NEW YORK, May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has achieved historic milestones while fully redefining itself. This was made possible in large part thanks to various legislative victories in some of the largest states in the country, including California. In particular, most legislation passed was strictly for CBD applications, however, individual states then moved to pass their own cannabis legislation as well. Notably, the U.S. passed the Farm Bill in 2018 which essentially federally legalized hemp-derived CBD products. Shortly afterward, many retailers began to stock CBD products on shelves as well as on their e-commerce platforms. And now, as the cannabis industry continues to expand, it is expected that technology will play a pivotal role in the development of the industry. While brick-and-mortar dispensaries will still be popular in legal regions, digital platforms are projected to further accelerate overall sales. And according to data compiled by Ameri Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 14.3 Billion in 2016. By 2024, legal marijuana global sales are projected to reach USD 63.5 Billion while exhibiting a CAGR of 21.1% from 2017 to 2024. Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF) (CSE: CURA), Aleafia Health Inc. (OTC: ALEAF) (TSX: ALEF), Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTC: PLNHF)
The emergence of psychedelics as potential medicinal substances may follow a similar path to legalization as the cannabis industry. Psychedelics are a class of pharmacological compounds that produce numerous changes in human consciousness. For example: last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant, for the treatment of depression in adults who have tried other antidepressant medicines but have not benefited from them (treatment-resistant depression). "There has been a long-standing need for additional effective treatments for treatment-resistant depression, a serious and life-threatening condition," said Tiffany Farchione, M.D., Acting Director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Controlled clinical trials that studied the safety and efficacy of this drug, along with careful review through the FDA's drug approval process including a robust discussion with our external advisory committees, were important to our decision to approve this treatment. Because of safety concerns, the drug will only be available through a restricted distribution system and it must be administered in a certified medical office where the health care provider can monitor the patient."
Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB) announced breaking news this morning that, "it has appointed Damon Michaels to the position of Chief Operations Officer (COO). Mr. Michaels previously served on the management team of Ebbu, a leading multi-platform cannabinoid research and technology firm based in Colorado. Prior to Ebbu's $429MM acquisition by Canopy Growth, Mr. Michaels managed Ebbu's day-to-day operations, including oversight of production, R&D, HR, compliance, supply chain, marketing and business development.
Mr. Michaels also provided guidance for strategic business practices and strategy driving forward the company's mission to develop consistent products that elevate cannabis into the worldwide mainstream market.
After Canopy's acquisition of Ebbu, Mr. Michaels has focused his attention on the thriving medical mushroom space, co-founding Mydecine Group ("Mydecine"). Mydecine is a vertically integrated company engaged to apply the vast medicinal, health and wellness capabilities of the multitude of compounds found in mycology as a whole.
"I've known and worked with Damon for several years in various capacities in the cannabis industry and always knew how incredibly sharp he is. Whatever Damon steps into, he goes in 110%. Through this, Damon has see wild success through his time at EBBU resulting in a acquisition valued at $429MM by Canopy. When I caught wind that Damon was working on something in the Mycology space I knew I had to be involved. Damons rolodex of incredibly talented and smart people is vastly extensive and has already proven to be invaluable to the company. We are so excited to have Damon join the team and are looking forward to an amazing road ahead!
He will transition to overseeing the day to day operations for NewLeaf Brands' as well as working to position its mycology segment for optimal future growth.
"I have strong belief and passion that the world of fungi has vast opportunity for not only medicinal psychedelic research and non-psychedelic retail products, but feel we can also gain enormous momentum to tackle the multiple angles of sustainability applications utilizing the amazing effects of mycelium. Mydecine is poised to be a global fungi leader, especially with our amazing team dynamic and the help from collaborative efforts of others who share the same passion." - Damon Michael - COO - NewLeaf Brands, Inc.
For further information about Mydecine, please visit: http://mydecine.com/"
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Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) announced recently that American-made CBD brand, First & Free, a new line of CBD Creams: Everyday, Motion and Revitalize. The creams are the latest addition to First & Free's portfolio of hemp-derived CBD isolate products including oil drops and softgel capsules, which launched exclusively in the U.S. last December. The new product line includes three distinct topical creams with CBD isolate that has been derived from 100% USA-grown hemp. Each 1.76 oz tube contains 2500 mg of CBD, making First & Free the highest strength hemp-derived CBD topical cream on the US market. (*Based on product portfolios from the top 5 CBD companies according to Brightfield Research Group 2018-19 data). According to Canopy Growth Chief Commercial Officer David Bigioni, "With our new line of topical creams, First & Free is building a portfolio to treat the everyday stressors that affect both body and mind. We're proud to offer the highest strength topical cream on the US market – up to five times the CBD of other topicals – at a great value."
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) (CSE: CURA) announced last month that it had completed its acquisition of three Arrow Alternative Care ("AAC" and "Arrow") dispensaries in Connecticut. Strategically placed in key metro areas, AAC has established itself as a market leader in Connecticut, operating three out of the 18 total dispensaries in the state. AAC's first store opened in Hartford in 2016, the second in Milford in 2017 and the Stamford store opened to customers in January 2020. "The acquisition of AAC further strengthens our market presence in Connecticut, while reaffirming our position as a leading cannabis operator in the United States," said Joe Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf. "As with most Curaleaf dispensaries, Arrow will operate as an essential service business allowing Curaleaf to continue to provide patients with the products they rely on during these challenging times. And like all our dispensaries, Arrow has implemented the additional COVID-19 measures to protect employees and patients while remaining open. We look forward to providing our products directly to Connecticut patients and to building a long-lasting relationship with them."
Aleafia Health Inc. (OTCQX: ALEAF) (TSX: ALEF) wholly owned subsidiary Emblem Cannabis Corp. announced last week that it has secured a Health Canada Licence Amendment for its Paris Facility's 30,000 sq. ft. Phase II expansion, entirely dedicated to the extraction, production, packaging and distribution of finished cannabis products. "The Phase II expansion, our crown jewel, permits an exponential increase in our ability to produce and sell high-margin cannabis health and wellness products in the medical, adult-use and international markets," said Aleafia Health CEO Geoffrey Benic. "The Paris Facility's state-of-the-art expansion, purpose built to meet EU-GMP standards, creates a unique competitive advantage with significant barriers to entry. Coupled with our ultra-low-cost outdoor cultivation, it sets us apart in the cannabis industry. This means greater breadth of formats, greater scale and automation, and ultimately higher margins as we utilize cannabis grown outdoors through our integrated production ecosystem."
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: PLNHF) announced last month that following the announcement on April 13th, 2020 that it had terminated a definitive agreement to acquire a cannabis sales license and lease for a dispensary in Santa Ana, California from Newtonian Principles, Inc., it has renegotiated the terms of Acquisition and has entered into an amendment to the Initial Definitive Agreement. "We've evaluated hundreds of locations in California and continue to believe that our Santa Ana location is the best suited for a Planet 13 style dispensary," said Bob Groesbeck Co-CEO of Planet 13. "While we can't forecast how COVID-19 might affect our timeline, we've negotiated an agreement that reduces the upfront capital invested, gives us control over the timing of fixed costs and provides flexibility on dispensary buildout. We de-risked the transaction substantially while securing the next stage of growth for Planet 13."
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