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Alcohol Consumption Drops With Cannabis Legalization Abound

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The steady decrease in alcohol consumption has led consumers to find new alternatives. And specifically, the rise of cannabis is directly correlated with declining alcohol consumption rates. Investment bank firm Cowen & Co. reported that legal adult use cannabis states witnessed binge drinking rates fall by 9% below the national average, and 11% below non-cannabis states. However, newly added states such as California and Nevada currently have higher rates of binge drinking intensity and lower levels of cannabis consumption. As a result, Cowen said it is reasonable to assume that as more states legalize adult use cannabis, the alcohol binge drinking rates will begin to falter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 17% of the U.S. population engaged in binge drinking, meaning that 1 in 6 reported doing so 4 or more times a month. In states that legalized adult use, the number of binge drinking sessions per month was 9% below the national average. In particular, many millennials have opted to consume cannabis over drinking alcohol. For instance, according to a MarketWatch article, a millennial said that she prefers to consume cannabis over alcohol because it saves her more money and doesn’t cause intoxicating effects of alcohol. According to a Yahoo News poll in 2017, it was concluded that the majority of the 55 million recreational marijuana users in the U.S. are millennials. Meanwhile, a national survey conducted by the Monitoring the Future Study uncovered that the share of college students drinking alcohol daily fell from 4.3% in 2016 to 2.2% in 2017. Furthermore, Cowen & Co. analysts project the U.S. cannabis market to reach sales of approximately USD 75 Billion by 2030. And while the U.S. accounts for a majority of the global cannabis market share, other regions are rapidly emerging and witnessing faster growth rates. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD).

Canada became just the second nation ever to legalize cannabis in 2018. However, despite legalizing cannabis, the industry still faces multiple legal barriers in the country. Nonetheless, the Canadian market is positioned to become a major industry growth factor, as ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics expect the legal cannabis spending in Canada to grow at a CAGR of 44.4% throughout a forecast period until 2024. Compared to a previous report by the two research firms, the Canadian market is accelerating at a faster rate than the projected worldwide legal spending CAGR of 26.7% over a five-year frame from 2017 to 2022. Canada’s cannabis legal spending is also expected to grow at a much more rapid rate compared to other regions primarily because of its large addressable market. In comparison, Uruguay’scannabis market is relatively small, despite having legalized cannabis entirely nearly 6 years ago. In 2018, it was estimated that 147,000 Uruguayans between the ages 18 and 65 consumed cannabis, according to CBS. On the other hand, Statistics Canada estimated that approximately 5.3 million or 18% of Canadians aged 15 years and older reported using cannabis during the first quarter of legalization. However, a major drawback to a large consumer base is that it makes it challenging for cultivators and vendors to meet the demand, especially when the industry is relatively new. Generally, large-scale corporations stand out among the competition and thrive because of their efficiency. However, smaller businesses have turned to the art of cultivating “craft cannabis” in order to compete with the industy’s behemoths. Craft cannabis is known to come from an attentive procedure of tending to each individual plant to ensure premium and high-quality buds. The tedious process requires growers to constantly examine each plant to avoid molding or infestations and while the process may be laborious and tiresome, craft cultivators are able to achieve a premium end product that large-scale companies are unable to grow.  “A lot of the licensed producers right now, their goal as publicly traded companies is producing the cheapest cannabis possible for the commercial market,” said Lisa Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Lifford Cannabis Solutions. “A lot of people say hand-trimmed buds is craft, so the trim is really important. If it’s dense and not fluffy, it’s great, and obviously, smell and flavour are factors. It’s like getting a bottle of wine for thousands of dollars – there will be certain products that will fetch a premium.”

Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Earlier last month, 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 AustraliaAsia, 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.’

 

SOURCE FinancialBuzz.com

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Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce Announces Nationwide “GACC Certified™” Testing and Purity Standards Program for Cannabis Products; Responds to Vape-Related Illness Outbreak

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The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), a trade organization representing a major cross-section of the global cannabis industry, today announced the launch of a nationwide, voluntary industry certification standard for safety and purity in cannabis product testing. It is expected by the end of 2020 this program will be available to all state-licensed cannabis operations.  It gives licensed sellers and consumers confidence that the legal products that are approved under this program meet accepted safety and purity standards and are genuine. The standards and testing protocols are expected to meet or exceed the most stringent state standards currently in effect.

“Current laws make it impossible to assure the public that in every one of the 33 states where cannabis has been legalized, that there are uniform accepted standards for safety and purity even though consumers may well use legal product when in different states.  Until federal law is corrected this problem will continue to exist,” said Randal John Meyer, Executive Director at GACC.

“GACC wants to establish a means by which consumers can have confidence in the products they buy and to provide industry the tools to give this assurance. Members will have access to a coordinated national network of ISO certified laboratories that will use scientifically sound and accepted test methods to assure that cannabis meets the most appropriate safety and purity standards,” said GACC President Rezwan Khan. “By the end of next year, cannabis consumers will be able to look at a participating  product anywhere in the United States that it is legally sold, see our blue leaf, and know if it meets the rigorous standard of GACC Certified™ consumer safety testing.”

GACC and each of its member companies believes that absent changes in federal law, it is incumbent on industry to establish consensus industry standards for safety and purity, and to create a serious and effective testing program.

Nominations for membership on the Standards Committee (terms are two years) will be open to the public beginning on Thursday, December 5, 2019, and closing on January 30, 2020.  The Board of GACC will determine the initial composition. Future members will include public nominations and will be determined by the GACCAST Standards Committee and reviewed by the GACC Board of Directors. It is expected that the GACCAST Standards Committee will take approximately nine months to establish the initial standards and protocols so that implementation can begin in 2020.

All current GACC members have pledged to support the development of this standards setting protocol and to adopt and implement it as well when it is effective.  This includes brands such as Raw Garden, DNA Genetics, Crockett Family Farms, Urbn Leaf, La Familia, and Team Elite Genetics, and all derivative cannabis products from DNA Genetics’ and Crockett Family Farms’ genetics.

To accommodate the entire legal cannabis industry’s access to this program, GACC will be creating a new, membership class, the Standard Membership, that will involve minimal costs for participation, and that will provides access to the GACC Certified™ Program. Interested companies may inquire through the GACC website here: https://globalcannabiscommerce.org/gacc-certifiedtm/. GACC is also planning to arrange for testing discounts for members who use the GACC network of laboratories.

GACC President Rezwan Khan added, “Our goal is to ensure this program isn’t cost-prohibitive for any cannabis companies of any size. Cannabis has needed a voluntary unifying force for safety certification for years to increase consumer confidence in its products. Well, here it is—with a number of major cannabis brands already pledging widespread adoption.”

GACC has previously partnered with solo Sciences to ensure that medical patients and adult consumers do not unwittingly purchase counterfeit or illicit vape products. Through the partnership, solo sciences will be offering GACC members a substantial discount on anti-counterfeiting, instant product recall solo*CODE™ technology. “The combination of the voluntary GACC Certified™ consumer safety standard, particularly when combined with members’ access to substantially discounted solo*CODE™ anticounterfeiting technology, allows GACC members to provide their consumers with the confidence they need that anywhere in the United States they legally purchase a participating cannabis product, our blue leaf means it’s safe and genuine,” said GACC Executive Director Randal John Meyer.

 

SOURCE Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce

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Dixie Brands’ Wholly-Owned Subsidiary Secures Patent for Scientific Breakthrough in Cannabinoid Delivery

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Dixie Brands Inc. (“Dixie” or “the Company”) (CSE: DIXI.U), (OTCQX: DXBRF), (Frankfurt: 0QV), one of the cannabis industry’s leading consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) companies, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will issue its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aceso Wellness, LLC (“Aceso”), a patent for a unique range of formats providing for the delivery of cannabinoids, along with nutrients, in effervescent powder and/or aqueous liquid forms.

The patent application, entitled ‘Cannabinoid Emulsion Product and Process for Making the Same’, encompasses a broad set of popular formats and formulations that provide for various nutraceutical compositions including cannabinoids, supplements and vitamins. These compositions have been configured for specific uses such as the promotion of the immune system, improved energy levels, joint and bone health, reduced inflammation, and more efficient cellular energy metabolism.

“This patent is the culmination of a 3-year process and demonstrates our commitment to, and investment in, the potential power of the inclusion of cannabinoids to help support healthy lifestyles.” says Jay Denniston C.F.S., Director of Science, Dixie Brands. “It provides proven, efficacious formats for consumers as they continue to explore cannabis as a plant-based, healthy alternative to traditional pharmaceutical products.”

The Company’s patented technology provides an extensive and protected platform to further access the burgeoning US Dietary Supplement market in addition to the rapidly emerging hemp-derived category. The US Dietary Supplement market is expected to grow to nearly US$57 billion by 2024 (Source: Matej Mikulic, Sep 19, 2019) lead by non-pill formats and fueled by increasing consumer awareness of nutrition, a focus on preventative health care and a desire for solutions that are perceived to be more natural.

“This is an incredibly exciting development for Dixie Brands, reflecting the depth of our R&D heritage, established over nearly a decade.” said Chuck Smith, President and CEO, Dixie Brands. “As the FDA provides positive guidance and the category continues to grow, securing patents for our scientific intellectual property not only provides protection for key elements of our portfolio and optimizes shareholder value but also further supports the continued legitimization and normalization of the cannabis industry.”

The patented technology has been commercialized by Aceso’s range of hemp-derived sprays, dissolvable tablets and powder sachets. The effervescent powder lies at the center of the company’s growth strategy in the hemp-derived CBD market due to the existing popularity of that format in the broader health and wellness category. The portfolio currently includes Calm, Soothe and Wellness variants and is available in more than 1,000 brick and mortar stores across the country. The breadth of the forthcoming patent protects the inclusion of cannabinoids in products across a broader range of formats and channels including the regulated cannabis marketplace.

 

SOURCE Dixie Brands, Inc.

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Avicanna Receives DTC Eligibility for Common Shares on OTCQX

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Avicanna Inc. (“Avicanna” or the “Company“) (TSX: AVCN) (OTCQX: AVCNF) (FSE: 0NN), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of organic and sustainable plant-derived cannabinoid-based products, is pleased to announce that it has obtained eligibility with the Depository Trust Company (“DTC“) for its common shares listed in the United States on the OTCQX® Best Market.

DTC is a subsidiary of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, a U.S. company that manages the electronic clearing and settlement of publicly traded companies. Securities that are eligible to be electronically cleared and settled through DTC are considered to be “DTC eligible”. DTC eligibility is expected to simplify the process of trading the Company’s common shares on the OTCQX Best Market and enhance liquidity for U.S. Investors.

“With our common stock listed in the U.S. now DTC eligible, a greater number of brokerages and trading platforms will be able to manage trades in our shares. This increased accessibility for investors is expected to improve the liquidity of our shares, which will also help to attract more investors that are following the exciting momentum we are building in our business as we execute on our commercialization strategy,” stated Setu Purohit, President.

 

SOURCE Avicanna Inc.

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