Category Archives: News

Village Farms International Inc (NASDAQ:VFF) Aims To Become A First Mover In The Hemp Industry Of Texas And Starts Preparations For Hemp Cultivation And Extraction

Village Farms International Inc (NASDAQ:VFF) Aims To Become A First Mover In The Hemp Industry Of Texas And Starts Preparations For Hemp Cultivation And Extraction

Village Farms International Inc (NASDAQ:VFF) has started
converting 635,000 Sq. Ft. Growing area of the total 1.3 million Sq. Ft.
Permian Basin Greenhouse to cultivate high CBD hemp and for extraction of CBD.
This is on the backdrop of House of Representatives backing the House Bill 325
to become a law in Texas. It is subject to the deadline set on June 16, 2019
for the Governor to veto the bill. However, Governor vetoing the bill is
unlikely.

Village Farms
will put in place all the necessary systems for year-round production and
processing of hemp. The company expects to ready the facility for hemp
cultivation and processing in Q3 2019. It will also add the extraction to the
existing facility.

Requires licenses for hemp cultivation

Village Farms
will get the first mover advantage in the CBD cultivation in Texas with the
passage of House Bill 325. The company needs licenses for the cultivation and processing
of hemp. But, the state of Texas has set no deadline to apply for the license.
Village Farms will apply for the licenses.

Federal Farm Bill 2018

Village Farms has
started preparation of technical systems and site specific design and
development for growing with the passage of federal farm bill 2018. It is
gearing for the passage of Texas bill.

Chief Executive
Officer of Village Farms, Michael DeGiglio said the company is readying a
portion of the Permian Basin Greenhouse for CBD hemp cultivation and extraction
with the expectation of hemp bill passage in Texas. It is taking the risk to
enjoy a first mover advantage in Texas. Village Farms has applauded the
supporters of this landmark bill including Rep. Tracy King, Sen, Charles Perry,
and Texas Farm Bureau.

The sales of CBD
are expected to reach over $16 billion by the year 2025 in the US. It is a
definitive opportunity for Village Farms and can aggressively prepare for
cultivation and extraction of hemp CBD.

On June 18, 2019,
CFO of Future Farms, Stephen Ruffini will take part in the panel to discuss CBD
trends in the 5th Annual Conference in London. Institutional
customers of ROTH can attend this conference on receipt of invitation.

Published at Fri, 21 Jun 2019 12:01:31 +0000

Cannabis Sales Could Hit $15 Billion Globally This Year

Cannabis Sales Could Hit $15 Billion Globally This Year

During the days of full cannabis prohibition, there was essentially a free market at work. With a high-risk marketplace and an obscure market of producers and consumers, growers and breeders competed freely—resulting in the incredible variety of genetically diverse plants that a maturing marketplace now demands.

But because of the underground nature of it all, every business was run on unprotected trade secrets. Breeders were known by pseudonyms and the sometimes-ridiculous cultivar names used for marketing. As the industry emerged, websites like Leafly.com appeared to catalog them all. But as the industry matured, along came genetic sequencers to show that a lot of the plants were the same thing and the vast majority of the varieties on the market were neither new nor unique.

And, despite the newly emerging genomics and federal prohibition, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been issuing both variety and utility patents for cannabis varieties, triggering industry groups and labs to begin open-sourcing genetic and chemical profiles of plants on legal markets in an attempt to prove prior art and prevent more broad utility patents on plants.

Cannabis patent plants
Miller

Variety patents, which are issued for all kinds of plants under the Plant Variety Protection Act of 1970 (PVPA), are issued only for plants that were asexually produced (clones) and are not found in nature, but rather the dedicated work of a breeder to create something new and unique. Variety patents last 25 years and allow breeders to have total control over their creation, including charging licensing fees and/or royalties if they enter into a contract with a producer.

Utility patents, on the other hand, usually apply to new methods of delivery (like vaporizers) or new processes (a new extraction device). But in 2015, a very controversial patent was issued to a biopharmaceutical firm, Biotech Institute LLC. The issued plant patent is so incredibly broad in scope that the vast majority of landrace varieties (or Type-II varieties) fit within their scope; plants that make both THC and CBD and are not dominant in the terpene myrcene. 

The power of these patents lies in the cost of litigation. Oftentimes when a small company or similar-sized competitor infringes on the patent, whether knowingly or not, it is usually a lot cheaper to pay the patent holder a licensing fee than it is to go to court. If the patent is challenged and the defendant proves prior art, the patent could be invalidated.

Breeders derive all the value in their work from intellectual property (IP), so as the marketplace matures, investing in the appropriate protections is essential. Obtaining plant varieties and investing in an insurance plan that can cover costs of litigation— whether offensive of defensive— is key to protecting the core value of the business. 

Protecting Genetic Assets

“The best way to protect your genetic assets is with plant patents, that is the safest thing to do, protect them strain by strain,” says Dale Hunt, a plant biologist and attorney specializing in cannabis patents.

According to Hunt, the standard that the USPTO applies to cannabis plant variety applications is no different than for any other plant; the cultivar must be new, useful and nonobvious, and the application must teach a person skilled in the art how to make the invention and how to use the invention. Plant patents are relatively inexpensive and easy to defend, and they are less likely to be invalidated by legal challenges—like a utility patent might.

Hunt says that the effects of utility patents like Biotech Institute’s remain to be seen because they have yet to be enforced or tested.

“With so little prior art there will always be a question mark over the utility patents. You will never know how valid they are until more literature is developed,” he says. “If you are worried about having people assert their broad utility patents against you, you need to be part of a coalition of people in the same boat who believe this and band together to defend yourself and each other against those patents.”

Hunt plans to release a new website, MJPatentsWeekly, that will be updated every Tuesday as the USPTO issues new patents. Visitors to the site can comment on patents and submit prior art, which he says is key to preventing more broad utility patents.  

“The cannabis industry has been a pretty active industry with people doing a lot of innovative things, but have they created a body of literature?” he asks. “Of course not, they have hidden it pretty vigorously. There is a great void of any information that is printed that an examiner can look at. The examiner, their hands are kinda tied.”

Hunt says there are a lot of ways growers can protect their plants other than through patents. Growers can control their protections by only selling harvested material rather than clones or seeds. In countries with legalized cannabis but few legal IP protections, strong contracts are the best option for mitigating the risk.

Applying for a Patent

Hunt says the application process is relatively simple, although it is still standard for the patent examiner to reject the patent application on the first pass, particularly in the case of utility patents. He says the reason most applications are rejected on first submission is because it is important for the patent examiner to create a written record of the dialogue between the USPTO and the applicant in order to ensure the patent is valid. This creates a record that is open to the public over the review and analysis process.

He says for variety patents, the issue is usually because documentation provided to the USPTO examiner does not sufficiently describe the new variety.

Hunt details the other three primary reasons the application could be rejected at first submission in a post to his blog called “Three Rookie Mistakes Plant Patent Applicants Make,” (1) naming the variety in a way that is incompatible with trademark protection; (2) misunderstanding the flexibility of filing date and disclosure requirements and (3) incorrectly timing the filing of the application.

“What you don’t want to do is use your really cool, sexy trade name as your variety name when you apply for the patent, because you lose the ability to use that as a trademark,” he says. “You want a functional, non-appealing name, like an address or filing system kind of name. My clients have learned from making that mistake or others’ mistakes; they use some sort of code so they can track it, and an appealing name for the trademark.”

Enforcing a Patent

“It is one thing to get a patent, it is another thing to enforce one,” Hunt says.

With the average cost of litigation averaging $2.8 million for patent infringement lawsuits, according to Gil Shaheen with Intellectual Property Insurance Services Corporation (IPISC), a business could go bankrupt if its management tries to challenge the patent enforcer, even if they feel they have a case to challenge it. If a small business has an insurance policy that covers defensive and offensive litigation, they could potentially invalidate patents like Biotech’s.

“The interesting thing about cannabis patent landscape, and the utility patent, with so little printed prior art for the examiners to go on and so much black market prior art or hidden prior art that a defendant could use in their defense, when someone asserts the patent they are really risking having it invalidated,” Hunt says. “As soon as I sue someone for infringing a patent they get an army of lawyers, some experts and some patent searchers and they throw all kinds of resources at trying to prove my patent is invalid. They are going to do a more thorough search and any examiner would have ability to do.”

Hunt adds that everyone—whether longtime growers or experienced business professionals—is new to the legal industry, and, in many cases, there just isn’t precedent yet on cannabis industry intellectual property.

“Because everyone is new, be really careful in evaluating what qualifies the people you choose to work with—whether they are on the investment side or the business side or the lawyer’s side,” Hunt concludes.

Insurance policies that cover the cost of enforcing a company’s patent, or protecting them from an infringement suit, are the best defense of both the company and its most important assets.

Published at Fri, 21 Jun 2019 15:11:00 +0000

Molson Coors Insider Leaks Future Of Cannabis-Infused Beer

Molson Coors Insider Leaks Future Of Cannabis-Infused Beer

  • World’s 5th largest brewery has JV with Canada’s HEXO Corp to develop cannabis-infused beverages in Canada
  • Getting in early on expected $1.5B – $3B sector in Canada
  • Several other companies already targeting this beverage market in the US and Canada
  • CBD-infused beverages offer great potential in the US 

What’s hot in cannabis today? Hint: according to Bloomberg, it’s…

The Next Big Thing

A recent article from International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) also seeks to provide investors with some guidance here.

The focus is on Molson Coors Brewing Co’s (NYSE: TAP) planned entry into the cannabis industry. But TAP isn’t the only player salivating at the prospect of entering this niche. More on that later.

The multinational beverage company has entered into a joint venture with Quebec cannabis giant, HEXO Corp. (US: HEXO / CAN: HEXO), via its Canadian unit, Molson Coors Canada.

The JV will be executed under the corporate label Truss. It is aimed at producing new products for the imminent market in Canada for cannabis-infused beverages.

These beverages will become legal in Canada when new regulations come into effect in October of this year.

Mark Hunter, President and CEO of Molson Coors is on the record for estimating the potential size of this new market at approximately CAD$3 billion.

“Clearly there are lots of numbers which are being bandied around with regard to the potential size of the cannabis market in Canada. I think if you take an average, then it suggests that this market may be somewhere between $7bn and $10bn in market value, with beverages somewhere between 20% and 30%. And that’s obviously non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages.”

Hunter added a caveat.

“Even if you take the low end of that estimate, then it suggests that the beverages segment could be circa $1.5 bn of value.”

The ICBC article also reports that Molson Coors is taking a hard look at the U.S. market for CBD-infused beverages. With the national legalization of hemp in the United States, this has paved the way for manufacturing/distribution of hemp-derived CBD beverages.

ICBC also makes an interesting observation.

While the entry of big alcohol companies into the industry is likely good for consumers who want a multitude of options to best suit their needs and lifestyle, it also provides an opportunity for smaller companies to find their niche. In many ways Molson Coors will serve as a research department for competitors as they put different types of beverages up for sale.

However, other companies pondering entry into this space won’t want to wait long. Already, a number of other players in the Canadian cannabis industry are actively positioning themselves for this market.

Companies that have announced plans to partially or exclusively focus on this segment include: Canopy Growth Corp (US: CGC, CAN: WEED), Sproutly Canada Inc. (CAN: SPR US: SRUTF), Hill Street Beverage Co (CAN: BEER, US: HSEEF), and Phivida Holdings Inc (CAN: VIDA, US: PHVAF).

Companies eying the U.S. market for CBD-infused beverages will also be looking at a number of competitors who aren’t waiting to target this opportunity.
NASDAQ-listed heavyweight, Tilray Inc (US: TLRY) has a partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev to develop cannabis-infused beverages. The Alkaline Water Company (US: WTER, CAN:WTER) is already rolling out its own hemp-infused product line.

New Age Beverages Corporation (US: NBEV), based in Colorado and Utah, has a stated goal of becoming the world’s “leading healthy beverages and lifestyle company”.

The emerging market for cannabis-infused and CBD-infused beverages is, at the least, an intriguing option for both cannabis companies and cannabis investors alike.

At this point, no one can attach firm numbers to this opportunity. But neither the companies nor the investors targeting this space can afford to sit on the sidelines for too long.

Published at Thu, 20 Jun 2019 21:55:32 +0000

Valens Groworks Corp (OTCMKTS:VGWCF) Agrees To Extract 60,000 Kg of Dried Cannabis Per Annum Under The Expanded Scope Of Agreement With Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY)

Valens Groworks Corp (OTCMKTS:VGWCF) Agrees To Extract 60,000 Kg of Dried Cannabis Per Annum Under The Expanded Scope Of Agreement With Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY)

Valens Groworks Corp (OTCMKTS:VGWCF) has signed a
multi-year binding agreement with Tilray
Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY)
to expand work and offer contract manufacturing services.
As per the terms of the expanded agreement, Valens will extract a minimum 60,000
Kgs of hemp biomass and dried cannabis per annum on a fee basis. It is an
increase of 300% from the previous extraction of 15,000 Kg per annum.

Contract
manufacturing services

Valens will also offer contract manufacturing
services to Tilray under this expanded accord. The company will offer contract
manufacturing services for gel caps, and tincture bottles. It will also provide
optional contract manufacturing services for topicals and vaporizer cartridges.
The deal is subject to the approval of Health Canada.

Chief Executive Officer of Valens, Tyler
Robson said this is a true recognition of its extraction services by Tilray. The
company is honored to be a leader in providing extraction services. Tilray also
recognized the ability of Valens to add a value in contract manufacturing
services and product development services. Valens expects that these services
would become a key component in the business as it grows together with its
clients.

Receives
conditional approval to list shares

Valens has received a conditional approval on
June 14, 2019 to list its warrants and common shares on the TSX Venture
Exchange. It is subject to fulfilling of certain requirements set by the
exchange. Valens is putting in efforts to comply with the terms and conditions
of TSX and confident to get final approval to trade under the symbol ‘VGW’ in
the coming weeks.

Valens will publish the Q2 2019 results on
July 15, 2019 after the market hours. Tyler said the company is pleased with
the conditional approval from TSX and offers many advantages for the
shareholders and Valens. The international and Canadian investors will get
improved market access and greater visibility.

Organic
certification

Valens is proud to get certified for cannabis
oil production. It allows the company to manufacture organic oil from cannabis
and hemp biomass for the partners. The company seeks the expertise of David
Bernard Perron in cultivating certified and high quality organic flower. David
is a holder of Masters Degree in Plant Sciences.

Published at Thu, 20 Jun 2019 12:10:18 +0000

Advantage: Canada When Cannabis Industry Goes Global in 5 – 7 Years

Advantage: Canada When Cannabis Industry Goes Global in 5 – 7 Years

  • International trade lawyer predicts another 5 – 7 years to internationalize the cannabis trade
  • The primary impediment to a global cannabis trade is political incompetence
  • Cam Battley, Aurora Cannabis CEO, sees this time horizon as favoring Canadian cannabis companies

A recent article on the global cannabis industry will draw a mixed response from cannabis investors. Martha Harrison, is a partner at McCarthy Tetrault LLP who specializes in international trade and investment law. She predicts it will take 5 – 7 years for the international trade in cannabis to begin to open up.

Glass half-empty investors will see this as a disappointment: several more years to internationalize the cannabis industry.

Glass half-full investors will see a much different picture. A sector that, in every respect, is still in its infancy.

Cam Battley, CEO of industry giant Aurora Cannabis Inc. (US: ACB, CAN:ACB) thinks that this time-frame plays to the advantage of the Canadian cannabis industry.

“We know that the demand will be there internationally. And right now, we have a significant advantage because American cannabis companies cannot export their product.”

Battley added:

“We have a massive market over in Europe, even in Latin America. These countries are legalizing medicinal cannabis one by one but they’re not growing as much as us. They’re going to need product, and we’ve already got the ball rolling on exporting.” [emphasis mine]

Canada and the United States lead most of the international community in moving to legalize cannabis usage and cannabis commerce. Yet even in North America, we see both an uneven path to legalization and a slow transition away from black market cannabis commerce.

This is an industry dynamic that can be summed up in two words: government incompetence.

In the United States, cannabis remains illegal nationally. It’s still classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic. It’s still (officially) equated with drugs that are genuinely dangerous – like heroin and LSD.

It’s being legalized on a state-by-state basis, but here we also see political dithering and bureaucratic inertia. TSI has reported on how governments on both sides of the Border continue to stumble badly in the process to normalize cannabis in our societies (and economies).

In Canada, 72% of recreational cannabis sales in 2019 are expected to take place on the black market – despite national legalization in October 2018.

Even in fully legal U.S. states, the numbers are equally dismal. In Massachusetts, 75% of all cannabis revenues this year are expected to flow to the black market. In California, with one of the longest histories of legalized medicinal cannabis, 60% of cannabis commerce is still on the black market. Only roughly 10% of counties in California have fully legalized cannabis commerce.

Despite this reality, media muppets in both Canada and the U.S. regularly issue their uninformed opinions that “cannabis is a bubble”.

Right, the (legal) cannabis industry still only has access to the tip of the iceberg in terms of cannabis revenues, but the industry is “a bubble”.

That’s about as intelligent as calling Amazon “a bubble” – 15 years ago.

Let’s return to reality.

It’s going to take another 5 – 7 years to begin to internationalize cannabis commerce. This is not because of limited commercial potential for cannabis.

Cannabis is clearly the most versatile, useful and (potentialy) valuable plant species known to humanity. The best medicine. The safest recreational drug. Packed with nutrition. Loaded with other health-promoting properties. Martha Stewart just announced that she is getting into the production of cannabis-related products.

It’s not going to take another 5 – 7 years to commercialize cannabis internationally because of a lack of consumer interest/demand.

As TSI recently reported, cannabis consumers remain light years ahead of elected officials. With few exceptions, the politicians continue to display absolutely zero comprehension of cannabis, either as a plant or as a commercial opportunity.

Canada is moving to Phase 2 of national legalization. Yet the politician in charge of this process, Bill Blair, knows so little about cannabis that it’s unclear if he can spell the word unassisted.

Cannabis is completely safe.

The active ingredients in the cannabis plant are known as cannabinoids. The human body naturally produces its own cannabinoids (“endocannabinoids”) because they are essential to human health.

Mother’s milk naturally contains cannabinoids. They are passed to infants in breast milk to promote infant health.

But Bill Blair thinks cannabis is a dangerous drug.

“It’s not the government’s intention to promote the use of this drug but rather to make it legally available in a well-regulated manner to reduce the social and health harms often associated with cannabis use.” [emphasis mine]

Blair claims that one of the “first priorities” in legalizing cannabis is “displacing the illicit market”. Then Blair piled on ridiculously onerous regulations on the Canadian cannabis industry in Phase 2 of legalization. This will jack-up the costs of bringing new cannabis products to market – making these products completely uncompetitive with black market prices.

How does (grossly) over-regulating cannabis help to eliminate the black market? It doesn’t. It’s the best way to preserve the black market for cannabis.

In the U.S., the state of New York has spent years trying to get cannabis legalized for recreational use. Yet in last-minute negotiations to keep yet another bill from dying, rumors are surfacing (via Twitter) that the only way the bill will pass is by loading it up with more “law enforcement” dollars.

What do New York police plan on doing with those extra resources? Arrest mothers who are feeding cannabinoids to their babies in breast milk?

This leads back to the internationalization of cannabis. As the Financial Post reports:

Canada is signatory to three international treaties that prohibit the movement of cannabis for recreational purposes — the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) and the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, ratified in 1988. Under those treaties, Health Canada has an obligation to restrict the movement of cannabis to “medical and scientific purposes between countries.”

More legal/bureaucratic nonsense.

The UN has already called on nations to “decriminalize” all narcotics. It’s the most unequivocal condemnation of the failed “War on Drugs”.

In that context, any quasi-enlightened government would be fast-tracking cannabis legalization and promoting the use of cannabis ahead of (truly) dangerous drugs like nicotine and alcohol.

Then we have Canada’s Bill Blair.

“It’s not the government’s intention to promote the use of this drug…”

Meanwhile, new consumer data from Cowen Equity Research (May 20, 2019) indicates that Canadian cannabis consumers are actively choosing cannabis instead of alcohol.
 

  • 70% of Canadian consumers who consume both alcohol and cannabis report reducing their alcohol consumption
  • In giving their “reasons for consuming cannabis”, 41% of Canadians specifically cited cannabis as “an alternative to alcohol”

Consumers want (legal) cannabis products. Companies want to build cannabis-related businesses. Governments want all the tax revenues that would be generated from this (legal) economic activity.

Even so, it will likely take another 5 – 7 years before we begin to see legal, international cannabis commerce. While this may end up favoring Canadian cannabis companies (and their shareholders), it is still an unreasonable amount of time globalize the cannabis trade.

So what’s the problem? Ask the politicians, because they are the problem.

Published at Wed, 19 Jun 2019 20:24:33 +0000

Lawmakers Say Effort to Legalize Marijuana in New York Is Dead

Lawmakers Say Effort to Legalize Marijuana in New York Is Dead

Halo Labs Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent for the proposed acquisition of Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness Ltd. The Transaction is expected to strengthen the Company’s position in Lesotho, Africa, a country quickly becoming the continent’s export gateway to the global cannabis market. Lesotho is the first African country to grant medical marijuana licenses for cultivation and patient use and is making strides toward becoming the worldwide export hub for cannabis. Halo’s planned acquisition of Bophelo brings together two socially-minded companies on a shared mission to better the communities in Lesotho.

Halo’s initial partnership with Bophelo included operation of the 5-hectare cultivation and production site and purchase of its entire production in exchange for a 20% equity stake and a royalty on cannabis sales. In a growing consumer market, Halo now intends to purchase the entire issued share capital of Bophelo for 40,786,667 common shares in the capital of Halo (approximately USD $18.4M or CAD $24.7M).

FIRE.TO) and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) made significant investments in Lesotho recently with Supreme Cannabis making a CAD $10M strategic investment in Medigrow Lesotho (Pty) in exchange for a 10% ownership interest in that company, and Canopy Growth Corporation acquiring 100% of DaddyCann Lesotho (Pty) Ltd for CAD $28.8M.” data-reactid=”16″>Supreme Cannabis and Canopy Growth Corporation made significant investments in Lesotho recently with Supreme Cannabis making a CAD $10M strategic investment in Medigrow Lesotho in exchange for a 10% ownership interest in that company, and Canopy Growth Corporation acquiring 100% of DaddyCann Lesotho Ltd for CAD $28.8M.

This Transaction is expected to strengthen Halo’s position in a region strategically set to become the international breadbasket of Good Agricultural and Collecting Practice and EU Good Manufacturing Practices-grade cannabis isolates and distillates. GACP and GMP designations demonstrate Halo’s capability to grow and manufacture at scale while adhering to high-quality standards and enables distribution to European and international pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies in these attractive and growing markets.

Beyond providing a source of low-cost cannabis inputs and products for Europe and other regions, Africa as a continent boasts a strong consumer market. According to New Frontier, there are over 83 million annual cannabis consumers on the continent and the current market is estimated at USD $37.3 billion in combined legal and illegal sales out of the total USD $344.4 billion worldwide. This emerging opportunity will be unlocked with increased cannabis decriminalization and legalization policies, such as neighboring South Africa; which in 2018 approved private use and decriminalized possession, a market which according to the March 2019 Prohibition Partners Africa Report is now expected to be worth USD $1.851 billion by 2023.

Kiran Sidhu, the CEO of Halo Labs, commented, “The high-altitude, low-humidity climate and access to water, as well as low cost utility, tax, and labor rates mean cannabis in Lesotho can be cultivated naturally at a very competitive cost. While most of the licenses issued to date restrict cultivation to 2-3 hectares and indoor or greenhouse growing, Bophelo operates one of the largest sites in Lesotho at 5 hectares. The state has also given Bophelo preliminary approval to expand up to 200 hectares and has indicated they would consider granting permission for outdoor growing from 2019 onwards, following consultation with the INCB (International Narcotics Control Board). Bophelo has secured this site with a 20-year lease and option to renew for an additional 30 years.”

Once fully operational on the initial 5 hectare site, Bophelo intends to harvest GACP cultivated cannabis approximately twice per annum and will have the potential to produce approximately 4.6M grams of high quality EU GMP cannabis concentrate per annum.

Mr. Sidhu continued, “We anticipate EU GMP cannabis concentrate would be exported to the European market at an estimated price of USD $10 per gram while our FOB Lesotho all-in cost ready for export would not exceed USD $2 per gram. We expect the initial planting to occur in November and to complete our first harvest by the second quarter of 2019. Bophelo will also give Halo Labs an international platform for our innovative products like the DabTabs™ Dablets, the first ASTM C373-18 certified doseable cannabis product.”

Halo’s acquisition of Bophelo will further solidify the Company’s strategic vision in addition to exemplifying its support of social responsibility initiatives. For example, the land leased by Bophelo is held by a non-profit trust that benefits the community. 10% (ten percent) of Bophelo’s pre-tax profits will go to this trust and be given back to the people of Lesotho. Both Ms. Mojela and Mr. Sidhu are like-minded about social impact and equity. Through support from the trust, Ms. Mojela has founded and built a school on Bophelo’s premises and Mr. Sidhu is personally donating computers for the school’s students. Ms. Mojela commented, “The social benefits of our public-private partnership are extremely important to me. Halo shares that commitment and these values will differentiate us from our competitors.”

Chairman of Halo Labs, G. Scott Paterson, summed up anticipated benefits from the transaction, “The proposed acquisition of Bophelo is game changing for Halo and important for the global cannabis economy. We are enthusiastic about the Lesotho opportunity and operating a scale cultivation and production facility for the international export of oil and concentrates. We expect a lift both to revenue and profit and are looking forward to delivering these financial results to our shareholders.”

Completion of the Transaction is subject to, among other things, the negotiation and execution of a mutually agreeable definitive acquisition agreement and related documents and the satisfaction or waiver of any conditions precedent to the consummation of the Transaction (including the receipt of any requisite regulatory and third-party approvals).

Published at Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:39:00 +0000

Switzerland Witnesses Huge Cannabis Demand

Switzerland Witnesses Huge Cannabis Demand

The legalization of marijuana in many parts of the world has been responsible for the creation of one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The latest report from the Swiss government regarding its tax revenue due to legal marijuana sales for 2018 was published recently. The report shows that the demand for legal cannabis in Switzerland rose to new highs. It should be noted that Switzerland had legalized the sale of cannabis with a THC content of no more than 1% back in 2011 and since then the pot industry has grown consistently.

$15 Million In Taxes

One of the most startling figures from the report is the $15 million in taxes that were collected by the Swiss government from legal sales last year. It points to a massive explosion of demand since the taxes collected through legal cannabis sales stood at only $400,000 back in 2015. Marijuana business in Switzerland has been huge and the report from the government states that CBD sales have risen by a whopping 3675%. In addition to that, the number of marijuana manufacturers who supplied to the market stood at only 5, but now stands at 672. It is an amazing increase and goes to show the soaring demand for legally sold cannabis in the country. Additionally, the report stated that the volume of cannabis flower that was taxed by the government stood at 6,200 kilos. This figure is only going to increase significantly in the years to come. Thanks to these strong increases, more marijuana companies will be interested in opening up shop.

The bulk of the customers are classified as ‘young adults’ and according to Addiction Switzerland, they used to purchase their cannabis from the black market. However, a regulated market and the presence of low THC cannabis have shifted them to the legal market. Moreover, it is also important to note that Switzerland is one of the most affluent countries in the world. It currently stands as the 9th richest country in terms of GDP per capita. Hence, the potential for further growth is significant.

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J. Phillip

Coming from Miami FL, Jonathan Phillip or (J. Phillip) is a social media marketer and currently head of PR and social media management for MarijuanaStocks.com. When working with clients in various sectors Jonathan will use his expertise and knowledge to make sure the correct audience is viewing and engaging with your content product or service. The goal I want to reach with each client is making sure they feel that they have met there mark for each campaign that is set. In addition, I also want the client to feel comfortable and have a full understanding of the process that is taking place during the marketing campaign. Jonathan is a self-taught marketer and entrepreneur learning from the best and sharpening his skills with each project.

Published at Wed, 19 Jun 2019 19:58:55 +0000

These Marijuana Stocks are Riding The Bullish Wave

These Marijuana Stocks are Riding The Bullish Wave

Marijuana stocks have undoubtedly beat expectations over the course of the past few years. In that time, we have seen many drastic upswings in pricing as well as some volatile bearish momentum. During the past few months, however, it seems as though these swings have become more and more infrequent, leading to an extremely friendly investor space. With so much to look forward to in the world of cannabis, it seems as though there are a few select stocks to keep in mind. These companies may not be the largest in the industry, but they are definitely making big waves.

The Green Organic Dutchman (TGODF) (TGOD) is one of the leaders when it comes to the production of high-quality organic marijuana. The company is currently publicly traded and is based in the Canadian market, but they have stated that they have large plans to move into the European, Caribbean, and Latin American markets as well as moving deeper into their domestic market.

One of the things that they have going in the current day is their organic hemp business. The company has been working to produce CBD oil in Canada, which they can then distribute with their wholly owned subsidiary HemPoland, which distributes within the EU. The company has stated that they have as much as 219,000 kilograms in growing capacity which they do through a 1.6 million square feet of growing space.

Recently, the Green Organic Dutchman announced that they have struck a deal with Neptune Wellness Solutions, to begin the extraction, formulation and packaging of several new products. Under the deal, the former will have as much as 230,000 kilograms of cannabis and hemp for Neptune to begin processing into organic wellness products. This is the largest deal that The Green Organic Dutchman has entered into in its time, which is quite a big deal.

Brian Athaide, CEO of the Green Organic Dutchman stated that “With this agreement, Neptune becomes a key partner for TGOD; we have been impressed with their commitment to innovation and excellence in every aspect of their business. Their unique capabilities in terms of extraction, formulation and packaging were decisive factors in our selection process.” All in all, the deal that the Green Organic Dutchman has made with Neptune Wellness Solutions, should help to see them moving deeper into the future of cannabis.

Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) is one of the leading real estate investment trusts working within the cannabis market. The company has shown that they have a profit margin of as much as 51% which is quite outstanding.

For investors who want to forgo some of the volatility of the greater marijuana market, Innovative Industrial Properties has worked to lease out all of the 19 spaces that they own. This has helped to bring their earnings up 440% over the past year or so with 140% going up in their net rental revenue. Innovative Industrial Properties continues to show why they have so much to offer the alternative side of the cannabis market.

pot stocks

Pursuant to an agreement between an affiliate of MAPH Enterprises, LLC (owners of MarijuanaStocks.com), Midam Ventures LLC and The Green Organic Dutchman, Midam is being paid $20,000 per month for a period beginning July 30, 2018, and ending July 30, 2019. We may buy or sell additional shares of (TGODF/TGOD) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, to provide public dissemination of favorable Information about The Green Organic Dutchman. The principles of MAPH participated in the IPO for The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings, Ltd. (TGOD) & own a collective 193,797 free trading shares & 9,725 warrants. The principals of MAPH intend to sell their positions in (TGOD) for profit. MAPH nor any of its principals have been compensated for any material related to (TGOD). As of November 13, 2018 a member of MAPH Enterprises LLC holds freely trading 231,300 shares and 150,000 warrants of The Green Organic Dutchman (TGODF) purchased in the open market. These may be sold at any point. This disclaimer will be updated at such time.

Published at Tue, 18 Jun 2019 19:55:06 +0000

New Organigram Deal Part of Continuing Cannabis Trend

New Organigram Deal Part of Continuing Cannabis Trend

  • New Organigram deal part of continuing cannabis trend
  • Canadian cannabis industry looks south for suppliers in Phase 2 of legalization
  • Organigram announces national distribution strategy for new vape pens/cartridges
  • Additional opportunities for penetration by U.S.-based companies 

Earlier today, TSI reported on the latest deal for NASDAQ-listed Organigram Holdings Inc (US: OGI CAN: OGI). The company announced that is becoming the exclusive Canadian supplier of Feather Company LTD.’s disposable vaporizer pens and 5/10 cartridges.

From the release:

Organigram has secured cannabis distribution arrangements across Canada, in all ten provinces. The Company plans to approach all ten provinces with Feather’s disposable [vaporizer pen] and cartridge-based units.

The exclusive supply arrangement is via licensing this vaporizer technology, through parent company Edison Cannabis Co.

The Seed Investor has already alerted investors to this new trend in the cannabis industry. Canada is moving to Phase 2 of its national legalization of cannabis (new regulations just announced). This means “next generation” cannabis products like vaporizers and vape pens, concentrates, and edibles and other cannabis-infused products.

For Canadian cannabis companies, this means developing or acquiring new product lines. Enter the U.S. cannabis industry.

Many fully legalized U.S. states are well ahead of Canada in bringing these products to market. U.S. companies possess the technology and expertise in manufacturing these products. They also already have branding and marketing expertise to bring to the table.

Canadian cannabis companies are finding that it’s faster and more cost effective to go the licensing/distribution agreement route versus organic development of these product lines from scratch.

Note how Organigram is setting itself up as a supplier of these products for the Canadian cannabis industry.

While U.S. companies can pursue additional deals like that of Feather, how long before one of the better funded U.S.-based companies sets their sights higher? Had Feather (and Edison Cannabis) sought to establish their own manufacturing facility north of the Border, it could be Feather that is now announcing plans to supply the entire Canadian market.

Investors looking for a parallel in the Canadian cannabis industry should look at cannabis extraction. Also needed for Phase 2 of cannabis legalization in Canada are the extracted cannabis oils that are the foundation for these value-added products.

TSI has been on top of this trend too. Companies like Medipharm Labs (US: MEDIF, CAN: LABS) and Valens GroWorks (US: VGWCF CAN: VGW) have already had impressive runs, on the backs of numerous supply agreements across the Canadian cannabis industry.

Neptune Wellness (NASDAQ: NEPT CAN: NEPT) recently announced its own plans to become a large-scale specialist in cannabis extraction.

Setting up a Canadian subsidiary for vape pens and vaporizer technology would mean a substantial capital investment. It also means securing access to provincial markets.

The payoff is the opportunity to become a national supplier, in a cannabis market that offers both full access to capital and regulatory certainty.

Today, the trend is U.S.-based companies licensing their technology to the Canadian cannabis industry. Tomorrow?

If the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 secures passage and the U.S. cannabis industry gains greater access to capital, we could then quickly see U.S.-based companies moving into Canada more aggressively.
 
 

Published at Tue, 18 Jun 2019 19:06:55 +0000

Marijuana Company of America and Joint Venture Partner Global Hemp Group Announce Start of Commercial Planting at Hemp Farm

Marijuana Company of America and Joint Venture Partner Global Hemp Group Announce Start of Commercial Planting at Hemp Farm

Columbia Care, a New York-based vertically integrated cannabis company with a presence in 12 U.S. states, launched the Columbia National Credit program to broaden payment options for customers.

For an industry plagued by the federally illegal status of its primary product—and the attendant banking obstacles that come with it—the move by Columbia Care represents a private business learning the financial ropes and taking matters into its own hands.

Columbia Care credit card cannabis purchases

Columbia Care

“We are in the business of expanding the entire national cannabis market, and this is exactly the type of industry-wide challenge our team excels at solving. By launching the first credit card in the country that can be used by consumers and industry participants to purchase cannabis products, we now exclusively offer an important capability that will serve Columbia Care’s national growth initiatives, including home delivery, automatic fulfillment and e-commerce,” Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, said in a public statement

For now, the Columbia National Credit program is available only at Columbia Care dispensaries. New York dispensaries were first to offer the cashless payment option in 2018, followed by Delaware and Pennsylvania. Next up this month: Illinois and Arizona. Columbia Care management intends to offer the credit program at all U.S. stores by the end of the year.

Beyond that, the company is “evaluating opportunities” to extend to the program to other businesses through partnerships.

And so far, so good. The company reported an 18-percent increase in basket size for in-store purchases in New York when customers used the Columbia National Credit card during a 2018 pilot program. The growth is even more clear in delivery transactions, which account for 10 percent of the company’s revenue in New York. For delivery customers using the Columbia National Credit card, basket sizes were 40-percent higher than in-store purchases.

“Based on our success in New York, one of the most demanding retail markets in the world, we are confident that the CNC Card has the potential to be a significant value add for the company and for all of our customers who look to us for reliable and convenient high-quality health and wellness options,” Vita said in a public statement.

More broadly speaking, the industry continues to wrestle with questions of banking, credit and cashless payments. California lawmakers, for example, are working to allow banks and credit unions to accept cash deposits from dispensaries—to set up what would look like a state-chartered banking system for the cannabis industry. The California General Assembly passed the bill with a 35-1 vote in May; the California Senate has the bill in committee as of June 13

And in Washington, D.C., federal legislators continue to push forward the SAFE Banking Act, which would shield financial institutions from federal prosecution when engaging the cannabis industry in business. That bill, H.R. 1595, is awaiting a full floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) introduced the SAFE Banking Act in March.

“The SAFE Banking Act is about public safety, accountability and respecting states’ rights. Our federal banking laws were designed to prevent illicit activity and help law enforcement do their jobs,” Perlmutter said in a public statement at the time. “These laws need to be applied to legitimate marijuana businesses and employees in order to improve transparency and accountability and help root out illegal transactions. Most importantly, the SAFE Banking Act will get cash off our streets, reducing the risk of violent crime and making our communities safer.” 

Until then, Columbia Care has shown that other financial options are on the table for cannabis retailers.

Published at Tue, 18 Jun 2019 21:07:00 +0000