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According to a report from New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis market was valued at an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $24 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent. North America is one of the fastest growth regions for the cannabis market. On January 1st, sales of recreational cannabis are legal in California, the largest state by population in the United States. Canada is also on track to legalize cannabis for recreational use later this year. According to data from Statistics Canada, Canadians spent an estimated C$5.7 billion ($4.63 billion) on cannabis in 2017., Inc. (OTC:CIIX), Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (OTC:LXRP), AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTC:AXIM), United Cannabis Corporation (OTC:CNAB), Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRBP).

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. The CBD market is growing rapidly in recent years due to CBD’s medical benefits. Sean Murphy, the Founder and Publisher of Hemp Business Journal, said: “Hemp Business Journal estimates the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to be at least $688 million for 2016. We estimate the hemp industry will grow to $1.8 billion in sales by 2020, led by hemp food, body care, and CBD-based products. The data demonstrates the hemp industry is growing quickly at 22% five year CAGR and being led by food and body care products, with Hemp CBD products showing a 53% AGR.”, Inc. (OTCQB:CIIX) last week announced breaking news that its, “mission is to become the leading publicly traded company targeting Chinese medicinal marijuana.” Offering a variety of investor education products and services, Warren Wang, CEO and founder, would like to see 2018 bring with it double the revenue and expanded business. One of the ways CIIX is tackling this goal is through a Yelp-style app. Approved for download by the Apple App Store, this is the world’s first Chinese-language mobile cannabis navigation application. Within the app is a database of marijuana dispensaries and cannabis strains. The platform allows for review and discussion on cannabis products, allowing customers to find the best recommendations and nearby locations for medical and recreational cannabis.

CIIX is committed to the continual study of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. It is the company’s goal, through the use of CBD oil, to be the first enterprise in China to decrease the suffering of epilepsy and Alzheimer patients. While the U.S. sometimes treats epilepsy through high risk surgical treatments, there is no similar practice in China. With nearly 10 million epilepsy patients, CIIX is focused on forward movement toward a cure, and its management team believes that CBD may hold the answer.

The company’s hemp-based health products are available in the U.S. and Canada, with promise of expansion. Marijuana use in China is illegal, but cannabis-based oils, including hemp-based CBDs, are legal. CIIX is committed to developing and distributing hemp-based products in hopes of helping people improve their overall health. It is targeting epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver and various other health conditions. In January 2017, the company launched, which continues to provide nutritional supplements containing CBD. The company is looking forward to the opening of a retail store in San Gabriel, California’s predominantly Chinese community in the coming months.”

Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (OTCQX:LXRP) has developed and out-licenses its disruptive delivery technology that promotes healthier ingestion methods, lower overall dosing and higher effectiveness of lipophilic active molecules. Recently, the company announced it has entered a definitive technology licensing agreement with Cannfections Group Inc. whereby Lexaria is providing its patented DehydraTECH(TM) technology to empower next-generation performance in cannabis infused chocolates and candies to be developed and sold in Canada and internationally. Cannfections Group Inc. is an infused chocolate and gummies contract manufacturer that has been newly established by one of Canada’s leading chocolate companies with over eighty-five years of experience in producing high quality chocolate and confectionary products that meet the industry’s strictest quality requirements, as a pending entrant into the Licensed Producer program for cannabis infused products. The founders of Cannfections currently manufacture chocolate retail products for several leading international and domestic chocolate brands.

AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTCQB:AXIM) focuses on the research, development and production of cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic products. The company’s flagship products include CanChew+®, a CBD-based controlled release chewing gum, CanChew+ 50®, containing 50 mg of CBD undergoing clinical trials in patients with IBS and MedChew Rx®, a combination CBD/THC gum that will undergo clinical trials for the treatment of pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. Recently, the company announced that it has successfully completed an exploratory meeting with the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board on its MedChew Rx® clinical development program, which utilizes cannabinoid molecules for treatment of patients experiencing pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). In the meeting, the Company and the Dutch authorities discussed the overall development plan for MedChew Rx in the country and across Europe, including its delivery method, production process, and what further studies need to be conducted to bring the product to market. AXIM also received approval on its proprietary method of production that renders a highly purified API product with steady levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

United Cannabis Corporation (OTCQB:CNAB) is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of phyto-therapeutic based products supported by patented technologies for the pharmaceutical, medical, and industrial markets. The Company is a pioneer in the application of cannabinoids for medical applications and is building a platform for designing targeted therapies to increase the quality of life for patients around the world. Recently, the company announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Harborside Health Association LLC, covering the Company’s patented methods of extracting, preparing and using cannabis. According to the terms of the Agreement, United Cannabis has assigned HHA the rights to the methodologies necessary to manufacture and distribute its own proprietary line utilizing United Cannabis’ patented technology, in exchange for which, HHA will pay the Company an agreed upon licensing fee.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRBP) is a Phase 3 clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat rare, chronic, and serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. On December 12, 2017, the company announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical study of anabasum for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus. SLE is an uncommon autoimmune disease associated with significant morbidity, reduction in quality of life and a 2.4-fold increase in standard mortality rate. The disease affects primarily women of child-bearing age, with increased prevalence and morbidity among African Americans and other minority populations. Anabasum is a synthetic, oral, small-molecule, selective cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) agonist that preferentially binds to CB2 expressed on activated immune cells and fibroblasts. CB2 activation triggers physiologic pathways that resolve inflammation, speed bacterial clearance and halt fibrosis.

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