Market Overview

Flourishing Cannabis Companies Seek to Fill Corporate Roles

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NEW YORK, May 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As the cannabis industry begins to heat up, companies are aggressively seeking employees to fill positions. Decades ago, the cannabis plant was being reintroduced into states such as California, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington. Since then, California and nine more states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis use. Moreover, countries across the world have begun to decriminalize or legalize cannabis on some level as, notably, Canada became the second nation ever to legalize cannabis entirely back in late 2018. The rapid expansion and development of the industry further highlight the profound impact cannabis is having around the world. Furthermore, ZipRecruiter reported that cannabis jobs openings increased by 445%, outpacing even the technology (254%) and healthcare (70%) industries. Primarily, positions such as brand ambassadors, sales associates, product managers, and delivery drivers are firmly in demand, according to Glassdoor. Specifically, brand ambassadors and sales associates each accounted for 5% of the job openings, representing the largest share for individual positions while professional and technical fields accounted for 53% of the job openings in 2018. Glassdoor reported that the large discrepancy in the job sector is due primarily to the wide range of available positions. Nevertheless, as the cannabis industry begins to accelerate, it is expected that more professional and corporate roles will be in demand to help businesses comply with tax laws and regulations. Additionally, this workforce integration is also expected to result in the market sustaining its growth, as according to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by 2025 while registering a CAGR of 34.6%. WeedMD Inc. (OTC: WDDMF) (TSXV:WMD), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZYNE), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:OGI) (TSXV:OGI), Charlotte's Web Hldgs Inc. (OTC:CWBHF) (CSE:CWEB), Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRNE)

The U.S. currently represents the largest cannabis marketplace in the world due to its early adoption. Glassdoor reported that states such as California, Colorado, and New York had the most job openings last year while U.S. cities like San Francisco accounted for 13% of the openings, and Los Angeles accounted for 7%. Job opportunities within the U.S. industry is prevalent due to its large size, however, other emerging markets are also witnessing an influx of job openings. For instance, Canada has fully legalized cannabis, however, its market still remains within its infancy stage. The market is currently hindered by heavily imposed government regulations, which has limited retailers, cultivators, and distributors. Regardless, cannabis jobs have exponentially grown since Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his plan to legalize cannabis. According to Statistics Canada, there were nearly 2,400 employees within the cannabis industry by the end of 2017. Indeed.ca reported that in July 2018, cannabis-related job searches were four times more than the same period in 2017. Specifically, cannabis job hirings surged in March 2018 after the Canadian Senate provisionally accepted Bill C-45, which enacted the Cannabis Act in order to provide legal cannabis access. As of late May 2019, there were over 2,700 cannabis-related job openings posted on Indeed.ca. By 2019, cannabis-related job listings are expected to increase by 220%, according to Vangst's 2018 Salary Guide. "When I asked people what positions they were hiring for, it was everything from a botanist to a chemical engineer to a Ph.D. to a retail store manager to a marketing manager to a human resource manager to a Chief Financial Officer," Karson Humiston, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vangst said. "You name it, and these companies were hiring for it."

WeedMD Inc. (OTCQX: WDDMF) (TSXV:WMD) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSXV:WMD). Earlier this week, the company announced, "that its fully-licensed Aylmer, Ontario facility has secured a Health Canada ("HC") licence amendment to include an additional processing area equipped with semi-automated packaging lines. The newly-constructed processing room and packaging lines are installed, and currently undergoing final testing and calibration, with the expectation that they will be fully operational in early Q3-2019.

'The integration of automation into our packaging systems is a significant production milestone for WeedMD. We expect this automation to increase our speed to market and drive costs lower,' said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. 'This will ensure our finished products get to market competitively and efficiently with an expected positive impact on WeedMD's margins beginning over the second half of this year.'

The Company's 26,000 sq. ft. Aylmer facility is located on an expandable site of four acres of land. Together with the Company's 158-acre Strathroy, Ontario facility, WeedMD's production output is expected to yield more than 150,000 kgs per year as it reaches peak production in 2020.

For more information, access WeedMD's investor presentation here (https://www.weedmd.com/investing-in-weedmd/) and recently updated corporate video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktgJ_BQtBCs&feature=youtu.be).

About WeedMD Inc: WeedMD Inc. is the publicly-traded parent company of WeedMD Rx Inc., a federally-licensed producer and distributor of cannabis products for both the medical and adult-use markets. The Company owns and operates two facilities: a 26,000 sq. ft. indoor facility in Aylmer, Ontario and a 158-acre state-of-the-art greenhouse and outdoor facility located in Strathroy, Ontario. The Company currently has 136,000 square feet of licensed production space across its facilities and is expected to have a total footprint of more than 550,000 square feet of indoor and greenhouse production in addition to more than 25 acres of outdoor cultivation space online in the first half of 2019. WeedMD has a multi-channeled distribution strategy that includes selling directly to medical patients, strategic relationships across the seniors' market and supply agreements with Shoppers Drug Mart as well as six provincial distribution agencies."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring WeedMD Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4vOilnkTfY  

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZYNE) is the leader in pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric disorders. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted Fast Track Designation for the Company's lead development candidate Zygel™ (ZYN002 CBD gel) for treatment of behavioral symptoms associated with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). FDA's Fast Track program is designed to facilitate the development of drugs intended to treat serious conditions and fill unmet medical needs and can lead to expedited review by FDA in order to get new important drugs to the patient earlier. Zygel (CBD gel) is the first and only pharmaceutically-manufactured CBD formulated as a patent-protected permeation-enhanced clear gel, designed to provide controlled drug delivery into the bloodstream transdermally (i.e. through the skin). Recent studies suggest that FXS and other neuropsychiatric conditions may be associated with a disruption in the endocannabinoid (EC) system. "The FDA's decision to grant Fast Track Designation for Zygel underscores the significance and severity of the unmet medical need that exists for patients living with Fragile X Syndrome and their caregivers," said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba. "We believe that Zygel has the potential to be the first treatment indicated to directly address the core behavioral symptoms of this syndrome, and we look forward to working closely with the FDA to obtain approval to market Zygel as soon as possible."

Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:OGI) (TSXV:OGI) 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. Anticipating the legalization of adult-use cannabis edibles, and ready to demonstrate a leadership position in the edibles market, Organigram Holdings Inc. recently announced a USD 15 Million investment commitment in a high-speed, high-capacity, fully-automated production line with the ability to produce an estimated 4 million kilograms of exceptional chocolate cannabis edibles per year. Organigram expects to take delivery of the line in the fall. In addition to its sheer capacity, adaptability to the anticipated future growth of the domestic and international chocolate edibles markets, the line is expected to allow Organigram's product development team to introduce chocolate innovations unique not only to the cannabis industry, but to the chocolate industry as a whole. "Over the last number of years, Organigram has become known for its best-in-class cannabis production facility and high-quality products," says Greg Engel, Chief Executive Officer, Organigram. "With this investment, we will soon also be known for our world-class chocolate production capability."

Charlotte's Web Hldgs Inc. (OTCQX:CWBHF) (CSE:CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-based cannabidiol ("CBD") wellness products. Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. recently reported its 2018 harvested hemp results. The Company reported more than a 10 times growth in harvested hemp compared to its 2017 grow season. The high-quality 100% U.S.-grown hemp will be processed through proprietary extraction methods to create whole plant hemp extract that will be used in Charlotte's Web products for sale in 2019 and 2020. "Charlotte's Web is one of only a few hemp CBD producers capable of supplying large volumes of high-quality hemp extract from its own supply chain that can meet significantly increasing market demand," said Hess Moallem, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charlotte's Web. "As the category and brand leader, our goal is to increase our market share and with this bountiful harvest we are able to satisfy our customer demands for 2019 and beyond. This incredible harvest ensures we can continue to produce our high-quality human nutrition products without being subject to constantly fluctuating market prices as is common with third-party sourced raw material. This allows us to have better control and predictability over our cost of goods sold and thereby our gross margins. In addition, these harvest levels will allow us to explore opportunities to supply future partners with our proprietary hemp extracts."

Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRNE) is a clinical stage, antibody-centric, biopharmaceutical company developing new therapies to turn malignant cancers into manageable and possibly curable diseases. Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced that it had established a new business unit to focus on the market potential for its innovative water-soluble cannabidiol (CBD) formulation technology. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been under consideration within the pharmaceutical side of Sorrento for its interesting pharmacological properties and potential clinical benefits in multiple central nervous system, autoimmune or inflammatory disease and pain-related indications. "Without distracting from our pharmaceutical business, we have the ability to leverage another Sorrento innovative technology – this time from our formulation experts – and make it available to the broader consumer market," stated Dr. Henry Ji, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Sorrento Therapeutics. "Longer-term, we may consider spinning off our CBD consumer business into an independently operated company if appropriate, while our research and clinical development team continues to explore the potential pharmaceutical applications of cannabidiol (CBD) for the medical markets."

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