NEW YORK, May 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The legal cannabis industry continues to grow around the world thanks to continuous legislative achievements in North America and Europe. Specifically, legalization of medical cannabis and its decriminalization in some countries has led to a noteworthy decrease in black-market activity, as people are shifting to legally purchasing cannabis for their medical as well as recreational use. Cannabidiol-based (CBD) products have also swiftly emerged and with their growing popularity, CBD is largely credited to various medical applications that are associated with these products. For example, full-spectrum CBD oil is considered to be a great source of Omega 3 and Omega 6; Omega 3 plays a vital role in creating hormones that regulate inflammation as well as contractions and relaxation of arteries. Overall, data by Grand View Research indicates that the medical segment held the dominant revenue share of the cannabis market, accounting for 71.0% in 2019. However, medical use of marijuana is strictly categorized as a medicine prescribed by a physician and the distribution of these medicines is regulated by the government. World High Life Plc (OTC: WRHLF), Pyxus International, Inc. (NYSE: PYX), 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE: XXII), Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTC: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY), Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration famously approved Epidiolex, the first FDA-backed cannabis-based drug. However, the FDA also made clear that additional research is required in order to advance with more approvals. Notably, the Administration has since held numerous public hearings in order to further understand the efficacy of CBD. And while only one cannabis-based drug has been approved, the efforts of the FDA highlight that CBD is having a significant medical progression. Additionally, many industry experts believe that CBD could potentially become a medical breakthrough that could replace dozens of different traditional drugs on the market. "While those in the industry, medical professionals and the public all seem to be in favour of CBD as a medical product, the stringent regulatory barriers in place before any product can be fully licensed require, quite rightly, extensive testing and trials," said Dr. David Dawit, Chief Scientific Officer at Eos Scientific, according to PositiveHealthOnline. "The future of CBD looks incredibly promising."
World High Life Plc (OTCQB: WRHLF), the AQSE and OTCQB listed investment company, announced last week breaking news that it is, "pleased to provide an update on the progress of its wholly owned subsidiary, Love Hemp, during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Love Hemp is passionate about creating the UK's leading range of trusted CBD products, with new product development at the heart of the brand. Love Hemp was the first company to produce functional spring water in the UK infused with CBD. Oils, sprays, vapes, chocolate, jelly domes and beauty products including its innovative CBD infused face mask and body salves have all followed. In response to current challenges, Love Hemp has shifted its focus, building on the opportunity to achieve stronger online sales, achieving a 39% increase month-on-month since January 2020, whilst expanding its offerings to meet consumer demand.
- The Love Hemp brand (www.love-hemp.com) has increased online sales by 39% month over month since January 2020
- The brand has secured a number of notable listings with leading retailers including Boots, to complement its existing listings with Ocado, Holland and Barrett and Sainsbury's
- According to Alliance Healthcare, the UK's leading distributor to Pharmacies and Independent Retailers, the Love Hemp brand is now its best-selling CBD brand
- The brand is in negotiations with some of the UKs' largest retailers for multiple new product listings from September 2020
- To support growing demand and sales, Love Hemp's secondary online retailer, CBDOilsUK (www.cbdoilsuk.com), is expanding its product portfolio with three new brands and a renewed web presence in the near future
- LH Botanicals (www.lhbotanicals.com), Love Hemp's CBD wholesale production business, is adding production capacity and new product lines with the acquisition of new machines
Having secured a number of notable listings with leading retailers including Boots, Ocado, Holland and Barrett and Sainsbury's, as well as being recognized on the list of Best CBD Oil Brands in the UK by the Evening Standard in August 2019, Love Hemp also won the best CBD Brand in The Beauty Shortlist Awards 2020.
New product development is at the heart of the business, with Love Hemp Immune launching in April 2020, more than six-months ahead of schedule, highlighting the brand's ability to be flexible and agile, whilst responding to consumer needs amidst the current circumstances. There is also a range of new products in development ranging from confectionary to drinks, oils and sprays. Brand renewal work carried out by external marketing partners, Propaganda, will be live in retail stores and online from October 2020.
Additionally, the company's online retailer, CBDOilsUK, is expanding its product portfolio with the launch of three brands within the next two months, whilst its wholesale production unit, LH Botanicals, is committed to fully supporting customers through this challenging time and has increased production capacity with the acquisition of new capsule and bath bomb production machines.
Tony Calamita, CEO at Love Hemp commented: 'There's no question that the challenges businesses across the world are facing currently are unique. Whilst bricks and mortar stores have either closed or experienced less foot traffic and reduced hours, it has highlighted the need for us to have a robust online presence in order to keep people engaged with our brands and products. We have expanded our online offerings and are committed to continuing to provide the best experience for our customers, so they are able to continue to purchase and engage with us in an efficient way, with minimal disruption. Fortunately, consumer demand for our products is growing and we have adapted, thanks to a great team effort, to be able to grow the business under new circumstances, expanding our e-commerce presence and education marketing, which will be the foundations of our model going forward.'
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Pyxus International, Inc. (NYSE: PYX) announce earlier this year that its wholly-owned indirect subsidiary, Figr Brands, Inc., had launched a line of THC vape products in the Canadian marketplace. The line includes a vaping device and pods designed exclusively for the device. The launch of the product line follows the phase two implementation of Canada's recreational cannabis legalization process, frequently referenced as Cannabis 2.0. "The Canadian government's green light for derivative cannabis products, including vape, presents the opportunity for Figr to progress its product diversification in order to meet the growing demand for high-quality, adult-use cannabis products," said Pyxus President, CEO and Chairman Pieter Sikkel. "The launch of Figr's new products is particularly timely, as the company continues to expand its footprint across Canada."
22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE: XXII) announced last year, the initial closing of an investment in Panacea Life Sciences, Inc. (Panacea), a rapidly-growing, vertically-integrated, consumer-facing company operating exclusively in the legal, hemp-derived, CBD product space. 22nd Century's investments in Panacea over the next twelve to eighteen months are expected to total USD 24 Million, in a combination of cash and 22nd Century stock in exchange for Panacea-issued debt and preferred equity. 22nd Century has also received a warrant to purchase preferred stock of Panacea, which upon full exercise will provide 22nd Century with a controlling equity position in Panacea. "After a disciplined and thorough review of the opportunities available to 22nd Century to maximize shareholder value creation, we are pleased to announce the Company's first investment in the legal, hemp/cannabis, consumer packaged goods space," said Cliff Fleet, President and Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Group. "This investment is a major milestone in 22nd Century's on-going execution of our hemp/cannabis strategic growth plan and offers the opportunity for strong projected shareholder returns.
Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTCQX: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY) announced recently that its wholly-owned subsidiary Dosecann LD Inc. ("Dosecann") has entered into an agreement with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. ("Shoppers"), a subsidiary of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., to become a supplier of cannabis products through its online platform. The agreement will see Auxly's suite of products and brands, including chewables, chocolates, vapes and oil in a bottle, all developed and manufactured at Dosecann, available to consumers across Canada. Dosecann has completed its initial shipment of cannabis products to Shoppers. "Having our diverse cannabis product offering with Shoppers allows us to reach a wide group of patients across the country with our quality, science-backed products," said Hugo Alves, CEO of Auxly. "We are proud to partner with Shoppers and look forward to bringing their customers our products, built on Dosecann's pillars of quality, safety and efficacy."
Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF) announced its majority-owned joint venture for large-scale, low-cost, high-quality cannabis production, Pure Sunfarms, has expanded its credit facility with its existing lender to USD 59 Million, including accordion provisions of USD 22.5 Million. The expanded credit facility (the "Credit Facility") consists of a USD 7.5 Million revolving operating loan (the "Revolver") and a USD 10 Million term loan (the "New Term Loan"), in addition to its existing USD 19 Million term loan (the "Existing Term Loan"). The New Term Loan is specifically designated for the 1.1 million sq. ft. Delta 2 greenhouse while the Existing Term Loan is specifically designated for the 1.1 million sq. ft Delta 3 greenhouse facility. (All figures are in Canadian dollars.)
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