Market Overview

Cannabis Market Continues to Grow as More States Eye Legalization

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NEW YORK, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past few years, the number of companies entering into the cannabis industry has consistently risen. Canada's recent legalization of cannabis and the rapid spread of public support ongoing in the U.S. has led to the emergence of new cannabis players within the marketplace. Many of these companies are based in fields such as cultivation, distribution, production, and retail. Among these segments, various products such as flower itself or other variation of cannabis like oils, tinctures, resins, and consumables based on concentrates like THC and CBD, are used to ingest the plant. The overall cannabis market is expected to accelerate as global legalization continues to spread for both recreational and medical applications. Moreover, in efforts to curb illicit cannabis trade, international governments have also moved to pass some form of cannabis legislation, further propelling the market. Despite international growth, however, the North American region dominates the overall global cannabis industry, as it accounted for over 90% of global sales alone. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 9.3 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by 2025. Additionally, the industry is expected to witness a robust CAGR of 34.6% from 2018 to 2025. Weekend Unlimited Inc. (OTC:WKULF) (CSE:POT), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC:ITHUF) (CSE:IAN), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:NEPT) (TSX:NEPT), General Cannabis Corp. (OTC:CANN), Emblem Corp. (OTC:EMMBF) (TSXV:EMC

The U.S. continues to be the primary growth driver for the North American region, despite not having legalized cannabis entirely. States such as California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington contribute billions of dollars collectively to the overall industry, while in total, the U.S. only has 10 states including the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational cannabis. Moving forward, more states are expected to legalize cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use. States such as Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York are expected to enter the process of legalizing recreational cannabis within the shortcoming years and in particular, New York is expected to be the next state to legalize recreational cannabis. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has already outlined in his plan to legalize marijuana, which could potentially generate upwards of USD 1.7 Billion in sales annually. Particularly, Cuomo wants to suppress the illicit cannabis trade in New York while bolstering its economy with cannabis tax revenues. Smoke Wallin, President of California-based cannabis company Vertical Cos., said the move is a significant step forward in the "mainstreaming" of the industry, according to MarketWatch. "Although the fourth most populous state, after California, New York represents the most influential market for consumers and the steady march toward national normalization," he said. "We expect the continued state by state liberalization of cannabis use to continue to put pressure on the federal government."

Weekend Unlimited Inc. (OTC: WKULF) (CSE:POT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE:POT). Earlier today, the Company announced breaking news that, "it has established its office in New York City, USA.

'Since our growth strategy is focused on product development and sales for recreational cannabis use across USA, it is important for us to establish our base in New York City for our team to accelerate business results,' said New York City-based Weekend President and CEO, Mr. Paul Chu. 'Being located in New York City gives us access to world-class talent across multiple industries,' added Mr. Chu.

Weekend Unlimited's New York City office will serve as the company's global headquarters. Currently housed in one of the City's most well-known neighborhoods, SoHo, the office is surrounded by a mix of major retail chains, high-end brand stores, art galleries and restaurants.

'SoHo is the perfect laboratory for inspiring the design and launch of Weekend's brands," said Mr. Chu. "We have made significant strides with acquisitions in multiple states, and our leadership team is mainly located in New York City so this was a natural step for the company to take on its growth trajectory.'"

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Weekend Unlimited Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUlyv0q6-o8

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX:ITHUF) (CSE:IAN) 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 Capital Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it has opened its second New York dispensary, located in the Dutchess County town of Wappingers Falls. The dispensary will operate as "Citiva Hudson Valley" under iAnthus' "Citiva" New York dispensary brand. The 2,600 sq. ft. dispensary is located at 1147 Route 9 in Wappingers Falls, a short drive from Beacon Train Station on the Metro-North Railroad, Marist College, Vassar College, and a collection of New York historical sites. The retail location initially will offer more than 30 locally-sourced, lab-tested products, including vape cartridges, tinctures, capsules, and powders, dispensed by highly-knowledgeable patient care representatives. "The opening of our Citiva Hudson Valley dispensary is a major milestone for iAnthus, as it marks the 20th dispensary opened by the Company," said Hadley Ford, Chief Executive Officer of iAnthus. "2019 will be full of catalysts and exciting developments for Citiva, including the much-anticipated completion of our cultivation facility in Warwick, New York, and the opening of dispensaries in Staten Island and Chemung County."

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:NEPT) (TSX:NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that it has received its license to process cannabis from Health Canada. "In 2017, we embarked upon a new strategic vision to position the Company in growth markets such as the legal cannabis market and to become a global leader in cannabis extraction, purification and formulation of value-added differentiated products. Since then, we have executed a carefully-planned roadmap to ready our significant manufacturing capacity for production, secure multi-year commercial contracts with great companies like Canopy Growth, and expand our strategic relationships, recently beginning a collaboration agreement with Lonza, a global market leader for the production of unique value-added capsules. We realized all this while moving along the various steps of the licensing process. Today, with our Health Canada processing license in hand, we officially enter the sizable cannabis market and are fully ready to commence commercializing our extraction capabilities. This tremendous achievement reflects the professionalism and experience of our team, led by Michel Timperio, who is fully committed and excited to begin actual delivery on the promise of our vision. Furthermore, we are very proud to be one of the few Quebec-based companies that have received a license from Health Canada, and look forward to contributing to this emerging industry in our home province," said Jim Hamilton, President & Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.

General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQX:CANN) is the comprehensive national resource for the highest-quality service providers available to the regulated cannabis industry. As the legal cannabis industry grows throughout the United States, General Cannabis Corp. recently announced it expanded its presence on the East Coast with the opening of a New York office. The New York office provides General Cannabis a strategic location to better serve existing East Coast clients while also attracting new talent and partnerships as the cannabis market in the eastern U.S. continues to develop. Further, the opening of the New York office provides a hub for current clients looking for East Coast expansion opportunities. "Given our growing list of East Coast clients and the steps that states like Massachusetts and New Jersey have taken toward launching adult-use sales, this is the ideal time for General Cannabis to further invest and establish itself in the region," said Michael Feinsod, Executive Chairman of the Board for General Cannabis. "The growth potential for the market in this region is unparalleled. An East Coast office is perfectly suited to cater to this territory as General Cannabis continues to expand its presence nationwide.  We plan on expanding our security, operations and marketing segments aggressively throughout the East Coast. In addition, we will be utilizing this office to expand and enhance our corporate, marketing and mergers and acquisitions teams."

Emblem Corp. (OTCQX:EMMBF) (TSXV:EMC) 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., through its wholly-owned subsidiary Emblem Cannabis Corporation, recently announced the launch of a new line of 10mg Emblem Oil Capsules, providing its growing list of 6,000+ patients with a pre-dosed treatment format. This convenient capsule formulation is designed to help patients better manage their treatment through precise dosing of their cannabis medication. "Patient-focused treatment options are key drivers of Emblem's innovation pipeline. As a patient-first provider, we're continuing to develop products that meet our patients' needs now and into the future," said Nick Dean, Chief Executive Officer, Emblem Corp. "Accessing a variety of distribution channels is also a critical factor in our business strategy, and we are pleased to offer our medical cannabis products direct to patients through www.emblemcannabis.com, and soon through our supply agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart, which recently received its Federal Medical Sales License."

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