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Government Bodies to Reexamine Stance on CBD and Cannabis Regulations
FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, April 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The upward momentum of the cannabis industry has recently prompted government bodies to reconsider the legality of the plant. In particular, many nations and government agencies are exploring the cannabidiol or CBD marketspace. The U.S. currently has the largest impact on the CBD market, however, countries such as Canada and regions across Europe are also contributing to the overall growth of the industry. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first cannabis-based drug, Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy in children. Shortly after, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration delisted certain CBD-based products off the Schedule 1 list, which marked the first time a cannabis-based product was removed from the list. Now, the FDA is expected to hold a public hearing on May 31st, 2019 to potentially legalize CBD within foods and drinks. The FDA is looking to receive insight on CBD's safety in food products and feedback on how it might regulate its manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sales. A major reason why CBD has been outpacing the rest of the cannabis industry is that it does not provide any psychoactive effects, unlike THC. Compared to its counter component, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD is known to contain less than 0.3% THC, which is an insufficient amount to cause psychoactive effects on consumers. Furthermore, CBD also offers consumers positive therapeutic effects, causing many medical institutions and countries to adopt CBD legislation to treat specific medical conditions such as cancer and chronic pain. In combination with the growing adoption of CBD and its development, the CBD marketplace is positioned to become a prominent global industry. According to data compiled by Brightfield Group, the hemp-derived CBD market is expected to reach USD 22 Billion by 2022. NutraLife Biosciences, Inc. (OTC: NLBS), Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTC: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY), Invictus MD Strategies Corp. (OTC: IVITF) (TSX-V: GENE), Nightfood Holdings, Inc. (OTC: NGTF), United Cannabis Corporation (OTC: CNAB)
One of the biggest barriers currently blocking the cannabis industry's growth is the lack of clinical trials and research. The FDA normally requires clinical trials that have more than thousands of participants in order to provide accurate and efficient data. However, due to insufficient funds and investments, research within the industry hasn't developed as quickly as anticipated. Despite the hindrance, organizations are continually advancing research within the cannabis market. For instance, the UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis has been at the forefront of advancing cannabis-related science and clinical benefits. The organization has conducted or is expected to conduct various studies such as cannabis treatment for bipolar disorder, severe autism, psychosis, and anorexia. Compiled positive data from researches are expected to heavily bolster the industry, which could potentially lead more countries to legalize cannabis. "CBD is the most promising drug that has come out for neuropsychiatric diseases in the last 50 years," said Dr. Esther Blessing, an assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine via The New York Times, "The reason it is so promising is that it has a unique combination of safety and effectiveness across of very broad range of conditions."
NutraLife Biosciences, Inc. (OTCQB: NLBS) announced earlier last month that it, "notes current trends in the retail space including CVS Health Corp.'s announcement that it will carry products containing CBD derived from hemp in about 800 of its U.S. drugstores.
NutraLife announces new additions to its NutraHempCBD product line with a micro shot CBD twist in 5 of its signature formulations including; sleep, pain, stress, weight, and energy. The NutraHempCBD twists are designed for on-the-go convenience and set to launch on April 15 of this year.
'It is encouraging to see that mainstream retail giants like CVS are offering hemp derived CBD products to consumers,' said Edgar Ward, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NutraLife Biosciences.
NutraHempCBD is in the last stages of development of its CBD micro shot twist products offering a single serving of CBD plus other clinically tested ingredients for daily health and wellness applications. The launch of the CBD micro shot twists in its 5 signature formulations demonstrate evolving and innovative retail-ready nutraceutical and industrial hemp CBD products.
Since 2013, the Company has engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of nutraceutical products for both branded and private label sales. In 2017, the Company launched its industrial hemp CBD products for private label sales and its own NutraHempCBD brand. The Company's products are sold at a variety of retailers including drugstores.
According to reports, executives on Curaleaf's earnings conference call said CVS would begin to carry its Curaleaf hemp lotions and transdermal patches in about 800 stores across 10 U.S. states. Chief Executive Officer of CVS, Joe Lusardi said Wednesday that the products would be available in stores by this Friday and through the CVS website "soon."
On December 20, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed an evaluation of three generally recognized as safe (GRAS) notices for hemp seed-derived food ingredients. The agency concluded that hulled hemp seed (GRN765), hemp seed protein powder (GRN771), and hemp seed oil (GRN778) are GRAS as they contain only trace amounts of THC and CBD. The GRAS notices are for three different hemp seed-derived ingredients for certain uses including adding them as a source of protein, carbohydrates, oil, and other nutrients to beverages (juices, smoothies, protein drinks, plant-based alternatives to dairy products), soups, dips, spreads, sauces, dressings, plant-based alternatives to meat products, desserts, baked goods, cereals, snacks and nutrition bars. The FDA's complete release of the GRAS notice can be read here.
NutraLife Sciences is a fully reporting company with a class of securities registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). NLBS recently announced its financial results for the three (3) and nine (9) month period ended September 30, 2018 with revenue of $1,062,146 and $2,870,462 respectively compared to $652,385 and $1,027,727 for the three (3) and nine (9) month period ended September 30, 2017. NLBS's filings with the SEC can be viewed at www.sec.gov. NLBS's CBD products and information about the Company's direct sales program can be found online at https://nutrahempcbd.com and by following the company on Instagram."
Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTCQX: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY) is a vertically integrated cannabis company with diverse operations across Canada and Uruguay. Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. recently announced that, further to its previous releases, it has completed the acquisition of 80% of the outstanding common shares of Inverell S.A. The Transaction positions the Company as a leader in the global CBD economy with a highly efficient, low-cost source of cannabinoids for international distribution, including through the Company's strategic partnership with ICC International Cannabis Corporation Inc. (CSE: WRLD) which provides the Company with access to 16 markets through a network of 35,000 pharmacies. Importantly, the low cost, high purity CBD produced by Inverell gives the Company a long-term and stable supply of CBD to support the research, development and manufacturing of cannabis-derived products at Dosecann Inc., the Company's wholly-owned Licensed Processor facility located in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Hugo Alves, President and Director of Auxly Cannabis Group, commented: "We are incredibly pleased with progress that Inverell has made on the cultivation of its 2019 crop of CBD-rich hemp and on the broader development of the business as a stand-alone entity in the Auxly platform. In a very short period, Inverell has exceeded its 2018 planting target of 150 hectares of hemp plants and has made significant strides forward on the development of its world-class extraction facility located in the Parque de las Ciencias. We continue to believe that the low cost and high volume access to CBD molecules, through our ownership in Inverell, positions Auxly to be a leader in the global value-added cannabinoid-based product markets."
Invictus MD Strategies Corp. (OTCQX: IVITF) (TSX-V: GENE) is a global cannabis company offering a selection of products under a wide range of brands. The Company recently provided an update on its binding letter of intent to create a joint venture with Cannamerica Brands Corp. (CSE: CANA) (OTCQB: CNNXF) and CBDistribution Company Ltd., that was previously announced on January 7, 2019, with the intention of acquiring hemp biomass for extraction into CBD isolate using purpose-built facilities for large scale CBD extraction. The transaction is anticipated to close on or before March 31, 2019. Each of the parties involved have received approval from their respective Board of Directors to enter into the Joint Venture. Once the transaction is closed, the Joint Venture will mark the Company's entry into the CBD market in the United States. The Joint Venture will no longer be purchasing eighty percent (80%) of the membership interests of Z3 Sciences, LLC, as previously announced on January 16, 2019, due to a mutual decision made by all parties involved. Invictus has also granted 450,000 incentive stock options to certain consultants of the Company. Each stock option has an exercise price of USD 0.95 and is exercisable into one common share of the Company. The options vest immediately and are exercisable over a period of five years. The stock options were granted subject to the terms and conditions of the Company's Stock Option Plan.
Nightfood Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: NGTF), owns Nightfood, Inc. and MJ Munchies, Inc. MJ Munchies, Inc., a subsidiary of Nightfood Holdings, Inc. and Global Consortium, Inc. (OTC: GCGX) recently announced that the parties have entered into a Letter of Intent whereby Global Consortium subsidiary Infused Edibles would receive an exclusive license to manufacture and distribute marijuana and CBD-infused products under the Half-Baked™ mark owned by MJ Munchies. With commercial brands in the marijuana space increasingly frustrated by restrictive government advertising policies, both companies believe having the right brand name provides a distinct competitive advantage at retail in this rapidly-growing market. GCGX reported over USD 600,000 in sales in the quarter ending September 30, 2018 and sold over USD 2,000,000 in CBD products for 2018. Infused Edibles has what is believed to be the broadest selection of infused product SKUs. With everything from baked goods, to candies, to nuts, and even jerky, GCGX will evaluate which products can most benefit from the Half- Baked™ branding. Their new Half- Baked™ line would also include beverages. "We're excited to work with a company that shares our vision for national awareness and distribution," added MJ Munchies Chief Executive Officer Sean Folkson. "They have a track record of success in manufacturing and distributing a varied line of products that succeed at retail. We've been working on this for some time, which is why we have not been commenting publicly about the MJ Munchies side of our company. Now, the broad strokes are in place, and we're going to work together to quickly finalize the agreement."
United Cannabis Corporation (OTCQB: CNAB) is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of phyto-therapeutic based products supported by patented technologies for the pharmaceutical, medical, and industrial markets. United Cannabis Corporation recently announced that it had entered into a Joint Venture with Blue Water Green Bridge, LLC a South Carolina company, to establish an industrial hemp processing plant. The new venture is named Magnolia Botanicals LLC. Initially, Magnolia will provide industrial hemp extraction services for South Carolina farmers working under the 2018 Federal Farm Bill and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. The Company expects to expand the services offered to include purification, testing and processing, as well as packaging, fulfillment, and secure storage capabilities. Longer term, Magnolia intends to cultivate and grow industrial hemp in the State. Earnest Blackmon, Chief Executive Officer of United Cannabis, commented on the announcement, ''The Company's successful expansion into Colorado's industrial hemp sector was the impetus for us to seek other regions where market demand was not being met and our expertise could provide value. Working in conjunction with Blue Water not only gives us a foothold in the South East's burgeoning industrial hemp market, it also provides us with a strong financial partner.''
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