• Sunday, 20 January 2019

Consumer Spending on the Legal Cannabis Market Projected to Grow

NEW YORK: According to data by Arcview Market Research, consumer spending on legal cannabis in North America is outpacing previous estimates. The report emphasizes that retail cannabis sales will grow 33pc from 2016, to about USD 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). Arcview also stated that according to BDS Analytics' GreenEdge point-of-sale tracking service, the medical industry in California is already as big as the total markets in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon combined. Starting January 1st, California has started legal sales of cannabis products for recreational use. Helix TCS, Inc. (OTC: HLIX), Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), Aphria Inc. (OTC: APHQF), Medreleaf Corp. (OTC: MEDFF), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON)

In the U.S., the potential financial benefits from legalization are important economically and politically. Fortune reported that, in order to collect $1 billion a year in taxes, the state will need to reach a projected $7 billion in annual legal recreational cannabis sales. At that rate, California would easily be the country's largest legal marijuana market, as the entire legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is expected to pull in roughly $10 billion in total sales for 2017. That number would almost certainly get a boost in the coming years, as legal markets grow in California and other states, such as Nevada and Massachusetts.

Helix TCS, Inc. (OTCQB: HLIX) earlier this week announced its, partnership with Timeless Herbal Care (Timeless), a leading Jamaican cannabis grower, to provide a wide range of services to Timeless as they begin full operations in Jamaica.

The Letter of Intent, signed on 24 May in Toronto, lays the groundwork for comprehensive agreements that are expected to see Helix provide services to Timeless in the areas of security, local and international transport, market advisory, and establishing the legal wholesale market in Jamaica.

Zachary L. Venegas, Chairman and CEO of Helix TCS, stated: As the only fully integrated solutions provider to the Legal Cannabis Industry, we are excited to partner with a firm that will be able to use the full suite of our services to accelerate their growth and set the international standard for market development. Timeless' focus on developing the Jamaican Cannabis market in an organic and inclusive way, with their emphasis on the local, Jamaican farmer's success, is a perfect match for Helix' approach and deep experience in frontier markets. We look forward to beginning operations in the coming weeks.

Courtney Betty, Timeless Herbal Care Limited's founder and CEO, said: Timeless, as Jamaica's leading medical marijuana brand, has always aligned with the Best of the Best. Zac has demonstrated a tremendous understanding of the industry and the ancillary services which will play a major role. With a wide range of areas of support, Helix presents an experienced strategic partner for Timeless both in Jamaica and the international market. We are pleased to welcome Helix to Jamaica and look forward to the partnership with Timeless.

Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTCQB: KSHB) is a sales platform that provides unique products and services for both businesses and consumers in the cannabis industry. Kush Bottles announced on May 31st, that it has signed a lease for a new warehouse facility in Las Vegas to meet demand from the consumer market as well as support the current and new businesses entering the industry or expanding operations. The new Las Vegas facility will further solidify Kush Bottles' commitment to the city's thriving, local cannabis community and strengthen our own mission to be the go-to partner for cannabis companies as they scale their operations, said Kush Bottles CEO Nick Kovacevich. The fluctuating demand from the tourism and organic growth in the cannabis market means that a lot of our partners are having a difficult time forecasting their packaging and supply needs. By having a local facility, we give our clients the added flexibility of faster delivery as well as offering on-site pick up if that's what their business dictates.

Aphria Inc. (OTCQB: APHQF), one of Canada's lowest cost producers, produces, supplies and sells medical cannabis, announced on May 31st that it has entered into a series of agreements (the Transaction) resulting in Aphria forming a joint venture, CannInvest Africa Ltd. (CannInvest), with South African company Verve Group of Companies (VGC). As part of this transaction CannInvest will acquire an interest in Verve Dynamics Inc. (Verve), a licensed producer of medical cannabis extracts in Lesotho. The Transaction is valued at C$4.05 million. We are very excited to bring this deal, which was inherited through our acquisition of Nuuvera, to a very successful close, said Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria. Given the abundant natural resources and our collective expertise and that of our partners, Verve is poised to become one of the lowest-cost producers of medical cannabis extracts in the world. This represents another significant pillar in our strategic international expansion, where our presence extends to more than 10 countries across five continents.

Medreleaf Corp. (OTC: MEDFF) is an R&D-driven company dedicated to innovation, operational excellence and the production of industry leading, top-quality cannabis. MedReleaf Corp. (TSX: LEAF) (MedReleaf or the Company) and BioPharma Services Inc. (BioPharma) today announced they have entered into an exclusive agreement to conduct clinical research for cannabis and cannabis derived products. Under the agreement BioPharma will become an extension of MedReleaf's clinic development team. This strategic alliance sets us apart in the clinical research and development space for cannabis and cannabis derived products and will facilitate much needed cannabinoid therapies to assist in the treatment of pain, inflammatory conditions, mental health, palliative care and underserved therapeutic areas, said Angelo Fefekos, Senior Vice President Clinical Affairs and Quality Assurance at MedReleaf.

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) is a globally diversified and vertically integrated cannabis company with a presence across four continents. On May 15, 2018, the company announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018. Sales were $2.9 million for the first quarter of 2018 as compared to $0.5 million for the first quarter of 2017, representing an increase of $2.4 million, or 473%. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, sales increased by $1.3 million, or 83%, for the first quarter of 2018. Since November 2017 when Health Canada approved the Company's new extraction laboratory, Cronos Group has ramped-up production of strain-specific cannabis oils that have been received favourably by customers. In Q1 2018, cannabis oil sales represented 29% of domestic medical patient revenue. The Company expects oil sales to continue to become a larger part of sales over time.