Recent cannabis industry reports are all predicting the continuation of the seeming unending increase in revenues from year to year. The future is indeed looking bright for the retail sales market in the U.S. A May 30, 2019 article reported: “Retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States are on pace to eclipse $12 billion by the end of 2019 – an increase of roughly 35% over 2018 – and could rise as high as $30 billion by 2023. Continued sales gains in recreational markets as well as the rapid development of medical marijuana programs in newly legalized states will spur much of that growth over the coming year.” The article said the reason that the industry experts remain optimistic even though: “California’s massive new adult-use industry got off to a slow start, as high taxes, local licensing restrictions and a cumbersome bureaucracy made it difficult for licensed businesses to compete with the state’s entrenched black- and gray-market operators. But by the end of 2018, the number of licensed retail stores and delivery services in California was up considerably, pushing estimated sales past the $2 billion mark.” Active Companies from around the market with current developments include: Body and Mind Inc. (CSE:BAMM) (OTCPK: BMMJ), The Flowr Corporation (TSX-V: FLWR) (OTCPK: FLWPF), HEXO Corp (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Terra Tech Corp. (OTCQX: TRTC).
In between growers and sellers lie several potential places for companies with expertise to firmly establish themselves in the burgeoning cannabis space.
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (“Neptune” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), a North American leader in cannabinoids extraction, formulation and turnkey packaging solutions, has completed a private placement with both existing and new institutional investors, led by Perceptive Advisors, resulting in gross proceeds to the Company of US$41.4 million (“The Offering”). John Moretz, Chairman of the Board, and Michael Cammarata, President and CEO of Neptune, invested US$5.0 million in the aggregate as part of this Offering. Upon closing of the Offering, the Company issued an aggregate of 9,415,910 common shares of the Company (“Shares”) at a purchase price of US$4.40 per Share.
Medical patients can easily obtain a prescription for drugs to treat a variety of ailments. Whether it is simply a common cold or a condition as severe as cancer, medically licensed professionals can prescribe treatment or a drug that they think are best suited for their patients. However, research conducted on some of the treatments has shown that they entail a plethora of drawbacks. There is a wide range of prescription drugs from depressants to opioids to stimulants and generally, prescription drugs are known to be highly addictive and can also cause bodily harm by damaging the heart, brain, and liver. Consequently, if patients abuse prescription drugs, it can ultimately prove to be life-threatening. For instance, the constant use of prescription drugs can cause severe damage to the heart and induce abnormal heart rates and other cardiac problems. Eventually, a patient can suffer from heart attacks, heart failure, and collapsed veins, according to Talbott Recovery. The concern over the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse has led medical institutions and professionals to reconsider what patients are given. Notably, in regions where cannabis is legalized for medical purposes, more and more patients are beginning to use cannabis as an alternative to pharmaceutical medications. Specifically, Canada has witnessed its medical patient user base grow significantly over the past several years. There were 296,702 patients registered under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) program as of March 2018. Compared to the same period a year prior, the number of registered patients grew by 76.9%. The robust growth reflects how rapidly the user base is growing as more people turn to cannabis as a medical alternative. Moreover, the global user base is projected to continually grow as more countries begin to implement medical cannabis programs. According to data compiled by MarketsAndMarkets, the global cannabis market is projected to grow from USD 10.3 Billion in 2018 to USD 39.4 Billion by 2023. Furthermore, the market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 30.7% during the forecast period. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Acreage Holdings Inc. (OTC: ACRGF) (CSE: ACRG.U), Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTC: GTBIF) (CSE: GTII)
The cost of medical expenses can pile up very quickly for some. According to a survey conducted by Eventbrite, an average American spends approximately USD 199 each month on self-medication. In total, a typical American can spend upwards of USD 143,280 in their lifetime to treat themselves. Self-medicating is considered purchasing an over-the-counter (OTC) drug to treat a simple condition like headaches or a common cold. However, often times, medical attention is required for more severe cases. Certain therapies and treatments can cost thousands of dollars, potentially even hundreds of thousands depending on the severity of the condition. For instance, treatment of epilepsy (VNS therapy) in the U.S. can cost as much as USD 20,000, which includes implants and a surgical procedure. However, the cost of the surgery can vary throughout parts of the U.S. and can increase over time, according to the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. Due to the rising costs of medical treatments, researchers and medical institutions have sought out alternatives to offer consumers cheaper options. Notably, cannabis has become a popular alternative within the healthcare marketplace, as specifically, CBD or cannabidiol is being leveraged across global markets because of its therapeutic benefits. Researchers have discovered that CBD can effectively be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and even epilepsy. Remarkably, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever cannabis-based drug in 2018, Epidiolex, which is used to treat Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a form of epilepsy common among children. However, the FDA explicitly stated that more positive and large-scale clinical trials are required before the agency can approve more cannabis-based treatments. And as a result, scientists and researchers are now undergoing vigorous trials to uncover the efficacy of CBD. According to data compiled by Acumen Research and Consulting, the global cannabidiol market is projected to reach a market value of USD 22 Billion by 2026. Additionally, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33% over the forecast period from 2019 to 2026. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTC: PBIO), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN)
Consumer buying habits are shifting, as the cannabis industry evolves. As that happens, investors are being offered incredible opportunities. For example, according to GMP Securities, “demand for extracted products is going to explode this fall with the arrival of vape pens and infused products,” as quoted by Marijuana Business Daily, adding that vape pens could lead with 20% of the extracts sector. In addition, Aphria Inc. says, “The expected legalization of vapes and concentrates will mark a significant turning point in the Canadian market, providing more choice and new experiences, while opening the door to a range of new consumers,” adding that vapes and concentrates will represent close to 30% of the entire Canadian adult-use market by 2021. Better, Canadian consumers will be able to buy edibles, concentrates, and vape pens in mid to late December 2019 after Health Canada released the final version of regulations. That’s opening a wide range of opportunity for companies including Vapen MJ Ventures (CSE: VAPN), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF), Aphria Inc. (NYSE:APHA) (TSX: APHA), and GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: GWPH).
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (“Neptune” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) announced today the appointment of Michael Cammarata, a successful entrepreneur and innovator in the wellness industry, as its Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors effective today, July 8, 2019. After over 4 years, Jim Hamilton has stepped down from his role as CEO and Director but will remain as an advisor to the Board.
FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
The medical cannabis marketplace has been around for quite some time in the North American region. Notably, California was among the first regions to legalize medical cannabis back in the 1990s. Following California, several more U.S. states such as Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Maine legalized medical cannabis as well. Now, more than half the U.S. has legalized cannabis for medical purposes and Canada had moved to legalize medical cannabis for specific medical purposes back in 2001. Health Canada split medical patients into two different categories based on their medical diagnosis: Category 1 patients are eligible for a medical cannabis prescription if they suffer from severe pain, muscle spasms, anorexia, weight loss, nausea from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and epilepsy. Meanwhile, Category 2 patients are those who have debilitating symptoms of medical conditions, other than the ones listed in Category 1. Typically, most patients are prescribed with cannabis in the form of flower, which is usually smoked via joints or other paraphernalia. However, as the industry continued to evolve, new products have emerged within the marketplace. Nowadays, traditional flower is quickly becoming outdated as more consumers are demanding alternative products. Predominantly, concentrates and extracts are quickly becoming favorites among consumers because of their high potency and immediate effectiveness. Yet, making potent concentrates or extracts still requires high-quality strains, meaning there is still an underlying demand for flower. Nevertheless, the Canadian government has imposed regulations and certain restrictions on cannabis-based products, despite having fully legalized adult-use cannabis in 2018. These emerging products are expected to deliver annual revenue of more than CAD 2.5 Billion and generate higher profits for retailers than cannabis products that are already legal, according to Deloitte’s annual cannabis industry report, such as regular flower. Additionally, while concentrates and extracts are gaining popularity swiftly, Deloitte expects edibles to make up the majority of the market share for emerging products, as Canadian companies are hastily competing against one another to dominate in the next wave of legalization. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT)
Before the prohibition era, cannabis was commonly used as a medicinal treatment, however, it became illegal under international regulations due to its psychoactive properties derived from the marijuana compound. While marijuana provides users with cerebral-altering effects, scientific studies have linked marijuana to effectively treating a variety of medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and other neurological conditions. Currently, advancements in the medical and healthcare industry are expected to accelerate the cannabis market. However, within the shortcoming years, the recreational segment is expected to overshadow the medical segment as the North American cannabis marketplace continues to mature. Nevertheless, the medical cannabis industry is still expected to be much more globally prevalent and accessible because of the numerous countries that have moved to adopt medical legislation. Now, large global markets such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Colombia, Poland, Uruguay, and Israel are all expected to contribute to the global medical cannabis market. Furthermore, countries such as the U.K. and Thailand are also exploring cannabis legalization. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach USD 66.3 Billion by the end of 2025, exhibiting a CAGR of 23.9%. Blueberries Medical Corp. (OTC: BBRRF) (CSE: BBM), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (OTC: KHRNF) (TSX-V: KHRN), PharmaCielo Ltd. (OTC: PHCEF) (TSX-V: PCLO), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT)