Widespread Access to Legal Cannabis Cuts into Black Market Demand

The legalization of medical cannabis and decriminalization in some countries has led to a significant decrease in the black market. People are choosing to legally purchase their cannabis for medical as well as adult use. Typically, medical marijuana is used for the treatment of chronic conditions, such as cancer, arthritis, and neurological conditions, such as anxiety, depression, epilepsy, as well as Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Government earnings through taxation are further viewed as an opportunity for countries to earn high revenues. For instance, the total tax revenue collected for the state of California in the U.S. was USD 345.2 Million in 2018. The revenue generated from these taxes could encourage local governments to fund several development programs for education and infrastructure. And, according to Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market is valued at USD 17.7 Billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a significant CAGR of 18.1% over the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTC: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS), Trulieve Cannabis Corporation (OTC: TCNNF), Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTC: PLNHF), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC)

The U.S. election is fast approaching, and voters will also get to decide on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes is New Jersey. If the state votes in favor of the notion, it will bring the long-sought change by racial and social justice advocates, as the state would be breaking new ground after years of starts and stops. R. Todd Edwards, political action chair for the state NAACP chapter explained, according to a report by app.com, that “with legalization comes the potential to remove unfairly harsh punishments now suffered by entire families due to cannabis offenses… A vote for this measure is a vote to correct these injustices as well as imposed on black and brown New Jerseyans”.

MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQX: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS) announced earlier last week that, “its wholly owned subsidiary, MediPharm Labs Australia Pty Ltd (“MediPharm Labs Australia”), has entered into a new white-label supply agreement with Sunco Green Pharmaceutical Pty Ltd. (“Sunco Green”).

This marks MediPharm Labs’ 12th supply agreement to bring GMP certified finished products to a burgeoning Australian medical cannabis market and in an emerging New Zealand market. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (“TGA”) reported a record number of patient approvals in September 2020. A total of 6,206 patients were approved for medical cannabis treatment, a 72% increase over approvals reported in October 2019(1)(2). Since the start of the Australian special access program, 67,000 applications have been approved.

A PDF accompanying this announcement is available at http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/5350795d-6ec9-455d-96ec-b4db61443e1c

‘With our TGA GMP-certified manufacturing capabilities, distribution channels, track-record of execution and supply cannabis of API we continue to be the go-to provider for new pharmaceutical and health and wellness companies entering the burgeoning cannabis market especially in Australia,’ said Pat McCutcheon, CEO, MediPharm Labs. ‘We are excited to add Sunco Green Pharmaceuticals to our platform as we work together to bring high quality and innovative medical cannabis products to a growing patient consumer base in Australia.’

Under the two-year agreement, subject to further renewals, MediPharm Labs Australia will supply a full range of specially formulated CBD and THC cannabis oil products that will be sold under the Sunco Green Label. Products are expected to launch in Q4 2020.

‘There has been a growing awareness of the clinical benefits of the different forms of Medicinal Cannabis for some years, and with legislation opening the door for patient access in 2016, there has been an ever- increasing demand,’ said Shaun Anderson, CEO and Managing Director of Sunco Green. ‘Our agreement with MediPharm Labs, a world class GMP certified Medicinal Cannabis Manufacturer, is our first step in the journey for a locally based and owned business to meet this demand.’

‘Sunco Green sees the development of strong industry relationships as crucial to achieving our mission, and also for the overall development and health of the Medicinal Cannabis Industry. Our agreement with MediPharm Labs is our first key partnership, and we look ahead to a long and mutually beneficial business association.’

1) https://mjbizdaily.com/australia-approves-record-number-of-medical-cannabis-patients/

2) https://www.tga.gov.au/medicinal-cannabis-role-tga

Trulieve Cannabis Corporation (OTCQX: TCNNF) announced back in September the opening of its latest Florida dispensary. Tampa will be home to the Company’s 60th dispensary nationwide and 58th in Florida. It will be the Company’s third dispensary in Tampa and will directly support patients throughout Hillsborough County. Located near the Tampa International Airport, the dispensary supports Trulieve’s goal of expanding and ensuring direct, reliable patient access to medical cannabis across its homestate of Florida. It also joins the Company’s 57 other dispensaries statewide, including two others in the Tampa area, as well as others across Wesley ChapelClearwater, and St. Petersburg. “It’s been a historic month for medical cannabis patients, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating with our Trulievers in Tampa,” said Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers. “Trulieve has always focused on creating customer-driven experiences and seeing expanded access to not only the forms of medications they have available to them, but direct access to the products they have come to rely on. At our core, we’re focused on compassionate care and natural, effective medication and look forward to continuing to celebrate for years to come.”

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: PLNHF) announced back in July that it had entered into an asset purchase agreement pursuant to which it has acquired cannabis inventory, equipment and tenant improvements, and subject to regulatory approval will acquire the Nevada cannabis licenses at a 45,000 sq. ft. indoor cultivation and production facility in Las Vegas, Nevada from West Coast Development Nevada, LLC (“WCDN”). Planet 13 is paying USD 1.156 Million for the cannabis inventory, and USD 3 Million for the operating assets, licenses, equipment and tenant improvements which payment is comprised of USD 0.5 Million in cash and USD 2.5 Million of common shares in the capital of Planet 13, resulting in the issuance by the Company of 1,374,833 Consideration Shares based on a 10-day VWAP, all of which shares are being held in escrow until the Second Closing. The license transfer under the Asset Purchase Agreement is contingent on approval by the State of Nevada’s Cannabis Control Board (“CCB”), and upon receiving such approval the Consideration Shares will be released from escrow to WCDN.

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) recently announced that the Company was recognized by the Toronto Stock Exchange as the third top-performing company on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s 2020 TSX30 list, a flagship program recognizing the 30 top-performing TSX stocks over a three-year period based on dividend-adjusted share price appreciation. “Cronos Group’s recognition by the TSX30 initiative is a welcomed acknowledgment of all the hard work we have put into building Cronos Group over the past three years,” said Mike Gorenstein, Executive Chairman, Cronos Group. “We’re looking forward to continuing to build and create long-term value for our shareholders by focusing our efforts on R&D, innovation and creating quality products.” Cronos Group is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents.

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) together with Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced earlier this month that following the implementation of their amended arrangement, Acreage has developed a plan to market Canopy Growth’s diverse beverage portfolio in the United States. Leading with legal adult-use markets in Illinois and California, Acreage anticipates launching Canopy Growth’s select, sessionable THC beverage formulations in summer 2021. In addition to selling products in its own dispensaries, Acreage will access existing distribution channels through strategic corporate relationships. “We have had an incredibly successful introduction into the Canadian cannabis-infused beverage industry with over 1.7 million cans of our THC-infused RTD beverages, like Tweed‘s Houndstooth & Soda and Bakerstreet & Ginger sold to date,” shared Canopy Growth CEO, David Klein.

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