Tourism has long been a major driver for growth for various countries as many tourists travel abroad for vacations to see dazzling landscapes and bustling city-life. In turn, tourism also drives in revenue for many businesses such as food, retail, and hospitality. However, now, tourism is also helping to bolster the cannabis industry as well. For instance, countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, and Spain are seeing a large influx of travelers since they have decriminalized cannabis. Some U.S. states are also seeing an increase in sojourners despite the country having yet to legalize cannabis on a federal level. In particular, Colorado, which saw 82.4 million travelers in 2016, is among the few states to have legalized cannabis entirely. Additionally, a survey conducted by Colorado Tourism reported that 12 million, or approximately 15%, of those travelers participated in marijuana-related activities. Among that group, it was reported that 5% traveled to the state specifically for marijuana-related reasons. Around the world, even though the cannabis industry remains in its infancy stage, more and more countries continue to legalize the plant. Thusly, the consumer base is projected to grow, propelling the overall market even further, as according to data compiled by Mordor Intelligence, the global cannabis market was valued at USD 7.7 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 65 Billion by 2023. Additionally, the market is projected to register a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period. Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC:BBRRF) (CNSX:BBM.CN), PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC:PHCEF) (TSXV:PCLO.VN), Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTC:KHRNF) (TSXV:KHRN.VN), MariMed, Inc. (OTC:MRMD), Dixie Brands Inc. (OTC:DXBRF) (CNSX:DIXI.CN)
The U.S. remains the biggest cannabis market driver because of states such as California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington. Collectively, these states delivered billions of dollars annually. However, the U.S.’s market share is expected to decline as more countries move to legalize cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes in their own right. Notably, the Latin American region is a burgeoning marketplace. Latin American countries like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Columbia, and Chile are all expected to be the biggest market drivers for the LATAM region. These countries have already passed legislation for medicinal use, while some have also decriminalized personal consumption. And, according to ArcView Market Research, in partnership with BDS Analytics, the South American cannabis market is projected to reach USD 776 Million by 2027. “Latin America has a prospective market of over 500 million adult use customers and 4.3 million patients, making it a core priority in cannabis companies’ global strategy. Its low-cost agricultural exports and increasing support for the legalization of recreational cannabis means it could play a pivotal role in the international cannabis industry,” said analysts at Prohibition Partners.
Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC:BBRRF) (CNSX:BBM.CN) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CNSX:BBM.CN). Yesterday, the Company announced that it had, “signed a definitive joint venture agreement (the “Agreement”) with the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health (“IRCCMH” or the “Center”) for the development of medical education programs for physicians and patients in Latin America and product formulation.
IRCCMH is a leading research and academic organization in the cannabis sector with extensive experience in cannabis research and education, pharmacology, product formulation and the efficacy of cannabis-based treatments. Based in New York and aligned with the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, IRCCMH is comprised of renowned scientists, educators and clinicians and was created to bridge a gap between research and clinical practice. IRCCMH also creates education programs for physicians and patients and acts as advisor to several state-sponsored medical cannabis programs and has guided state regulators to create and implement cannabis programs in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Utah, California and other states. Founded by Jan Roberts, LCSW and Jahan Marcu, Ph.D, the Center’s founders and staff are regarded as thought leaders in the sector and have also been deeply involved with several other leading cannabis focused associations and are respected authors and speakers within the industry as further detailed below.
‘This collaboration agreement with IRCCMH provides an outstanding opportunity for Blueberries to leverage IRCCMH’s deep sector expertise to help educate physicians in Latin America and develop medical treatments for patients in the Latin American market and beyond. As cannabis regulation evolves globally, education and awareness are paramount to its adoption and the establishment of early mover advantages,’ stated Dr. Patricio Stocker, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. ‘IRCCMH is a highly respected institution in the United States and their focus on education and research aligns with our goal of providing effective and responsible treatment to a broad spectrum of patients and customers globally. The agreement will emphasize education for prescribing doctors and patients and provide educational tools for all parties. This alliance will ensure that we are developing products and treatments that the medical community needs, with a streamlined process for reaching patients in these evolving markets.’
IRCCMH will leverage its background and expertise to support the development of Blueberries’ commercial and educational initiatives. Together with IRCCMH, Blueberries is developing a treatment-focused medical education program designed to assist physicians in prescribing cannabis-based treatment plans to patients (the “Program”) in Latin America. A comprehensive patient and physician education program will be a cornerstone of Blueberries’ strategy for the introduction and adoption of cannabis-based treatments, positioning Blueberries as an early leader in the Latin American medicinal cannabis market.
‘IRCCMH is excited about our collaboration with Blueberries Medical and the opportunity to leverage our expertise in cannabis-based patient care, research and education in rapidly evolving global markets’, stated Jan Roberts, founder of IRCCMH stated, ‘This affiliation will help Blueberries position themselves in Latin America as a leader in medical cannabis treatment and will ensure that the research, education, and unique expertise of IRCCMH will impact a growing segment of medical treatment with cannabis in this region of the world.’
This initiative will initially be rolled out through the company’s previously announced partnership with El Manantial Medical Centers in Bogota which will provide the platform, resources, patients and expertise needed to launch the Program and commercialize the formulations and products developed through the collaboration with the IRCCMH. Blueberries is further extending its patient & physician network currently, replicating the El Manantial Medical Center model with other physicians, institutions and medical associations.
In addition to the development of best in class educational programs for the education of physicians and patients in Latin America, access to IRCCMH’s team of specialists with deep expertise in medical cannabis will facilitate faster product development and generate the appropriate formulations and product standardization to accelerate the commercialization of the Company’s medicinal cannabis products, initially through El Manantial Medical Center’s rapidly growing patient base and the Company’s other strategic arrangements.
About IRCCMH & IRCCMH Founders: Based in New York and aligned with the Silver School of Social Work at NYU and building upon years of expertise working with cannabis and mental health in the United States, IRCCMH was created to bridge a gap between research and clinical practice. IRCCMH was co-founded by Jan Roberts and Dr. Jahan Marcu in 2017 to provide quality research and education to the medical cannabis community. IRCCMH is a community-based institute in New York City that collaborates with universities, researchers, foundations, state institutions, and other organizations to leverage the best talent in the field. The Institute works to build educational seminars, expand research with universities, and provide consultation for healthcare professionals and regulatory organizations in order to improve patient care. Through its numerous projects, Marcu and Roberts have been instrumental in creating dialogues in areas of cannabis education and investigation that hadn’t been previously addressed.
For more information visit www.irccmh.org/about-irccmh.
Jan Roberts, LCSW: CEO & Director of Translational Research: Jan Roberts is a co-founder for IRCCMH and serves as CEO and Director of Translational Research. Ms. Roberts is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who owns and operates one of the largest collaborative care practices in the mid-Atlantic region – Partners in Health and Wellbeing. Ms. Roberts is a clinician and an entrepreneur with an activist spirit who has extensive experience running both non-profit and for-profit healthcare organizations.
Ms. Roberts teaches at NYU Silver School of Social Work and is currently working on a funded study of Mental Health Clinicians and Knowledge and Attitudes on Cannabis. She is also Guest-Editor for a Special Issue on Cannabis and Mental Health for the Clinical Social Work Journal (CSWJ).
Ms. Roberts’ current work is focused on the clinical application of cannabis in mental health settings and focusing on maladaptive coping strategies rather than a substance-based approach to treating addictions. As a result, Ms. Roberts is especially interested in educating fellow mental health clinicians on the most recent research findings to address stigma and lack of knowledge related to cannabis, the endocannabinoid system and mental health outcomes.
Jahan Marcu, Ph.D.: COO & Director of Experimental Pharmacology and Behavioral Research
Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., is a co-founder for IRCCMH. Dr. Marcu is the former Chief Science Officer at Americans for Safe Access (a medical cannabis advocacy non-profit) and former Director of the Patient Focused Certification program, which is a health and safety oversight program that assesses regulatory compliance at cannabis operations.
He is co-founder and past-chairman of the CANN subdivision of the Chemical Health and Safety Division (DCHAS) of the American Chemical Society. His is also on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Cannabinoids as Medicine. He has a background in analytical chemistry and molecular pharmacology, and received his Ph.D. for contributions in characterizing the structure and function of the cannabinoid receptors. He is an author of the American Herbal Pharmacopeia’s Cannabis Monograph and serves on multiple expert government, trade association committees and scientific organizations.
Dr. Marcu has helped create medical cannabis educational training for clinicians and for workers in the medical cannabis industry, and has been invited to speak at many international conferences and universities, including the University of Leiden, Temple University School of Medicine, Princeton Hospital, and Yale University. Dr. Marcu is also a court qualified expert witness on cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids. Dr. Marcu is a recipient of the Billy Martin research award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society.
About Blueberries Medical Corp: Blueberries is a Latin American licensed producer of naturally grown premium quality cannabis with its primary operations ideally located in the Bogotá Savannah of central Colombia and operations currently being established in Argentina. The Company is led by a specialized team with proprietary expertise in agriculture, genetics, extraction, medicine, pharmacology and marketing, Blueberries is fully licensed for the cultivation, production, domestic distribution, and international export of CBD and THC-based medical cannabis in Colombia. Blueberries’ combination of leading scientific expertise, agricultural advantages and distribution arrangements has positioned the Company to become a leading international supplier of naturally grown, processed, and standardized medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products.”
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PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC:PHCEF) (TSXV:PCLO.VN) is a global company, headquartered in Canada, with a focus on ethical and sustainable processing and supplying of all natural, medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products to large channel distributors. PharmaCielo Ltd. recently announced that its Colombian subsidiary has received from the national cultivar registry approval for the listing of a further 10 strains, each of which has a prominent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) profile. The additional registration of the new strains to the national cultivar registry, including a unique 1:1 THC to CBD ratio strain, doubles the number of approved strains PharmaCielo holds in the registry, making it the largest holder of approved strains in Colombia. It also paves the way for the commercial registration, production and sale of the 20 unique strains. “The approval and registration of a second set of strains with the national cultivar registry is another important step towards PharmaCielo’s goal of becoming a leading global supplier of premium medicinal-grade cannabis oils,” said Federico Cock-Correa, President and Chief Executive Officer of PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings S.A.S. “The range of the strains now available at our disposal for commercial production is an important advantage that sets the company apart in both the Colombian and global marketplaces.”
Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQB:KHRNF) (TSXV:KHRN.VN) is positioned to be the dominant integrated cannabis company in Latin America. Dixie Brands Inc. (CNSX:DIXI-U.CN), (OTC:DXBRF), one of the cannabis industry’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, and Khiron Life Sciences Corp. have recently signed a definitive agreement relating to the joint venture the companies announced on January 30, 2019. With the execution of the Agreement, a new company called Dixie Khiron JV Corp. has been established, 50% owned by each of Dixie and Khiron. Dixie-Khiron will take advantage of the complementary strengths of both companies to manufacture and distribute cannabis-infused products to the Latin American market. By combining Dixie’s portfolio of more than 100 cannabis-infused products with Khiron’s established footprint throughout Latin America, the companies aim to capture first-mover advantage and establish leadership in the region of 620 million people. Alvaro Torres, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Khiron Life Sciences, stated, “Our timing for launching this joint venture is ideal. Latin America is poised to become one of the world’s largest cannabis markets, due to continuing legalization across the region and the increasing affluence of the population, particularly in urban areas. Despite these attractive dynamics, there are relatively few significant competitors, as many companies have targeted other global regions. We believe we have an opportunity to establish ourselves as a dominant player in this market.”
MariMed, Inc. (OTCQB:MRMD) is dedicated to improving health and wellness with the highest quality hemp and cannabis products. MariMed Inc. recently announced an agreement with Ilo(TM) Vapor whereby MariMed is an exclusive distributor of the company’s flagship product, DabTab(TM) brand dablets. The product is available now to all cannabis dispensaries in Maryland. It will be introduced to Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Delaware dispensaries later this spring. MariMed Chief Executive Officer Bob Fireman noted, “ilo(TM) Vapor is one of the most innovative companies I have encountered in the cannabis industry. The DabTab(TM) brand dablet is truly revolutionary and will likely accelerate growth in the concentrates sector, particularly among medical users, women, seniors and others attracted by the convenience, precise dosage and smokeless features. The product also fully supports MariMed’s focus on providing our growing consumer base with convenient, safe and precision dosed products that help them enjoy the health and wellness benefits cannabis compounds can deliver. Initial orders validate a strong interest by Maryland patients in DabTabs(TM) and that dispensaries will benefit from carrying this compelling and game changing product. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with ilo(TM) Vapor.”
Dixie Brands Inc. (OTC:DXBRF) (CNSX:DIXI.CN), through its licensed partners, has been formulating award-winning THC and CBD-infused products since 2009. Recently, Dixie Brands Inc. and Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (TSXV:KHRN.VN), (OTCQB:KHRNF), a vertically integrated cannabis leader with core operations in Latin America, have signed a definitive agreement relating to the joint venture the companies announced on January 30, 2019. With the execution of the Agreement, a new company called Dixie Khiron JV Corp. has been established, 50% owned by each of Dixie and Khiron. Dixie-Khiron will take advantage of the complementary strengths of both companies to manufacture and distribute cannabis-infused products to the Latin American market. By combining Dixie’s portfolio of more than 100 cannabis-infused products with Khiron’s established footprint throughout Latin America, the companies aim to capture first-mover advantage and establish leadership in the region of 620 million people. Chuck Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dixie Brands, stated, “In the weeks since we announced this partnership it has become even more clear that the strengths of our two companies are perfectly aligned to lead in Latin America. Our marketing and regulatory teams have analyzed the opportunities and requirements across the region, and we are completing detailed business plans to secure ‘first mover’ advantage. By leveraging our existing infrastructure, intellectual property, expertise and distribution channels, we are moving quickly to introduce products to selected markets.”
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