Market Overview

Infused Drinks Create a New Dimension to the Cannabis Market


NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Most people generally associate cannabis with smoking, however, the infused edible and beverage industry has become one of the fastest-growing market segments. Typically, cannabis-infused products are created using an extract that is mixed into the end-product. For instance, producers use solvents such as heat and pressure or CO2 to extract oil from dried cannabis flowers. Afterward, the extracted oil can be used as a baking ingredient in edibles. On the other hand, beverages can also use oil, while some producers use activated ground cannabis or tinctures. A variety of beverage producers are now even infusing CBD and THC into sodas, tea, functional drinks, and even alcohol. Overall, the THC content in infused beverages can range anywhere from minuscule doses of 2.5 milligrams to as much as 100 milligrams per container. The smaller dosage of THC, along with a mixture of CBD, can be used for health and wellness purposes. However, a higher and more concentrated dosage can cause mind-altering effects and would be geared more towards frequent recreational users. And with the rapid growth of the infused beverage market, many large corporations are beginning to explore opportunities within the market. Generally, as consumer preferences continue to change, beverage producers are required to adapt in order to thrive among their competition. And with the increasing popularity of cannabis beverages, many companies are looking to expand their portfolios by adding a cannabis-based operation. Furthermore, current statistics have signaled that alcohol and sugary beverage consumption rates are declining as consumers are notably shifting towards healthier alternative. In particular, CBD-infused beverages are highly popular because they do not cause psychoactive effects but instead, offer therapeutic effects. And according to data compiled by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, North American consumer spending on cannabis-infused foods and drinks reached USD 1.5 Billion in 2018. By 2022, the two firms suggest that edible sales are on track to reach USD 4.1 Billion. BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (OTC:BVNNF) (CSE:BEV), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY), New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ:NBEV), Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC:CWBHF) (TSX:CWEB), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC:ITHUF) (CSE:IAN)

Primarily, most beverage producers are utilizing CBD because of the legal matter regarding THC. Regulators are much more lenient with CBD-based products because of their trivial psychological effects, which is why CBD is much more globally prevalent. Notably, full-spectrum CBD oils have become widely popular because of their wide-ranging and beneficial effects. Full-spectrum CBD oil provides consumers with protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids. The oil also contains all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that the human body processes on its own. Additionally, full-spectrum CBD oil is considered an ideal source of Omega 3 and Omega 6. Omega 3 plays a vital role in creating hormones that regulate inflammation as well as contractions and relaxation of arteries. The oil is also known to contain vitamins such as A, C, E, and B complex. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant, so it helps protect cells from the damage of free radicals. Similarly, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are also powerful antioxidants that boost the body's immune functions to prevent certain medical conditions. Moreover, B Complex Vitamins help boost the immune system, create red blood cells, and produce sex and stress-related hormones. Typically, full-spectrum oils come in forms of tinctures, of which beverage producers can add droplets into a drink. However, there are also powder forms of full-spectrum CBD and some producers have mentioned that powders are better in terms of solubility. Overall, the cannabis-infused beverage industry is quickly gaining traction, but some beverage producers are still evaluating the industry. Nonetheless, a handful of corporations have already dove into the industry and are already marking their presence. "Established big-brand food and beverage companies are beginning to take notice of the cannabis edibles market and this is likely just the tip of the iceberg," said Troy Dayton, Chief Executive Officer of Arcview Market Research. "As the edibles business grows and regulatory fears ease, the pace of intra-industry mergers and outside acquisitions will increase as well."

BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (OTC:BVNNF) (CSE:BEV) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE:BEV). Earlier last month, the Company announced that, "its board of directors has appointed Michael Darby as the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of the Company, effective July 29, 2019. Mr. Darby succeeds John Campbell, who will continue to hold the role of Chief Strategy Officer of the Company, and who will now focus primarily on merger, acquisition and joint venture opportunities in BevCanna's two principal markets, Canada and California.

"We're pleased that Michael has joined the BevCanna team," said Marcello Leone, CEO of BevCanna. "Michael's extensive financial management expertise will be an invaluable asset to our team, especially in this period of strategic expansion. His stewardship capabilities across a range of industries, and particularly in the capital markets arena, will be critical as we move forward with our long-term plans."

"It's an exciting opportunity that I couldn't pass up," noted Mr. Darby. "The cannabis-infused beverage market is on the brink of explosive growth, and BevCanna is at the forefront of the industry. To join a team with the branding, beverage and cannabis expertise that this team jointly holds is very appealing."

A finance professional with over 25 years of progressively senior financial management experience, Mr. Darby joins BevCanna from Naturo Group Investments Inc. Prior to joining Naturo Group, Mr. Darby served as Chief Financial Officer of Skidmore Group Holdings Inc., a family-owned private equity firm. Previous roles include CFO of TCG International Inc., an international manufacturer, retailer and franchisor of auto & window glass, and Canadian manufacturer & distributor of architectural millwork, and Corporate Controller & Director of Administration of Glentel Inc., a publicly-traded retail telecommunications company.

Mr. Darby is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia and earned a Bachelor of Commercial Studies degree from the University of Western Ontario.

About BevCanna: BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE:BEV) plans to develop and manufacture cannabinoid-infused beverages and consumer products for in-house brands and white label clients. With decades of experience creating, branding and distributing iconic brands that have resonated with consumers on a global scale, the team demonstrates an expertise unmatched in the emerging cannabis beverage category. Based in British Columbia, Canada, BevCanna has a 100-acre outdoor cultivation site in the fertile Okanagan Valley and the exclusive rights to a pristine spring water aquifer, as well as a world-class 40,000-square-foot, HACCP certified manufacturing facility, with a current bottling capacity of up to 72M bottles. BevCanna's vision is to be a global leader in infused innovations."

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Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) is a global pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis and cannabinoids currently serving tens of thousands of patients in twelve countries spanning five continents. Recently, Tilray and AB InBev, the world's leading brewer, announced a partnership to research non-alcohol beverages containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The partnership is limited to Canada and decisions regarding the commercialization of the beverages will be made in the future. The research partnership combines AB InBev's deep experience in beverages with Tilray's expertise in cannabis products. AB InBev's participation will be through its subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada, one of the country's founding businesses and its leading brewery, and Tilray's participation will be through its Canadian adult-use cannabis subsidiary High Park Company, which develops, sells, and distributes a portfolio of socially responsible cannabis brands and products in Canada. Each company intends to invest up to USD 50 Million, for a total of up to USD 100 Million. "We are delighted to be joining forces with a world-leading beverage company, AB InBev, to research how to create enjoyable cannabis beverage products. Tilray and AB InBev share a commitment to responsible product development and marketing, and we look forward to beginning our work on this important partnership as Tilray continues to pioneer the development of a professional, transparent, and well-regulated cannabis industry," said Brendan Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of Tilray.

New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ:NBEV) is a Colorado and Utah-based healthy products company dedicated to inspiring and educating consumers to "live healthy." New Age Beverages Corporation recently announced the launch of its CBD portfolio into Hong Kong, its first major international expansion. Under the umbrella of its Health Sciences Division wholly-owned subsidiary, New Age is shipping its premium portfolio of CBD oils, creams, and lotions to Hong Kong, with activation across its entire global direct-to-consumer channel under its 'NHANCED CBD brand name. The launch will initially cover the areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories and will feature three distinct products, CBD Body Cream at 150mg CBD strength, CBD Roll-on Gel at 200mg CBD strength, and CBD Oil at 500mg CBD strength. Jerry Haase, M.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for the New Age Health Sciences Division commented, "The Health Sciences Division at New Age is so proud to bring all these superior clinical products to consumers. We have years of study in cannabinoids, and one of the most extensive arrays of intellectual property in the beverage industry at New Age. Our launch of CBD leverages that depth of expertise to provide a highly efficacious CBD portfolio to consumers."

Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX:CWBHF) (TSX:CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-based cannabidiol ("CBD") wellness products. Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. recently announced that Eugenio Mendez had joined the Company in the newly formed role of Chief Growth Officer effective January 15th, 2019. Mr. Mendez comes to Charlotte's Web from the Coca-Cola Company based in Atlanta, GA, where he served as Vice-President, Global Marketing of Water, Enhanced Water and Sport Drinks - one of Coca-Cola's fastest growing categories. Mr. Mendez led global strategy and marketing for the division which has annual sales of USDD 12 Billion. Mr. Mendez has also served in an advisory role to Charlotte's Web for nearly two years. As the Company's Chief Growth Officer, he will lead the Company's business development, marketing and sales functions. "We're very excited to have Eugenio formally join our Company. Over the past sixteen months, I've had the opportunity to work closely with Eugenio and have been deeply impressed with his global vision and experience within the consumer-packaged goods ("CPG") industry," said Hess Moallem, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charlotte's Web. "Eugenio's appointment illustrates the high caliber executive talent we are attracting to support the Company's next phase of growth. With the opportunities that exist with national retail partners and anticipated international market expansion, adding top-tier executives with multi-national corporate experience is both timely and opportunistic."

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 its U.S. subsidiary had entered into a letter of intent to acquire CBD For Life, a top-ranked, national CBD brand in the U.S. CBD For Life has experienced an increase in interest from mainstream retailers in the first quarter of 2019 following the passage of the Farm Bill. Products are available directly to consumers online and CBD For Life is currently distributing to 750 retail locations and actively on-boarding approximately 25 new locations per week with a dedicated sales channel working with national retailers. These products are designed for self-care, beauty, and wellness; and through a partnership with iAnthus, CBD For Life plans to expand its existing wholesale and retail platform to give more consumers access to its growing range of products. "Developing a strong CBD strategy is mission critical for cannabis companies to compete on a national scale while simultaneously entering the consumer product and retail marketplace," said Hadley Ford, Chief Executive Officer of iAnthus. "With the acquisition of a name brand like CBD For Life, iAnthus is well positioned to increase our market share with greater exposure to patients and customers across the country."

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