NEW YORK, June 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cannabis legalization has become a trending topic among many country's agendas as the medical applications continue to spread. Extensive clinical trials have reached conclusions that cannabis can be used effectively to a variety of medically diagnosed conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. However, many countries still do not see cannabis as an approved medicinal treatment despite positive data from studies. On the other hand, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy among children. Epidiolex is the first cannabis-derived drug to ever be approved by the FDA. Moreover, other international markets such as Australia, Germany, Poland, Colombia, Uruguay, and Israel have all moved to adopt medicinal cannabis legislation. And while the medical sector is much more prominent around the world, the recreational marketspace is heating up as well. Primarily, the U.S. and Canada are fueling the recreational sector because of their growing user base. And although the U.S. has not moved to fully legalize cannabis, it is accountable for the largest market share because of its early adoption of the plant's medical applications. Furthermore, as Canada's adult-use market continues to mature, it is expected that the recreational sector will surpass the medical sector in terms of market share. Additionally, while some countries are adopting cannabis legislation for medical purposes, a handful are also approving cannabis for economic reasons. For instance, the U.K. and Thailand are in the process of restructuring their legal framework, causing the global revenue growth for the market to witness significant growth. Additionally, countries such as South Africa and New Zealand are also in the works of potentially legalizing cannabis for medical use and may become emerging markets in the near future. The spur of countries moving towards cannabis legalization highlights the global impact the plant has had. And as a result, the global legal marijuana market is projected to reach USD 66.3 Billion by the end of 2025 while registering a CAGR of 23.9%, according to data compiled by Grand View Research. Trutrace Technologies Inc. (OTC: BKKSF) (TSX-V: TTT), Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTC: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY), Aleafia Health Inc. (OTC: ALEAF) (TSX: ALEF), General Cannabis Corp. (OTC: CANN), GB Sciences, Inc. (OTC: GBLX)
The industry is accelerating at a rapid rate as more countries continue to acknowledge the benefits of cannabis. Moreover, with the combination of technology, the industry is positioned to witness exponential growth. Technology plays a vital role in virtually every single global industry because it is essential in order to thrive and stand out among the competition. In the cannabis industry, entrepreneurs and companies have developed and launched state-of-the-art tech to aid different market segments. Notably, seed-to-sale technology has become prominent because it is a government mandated requirement among growers and retailers. Seed-to-sale means that an individual company controls the entire production chain from when the seed is planted, harvested, processed and then sold to the consumer. Moreover, seed-to-sale technology can help companies track their supply and determine where it may have been, where it is going, and exactly what products are part of the shipment. It can also be used to track the quality of the strain, determining how much cannabinoids are active within the buds. Seed-to-sale technologies can be simply built on a software-based platform, however, others have taken another step forward and integrated blockchain and artificial intelligence. Blockchain and AI can completely automate the growing process, eliminating the need for human labor. For example, AI can be used to control crop irrigation, which results in better use of resources, minimizing labor and creating higher yields due to optimal watering. Moreover, advanced technology can track climate conditions and lighting to provide plants with an exceptional growing environment. "That's why we firmly believe that technology stands at the center of the industry's advancement and growth. Just as the tech industry were critical components in helping regulators through their myriad trials and errors in Cannabis 1.0, this innovation will continue to generate market growth, improve public perception, protect public health and safety and enhance the implementation of state programs and regulations. These innovations will establish and secure the safety and credibility that is critical to a Cannabis 2.0 model," said Ben Curren, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Green Bits. "By bringing a Silicon Valley problem-solving approach to an industry still in its infancy, tech companies are helping to drive regulators from their traditionally staid ways and into the future."
Trutrace Technologies Inc. (OTC: BKKSF) (TSX-V: TTT) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: TTT). Yesterday, the Company announced that, "Deepak Anand, CEO and Co-Founder of Materia Ventures, will become an advisor to the Company. Mr. Anand brings significant experience having worked closely with senior government officials, politicians, policy makers, health professional organizations, clinical practitioners, educators and investors. Mr. Anand can provide business development leadership and direction, particularly with respect to engagement with governmental bodies and regulatory agencies in jurisdictions in Canada, Europe and South America. Additionally, as Materia Ventures ("Materia") continues to build out its infrastructure and technology assets across Europe, there will be opportunities for expanding the partnership and strategic opportunities between Materia and the Company.
Mr. Anand has held several roles of importance within the global cannabis sector. Currently, Mr. Anand is the CEO of Materia, a European-focused medical cannabis distribution and supply company. Deepak also has served on the boards of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis in the UK and he is also on the board of CFAMM (Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana) and the National Association of Cannabis Professionals.
"Mr. Anand's prolific expertise liaising with government and other regulatory bodies in the cannabis industry is of great benefit to TruTrace Technologies," said TruTrace Technologies CEO Robert Galarza. "As Deepak continues to build out the footprint for Materia throughout Europe, we see increasing opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Deepak's valuable insights and established connections with a wide range of government and regulatory bodies will further enable us to develop and market our products with these critical agencies in mind."
In connection with this appointment TruTrace has agreed to grant Mr. Anand stock options to acquire up to 150,000 common shares in the capital of TruTrace under the Company's 2018 Stock Option Plan.
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."
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Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTCQX: CBWTF) (TSX-V: 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., had 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. facility 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."
Aleafia Health Inc. (OTC: ALEAF) (TSX: ALEF) is a leading, vertically integrated cannabis health and wellness company with four primary business units. Aleafia Health Inc. was recently granted approval by Health Canada for outdoor cannabis cultivation. On June 7th, 2019, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary Aleafia Farms Inc., was granted a new Standard Cultivation License issued under Health Canada's Cannabis Regulations at the Company's Port Perry facility. In anticipation of receiving Health Canada approval, the Company dedicated growing rooms at its Paris Facility to propagate starter clones with strains particularly well-suited to outdoor cultivation. Approximately 13,000 of these starter clones are now on-site at Port Perry. The Licence allows for cannabis cultivation in Zone 1 of the Company's Outdoor Grow facility, with 292,000 sq. ft. of immediate, licensed cultivation area. The Company expects to receive a Health Canada license amendment for the remainder of the total 1.1 million sq. ft. facility in the next month. In anticipation of the amendment, some of the 13,000 starter clones will grow in pots in the licensed Zone 1 area and be moved to, and planted in, the additional area of the facility upon receipt of the Health Canada license amendment. "Our promise made last year to cultivate outdoors in 2019 is now a reality," said Aleafia Health Chairman Julian Fantino. "We will continue to lead the way in low-cost production. This milestone exponentially increases our total cultivation footprint while securing product supply for our medical cannabis patient base."
General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQX: CANN) is the comprehensive national resource for the highest quality service providers available to the regulated cannabis industry. General Cannabis Corp recently announced that it had entered into a non-binding term sheet to acquire substantially all of the assets of The Organic Seed, LLC, doing business as Cannaseur. Cannaseur is a vertically integrated cannabis license holder located in Pueblo West, Colorado. In addition to the Cannaseur dispensary and cultivation facility, the term sheet also includes their infused products line, Dabtek. General Cannabis is taking this action based on the signing of Colorado House Bill 1090 ("HB-1090"), a recently approved law allowing public companies to own Colorado licensed cannabis companies. Once the regulations surrounding the implementation of the law are finalized, the Company plans to enter into a binding transaction. "This is what we have been waiting for, the finalization of a legal framework that permits publicly traded companies to own and operate cannabis companies within Colorado. We have been working in Colorado for 6 years, leading the state's revolution into legalized cannabis sales," said Michael Feinsod, Executive Chairman of General Cannabis. "Our 85 employees operate within the regulated cannabis industry and we are eager to bring our professional services to the state as an owner and operator. Cannaseur provides a solid base for us to leverage our skillset as HB-1090 is enacted."
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., a partner in GB Sciences Louisiana, LLC, recently announced that all cultivation operations at LSU Agricultural Center are now open. This will allow a continuous harvest for patients by increasing GB Sciences Louisiana's production capacity 500%. GB Sciences Louisiana's two previous successful harvests, in the smaller proof-of-concept facility, passed state testing requirements, allowing GB Sciences Louisiana to start final product formulations immediately. These formulations will be submitted to Louisiana's state regulator for continuous testing and ultimately distributed to the nine licensed pharmacies around the state. The new production facility is equipped with modular clean-room technology for use in the production of plants and formulation of final products. "Our expansion is important for Louisiana's therapeutic cannabis patients," said GB Sciences Louisiana President John Davis, "Full-scale operations mean a consistent and continuous supply of therapeutic cannabis across the state."
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