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Cannabis Retail Sales Continue to Grow as Legalization Spreads

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Cannabis Retail Sales Continue to Grow as Legalization Spreads

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, August 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a research report provided by Marijuana Business Daily, cannabis retail sales continue to increase year-over-year as more states legalize cannabis products for both medical and recreational purposes. Sales in 2018 are expected to increase by approximately 50% when compared to 2017. Sales value is also on track to reach USD 8 Billion - USD 10 Billion by the end of 2018. In addition, the report specifies that by 2022, annual retail cannabis sales in the United States could exceed the USD 20 Billion mark, representing a 200% surge from 2017. Legal cannabis markets are presently on the rise in major states such as California, Nevada, Colorado and Washington, amongst others. WeedMD Inc. (OTC:WDDMF), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:GWPH), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC:ACBFF), Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTC:OGRMF)

Recent legislative successes for the cannabis market are projected to have a decidedly positive effect on the economy. "The cannabis sector currently employs an estimated 125,000 to 160,000 full-time workers," industry analyst and Editorial Vice President of MJBizDaily, Chris Walsh, explained at The Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, according to a report from Fortune. "To put this in perspective, there are potentially more full-time marijuana industry workers than there are librarians or kindergarten teachers throughout the country - and over 6 times the number of coal miners in the U.S."

WeedMD Inc. (OTC:WDDMF) is also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture under (TSX-V: WMD). Yesterday, the Company announced the, "signing of a final definitive joint venture agreement ("Agreement") to develop and operate Cannabis Beverages Inc. ("CanBev") at WeedMD's state-of-the-art greenhouse facility in Strathroy, Ontario.

As an early mover in the cannabis-infused beverage market, CanBev is positioning itself to capture significant market share in Canada's highly-anticipated consumable cannabis market. According to Consumer Health Products Canada, the CBD-infused products market is worth USD 5.6 Billion in Canada alone. The joint venture will be focused on product development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of cannabis-infused beverages for Canada and export to licensed international markets. 

Under the terms of the Agreement, both companies will be strategic partners in the development of CanBev. WeedMD will act as the exclusive supplier of cannabinoid extracts for use in innovative cannabis-infused consumer products to be made at the CanBev facility. In doing so, WeedMD will designate manufacturing space at its 610,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art licensed cultivation and processing facility located in Strathroy, Ontario.

In addition to supplying CanBev with premium, high-quality cannabis, WeedMD will assist CanBev with obtaining all necessary federal licenses and permits and has also agreed to provide all current and future genetics.

'We are thrilled to begin the development of this joint venture. With the launch of CanBev, WeedMD will be one of the first to introduce an innovative and popular consumption method with our cannabis-infused beverages - adding a new brand category for the medical and adult-use markets,' said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. 'WeedMD is proud to collaborate with Phivida on this joint venture and to work alongside a world-class management team that includes former senior executives from beverage and other industry leaders who worked for Red Bull®, Seagram's®, Proctor and Gamble®, and McKesson. Leveraging proven success, we will be well-positioned to execute on our growth plans for infused beverages.'

Phivida will be sublicensing its current and future trademarks, intellectual property, branding and packaging to CanBev. Phivida has also agreed to lead new product innovation, research and development, formulation, packaging and branding for CanBev.

'The Phivida team is excited to contribute our management, expertise and product knowledge to the CanBev joint venture,' said Jim Bailey, CEO and President of Phivida. 'WeedMD is an ideal partner for Phivida and we are thrilled to bring our cannabinoid-infused beverages and brands back home to Canada. WeedMD provides CanBev with solid infrastructure, strong management, world-class genetics and proven success in the Canadian healthcare market. We are very proud to partner with best in class among the Canadian licensed producers.'

Transaction Summary: The joint venture will be structured as a jointly-owned company with a dedicated board of directors and operational management team. Phivida and WeedMD will retain 50% each of the Class A shares. The shares issued will correspond to CanBev's appointment of nominees to a Board of Directors- to be made up of five individuals, two nominated by Phivida, two by WeedMD, and one independent director. Phivida and WeedMD have agreed to fund capital requirements of CanBev equally, and on a pro-rata basis, from their respective treasuries, beginning with initial shareholder advances of USD 375,000 each."

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) is the world leader in the development and commercialization of cannabinoid prescription medicines. The Company recently announced its financial results for the third quarter ended June 30th, 2018. Revenue for the nine months ended June 30th, of GBP 10.7 Million (USD 14.2 Million) compared to GBP 6.1 Million for the nine months ended June 30th, 2017. Loss for the nine months ended June 30th,2018 of GBP 136.7 million (USD 180.2 Million) compared to GBP 90.3 Million for the nine months ended June 30th, 2017. Operational highlights include: FDA approval for Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS or Dravet syndrome; Epidiolex rescheduling expected within 90 days of FDA approval; European submission under review by the EMA with decision expected in Q1 2019; FDA issuance of a priority review voucher (PRV) for Epidiolex. "The recent FDA approval of Epidiolex represents a major medical advance for patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet syndrome. We anticipate rescheduling to be completed within 90 days of FDA approval and for product launch to take place in the Fall," stated Justin Gover, GW's Chief Executive Officer.

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC) is a world-leading diversified cannabis company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and capsule forms. Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), a leading beverage alcohol company, and Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC), a leading diversified cannabis company, recently announced a significant expansion of their strategic partnership to position Canopy Growth as the global leader in cannabis production, branding, intellectual property and retailing. Canopy Growth will benefit from Constellation's deep understanding of consumer trends and shifting preferences, and proven ability to translate those insights into distinct brand positionings that build strong connections with consumers and foster brand loyalty. Constellation's disciplined approach and capabilities in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, finance, large-scale production, marketing and sales as a leading Fortune 500 company, combined with Canopy's entrepreneurial approach and best-in-class knowledge and expertise within the emerging cannabis sector create a powerful combination that will ensure Canopy Growth is set up for sustainable, long-term success as the company and sector evolve. "Our business can now make the strategic investments required to accelerate our market position globally," said Bruce Linton, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Canopy Growth. "Constellation's concentration of global cannabis activities exclusively through Canopy, coupled with the investment and its expert capabilities in brand-building, marketing, consumer insights and M&A will be a huge benefit as we look to expand our portfolio in Canada, the United States and emerging cannabis markets around the globe. We view this investment in our business as an endorsement of our execution since forming our initial strategic relationship in October 2017."

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCQX:ACBFF), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 570,000 kg per year and sales and operations in 14 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora recently announced that its acquisition of Anandia Laboratories Inc. is now complete. The previously announced arrangement, under the provisions of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia), means that among other things, Aurora has now acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Anandia in an all-share transaction. The acquisition of Anandia represents a critical piece of Aurora's vertical integration strategy - to create a company that captures margin along the entire cannabis industry value chain, enhances cultivation yields to improve financial performance, develops industry-leading intellectual property, and builds a broad portfolio of high value-added products. "This transaction will enable us to develop new, customized cultivars for specific applications, creating high-margin products that generate positive health outcomes in relation to specific medical indications, while further enhancing efficiencies at our facilities" said Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTCQB:OGRMF) is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. Organigram recently announced that it will provide funding to Mount Allison to support the University's efforts to ensure the new legislation is fully communicated on campus, and to implement appropriate harms reduction initiatives established by the University. The funding provided by Organigram and the RDC also enables the University to support harms reduction education programming through the addition of a Harms Reduction Educator. This new Mount Allison staff member will begin in August and will work directly with students, the campus community, other post-secondary institutions, and provincial agencies. "As a company, we are wholly committed to the goals of the legalization of an adult-use, recreational cannabis market," says Greg Engel, Chief Executive Officer, Organigram. "Most important among these goals is the protection of our youth. We are proud to support Mount Allison's efforts to ensure their students are educated about responsible cannabis use."

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