NEW YORK, March 20, 2019 /CNW/ -- Cannabis is commonly stereotyped as a psychoactive drug, but as research and clinical trials have progressed over the past few decades, consumers have noticed that the plant is much more versatile. Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications: indica and sativa. Marijuana and hemp are also two derivatives of the cannabis family. Marijuana can fall into either the indica or sativa classifications, while hemp is only within the sativa one. An important factor is that the two classifications differ heavily in their biological makeup. Overall, marijuana is linked to causing psychoactive effects, which is why it was strictly regulated so heavily until more recent years. Now, researchers have realized that marijuana can be used for medical applications to treat conditions such as cancer and chronic pain. Then there's hemp, which is the non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, and still offers therapeutic and relaxing effects. Additionally, while the use of marijuana and hemp is more common now for medical applications, there is still a large recreational market, particularly in the U.S. and Canada. The recreational sector of the cannabis industry is still heavily regulated, but many countries have moved to decriminalize the plant, allowing for moderate consumption. Furthermore, two countries, Canada and Uruguay, have adopted favorable cannabis legislation on a nationwide scale. According to data compiled by Verified Market Intelligence, the global marijuana market was valued at USD 42.20 Billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 466.81 Billion by 2025. Additionally, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 35.3% from 2018 to 2025. CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTC:CLSH - News) (CSE:CLSH.U), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY - News), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON - News) (TSX:CRON.TO - News), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB - News) (TSX:ACB.TO - News), Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTC:OGRMF - News) (TSX-V:OGI.V - News)
The proliferation of cannabis legalization in recent years has now positioned the industry to become a major global marketplace. Despite the ongoing global widespread, the U.S. is the biggest market driver, even though extensive legalization efforts will slightly decrease the country's market share, as other regions begin to account for more of the market. Nonetheless, the U.S. remains the biggest driver due to its multi-billion dollar cannabis states like California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington. Now, the next step for the cannabis industry is to leverage the plant in order to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic. Cannabis can provide similar suppression of conditions like pain but requires much less frequent doses when compared to opioids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had already moved to delist CBD as a Schedule 1 drug late last year. Shortly after the FDA's decision, U.S. President Trump signed the Farm Bill into lawl, allowing for the cultivation of hemp, helping to further accelerate the overall cannabis industry expansion. Shortly after, analysts began to project that U.S. states will move to legalize cannabis on their own accord, which could potentially lead to the end of a federal prohibition, and in return possibly influence other nations to follow suit. "Within the next two years, a majority of the United States will have adult-use legal cannabis," predicts Graham Boyd, a cannabis political fundraiser who now runs the marijuana-focused New Approach PAC, via Rolling Stone. "And some of that, roughly half of that, could happen through state legislatures."
CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTCQB:CLSH - News) (CSE:CLSH.U) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE:CLSH.U). is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE:CLSH.U). Earlier last week, 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."
Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY - News) is a global pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis and cannabinoids currently serving tens of thousands of patients and consumers in 12 countries spanning 5 continents. Tilray, Inc. recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda. has completed a successful harvest of medical cannabis at the Company's European Union (EU) Campus in Portugal. Tilray's EU Campus in Portugal is a multi-faceted production facility that includes indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cultivation sites, as well as research labs, processing, packaging and distribution sites for medical cannabis and cannabinoid-derived medical products. To date, Tilray has invested approximately EUR 20 Million in the facility, which totals nearly 250,000 sq. ft. with additional room to expand. Tilray's EU Campus also serves as a hub supporting Tilray's clinical research and product development efforts across Europe. Tilray's EU Campus currently employs 100 people, and that number is expected to double by the end of 2019, with production ramping up and multiple harvests anticipated in the coming months. "Our harvest in Portugal is an exciting milestone for the company as we continue to build our multinational supply chain of high-quality medical cannabis," said Sascha Mielcarek, Managing Director, Europe. "We look forward to utilizing the capacity of Tilray Portugal to supply the medical cannabis market in Europe as we expand our operations."
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON - News) (TSX:CRON.TO - News) is a globally diversified and vertically integrated cannabis company with a presence across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that the CAD 2.4 Billion equity investment in the Company by Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO - News) has closed. As previously announced, Altria's investment represents an approximate 45% ownership interest in Cronos Group. Altria also has a warrant to acquire additional ownership in Cronos Group, which is exercisable over the next four years. If exercised in full, the warrant would increase Altria's ownership in Cronos Group to approximately 55% and provide Cronos Group with additional proceeds of approximately CAD 1.4 Billion. "We are delighted to close this transaction and kick-off a relationship that we expect to lead to significant growth and value creation," said Mike Gorenstein, Cronos Group's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Altria's investment and the services they will provide to Cronos Group will enhance our financial resources, and allow us to expand our product development and commercialization capabilities, and regulatory expertise to better position Cronos Group to compete, scale and lead the rapidly growing global cannabis industry. We look forward to the many opportunities we expect this relationship to create."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB - News) (TSX:ACB.TO - News), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 500,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 24 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced that it had commenced sales of cannabis oils to German pharmacies following receipt of all necessary approvals from the Canadian and German regulatory authorities. Pedanios 5/1 drops have become the first extract derived oil product compliant with the German monograph for in-pharmacy preparation. Aurora is the medical cannabis market leader in Germany. The Company has supplied the German market with dried cannabis flower via Aurora Deutschland (formerly Pedanios) since December 2015, and with Canadian-grown Aurora products since September 2017. Aurora has established a strong brand as a trusted supplier among prescribing physicians, dispensing pharmacies, and German patients. As one of the few companies able to sell oils in this rapidly growing market, Aurora is well positioned to establish brand leadership in the European derivatives market. "Having established early mover advantage in selling cannabis oils in Germany, we are exceptionally positioned to extend our market leadership and accelerate growth of our European operations," said Neil Belot, Chief Global Business Development Officer. "As our global production capacity continues to ramp up, we are able to strategically allocate more product from our EU GMP certified cultivation facilities to this higher margin market that continues to be significantly undersupplied."
Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTCQX:OGRMF - News) (TSX-V:OGI.V - News) is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. Organigram Holdings Inc. recently announced that it had signed a letter of intent with the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). This agreement solidifies the Company's position as a true national player in Canada's legal adult use recreational cannabis marketplace. Organigram now has distribution in place for all ten Canadian provinces. Quebec is an important part of Organigram's national strategy. The Company will offer consumers in the province access to a portfolio of products which will include mainstream, value and premium flower, along with an assortment of pre-rolls and oils. "Organigram's growth strategy has always focused on establishing a strong national footprint and building our brand presence with the Edison Cannabis line nationally," says Greg Engel, Organigram's Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud to work with our partners across the country to help ensure Canadians have access to a reliable supply of premium cannabis products for both medical and adult recreational use. We look forward to continuing to build on these relationships as we look ahead to the legalization of cannabis edibles."
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