NEW YORK: Tourism has long been a major driver for growth for various countries as many tourists travel abroad for vacations to see dazzling landscapes and bustling city-life.
In turn, tourism also drives in revenue for many businesses such as food, retail, and hospitality. However, now, tourism is also helping to bolster the cannabis industry as well. For instance, countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, and Spain are seeing a large influx of travelers since they have decriminalized cannabis.
Some U.S. states are also seeing an increase in sojourners despite the country having yet to legalize cannabis on a federal level. In particular, Colorado, which saw 82.4 million travelers in 2016, is among the few states to have legalized cannabis entirely. Additionally, a survey conducted by Colorado Tourism reported that 12 million, or approximately 15%, of those travelers participated in marijuana-related activities.
Among that group, it was reported that 5% traveled to the state specifically for marijuana-related reasons. Around the world, even though the cannabis industry remains in its infancy stage, more and more countries continue to legalize the plant. Thusly, the consumer base is projected to grow, propelling the overall market even further, as according to data compiled by Mordor Intelligence, the global cannabis market was valued at USD 7.7 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 65 Billion by 2023. Additionally, the market is projected to register a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period. Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC BBRRF) (CSE BBM), PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC PHCEF) (TSX-V PCLO), Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTC KHRNF) (TSX-V KHRN), MariMed, Inc. (OTC MRMD), Dixie Brands Inc. (OTC DXBRF) (CSE DIXI)
The U.S. remains the biggest cannabis market driver because of states such as California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington. Collectively, these states delivered billions of dollars annually. However, the U.S.'s market share is expected to decline as more countries move to legalize cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes in their own right. Notably, the Latin American region is a burgeoning marketplace. Latin American countries like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Columbia, and Chile are all expected to be the biggest market drivers for the LATAM region. These countries have already passed legislation for medicinal use, while some have also decriminalized personal consumption. And, according to ArcView Market Research, in partnership with BDS Analytics, the South American cannabis market is projected to reach USD 776 Million by 2027. Latin America has a prospective market of over 500 million adult use customers and 4.3 million patients, making it a core priority in cannabis companies' global strategy. Its low-cost agricultural exports and increasing support for the legalization of recreational cannabis means it could play a pivotal role in the international cannabis industry, said analysts at Prohibition Partners.
Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC BBRRF) (CSE BBM) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE BBM). Yesterday, the Company announced that it had, signed a definitive joint venture agreement (the Agreement) with the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health (IRCCMH or the Center) for the development of medical education programs for physicians and patients in Latin America and product formulation.
IRCCMH is a leading research and academic organization in the cannabis sector with extensive experience in cannabis research and education, pharmacology, product formulation and the efficacy of cannabis-based treatments. Based in New York and aligned with the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, IRCCMH is comprised of renowned scientists, educators and clinicians and was created to bridge a gap between research and clinical practice. IRCCMH also creates education programs for physicians and patients and acts as advisor to several state-sponsored medical cannabis programs and has guided state regulators to create and implement cannabis programs in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Utah, California and other states. Founded by Jan Roberts, LCSW and Jahan Marcu, Ph.D, the Center's founders and staff are regarded as thought leaders in the sector and have also been deeply involved with several other leading cannabis focused associations and are respected authors and speakers within the industry as further detailed below.
'This collaboration agreement with IRCCMH provides an outstanding opportunity for Blueberries to leverage IRCCMH's deep sector expertise to help educate physicians in Latin America and develop medical treatments for patients in the Latin American market and beyond. As cannabis regulation evolves globally, education and awareness are paramount to its adoption and the establishment of early mover advantages,' stated Dr. Patricio Stocker, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. 'IRCCMH is a highly respected institution in the United States and their focus on education and research aligns with our goal of providing effective and responsible treatment to a broad spectrum of patients and customers globally. The agreement will emphasize education for prescribing doctors and patients and provide educational tools for all parties. This alliance will ensure that we are developing products and treatments that the medical community needs, with a streamlined process for reaching patients in these evolving markets.'
IRCCMH will leverage its background and expertise to support the development of Blueberries' commercial and educational initiatives. Together with IRCCMH, Blueberries is developing a treatment-focused medical education program designed to assist physicians in prescribing cannabis-based treatment plans to patients (the Program) in Latin America. A comprehensive patient and physician education program will be a cornerstone of Blueberries' strategy for the introduction and adoption of cannabis-based treatments, positioning Blueberries as an early leader in the Latin American medicinal cannabis market.
'IRCCMH is excited about our collaboration with Blueberries Medical and the opportunity to leverage our expertise in cannabis-based patient care, research and education in rapidly evolving global markets', stated Jan Roberts, founder of IRCCMH stated, 'This affiliation will help Blueberries position themselves in Latin America as a leader in medical cannabis treatment and will ensure that the research, education, and unique expertise of IRCCMH will impact a growing segment of medical treatment with cannabis in this region of the world.'
This initiative will initially be rolled out through the company's previously announced partnership with El Manantial Medical Centers in Bogota which will provide the platform, resources, patients and expertise needed to launch the Program and commercialize the formulations and products developed through the collaboration with the IRCCMH. Blueberries is further extending its patient & physician network currently, replicating the El Manantial Medical Center model with other physicians, institutions and medical associations.
In addition to the development of best in class educational programs for the education of physicians and patients in Latin America, access to IRCCMH´s team of specialists with deep expertise in medical cannabis will facilitate faster product development and generate the appropriate formulations and product standardization to accelerate the commercialization of the Company's medicinal cannabis products, initially through El Manantial Medical Center's rapidly growing patient base and the Company's other strategic arrangements.
About IRCCMH & IRCCMH Founders Based in New York and aligned with the Silver School of Social Work at NYU and building upon years of expertise working with cannabis and mental health in the United States, IRCCMH was created to bridge a gap between research and clinical practice. IRCCMH was co-founded by Jan Roberts and Dr. Jahan Marcu in 2017 to provide quality research and education to the medical cannabis community. IRCCMH is a community-based institute in New York City that collaborates with universities, researchers, foundations, state institutions, and other organizations to leverage the best talent in the field. The Institute works to build educational seminars, expand research with universities, and provide consultation for healthcare professionals and regulatory organizations in order to improve patient care. Through its numerous projects, Marcu and Roberts have been instrumental in creating dialogues in areas of cannabis education and investigation that hadn't been previously addressed.
For more information visit www.irccmh.org/about-irccmh.
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