Newly Expanding Sectors Cause an Updraft to the Overall Cannabis Market

NEW YORK, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The cannabis plant is undergoing rapid proliferation around the world. While the plant is still considered illegal in most countries, a handful are beginning to move towards legalizing it. Most of these countries are legalizing cannabis for medical use, but some are possibly looking to legalize it for recreational use as well. Due to the limited research and clinical trials, many countries are still in the process of evaluating cannabis, however, the market is still projected to grow substantially in the shortcoming years. So far, clinical trials have linked cannabis to treating medical conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, Alzheimer's, AIDS, and epilepsy. Recreationally, cannabis is becoming a new source of economic growth, primarily within the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, the North American region is expected to continue to dominate the global cannabis marketplace, as it accounted for 95% of the global market. Specifically, the U.S. alone made up more than 90% of the North American segment despite not having fully legalized cannabis yet. Now, more U.S. states are expected to legalize cannabis in the coming months and years, joining multi-billion dollar states like California and Colorado in the market. According to data compiled by Mordor Intelligence, the global cannabis was valued at USD 7.7 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 65 Billion by 2023. And additionally, the market is expected to register a robust CAGR of 37% during the period. Biome Grow Inc. (OTC: BIOIF) (CSE: BIO), TILT Holdings Inc. (OTC: SVVTF) (CSE: TILT), Aleafia Health Inc. (OTC: ALEAF) (TSX-V: ALEF), Leafbuyer Technologies, Inc. (OTC: LBUY), Auxly Cannabis Group, Inc. (OTC: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY)

Recently, Canada became the second nation ever to legalize cannabis entirely, following Uruguay's footsteps. Now, many countries such as Australia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and South Korea have legalized cannabis for medicinal use as well. Furthermore, some countries have also decriminalized cannabis, allowing for personal consumption in moderate amounts. While these international markets may be minuscule when compared to the U.S. market, regions like Australia and Germany are expected to be billion dollar marketplaces, according to BDS Analytics and ArcView Research. As the market continues to spread globally, the U.S.'s global share is also expected to decrease, however, it will still account for a majority of the market. The U.S. adult-use market is expected to rapidly develop, eventually outpacing the medical market. Then, by 2027, worldwide adult-use spending is projected to grow to be more than double that of medical spending. "Over the next 15 years, the cannabis industry will split between medical and recreational. There will be a small number of cannabis-derived medicines that have passed FDA drug trials by large pharmaceutical companies. There will also be a large number of recreational companies selling cannabis and cannabis derivatives in a highly regulated environment (similar to alcohol distribution)," said Jake Heimarket, Chief Executive Officer at Plus.

Biome Grow Inc. (OTCQB: BIOIF) (CSE: BIO) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: BIO). Earlier last week, the Company announced that, "Mr. George Smitherman has joined Biome Grow's executive management as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs. In this role, George will be leveraging his experience and knowledge in the Canadian health care sector to accelerate Biome's growth in new operating verticals. His portfolio of responsibilities will include clinical infrastructure in Canada and international markets, domestic retail operations, and international regulatory development work in jurisdictions that are looking to launch medical cannabis programs.

George has served as a Member of the Ontario Legislature for a 10-year period in both opposition and government, where he was appointed Deputy Premier and then Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for 5 years. As a Director of Biome Grow, George has been instrumental with the company since its inception. George will remain a board member while in this role.

'George is an exceptional addition to our team and has the experience to enhance our global expansion strategy, lead our clinical strategy and retail plans which are expected to be launched in 2019,' said Khurram Malik, Biome Grow CEO. 'George's expertise in health policy and green energy and infrastructure, provides Biome Grow with a unique competitive advantage as we look to enhance the Biome platform in 2019 and beyond.'

About Biome: Biome wholly owns five subsidiaries, including: The Back Home Medical Cannabis Corporation, a company incorporated under the laws of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and in the late stages of applying for a license under the Cannabis Act; Great Lakes Cannabis, a company incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario and in the late stages of applying for a license under the ACMPR; Highland Grow Inc., a licensed producer in Nova Scotia under Canada's Cannabis Act; Red Sands Craft Cannabis Co., a company incorporated under the laws of the Province of Prince Edward Island, and; Weed Virtual Retail Inc., a company incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario in the business of operating a new virtual reality technology platform focused exclusively on the medical and recreational cannabis markets. Biome is a Canadian-based company with national and international business interests."

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TILT Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: SVVTF) (CSE: TILT) is a vertically-integrated technology and infrastructure platform delivering the most comprehensive range of products and services across the cannabis industry. TILT Holdings Inc. recently announced it closed the acquisition of Blackbird Holdings Corp., previously announced on December 6, 2018. Blackbird is a distribution company providing logistics operations and software solutions for each touchpoint in the cannabis supply chain. The Acquisition further supports TILT's expansion of offerings for both cannabis business owners and consumers. Blackbird supports more than 250 wholesale and retail cannabis operators in Nevada and California to transport an average of USD 30 Million in wholesale cannabis products every 30 days. In addition to back-end delivery and operations solutions for cannabis dispensaries, Blackbird has a consumer marketplace for cannabis delivery and pick-up called BlackbirdGo. The marketplace, which is currently operational in Nevada and California, connects dispensaries and brands with access to more than 95,000 legal consumers. "At TILT, our goal is to be the most dynamic technology and infrastructure platform at the center of the cannabis ecosystem, focusing on the consumer through B2B and B2C offerings. The Blackbird integration puts us one step closer to that goal," said Alex Coleman, Chief Executive Officer of TILT Holdings. "With the addition of Blackbird's distribution, direct-to consumer solutions and software for wholesale and retail inventory management, we're able to facilitate the movement of cannabis inventory for TILT's expanding international infrastructure."

Aleafia Health Inc. (OTCQX: ALEAF) (TSX-V: ALEF) is a leading, vertically integrated cannabis health and wellness company with four primary business units. Recently, Aleafia Health Inc. announced the results of a 4,000 medical cannabis patient study examining changes in employment and disability status among medical cannabis patients. The study was published on March 13, 2019 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Drug Issues, and is, to the Company and author's knowledge, the first to ever directly observe physician-led medical cannabis usage and labour force status over time. The Study found a mild net improvement in employment after starting medical cannabis treatment, along with a reduction in unemployment and self-identified disability preventing employment. This is particularly notable as the vast majority of patients reported suffering from chronic illnesses, including pain, anxiety and depression, conditions which research indicates would ordinarily lead to a decrease in employment and labour force participation. Epileptic patients were the most likely to see improvements in their labour status. "Aleafia Health continues to treat a high volume of patients suffering from epilepsy and the results of this study further cement the conclusion that many of our physicians have already made regarding the effectiveness of medical professional cannabis care," said Aleafia Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Verbora. "We will continue to leverage our IP and leading cannabis data to further advance patient care through advanced treatment methods and specialized product development."

Leafbuyer Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: LBUY) is a multi-platform cannabis technology company connecting consumers with dispensaries and product companies through online, loyalty, print, and in-person initiatives. Leafbuyer Technologies, Inc. recently announced that the Company has signed up more than 50 licensed medical dispensaries within the Oklahoma market. The statement closely follows a February 12, 2019, release announcing 31 dispensary client signups. Oklahoma voters passed medical marijuana legislation in June 2018. Patients can register for medical marijuana and be authorized for any condition a doctor deems appropriate. As of February 25, more than 50,000 patients have been approved. "Our success within the Oklahoma market is a direct result of aggressive marketing and sales initiatives," said Kurt Rossner, Chief Executive Officer of Leafbuyer. "We plan to replicate the strategies we used in Oklahoma within other emerging markets, boosting revenue and expanding our national footprint."

Auxly Cannabis Group, Inc. (OTCQX: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY) is a vertically integrated cannabis company with diverse operations across Canada and Uruguay. Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. recently announced that its streaming partner, Lotus Ventures Inc., has been granted a "standard cultivation" licence and a "sale for medical purposes" licence by Health Canada pursuant to the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations. The licences give Lotus the ability to begin cultivation at its fully constructed 22,500 sq. ft. facility in Armstrong, British Columbia. Hugo Alves, President of Auxly said: "We want to congratulate Dale, Stephen, Scott, Carl, Monica and the rest of the Lotus team on obtaining their Cannabis Act licences! This is an important step for Auxly as we continue to diversify our supply chain, utilizing a network of subsidiaries and partners to provide reliable sources of diverse raw product. Lotus is a partner that we value deeply, being one of Auxly's first streaming partners. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the team at Lotus during these exciting new phases of their business."

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