CBD Cannabis Oil Medical Recreational Health

Mary’s Nutritionals Good Greens Powder (80mg) 11.6oz – cbdoilguides.net

Mary’s Good Greens Powder is a juicing alternative with a hint of mint. Contains 80mg of activated hemp extract. The recommended dosage for the Good Greens juicing alternative includes blending two level scoops into 6-12 ounces of water or juice once or twice per day.

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Jay-Z Joins Caliva, Congress Holds Marijuana Hearings, CannTrust Gets Smoked, And More

Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z entered the cannabis industry this week, announcing he’d be joining the California brand Caliva as chief brand strategist.

“Jay-Z entering the cannabis space reaffirms that effective brands will drive the future of the cannabis industry. We applaud his efforts to be a part of the solution in righting the disproportionate impact that the war on drugs has had on minority communities. Jay personifies the perfect mix of celebrity, entrepreneur and true brand,” said Kraig Fox, CEO of High Times, which first reported the news. 

On the policy front, Hawaii decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and the U.S. Congress held a landmark hearing regarding cannabis legalization and the need to reform. Here’s what legalization advocates had to say. In addition, the FDA said it was “expediting its work to address the many questions about cannabidiol (CBD),” and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced bills in Congress that seek to ensure that people with low-level drug convictions are still able to access public housing, reported Kyle Jaeger on Marijuana Moment.

We also saw a new ETF debut on the NYSE this week. The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX) launched by Innovation Shares claims to be the only pure-play cannabis ETF, with no exposure to tobacco or alcohol.

The fund has lower fees than its NYSE peers and differentiates itself from others on the back of its monthly rebalancing strategy, versus a more standard quarterly rebalancing approach, fund adviser Jon Najarian told Benzinga. 

CannTrust Holdings Inc (NYSE: CTST) got smoked after Health Canada discovered one of its facilities was non-compliant with regulations. Later in the week, it was reported that illicitly produced cannabis had been not only sold in Canada but also exported to Denmark.

“420 Investor” Alan Brochstein told Benzinga he thinks CEO Peter Aceto should apologize for violating Health Canada rules and resign.

Debra Borchardt, CEO of Green Market Report, said the CannTrust scandal shows that public cannabis companies can’t always be trusted to do the right thing. 

“This company grew plants in an unlicensed room and figured they’d get away with it, which is a sign of incredibly poor judgment since this is such a highly regulated industry. They also admitted to storage problems at another facility and have since stopped sales,” she said. 

The poor decision-making by company leaders hurts patients and shareholders alike, Borchardt said.

“Hiring a quality control officer after the fact just shows this company did too little too late.”

We invite you to check out our story of the week: “From Coffee To Cannabis: Colombian Legislators To Move For Adult-Use Legalization.” 

Also check out our new cannabis stocks screener. You can sort, filter, search and much more.

• The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) (TSE:HMMJ) lost 8.16%.

Surterra Wellness announced the appointment of Fareed Kahn as chief financial officer. Kahn previously served as CFO at Kellogg Company (NYSE: K).

James Whitcomb, who has served as CFO since the company’s founding, will become executive director of corporate development and continue serving on Surterra’s board. 

“Fareed’s global, large company CFO experience perfectly aligns with Surterra’s needs at this particular time in the company’s evolution as we continue to expand through thoughtful M&A, best-in-class partnerships and a focus on organic growth and execution,” said Surterra Chief Executive Officer and Chairman William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. 

Multistate operator Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. (OTC: HRVSF) (CSE: HARV) acquired Casa Grande, Arizona’s only licensed dispensary: Leaf Life medical dispensary.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), a producer of ancillary products and services to the cannabis and hemp industries, said Monday that it had applied to list on the Nasdaq Global Select Market exchange.

Canadian company Avicanna announced it had gained conditional approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange for the listing of its common shares, which are expected to start trading on TSX under the ticker symbol “AVCN” as an industrial research and development issuer.

This follows an announcement that the company obtained a receipt for its final prospectus filed in connection with a completed special warrant offering for gross proceeds of around CA$22.1 million ($16.9 million).

The raise was led by Sprott Capital Partners and included other investors like Paradigm Capital, valuing the company at an estimated CA$170 million ($130 million).

“Approval to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange senior board as an R&D issuer is a major milestone in Avicanna’s development and provides validation of our focus on responsible research and development of cannabinoid-based products,” Avicanna President Setu Purohit told Benzinga.  

“The TSX is one of the world’s largest exchanges and will provide Avicanna and its shareholders with greater reach and visibility to an international audience and investor base.”

Benzinga Cannabis first reported on Avicanna in 2017 following its admission into JLABS @ Toronto. We have covered its Colombian operations, its exclusive focus on medical use cannabis, and its joint venture with El Grupo Daabon, the largest organic agriculture company in South America, in operation for more than 100 years.

Hemptown Organics acquired Oregon-based Kirkman Group. The acquisition includes production equipment, formulation, proprietary IP, sales channels and fulfillment centers, as well as the management team.

Ignite International Brands (OTC: IILBF) launched in the U.K. this week, coinciding with its presence at the Europe CBD Expo 2019 in London.

“We were delighted to have teamed up with Ignite. The U.K. has been keeping a very close eye on their movements from across the Atlantic and we are excited that our visitors will be the first to get their hands on Ignite’s CBD range,” said Housam Nasr, chief operations officer for the Europe CBD Expo. 

Los Angeles-based cannabis lifestyle company From The Earth announced plans to join the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The company finalized a term sheet to complete a reverse takeover of KMN Capital, an Israeli public company, marking the initial stages of From The Earth’s entrance into the Tel Aviv capital markets through the RTO.

“Israel has embraced cannabis research and development for decades and cannabis-related technology available in that country is among the best in the world. As a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, I was able to tap into a deep network of Israeli investors and entrepreneurs who understand the value of cannabis today and in the future as we sought like-minded partners for From The Earth,” From The Earth CEO Dan Zaharoni said in a statement. 

Christopher Carey at Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded CannTrust from Buy to Underperform with a price target lowered from CA$9 ($6.87) to CA$4.50 ($3.44).

Canadian cannabis producer OrganiGram Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: OGI) announced a new proprietary technology that would enable the production of liquid and powdered cannabinoid products.

Shift Genuine Cannabis launched in Colorado, and its products are now  available in dispensaries across the state. “We want to make cannabis more user-friendly, more approachable,” says Travis Howard, Shift’s founder. “‘Be genuine’ is the ethos of Shift, and that tagline drives everything we do. As consumers ourselves, we understand what folks are looking for when selecting a cannabis brand, and we truly believe they deserve the highest quality product possible.”

Last December, Green Peak Innovations received more than 30 licenses covering medical cannabis cultivation, processing and provisioning in Michigan. On Monday, the company announced it would open its first dispensary in Bay City. This is the first of 30 dispensaries it expects to open in Michigan by the end of 2020.

MACE Media Group announced the publishing of the Journal of Cannabinoid Medicine. This new media platform is dedicated for researchers to disseminate their research findings, with the aim of creating access to information about plant medicine and medicine access for people everywhere.  

The journal will cover all aspects of pharmacy including clinical, social, administrative and economic angles, and provides a platform for researchers, academics and practitioners to share new evidence, concerns and perspectives. The journal hopes to advance the cannabis medical field by presenting new findings and research that will influence the way cannabinoid medicine is practiced.

CLS Holdings (OTC: CLSH) announced its financial and operational results for June, showing another month with more than $1 million in revenue, a figure that’s higher by 250% year-over-year. The company’s Oasis dispensary continues to serve a record number of over 16,500 customers, which is an 88% increase from this time last year. The branded product division saw similar increases in revenue from this time last year.

“As the Nevada cannabis market continues to mature, we are seeing record results month-over-month. This is not a coincidence as we have spent tireless hours to get to this point pre and post our acquisitions of Oasis dispensary and our seed-to-sale brand, City Trees,” Andrew Glashow, COO of CLS Holdings, told Benzinga.

Green Growth Brands (OTC: GGBXF) (CSE: GGB) announced that it it entered an agreement with MXY Holdings to acquire the company for $310 million, which will be met through the delivery of either exchangeable LP units or Green Growth common shares. MXY Holdings is commonly known as Moxie.

Cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises (OTC: MMNFF) (CSE: MMEN) announced Wednesday it gained an additional equity commitment from Gotham Green Partners in the amount of $30 million. The additional equity commitment was created with Wicklow Capital’s assistance, bringing Gotham Green Partners’ total commitment to $280 million, out of which the investor has already provided $100 million.

Sydney, Australia-based medicinal cannabis manufacturer THC Global Group announced Tuesday that it obtained another manufacturing license for its subsidiary THC Pharma Pty Ltd from the Australian Office of Drug Control. The company said its Southport manufacturing site is the largest biopharmaceutical extraction facility in the southern hemisphere.

Cannabis CEO and South Korean immigrant Susan Hwang was appointed as the inaugural market leader of Women Grow Los Angeles, a national organization connecting professionals from all segments of the industry. Hwang currently heads Women Grow Phoenix and will serve as chief spokeswoman for dual markets. 

“I am honored to be named market leader of Los Angeles and look forward to empowering other minorities to enter this emerging industry,” Hwang said. 

The historic announcement coincides with a growing pro-cannabis legislation movement in Asia. South Korea’s groundbreaking law to legalize medical cannabis went into effect in March.

Canopy Rivers (OTC: CNPOF) portfolio company TerrAscend (OTC: TRSS) announced it has received the green light from Health Canada to begin selling its cannabis oils through its online health marketplace Solace Health. The company was also recently granted a Good Manufacturing Practice certificate in accordance with rules governing medical products in the European Union; and inked a sales and distribution agreement with iuvo Therapeutics GmbH, a German pharmaceutical wholesaler.  

“Cannabis oil is gaining popularity in Canada, the United States and in other emerging global medical markets. With Health Canada approval and new channels developing in legislated international markets, TerrAscend is now well-positioned to meet this growing demand,” said Canopy Rivers CEO Narbe Alexandrian.

Supreme Cannabis Company Inc (OTC: SPRWF) announced that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has released a final order approving a previously announced agreement to acquire Blissco Cannabis Corp. (OTC: HSTRF).

Cannabis One Holdings Inc (OTC: CAAOF) (CSE: CBIS) announced Friday it will acquire Green Layde IP Inc. Green Lady IP provides infrastructure services to three dispensaries in Washington state. These dispensaries produce more than $9 million in unaudited annual revenue, per Green Lady IP management’s estimates.

Earlier this week, authorities in Montpelier, Vermont, got a call about a visitor’s discovery of various cannabis plants among the flower beds around the State House. A total of 34 immature plants were discovered without determining whether they are marijuana or hemp plants, according to CNN.

New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ: NBEV) on Friday confirmed the closing of its previously announced acquisition of Brands Within Reach.

Paul Norman, the CEO of HeavenlyRx, who last served as president of Kellogg North America, announced this week that the company has signed an LOI to acquire Airganics, a dynamic company focused on developing high-performance wellness products.

For a total purchase price of CA$10 million, HeavenlyRx will acquire 100% of the outstanding membership interests in Airganics.

Airganics includes three distinct brands: MOXE, a portable aromatherapy diffuser available in vape form; ENVY HEMP, which combines nutritional supplements with water-soluble CBD derived from American hemp; and Nutriair, an innovative inhalable nutrient delivery device with 11 available product lines. HeavenlyRx is a SOL Global Investments Corp (OTC: SOLCF) portfolio company.

KushCo Holdings Inc (OTC:), a provider of ancillary services to the cannabis industry, reported third-quarter results after the close Tuesday.

The company said its revenue for the quarter ended May 31 surged by 221% on the year and amounted to a record $41.5 million.

Despite the revenue growth, the company’s net loss on a GAAP basis slightly widened from $9.2 million a year ago to $10.6 million. Nevertheless, the net loss per share of 12 cents was lower than the 14-cent loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2018.

Canada’s first branded cannabis oriented educational program is on its way, thanks to a newly announced collaboration between Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI) and Lift & Co. Corp (TSXV: LIFT) (OTC: LFCOF).

Illinois-based Revolution Enterprises announced Wednesday that Tony Hunter is the new chairman of the company’s board of directors. Hunter is known for his expertise in the media world, as he worked for Chicago Tribune Co. for 20 years, including eight years as publisher. 

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTC: CURLF) on Wednesday announced two new executive appointments, both of which are effective June 24.

Bob Nardelli was appointed as a strategic advisor for the Colorado-based retail hydroponic and organic gardening brand GrowGeneration Corp. (OTC: GRWG). Nardelli represents an experienced sales leader with knowledge in multinational corporations. He led Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) as CEO from 2000-2007.

The medical division of Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC), Spectrum Therapeutics, announced that it’s collaborating with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s “Not Myself Today” workplace mental health program.

Green Growth Brands Inc (OTC: GGBXF) and American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) have entered into a deal to distribute CBD-infused personal care products. American Eagle Outfitters will sell the CBD products in almost 500 of its stores, as well as online.

Cannabinoid-focused biotechnology company Demetrix announced that it secured $50 million in a Series A funding round led by Tuatara Capital. Another investor is Horizons Ventures, which previously led Demetrix’s $11-million Series Seed round.

New Jersey-headquartered CBD For Life announced the further expansion of its retail presence through a partnership with Dillard’s Inc (NYSE: DDS). CBD For Life is a subsidiary of iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc (CSE: IAN) (OTC: ITHUF), which owns and runs licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities in 11 U.S. states.

Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) entered into an agreement to acquire a GMP-compliant fermentation and manufacturing facility from Apotex Fermentation. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter; Apotex will continue to be in charge of a wind-down of the facility through the fall.

HEXO Corp (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) gained approval from the New York Stock Exchange to transfer the listing of its common shares from the NYSE American LLC to the NYSE. The company expects to start trading on NYSE with the same ticker symbol on July 16.

Cannabis-oriented real estate firm BANGI, Inc (OTC: BNGI) announced Friday that it was one of the first companies to be issued an industrial hemp production license in the state of Michigan.

Cannabis edible maker Bhang Corporation (CSE: BHNG) began trading Friday on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

Earlier this week, cannabis and hemp-focused company Jushi Holdings announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Dalitso LLC, one of the five conditionally licensed cannabis business in the state of Virginia.

The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO), the first actively managed cannabis exchange traded fund in the United States, is adding exposure to multistate operators.

United Cannabis Corporation (OTC: CNAB) named Clifton Lamberth as its new chief marketing officer.

Cannabis data analytics company Headset and Marijuana Business Daily have announced a data partnership. The deal will allow MJBizDaily’s journalists, editors, researchers and analysts to get access to real-time retail-derived data from the U.S. and Canadian cannabis industry.

MJBizDaily will work with Headset to develop exclusive content as part of its Annual Marijuana Business Factbook and provide more content and information at its MJBizCon, MJBizConNEXT and MJBizConINT’L events. 

Researchers at Colorado State University launched the first stage of a three-stage research project to verify the effectiveness of Gofire’s technology to precisely dose, measure and track cannabis intake and outcomes.

It’s a critical, missing capability that researchers lack in order to effectively uncover the data that will lead to prescribable cannabis medicines, the company said.

The study is expected to last through the fall.

“Our system allows for true consistency and control,” said Gofire Peter Calfee.

“Our vaporizer doesn’t function like the current standard products. We want to shift the whole paradigm of inhalable medicine and offer people the same dosing precision they expect for any other kind of medication, whether it’s a prescription they receive from their doctor or an over-the-counter remedy.”

Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) appointed Dr. Todd Abraham as its chief innovation officer. His 17-year tenure at Mondelēz International (NASDAQ: MDLZ) saw the coordination of divisions such as R&D, IP strategy and technology development.

Flower One Holdings Inc (OTC: FLOOF) announced a long-term licensing partnership with La Vida Verde to produce edibles and tinctures for the Nevada cannabis market.

From the creators of James Jeans and Alkhemist Los Angeles, Alkhemist announced the commencement of cultivation operations at its state-of-the-art indoor cannabis cultivation facility. The company said it’s the first fully licensed, certified and legal grower of cannabis in the city of Los Angeles.

“We are excited to be pioneering this cultural paradigm shift where cannabis is no longer perceived to be a black market product for stoners and hippies but is enjoyed responsibly by mainstream Americans for its lifestyle and wellness benefits,” Alkhemist CEO and co-founder Conrad Yun told Benzinga.

“By investing in state-of-the-art technology for our indoor cultivation infrastructure, such as highly energy-efficient Octo LED lights and integrated environment controls, we are committed to creating ultra-pure, pesticide-free organic products that customers can enjoy with confidence.”

Oakland-based cannabis company Apex Extractions introduced a monthly subscription service, the Apex Extractions Fresh Club. For $139 a month, subscribers in California will receive a hand-curated selection of premium cannabis products — including small-batch runs from boutique growers — delivered to their door.

“2019 has been a thrilling year for Apex Extractions and we are so proud of our eight Cannabis Cups wins,” said Scott Benson and Ted Hicks, co-CEOs at Apex Extractions. “Now that we are officially on the map, we plan to double our efforts to get our award-winning products in the hands of cannabis connoisseurs across California.”

TransCanna Holdings Inc. (OTC: TCNAF) announced a definitive agreement to acquire The GoodFellas Group, LLC. GoodFellas specializes in branding, sales and marketing in the cannabis and hemp industries.

Dark Heart Nursery announced that it completed a private placement of convertible notes for gross proceeds of over $5 million in an oversubscribed round. Dark Heart said it will use the proceeds to fund ongoing research and development activities in plant sciences and expand production operations, including a newly renovated 70,000-square-foot facility in Half Moon Bay.

“We are fully dedicated to our core mission — to help cannabis farmers thrive — and we continue to execute on that mission. Through smart investments in research and development, we improve plant quality, leading to greater production efficiency and product differentiation for farmers,” said CEO Dan Grace.

Spherex announced the launch of PHYX, a new line of THC-infused sparkling water.

“Phyx is an ideal product for consumers who want a controlled low-dose experience,” said Spherex founder Niccolo Aieta.

“Many edibles have a tendency to take effect after an unpredictable amount of time and last much longer than the average consumer desires. Through proprietary nano-encapsulation technology, PHYX is absorbed through the tongue and throat, allowing consumers to feel its effects within minutes. Each serving produces a cannabis experience that lasts approximately one hour.”

More From Benzinga Cannabis

The following are some of the most interesting cannabis-related stories from this week.

• At The Half Of 2019, Some Trends Loom Large In The Legal Cannabis Game

• Harvard Researchers To Explore Cannabis As Medicine For Less-Affluent Nations

• RegTalk: Michigan’s Adult-Use Regulations Will Shape A Robust Industry

• RegTalk: Municipal Risk Alert – Santa Barbara County, California To Address Cannabis Cultivation Concerns

• Diversity In Cannabis: Making Sure Everyone Benefits And ‘Not Just A Privileged Few’

• The State Of Cannabis Funding: ‘You Cannot Just Go Down To Your Local Bank’

• Flowhub’s Kyle Sherman Discusses Ending ‘Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None’ Approach To Cannabis

• More Growth, Consolidation, And M&A Expected For Hemp Industry In 2019

• EFSA’s CBD Novel Food Classification

• Cramer Talks ‘Unrealistic Expectations’ Among Cannabis Investors

• The Main Hurdles For Cannabis Companies, State By State

Check out these and many other cannabis stories on Benzinga.com/cannabis

Events Calendar

July 18: REVEL is hosting an educational showcase that will consist of talks on how to build and sustain a profitable and reputable brand within the cannabis industry. There will also be giveaway opportunities, networking and vendors.

July 27: Microscopes & Machines will bring leaders in cannabis medical research and manufacturing technology for a daylong exploration of cannabis and hemp’s life-changing potential. Featuring Jeff Chen of UCLA’s UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, Ace Shelander PE of Beaker & Wrench and many more.

July 28: Susan Hwang will host the first Women Grow “Meet and Greet” in Asia from 6-9 p.m., on Sunday, July 28 at Kookmin University, 77 Jeongneung-ro, Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, in Seoul, South Korea.

International cannabis entrepreneurs and prospective stakeholders are invited to attend the historic event, which will include a presentation on CBD, hemp businesses, and practical application. Hwang will lead the discussion alongside Women Grow CEO Dr. Chanda Macias and National Program Director Parisa Rad.

Aug. 1-2: CannaFarm Con will focus on the new and complex challenges that cannabis farmers face. The event assembles the entire specialty cannabis farming spectrum in one connected space that is focused on providing real solutions with proven success. Attendees will connect firsthand with cutting-edge industry leaders and forward thinkers offering tangible ideas and practical applications for all areas of cannabis agriculture. The event will take place at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego, California. 

Aug. 15: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Detroit, Michigan! You know you can’t miss it. Go to https://www.benzingacannabisconference.com/ for more information.

Aug. 17-18: The 9th CannaGrow Expo will take place in Palm Springs, California, featuring more than 35 cultivation-focused educational sessions and an expo hall filled with cannabis-related technologies. “One thing that differentiates CannaGrow Expo from other cannabis events is the exciting educational content focused on the foundations of the cannabis industry,” said Jessi Rae, COO of CannaConnections, the producers of CannaGrow, DispensaryNext and the Science of Cannabis Summit.

Oct. 11-12: CBD Expo MOUNTAIN will bring the largest CBD event platform to Denver, Colorado to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry.

The event features more than 150 exhibitors, along with a substantial lineup of speaker presentations, panel discussions, demos and workshops from experts in the research, production, globalization, distribution and sale of CBD products. CBD Expo MOUNTAIN will focus on the themes of compliance and regulation and investments and business. 

Oct. 11-12: the first ever Budtender Awards are coming to Las Vegas, sponsored by cannabis financial technology Canna Paid and cannabis educational program Clover Leaf University.

The awards aim to pay homage to the nation’s top budtenders and the many facets of cannabis culture. The two-day event offers panel discussions, a product and service expo, a closing night performance, awards show and after party culminating in a performance by Cypress Hill.

Oct. 22-23: The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Chicago, Illinois! You know you can’t miss it. Go to https://www.benzingacannabisconference.com/ for more information.

Oct. 23-24: Marijuana Venture Magazine’s Retail and Dispensary (RAD) Expo, a national trade show focused on the retail cannabis industry, will return to the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The RAD Expo will feature presentations from industry veterans to speak about successful entrepreneurship and topics including merchandising, partnership management, interior store design and retail operations.

The 2019 show will focus heavily on CBD products and CBD brands with a presence in health grocery stores, luxury retailers, pet stores and other retail categories that carry hemp-derived products.

Nov. 15-16: CBD Expo EAST will bring the largest CBD event platform to Orlando, Florida to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. CBD Expo EAST will focus on globalization and spa + wellness.  

Nov. 19-21: The Medcann World Forum 2019 will be held in the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta. The venue dates to the 16th century. when it was built as a hospital by the order of St. John. The three days will focus on six pillars: medical, business, research, legislation, regulation and fintech. The event will host Malta’s top policymakers, international regulatory experts and global business leaders.

Dec. 5-6: CBD Expo WEST will bring the largest CBD event platform to San Diego, California to broadcast products with the community and share knowledge with the industry. The themes for CBD Expo WEST are research and development and cannabinoid formulations.

Picture by Javier Hasse. Metal work by Caos y Fortuna.

See more from Benzinga

© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Medical cannabis is gaining momentum in Asia

Hemp plants are grown for medical research purposes in Chiang Mai province, Thailand.

Taylor Weidman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

With Thailand’s legalization of medical cannabis in February, some experts predict that other Southeast Asian countries may move to decriminalize the plant.

If that happens, it could prove a significant opportunity for investors interested in the space.

Many countries in Asia have made headlines for strict punishments for possessing, trafficking and consuming cannabis — including, notable, the ongoing bloody war on drugs in the Philippines. But some nations are nevertheless softening their attitude toward the once-taboo drug, and bringing it to hospitals in the region.

The global legal marijuana market — including recreational use — was estimated to be worth $13.8 billion last year and is projected to reach $66.3 billion by the end of 2025, according to a 2018 report from California-based market research firm Grand View Research.

There are two widely studied components of the cannabis plant: CBD, a non-hallucinating compound sold in bud, oil and tinctures, used for calming inflammation and the nerves; and THC, the psychoactive constituent that is more often used for recreational purposes and is still illegal in most countries.

According to a 2018 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, both CBD and THC ingredients are applied in medicinal practices but used to treat different symptoms.

Momentum in the region

Currently, Canada and Uruguay are the only two countries that have fully legalized the recreational use of cannabis. But the piecemeal legalization of medicinal marijuana has been spreading across the world, including, notably, nations such as Israel, Australia, and Germany.

In Asia, Seoul and Bangkok look to be leading the way in the normalization and legalization of medical marijuana with government license. Thailand is the only country that has fully legalized medicinal cannabis with others actively looking into the plant’s health-care applications, according to Prohibition Partners, an international cannabis industry consultancy.

Thailand, for its part, unveiled its first legal cannabis greenhouse in February.

“The attitude is that it’s already a part of traditional medicine … and we should ensure that Thais can control their own industry, ” said Jim Plamondon, marketing head of Thai Cannabis Corporation said to Reuters last December.

South Korea surprised many by being the first East Asian nation to legalize medical marijuana last November. The policy came to effect in March this year with the goal of expanding treatment options for patients with epilepsy, chronic pain and other conditions.

In the same month, Japan approved clinical trials for the cannabis compound Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution used in treating epileptic patients.

In Western markets, recreational cannabis is expected to outperform medicinal cannabis in market forecasts, but in Asia the opposite is likely to be true.

Prohibition Partners

The 2019 Asian Cannabis Report

In late June, Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said in a statement, “Drugs have destroyed many lives, but wrongheaded governmental policies have destroyed many more. I think it’s obvious that after 40 years of war on drugs, it has not worked. There should be decriminalization of drugs.”

He added that legalizing medicinal cannabis would be a “game changer.”

Even famously strict-on-drugs nations including Singapore and China have been involved in research into medical applications for cannabis.

Investment opportunities in Asia

That all indicates a softer tone than those countries have traditionally taken, but the plant remains illegal in the majority of Asian nations. Still, Prohibition Partners estimated that Asia’s medicinal cannabis market could by 2024 be worth $5.8 billion.

“In Western markets, recreational cannabis is expected to outperform medicinal cannabis in market forecasts, but in Asia the opposite is likely to be true,” the consultancy said.

Japan, for one, will very likely become a big consumer of medical cannabis.

“Japan currently has the largest population of elderly people at 33.1% and this is set to bring about an unprecedented rise in healthcare costs in the long term,” the group’s 2019 report said. “The region’s spending on healthcare is estimated to reach US$2.7 trillion by 2020.”

And Japan is not the only one faced with an aging population. By 2030, 17.8% of China’s population is expected to be above 65 years old, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. The report added that Asia is on track to have the oldest population in the world very soon and with old age comes many chronic disease.

As for investing opportunities, many are still reluctant to actively bet on the commodity due to the social stigma around the plant, according to Prohibition Partners. Still, Hong Kong saw its first-ever Cannabis Investor Symposium in November last year.

“Chinese investors are warming up to the cannabis market,“ the consultancy said, noting that despite its illegality in China, medical cannabis research has received some government encouragement.

In fact, China is not only involved in the research but also heavily in production. Asia’s largest economy currently grows nearly half the world’s legal hemp, a strain of cannabis that contains almost no hallucinogens, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

A distributor holds a jar of medicinal cannabis in Buriram, Thailand.

Lillian Suwanrumpha | AFP | Getty Images

Hanma Investment Group (HMI) is the first company to receive permission to extract CBD in China. The country’s largest hemp production firm has been advocating for the benefits of the plant and trying to change the negative connotation most Chinese hold toward it. The company currently exports 90% of its production, mostly to the United States, Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, and increasingly to Japan.

“(Chinese) people’s perception of cannabis is no longer as negative as before. We have been reiterating the uses cannabis can be utilized in the medical and health sector,” Tan Xi, HMI’s president, told CNBC in a Chinese-language text message.

Tan added in a phone interview there had been an increase in Chinese companies getting involved in industrial cannabis. Since the start of 2019, he claimed, there’s been significant traction in China’s capital market for such companies.

Tan said he was encouraged by the increasing number of American states legalizing medical cannabis, but he said China appears nowhere close to legalizing it anytime soon.

‘Bleak on the earnings front’

Some experts have warned investors to avoid becoming overly optimistic about the investment opportunities in the cannabis industry because there are still many unanswered questions about legalization, acceptance and business models.

For one, the seemingly robust legal cannabis market in Canada has so far been “bleak on the earnings front,” due to high operational expenditures, according to a EY report from October 2018.

Experts familiar with Asia said countries in the region are not likely to legalize the plant for recreational use anytime soon, but there are even challenges ahead for medicinal use. Notably, the cost of building the infrastructure for production and distribution will be high and it may take a while before there’s a full embrace of the product.

The general acceptance of “medical cannabis use may be slower in Asia because rates of cannabis use are much lower there than in North America, Australia and the EU and policies towards the use of illicit drugs have traditionally been punitive,” said Wayne Hall, substance abuse research professor at The University of Queensland.

Ultimately, the acceptance of medical cannabis will depend on accessibility — whether the plants are grown locally and the priced affordably, the professor said.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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As CBD Sales Boom, Consumers Need Clarity – InsideSources

In California, a bee-keeper produces honey infused with cannabidiol (CBD) for friends and family, who say that the products reduce their insomnia, stress, and anxiety. In Montana, patients with cancer use CBD-infused creams and salves on burns and blisters caused by their chemotherapy treatments. 

Meanwhile, in Florida, a grandmother was recently arrested at Disney World for having doctor-prescribed CBD used to treat arthritis in her purse (although CBD hemp products have since been made legal in the sunshine state ). At the same time, reports are emerging of possible CBD interactions with prescription medications, effects on liver function, and in extreme cases, contamination with pesticides or mold.

Based on these circumstances, it appears that the truth about CBD’s benefits and risks depends on whom you ask and when. How can consumers make rational choices about CBD products when they are caught in this maelstrom of conflicting information?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently took action against three companies making some of the most egregious claims about the health benefits of CBD products. Nevertheless, unless the FDA does more — and consumers and industry pitch in — this problem could get worse, as the market for CBD products is projected to reach $16.3 billion by 2026. In an effort to do more, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is soliciting public input until July 16 on how to regulate the use of CBD in dietary supplements and foods.

Why is CBD different from other FDA-regulated products, like fish oil, which is available as a prescription medication, supplement, and food additive? CBD is naturally derived from cannabis, which also contains psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When cannabis has a higher concentration of THC, it is considered marijuana and is illegal under federal law. When cannabis contains no more than .3 percent THC, it is considered hemp. In 2018, Congress changed federal law to make hemp legal.

Currently, the only products containing the compounds found in cannabis that may be marketed legally in the U.S. are prescription drugs, including Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD medication. Unlike supplements and foods containing fish oil, those containing CBD may not yet be marketed legally because CBD supplements came to the market after the FDA-approved drugs, CBD-containing foods are not yet recognized by experts as safe, and the FDA has not yet issued regulations approving these products. 

The FDA is now seeking to answer the same questions many of us have. What is the purpose of consuming CBD, and what scientific evidence demonstrates that it has the intended effect? What concentration and daily intake levels of CBD are generally safe? Are there certain individuals or animals who should not take CBD?

With answers to these and other questions, the FDA should be able to issue CBD supplement and food regulations specifying standards for purity, potency, and consistency. The FDA will likely also need to require warnings about safety concerns in certain individuals or circumstances. Beyond that, for the sake of consistency and clarity for CBD researchers, manufacturers, and consumers, the FDA should strive to follow existing regulatory pathways – such as those that apply to fish-oil medications, supplements, and food additives — to the greatest extent possible.

The FDA is not the only one with a responsibility here. Consumers should be on the lookout for prohibited claims and illegitimate products. Any advertisement stating that a product other than an FDA-approved medication can treat or cure a specific condition is deceptive. If a manufacturer is willing to sidestep advertising rules, it cannot be trusted to follow safety rules, and its product is risky. Consumers should also inform both the FDA and a product’s manufacturer if they have an adverse reaction to a CBD medication, supplement, or food.

Manufacturers of CBD supplements and foods intending to remain in the market for the long haul should support independent, scientifically credible evidence of CBD’s safety for its intended uses. They should ensure their products are standardized for purity and potency and marketed in a manner consistent with the regulations that apply to fish-oil and other supplements and foods.

Finally, while the FDA conducts research and begins what could be a lengthy regulatory process, it should continue to enforce existing law against companies that exploit public interest in CBD by selling contaminated products or making egregious cure-all claims.

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Use these essential oils for muscle tension relief

Photo: Julianna Blizzard

All hell breaks loose whenever I have a knot in my muscles. But it inevitably happens, since I’m a bona fide boot camp addict. There are things you can do to get that annoying AF tension out, like roll around on a tennis ball or blast a Theragun to the spot, or even slather on the CBD—but I never thought that something as simple as essential oils could do the trick too.

Then Jana Blankenship, beauty guru and founder of Captain Blankenship, schooled me—not that I’m surprised, considering essential oils can help with everything from stress to sleep. In her soon-to-be-released book, Wild Beauty ($12), she gives readers what I’d consider the dream essential oil blend: one that releases muscle tension.

“I created this powerful blend of essential oils to relieve anxiety, tension, headaches, migraines, and PMS,” Blankenship tells me. The magic’s in the minty extracts combined with certain botanicals that work together to get those knots some relief. “Stimulating peppermint essential oil is an ancient medicine for relieving tension. The scent of eucalyptus essential oil instantly clears your senses and helps ease anxiety. And Clary sage is a savior for PMS and tension release,” she explains.

So that combo, blended with rosemary and lavender essential oils for “fresh air to ease your pain,” can give CBD a run for its money. All you do is blend the oils together following Blankenship’s recipe—into a rollerball, ideally—and close your eyes, lie down (if you can), and dab some onto your temples and wrist (or wherever you’re feeling tension or knots). Keep scrolling to try out the muscle-relieving recipe for yourself.

Loosen the Knot Tension-Release Blend

Yields 1/2 oz

1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice
8 drops peppermint essential oil
7 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops clary sage essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil
Optional: 5 drops lavender essential oil* (Use if you or your friends love lavender; some people don’t.)

1. Add carrier oil to small spouted measuring cup. With separate eyedroppers, add essential oils to carrier oil and combine with spoon. With funnel, pour slowly into roll-on bottles. Press on roll-on lid and screw on cap.

2. Use as needed. If stored out of direct sunlight, will keep for up to two years.

Reprinted with permission from Wild Beauty, by Jana Blankenship, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Images copyright © by Julianna Blizzard

To use more of the powerful oils, here are the best essential oils for energy, and the essential oils that fight inflammation, according to the pros. 

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Hemp licence applications boom but some farmers urge caution

Hemp plants in Vegreville on Aug. 9, 2017. Photo by David Bloom

David Bloom / Postmedia

The legalization of cannabis and the ongoing Chinese ban on Canadian canola is sparking a boom of interest in hemp among Prairie farmers, but some experienced producers are warning of “unrealistic expectations.”

According to Statistics Canada, the number of hemp acres planted by farmers nationwide is expected to double this year, from 41,200 in 2018 to 82,500 in 2019. While Health Canada — which licenses farmers to grow industrial hemp — will not release its 2019 figures until this fall, the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance industry group said it has been told the number of licence applications has more than doubled this year and the majority of new applicants are first-time hemp growers.

“Hemp’s been grown in Canada for 20 years, but it was always sort of culturally viewed as a crop that’s not part of the mainstream. There was always that attitude of, ‘that guy grows pot,’ ” said Ted Haney, executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. “Today, like chickpeas, lentils or quinoa, it’s just another one of the hot options out there. It’s increasingly being looked at as a mainstream crop.”

There are a variety of reasons for the sudden explosion of interest in hemp. Until recently, farmers with licences to grow industrial hemp — which in its food-based application can be used to produce cooking oil, edible seeds, protein powders and more — needed to undergo a criminal records check and were forbidden from harvesting any part of the crop except the seeds and stems. (Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, and though it contains virtually no psychoactive THC it does contain CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.)

But the legalization of cannabis earlier this year means farmers are now permitted to harvest the whole hemp plant and sell it to licensed marijuana producers for the purpose of CBD extraction and sale. That’s driving new interest and optimism among farmers, Haney said, though the economics of harvesting hemp for CBD from a farmer perspective remain relatively unknown.

Another possible reason for the increase in hemp acres, Haney said, is the ongoing trade issues Prairie farmers are encountering with other commodities — chiefly canola, which is the subject of an ongoing ban by China, but also pulses and durum wheat, which are facing export challenges in key markets such as India and Italy.

“I hear farmers say, ‘you know, we’re just continuing to look for a bit of a broader mix and not be so vulnerable to a single crop,’ ” Haney said. “That’s the mindset. It’s not that hemp’s the answer, it’s just to spread the risk.”


But while hemp undoubtedly has potential, experienced growers are concerned there may be a bit of a gold rush mentality happening right now. Will Van Roessel, a farmer and seed producer near Bow Island in southeast Alberta, has been growing hemp for the food market for the past 10 years and did some CBD harvesting for the first time last year. While he said he will be selling to the CBD market again this year and is generally upbeat about the future of the hemp industry, he also sounded a cautionary note.

“Right now, there seems to be a lot of investment from non-farm people in the CBD business, which is a bit concerning because some of those people don’t have very good knowledge of what happens on a farm or how farm production practices go. I think there are some unrealistic expectations out there from investors,” Van Roessel said.

Van Roessel added some growers are signing on with cannabis companies that haven’t even built a CBD extraction and processing facility.

“They’re getting farmers to grow for them but they haven’t even built a processing plant yet to deal with the harvest of this crop,” he said. “These farmers are taking a significant risk that by the time they’re ready to harvest their crop, there won’t be anybody there to take that crop and pay for it.”

Many of the farmers experimenting with hemp for the first time are first getting their feet wet by seeding a small number of acres, or even just a “garden-sized plot,” Van Roessel said. That’s likely a smart move, he added, saying he wouldn’t discourage a farmer who was interested in hemp but would urge them not to get carried away.

“I would encourage them to try it, but I’d caution them about some of the risks,” he said. “Especially growing a large area for a company that hasn’t even built a processing plant yet. And there’s a lot of those out there.”


Twitter: @AmandaMsteph

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