Market Overview

Rapid Rise of Cannabis Related Tourism Helps Fuel the Market Growth

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NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Tourism is one of the major economic drivers for many countries. Many tourists travel aboard for vacations to see dazzling landscapes and bustling city-life and in turn, tourism drives revenue for many businesses such as food, retail, and hospitality, but now it is also helping bolster the cannabis industry. For example, countries such as Spain and Canada allow for personal consumption and sales of cannabis in licensed facilities. However, U.S. states are also expected to witness strong cannabis sales due to tourism. Colorado, which saw 82.4 million travelers in 2016, is among the very few regions to legalize cannabis entirely. A survey conducted by Colorado Tourism reported that the 12 million or approximately 15% of those travelers participated in marijuana-related activities. Among that group, it was reported that 5% traveled to the state specifically for marijuana reasons. The staggering number of visitors who traveled to Colorado and purchased cannabis-related products suggests that tourism is helping revenue growth in the market. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global marijuana market was valued at USD 9.3 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by the end of 2025. Additionally, the market is projected to register a robust CAGR of 34.6% throughout the forecast period from 2018 to 2025. Weekend Unlimited Inc. (OTC: WKULF) (CSE:POT), Emblem Corp. (OTC:EMMBF), Freedom Leaf Inc. (OTC:FRLF), GB Sciences, Inc. (OTC:GBLX), Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC:MJNA)

Colorado's data suggests that other states such as California, Washington, and Nevada are also expected to see explosive sales. Cannabis dispensaries and distributors have focused on expanding their product line in order to meet the demand of their customer pool, including tourists. Various portfolios of products such as oils, tinctures, resins, consumables, and strains have entered into the marketplace to offer a wide range of selection. The introduction of new products is expected to help further drive cannabis sales from both tourism and locals. Bethany Drysdale, a spokesperson for Travel Nevada, the state's tourism board, compared pot to gaming in the state, according to Skift. "People don't come to Nevada just for gaming anymore as gaming is now legal in many other states," she said. "People won't come here just for marijuana. Colorado is surrounded by states where it wasn't legal and it made a lot of sense for them to capitalize on it."

Weekend Unlimited Inc. (OTC: WKULF) (CSE:POT) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE:POT). Yesterday the company announced, "a Letter of Intent on 1 November 2018 to acquire R&D Pharma's Jamaican interests, has now entered into a definitive agreement with R&D Pharma, which is anticipated to close next week.

R&D Pharma ("RDP") is a Canadian company building a vertically integrated medical cannabis business in Jamaica. RDP has secured a Tier-3 Cultivator's License, which allows for full cultivation of cannabis plants on land of over 5 acres, which in this case applies to the 98-acre RDP property.

R&D Pharma Highlights include:

  • Approved Tier-3 cultivators license
  • Medical tourism in Jamaica, plus phenotyping with Jamaican sativas, to brand and export internationally recognized strains, extracts, and infused products
  • Will be a significant exporter of branded full spectrum extracts as well as extracted cannabinoids from one of world's lowest cost geographies for growing cannabis

"Upon signing this deal, we are excited to accelerate operations in Jamaica. There has been tremendous work accomplished on the property by the team on the ground and the cultivation results have been impressive in both quality and economically," noted Mr. Paul Chu, Weekend Unlimited President and CEO.

About Weekend Unlimited Inc.: Weekend Unlimited is capitalizing on its vast industry relationships to establish a lifestyle brand featuring premium products and delivering life's highest moments. The company aggregates and scales small to medium brands, primarily in the categories of flower, extracts and edibles. Weekend Unlimited brands have best of class operations, distribution and strong revenue trajectories, making them ideal candidates for the deployment of capital and expertise through access to technologies, infrastructure and centralized systems. Learn more at www.weekendunlimited.com"

Emblem Corp. (OTCQX:EMMBF) is a fully integrated cannabis company focused on driving shareholder value through product innovation, brand relevance, and access to patient and consumer channels. Emblem Corp. recently announced that Emblem-branded cannabis oils are now available online through Shoppers Drug Mart to patients with a valid medical authorization. "As a patient-first provider, Emblem is committed to helping provide patients access to our products through distribution channels that provide both care and convenience like Shoppers Drug Mart," said Nick Dean, Chief Executive Officer, Emblem Corp. "Accessing a variety of distribution channels also continues to be a critical factor in our business strategy as we remain focused on being a leader in the medical cannabis space."

Freedom Leaf Inc. (OTCQB:FRLF) is a group of diversified, international, vertically-integrated hemp businesses concentrating on health, wellness, and education as well as cannabis media companies. Freedom Leaf Inc. recently announced that it has received a significant investment from cannabis private equity firm Merida Capital Partners to further expand its existing US sales channels and accelerate its European hemp cultivation operations. Freedom Leaf and Merida have also agreed in principle to a strategic partnership by which Merida will provide certain operational resources and support for both Freedom Leaf's US hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) sales efforts and their global cultivation operations. In connection with Merida's investment, Merida Senior Partner David Goldburg will be joining the Freedom Leaf Board of Directors. Clifford Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Leaf, commented on the investment and partnership, "Receiving an investment from a leading cannabis firm like Merida, which already has investments in key supply chain providers like KushCo, GrowGeneration and Emerald Scientific, should drive our US expansion and ensure we are building our CBD production business efficiently, while also giving us incredible support in our global expansion."

GB Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB:GBLX) is a diverse cannabis company, focused on standardized cultivation and production methods; as well as biopharmaceutical research and development. GB Sciences, Inc. recently announced the harvest of the first test cannabis crop in the company's nationally-recognized collaboration with Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. On November 16, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry took possession of extract samples for testing and expects to complete testing by mid-February. Once GBSL extract passes two tiers of tests, the company will make available the first-ever legal cannabis products to Louisiana patients. "This harvest is a major milestone. Raw material for the first legal cannabis products are being tested, and Louisiana patients suffering from cancer, Parkinson's, epilepsy, intractable pain and more are closer to relief," said GBSL President John Davis. "I'm confident our state-of-the-art operations and collaboration with the LSU Agricultural Center will result in passing test results, allowing us to produce final products for sale in nine licensed pharmacies. Today, Louisiana is a critical step closer to legal medical cannabis."

Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC:MJNA) has a mission is to be the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. Medical Marijuana, Inc. recently announced that its subsidiary HempMeds® has signed an agreement with national distribution leader Mr. Checkout to distribute its line of cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil tinctures, liquids, topical and pet products to thousands of members of national and independent retailers including natural grocery and health stores, vitamin retail outlets and pharmacies. "This partnership signifies the next monumental step for the company to continue to grow and make 2019 a landmark year of outreach and sales," said HempMeds® President Todd Morrow. "We have many world-class CBD products made with the highest-quality European hemp that deserve to be shared with a larger audience of consumers than we currently have and we believe that Mr. Checkout can help us do this."

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