Monthly Archives: January 2020

4 Key Things You Have to Manage in Your Cannabis Business in Order to Succeed

4 Key Things You Have to Manage in Your Cannabis Business in Order to Succeed

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Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 17:00:00 +0000

CB2 Insights Appoints Healthcare Industry Expert and Former IQVIA Executive Tom Brogan to its Board of Directors

CB2 Insights Appoints Healthcare Industry Expert and Former IQVIA Executive Tom Brogan to its Board of Directors

CB2 Insights (CSE:CBII; OTCQB: CBIIF) (“CB2” or the “Company”), a leading data-driven company focused on bringing real-world evidence driven from the point-of-care to the medical cannabis community, is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Brogan, as an independent director to CB2’s Board of Directors. Effective immediately, Mr. Brogan will replace outgoing Directors, David Danziger and Gerry Goldberg, who wish to pursue other opportunities. Current Independent Director, Norton Singhavon has immediately been appointed Interim Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Brogan brings 40 years experience in aggregating anonymized healthcare data to create insights to support traditional pharmaceutical companies and for use in health economic studies.  His innovations include a long list of applications that merge Real World Evidence with traditional healthcare protocols. Mr. Brogan is currently the CEO and Chairman at Vestrum Health, an electronic healthcare record data company which delivers information systems to pharmaceutical manufacturers, physician practices and other healthcare stakeholders. Prior to Vestrum Health, he was the founder of Brogan Consulting, which was acquired by IMS in 2010, now IQVIA, one of the world’s largest Contract Research Organizations (CROs), following which Mr. Brogan continued on with the company as Vice President of Global Oncology at IMS Health.

“Mr. Brogan’s extensive experience in building innovative data-driven healthcare technology companies combined with global operations exposure in the Life Sciences sector with leading names in Contract Research and Data Analytics, will be key addition to our Board and leadership team, fostering the growth of CB2,” said Prad Sekar, CEO of CB2 Insights. “As we continue to bolster our Board to be representative of the vision and direction of the Company, we are confident that Mr. Brogan’s track record will provide CB2 with exceptional perspective in maximizing our strategies, and exposure to traditional pharma partners for future commercialization.”

“I look forward to being part of the CB2’s leadership team and advising the Company through the next growth phase,” said Tom Brogan. “As I have experienced before, the Company’s unique business strategy is proving it will a be a critical contributor to advancing the use cannabinoid-based medicines into traditional healthcare through technology, data, and supporting clinical trials – an area that is lacking in the current market.”

“On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank Mr. Danziger and Mr. Goldberg for their contributions to the organization,” said Norton Singhavon, Interim Chairman of the Board of CB2 Insights. “We are pleased to welcome Mr. Brogan to the Board and look forward to the extensive knowledge and expertise he adds to CB2.”

The Company thanks Mr. Danziger and Mr. Goldberg for their contributions made during their tenures.

About CB2 Insights

CB2 Insights (CSE:CBII) is a global leader in clinical operations, technology & analytics solutions and research and development services with a mission to mainstream medical cannabis into traditional healthcare.  Providing immediate market access through its wholly-owned clinical network across 12 jurisdictions, proprietary data-driven technology solutions and comprehensive contract research services designed for those in both the medical cannabis and traditional life sciences industries, CB2 Insights is able to support its partners across the entire data and research spectrum.

CB2’s Clinical Operations business unit leverages extensive experience to develop clinical models with standard operating procedures, advanced workflows, training and ongoing management support.  CB2 also owns and operates its own specialty clinics including the brands Canna Care Docs and Relaxed Clarity which assess nearly 100,000 patients seeking medical cannabis treatment to provide immediate market access to US-based product manufacturers for clinical trial and research programs.

The Company has built both electronic data capture (EDC) and clinical data management software (CDMS) which work to support its partners of any size to execute their data and clinical strategies.

CB2 also offers comprehensive contract research organization (CRO) services including full scale clinical trial management, trial design, monitoring and other key research functions used by licensed producers, multi-state operators and traditional pharmaceutical companies entering the medical cannabis space.

For more information please visit www.cb2insights.com.

For additional information, please contact:

Investor Relations Department
1.855.847.4999  ext. 212
investors@cb2insights.com

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this news release that are forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed here and elsewhere in CB2’s filings with Canadian securities regulators. When used in this news release, words such as “will, could, plan, estimate, expect, intend, may, potential, believe, should,” and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements may include, without limitation, statements regarding the opportunity to provide services and software to the U.S. cannabis industry.

Although CB2 has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, there can be other factors that cause results, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended, including, but not limited to: dependence on obtaining regulatory approvals; investing in target companies or projects which have limited or no operating history and are subject to inconsistent legislation and regulation; change in laws; reliance on management; requirements for additional financing; competition; hindering market growth and state adoption due to inconsistent public opinion and perception of the medical-use and recreational-use marijuana industry and; regulatory or political change.

There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate or that management’s expectations or estimates of future developments, circumstances or results will materialize. As a result of these risks and uncertainties, the results or events predicted in these forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or events.

Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release are made as of the date of this release. CB2 disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise such information, except as required by applicable law, and CB2 does not assume any liability for disclosure relating to any other company mentioned herein. 

No securities regulator or exchange has reviewed, approved, disapproved, or accepts responsibility for the content of this news release.

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Published at Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:34:10 +0000

National Cannabis Industry Association Releases Extensive Report on Vaping Illness and Related Policy

National Cannabis Industry Association Releases Extensive Report on Vaping Illness and Related Policy

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — PRESS RELEASE — Driven Deliveries has announced the company’s letter of intention (LOI) to purchase Northern California-based legacy cannabis distribution company, Humboldt Heritage Inc. (HHI), and its subsidiaries, Humboldt Sun Growers Guild LLC (HSGG) and Grateful Eight LLC (G8). The acquisition will galvanize a powerful, synergistic alliance between the two California-based cannabis companies, resulting in California’s largest farm-to-consumer, vertically-integrated operator. The acquisition is expected to an additional $20M to the company’s 2020 revenue forecast.

In addition to adding to DRVD’s topline revenue from HHI’s current distribution operations, DRVD and its Ganjarunner delivery service will gain exclusive access to 18 unique brands including Cuba Libre, Lost Creek, Rambling Rose and Humboldt Edge Farms.

Moreover, Driven’s customer base will have access to products from more than 200 famed Humboldt farms. By leveraging the fully integrated supply chain, DRVD anticipates a gross margin improvement of over 13% for vertically-produced products. Additionally, by leveraging economies of scale through the combined entities, DRVD expects a gross margin improvement of over 6% from products and materials purchased in bulk.

Further, Driven intends to leverage the brands the Humboldt Sun Growers Guild services, including its in-house brand, True Humboldt, family-run Sunrise Mountain Farms, and women-owned Juniper into its Ganjarunner delivery service.

“Driven looks forward to bringing Humboldt Heritage and the Humboldt Sun Growers Guild into our company portfolio,” says Christian Schenk, CEO of Driven Deliveries. “As a vertically integrated cannabis company complete with 90 minute delivery to 92% of California, distribution was the only missing piece to our portfolio puzzle. There is no better cannabis on the market today that can match the quality and consistency produced by the Humboldt Sun Growers Guild. This acquisition brings not only DRVD, but also California’s cannabis consumers closer to the multi-generational, heritage farmers growing cannabis in the world-renowned Emerald Triangle.”

DRVD intends to combine Humboldt Heritage’s distribution network with its delivery network to streamline operations for optimal efficiency.

“Humboldt County arguably produces some of the best cannabis in the world and Driven is honored and humbled that the Humboldt Sungrowers Guild chose to partner with our company. We intend to uphold its time-honored legacy and do right by all of our family farmers, as we welcome them to the extended family of Driven and Ganjarunner,” says Brian Hayek, president of Driven. 

“We are extremely excited to be teaming up with the Driven family. Driven’s ‘last mile’ delivery capabilities will enable the Humboldt Sun Growers Guild’s farmers’ world-renowned cannabis products to be delivered direct to over 30 million of California’s cannabis consumers. Our shared vision is to provide and maintain a strong, consistent supply chain that provides the highest-quality products in the industry, which allows our regional cultivators and producers access to a larger consumer market through the use of Driven’s advanced online digital menus, Weedwaves app, and delivery platforms,” says Barry Nachshon, CEO of Humboldt Heritage Inc.

Published at Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:23:00 +0000

Two Canadian Cannabis Leaders In Legal Spat

Two Canadian Cannabis Leaders In Legal Spat

Call it “growing pains”. News is out of a legal dispute between major Canadian LP, Hexo Corp (US:HEXO / CAN:HEXO) and extraction leader, MediPharm Labs (CAN:LABS / US:MEDIF).

MediPharm is alleging CAD$9.8 million is outstanding with respect to an extraction contract between MediPharm and Hexo. Hexo acknowledges the dispute. However, Vice President of Communications Isabelle Robillard says Hexo had “serious concerns” regarding the contract and had tried to “work in good faith towards a resolution”.

Complicating the matter, the original contract was between MediPharm and Newstrike Brands Inc. Hexo subsequently acquired Newstrike and inherited its legal obligations.

The $9.8 million at issue is part of a CAD$35 million extraction contract between MediPharm and Newstrike executed in 2018. Under the terms, MediPharm asserts that it is owed a minimum of CAD$7.6 million for cannabis oil it provided, along with at least $27 million in additional payments for extraction services.

Hexo’s stock has been under pressure due to revenue growth that has failed to meet expectations. Based in Quebec and the province’s dominant cannabis supplier, Hexo has been particularly affected by the provincial government’s phobic behavior toward cannabis legalization – and a lack of licensed cannabis stores.

MediPharm’s shares have performed better for investors. One of two industry extraction leaders in Canada, MediPharm was one of the best-performing cannabis stocks in 2019. In 2020, the company remains a “buy” according to PI Financial analyst Devin Schilling.
 

Published at Tue, 28 Jan 2020 17:02:00 +0000

CBG and CBC Kill Gastrointestinal Cancer Cells in Preliminary Study

CBG and CBC Kill Gastrointestinal Cancer Cells in Preliminary Study

TEL AVIV, Israel and BETHESDA, Maryland, Jan. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/PRESS RELEASE — Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: CNBX), a leader in personalized cannabinoid medicine focused on cancer and its side effects, announced today that in a series of tests conducted at the company’s High Through-put Screening (HTS) facility in Israel, it has been shown that the cannabinoids CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG (cannabigerol) both exhibit anti-tumor properties, tested on human gastrointestinal cancer cells.

CBC is an additional non-intoxicating cannabinoid and is one of the naturally occurring phytocannabinoids. It bears a host of potential positive therapeutic qualities and may promote antimicrobial, anti‐inflammatory, analgesic, and neurogenesis activity. It is particularly found in younger cannabis plants, albeit in small quantities. 

In these tests, the HTS platform was utilized to screen the necrotic effects of a variety of cannabinoids on human gastrointestinal cancer cells, in addition to other cancer types previously tested. CBC and CBG were both shown to induce significantly higher rates of necrosis in these cancer cells compared to other cannabinoids, thus strengthening previously obtained results.

© credit | Cannabics Pharmaceuticals

Cannabinoid extract causing necrosis in gastrointestinal cancer cell line. The Yellow color is a marker for necrosis. On the right – control, on the left – after treatment with cannabinoids

Dr. Yaakov Waksman, the company’s head of cannabinoid research, said, “My working assumption is that these results show that a correlation may exist between a cannabinoid’s Topological Polar Surface Area (TPSA) value and its ability to induce anti-tumor activity, diminishing cancer cell’s viability rates. CBC and CBG, as neutral cannabinoids, were both found to have a TPSA value which allows the cannabinoid molecule to penetrate a cancer cell’s membrane, whereas their acidic form (CBCA and CBGA) – do not. This could explain the difference in anti-tumor activity rates demonstrated”.

Related: Pre-Clinical Study Suggests CBG Is More Effective Than CBGA on Stomach and Bone Cancers

Dr. Eyal Ballan, CTO and Co-Founder, commented, “Gastrointestinal cancers are amongst the leading and most wide-spread causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. We are intrigued by the results we have obtained in the lab, and our aim is to consider placing an emphasis on this organ system, and to further explore the differential anti-tumor properties of cannabinoids. We believe that these preliminary results vindicate our vision; which is to bring personalization into cannabinoid-based cancer treatments.”

Published at Mon, 27 Jan 2020 20:04:00 +0000

Chemesis International Inc. Provides Corporate Update

Chemesis International Inc. Provides Corporate Update

 Chemesis International Inc. (CSI.CN) (CADMF) (CWAA.F) (the “Company” or “Chemesis“), announces, further to its news release dated January 17, 2019, that the Puerto Rico Department of Health has commenced an appeal of the favourable judgment (the “Decision“) obtained by the Company from the Puerto Rico Superior Court, San Juan, in respect of the certain cannabis licenses (“Licenses“) held by its subsidiary, Natural Ventures PR, LLC (“Natural Ventures“) which had effectively been abeyed by the Puerto Rico Department of Health. The Decision, which is now under appeal, found that such abeyance of the Licenses was invalid and unconstitutional and nullified such action.

The Company notes that the Department of Health had applied for a order staying the effect of the Decision until the appeal has been heard and decided; however, the Court decided in favour of the Company and did not stay the effect of the Decision. As a result, the Company remains in active consultation with its legal team with a view to having the Decision implemented as soon as practicable.

The Company notes that, at the current time, the Licenses have not yet been reinstated to being operational, and that Natural Ventures is still not permitted to carry out any licensed activities under the Licenses, though it is permitted to carry out certain activities for the purposes of preserving and maintaining inventory. The Company will provide further updates as appropriate.

On Behalf of The Board of Directors
Edgar Montero
CEO and Director

About Chemesis International Inc.

Chemesis International Inc. is a vertically integrated U.S. Multi-State operator with International operations in Puerto Rico and Colombia.

The Company focuses on prudent capital allocation to ensure it maintains a first mover advantage as it enters new markets and is committed to differentiate itself by deploying resources in markets with major opportunities. The Company operates a portfolio of brands that cater to a wide community of cannabis consumers, with focus on quality and consistency.

Chemesis has facilities in both Puerto Rico and California. The Company believes it is well-positioned to win additional licenses in highly competitive merit-based US states and will expand its footprint to ensure it maintains a first mover advantage.

Investor Relations:

ir@chemesis.com
1 (604) 398-3378

Forward-Looking Information: This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws relating to statements regarding the Company’s business, products and future of the Company’s business, its product offerings and plans for sales and marketing, including with respect to the Company’s expectations regarding the implementation of the Decision, the outcome of the appeal, the reinstatement of the Licenses, its plans to continue to develop dispensaries in Puerto Rico, and its ability to obtain licenses in additional jurisdictions. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance and developments to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements depending on, among other things, the risks that the Decision may be successfully appealed by the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the appeal may not be resolved promptly, that the activities permitted under the Licenses will be restored, that the Company’s products and plan will vary from those stated in this news release and the Company may not be able to carry out its business plans as expected, including, but not limited to, in relation to developing dispensaries in Puerto Rico, and its ability to obtain licenses in additional jurisdictions. Except as required by law, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation and does not intend to update any forward-looking statements or forward-looking information in this news release. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct and makes no reference to profitability based on sales reported. The statements in this news release are made as of the date of this release.

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Authored By

Anthony Varrell

Anthony Varrell is Managing Director of StoneBridge Partners LLC. SBP continues to drive market awareness for leading firms in the cannabis industry throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Published at Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:08:48 +0000

Golden Leaf Holdings Pursues Legal Action Against BMF Washington and Its Owner

Golden Leaf Holdings Pursues Legal Action Against BMF Washington and Its Owner

Thanks to additional regulatory, legal and financial scrutiny, tax season is far more challenging for cannabis businesses than most any other enterprise or industry.

Much of that extra scrutiny stems from Internal Revenue Code 280E, the federal statute that severely limits what expenses plant-touching cannabis businesses can deduct on their taxes.

While these limitations are certainly frustrating, they are not insurmountable. They simply require cannabis businesses to perform a little extra diligence and preparation to successfully navigate tax season and stay on track for sustainable growth in the years to come.

Navigating 280E

While most other businesses can deduct any number of expenses when preparing their tax returns—salaries, rent, equipment, etc.—thanks to the nuanced limitations of 280E, those in cannabis can only deduct expenses directly related to earning a profit, or the cost of goods sold (COGS).

That doesn’t mean cannabis companies can’t deduct rent and salaries—just those that play a direct role in selling cannabis.

Square Footage: For example, dispensary owners will want to become intimately familiar with their building’s floorplan and not dedicate much space to a lobby or breakroom. That’s because those spaces don’t play a direct role in sales. If a dispensary’s square footage is split between 75% sales floor and 25% lobby, only 75% of rent is eligible for tax deduction because cannabis transactions did not take place in the lobby. The same applies to growers and their spaces. Only square footage designated for actual growing and cultivating of the plant is eligible as a tax deduction.

Employee Duties: Employee classification can be subject to even more subtlety since the IRS takes a keen eye at salary deductions for cannabis businesses. For instance, a dispensary or cultivator might split certain employees’ time between grower and budtender duties. Since, technically, budtenders aren’t required to sell cannabis, only the employees’ time worked as a grower or cultivator can be deducted.

Why Detailed Records are Important

Strong record-keeping is a cornerstone of all good businesses, but for cannabis companies it takes on a whole different level of importance—especially come tax time.

Like all things to do with cannabis and taxes, the reason comes back to 280E and the extra scrutiny the IRS disproportionately gives to cannabis businesses.

That means proper documentation and classification records for employees, square footage and other aspects of the business to justify the claims, deductions and numbers on the tax return. Without good records and documentation to back up the numbers, cannabis businesses likely will face ample penalties and fees when the IRS reviews their filings.

The cannabis industry’s heavy reliance on cash also requires diligent record-keeping. Since cash doesn’t create a natural paper trail, cannabis companies must keep detailed records of those transactions including sales, deposits, wages, bills and any others. Plus, large amounts of cash and cash transactions will draw the attention of the IRS. Unfortunately, the agency will put zero effort into investigating the accuracy of businesses’ numbers. Instead, it will likely assume the worst when reviewing unless proper records and documentation have been provided.

The bottom line is: Because cannabis companies receive far more scrutiny from the IRS, they must prove their numbers with detailed records.

Other Ways to Save

While detailed records are the foundational piece to a successful tax season for all plant-touching businesses, they aren’t the only element in good tax prep. Here are a few more tips to seriously consider when readying to file taxes.

  • Take Advantage of Automation: Technology can play a big role in helping dispensaries, cultivators and other plant-touching cannabis firms with successfully navigating tax season. Making use of the right tools for inventory management and seed-to-sale movement will allow operators to properly track and segment product and sales. More efficient automation tools and tracking technology ensures expenses are tracked and classified properly to make it easier to back up the numbers on a tax return when the IRS comes calling.
  • Apply Same Tax Methods: Consistency in tax methodology is the friend to cannabis businesses. Using the same methods allows for better comparability year to year. If a cultivator tries to change the way they classify a certain employee or a dispensary suddenly claims a few extra square feet, they will likely raise red flags at the IRS. Now, if there are legitimate reasons for certain reclassifications or a shift in methodology in determining deductions, be sure to have proper documentation to justify those changes.
  • Recruit a Pro: The most surefire way for dispensaries and cultivators to maximize their tax savings and limit liabilities is to recruit a tax professional familiar with the cannabis industry. 280E is a unique part of the tax code that not all accountants have worked with. A cannabis-savvy accountant will know the ins and outs of 280E and will be able to evaluate and identify relevant business expenses for a specific business. In addition to addressing 280E issues, an experienced tax professional will be able to highlight other tax code changes that may impact a cannabis business. Every operation is different—even across the cannabis industry—and because the tax code is long, complex and susceptible to new rules and interpretations by the government, it’s vital to have a strong accountant at the helm to navigate a business through tax season.

Diligence is Key

As difficult as 280E compliance (and tax prep in general) can seem for dispensaries and cultivators—just be diligent. While it may be tempting to cut corners or fudge a number here or there, these potential time- and cost-saving decisions can come back to bite hard. Putting in the proper work will go a long way to positioning the business for success today and into the future.

Photo courtesy of Rebel Rock

Melissa Diaz is a co-founder and CFO of Arizona-based Rebel Rock, which provides cannabis businesses across North America with specialty accounting solutions, income tax services (U.S. only), CFO and controller services, and business system implementation. She guides companies of all sizes through GAAP compliance, financial modeling, financial reporting and general financial accounting inquiries and functions. 

Published at Fri, 24 Jan 2020 20:15:00 +0000

Aleafia Health Named to Newly Launched S&P/MX International Cannabis Index

Aleafia Health Named to Newly Launched S&P/MX International Cannabis Index

Aleafia Health Inc. (TSX: ALEF, OTC: ALEAF, FRA: ARAH) (“Aleafia Health” or the “Company”), a global cannabis health and wellness company, is pleased to announce that it has become a constituent company of the newly launched S&P/MX International Cannabis Index (MCAN). S&P Dow Jones calculates and manages the S&P/MX Indices. The TMX Group Inc. owns and distributes all S&P/MX equity index data.

MCAN comprises a select issuer group that meets minimum market capitalization and liquidity thresholds, among other requirements.

For Investor & Media Relations:

Nicholas Bergamini, VP Investor Relations
1-833-TSX-ALEF (879-2533)
IR@AleafiaHealth.com
LEARN MORE: www.AleafiaHealth.com

About Aleafia Health:

Aleafia Health is a leading, vertically integrated cannabis health and wellness company with four primary business units: Cannabis Cultivation & Products, Health & Wellness Clinics, Cannabis Education, and Consumer Experience with ecommerce, retail distribution and provincial supply agreements.

Aleafia Health owns three major cannabis product & cultivation facilities, two of which are licensed and operational including the first large-scale, operational outdoor cultivation facility in Canadian history. The Company produces a diverse portfolio of commercially proven, high-margin derivative products including oils, capsules and sprays. Aleafia Health operates the largest national network of medical cannabis clinics and education centres staffed by MDs, nurse practitioners and educators and operates internationally in three continents.

Innovation, the heart of Aleafia Health’s competitive advantage, has led to the Company maintaining a medical cannabis dataset with over 10 million data points to inform proprietary illness-specific product development and its highly differentiated education platform FoliEdge Academy. The Company is committed to creating sustainable shareholder value; the TSX Venture Exchange named Aleafia the 2019 top performing company prior to its graduation to the TSX.

Forward Looking Information

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities laws. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes” or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained in this news release. Risks, uncertainties and other factors involved with forward-looking information could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including risks contained in the Company’s annual information form filed with Canadian securities regulators available on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. The forward-looking information included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities legislation.

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Source: GlobeNewswire (January 24, 2020 – 8:30 AM EST)

News by QuoteMedia
www.quotemedia.com

Published at Fri, 24 Jan 2020 13:35:57 +0000

Super Drugs for Superbugs: How Cannabinoid Science Links CBG to MRSA Treatment

Super Drugs for Superbugs: How Cannabinoid Science Links CBG to MRSA Treatment

An increase of mutating microbes around the globe has led medical experts to call antibiotic resistance an “apocalyptic threat” and raises an alarm for needed research into finding new solutions now. The most recent antibacterial drug developments date back more than 30 years at this point. With many of the chemical components of cannabis known to have antimicrobial effects as a way for the plant to protect itself, research into how these benefits can translate into human disease has begun in earnest. In terms of antimicrobial action, one such cannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG), has proven particularly potent.

The antimicrobial and antifungal implications of CBG were first investigated in 1982 by the Elsohly et al team at the University of Mississippi. But research remained superficial until larger concentrations of the compound could be easily obtained, either from lab synthesis or access to the CBG-rich plants that are now being cultivated after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

In a 2008 study on antibacterial cannabinoids, investigators demonstrated potent activity against a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains by both CBD and CBG via topical application. The researchers also pointed out that the potential synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes, many of which also have antimicrobial potential, should be considered to improve patient outcomes.

Additionally, a 2018 study reported that endocannabinoids, like anandamide (AEA), are able to inhibit the spread of MRSA infections by decreasing biofilm formation which can increase the spread of bacterial colonization on the skin. Drugs that mimic the effects of AEA in the body, like THC, or drugs that inhibit the degradation of AEA in the body by the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), may prove agents of promise in the fight against biofilm-associated MRSA infections.

In recent news, a study out of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario published in bioRxiv preprint demonstrated that CBG was more effective against MRSA USA300, a highly virulent and prevalent form, than the four other major cannabinoids tested: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN).

As effective as vancomycin, a drug widely considered the last line of defense against drug-resistant bacteria, CBG was shown to be successful at treating MRSA. Unlike vancomycin, which has already begun to exhibit bacterial resistance, this superbug displayed no such energy for overcoming the CBG therapy. The cannabinoid was also more potent than conventional antibiotics in inhibiting the thin, slimy biofilms associated with disease persistence and against dormant “persister” cells that have a role in chronic and relapsing infection, rapidly eradicating populations below detectable levels.

More Than MRSA

Additionally, researchers in this new study were able to further elucidate the beneficial effects of CBG against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative drug-resistant bacteria. These two broad categories of bacteria classification are associated with cell wall permeability. The double cell membrane of Gram-negative organisms makes treatment trickier. Without a little help from compounds that can dissolve the outer shell while preserving the inner cell layer, conventional antibiotic treatments have a difficult time getting through. And regular mutations in drug-resistant types make treatment nearly impossible.

Gram-negative bacteria make up 75% of the antibiotic resistant infections highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the study’s authors, and are responsible for an array of deleterious diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhea as well as pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic plagues. Particularly virulent strains like Klebsiella, Acinetobacter, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause deadly healthcare-associated infections like pneumonia and various sepsis syndromes.

Once investigators demonstrated the ability of CBG to effectively work on the inner membrane of Gram-positive MRSA in a rodent model, they tested its efficacy on Gram-negative E. coli after the outer membrane was made permeable by the addition of polymyxin B, an antibiotic already in use to treat Gram-negative infections. By breaking down the disease cell membrane, polymyxin B provided CBG access to its point of action. While these results are significant, serious side effects are associated with this added compound, including kidney failure, whereas one of the most promising aspects of cannabinoid therapies is the low rate of both serious side effects and toxicity to healthy cells.

The results of the study demonstrated the potential for CBG therapy against MRSA infection and disease persistence by inhibiting bacteria, repressing biofilm formation, eradicating already present biofilms, and effectively eliminating problematic persister cells. The non-intoxicating, non-sedative nature of the cannabis constituent further highlights its therapeutic potential against drug-resistant bacteria with a very low rate of resistance development. Now that CBG has been made more readily available to researchers, human trials will be the next step in determining whether this super drug is an effective therapy against superbugs.

Published at Fri, 24 Jan 2020 21:08:00 +0000