannabis in Nevada with the launch of its City Trees brand of cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products. http://oasiscannabis.com

About CLS Holdings USA, Inc: CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (CLSH) is a diversified cannabis company that acts as an integrated cannabis producer and retailer through its Oasis Cannabis subsidiaries in Nevada, and plans to expand to other states. CLS stands for "Cannabis Life Sciences," in recognition of the Company's patented proprietary method of extracting various cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and converting them into products with a higher level of quality and consistency. The Company's business model includes licensing operations, processing operations, processing facilities, sale of products, brand creation and consulting services."              

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) (CSE: CURA) is the leading vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator in the United States. Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. recently announced the grand opening of its Gainesville dispensary as the company continues to expand rapidly throughout the state. Curaleaf has the largest cannabis dispensary footprint in the US. Over 1,100 sq. ft., the Gainesville dispensary includes 2 private consultation rooms for patients and a community meeting room.  The company will launch a series of monthly educational events this April for local patients, physicians and community members. "Strong patient demand in the Gainesville area supported the transformation of our fulfillment center into a full-service dispensary where Alachua County patients can take advantage of our compassionate, exceptional customer service and educational resources, in addition to having access to our premium quality medical marijuana products," shared Joe Lusardi, Curaleaf Chief Executive Officer.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: KSHB) is the premier producer of ancillary products and services to the cannabis and hemp industries. KushCo Holdings, Inc., in line with its previously announced sustainability initiatives, recently announced it has signed a long-term development and distribution agreement with IEKO Corporation, for the production of compostable and biodegradable packaging products for use in the cannabis and CBD industries. Pursuant to the agreement, IEKO will work with KushCo to develop formulations and products designed for the unique demands of the cannabis and CBD industries, while ensuring that all new products are environmentally friendly by featuring proprietary, biodegradable materials from renewable resources. All packaging solutions produced under the agreement will be tested using ASTM and BPI standards to guarantee proper certification. Additionally, IEKO will provide dedicated research and development, quality control and account management personnel. KushCo Holdings' Chief Executive Officer, Nick Kovacevich commented, "It's our responsibility to reimagine our products today to ensure the viability of our planet tomorrow. Customers are demanding an environmentally conscious solution for their everyday packaging needs. Partnering with Bob Meers and IEKO is a huge win for us. It's inspiring to see the former Chief Executive Officer of Reebok and Lululemon so impassioned about the environment and I'm honored to be a part of the eco-sustainability movement our customers are yearning for. With a demonstrated ability to design and produce ground-breaking products, we are confident in the capabilities of the IEKO team and look forward partnering with one of California's top packaging engineers."

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. – Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that it had received its license to process cannabis from Health Canada. The Health Canada license enables Neptune to handle dried cannabis, to manufacture and purify cannabis extracts and cannabis oil, and to sell its services to other license holders. With production activities anticipated to commence shortly at Neptune's 50,000 sq. ft. good manufacturing practice (GMP)-certified facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the Company expects to be able to generate revenues from existing supply agreements and conclude additional agreements shortly. Neptune remains on track to complete its Phase II capacity investment by March 2019, which will increase its facility's input capacity to 200,000 kg of dried cannabis from a current capacity of 30,000 kg. This will position Neptune among Canada's largest cannabis processors, with additional significant capacity expansion potential in the Sherbrooke facility of up to 6,000 metric tons to meet global demand for medical cannabis products. "This is a thrilling moment for Neptune as our ambition to redeploy our core competencies to exciting consumer product categories by creating and delivering differentiated formulations for the burgeoning cannabis market becomes a reality. Neptune's long-standing scientific expertise in the formulation of natural health products supports our ability to deliver exceptional quality formulations for our business customers. The processing license granted by the agency puts us on a new growth trajectory, positioning Neptune as a provider of extracted cannabis products in this large, growing global market segment," said Jim Hamilton, President & Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.

Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) (TSX-V: EMH) is a Canadian licensed producer of cannabis. Recently, Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. has fulfilled its first purchase order of cannabis from Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, operating as the Ontario Cannabis Store. Currently, Emerald's cannabis supply is provided primarily through its 88,000 sq. ft. Verdélite indoor facility in Saint Eustache, Quebec, and through Pure Sunfarms, its 50%-owned 1.1 million sq. ft. greenhouse facility in Delta, British Columbia. It is working to expand sources and volume of indoor, greenhouse and outdoor-grown cannabis and cannabinoid products. In 2018, Emerald acquired 500 acres of harvested hemp and expects to purchase approximately 1,000 acres of harvested hemp in 2019. It is implementing steps intended to achieve large-scale extraction and softgel encapsulation of cannabis products. "As we scale up production in our wholly-owned, premium indoor growing facility, Verdélite, and our large-scale, state-of-the-art joint venture greenhouse operation, Pure Sunfarms, we are consistently meeting our supply commitments of Emerald-branded adult-use cannabis in British Columbia and Newfoundland Labrador, and we are now prepared to provide the same service to the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation and other provinces," said Dr. Avtar Dhillon, President and Executive Chairman of Emerald. "We now have distribution access to over half of the Canadian population of adult-users of non-medical cannabis. We are advancing prospective supply agreements that we expect will ultimately give us nation-wide market exposure."

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