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CBD Continues to Accrue Credibility as Major Pharmacies Begin to Offer Products

NEW YORK, April 1, 2019 /CNW/ -- Recently, Walgreens Boot Alliance decided to add cannabidiol, or CBD-based products to its stores following CVS Health in the addition. The two pharmaceutical chains plan to sell various CBD health products such as creams, patches, and sprays. Walgreens plans to sell such products in 1,500 store locations across nine different states. The decision to add CBD products to their stores signifies how rapidly the CBD industry has grown, cannabis and its derivatives were illegal on both state and federal levels within the U.S. Now 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical use. Among those states, 10 states, as well as the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use. The proliferation of cannabis legalization within the U.S. is further propelling the overall cannabis industry because the U.S. is the main market driver. According to data compiled by Zion Market Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at approximately USD 16.71 Billion in 2017 and is expected to generate revenues of USD 62.96 Billion by the end of 2024. Furthermore, the market is projected to accelerate at a CAGR of 21% from 2018 to 2024. CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U), Pyxus International Inc. (NYSE: PYX), Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF), CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST), Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTC: OGRMF) (TSX-V: OGI)

Walgreens and CVS both intend to sell CBD products as healthcare-associated products. However, under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulations, CBD is still prohibited within food products. Despite the FDA's ruling, the administration still approved its first cannabis-based drug, Epidiolex. Meanwhile, cannabis is having a more pronounced globally widespread impact as more countries begin to legalize cannabis for medicinal use. Countries such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, Columbia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and South Korea have all legalized cannabis for certain medical applications. The medical sector accounts for majority of the cannabis market's share, however, as the recreational market has also begun to mature within regions like the U.S. and Canada, the latter market is expected to be the biggest industry driver. On the other hand, the medical cannabis sector is expected to be more widely and readily available for consumers around the world. "We need to derive more value for the market. Given the hundreds of compounds the plant's genetics produce, and our relative lack of knowledge about them and their interactions, there is huge potential for growth in condition-specific treatments and functional delivery," says Liam McGreevy, Chief Executive Officer of Ethnopharm, "The hope is to produce more effective medicines for the patients looking for solutions to their conditions."

CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CLSH.U). The company just announced breaking news that, "The Oasis Cannabis dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the City Trees brand, both of which are fully owned and operated by CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U), have set a new record for the most revenue in a single month, with total combined net revenue in Nevada exceeding USD $1 Million in March, 2019.

The Oasis Cannabis dispensary set a new monthly record, with over USD $560K in net sales revenue. Net sales exclude Nevada state marijuana and sales tax collected from customers. The Oasis Cannabis dispensary is one of the top dispensaries in the state, processing approximately 400 orders per day.

City Trees also set a new monthly record, recording USD $453K in total wholesale revenue from sales to third party dispensaries in Nevada.  City Trees products are now available in 40 dispensaries in Nevada and counting.

Andrew Glashow, President & COO, stated, "In the past 90 days we've made a number of positive changes. These changes have resulted in increased revenue, increased margin, consistent growth of daily customer traffic and an organization that is currently executing at a high level. I am really proud of the effort all our team members make on a daily basis.  In the weeks ahead we look forward to providing additional information including the results of our quarter ended February 28 2019."

 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.

About City Trees - Founded in 2017, City Trees is a Nevada based cannabis cultivation, production and distribution company. Offering a wide variety of products with consistent results, City Trees is one the fastest growing wholesale companies in the industry. Its products are now available at 40 dispensaries in Nevada.

About CLS Holdings USA, Inc. - CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) 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."

Pyxus International Inc. (NYSE: PYX) is a global agricultural company with 145 years' experience delivering value-added products and services to businesses and customers. Pyxus International, Inc. recently announced the opening of its affiliate, Criticality, LLC's, industrial hemp extraction and purification facility located in Wilson, North Carolina. The 55,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility was unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening event on March 12th. The facility is designed to follow good manufacturing practices and operate in compliance with dietary supplement standards. The hemp processed at the facility will be used to expertly craft and responsibly produce "Korent," Criticality's line of cannabidiol oil (CBD) products, as well as develop new products in its innovation pipeline. "Through our investment in Criticality—a North Carolina-based hemp processor—our goal is to become a leader in the production of CBD and related consumer products," said Pyxus President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Pieter Sikkel. "The opening of the facility is a critical step in achieving that goal and is a glimpse of what's to come in the future."

Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF) is one of the largest and longest-operating vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America and the only publicly traded greenhouse produce company in Canada. Recently, Village Farms International, Inc. applauded the actions of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services in descheduling hemp, including its cannabinoids (except for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) in compliance with the 2018 Farm Act and Texas law. Under Texas law, the removal of hemp from the controlled substances schedule will be effective on April 5, 2019, 21 days after the schedule's publication. Texas still must pass a hemp bill to enable the creation of a State Hemp Plan under the 2018 Farm Act and develop a thoughtful regulatory regime to support the hemp industry and protect consumers. Village Farms plans to commence hemp cultivation in a portion of its Monahans, Texas, greenhouse operation upon a State Hemp Plan in Texas becoming effective, or earlier if permitted by Texas law. In anticipation of the Texas legislation passing, Village Farms has begun design and development of the site-specific growing and technical systems to enable hemp production at the Monahans facility. "The descheduling of hemp in Texas is a very encouraging step forward and we would like to publicly acknowledge the efforts of all those working in support of the full legalization of hemp in Texas with thanks in particular to lobbyist Susan Hays and the U.S. Hemp Roundtable," said Michael DeGiglio, Chief Executive Officer, Village Farms. "We look forward to the opportunity to work with officials in Texas toward a roll out of hemp production, including the processing and sale of CBD products."

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST) is a federally regulated licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis in Canada, and the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Awards "Top Licensed Producer of the Year." CannTrust Holdings Inc. recently released its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018. CannTrust reported record revenue of USD 16.2 Million, a 132% increase from the fourth quarter of 2017. Active patient count increased to 58,000, up from 37,000 at the end of the prior year, an increase of 57%. The Company sold 3,407kg of dried cannabis equivalent, a 4.5x increase from 758kg in the fourth quarter of 2017. Cash costs per gram decreased to USD 2.94 from USD 5.16 in the fourth quarter of 2017. "The CannTrust team has delivered remarkable growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. We achieved record sales volume, record revenue and our medical patient count continues to increase, reflecting the quality of our products and customer service," said Peter Aceto, Chief Executive Officer. "We expect the trajectory of revenue growth to continue in 2019 as we bring additional capacity online through our Phase 2 expansion, realize the potential of investments we have made into training and crop yield optimization, implement targeted price increases and distribute our products to more and more consumers. Additionally, CannTrust expects to take bold action to achieve leadership in growing cannabis outdoors. We have entered into Letters of Intent to secure approximately 200 acres of land, which we estimate will add an additional 100,000kg to 200,000kg of production in 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. In combination with our Phase 3 expansion, we estimate our annual production capacity target to be between 200,000kg and 300,000kg. We also plan to become an early-mover in vaporization products and develop further partnerships to bring innovative products to market. These initiatives are the result of thoughtful and calculated work the Company has performed in assessing its growth strategy. This is truly a very exciting time for CannTrust," continued Mr. Aceto.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: OGRMF) (TSX-V: OGI) 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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