NEW YORK, April 27, 2018 —
According to data compiled by Oristep Consulting, the global medical cannabis market in 2016 was USD 12.67 billion and will reach USD 33.41 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 17.53% during the forecasted period. Scientific studies of the cannabinoid chemical have already resulted in two FDA-approved medications in a pill form. The two main cannabinoids from the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. and they are used for medical purposes as treatments for various conditions such as increasing appetite, reduce nausea, decreasing pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems. The report also indicates that North America leads the market holding nearly half of the market share in 2016. Helix TCS Inc. (OTC: HLIX), Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), General Cannabis Corporation (OTC: CANN), Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTC: KSHB)
A report by CNBC quotes MedMen CEO and co-founder Adam Bierman, who explains the current state of the industry, “There is so much excitement now around legalization nationally coming in Canada. There is so much excitement about the fact that California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts all legalized recreational marijuana. The Canadian public markets offer access to a lot of capital, with a lot of certainty and a lot of speed, and there is this appetite among global investors to invest in a U.S. play. Specifically, global investors want to invest in a U.S. play that has California exposure. Now is the time where it makes the most sense.”
Helix TCS Inc. (OTCQB: HLIX) previously announced in March of this year a definitive merger agreement with BioTrackTHC. The signing of this contract helps to further establish BioTrackTHC as a leader in government traceability as they now hold nine (9) executed seed-to-sale contracts. Earlier this week BioTrackTHC announced that the, “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in coordination with the Department of Health's seed-to-sale traceability provider, BioTrackTHC, has officially deployed its government seed-to-sale Traceability System to oversee the island's medical cannabis industry. The system will enable the government to track and regulate the medical cannabis supply chain, product safety, and sales.”
Puerto Rico originally announced BioTrackTHC as the winner apparent of the contract in late 2016. However, there was a series of protests from competing vendors that were ultimately dismissed. The contract was then officially executed by the Puerto Rico Department of Health and BioTrackTHC in February of 2018. The Traceability System is being deployed in phases, with the first phase going live today, Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
“Our goal is to provide safe access to medical cannabis for all of our patients in Puerto Rico. The Traceability System empowers us to provide them with access in a way that is both transparent and responsible,” said Antonio Quilichini, Executive Director of the Regulatory Board for Medical Cannabis. “Additionally, it will enable the medical cannabis board to properly track the island's supply chain in real time, with complete visibility and accountability.”
Because of the unique nature of Puerto Rico's medical cannabis program, as well as the fact that a large number of licensees and their employees are Spanish-speaking, BioTrackTHC recently opened an office on the island and currently employs two staff members locally who are exclusively focused on supporting the Department of Health, the Puerto Rico licensees, the company's Spanish-speaking customers, and the Puerto Rico Traceability program at-large.
“It is an honor to be in a position to help launch the island's medical cannabis program and assist the licensees in getting up and running on the Traceability System,” said James Tolentino, Director of Puerto Rico Operations for BioTrackTHC.
“There are currently over 60 licensed cannabis businesses who are approved by the State to distribute medical cannabis to approved patients in Puerto Rico. The launch of the Traceability System provides these patients with an accessible program as well as safe, lab-tested medical cannabis.”
Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pruritus and pain by selectively targeting peripheral kappa opioid receptors (KORs). Cara is developing lead molecules that selectively modulate peripheral CB receptors without targeting CNS cannabinoid receptors. Peripheral CB receptor modulators will be initially developed as a novel therapeutic approach for neuropathic pain, a condition currently without consistently effective therapies. Cara's most advanced CB compound, CR701, is in preclinical development. Dr. Joseph Stauffer, CMO Cara Therapeutics, said: “Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists like CR701 have the potential to provide improved pain relief for patients suffering from neuropathic pain.”
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid treatments for rare or near-rare neuropsychiatric diseases with high unmet medical needs. Recently, the company reported new longer term open label clinical data in the Emerging Science session of the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Los Angeles, CA. The key findings include that responses to ZYN002 in the STAR 2 open label extension, as measured by reductions in focal seizures from the baseline period of STAR 1, are associated with continued treatment with ZYN002. In addition, ZYN002 was shown to be well tolerated through 12 months of treatment in STAR 2. Zynerba's ZYN002 CBD gel is the first and only pharmaceutically-produced CBD formulated as a patent-protected permeation-enhanced gel and is being studied in children with Fragile X Syndrome, adult epilepsy patients with focal seizures and osteoarthritis.
General Cannabis Corporation (OTCQB: CANN) is the comprehensive resource for the highest quality service providers available to the regulated Cannabis Industry. In February, the company announced that its client, Green Leaf Medical LLC, a leading grower and supplier of medical cannabis in Maryland, has successfully harvested its first crop and has passed all state-required laboratory tests. Now producing an estimated 500-600 pounds of high-quality medical marijuana on a monthly basis, Green Leaf is one of the leading fully approved suppliers in Maryland. Green Leaf also announced that it has begun the next phase of its expansion, increasing the size of its facility to approximately 50,000 square feet, a 67 percent increase from current capacity. The expanded grow house should be completed before the end of the year, raising production totals to nearly 1,000 pounds per month.
Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTCQB: KSHB) is a dynamic sales platform that provides unique products and services for both businesses and consumers in the cannabis industry. Recently, the company announced that it will offer free shipping on all online orders to clients in the contiguous United States. Additionally, the company has added additional in-market representatives to provide value-added service across the United States. Kush Bottles plans to streamline its business to support its rapid growth by incentivizing clients to order online. The company plans to utilize its dedicated in-market representatives to educate clients on regulatory compliance, while taking advantage of its multiple facilities across the U.S. to distribute product more efficiently.
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