Governments Around the World Ponder Cannabis Legislation Changes

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Governments Around the World Ponder Cannabis Legislation Changes

PR Newswire

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, Aug. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has witnessed an immense rise in global support as numerous countries have voiced their opinions on the topic of cannabis legalization. While many still remain indifferent, notable nations such as Australia, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. have all moved to implement some form of cannabis legislation. Predominantly, most countries are exploring the medical cannabis industry in an effort to replace traditional medicines such as opioids. On the other hand, the North American region is witnessing substantial growth in its own recreational market. Specifically, Canada moved to completely legalize adult-use cannabis in late 2018 while select U.S. states legalized recreational cannabis throughout the year as well. Although the U.S. has not federally legalized cannabis, it has granted states the jurisdiction to independently decide whether to legalize cannabis or not. The state's representatives can propose a bill and if it passes among the state's officials, it then moves to the ballot where residents can vote on the matter. Notably, U.S. states Michigan and Illinois were among the most recent states to legalize recreational cannabis. Additionally, the North American region is experiencing veritable acceleration in its legalization efforts as more positive data continues to flow in from clinical trials. And as a result, the data is expected to influence other international regions as they evaluate the efficacy of cannabis for their own legislative decisions. Now, the combination of the thriving North American recreational market and the growing global medical markets, the overall cannabis industry is primed to become a disruptive global industry. Furthermore, according to data compiled by GlobalInfoResearch, global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 7.97 Billion in 2019. And by 2024, it is expected to reach USD 35 Billion while registering a CAGR of 28% over the next five years. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTC; GTBIF) (CSE: GTII), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN).

While most are still evaluating the effects of legalization, a slew of countries have already decided to decriminalize cannabis. For instance, countries such as Belgium, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, and Switzerland have all decriminalized cannabis in moderate amounts. Countries that have decriminalized cannabis typically impose a fine or a warning for offenders instead of jail time. Moreover, nations such as Mexico and New Zealand are actively pushing to legalize cannabis entirely. In particular, Mexico's elected President has made it a top issue on his agenda to fully legalize cannabis, primarily because of the havoc unleashed on the country by the war on drugs. On the other hand, New Zealand is moving towards legalization because of the growing support from its denizens. Sandra Murray, Campaign Manager for New Zealand's #makeitlegal campaign, noted that cannabis law reform is sitting at 60% approval, while 72% of people under the age 45 support legalization. Furthermore, many are closely watching the U.S. in anticipation of the day it decides to federally legalize cannabis. The U.S. is one of the most attractive cannabis markets because it accounts for nearly 90% of the global market share. Overall, the U.S. has maintained its dominance in the industry because of its early adoption, which dates back to the late 1990s when California implemented a medical cannabis program. The industry took off in 2014 after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use, creating a multi-billion dollar marketplace. In summation, the combination of cannabis' therapeutic and economic benefits is causing many government officials to reconsider the legality of cannabis. In the near future, cannabis can potentially become a significant source of revenue for countries as well as a new medicinal treatment. "There's been a tremendous evolution — marijuana legalization, if you look back, was really something for fringe candidates," said John Lapp, a Democratic national campaign strategist."It's just not very controversial at all now."

Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Earlier this week, the Company announced that "its wholly owned subsidiary, BC Craft Supply Co. Ltd ("BC Craft"), has signed a supply agreement with Canada's first licensed micro processor, North 40 Cannabis ("North 40").

Founded by Gord Nichol in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, North 40 Cannabis received its micro-cultivation and micro-processing licences from Health Canada on July 26, 2019. Under the agreement with Pasha, North 40 will supply BC Craft with North 40's annual production, to be sold as dried flower and other cannabis products in Canada.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to have signed an agreement with a company like Pasha," said Gord Nichol, founder of North 40 Cannabis. "They have shown micro cultivators like me that they are dedicated to ensuring craft producers in Canada will flourish under legalization. I'm excited to move ahead and looking forward to our first harvest this year." North 40 Cannabis will plant its first legal crop in August 2019 and harvest later in the fall.

With Canada's current licensed cannabis producers only able to supply an estimated 15 per cent of what Canadians are consuming, Pasha is optimistic that, in addition to its previously established supply agreement with Hearst Organic, this new supply agreement with a licensed micro cultivator and micro processor will help correct the cannabis supply imbalance and bring exciting new products to market. Each micro cultivator in Canada will be able to produce approximately 500 kilograms of cannabis per year, while each micro processor can process up to 600 kilograms of cannabis per year. Canada has tens of thousands of craft producers operating in the illicit cannabis market and Pasha's wholly-owned subsidiary BC Craft Supply Co. is focused on helping as many small farmers transition into the regulated market as possible.

"Signing this agreement with Canada's first micro processor is very significant as it affirms BC Craft's business model with not only the micro-cultivation market but also now with processors," said Jason Longden, CEO of Pasha Brands in reaction to the news. "North 40 has established a state-of-the-art cultivation and processing facility and we are proud to work with such an innovative team. This is simply the next step in fulfilling our goal of becoming the biggest producer of craft cannabis products in Canada and I'm confident North 40 will help us bring Canadians more of the cannabis that they're looking for."

About Pasha Brands: Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a vertically integrated, prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry, which boasts an international reputation. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella.

Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a licence to sell medical cannabis products in Canada.

Pasha and BC Craft are also developing a craft cannabis campus, which is dedicated to bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada. BC Craft is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market.

Pasha's common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol "CRFT" and on the FSE under the symbol "ZZD". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com"

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Pasha Brands Ltd. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiuXVssrpos

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) is a world-leading diversified cannabis, hemp and cannabis device company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms, as well as medical devices through Canopy Growth's subsidiary, Storz & Bickel GMbH & Co. KG. Canopy Growth Corporation recently announced that it had partnered with one of the largest global sellers of premium cannabis accessories, Greenlane Holdings, Inc. "Establishing and extending this exclusive partnership with Greenlane has played an important role in cementing Storz & Bickel's brand reputation for quality, safety and performance in the United States," commented Peter Popplewell, PhD., Canopy Growth Chief Technology Officer. "We have seen tremendous success with their smaller handheld devices, including the Mighty, and we are excited to introduce Storz & Bickel's latest update on the Volcano as consumers continue to be drawn towards top-quality vaporizer technology."

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 24 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced that it had received Health Canada licenses for outdoor cultivation at two Canadian sites. The new sites in Quebec and British Columbia will be used for cultivation research to develop new technology, genetics and intellectual property in order to drive sustainable, high-quality outdoor production. Aurora purposefully chose the outdoor sites because they represent two different growing environments. The company will conduct research on cultivation techniques to further excel at growing cannabis in varying climate conditions and will examine approaches to environmentally sustainable cannabis agriculture. "Aurora believes in innovative operations and intensive research and we're applying our approach to outdoor grown cannabis," said Aurora Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth. "Our team plans to use these areas to ensure we are able to consistently grow the high-quality cannabis Aurora has become known for around the world. We're proud to be a Canadian company and this is a further commitment to research and job creation in Canada."

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX; GTBIF) (CSE: GTII), a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer, is dedicated to providing dignified access to cannabis while giving back to the communities in which they serve. Green Thumb Industries recently announced it opened its fifth retail location in Florida, Rise Hallandale Beach, on August 13th, 2019. It is GTI's 28th retail location in the country and the first cannabis store in Hallandale Beach. "We're thrilled to be the first to bring medical cannabis to Hallandale Beach and introduce the community to our Rythm and The Feel Collection products, available at Rise™ stores," said GTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. "We are diligently executing on our strategic plan to scale the business in the markets we serve including Florida, where we have opened five stores over the last six months."

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. GrowHealthy, a Florida state-licensed operator that cultivates, manufactures and dispenses medical cannabis throughout Florida, and its parent company, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. will be hosting grand opening events for GrowHealthy's new cannabis dispensaries in Daytona and Orlando, Fla. The new dispensaries offer a variety of locally sourced, lab-tested cannabis products including flower and pre-rolls, vape cartridges, topical salves, crèmes and balms, tinctures, and concentrate dispensing syringes. All GrowHealthy products are quality controlled to the highest degree and third-party lab-tested for heavy metals, solvents and microbial contaminants. "This year, Florida has taken a massive step in improving its medical marijuana law by allowing the sale of cannabis in its natural flower form and we plan to expand accordingly to supply the growing demand," said Randy Maslow, President of iAnthus. "Though Florida's medical cannabis market is large, it remains underserved by the limited number of dispensaries currently operating. As we continue to build out and open dispensaries around the state, we look forward to serving Florida's 230,000 registered patients with high quality, tested, and consistently-dosed medical cannabis products, as well as education and superior patient support."

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