Consumers Turn to CBD as a Myriad of Cannabis Products Hit the Shelves

Earlier last year, Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use. Now, combined with the continued efforts in the U.S., a plethora of recreational cannabis dispensaries have begun to emerge. Recreational dispensaries sell a variety of cannabis-based products including flowers, oils, tinctures, topicals and many more. And along with the dispensaries, came the widespread understanding that tolerance plays a big role in cannabis use. For example, a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio is a balanced potency and recommended for users who can handle the psychoactive properties of THC. On the other hand, less enthusiastic users could be more inclined to purchase an 18:1 CBD to THC ratio product. An 18:1 ratio is high in CBD and is geared towards more casual users who don’t intend to get ‘high’, according to Care By Design. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, while THC is known as its psychoactive derivative. Generally, recreational dispensaries sell more highly concentrated THC products, while medical facilities are more likely to offer more powerful CBD products. Notably, CBD and THC levels can be altered with the use of special farming techniques, altering how many trichomes are on the plant. Trichomes can be found on various plants, however, on the cannabis plant, trichomes can determine the strain’s potency and effectiveness. And according to data compiled by Verified Market Research, the global marijuana market was valued at USD 42.20 Billion in 2016. By 2025, the market is expected to reach USD 466.81 Billion while registering a CAGR of 35.3% from 2018 to 2025. Smart Decision, Inc. (OTC: SDEC), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB)

A large portion of the countries that have adopted medicinal cannabis are using it to treat chronic pain issues. Traditionally, patients who suffered from chronic pain were prescribed opioids in order to suppress the pain for a temporary period. However, continuous use of opioids typically leads to serious life-threatening side effects such as brain and liver damage, in addition to dependency. Now, the growing concern over the opioid epidemic which has gripped the U.S. has also caused other countries to reevaluate cannabis and seek to explore its true nature. Nevertheless, there still is a lack of large-scale studies to further add credibility to cannabis as a medical tool, holding back many regions from going forward with legalization efforts. Even still, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already legalized Epidiolex, which is a CBD-based drug used to treat Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome; the former being a genetic dysfunction in the brain while the latter syndrome is a form of epilepsy that results in multiple types of seizures, both of which occur during early childhood. The FDA’s decision to approve Epidiolex marks a major milestone in the medical cannabis industry as it shows proponents that a major regulatory body has seen the plant’s benefits. “As legislation expands rapidly worldwide, the volume of efficacy data is growing, as are legitimate clinical trial studies,” says Liam McGreevy, Chief Executive Officer of Ethnopharm, a European cannabis company specializing in genetics and distribution, “This data will enable us to better understand the effects of the various cannabinoids and terpenes, their synergistic effect and how their impact links to the individual’s genetics or biomarkers. This data is key to understanding the most effective combinations and strengths for various conditions, moving towards targeted personalized medicines.”

Smart Decision, Inc. (OTC: SDEC) announced today that, “it has begun to engage with several of the top CBD brands in the industry, with partnerships to be disclosed.

‘We are pleased to start working with several of the top CBD brands in the US.  With the exponential growth of the CBD market that is expected to grow at a 40x multiple in the next 5 years, Smart Decision Inc. plans on becoming the go-to CBD platform that will help make consumer’s CBD buying decisions very simple’ said Adam Green, CEO of Smart Decision, Inc.

Eric Gutmann, Treasurer & Secretary of Smart Decision, Inc. further states that, ‘until now, there has been quite a bit of confusion for consumers in selecting the right CBD for their needs. By partnering up with some of the largest CBD brands, we plan on making it extremely simple for consumers to buy the specific CBD that suits their needs best.’

Smart Decision, Inc. will provide further details on brand partnerships in the coming months.

About Smart Decision Inc: Smart Decision Inc. has researched and is developing algorithms for the consumer and business LED Lighting and CBD markets.  With their patent-pending “Smart Decision” algorithms, the confusion of selecting the right product(s), whether for LED or CBD, will be significantly reduced. Ultimately, Smart Decision Inc. believes that selecting the right product the first time, dramatically cuts down on product returns and creates of positive purchasing experience for the consumer.”

For our latest “Buzz on the Street” Show featuring Smart Decision, Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgTMIHvBTu8

OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI) is a NASDAQ Global Select and TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. Organigram Holdings Inc. recently announced that it has entered into an advance payment and purchase agreement with 703454 N.B. Inc. (carrying on business as 1812 Hemp) under which the Company will pre-fund hemp purchases to receive access to as much as 60,000 kilograms of dried hemp flower to be harvested in calendar 2019 for extraction into cannabidiol isolate. Under the terms of the January Purchase Agreement, Organigram obtained access to a supply of hemp flower which contains significant and exceptional levels of CBD, as compared to other Health Canada-approved cultivars currently in commercial production in Canada. CBD is a naturally occurring active ingredient in hemp and cannabis that is currently being studied for various therapeutic uses. “Access to a large, consistent volume of CBD-producing hemp has become increasingly important as Canadians express their demand for CBD-rich products for use in both recreational and medical capacities,” said Greg Engel, Chief Executive Officer, Organigram. “We’ve heard the call for CBD in the market and this agreement positions Organigram to meet that demand.”

HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) is an award-winning consumer packaged goods cannabis company that creates and distributes innovative products to serve the global cannabis market. HEXO Corp. recently announced that its dried flower cannabis products are now available to Ontario consumers, after finalizing terms with the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). HEXO now adds nine of its dried flower offerings in both 3.5g and 15g SKUs to the OCS, including the Company’s award-winning Helios dried flower, which was named Best Sativa at the O’Cannabiz 2019 Industry Awards. The new dried flower offerings at the OCS join HEXO’s award-winning Elixir cannabis oil oral spray, which has been available in Ontario since legalization. Elixir CBD was named Cannabis Product of the Year and Innovation of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Awards. The OCS also carries product from Up Cannabis, which is part of the HEXO family of brands. “We are thrilled to increase our offering at the OCS,” said HEXO Corp. Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Sebastien St-Louis. “Apart from being our nation’s most populous province with the highest demand for cannabis products, the Ontario marketplace is among the most competitive—and we are rolling out high quality products to which we believe Ontario consumers will strongly gravitate.”

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, 9354-7537 Québec Inc., has received a notification letter from Health Canada indicating that all requested license amendments have been approved. The scope of the amendment received from Health Canada permits expansion of cannabis operation areas to include an additional extraction room where Neptune will perform cold ethanol extraction. Ethanol extraction is faster and more cost effective than the CO2 extraction currently used and will increase Neptune’s input capacity from 30,000 kg to 200,000 kg. This seven-fold increase in the Company’s capacity will accelerate production and enable fulfilment of commercial commitments. Start-up activities will begin immediately, including the final stages of commissioning the equipment, and Neptune will ramp up commercial operations on a progressive basis during the second fiscal quarter. “Congratulations are in order as this announcement marks another milestone achieved by our team by successfully meeting the stringent Health Canada requirements,” said Jim Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer of Neptune. “The new regulations regarding cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals recently published by Health Canada are expected to result in significant additional demand for cannabis extraction and purification services. With our increased extraction capacity, Neptune is now well positioned to benefit from this rapidly growing market. In addition, our cannabis oil capsule technology provides the company a differentiated offering for which there is strong demand.”

KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: KSHB) is producer of ancillary products and services to the cannabis and hemp industries. KushCo Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it has partnered with C.A. Fortune, a leading full-service national consumer products sales and marketing agency focused on lifestyle brand partnerships, to provide viable CBD companies access to large scale, conventional retail channels. The groundbreaking partnership will be the first large scale go-to-market operation focused on helping compliant CBD brands achieve mass distribution across legal markets in the U.S. The combination of KushCo’s extensive network of brands and specific hemp industry knowledge paired together with C.A. Fortune’s industry-leading reach into all retail channels, will offer KushCo clients an additional avenue to activate their CBD products. “One of the challenges of building a national CBD brand is obtaining mass distribution into mainstream retailers across the U.S. and this partnership immediately upgrades the go-to-market plans for CBD brands,” said Jason Vegotsky, Chief Revenue Officer and President of KushCo Holdings. “There is no better time to be a part of the KushCo ecosystem. In addition to our unrivaled ancillary product offerings, we are now expanding into value added services, none greater than this partnership, which puts our client’s brands in position to dominate mainstream retail.”

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