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Major Retailers Stock CBD Products as Consumers Focus on Health

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to health and wellness, people have become more conscious about their daily lifestyle habits. According to a study by Nielsen, consumers are seeking functional foods that can help prevent diseases and promote good overall health. Among those surveyed, Nielsen uncovered that 83% of North Americans changed their diet and 74% engage in physical activity to lose weight. The current trends ongoing within the health and wellness marketplace has even introduced new products into the market space. Notably, after the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill, CBD or cannabidiol has grown to become the center of attention. Research conducted has linked CBD to the successful treatment of a variety of health concerns such as acne and anxiety. Moreover, CBD is also being leveraged within medical institutions to aid patients with symptoms associated with conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and chronic pain. Primarily, most CBD consumers use full-spectrum CBD oils which are extracted from the hemp plant. Full-spectrum CBD oils contain many other cannabinoids, plant terpenes, vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the consumer and these full-spectrum oils contain all 20 essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, B Complex vitamins, and vitamins A, E, and C, according to Terra Vida, a Colorado-based CBD retailer. Additionally, the oils also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus. The CBD industry is expected to continue to gain exposure as the overall cannabis industry progresses. Furthermore, as CBD research undergoes, more countries are expected to adopt CBD or even overall medicinal cannabis, in general, to better treat patients, further propelling the cannabis marketplace. According to data compiled by Verified Market Research, the global marijuana market was valued at USD 42.20 Billion in 2017. By 2025, the market is projected to reach USD 466.81 Billion while registering a CAGR of 35.3% from 2018 to 2025. MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTC: MEDIF) (TSX-V: LABS), HEXO Corp. (NYSE-A: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO), Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (OTC: OGRMF) (TSX-V: OGI), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN)

The rapid emergence of CBD has also led many retailers to begin selling CBD-based products. In particular, within the U.S. and Canada, consumers can easily find CBD products at their local convenience stores and pharmacies. Remarkably, major international chain stores such as Amazon, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart began stocking CBD-based products on their store shelves. Most of the products legally sold at retailers are typically oils, tinctures, creams, patches, and edibles as opposed to traditional flower. Furthermore, a recent study by Health Canada showed that cannabis oil sales were up near 56% over flower sales in 2018 and nearly 86% compared to 2017. Oils and extracts are becoming increasingly popular because they deliver a more potent and cleaner form of the cannabis plant with less harmful effects associated with smoking. The CBD, and the overall cannabis, industry has made significant progress within the past few years compared to decades ago when it was completed prohibited. Now, the industry is having a profound global impact in many countries. Moreover, as more countries move to adopt cannabis legislation, others are also expected to explore opportunities within the marketspace. "In a way, I almost think it's becoming trendy to be okay with cannabis," says Samantha Miller, Chief Science Officer at Hmbldt. "We're seeing a reduction in the bias and judgmental discourse around cannabis. More change has happened in the last 18 months than in the previous 25 years."

MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQX: MEDIF) (TSX-V: LABS) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: LABS). Earlier last week, the Company announced that it has, "qualified to trade on the OTCQX® Best Market. MediPharm Labs upgraded to OTCQX from the OTCQB® Venture Market and begins trading today under the symbol "MEDIF".

U.S. investors can find current financial disclosure and Real-Time Level 2 quotes for the company on www.otcmarkets.com.

'As the first fully Licensed Producer to specialize solely in extraction, we have quickly scaled operations to emerge as the dominant market leader in the manufacturing of high quality, pharmaceutical-like production of cannabis derivative products – the future of cannabis,' said Pat McCutcheon, Chief Executive Officer, MediPharm Labs. 'We have embarked on an ambitious plan to accelerate our growth domestically and internationally to become a global leader. Upgrading to the OTCQX Market from the OTCQB Market is another step in our plan to achieve accelerated growth that also demonstrates our commitment to transparency, improving liquidity, and further expanding our exposure and access to our stock for investors to share in the future upside potential of MediPharm Labs.' 

'MediPharm Labs joins the OTCQX Best Market, trading alongside companies that are leaders and innovators in their industries,' said Jason Paltrowitz, EVP of Corporate Services at OTC Markets Group. 'OTCQX enables international companies to provide their investors with a transparent U.S. public market to research and trade their stock. We congratulate MediPharm Labs Corporation on upgrading to the OTCQX Market.'

About OTC Markets Group Inc: OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) operates the OTCQX® Best Market, the OTCQB® Venture Market and the Pink® Open Market for 10,000 U.S. and global securities. Through OTC Link® ATS and OTC Link ECN, we connect a diverse network of broker-dealers that provide liquidity and execution services. We enable investors to easily trade through the broker of their choice and empower companies to improve the quality of information available for investors.

About MediPharm Labs Corp: Founded in 2015, MediPharm Labs has the distinction of being the first company in Canada to become a licensed producer for cannabis oil production under the ACMPR without first receiving a cannabis cultivation licence. This expert focus on cannabis concentrates from being built to cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) and ISO standard-built clean rooms and critical environments laboratory, allows MediPharm Labs to produce purified, pharmaceutical-like cannabis oil and concentrates for advanced derivative products. MediPharm Labs has invested in an expert, research-driven team, state-of-the-art technology, downstream extraction methodologies and purpose-built facilities to deliver pure, safe and precisely-dosed cannabis products to patients and consumers. MediPharm Labs' private label program is a high margin business for the Company, whereby it opportunistically procures dry cannabis flower and trim from its numerous product supply partners, to produce cannabis oil concentrate products for resale globally on a private label basis.

Through its subsidiary, MediPharm Labs Australia Pty. Ltd., MediPharm Labs has also completed its application process with the federal Office of Drug Control to extract and import medical cannabis products in Australia."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring MediPharm Labs Corp. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7ItkgI-W3s

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. Recently, HEXO Corp had completed the first harvest in its 1 million sq. ft. expansion, marking an important execution milestone in the Company's continuous growth. Since early January, plants have been moving into the greenhouse and the first plants have now been harvested. The Company continues to ramp up to full harvest capacity using the continuous harvest methodology, the latest step towards reaching the full annual production capacity of 108,000 kg of dried flower per year. "Completing the first harvest in our 1,000,000 sq. ft. greenhouse expansion showcases the dedication and hard work of the entire HEXO team," said Sébastien St-Louis, HEXO's Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. "We are very proud of our continued ability to execute on our plans, creating value for our shareholders and demonstrating our commitment to our customers. This cultivation milestone means that an expanded HEXO product offering will be available to more Canadians shortly."

Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE) is a clinical stage, antibody-centric, biopharmaceutical company developing new therapies to turn malignant cancers into manageable and possibly curable diseases. Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced that it had established a new business unit to focus on the market potential for its innovative water-soluble cannabidiol (CBD) formulation technology. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been under consideration within the pharmaceutical side of Sorrento for its interesting pharmacological properties and potential clinical benefits in multiple central nervous system, autoimmune or inflammatory disease and pain related indications. "Without distracting from our pharmaceutical business, we have the ability to leverage another Sorrento innovative technology – this time from our formulation experts – and make it available to the broader consumer market," stated Dr. Henry Ji, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Sorrento Therapeutics. "Longer-term, we may consider spinning off our CBD consumer business into an independently operated company if appropriate, while our research and clinical development team continues to explore the potential pharmaceutical applications of cannabidiol (CBD) for the medical markets".

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 applied to list its common shares on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. In advance of anticipated listing on the NASDAQ, Organigram will file a Form 40-F Registration Statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The listing of the Company's common shares on the NASDAQ remains subject to the approval of the NASDAQ and the satisfaction of all applicable listing and regulatory requirements. The Company will continue to maintain the listing of its common shares on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "OGI". "As a management team we are seeing increased interest from investors in the U.S. and internationally and believe that having a listing on the NASDAQ will facilitate trading," says Paolo De Luca, Chief Financial Officer of Organigram. "In addition, based on precedents in the cannabis space, we expect trading volumes to increase which should result in increased liquidity for all investors".

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. iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. recently announced that CBD For Life, a top-ranked, national CBD brand in the U.S. which the Company agreed to acquire on March 29, 2019, had entered into an agreement with Urban Outfitters, a lifestyle-oriented general merchandise and consumer products store with 245 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The agreement places CBD For Life products in Urban Outfitters' e-commerce platform and top 6 retail locations in the U.S. The CBD For Life products are expected to launch in the select Urban Outfitters stores later this month. "Our partnership with Urban Outfitters represents a major step forward for CBD For Life, placing us in one of the United States' most successful retail chains that also serves as a tastemaker for the rest of the retail market," said Julie Winter, COO of CBD For Life. "With the backing of iAnthus, we look forward to further growing our footprint and making our products top of mind for consumers around the world."

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