Monthly Archives: August 2019

We Are Nearing the End of Cannabis Prohibition

We Are Nearing the End of Cannabis Prohibition

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Fri, 30 Aug 2019 12:30:00 +0000

Blueberries Medical Corp. Closes Over-Subscribed Private Placement

Blueberries Medical Corp. Closes Over-Subscribed Private Placement

Blueberries Medical Corp. (CSE: BBM) (OTC: BBRRF) (FRA: 1OA) (the “Company” or “Blueberries“), a leading Latin American licensed producer of medicinal cannabis and cannabis-derived products, is pleased to announce it has closed its over-subscribed, non-brokered private placement (the “Offering”) of units (the “Units”) at a price of C$0.25 per Unit for total gross proceeds of C$3,457,500.

Each Unit consists of one common share in the capital of the Company (a “Share”) and one Share purchase warrant (a “Warrant”). Each Warrant entitles the holder to acquire one Share at a price of C$0.35 until August 29, 2021.

“We are very pleased to have closed this financing, which saw major demand from the market and was heavily oversubscribed. This is an exciting time of growth for the company and this capital will allow us to invest in and scale our business effectively,” stated Dr. Patricio Stocker, Chief Executive Officer. “This financing included further investment from our founding shareholders, strategic investors, and participation by members of management and the board.”

The net proceeds of the Offering will be used to further expand the Company’s Colombian cultivation and extraction facilities as well as for working capital and general corporate purposes. The Company expects to close a second tranche of the Offering in September.

PowerOne Capital Markets Limited acted as finder in connection with the Offering. A 7% cash finder’s fee was paid together with the issuance of finder warrants (the “Finder Warrants”) equal to 7% of the Units placed. Each Finder Warrant entitles the holder to acquire one Unit for $0.25 until August 29, 2021.

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.

Additional information about the Company is available at www.blueberriesmed.com. For more information, please contact:

Camilo Villalba, Chief Operating Officer
cvillalba@blueberriesmed.com
Tel: +57 (313) 483 0131

Ian Atacan, Chief Financial Officer
iatacan@blueberriesmed.com
Tel: +1 (416) 562 3220

Jessika Angarita, Pacta Relations
angarita@pactarelations.com
Tel: +1 (305) 877 4710

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward looking statements relate, among other things, to: the completion of the second tranche of the Offering, the proposed use of the net proceeds from the Offering, and the Company’s objectives, goals, and future plans.

These forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions and estimates of management of the Company at the time such statements were made. Actual future results may differ materially as forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to materially differ from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors, among other things, include: fluctuations in general macroeconomic conditions; fluctuations in securities markets; expectations regarding the size of the Colombian and international medical cannabis market and changing consumer habits; the ability of the Company to successfully achieve its business objectives; plans for expansion; political and social uncertainties; inability to obtain adequate insurance to cover risks and hazards; and the presence of laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on cultivation, production, distribution and sale of cannabis and cannabis related products in Colombia, Argentina and elsewhere; and employee relations. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the Company believes, or believed at the time, to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure shareholders that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking statements, as there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

Additional information regarding the Company, and other risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s business are contained under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Listing Statement dated January 31, 2019 filed on its issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

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Published at Fri, 30 Aug 2019 12:17:13 +0000

Florida Medical Marijuana Case Goes to State’s Supreme Court

Florida Medical Marijuana Case Goes to State’s Supreme Court

Weedmaps has come out as the latest online cannabis dispensary directory to purge its website of unlicensed shops in a move that Wikileaf CEO and Founder Dan Nelson calls continued growing pains for an industry that is constantly becoming more mainstream.

Weedmaps announced Aug. 21 that it will no longer allow illicit businesses to advertise on its platform in a move projected to undercut California’s vast illegal cannabis market, according to a CTV News report.

Nelson and the Wikileaf team made a similar decision in late 2017, when it cracked down on unlicensed businesses listed on its website. In early 2018, when California launched its legal adult-use cannabis market, Wikileaf purged its directory of all illegal dispensaries, cutting its list of 1,500 California shops back to 577, Nelson says.

Two driving forces led Wikileaf to its purge, he adds: feedback from dispensaries and an eye toward a listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Wikileaf’s dispensary onboarding team received ongoing feedback from businesses expressing dismay when, after they went through the painstaking licensing process and displayed compliance with California regulations, their dispensary was displayed on online platforms next to nearby dispensaries that had not received licenses.

“It was their view, which I believe is also a true one, that the platforms were enabling these black-market businesses to siphon off business that really should have gone to the legal outlets,” Nelson says. “That was the first bit of feedback that we were getting every day from the dispensaries that we work with back in late 2017 and early 2018.”

Then, as the company ramped up plans for its listing on the CSE, it began looking more closely at its compliance with each state’s advertising regulations and laws regarding unlicensed dispensaries. This eventually led Nelson and his team to conclude that Wikileaf needed to purge its platform of illicit businesses in order to take the company public.

“Both of those things caused us to pull the trigger, and once we decided to do it, our data entry team had culled the herd in probably about three days tops,” Nelson says.

The Wikileaf team used government resources and pulled cannabis business’s license numbers and contact information into a spreadsheet, and then compared that line by line with the dispensaries in the Wikileaf database. The businesses not listed on the master spreadsheet of licensees were simply deleted from Wikileaf’s website.

To maintain a compliant database, Wikileaf has set up what are called visual pings on the government websites, Nelson says. Any time a piece of text is changed on those web pages—any time a business loses or gains a license—the Wikileaf team is notified within 24 hours and can update its database accordingly.

Dispensaries can sign up online to be listed on Wikileaf’s database, and an additional field is now included for the business’s license number. Without a license number, a dispensary will not be considered for the platform, Nelson says.

“If we really want to have a totally legal market, then it’s going to take participation from all of the platforms, I think, together,” he says. “That’s Wikileaf, that’s Leafly, that’s Weedmaps, [and] that’s probably even Facebook and Instagram [that need] to get on board with only allowing licensed dispensaries. If a dispensary is not willing to show a provider their license, they should not be on the platform. I think that’s the best way for the industry to move forward for consumers and for the businesses themselves.”

Wikileaf did receive some pushback from the unlicensed dispensaries it booted from its platform in early 2018, he adds.

“Some dispensaries were using us essentially as their website, where they would drive their customers to their Wikileaf page so their customers could see what they had to offer,” Nelson says. “They were very much utilizing the site, they were encouraging reviews on their page and all that, so when we pulled it out from under them—we sent out a memo the same day, letting everyone know why we did what we did—but obviously, they felt like the rug was pulled out from under them.”

Nelson points out that the issue is not isolated to California. For example, in 2014 and early 2015, when Washington transitioned from a medical-only to an adult-use market, many of the medical dispensaries that did not receive an adult-use license operated in a legal gray area for a few months, Nelson says.

“They weren’t necessarily getting their doors knocked in by the feds or anything, but they were also not technically legal to operate,” he says. “This gray zone operated in the interim between the medical and recreational transition for a few months, and we had to make the same decision back then to pull the medical shops that we had been working with for a while just because they lost their license. … It’s basically just growing pains and getting through the first official phases of legalization.”

Published at Fri, 30 Aug 2019 15:27:00 +0000

Strong Growth Projected For Global Medicinal Cannabis Market

Strong Growth Projected For Global Medicinal Cannabis Market

In North America, the focus on the cannabis industry is increasingly shifting toward recreational cannabis demand – and the revenues generated. There is a good reason for this.

The recreational cannabis market has more immediate revenue/growth potential.
The recreational cannabis market can offer consumers much greater product variety.
The recreational cannabis market offers significantly more branding/marketing potential.

That said, cannabis investors seeking to maximize their investment returns should not ignore the medicinal cannabis market and its increasing global potential.

Let’s do the math. The population of Canada and the United States represents less than 5% of the global population. While these are generally affluent economies, other nations (especially in the Asia Pacific region) are rapidly closing the economic gap.

Currently (along with North America), medicinal cannabis is legal in much of Europe, a growing percentage of South America, Australia, and it is just beginning to be legalized in Asia. Only a small percentage of the global population has legalized medicinal cannabis (so far). Even so, the overall potential of medicinal cannabis today exceeds the current potential for the recreational cannabis market.

A new research report (August 2019) emphasizes this potential.
 

In contrast, the CAGR for the recreational cannabis is projected to be greater, especially for concentrates and edibles:
 

  • 20% for dried flower
  • 33% for cannabis edibles
  • 41% for cannabis concentrates

Edibles and concentrates are already legal in dual-use U.S. states. These value-added products are about to become legal in Canada nationally when Phase 2 of legalization takes effect in October 2019.

Still even with this higher growth potential (in percentage terms), the long-term global potential for medicinal cannabis greatly exceeds this. Again, it’s a numbers game.

With the 95% of the global population outside the U.S. and Canada, new/larger markets can open up internationally that will instantly alter the market dynamics.

India is now moving toward legalizing medicinal cannabis. Its first cultivation license has been issued. A bill has been introduced into India’s Parliament to legalize medicinal cannabis. By itself, that would more than double the total global population with access to medicinal cannabis.

China’s approach to cannabis is much murkier. There is legal, government-sponsored hemp production in two of China’s provinces, on a large scale. There is ‘unofficial’ hemp cultivation (on a smaller scale) that is generally ignored by government – some with THC content above the 0.3% threshold that is generally deemed to separate “industrial hemp” from regular cannabis.

However, China’s government remains adamantly opposed to cannabis legalization. Its phobic attitude here is undoubtedly a cultural memory of the Opium Wars, where the West (primarily Britain) inflicted grievous harm on China – socially and economically – by saturating China with imported opium from British India.

Even without China, there are many other populous nations in Europe, Asia and South America. As some of these other nations also move toward legalization of medicinal cannabis, this can rapidly tilt the overall global market in favor of medicinal demand.

Inside Canada and the U.S., medicinal cannabis demand remains a very important component of the overall market. New consumers have less resistance to trying cannabis as a medicinal therapy than using it recreationally.

In the U.S., three times as many states have legalized medicinal cannabis (33) as have legalized both recreational and medicinal use (11). A recent Seed Investor article looked at some of the very robust growth numbers for medicinal cannabis from individual U.S. states.

In Oklahoma, which has taken a very progressive approach to medicinal cannabis, the state is adding 641 new medicinal patients per day. A total of 4.1% of Oklahoma’s population have already used cannabis for medicinal purposes. But this number is just a drop in the bucket.

Nearly 70% of Americans are on prescription drugs. More than half take two or more. Many of these drugs cause numerous dangerous and/or life-threatening side effects. Additionally, 75% of Americans also use one or more over-the-counter drugs.

In comparison, cannabis is completely safe and benign. Medicinal usage rates in U.S. states can be expected to increase by at least a factor of ten over the longer term. And in U.S. states with lower (current) rates of medicinal cannabis use, that increase will be proportionately much greater.

The global pharmaceutical industry is a $1 trillion per year revenue pie. But it is an industry in ill health – much like the consumers who use its chemical concoctions. New patents are costing much, much more and taking longer than ever to bring to market.

Big Pharma has simply run out of new chemicals it can bring to market that don’t cause more harm than the diseases they attempt to treat.

Medicinal cannabis is already being prescribed as a therapy for thousands of medical disorders. Over the long term, medicinal cannabis can be expected to take much (maybe even most) of that $1 trillion pharmaceuticals market.

Recreational cannabis demand and adult use markets currently occupy most of the attention of cannabis investors. However, a well-balanced cannabis portfolio will also have considerable exposure to medicinal cannabis.
 

Published at Fri, 30 Aug 2019 10:00:09 +0000

Amyris Inc (NASDAQ:AMRS) Receives Notice From Nasdaq For Not Keeping Time

Amyris Inc (NASDAQ:AMRS) Receives Notice From Nasdaq For Not Keeping Time

Amyris Inc
(NASDAQ:AMRS)

may have seen the standard notice from the Nasdaq coming! However, it seems
like the business guru wasn’t prepared for it since it was shaken a great deal.

Amyris skips deadline

The body, in its report, outlined that
the business was no longer in compliance with its Listing
Rule 5250(c)(1). The rule provides that all the listed companies make a timely
filing of their periodic financial reports. The business skipped the deadline
for filing its report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Amyris
says the focus on the development of top-notch ingredients for the Health &
Wellness market has been challenging. The business says these challenges might
have played a part. The rest of the companies had filed their annual reports on
Form 10-K in good time. This was of course for the year ended December 31,
2018. The company didn’t also comply in line with the quarter ended March 31,
2019. It should also have filed a timely quarterly report on the Form 10-Q.

Nasdaq and its governing rules

The
Securities and Exchange Commission just like the rest of the organizations
around the globe, is governed by some rules. The body has over the years been
advocating for companies to do things the right way to avoid being penalized or
other serious consequences.

The
NASDAQ notice is a red flag for the company. However, as per this particular
moment, it doesn’t yet pose any immediate effect on it and its business
operations. The listing or trading of the company’s stock goes on as usual.
That is of course on the listing or trading of the Global Select Market of NASDAQ.

In
light of the rules governing the listing segment on NASDAQ, Amyris should have
submitted its plan in time. To be able to regain compliance was supposed to
have acted by June 3, 2019. Lucky enough for the business giant, it had already
written down its plan, and the body had also accepted it.

Amyris
says it will focus on its goal to achieve compliance. If all moves as per the
plan, by September 30, 2019, it will have accomplished everything. It was just
the other day that the company held talks with several auditors whom it wanted
to assist it in the filing of the compliance.

Published at Wed, 28 Aug 2019 12:06:21 +0000

Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. Completes Acquisition of 824-Acre Potrero Ranch Hemp Cultivation Property

Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. Completes Acquisition of 824-Acre Potrero Ranch Hemp Cultivation Property

CHICAGO and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) PRESS RELEASE — Green Thumb Industries Inc. today announced it has closed on a transaction to acquire New York-based Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, one of only 10 companies approved to operate a medical marijuana company in the state. Assets include a manufacturing and cultivation facility in Schenectady County and a retail store in each of the following locations: Manhattan, Rochester, Halfmoon and Nassau County, three of which are open.

“As one of only 10 license holders in a state with a population of approximately 20 million, this acquisition is firmly in line with our strategic goal of entering highly regulated markets to manufacture and distribute cannabis brands at scale,” said GTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. “We believe entry into New York is an important milestone as we empower the right to wellness through responsible increased access to cannabis and are privileged to serve the people of New York seeking relief and an enhanced quality of life.”

New York’s medical marijuana market has more than 105,000 registered patients as of August 20, almost doubling since January 2018. The state’s program has 15 qualifying conditions including chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and opioid replacement, and allows for home delivery.

“GTI is the clear industry leader and we have been very impressed with GTI’s leadership team and vision for the future,” said Fiorello Pharmaceuticals co-CEO Susan Yoss. “New York will benefit from GTI’s medical cannabis expertise and the high-quality care and products that they will bring to the many patients suffering from debilitating and life-threatening conditions.”

Published at Tue, 27 Aug 2019 15:48:00 +0000

The Marijuana Magnet: Why Big Dollars and Heavy-Hitters are Strongly Attracted

The Marijuana Magnet: Why Big Dollars and Heavy-Hitters are Strongly Attracted

Markets are driven by opportunity. Companies (and individuals) seek out industries and business opportunities that offer the most attractive balance between risk and reward.

Look behind this general dynamic, however, and investors can see that markets are driven primarily by two emotions. Fear and greed.

It’s generally true in markets. It’s true with the cannabis industry as well.

Following nearly 100 years of Prohibition, the cannabis sector represents an enormous opportunity to build a new industry. Over the long term, cannabis has the potential to revolutionize the global economy in the 21st century.

This is a function of not only the amazing versatility of the cannabis plant (and its hemp sub-species). In the context of both medicine and recreational products, cannabis is highly potent and completely safe.

In the near term, if cannabis had been legalized at the national level in the United States (and rolled out efficiently), the U.S. cannabis industry could already be a $108 billion per year revenue producer today.

Canada’s cannabis market is already legalized nationally. Sales are now rising strongly and Phase 2 of legalization (value-added cannabis products) kicks in this October.

Major opportunities in the United States and Canada today. More opportunities on the horizon internationally.

Heavy-hitters throughout the business world have already identified this potential. Both multinational corporations and the senior executives of many multinational corporations are flocking to the cannabis sector.

Here is where we see the different emotions at play. In the case of executives entering the cannabis industry, their motivation could be best classified as greed.

Not the get-rich-quick greed of novices to the business world. Rather these veterans of other retailing industries have assessed the cannabis space and seen a ground-floor opportunity that rivals their own (already mature) industries.

A recent Seed Investor headline captures this sentiment.
 

It’s not the cannabis companies that are touting their industry as “a once-in-the-lifetime opportunity”. That was the characterization of the CEO of a recruiting company that is matching up cannabis companies with these C-suite executives.

These high-profile executives are being drawn to the cannabis industry by both the magnitude of the opportunity and the robust compensation being offered by cannabis companies.

Thanks to nearly a century of Prohibition, cannabis is artificially a brand-new (legal) industry. Long-term, as medicine cannabis has twelve-figure potential (i.e. $100’s of billions). As a recreational drug, the cannabis sector has twelve-figure potential. As an ingredient in nutraceutical/cosmeceutical products, cannabis has twelve-figure potential.

And that doesn’t even begin to include the thousands of uses for industrial hemp.

That quantum of long-term revenue potential is enough to make even the most sober retail executive giddy. And look where the cannabis industry has been able to recruit from.

Household brand-names like: PepsiCo (US:PEP), Kellogg (US:K), MillerCoors (US:TAP), Mars Wrigley, and Walmart (US:WMT). This comes with cannabis stock valuations in a deep trough and with current cannabis revenues literally just the tip of the iceberg.

Just imagine how the corporate executives will start flocking to cannabis once the industry is allowed to begin to reach its full potential.

Congress is currently pushing toward national legalization. The FDA has promised more sensible regulations for CBD. Over 1,100 state and federal bills for cannabis reform have already been tabled in 2019. Cannabis normalization is rapidly approaching in the U.S.

That’s why the executives of multinational corporations are converging on the cannabis sector: greed. Greed in the form of more long-term revenue potential than any other new industry today.

As for the multinational corporations looking to enter the cannabis space, their motivation is different. Fear.

Combined, the alcohol and tobacco industries generate nearly $2 trillion per year in revenues. Alcohol is toxic and addictive. It’s the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Alcohol kills twice as many Americans as opioids.

Tobacco (nicotine) is much more toxic. It is much more addictive. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States — 480,000 deaths per year. Tobacco kills 10 times as many Americans as opiates.

Cannabis is non-toxic and non-addictive. Rather than causing health problems, cannabis is prescribed to treat health problems – including many of the serious/deadly diseases caused by alcohol and/or tobacco use. Cannabis doesn’t kill anyone.

Because of the increasing dangers associated with alcohol use, the alcohol industry is now in permanent decline. Outside of Third World markets, tobacco sales are flat.

Cannabis is a threat to claim some/most of that $2 trillion per year in revenues. Alcohol and tobacco giants can see the writing on the wall – and they are afraid. And so they are entering cannabis.

Constellation Brands (US:STZ) has been the most aggressive to date, investing $4 billion into cannabis industry leader, Canopy Growth (US:CGC / CAN:WEED). Molson Coors has established a joint venture with Canadian cannabis giant, HEXO Corp (US:HEXO / CAN:HEXO). Other alcohol giants have already been rumored to be sniffing around the sector.

The multinational tobacco giants aren’t far behind. Altria (US:MO) has invested $1.8 billion in Cronos Group (CAN:CRON). Imperial Brands (LON:IMB) just invested $123 million in Auxly Cannabis (CAN:XLY / US:CBWTF).

That’s quite a bit of fear, given that the (legal) cannabis industry is still in its infancy. As the cannabis market really begins to take off (in the U.S. and Canada), this trickle of investments from the alcohol and tobacco giants will become a flood.

Then we have Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc (CAN:ATD.A / US:ANCTF), the grocery/convenience store multinational based in Canada. The company controls 16,000 stores in 26 countries.

Couche-Tard recently invested CAD$25 million in one of Canada’s leading cannabis retailers Fire & Flower Holdings (CAN:FAF / US:FFLWF). However, along with that announcement, Couche-Tard (the owner of Circle-K convenience stores) indicated that it was prepared to commit up to CAD$380 million of “growth capital”.

This was not from a “fear” motive – at least not directly. The cannabis sector is no threat to a grocery/convenience store company.

Instead, call it fear of missing an opportunity. While Couche-Tard can’t directly stock its store shelves with cannabis products today, that day is coming. As government phobias toward cannabis fade, regulations will relax.

There is definitely a place for (some types of) cannabis products on the store shelves of grocery/convenience stores. Grocery and convenience stores are allowed to sell deadly/addictive tobacco products. They should certainly be allowed to sell safe cannabis products.

Couche-Tard’s investment makes the company a first-mover in preparing for this additional cannabis retail potential.

Fear and greed move markets. Fear and greed move industries. These strong motives will propel the cannabis industry higher – and along with it, marijuana stock valuations.
 

Published at Mon, 26 Aug 2019 10:00:05 +0000

How Cannabis Company Caliva Survived a Business-Ending Regulation

How Cannabis Company Caliva Survived a Business-Ending Regulation

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000