A recent report by Arcview Market Research indicates that consumer spending on legal cannabis in North America is outpacing previous estimates. The report projects that retail cannabis sales will grow 33% from 2016, to about $10 billion this year. The data published projects that by 2021 the legal cannabis market will reach a value of $24.5 billion and at a 28% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The report also highlights the progress in statistics of several states. For example, according to BDS Analytics, California's medical market is already as big as the total markets in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon combined. Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTC: PVOTF), Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF), Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR), Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTC: VBIO), 22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII)
Tom Adams, Editor-in-Chief at Arcview Market Research and Principal Analyst at BDS Analytics explained, “Our data shows positive indicators across the board for the legal cannabis industry, in North America and around the globe… The passage of the 2016 ballot initiatives and continued maturation of the existing Adult-Use markets are the primary drivers of the growth this year. That's nothing compared to what we can expect in 2018 and beyond from Nevada's tourism, and California and Canada planning to launch Adult-Use sales in 2018.”
Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: PVOTF) recently listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange under the Ticker 'PVOT'. Last week the company announced breaking news that, “its wholly-owned medical cannabis products division, Pivot Green Stream Health Solutions Inc. (“PGS” or “Pivot Green Stream”), are pleased to announce that Pivot has signed a binding letter of intent to establish a California-based entity (“PGS-California”) in order to accelerate the monetization of the Ready To Infuse Cannabis (“RTIC”) technology as previously announced on December 20, 2017. Pivot plans to build manufacturing facilities in legal cannabis markets throughout North America and Europe, obtain the necessary licensures, and launch products using RTIC technology which transforms cannabis oil into powder for infusion. The letter of intent is subject to customary conditions including regulatory approval, the negotiation of a definitive agreement and satisfactory completion of due diligence.
Pivot seeks to gain market share in the food and beverage segment of the cannabis industry in legal markets in the near term through in-house brand development and by providing co-packing services for other edible brands through strategic partnerships. Co-packing services are an underserved, high-demand segment of the cannabis industry on the B2B side and will help further the awareness and visibility of the “Made with Instant THC” & “Made with Instant CBD” brands.
Pivot will appoint Ross Franklin and Patrick Rolfes to executive leadership roles within PGS-California to help execute its business strategy of conducting research, development and commercialization of cannabinoid-based products. Mr. Rolfes states that “Pat and I look forward to working with Pivot to monetize the RTIC patents. Our facilities will be able to produce a variety of food and beverage products such as capsules, K-Cups, stick packs, baked mixes, liquid shots, protein shakes, topicals, lotions, and bottle beverages.”
Dr. Patrick Frankham, CEO of Pivot Pharmaceuticals stated that “Pivot continues to execute on its business strategy to upscale cannabis oils into premium healthcare and nutritional products. The California cannabis market is estimated to be worth $7B annually making it an attractive territory for Pivot's pipeline of products and technologies. We are also delighted to announce that Ross Franklin will join our Scientific Advisory Board. His extensive cannabis product development and commercial expertise will be a great asset to Pivot as we enter the US market.”
Following the passing of Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Prop. 64), cannabis will be legal in California beginning January 1, 2018. California's main regulatory agencies are the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), Department of Food and Agriculture, Department of Public Health and Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA). PGS-California will apply for all necessary licenses with the appropriate agencies.
Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF) is a world-leading diversified cannabis and hemp company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms. Recently, the company and Canopy Rivers Corporation announced a definitive joint venture agreement to form a new company, Les Serres Vert Cannabis Inc., together with Les Serres Stéphane Bertrand Inc., a largescale tomato greenhouse operator in Mirabel, Quebec. Bertrand currently produces tomatoes and other vegetables under 700,000 sq. ft. of modern greenhouse, most of which was built in 2015. The entire greenhouse will be upgraded and retrofitted for cannabis production by April 2018. With the assistance and guidance of Canopy Growth, the application for this site has been submitted; and subject to Health Canada and other standard regulatory approvals, the Company anticipates being ready to begin production by May 2018.
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) is a self-advised Maryland corporation focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized industrial properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for their regulated medical-use cannabis facilities. Recently, the company announced that it closed on the previously announced acquisition of the property located at 5900 West Greenhouse Drive in Willcox, Arizona, which comprises approximately 358,000 square feet of greenhouse and industrial space. The Pharm is one of the largest wholesalers of medical-use cannabis in the state of Arizona. Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, the Company entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with a subsidiary of The Pharm, which intends to continue to operate the property as a medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing facility in accordance with Arizona medical-use cannabis regulations.
Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO) is dedicated to unlocking the power of cannabinoids for the treatment of serious neurological and inflammatory disorders. On October 19, 2017, the company announced additional positive preclinical efficacy results for the treatment of colitis. Vitality Biopharma has developed a new class of cannabinoid prodrugs, known as cannabosides, which upon ingestion can be targeted and limited to the gastrointestinal tract, thereby avoiding drug psychoactivity and unforeseen side effects. The Company has now successfully completed studies that demonstrate the efficacy of multiple different cannaboside drug formulations for treating preclinical models of colitis. Multiple different cannaboside drug formulations were able to reduce weight loss, decrease damage to the colon, and markedly improve gastrointestinal health compared to the placebo controls.
22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII) is a plant biotechnology company focused on genetic engineering and plant breeding which allows the increase or decrease of the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in hemp/cannabis plants. In September 2014, 22nd Century's wholly-owned subsidiary, Botanical Genetics, LLC, entered into a worldwide license agreement with Anandia Laboratories Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, the company was granted an exclusive sublicense in the United States and a co-exclusive sublicense in the remainder of the world, excluding Canada, to patents and patent applications relating to the cannabis plant that are required for the production of cannabinoids, the major active ingredients in the cannabis plant. The Anandia sublicense continues through the life of the last to expire patent, which is expected to be 2035.
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