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Legislative Victories Open Doors for Extensive Cannabis Investments

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NEW YORK, May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The widespread proliferation of cannabis legalization has led to the emergence of several multi-billion dollar cannabis corporations. Previously, cannabis was viewed as a taboo drug because of its psychoactive nature. However, many countries around the world are now beginning to acknowledge the medical benefits associated with the plant. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever cannabis-based drug, Epidiolex, last year to treat childhood epilepsy. Moreover, a cluster of other countries have also realized the benefits of cannabis and have since moved to adopt medicinal legislation of their own. The rapid growth of the industry has even led a handful of companies to list on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, the two largest exchanges in the world. After a string of companies listed on these two major New York exchanges, investment firms began to take note of the cannabis market's potential. Now, investment banks such as Piper Jaffray, RBC Capitals, and Cowen have all backed the industry by covering publicly traded cannabis-based companies. Moreover, Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently initiated its coverage on the overall cannabis industry as well. Overall, the growth within the industry, as well as investments from other public and private sectors, have been appealing to analysts. Especially as investments from industries such as the tobacco and beverage sectors further highlight that the cannabis marketplace is expected to become a thriving industry. According to data compiled by Mordor Intelligence, the global cannabis market was valued at USD 7.7 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 65 Billion by 2023. Additionally, the market is expected to grow at a robust CAGR of 37% throughout the forecast period from 2019 to 2024. Trutrace Technologies Inc. (OTC:BKKSF) (TSXV:TTT), Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTC:CBWTF) (TSXV:XLY), Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC:BLOZF) (CSE:BLO), Terra Tech Corp. (OTC:TRTC), Vivo Cannabis Inc. (OTC:VVCIF) (TSXV:VIVO)

Merrill Lynch analyst Chris Carey predicts that two major events could lead to a shift within the cannabis industry: Canada reaching marijuana oversupply by 2021 and the U.S.'s ongoing legalization efforts, according to Marijuana Business Daily. Canada has recently had problems meeting the immense demand for cannabis after legalizing the plant entirely last year. Bill Blair, Canada's Minister in charge of marijuana, noted some provinces have work to do in order to establish their wholesale and retail distribution systems. The slowed retail sales are also primarily due to some provinces limiting their retailers' hours or halting licenses altogether. For instance, Ontario blamed its severe shortage on its limited retail expansion. On the other hand, the U.S. has had a different approach to the recreational market. Oregon and Colorado were the first states to legalize recreational use, however, the two states differ heavily from the Canadian marketplace as Oregon had issues with oversupply, while Colorado maintained a well-balanced market. The current state of the U.S. market has also led a series of Canadian companies to enter into the U.S. market space. However, their strategies rely heavily on the U.S.'s decision on whether or not to legalize cannabis on a federal level. "Importantly, whether legalization occurs or not, we think the prospect of legalization, an event which could lift U.S. asset prices, prompts Canadian companies to accelerate U.S. strategies, and see some announcing deals in the U.S. before legalization," Carey's report mentioned.

Trutrace Technologies Inc. (OTC:BKKSF) (TSXV:TTT) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSXV:TTT), the company just announced breaking news this morning that, "it has entered into a letter of intent dated April 30, 2019 (the "LOI") with Strainprint™ Technologies Ltd. ("Strainprint"). Under the terms of the LOI, the parties will work together to explore development and integration opportunities to utilize their mutual technologies in order to bring greater transparency and visibility to the legal cannabis industry.

"We're thrilled to begin working with Strainprint in a greater capacity. What they've architected from an education and data standpoint is nothing short of remarkable, and we collectively believe that a synergistic relationship between our software platforms will bring a new level of verification and trust to the efficacy of medical cannabis," said TruTrace CEO, Robert Galarza. "We look forward to formalizing the details of our working relationship and continuing to update the industry and shareholders as our work continues to evolve."

"We're excited to explore combining our award-winning data, analytics and research capabilities with TruTrace's established and powerful platform. As the leading source of medical cannabis use data, with over 60 million data points from 1.2 million medical cannabis patient reported outcomes, we are uniquely positioned to work alongside TruTrace to help drive standardization, transparency and compliance that will shape the global cannabis industry in a meaningful way," said Strainprint CEO, Andrew Muroff.

Terms of the LOI:

Under the terms of the LOI, the parties have agreed that: (a) TruTrace will include Strainprint as a preferred partner; and (b) the parties will explore development and integration opportunities to utilize their mutual technologies to bring greater transparency and viability to the legal cannabis industry. The parties have agreed to negotiate, settle and execute a definitive agreement formalizing their relationship (the "Formal Agreement") on or before June 30, 2019. Entry into the Formal Agreement, and the closing of the transactions contemplated in it, are subject to certain conditions, including completion of each party's satisfactory due diligence review of the other.

About TruTrace Technologies:

TruTrace Technologies has developed the first integrated blockchain platform to register and track intellectual property in the cannabis industry. TruTrace's technology allows cannabis growers and breeders to identify and secure rights to their intellectual property. It also streamlines the administrative process and reduces the costs of genetic and mandatory quality-control testing for legal cannabis. TruTrace's technology is proprietary, immutable and cryptographically secure, thereby establishing a single-source, accurate, validated and permanent account for cannabis strains from ownership to market.

About Strainprint™

Founded in Toronto in 2016, Strainprint™ Technologies Ltd. is the leading demand-side cannabis data and analytics company. With the world's largest longitudinal, observational data-set of its kind and a mission to advance the scientific understanding of cannabis and its legitimization as a mainstream therapy, Strainprint helps medical cannabis patients and doctors to use cannabis in the most effective and responsible way possible. The Strainprint™ data platform supports global cannabis research and provides advanced business intelligence and treatment guidance to producers, retailers, medical practitioners, pharmacies, government and industry. Strainprint is HIPAA, PIPEDA and PHIPA privacy compliant, military-grade encrypted and all patient data is completely anonymized and at rest in Canada. Strainprint can be seamlessly embedded or integrated with most electronic medical records (EMR) and point of sale (POS) and seed2sale software systems.  Strainprint Analytics is accessed by customer subscription, while the Strainprint App is free to patients and can be downloaded from both the iOS App Store and GooglePlay Store. Strainprint was created by patients for patients. To learn more of the genesis of the app, have a look at Steph's Story or visit us at www.strainprint.ca, facebook, twitter, or linkedin."

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTCQX:CBWTF) (TSXV:XLY) is a vertically integrated cannabis company with diverse operations across Canada and Uruguay and a platform spanning the entire cannabis value chain. Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Robinsons Cannabis Inc., has been granted standard cultivation and processing licenses by Health Canada pursuant to the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations. The licenses give Robinsons the ability to begin cultivation at its fully constructed 27,700 sq. ft. facilities in Kentville, Nova Scotia, which was purpose-built to produce high-quality cannabis. Led by experienced head grower Andrew Robinson, Robinsons is uniquely positioned to capture the attention of luxury cannabis consumers, with operations built on a devotion to uncompromising quality and a premium cannabis experience. Robinsons products have consistently ranked the highest in terms of cannabinoid content, terpene content and overall quality when independently tested against 5,000 products supplied by various growers licensed in accordance with Canadian cannabis regulations. Hugo Alves, President of Auxly said: "This is a big milestone for one of our key subsidiaries and member of the Auxly family. We know that Andrew and his team are going to produce some of the best cannabis flower available in Canada and we can't wait to share it with Canadian consumers. Robinsons is all about an unwavering commitment to quality. We hope to show cannabis connoisseurs, who to date have been generally disappointed with the flower offerings in the market, that passionate artisans operating in the regulated industry can produce an incredible product that reflects their pride and craftsmanship."

Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC:BLOZF) (CSE:BLO) is a leader in marijuana breathalyzer development for law enforcement and the workplace. Cannabix Technologies Inc. recently reported that recent characterization work with Cannabix's FAIMS (field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry) THC detection device with human subjects had shown the ability to consistently discriminate unwanted ions from complex human breath background matrices allowing for THC (∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol) detection.  In particular, recent testing with updated FAIMS cell geometries has shown the ability to consistently supress several compounds that are commonly found in breath like nicotine, garlic, onion, meats, ethanol, and volatile flavorants such as methyl salicylate and menthol (commonly found in gum) allowing for discrimination and mobility of THC in exhaled breath. The Company is also pleased to report that engineers have developed a new atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source that provides significantly improved ion control in terms of intensity, stability, and focus. Early testing with high concentrations of a range of interferents collected from the breath of human subjects did not affect the sensitivity of the FAIMS device. These include complex matrices such as tomato juice and mouthwash. Testing with various common high salt and high sugar content electrolyte drinks was also conducted to determine if adduct ions would form that could interfere with the device, thus far none of these have done so.

Terra Tech Corp. (OTCQX:TRTC) operates through multiple subsidiary businesses including: Blüm, IVXX Inc., Edible Garden, and MediFarm LLC. Terra Tech Corp. recently announced it has secured a permit to manufacture cannabis for the adult use market at its 15,000 sq. ft. extraction facility in Reno, which is 50% owned by NuLeaf, from the State of Nevada. Terra Tech commenced IVXX® production activities for the medical market at its Reno, Nevada facility, co-owned by NuLeaf, in the late in the third quarter of 2018. Securing this permit allows it to further increase supply of its proprietary IVXX wholesale brand to meet the significant demand for cannabis products from adult users throughout Nevada. Chief Executive Officer, Derek Peterson, said, "Our IVXX brand of cannabis has proven itself to be popular with both the adult use and medical markets in Nevada. Securing this permit enables us to increase supply of our products to meet the demand from adult users that want to consume our premium branded cannabis by ramping production at our Reno facility. This will enable us to not only continue the rollout of our wholesale products in the State, but also increase the value of our assets in Nevada."

Vivo Cannabis Inc. (OTCQX:VVCIF) (TSXV:VIVO), based in Napanee, Ontario, is recognized for trusted, high-quality products and services. It holds production and sales licenses from Health Canada and operates world-class indoor cultivation facilities with proprietary plant-growing technology. VIVO Cannabis Inc. recently announced that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Canna Farms Ltd., has received approval from Health Canada to begin cultivation in the expansion of its Yale Road facility in Hope, BC, resulting in a doubling of the Company's cultivation capacity in the province. The expansion includes production and product development space, along with automated packaging equipment expected to be incorporated into the facility and brought on-line mid 2019. Cultivation in the expanded area is expected to commence in May 2019. "Today's approval of the Hope, British Columbia expansion is in addition to the Napanee, Ontario capacity increase approved by Health Canada yesterday," said Barry Fishman, Chief Executive Officer at VIVO. "With the additional cultivation from Hope, VIVO's current annual production capacity is now more than 8,000 kilograms with a goal to reach 11,000 kilograms later in 2019."

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