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Craft Cultivators Strive to Sate Consumers' Desire for More Potent Cannabis
NEW YORK, July 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cannabis legalization has gained tremendous momentum throughout recent years due to the strong public support it has. In particular, most countries are exploring opportunities within the medical cannabis market, as government regulators and medical institutions are advocating the use of cannabis for certain medical applications such as treating symptoms associated with cancer, chronic pain, Alzheimer's Parkinson's, and epilepsy. Currently, countries including Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Spain, and parts of the U.S. have legalized medicinal cannabis. Notably, Canada and the U.S. represent two of the largest markets because of their flourishing recreational market. Canada moved to legalize cannabis entirely in late 2018, but the plant remains federally illegal in the U.S. However, despite the federal regulations, U.S. states were granted the jurisdiction to legalize cannabis or maintain its prohibition. Ultimately, the overwhelming support eventually led to more than half the country legalizing medical cannabis and just over a fifth legalizing its recreational use. Specifically, the U.S. is the primary growth driver for the global legal cannabis market as the country accounts for the majority of the market because of its early adoption. Dating back to 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis. Nearly two decades later, in 2014, Colorado and Washington state made history by becoming the first to legalize recreational use. Moreover, in October 2018, Canada reached a major milestone after it became the second nation ever to completely legalize cannabis. Nonetheless, despite Canada's legalization, the U.S. still accounts for the majority of the market share. However, the Canadian market is continuing to mature and in combination with the U.S. marketplace, the North American region is positioned for exponential growth. Currently, the medical sector dominates that cannabis marketplace, but as the recreational segment continues to accelerate throughout the region, industry experts believe there will be a shift in market shares between the two markets. And according to data compiled by Imarc Group, the North American legal cannabis market is expected to reach USD 35 Billion by 2023 from USD 8 Billion in 2017. Additionally, the market is expected to register a healthy CAGR of 28% throughout the forecast period. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF) (CSE: CURA), Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTC: PLNHF) (CSE: PLTH)
Most medical patients prescribed cannabis usually require potent strains. Oftentimes, the severity of their conditions affect their daily lives and as a result, a stronger strain can better subdue their symptoms and allow for a more manageable day. For instance, someone who may have just received approval for medical cannabis is more likely to use a CBD dominant product. On the other hand, a frequent user is more likely to use a THC dominant strain. In order to produce a suitable strain, cultivators must carefully pick specific seeds with the relevant genetic makeup. Unfortunately, it is difficult to increase the CBD content within strains because the cannabinoid relies solely on the seed's genetic compound. As such, cultivators use a low-THC and high-CBD seed to maximize the CBD levels in their buds. On the other hand, THC products can see their potency grow with a favorable growing environment and procedure. To note, the majority of the potency lies on the buds within trichomes. In order to promote trichome growth, cultivators have engaged in a meticulous process whose end process they call "craft cannabis." Similar to other craft artisans, craft cultivators aim to produce premium products for consumers. Specifically, they take extensive measures to ensure products are of high quality and potency. Depending on the plant, growth factors such as harvest time, plant care, light levels, and the curing process play a large role in the outcome of the strain's pedigree. Furthermore, craft cultivators generally tend to hand-trim their plants to preserve as much of the buds as they can. Hand-trimming is a much more effective but laborious way to maximize the cannabinoids within the buds. Consequently, the painstaking process of growing craft cannabis results in quality that most large-scale licensed producers cannot compete against. As such, craft cultivators are able to stay ahead of the competition while maintaining higher than average prices of the quality. "I'd certainly like to see a definition of 'craft' that eliminates the big companies from sliding in and pretending that they're 'craft'," said Brian Taylor, member of the Craft Cannabis Association of B.C. "There's enough small growers across Canada, particularly here in B.C., to really make it worthwhile."
Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Earlier yesterday, the company announced breaking news that, "it has signed an agreement with Great North Distributors, Inc. ("Great North"), Canada's first national sales broker for legalized adult-use cannabis, to distribute Pasha's craft cannabis products throughout Canada.
Through the newly formed partnership, Great North will give Pasha Brands access to its nationwide sales and distribution network, which includes experienced sales and marketing teams, established relationships with all government cannabis distribution boards, as well as coverage with Canada's numerous private retailers.
"Our agreement with Great North is very significant for a variety of reasons," said Jason Longden, CEO of Pasha Brands. "Through BC Craft Supply Co., small craft producers throughout Canada will now have nationwide sales representation for their world-famous craft products – without ever having to make a sales call. The Great North leadership team's experience in the wine and spirits sector translates well into the newly established Canadian cannabis industry and is of great value as we look to build our business throughout Canada."
Established by the owners of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, the world's preeminent distributor for beverage alcohol, Great North has reach across every province in Canada, including established relationships and expertise in working with provincially-owned and operated retailers and private retailers. Great North applies industry-leading data analytics capabilities from the wine and spirits industry to the new cannabis industry, providing suppliers with a powerful data-driven approach to cannabis sales.
Doug Wieland, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of Canada and Great North Distributors, provided insight into the decision to partner with Pasha Brands, saying, 'Having spent the past year meeting the Pasha team and craft producers in BC Craft Supply Co.'s supply chain, we believe that the next big move in Canada's cannabis sector will be craft products. We look forward to bringing these products to market in a timely and accessible fashion and can't wait to see how Canadians react to this highly coveted class of cannabis products.'
With a proven track record of performance and driving sales from coast-to-coast, Great North will ensure that Pasha Brands, its subsidiaries and their products will be well-represented at cannabis retailers across the country. Great North's established cannabis sales team has been operational pre-legalization and will be responsible for selling Pasha's growing portfolio of brands and products to Canadian cannabis retailers.
Under the agreement, BC Craft Supply Co. will purchase cannabis products from licensed micro-cultivators for processing and sell the finished products through provincial and territorial government distribution systems in Canada.
About Pasha Brands: Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a vertically integrated, prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry, which boasts an international reputation. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella. Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a license to sell medical cannabis products in Canada. Pasha and BC Craft are also developing a craft cannabis campus, which is dedicated to bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada. BC Craft is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market. Pasha's common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol "CRFT" and on the FSE under the symbol "ZZD". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com"
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Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) 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 received a standard manufacturing license and a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification, in accordance with the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) standards, for its Biocant Park manufacturing facility in Cantanhede, Portugal. This license and certification allow Tilray Portugal to manufacture and export GMP-certified dried cannabis as an active substance for medicinal products. Tilray has established sales and distribution arrangements to supply medical cannabis through major pharmaceutical distribution channels throughout Germany and the European Union (EU). This license and certification further enhances Tilray's capacity to serve international markets such as Germany and other EU member states, as well as none-EU jurisdictions that recognize EU GMP certification. "This licensing and certification marks a critical milestone for our growth in Portugal and Europe. We're proud to increase our international export capacity and are looking forward to exporting dried cannabis as active substances from our EU Campus to legal jurisdictions in the EU and other international markets," said Sascha Mielcarek, Managing Director, Europe. "The next phase of GMP certification will allow us to utilize the full capacity of our multi-faceted facility and continue to serve more patients in-need."
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) is a self-advised Maryland corporation focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized industrial properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for their regulated medical-use cannabis facilities. Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. recently announced that it closed on the acquisition of a property in Saxton, Pennsylvania, which comprises two buildings totaling approximately 266,000 sq. ft. of industrial space. The purchase price for the Pennsylvania property was USD 13.0 Million. Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, IIP entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with a subsidiary of Green Leaf Medical, LLC, which intends to operate the property as a licensed medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing facility. Green Leaf Medical has redeveloped approximately 103,000 sq. ft. of the industrial space for medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing, with the remaining approximately 163,000 sq. ft. of industrial space available for future redevelopment. "We are pleased to add multi-state operator Green Leaf Medical to our premier tenant roster," said Paul Smithers, President and Chief Executive Officer of IIP. "Green Leaf Medical has achieved tremendous success in Maryland in a short period of time, and is focused on replicating that model across a number of states, including Pennsylvania. We are thrilled to serve as one of their capital sources to allow them to continue those expansion initiatives and reach an ever-growing number of patients across the Northeast."
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 opening of its 25th Florida dispensary at 610 Lake Minnie Drive, as the company continues to expand rapidly throughout the state. Curaleaf has the largest cannabis dispensary footprint in the US, with 48 dispensaries across the country. Curaleaf is commemorating the grand opening of Sanford's first medical marijuana dispensary by providing a sneak-preview to its newest product - Curaleaf Shatter, at the dispensary. Processed using the industry's cleanest, most medically precise extraction and purification methods combined with decades of horticultural experience, Curaleaf Shatter offers patients with qualifying medical conditions a new product option that physicians may consider for their patients. Curaleaf medical cannabis products are also available in the forms of capsules, oils, distillates, concentrates, vaporizer pens, pre-rolls, smokable flower, and topical creams. "In opening our 3rd Orlando area medical marijuana dispensary, we are proud to be able to provide patients in the communities of Sanford, Lake Mary, Lake Monroe, Longwood, Winter Springs, and Midway, Florida with access to Curaleaf's premium quality products and educational resources," shared Joe Lusardi, Curaleaf Chief Executive Officer.
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: PLNHF) (CSE: PLTH) is a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Nevada, with award-winning cultivation, production and dispensary operations in Las Vegas. Planet 13 Holdings Inc. recently announced that it had aligned with PAX Labs, the leading vaporizer technology brand, to create a premium flagship display space within the Planet 13 Complex, featuring PAX devices and other accessories. "We are pleased to partner with PAX to provide Planet 13 customers with a unique shopping experience. PAX products will be displayed in a significant merchandising area within the Planet 13 Superstore. The new PAX merchandising area will be designed to help educate consumers, and promote PAX devices, all while offering new experiences to Planet 13 customers," said Larry Scheffler, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Planet 13. "The Superstore continues to see over 3,000 visitors a day on average, ~85% from out of state, making it the perfect place to introduce, educate, and create a lasting connection between a brand and a national customer base."
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