Association with Medical Applications Helps Drive Cannabis’ Expansion

Cannabidiol-based (CBD) products’ attribution to various medical applications has prompted a rapid emergence of new products. Yet, despite the increase in popularity, the FDA has only approved one cannabis-based drug, Epidolex, which is used to treat epilepsy. Nevertheless, thousands of retailers and e-commerce platforms begun to sell CBD products after the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018. And the remarkable progress the CBD industry has made in the past several years highlights that the cannabis compound has the potential to become the next up and coming medication or even simply a health and wellness product. And, according to a research report, The U.S. Cannabis Report: 2020-2021 Industry Outlook, published by New Frontier Date, the total combined legal sales of medical and adult-use cannabis in the U.S. are projected to reach USD 35 Billion by 2025. MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTC: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS), Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) (TSX: APHA), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT)

In addition, five additional states could pass legalization measures in November 2020, adding a further USD 3.3 Billion in annual legal sales before 2025. “In 2019, U.S. consumers spent nearly USD 80 Billion on legal and illegal cannabis products, a material figure at any point, but certainly during a time of economic crisis,” said New Frontier Data Founder & CEO Giadha A. DeCarcer. “As established mainstream brands, particularly Food & Beverage and Health & Beauty CPG firms, look for growing consumer groups to engage with, the cannabis sector rises to the top of their target list, especially as known consumption previously within the illicit space more rapidly moves into the legal realm and thus an accessible space.”

MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQX: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS) announced earlier this week, “the launch of its new “LABS Cannabis” family of health and wellness products.

Specially designed and formulated for the Canadian consumers, the innovative and high-quality LABS Cannabis products will be targeted for adult use with distribution planned through government and private retail channels across Canada. The first product will tentatively be launched in early Q4 2020.

‘Our LABS Cannabis portfolio will offer best-in-class products, with specialized formulations, and high purity to meet the essential requirements of the most discerning wellness customers,’ said Pat McCutcheon, CEO, MediPharm Labs. ‘This is an important and growing consumer segment that spans generations, gender and geography. To create these bespoke products, we will leverage our global leadership in the manufacture of high quality cannabis products, our in-house R&D and consumer testing capabilities and sophisticated GMP certified facility.’

Serving the Wellness Consumer with Purpose

MediPharm Labs is uniquely positioned to supply high quality products through its LABS Cannabis brand. Tenets of the LABS Cannabis brand include integrity, transparency, science-based innovation and purpose. The portfolio will include wellness products formulated predominantly with CBD, but specialized offerings could also be formulated including THC and/or other minor cannabinoids that address potential effects. Unique delivery methods and unique packaging will be employed for product differentiation in the market.

Canada’s Prospective Cannabis Health Products Market

In the fall of 2019, EY Canada conducted a survey of approximately 3,000 individuals to provide a uniquely Canadian perspective on cannabis consumers1. A segment coined “Wellness Inquisitor” was identified to include approximately 1.1 million Canadians who consume almost daily and spend about $165 each per month on cannabis products. Wellness inquisitors reported that quality (83%) and intended effects (76%) are the most important purchase criteria followed by terpene profiles (43%) and brand (40%). Clinical research (56%) and the advice of health care practitioners (42%) were reported to be the most important information sources and influences over this group’s purchasing decisions.

Further, in September 2020, Health Canada released its Summary Report: Consultation On Potential Market For Health Products Containing Cannabis That Would Not Require Practitioner Oversight2 (findings were centred mainly on whether or not CBD should be allowed to be sold by retailers without strict regulations), revealing that nearly two-thirds of the 1,104 respondents polled are interested in buying “cannabis health products,” with the majority of consumers interested in using the products to treat pain and inflammation such as joint or back pain, arthritis, migraines, or headaches. About 76% of consumers were aware of sub-populations who would be interested in CBD-dominant cannabis health products and felt anyone experiencing pain, trouble sleeping, or suffering from a chronic or mental health condition would benefit. Seniors, veterans, women experiencing menopause, pets or athletes were all groups of interest.

Visit the LABS Cannabis website to learn more at

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1) EY Canada, 2019: Canadian cannabis consumer insights for legalization 2.0

2) Health Canada, 2020:

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Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) (TSX: APHA) announced last week its financial results for the first quarter ended August 31, 2020. All amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted and except for per gram, kilogram, kilogram equivalents, and per share amounts. “Our strong first quarter results reflect the continued robust growth and development of Aphria’s adult-use cannabis brands in Canada,” said Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are consistently taking a diversified approach to our innovation, strategic partnerships, global expansion and corporate citizenship to fuel sustainable, long-term growth. We believe that the strength of our balance sheet and cash position, combined with our consistent focus on our highest-return priorities, will generate sustainable long-term value for all stakeholders.” The Company reported Record gross revenue for adult-use cannabis of $69.6 million in the first quarter, an increase of 23% from prior quarter and the sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) reported in July the launch its line of vape products to both adult-use and medical consumers, across Canada. “At HEXO, we pride ourselves in ensuring our consumers have access to high-quality, reliable and consistent cannabis products,” said Sebastien St. Louis, CEO and co-founder of HEXO Corp. “We are thrilled to launch our vape products across Canada as we continue to focus on innovation and launching additional 2.0 products across all of our brands.” Prior to releasing its line of vapes, the Company conducted testing to evaluate the taste, tolerability of effects and short-term undesired effects of its proprietary terpene blends. HEXO’s vape products currently include three ready-to-use vape pens and four 510-thread cartridges, in popular strain-inspired terpene blends.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) the parent company of Organigram Inc. announced back in August that it has partnered with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™ (“Shoppers”) on Phase 2 of Shoppers’ Pilot Program powered by software partner TruTrace Technologies Inc. The program is designed to genetically finger-print all participating cannabis products, tracking them throughout the supply chain, from genome to patient, in order to provide real-time information about the composition of each cannabis product used by Medical Cannabis by Shoppers customers. Organigram will provide cannabis products to Shoppers for use in the tracking program. “Organigram is proud of our long-standing commitment to our medical cannabis community. From the development of innovative products to the support offered by our patient care team and programs, patients and their needs are at the heart of our medical cannabis business,” says Greg Engel, CEO, Organigram. “We also recognize how critical consistency is to patients and their healthcare providers so are pleased to partner with Shoppers, providing our products so that they can be followed from raw material to finished product, to offer them important, useable product insights.”

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) introduced earlier last month its proprietary Mood Ring cannabis brand for the Canadian market. The Mood Ring brand and product line will officially launch in select Canadian markets this fall to meet consumer demand for high-quality, affordable and environmentally friendly cannabis products. “Mood Ring is directly aligned with our strategy to move closer to the consumer and drive our growth with unique, high-quality and affordable health and wellness branded products,” said Michael Cammarata, Chief Executive Officer of Neptune Wellness Solutions. “Our initial launch of Mood Ring will focus on CBD and THC products that we can immediately scale up to support the volumes required to meet demand, with future products in development. We intend to price our products to be competitive with the illicit market, which will provide legal options for legacy consumers that meet their needs and expectations, while attracting new consumers in a friendly and approachable way.”

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