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An Influx of New Users Creates New Dimensions in the Cannabis Industry

- FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, July 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the recent wave of legalization efforts, cannabis consumers are no longer settling for ordinary products. Instead, they are beginning to demand top-shelf goods and innovative designs. During the prohibition era, consumers generally had no idea where their cannabis supply came from and what it was treated with. Moreover, consumers also didn't know the potency of the strains, which could result in a consumer buying either a highly potent strain or a very lackluster one. Nowadays, dispensaries are required to disclose seed-to-sale information to their consumers, who now have access to the strain's information such as what seed was used, what was used to treat the plant and where it had traveled to prior to arriving at the dispensary. Additionally, a dispensary is also required to disclose the potency of the strain. Typically, dispensaries list their strains based on a CBD to THC ratio. For instance, a 1:1 ratio would be more suitable for a frequent consumer, while a ratio such as 10:1 would be more geared for a novice consumer. Normally, a user would consume a 1:1 ratio if they have a higher tolerance or they're a medical patient suffering from severe conditions. However, regardless of the specific consumer market, there is a growing demand for both ends of the spectrum. As legalization continues to spread, the market will introduce new consumers, prompting producers to create milder strains. On the other hand, consumers who have already been a part of the marketplace prior to the legalization will most likely have a tolerance already built, leading to a demand for stronger strains. In conclusion, the combined demand from emerging and pre-existing consumers is expected to further accelerate the industry, as producers will strive to satisfy both segments. According to data compiled by MarketsAndMarkets, the global cannabis market is projected to grow from USD 10.3 Billion in 2018 to USD 39.4 Billion by 2023. Furthermore, the market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 30.7% during the forecast period. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), HEXO Corp. (NYSE-A: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN)

Previously, there was limited knowledge of cannabis and its genuine effects and as a result, most strains' potency was dependent solely on the seed's biological makeup. However, as the cannabis industry continued to advance, cultivators have been finding methods and techniques to better modify strains. For instance, experts within the industry believe they can genetically modify strains in order to make them resistant to negative factors such as mold or pests. Additionally, through the use of biotechnology, growers also maintain that they can change the chemical makeup of the plant and speed up the growing process. For instance, compounds like cannabigerol (CBG) can take up to 10 years to grow, but if it were genetically modified, the process can be shortened to just a few months, according to Ryan Lee, Founder of Chimera Genetic Resource Management. Conversely, some cultivators want to achieve a more natural product for their consumers and this natural and meticulous cultivation process is known as 'craft cannabis'. Craft cannabis is the artisanal method of treating each and every individual plant in order to grow a premium strain. Craft cultivators avoid the use of artificial byproducts to create a more natural product. However, without the use of certain products such as pesticides, cultivators are required to tend to each plant separately to ensure it stays healthy. While the art of craft cannabis is a tedious task, it allows smaller cultivators to grow high-quality cannabis and compete against large corporations that can produce tons of cannabis each harvest. "I completely agree that passion, care and attention to every detail is required to produce superior-quality cannabis with rich cannabinoid and terpene profiles. There cannot be compromises to nutrient-source quality, environmental control nor labor practices," said Kenneth Morrow, Founder of Trichome Technologies. "I firmly believe those who produce the best cannabis, regardless of scale, will always have customers, and those who do it ethically and sustainably possess even more strategic advantages."

Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Earlier last week, the Company announced the "addition of three well-respected cannabis experts to the growing Pasha family: Scientific researcher Dr. Cris Felipe Alves, second-generation cultivator and consultant Travis Lane, and lifelong cultivator Kemal Morris."

As a solution provider to the craft cannabis industry, Pasha subsidiary BC Craft Supply Co. Ltd. ("BC Craft Supply") aims to provide cannabis farmers with the tools to transition to new regulations governing the micro-cultivation licence category. These experts will assist farmers in making that transition.

"I'm thrilled to have these experts join our team, and, with their support, I look forward to disrupting the market with craft products that will help solve Canada's ongoing supply chain issues," said Patrick Brauckmann, Executive Chairman of Pasha Brands. "With these additions to the Pasha family, I'm confident that enthusiasm for craft products will continue to grow."

Dr. Cris Felipe-Alves has worked in academic and commercial settings in Australia, Asia, and North and South America, and holds a B.Sc in Biological Sciences from the University of Brasília, and a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Nagoya University. While working as a senior scientist at a global diagnostics company, he led a team of researchers from discovery to R&D and sales of molecular tools designed to detect cancers non-invasively. During this time, he became interested in the potential for cannabis as a curative agent against several types of cancer. Since then, he has worked as an extraction specialist and a Quality Assurance Manager. He will act as the Senior Quality Assurance Person at BC Craft Supply.

"Here at Pasha, I feel at home and am proud to be part of a brand house that has a focus on craft products," said Dr. Felipe-Alves. "I look forward to helping Pasha generate safe and efficient cannabis-based products that suit the needs of both recreational and medical consumers both in Canada and around the world."

Renowned cultivator and consultant Travis Lane has been growing cannabis for more than 20 years. An organic, living-soil-based cultivator who has advocated for the facilitation of pesticide-free, sun-grown cannabis production, Lane has been involved in the founding of numerous small cannabis businesses over the last decade, including a successful chain of storefront dispensaries, a thriving online mail order service, and was a founding partner in one of the most successful hydrocarbon extraction brands in the country. Under legalization, Lane has divested from the illicit market to focus on multiple Cannabis Act license applications, as well as his work with Groundwork Consulting, focused on government relations and licensing for cultivation and retail, and Levity Solutions, a multi-purpose cannabis consultancy focused on assisting aspiring legal cultivators. He will act as a consultant for Pasha Brands and its subsidiaries.

"The level of talent and expertise that exists in the prohibition-era marketplace is beyond impressive," said Lane. "These long-time innovators will represent a huge market factor once licensed, and I am proud to help Pasha facilitate this next wave."

Kemal Morris is a lifelong cultivator who has had his hands in the soil 'since before he could walk'. He watched his parents grow their own food - and cannabis - on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Soon after Canada launched its first medical cannabis program in 2001, he spent 14 years learning the intricacies of breeding and extract production. In addition, Morris has spent the last four years launching a prominent Canadian Licensed Producer. He is passionate about patients and has connected hundreds of struggling patients with medicine. As the Master Grower for Pasha Brands' owned Vancouver Island Licensed Producer, MedCann, Morris will act as facility designer, cannabis expert, educator and facilitator.

"After completing a four-year term in the regulated industry, I am excited to work with Pasha," said Morris. "I finally have the opportunity to share all that I have learned with the cannabis enthusiasts I came up with, and I'm proud to be part of a company that is breaking the big business mold - affording a rightful place to the people who risked everything to create this thriving industry."

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". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Pasha Brands Ltd. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhaATntJ52Y

HEXO Corp. (NYSE-A: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) is an award-winning consumer packaged goods cannabis company that creates and distributes prize-winning products to serve the global cannabis market. HEXO Corp. recently announced that it is the first cannabis company to join Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), the largest voice of the Canadian food, beverage and consumer products industry. FCPC exists to help its members deliver safe and affordable products that enrich people's lives. HEXO is looking forward to meeting FCPC members in the coming months as the company continues to expand through innovation and reach new global markets. FCPC members are provided unique interactions with industry leaders, helping to shape the business environment, share research and resources, and access educational programs and industry insights. "HEXO is thrilled to be the first cannabis company to join the Food & Consumer Products of Canada, an established and industry leading association in the consumer-packaged goods space," said Sébastien St. Louis, HEXO Corp's Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. "We look forward to working with FCPC and all their members to forge new relationships and potential partnerships. It is an exciting time to be in the ever-evolving cannabis industry."

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently entered into a definitive agreement to provide extraction, and purification services to Tilray Inc. a global leader in cannabis research, cultivation, production and distribution. Neptune will receive, at its facility in Sherbooke, Quebec, cannabis and hemp biomass from Tilray. Neptune will provide extraction services to produce various extract formats which include crude resin, winterized oil and distillate extracts. Under the terms of the agreement, the minimum volume of biomass to be processed over the three year term is 125,000kg, of which the first year is expected to represent 20% of total volumes. "We are thrilled to be working with Tilray, a globally recognized leader in cannabis. The size and length of this contract is a testament to the strength of our commercial, scientific and operations teams," said Jim Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer of Neptune. 

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 that it had obtained approval from Health Canada, under the Cannabis Regulations, to expand operations into its new state-of-the-art building located in Hamilton, Ontario. The 20,000 sq. ft. indoor facility is going to be used for cannabis cultivation; planting will start in the coming weeks. The newly built facility is the second of three buildings at TGOD's Hamilton site, which will have a total size of 166,000 sq. ft. when all are completed later this summer, and an annual production capacity of 17,500 kgs. "This is yet another important milestone for our team as we continue to ramp up production with a focus on executional excellence," commented Brian Athaide, Chief Executive Officer of TGOD. "We have pioneered the concept of sustainably growing all-natural, certified organic cannabis at scale. The product we are able to offer Canadians is clean, pesticide-free and undeniably premium."

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN) owns and operates best-in-class licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities throughout the United States, providing investors diversified exposure to the U.S. regulated cannabis industry. GrowHealthy, a Florida state-licensed operator that cultivates, manufactures and dispenses medical cannabis throughout Florida, and its parent company, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc., will be hosting grand opening events for GrowHealthy's new cannabis dispensaries in Daytona and Orlando, Fla. The new dispensaries offer a variety of locally sourced, lab-tested cannabis products including flower and pre-rolls, vape cartridges, topical salves, crèmes and balms, tinctures, and concentrate dispensing syringes. All GrowHealthy products are quality controlled to the highest degree and third-party lab-tested for heavy metals, solvents and microbial contaminants. "This year, Florida has taken a massive step in improving its medical marijuana law by allowing the sale of cannabis in its natural flower form and we plan to expand accordingly to supply the growing demand," said Randy Maslow, President of iAnthus. "Though Florida's medical cannabis market is large, it remains underserved by the limited number of dispensaries currently operating. As we continue to build out and open dispensaries around the state, we look forward to serving Florida's 230,000 registered patients with high quality, tested, and consistently-dosed medical cannabis products, as well as education and superior patient support."

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