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New Marketplaces Emerge for the Rapidly Expanding Cannabis Industry
FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, April 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The cannabis industry has reached some significant milestones in recent years. Perhaps most notably, Canada's legalization of recreational use cannabis was a historic event, marking the country as the first G-7 to legalize cannabis entirely. However, the remaining G-7 nations, excluding Japan, have since adopted a form of cannabis legislation. The G-7, or Group of Seven, is classified as the seven countries with the largest economies in the world as collectively, the seven nations account for 58% of global wealth. France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and the majority of the U.S. have all legalized cannabis for medicinal use. Additionally, the U.S. has ten states, and the District of Columbia, that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. On a regional basis, the North American segment is expected to account for the largest share within the cannabis industry. However, other emerging countries such as Australia and Germany are also expected to become multi-billion marketplaces by 2027, according to ArcView Research and BDS Analytics. The South American region is also expected to become a major marketplace because of its fertile land and the lenient stance countries have on cannabis regulations. Overall, the collective effort from nations around the world is further accelerating the global cannabis industry. According to data compiled by Verified Market Intelligence, 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, registering a CAGR of 35.3% from 2018 to 2025. Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC: BBRRF) (CSE: BBM), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTC: KHRNF) (TSX-V: KHRN), PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC: PHCEF) (TSXV: PCLO)
While the North American region remains a booming marketplace, the Latin American region has also become highly attractive in recent times. Companies have begun to establish operations in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, and Chile. Moreover, most of these countries have all legalized cannabis on a medical level, while others have also decriminalized the plant. While the LATAM region is an untapped market for many large corporations, the fertile land and cost-effective growing processes are also major factors as to why companies have expanded to the south. According to Craig Dempsey, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Biz Latin Hub Group, citing a report, the cost of construction and facilities in LATAM can be as much as 80% cheaper than it would be in North America or Europe. Furthermore, companies can cultivate within the LATAM region then export cannabis elsewhere pending on licensing agreements. For instance, The Ministry of Health and Social Protection in Colombia can grant licenses to cannabis-based business. Specifically, the license allows companies to distribute within Colombia, conduct scientific researches, and export products, with the exception of flower. "In the past couple of years, Latin America has emerged as a key player in the legal cannabis market, at a time when ten major countries have legalized the use of the substance," said Dempsey, "There are further opportunities for businesses looking to establish a presence in Latin America, with Chile and Colombia topping the bill. If you're looking for investment opportunities Colombia-based, for example, then you'll be able to take advantage of the country's plan to encourage recreational cannabis legislation, which will no doubt include the ability for businesses to grow cannabis on an industrial scale for local and international use."
Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTCQB: BBRRF) (CSE: BBM) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: BBM). Earlier last week, the Company announced the, "appointment of Eduardo Molinari, a former executive of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) ("Abbott") and AbbVie Ltd. (NYSE: ABBV) ("AbbVie") as Chief Marketing Officer. Mr. Molinari will lead the development and implementation of the Company's marketing strategies, directing these initiatives in the local and international markets.
Dr Patricio Stocker, Chief Executive Officer of the Company stated, "We are proud to welcome Mr. Molinari to our management team. Eduardo is a highly successful pharmaceutical industry executive as most recently demonstrated through his development of very successful marketing strategies at Abbott and AbbVie in Latin America. This experience along with his deep relationships will be a tremendous asset for us. Blueberries will continue to add world-class senior executives to its management team in an effort to capture a leadership share of the Latin American and international medical cannabis industry."
Mr. Molinari stated "I am excited to join Blueberries as the company continues to execute on their unique business model. The combination of world-class management, strategic Latin American facilities and global partnerships presents a very compelling opportunity. I'm eager to leverage my experience and relationships to contribute to the company's long-term success in the international marketplace."
Mr. Molinari has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having held executive leadership positions in countries across Latin America, most recently VP Region North – Latin America of AbbVie until December 2018. In 2012, when Abbott spun out it's pharmaceutical business to form AbbVie, Mr. Molinari left Abbott to establish AbbVie in Latin America where he played a key role in the growth of the company in the region. His business expertise is combined with deep experience in R&D both in academia at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and in the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Molinari has shown continued growth as a leader in the industry with a commitment to bringing healthcare solutions to patients globally.
Mr. Molinari has been granted options (the 'Options') to purchase up to 200,000 common shares in the capital of the Company, pursuant to the Company's stock option plan. The Options are exercisable at a price of $0.75 per share.
About Blueberries Medical Corp: Blueberries is a Latin American licensed producer of naturally grown premium quality cannabis with its primary operations ideally located in the Bogotá Savannah of central Colombia and operations currently being established in Argentina. The Company is led by a specialized team with proprietary expertise in agriculture, genetics, extraction, medicine, pharmacology and marketing, Blueberries is fully licensed for the cultivation, production, domestic distribution, and international export of CBD and THC-based medical cannabis in Colombia. Blueberries' combination of leading scientific expertise, agricultural advantages and distribution arrangements has positioned the Company to become a leading international supplier of naturally grown, processed, and standardized medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products."
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AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. AbbVie recently announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31st, 2018. The report included Full-Year Diluted EPS of USD 3.66 on a GAAP Basis; Adjusted Diluted EPS of USD 7.91 Reflects Growth of 41.3%; Delivered Full-Year Net Revenues of USD 32.753 Billion on a GAAP Basis; Adjusted Net Revenues of USD 32.733 Billion Increased 15.2% on an Operational Basis; Full-Year Global HUMIRA Sales of USD 19.936 Billion Increased 8.2% on a Reported Basis, or 7.4% on an Operational Basis; Full-Year Global Net Revenues from the Hematologic Oncology Portfolio Were USD 3.934 Billion, an Increase of 45.9% on a Reported Basis; Full-Year Global IMBRUVICA Net Revenues Were USD 3.590 Billion, an Increase of 39.5%; Full-Year Global VENCLEXTA Net Revenues Were USD 344 Million; Full-Year Global HCV Net Revenues Were USD 3.616 Billion. Abbvie provided 2019 GAAP Diluted EPS Guidance Range of USD 7.39 to USD 7.49; Provides 2019 Adjusted Diluted EPS Guidance Range of USD 8.65 to USD 8.75, Representing Growth of 10.0% at the Midpoint. "We delivered exceptional performance in 2018, including operational revenue growth of more than 15 percent and EPS growth above 40 percent," said Richard A. Gonzalez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AbbVie. "We're entering an important new phase for AbbVie. The continued momentum of our business, combined with the launch and ramp of several new products, will allow us to drive strong earnings growth once again in 2019 and position us for growth over the longer term."
KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: KSHB) is the premier producer of ancillary products and services to the cannabis and hemp industries. KushCo Holdings, Inc., in line with its previously announced sustainability initiatives, recently announced it has signed a long-term development and distribution agreement with IEKO Corporation, for the production of compostable and biodegradable packaging products for use in the cannabis and CBD industries. Pursuant to the agreement, IEKO will work with KushCo to develop formulations and products designed for the unique demands of the cannabis and CBD industries, while ensuring that all new products are environmentally friendly by featuring proprietary, biodegradable materials from renewable resources. All packaging solutions produced under the agreement will be tested using ASTM and BPI standards to guarantee proper certification. Additionally, IEKO will provide dedicated research and development, quality control and account management personnel. KushCo Holdings' Chief Executive Officer, Nick Kovacevich commented, "It's our responsibility to reimagine our products today to ensure the viability of our planet tomorrow. Customers are demanding an environmentally conscious solution for their everyday packaging needs. Partnering with Bob Meers and IEKO is a huge win for us. It's inspiring to see the former Chief Executive Officer of Reebok and Lululemon so impassioned about the environment and I'm honored to be a part of the eco-sustainability movement our customers are yearning for. With a demonstrated ability to design and produce ground-breaking products, we are confident in the capabilities of the IEKO team and look forward partnering with one of California's top packaging engineers."
Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQB: KHRNF) (TSX-V: KHRN) is positioned to be the dominant integrated cannabis company in Latin America. Khiron Life Sciences Corp. recently announced that the Company participated in Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna on March 14-17 in Bologna, Italy. Recognized as the largest and most important event in the beauty buyers' calendar, this event brought the Company's Kuida® cosmeceutical portfolio to a global network of retail buyers and distributors. Kuida®, the first consumer brand for Khiron's wellness unit, brings the benefits of cannabidol (CBD) to a comprehensive portfolio of skin and body care products for women. Launched in Colombia in October 2018 through retail, wholesale and online channels, Kuida® will now target the global skincare market which, according to Euromonitor International is expected to reach USD 131 Billion in 2019. Elsa Navarro, Skin Unit Director, Khiron life Sciences Corp., states "CBD-based products are rapidly taking centre stage on the global skincare market. With our proven product development and marketing experience it is important for Kuida® to participate in the industry discussion on product innovation, consumer education, legislation, distribution and marketing, in order to assist retail buyers in making informed buying decisions."
PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC: PHCEF) (TSXV: PCLO) is a global company, headquartered in Canada, with a focus on ethical and sustainable processing and supplying of all natural, medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products to large channel distributors. PharmaCielo Ltd. recently announced that its Colombian subsidiary had received approval for the listing of 10 proprietary and unique tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) strains with the national cultivar registry. The Company can now proceed to commercial registration, production and sale of these strains within Colombia as well as for export to global markets. "Approval of these strains strengthens and confirms PharmaCielo's position as the leading producer in Colombia," said Federico Cock-Correa, President and Chief Executive Officer of PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings S.A.S. "Among those approved is an historic and unique CBD-dominant strain approved for commercial registration and sourced from the Colombian landrace strains held within our fuente semillera,1 the first and only one of its kind registered in Colombia."
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