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Expanding Body of Research Aims to Cement Cannabis's Medical Reputation

NEW YORK, July 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The medical cannabis industry is strengthening its roots as medical institutions begin to view cannabis as a viable treatment. Nearly a century ago, cannabis was heavily regulated because of its psychoactive properties derived from the THC compound. However, extensive research and studies have since discovered that the THC compound, as well as other cannabinoids within cannabis, can effectively treat a vast array of medical conditions. Researchers have linked cannabis to the successful treatment of symptoms associated with conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. However, despite the positive data, many of these clinical trials were small scale, which undermined the credibility of the studies. Generally, government regulators like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration require multiple, large-scale trials for the treatment to be approved. However, the FDA did approve the first ever cannabis-based drug last year for the treatment of epilepsy. Specifically, the FDA approved Epidiolex for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which are two rare forms of seizures in patients two years and older. While U.S. regulators have only approved a cannabis-based drug for the treatment of epilepsy, a handful of other countries have approved cannabis for the use with more severe medical conditions. For instance, Germany's Parliament approved the medical use of cannabis to treat spasticity and multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile, South Korea's Ministry allows the use of medical cannabis to treat symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS and cancer if no substitute medicines are available. The current legal uses of medical cannabis may be minimal, but as research continues to develop, government regulators will be compelled to further examine the plant. 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. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (TSX: CWEB), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD), Valens GroWorks Corp. (OTC: VGWCF) (TSXV: VGW)

Throughout the world, many institutions such as schools and hospitals are evaluating the efficacy of cannabis. A multitude of studies have confirmed that cannabis has effectively helped patients deal with their medical conditions compared to their previous medications. For instance, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a study in 2017 and uncovered that chronic pain patients treated with medical cannabis reported a significant reduction in pain symptoms. However, patients using medical cannabis for chronic pain are typically required to consume it everyday. In some severe cases, patients have reported that they cannot go a single day without consuming cannabis because their pain is not tolerable. However, the major drawback is that patients can easily develop a tolerance for the plant's effects. Once a patient's tolerance levels get too high, he or she will need to consume even more cannabis, which can become expensive. As such, many patients have shifted from dried cannabis flower to extracts and concentrates because they are much more potent and deliver the effects almost immediately. Despite the shift, there is still a large demand for dried cannabis flower because it is used to create other cannabis-based products. The quality of the dried cannabis can determine the potency of other products, which is why premium quality is being demanded. For instance, "craft cannabis" producers have become increasingly popular because of their high-quality cannabis buds. Additionally, consumers are beginning to opt towards craft producers because large-scale licensed producers sometimes lack quality. Craft cannabis is similar to craft beer where producers are passionate about their product and typically, craft cannabis producers take extensive measures to ensure top-shelf quality by meticulously monitoring each plant and hand-trimming the buds. Ultimately, craft producers create natural and potent products that are enjoyed by both recreational and medical cannabis users. "The art of cannabis has come a long way from the days of the dime bag, when you had no idea where your cannabis came from, what kind of pesticides or growing methods produced it, or even what strain it was. These days, in the legal cannabis marketplace, you have your choice of the best of the best of "craft cannabis," said Lisa Rough, former Associate Editor at Leafly. 

Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Yesterday, the Company announced breaking news that, "it has submitted a product application package to the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). This application is the first of its kind for Pasha and reaffirms the Company's ability to bring quality craft cannabis products from recognized pre-legalization brands to market in an efficient and timely manner.

Brands included in the application package include: CBD Therapeutics (CBD isolates and oil formulations), Beard Brothers Collective (cannabis oils, vape pen inhalants, and shatter distillates), Theraveda (craft cannabis flower), Aurion (Craft cannabis gel capsules, distillates, and vape oil products), roll model (premium flower pre-rolls and vape oils), Grizzlers (sativa and indica flower pre-rolls), and Earth Dragon Organics (CBD-infused skincare and bath products).

'Submitting this application to the highly coveted and intensely regulated Ontario Cannabis Store signifies that Pasha Brands and its subsidiaries are more than ready to enter the legal market with these products, following changes to federal regulations,"' said Dr. Brigitte Simons, Chief Scientific Officer at Pasha Brands, who oversaw the submission. 'These brands were built by people with vision, and their narratives have been tried and tested, surviving the possibility of raids in the unregulated market and complete shutdowns since October 17, 2018. It's time to bring these highly sought-after craft products to Canadians.'

Through Pasha's numerous craft brands, it is offering the Province of Ontario, and soon, other provincial jurisdictions, the opportunity to access to its differentiated consumer-focused products from accomplished brands. Through its recently acquired Vancouver Island-based licensed producer, MedCann, currently undergoing a name change, Pasha is integrating production varieties of wellness-use craft products including pre-rolled premium flower, extracts, capsules, edibles, vaporizer oils, and topicals into its operations.

Tessa Serra, product manager at Pasha Brands and founder of Earth Dragon Organics, reacted to the news, saying, "I am delighted to see all of Pasha's brands coming together, creating a robust offering of unique craft cannabis products. It is exciting to be part of the transition from the traditional to the new legal market, and I am hopeful our submissions to the Ontario Cannabis Store will bring craft access to an expanding network of people."

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 licence 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"

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Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) is a global pioneer in cannabis cultivation, processing and distribution currently serving tens of thousands of patients in 13 countries spanning five continents. Tilray Inc. recently announced that it has successfully imported Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-certified finished medical cannabis oral solutions into Ireland intended for nationwide distribution. On June 26th, 2019, Ireland's Department of Health enacted the Medical Cannabis Access Programme, which provides compassionate access to medical cannabis for patients in need in Ireland. This new program provides an alternative to legislation that only allows access by patients with a ministerial license, marking a significant milestone for Ireland and the global medical cannabis industry. The Medical Cannabis Access Programme is expected to allow patients to access Tilray oral solutions in the second half of this year. Patients suffering from indications not covered by the program will still have the option to obtain a ministerial license for such products. "This development in Ireland represents an exciting turning point for patients," says Catherine Jacobson, Tilray's Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs. "We're proud to have the opportunity to provide patients in Ireland with access to Tilray's standardized GMP-certified medical cannabis products, and we're thrilled to see an increasing number of countries improve access to medical cannabis. We will continue to do our part to increase access for patients in need around the world."

Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (TSX: CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-derived cannabidiol ("CBD") wellness products. Recently, Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. had entered into a research initiative with Rodale Institute and Natural Care to pioneer regenerative organic hemp farming. The research will be conducted at Pocono Organics, a start-up regenerative organic farm in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  In alignment with its corporate social responsibility values, Charlotte's Web has been active in responsible farming practices since 2016. Over the past five years, Charlotte's Web has been transitioning its hemp farming from conventional to sustainable organic agriculture practices. Charlotte's Web already has certain cultivation fields that have been certified organic as it pursues broad organic certification for its end products. This new research initiative will take that effort further. Regenerative organic agriculture, which has been pioneered and led by Rodale Institute for more than seventy years, goes beyond simply "sustainable" by supporting the ecosystem's natural tendency to regenerate. "We're very proud to be an active partner supporting this research, which aims to bring regenerative agriculture to hemp in this region of the country, through our collaboration with Rodale Institute, Natural Care, and Pocono Organics," said Deanie Elsner, Chief Executive Officer of Charlotte's Web. "As the industry leader, Charlotte's Web aims to continually raise the bar for responsible hemp farming practices. It is our intent that the data from this research will support furthering sustainability for hemp farming."

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) is a publicly traded, premium global organic cannabis company, with operations focused on medical cannabis markets in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as the Canadian adult-use market. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. recently announced its expansion into the global organic hemp CBD market with the launch of its Global Strategic Hemp Division. This new division will leverage TGOD's solid expertise in the European hemp CBD market to fuel growth and accelerate the development and commercialization of new products across its network of international partners. "With the global CBD market expected to hit USD 22 Billion in less than 3 years, it is clear that the segment is drawing substantial consumer demand," commented Brian Athaide, Chief Executive Officer of TGOD.  "Our team has years of direct hands-on experience in the CBD space and we are excited to use this advantage to execute on a fast-moving market expansion strategy. CBD is a wellness product and has a natural fit with TGOD's certified organic positioning and the large segment of consumers who are increasingly demanding natural and organic products.  The time to act is now, and TGOD has the team, the infrastructure and the capital to establish a significant presence in this market."

Valens GroWorks Corp. (OTCQB: VGWCF) (TSXV: VGW) is a multi-licensed, vertically-integrated cannabis company focussed on being the partner of choice for leading Canadian and international cannabis brands by providing best-in-class, proprietary services including CO2, ethanol, hydrocarbon, solvent-less and terpene extraction, analytical testing, formulation and white label product development. Valens GroWorks Corp. recently reported its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Revenue increased to USD 8.8 Million, a 296% increase over the first quarter of 2019. Gross profit increased to USD 5.1 Million, or 58.0% of revenue, for the second quarter of 2019 compared to USD 0.9 Million or 38.3% of revenue in the first quarter. Increased annual extraction capacity significantly to 425,000 KG of dried cannabis and hemp biomass in the second quarter of 2019 to meet increasing customer demand with plans to further increase capacity to over 1,000,000 KG per year with the buildout of the adjacent facility in Kelowna, BC anticipated to be completed in H1 2020. "The second quarter of 2019 provided a number of significant achievements for Valens as the team continued to successfully execute on our commercial production plan which translated into revenues of USD 8.8 Million for the second quarter, a 296% increase from the first quarter of 2019.  This increase in production volume also allowed the team at Valens to achieve increased efficiency targets resulting in strengthening gross margins to 58.0% of revenue in the second quarter of 2019, up from the 38.3% realized in the first quarter of 2019." said Tyler Robson, Chief Executive Officer of Valens. 

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