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Demand for Legal Cannabis Leads to Growing R&D Investments

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Demand for Legal Cannabis Leads to Growing R&D Investments

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, August 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to data published by Research and Markets, the North American legal cannabis market value is projected to reach approximately USD 35 Billion by 2023 while registering a strong CAGR of 27.1%. The North American legal cannabis market has already surpassed the USD 8 Billion mark in terms of value in 2017. The report also specifies that cannabis is gaining prominence in the North American region because of increasing favorable views in regards of products for both recreational and medical uses. As a result of continued legalization and indications of demand, an influx of investments into research and development has occurred, which in turn leads to innovation. CLS Holdings USA Inc. (OTC:CLSH), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC:ACBFF), iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. (OTC:ITHUF), Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTC:EMHTF), General Cannabis Corp. (OTC:CANN)

Citing a report from Deloitte, nearly two-thirds of current cannabis consumers are likely to buy cannabis products from a legal channel. Jennifer Lee, Partner, Cannabis National Leader, and Consumer Advisory and Analytics Practice National Leader, said, "Most current and likely cannabis consumers want a variety of products offered at reasonable prices from suppliers who can vouch for the safety and origin of those products. Cannabis companies will need to have secure supply chains to protect the quality and integrity of their products, and retailers will need to meet consumer expectations, including providing a positive, engaging retailing experience and protecting the privacy of their customers, especially online."

CLS Holdings USA Inc. (OTCQB:CLSH) last week announced the issuance of the following statement to CLS partners, shareholders and other stakeholders from its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Binder:

"I reach out to all members of the CLS family today with gratitude, pride and excitement. Gratitude and pride for the dedication and support of our employees, partners and shareholders in our accomplishments to date, and great excitement for the value I see for us in the path ahead. It's been an extremely busy and productive past few months for our CLS team and we believe we are now in a great position to build long-term shareholder value.

Over the past 45 days, we have closed on two oversubscribed funding rounds. A Canadian round of CAD 13.0 Million and a U.S. round of USD 5.75 Million. We are encouraged that our financial backers share the excitement and vision we have for CLS. Navy Capital, one of our lead funds, has a vast network of relationships in the cannabis industry and is extremely interested in the CLS patented extraction and processing technology. We look forward to the added value that Navy Capital brings to CLS. It is a terrific corporate development to have an additional partner, of Navy Capital's stature, and we are excited by the expertise they bring to CLS. We now have the funds in place to complete the build-out of our Las Vegas cultivation and production facility. In addition, CLS will utilize a portion of the proceeds to update its existing Oasis Cannabis dispensary location and improve its signage.

We are pleased to welcome Frank Tarantino as our Chief Financial Officer, at a key time with our next phase in organic growth and acquisitions. Mr. Tarantino brings big four public accounting and private and public company management and financial expertise, which will be extremely beneficial in leading our growth.

With our successful closing of the Oasis Cannabis acquisition, CLS is now active in the legalized cannabis market in Las Vegas, NV. Oasis Cannabis is a fully integrated cannabis operation generating USD 850,000 in gross monthly revenue. Since 2017, Oasis has been involved in growing, extraction, conversion, processing and operating a dispensary. Due to increased demand and the additional capital that was just raised, CLS plans to triple the grow production capacity over the remainder of 2018 and into 2019. Oasis's City Trees wholesale product line recently more than doubled its number of product SKUs offered to retail dispensary customers, and now covers a variety of concentrates, vape pens, and capsules, and tinctures including high CBD versions. The City Trees product line is now being sold in over 20 dispensaries in the Las Vegas and Reno markets. As we add new locations and expand our product manufacturing and cultivation facilities there will be more jobs created and additional opportunities for our existing team to advance in their careers.

While our entrance and success in Nevada is key for the company, we are not satisfied with resting on these milestones. We continue to explore additional opportunities for expansion in different states.

Our recently awarded non-provisional U.S. utility patent for cannabidiol extraction and conversion process by the United States Patent and Trademark Office is a very significant milestone. The patent is directed to a process for the extraction of cannabidiols from any variety of cannabis plants. The extraction process includes a sizing unit wherein raw cannabis plant material is reduced to a uniform size, and a blending unit wherein an extraction solvent is blended together with the cannabis plant material to form an initial extract. The conversion process, wherein the processed extract is combined and processed with an acidic component, involves a separator unit in which solvent is added and a separator organic effluent is obtained. We believe our strong intellectual property differentiates us from many of the operators out there. We will seek to license our proprietary extraction and conversion methodology to other operators to be able to monetize it and help build long-term shareholder value."

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCQX:ACBFF) is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora and McGill University recently announced the launch of an international collaborative medical research project that will comprehensively examine the therapeutic impact and human health outcomes of cannabidiol (CBD) oil as a therapy for chronic pain and related anxiety and depression. The project that will be led by Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a leading researcher at the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University. Dr. Gobbi and her team will work with a group of international research scientists at the Université Paris Descartes in France, and the Universities of Campania 'L.Vanvitelli' and Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Italy. This three-year translational collaborative research project will investigate the pain relief properties of CBD oil by exploring its mechanism of action in pain and associated depression and anxiety. "Based on our extensive experience with more than 60,000 registered Canadian patients, we believe CBD to be one of the most impactful medical compounds to become legally available to people in need of non-addictive therapies to treat pain," stated Terry Booth, Chief Executive Officer. "Our support for and involvement with this project underlines Aurora's leadership in the medical cannabis space, as well as our long-term commitment to a science-based approach to deepen understanding of this amazing substance."

iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. (OTCQB:ITHUF) owns and operates best-in-class licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities throughout the United States, providing investors diversified exposure to the U.S. regulated cannabis industry. iAnthus recently provided the following summary of updates to inform shareholders and stakeholders of developments and achievements at GrowHealthy, the Company's Florida medical marijuana operation that was acquired earlier this year. Since the implementation of a medical cannabis program in June 2017, the Florida market continues to show strong growth. As of July 20th, 2018, the program has registered 138,558 patients and 1,572 qualified physicians, representing ~727% and ~92% growth, respectively. The program is adding approximately 10,000 patients and 60 physicians per month. "As we prepare to open the first of our Florida dispensaries, we have made significant investments to upgrade our Lake Wales cultivation facility to quickly scale production and meet the expected demand," said Carlos Perea, Chief Operating Officer at iAnthus. "This expansion puts GrowHealthy in an excellent position to capitalize on the explosive growth in the Florida medical marijuana market and become one of the state's preeminent providers of medicinal cannabis products."

Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQX:EMHTF) is a Licensed Producer under Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and produces and sells dried cannabis and cannabis oil for medical purposes. Emerald Health recently announced that it has completed the purchase of the remaining shares of Northern Vine Canada Inc. from Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. for USD 2 Million in cash and 1,093,938 common shares of Emerald. This transaction, announced on July 19th, increases Emerald's ownership of Northern Vine from 65% to 100%. Northern Vine is a Licensed Dealer (LD) under the provisions of the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The dealer license allows Emerald to participate in the growing market for cannabis analytical testing, which Emerald expects to grow in conjunction with increasing cannabis production volumes in Canada. Northern Vine will operate independently of Emerald and is committed to serving all clients, including Licensed Producers and patient-growers. Legalization of cannabis for medical purposes and the upcoming legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes is expected to drive demand for analytical testing services to assess potency and concentration of toxic materials. This acquisition also allows Emerald to leverage Northern Vine's dealer license to advance research plans to develop cannabis formulations supporting new products for both recreational purposes and to treat a broad spectrum of human conditions and diseases.

General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQX:CANN) is the comprehensive national resource for the highest quality service providers available to the regulated cannabis industry. General Cannabis recently announced its financial results for the quarter ended June 30th, 2018. "We broke the USD 1 Million revenue ceiling in the second quarter of 2018, with revenues of USD 1,114,541, an increase of 34% over 2017. Year to date revenues increased 32% in 2018 over 2017," said Robert Frichtel, Chief Executive Officer of General Cannabis. "Our Operations segment continues to find opportunities from the expansion of legalized cannabis in numerous states, our Security segment is gaining traction in California, and Chiefton's apparel business is achieving broader, national success," continued Mr. Frichtel. Furthermore, Michael Feinsod, Executive Chairman of General Cannabis, said, "I am confident that breaking the USD 1 Million quarterly revenue level in the second quarter is a proof of concept for our ability to be the comprehensive national resource to the regulated cannabis industry. Our access to capital, our strong balance sheet and our infrastructure expertise allow us to partner with companies throughout the industry, while positioning us to continue to expand through acquisitions."

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