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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of W. R. Berkley Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

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OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating
(Long-Term ICR) of “a-” of W. R. Berkley Corporation (W. R. Berkley)
(Greenwich, CT) [NYSE:WRB] and all associated Long-Term Issue Credit
Ratings (Long-Term IRs) and indicative Long-Term IRs for securities
issued by W. R. Berkley. At the same time, AM Best has affirmed the
Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICRs
of “aa-” of Berkley Insurance Company (BIC) (Wilmington, DE) and its
reinsured subsidiaries and affiliates, collectively referred to as the
W. R. Berkley Insurance Group (the Berkley Group). AM Best also has
affirmed the FSR of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICR of “aa-” of
Berkley Life and Health Insurance Company (Berkley Life and Health)
(Urbandale, IA). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is
stable. (See below for a detailed list of the companies and ratings).

The ratings of the Berkley Group reflect its balance sheet strength,
which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating
performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk
management (ERM).

AM Best assesses the group’s balance sheet strength as strongest,
underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s
Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), that is also at the strongest level. It
also reflects the group’s well-managed and generally conservative
investment portfolio. The group’s investments include an above-average
level of high-risk assets, but these holdings are diversified and
represent a modest portion of the overall invested asset base. The
group’s loss reserves generally have developed favorably in most recent
accident years.

The Berkley Group’s strong operating performance reflects its consistent
outperformance of peers in underwriting and operating results, as well
as consistently more favorable returns on revenue and equity. The group
has demonstrated an ability to grow policyholder surplus organically
through the generation of favorable levels of pre-tax operating income
and total returns. This performance is supported by the group’s
favorable business profile, ranking among the top 25 U.S.
property/casualty organizations and holding a leading position in many
of its targeted market niches. The group provides insurance coverages
throughout the United States and internationally for a variety of
business lines, producing a beneficial level of diversification. The
group managed its exposure to catastrophes, demonstrated by its
favorable results in 2017 and 2018.

W. R. Berkley has implemented an appropriately designed and embedded ERM
program to address the organization’s risks. A formal framework is in
place, and the continual evaluation and monitoring of key risks and
tolerances is well-established.

The group’s positive rating factors are offset partially by competitive
conditions in its key commercial lines and reinsurance segment. As
reinsurance market conditions have not enabled the group to meet return
requirements in this business line, reinsurance writings have been
reduced. The group’s approach to growth, which typically involves
developing its own start-up operations rather than making acquisitions,
are also an offsetting factor to the ratings, as they contribute to an
above-average underwriting expense ratio. However, the modestly elevated
expense ratio is more than offset by the Berkley Group’s
much-better-than-average loss and loss adjustment expense ratio.

At Dec. 31, 2018 W. R. Berkley’s unadjusted debt-to-total capital ratio
measured 31.9%. Adjusting for the equity component of hybrid securities,
financial leverage measures 25.2%. In recent years, the group’s
financial leverage has been trending downward and, while still modestly
elevated relative to peers (particularly unadjusted leverage), the
metrics are comfortably within guidelines. The group’s consistent
earnings, controlled exposure to catastrophe losses and strong cash
flows offset any concern by AM Best regarding leverage. AM Best
anticipates the continuation of W. R. Berkley’s strong earnings, with
interest coverage and financial leverage levels remaining supportive of
the ratings.

The affirmation of the ratings and the outlook of Berkley Life and
Health reflect the financial and operational support of the parent
company, its balance sheet strength assessment, which AM Best
categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance,
limited business profile, and appropriate ERM.

Berkley Life and Health’s balance sheet strength is derived from its
strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s
Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). It also reflects the company’s
conservative, high quality investment portfolio and favorable liquidity
metrics.

In 2018, Berkley Life and Health grew net premium materially, driven by
sales of medical stop-loss and group captive products after net premium
growth slowed in the prior year due to more ceded business. In addition,
the company reported better earnings versus the previous year driven by
a larger ratio of higher margin group captive premium in its business
mix.

Berkley Life and Health continues to grow its relatively nominal share
of the extremely competitive medical stop-loss market, an area in which
its business is concentrated.

The FSR of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICRs of “aa-” have been
affirmed with a stable outlook for the following members of the W. R.
Berkley Insurance Group:

  • Acadia Insurance Company
  • Admiral Indemnity Company
  • Admiral Insurance Company
  • Berkley Casualty Company
  • Berkley Assurance Company
  • Berkley Insurance Company
  • Berkley National Insurance Company
  • Berkley Regional Insurance Company
  • Berkley Specialty Insurance Company
  • Carolina Casualty Insurance Company
  • Clermont Insurance Company
  • Continental Western Insurance Company
  • Firemens Insurance Company of Washington, D.C.
  • Gemini Insurance Company
  • Great Divide Insurance Company
  • Intrepid Insurance Company
  • Key Risk Insurance Company
  • Midwest Employers Casualty Company
  • Nautilis Insurance Company
  • Preferred Employers Insurance Company
  • Queen’s Island Insurance Company, Ltd.
  • Riverport Insurance Company
  • StarNet Insurance Company
  • Tri-State Insurance Company of Minnesota
  • Union Insurance Company
  • Union Standard Lloyds
  • W. R. Berkley Europe AG
  • Berkley International Seguros Mexico S.A.
  • Berkley International Fianzas Mexico S.A.

The FSR of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICR of “aa-” have been
affirmed with a stable outlook for Berkley Life and Health Insurance
Company.

The Long-Term ICR of “a-” has been affirmed for W. R. Berkley
Corporation.

The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed with a stable outlook:

— “a-”on $150 million, 6.15% senior unsecured notes, due 2019

— “a-”on $300 million, 7.375 % senior unsecured notes, due 2019

— “a-”on $300 million, 5.375% senior unsecured notes, due 2020

— “a-”on $100 million, 8.7% senior unsecured debentures, due 2022

— “a-”on $350 million, 4.625% senior unsecured notes, due 2022

— “a-”on $250 million, 6.25% senior unsecured notes, due 2037

— “a-”on $350 million, 4.75% senior unsecured notes, due 2044

— “bbb+”on $350 million, 5.625% subordinated debentures, due 2053

— “bbb+” on $100 million, 5.9% subordinated debentures, due 2056

— “bbb+” on $290 million, 5.75% subordinated debentures, due 2056

— “bbb+” on $175 million, 5.7% subordinated debentures, due 2058

The following indicative Long-Term IRs under the shelf registration have
been affirmed with a stable outlook:

W. R. Berkley Corporation

— “a-” on senior debt

— “bbb+” on subordinated debt

— “bbb” on preferred stock

W. R. Berkley Capital Trust III

— “bbb” on preferred securities

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published
on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release
and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible
for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release,
please see AM Best’s
Recent
Rating Activity
web page. For additional information
regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view
Understanding
Best’s Credit Ratings
. For information on the proper media
use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view
Guide
for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating
Action Press Releases
.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a
unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit
www.ambest.com
for more information
.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its
affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Jennifer Marshall
Director – P/C
+1 908 439
2200, ext. 5810

[email protected]

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1
908 439 2200, ext. 5159

[email protected]

Brian Virostek
Financial Analyst – L/H
+1 908
439 2200, ext. 5531

[email protected]

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908
439 2200, ext. 5644

[email protected]


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Innocan

Innocan Pharma Announces Study Findings that LPT-CBD maintains its prolonged release in Rabbits

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innocan-pharma-announces-study-findings-that-lpt-cbd-maintains-its-prolonged-release-in-rabbits

HERZLIYA, Israel and CALGARY, AB, Feb. 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Innocan Pharma Corporation (CSE: INNO) (FSE: IP4) (OTCQB: INNPF) (“Innocan” or the “Company”), a pioneer in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, is pleased to announce the latest findings from the Company’s pharmacokinetic study of its LPT-CBD platform in rabbits.

The fundamentals of LPT-CBD lay in its ability to slowly release CBD into the blood stream. Studies conducted in various animal models including mice, dogs, goats, and sheep showed long pharmacokinetics of CBD that persisted up to several weeks. In the Company’s latest study conducted on rabbits, the results showed additional supportive data for the long exposure of CBD obtained following a single subcutaneous LPT-CBD injection.   

The Company is encouraged by these study results as they confirm the approach the Company is taking with its LPT platform. The results from studies of several organisms injected with the Company’s liposomal CBD –have consistently demonstrated that a detectable CBD level could be maintained for weeks following one injection. The Company will continue with human trials in the near future.

Pharmacokinetics (PK) is an important tool that helps evaluate the bioavailability and exposure level of a specific drug. Parameters such as maximal blood drug concentration (cMax), time to reach cMax (Tmax) and half-life of the drug are calculated based on data collected from blood analysis of the drug across a determined time. The collected PK parameters along with other tests help to define the required dose of a drug to achieve a maximal therapeutic effect. In the study conducted on rabbits, the animals were collected for blood analysis of the drug for up to 11 days. As expected, the animals presented a persistent CBD concentration in their blood that maintained through the entire testing period. This correlates to PK results obtained from other species, supporting the long CBD exposure and the necessity of only a single LPT-CBD injection to obtain a long and wide therapeutic window for CBD.   

About Innocan Pharma:

Innocan is a pharmaceutical tech company that operates under two main segments: Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Wellness. In the Pharmaceuticals segment, Innocan focuses on developing innovative drug delivery platform technologies comprises with cannabinoids science, to treat various conditions to improve patients’ quality of life. This segment involves two drug delivery technologies: (i) LPT CBD-loaded liposome platform facilitating exact dosing and the prolonged and controlled release of CBD into the blood stream. The LPT delivery platform research is in the preclinical trial phase for two indications: Epilepsy and Pain Management. In the Consumer Wellness segment, Innocan develops and markets a wide portfolio of innovative and high-performance self-care products to promote a healthier lifestyle. Under this segment Innocan has established a Joint Venture by the name of BI Sky Global Ltd. that focuses developing on advanced targeted online sales. https://innocanpharma.com/

Contact Information:

For Innocan Pharma Corporation:
Iris Bincovich, CEO
+1 5162104025
+972-54-3012842
+442037699377
info@innocanpharma.com

NEITHER THE CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER HAVE REVIEWED OR ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information

Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, the Company’s plans for human trials of its LPT-CBD platform, is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond Innocan’s control. . The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by Innocan, including expectations and assumptions concerning the anticipated benefits of the products, satisfaction of regulatory requirements in various jurisdictions and satisfactory completion of production and distribution arrangements.

Forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or expectations expressed in this news release. The key risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: global and local (national) economic, political, market and business conditions; governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities; and potential disruption of relationships with suppliers, manufacturers, customers, business partners and competitors. There are also risks that are inherent in the nature of product distribution, including import/export matters and the failure to obtain any required regulatory and other approvals (or to do so in a timely manner). The anticipated timeline for entry to markets may change for a number of reasons, including the inability to secure necessary regulatory requirements, or the need for additional time to conclude and/or satisfy the manufacturing and distribution arrangements. As a result of the foregoing, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking information contained in this news release. A comprehensive discussion of other risks that impact Innocan can be found in Innocan’s public reports and filings which are available under Innocan’s profile at www.sedarplus.ca.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. Innocan does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

Logo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2046271/3968398/Innocan_Pharma_Corporation_Logo.jpg

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SCHWAZZE

Schwazze Appoints Forrest Hoffmaster as Interim Chief Executive Officer

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DENVER, Feb. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Medicine Man Technologies, Inc., operating as Schwazze, (OTCQX: SHWZ) (NEO: SHWZ) (“Schwazze” or the “Company”), today announced that Forrest Hoffmaster, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed to the additional role of interim Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”). This follows Nirup Krishnamurthy’s resignation as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors (“Board”), effective February 20, 2024, due to personal reasons.

Mr. Hoffmaster, who joined the Company in January 2023, brings over 30 years of executive experience in finance and operations for both public and private companies. Prior to Schwazze, Mr. Hoffmaster served as CEO of New Seasons Market, a specialty gourmet food retailer, where he navigated the company through one of the most disruptive periods in the retail grocery industry. Under his leadership, Mr. Hoffmaster implemented a focused growth and cost optimization program, enabling the company to grow EBITDA by over 30% in two years. Prior to New Seasons Market, Forrest held leadership positions with other leading grocers including Whole Foods Market and H-E-B.

“Forrest is well-positioned to seamlessly step in and lead the Company’s day-to-day operations as we conduct our search for a permanent successor,” said Justin Dye, Chairman of the Board. “With Forrest’s proven track record and deep retail expertise, we plan to continue leveraging our operating playbook to drive strong Adjusted EBITDA margins and consistent cash flow generation. On behalf of the Board, I’d like to wish Nirup the best in his future endeavors.”

About Schwazze

Schwazze (OTCQX: SHWZ) (NEO: SHWZ) is building a premier vertically integrated regional cannabis company with assets in Colorado and New Mexico and will continue to take its operating system to other states where it can develop a differentiated regional leadership position. Schwazze is the parent company of a portfolio of leading cannabis businesses and brands spanning seed to sale.

Schwazze is anchored by a high-performance culture that combines customer-centric thinking and data science to test, measure, and drive decisions and outcomes. The Company’s leadership team has deep expertise in retailing, wholesaling, and building consumer brands at Fortune 500 companies as well as in the cannabis sector.

Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. was Schwazze’s former operating trade name. The corporate entity continues to be named Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. Schwazze derives its name from the pruning technique of a cannabis plant to enhance plant structure and promote healthy growth. To learn more about Schwazze, visit https://schwazze.com/.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “intends,” “plans,” “strategy,” “prospects,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “approximately,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue,” “ongoing,” or the negative of these terms or other words of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future events or future operating or financial performance, although the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future events or performance, are based on certain assumptions, and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control and cannot be predicted or quantified. Consequently, actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) regulatory limitations on our products and services and the uncertainty in the application of federal, state, and local laws to our business, and any changes in such laws; (ii) our ability to manufacture our products and product candidates on a commercial scale on our own or in collaboration with third parties; (iii) our ability to identify, consummate, and integrate anticipated acquisitions; (iv) general industry and economic conditions; (v) our ability to access adequate capital upon terms and conditions that are acceptable to us; (vi) our ability to pay interest and principal on outstanding debt when due; (vii) volatility in credit and market conditions; (viii) the loss of one or more key executives or other key employees; and (ix) other risks and uncertainties related to the cannabis market and our business strategy. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Investors and security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as required by law.

Investor Relations Contact
Sean Mansouri, CFA or Aaron D’Souza
Elevate IR
(720) 330-2829
[email protected] 

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Cannabis

Hemp, Inc. Reports: Hemp-Based Foods Market Set to Reach $8.36 Billion by 2028

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GrassNews.net: Your premier portal for the latest developments in the cannabis industry. We provide timely news, insightful analysis, and in-depth features on everything from legislation changes and business trends, to scientific research and lifestyle topics. Stay informed and navigate the rapidly evolving cannabis landscape with GrassNews.net..

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