Shifting Opinions Open Doors for Cannabis Legalization Worldwide

NEW YORK, Aug. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has witnessed an immense rise in global support as numerous countries have publicly advocated legalization. While many still remain indifferent, notable nations such as Australia, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. have all moved to implement some form of cannabis legislation. In particular, medical cannabis is much more prominent because of the plant's therapeutic abilities. On the other hand, countries such as Uruguay, Canada, and parts of the U.S. have even legalized its recreational adult-use. Moreover, a handful of countries have decriminalized recreational use, meaning that consumers can use cannabis in moderate amounts without fear of jail time. But, despite global efforts, cannabis still remains on the Schedule 1 list of drugs, which is a list of the most regulated substances. Nonetheless, the cannabis industry is already a thriving multi-billion dollar marketplace, largely due to the U.S. and Canada. The North American region predominantly drives the global cannabis industry because of its flourishing recreational market, as the U.S. began adopting cannabis legislation back in the 1990s after California became the first state to legalize its medical use. Then, in 2014, Colorado and Washington made history by becoming the first two states to legalize cannabis fully. On the other hand, Canada implemented a partial medical cannabis program back in 2001, which was limited to specific chronic conditions. However, in late 2018, Canada made history by becoming the second nation ever to fully legalize cannabis. Now, the industry is experiencing tremendous momentum as more countries such as Mexico, New Zealand, and Thailand are exploring opportunities within the industry. According to Mordor Intelligence, the cannabis market is expected to reach USD 89.1 Billion from USD 14.5 Billion in 2018. Additionally, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2024. Inc. (OTC: CIIX), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB)

While cannabis legalization is quickly penetrating global markets, it is still heavily regulated by federal officials. However, researchers have been evaluating the efficacy of cannabis in order to expunge the misconceptions that surround the plant. Through extensive clinical trials, researchers uncovered that cannabis is primarily split into two parts, hemp and marijuana. Primarily, the common stereotype of "getting high" is associated with cannabis' marijuana component, which is predominantly composed of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which causes psychoactive effects on the consumer. On the other hand, cannabis' hemp derivative is mainly composed of CBD or cannabidiol, which does not stimulate mind-altering effects. And although they two both derive from the cannabis plant, their biological makeup widely differs. However, both derivatives are in high demand for the recreational and medical markets. Specifically, the medical marketplace is using marijuana to alleviate severe conditions such as symptoms associated with cancer, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Conversely, the recreational market is enjoying cannabis simply for its social and relaxing qualities. Now, the combination of the recreational and medical segments is expected to deliver worldwide cannabis spending of USD 44.8 Billion in the next five years. "The rise in legal cannabis is increasing in appeal as the demand for the plant shifts from illicit and illegal to promising and profitable," said Melek Dexter, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ReUP. "The future of cannabis includes removing barriers to access and control so that everyone can benefit." Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) announced earlier in April, "that its wholly owned subsidiary,, Inc. dba Chinese Wellness Center ("CWC") will launch a pop-up kiosk in the Glendale Galleria mall, located in Glendale, California, beginning May 1, 2019. The pop-up kiosk will carry various industrial hemp/CBD products, including CWC's own OptHemp product line.

'We are excited to bring our brand directly to the shoppers in the Greater Los Angeles area,' says Mr. Warren Wang, Chief Executive Officer of, Inc. 'Building on the current success of CWC's industrial hemp/CBD product offerings, this pop-up kiosk will allow us to further engage with our local consumers beyond our online presence.'

The CWC pop-up kiosk will be located on the first floor of the Glendale Galleria Mall. The kiosk will sell industrial hemp/CBD products, including NuLeaf Naturals, Joy Organics, MedTerra, Hemp Meds, Medix, and CWC's own OptHemp products. CWC will introduce special offers, promotions and giveaways for Glendale Galleria customers.

CWC has been operating in the United States since 2017 as one of the first companies to promote and sell industrial hemp/CBD products to the domestic Chinese-speaking community. CWC is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to promote wellness in the Chinese community and is dedicated to offering the best personal wellness products and solutions to its customers.

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About Founded in 1999, endeavors to be an innovative company providing: (a) real-time market commentary, analysis, and educational related services in Chinese language character sets (traditional and simplified); (b) advertising and public relation related support services; and (c) retail, online and direct sales of hemp-based products and other health related products."

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) is a world-leading diversified cannabis, hemp and cannabis device company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms, as well as medical devices through Canopy Growth's subsidiary, Storz & Bickel GMbH & Co. KG. Canopy Growth Corporation recently announced that it had received a new license from Health Canada permitting it to grow cannabis at an outdoor site in northern Saskatchewan. Hours after receiving the licence, the first cannabis cuttings were planted at a 7 million sq. ft. (160 acres) secure cultivation field in the province. The new licence expands Canopy Growth's diversified Canadian footprint and complements its existing indoor and greenhouse facilities to provide a leading balance of facilities to produce low cost input materials for value-add products, while ensuring more sophisticated growing operations for in-demand flower products. "Our team has outdoor, at-scale cannabis expertise gained from over a decade of hemp farming experience, including Canopy's 4,000-acre hemp operation executed last year, the extract of which is bolstering our CBD supply for the medical and recreational markets," said Mark Zekulin, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Canopy Growth. "At this stage in the summer planting season we view this as a pilot and ramp up project for outdoor cannabis cultivation, though the team will do everything it can to deliver low cost yields this year."

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire an 84,000 sq. ft. GMP compliant fermentation and manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Canadafrom Apotex Fermentation Inc. The state-of-the-art facility, which will operate as "Cronos Fermentation," includes fully equipped laboratories covering microbiology, organic and analytical chemistry, quality control and method development as well as two large scale microbial fermentation production areas with a combined production capacity of 102,000L, three downstream processing plants, and bulk product and packaging capabilities. As previously announced, Cronos Group has entered into a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. to produce cultured cannabinoids. Research and development under this partnership is progressing, and as associated milestones are hit, this new facility is expected to provide Cronos Group with the ability to produce cultured cannabinoids at commercial scale with high-quality and high-purity. "This acquisition will provide the fermentation and manufacturing capabilities we need to capitalize on the work underway with Ginkgo once the milestones under that partnership are achieved," said Mike Gorenstein, Chief Executive Officer of Cronos Group. "Together with Ginkgo, we are bringing innovation and the power of biological manufacturing to the cannabis industry, aiming to allow for cannabinoid production at large scale and with greater efficiency than is currently possible with traditional cultivation and extraction. We continue to be very excited about the opportunities ahead."

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) is a global pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis and cannabinoids currently serving tens of thousands of patients and consumers in 13 countries spanning five continents. Tilray, Inc. recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda. has signed a Definitive Agreement with Esporão, adding 20 hectares of outdoor cultivation space in Alentejo, Portugal, in addition to its existing 5 hectares of indoor and outdoor cultivation and 6,500 sq. m. of manufacturing, processing and research space at its European Union (EU) Campus in Cantanhede, Portugal. "We're proud to be expanding our capacity to produce high-quality medical cannabis products in Europe using innovative outdoor growing methods," says Sascha Mielcarek, Tilray's Managing Director, Europe. "We look forward to supplying patients in need in existing and new markets with Tilray's medical cannabis products, proudly produced in Europe."

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 24 countries across five continents, is one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced that it had received Health Canada licenses for outdoor cultivation at two Canadian sites. The new sites in Quebec and British Columbia will be used for cultivation research to develop new technology, genetics and intellectual property in order to drive sustainable, high-quality outdoor production. Aurora purposefully chose the outdoor sites because they represent two different growing environments. The company will conduct research on cultivation techniques to further excel at growing cannabis in varying climate conditions and will examine approaches to environmentally sustainable cannabis agriculture. "Aurora believes in innovative operations and intensive research and we're applying our approach to outdoor grown cannabis," said Aurora Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth. "Our team plans to use these areas to ensure we are able to consistently grow the high-quality cannabis Aurora has become known for around the world. We're proud to be a Canadian company and this is a further commitment to research and job creation in Canada."

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