Demand for Craft Cannabis Swells as Medical Patients Look for Alternative Treatments

NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The burden of dealing with symptoms associated with medical conditions has financially and physically ravaged millions of people around the globe. Every day, people suffering from medical conditions are distraught by the harsh effects of the symptoms derived from their ailments. For instance, patients receiving cancer therapy can face a plethora of side effects such as nausea and severe pain. Generally, patients take a plethora of medicines in order to subdue these side effects, and in particular, cancer patients suffering from chronic pain may be prescribed dangerous opioids from their physician. As a result, more medical institutions are beginning to recommend cannabis as an alternative to treat the adverse conditions associated with cancer. The American Cancer Society has even cited studies that determined that marijuana can be helpful in treating the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. A few studies have even uncovered that inhaled (smoked or vaporized) marijuana can help with the treatment of neuropathic pain. And more recently, scientists have also reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD can slow the growth of and possibly even eliminate cancer cells, ultimately reducing the spread of certain forms of cancer. Other studies have also suggested that cannabinoids can be safe for humans in treating cancer, which has led to the widespread use of medical cannabis around the world. Now, as more global government agencies collect positive data from clinical trials, additional nations will move towards legalizing medical cannabis because of its potentially valuable therapeutic effects. And as a result, the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by 2025 while registering a CAGR of 34.6%, according to data compiled by Grand View Research. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO), Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTC: GTBIF) (CSE: GTII)

A multitude of studies have so far confirmed that cannabis has effectively helped patients deal with their medical conditions compared to their previous medications. For instance, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a study in 2017 which uncovered that chronic pain patients treated with medical cannabis reported a significant reduction in pain symptoms. However, patients using medical cannabis for chronic pain are typically required to consume it every day. In some severe cases, patients have reported that they cannot go a single day without consuming cannabis because their pain is not tolerable. However, the major drawback is that patients can easily develop a tolerance for the plant's effects. And once a patient's tolerance levels get too high, he or she will need to consume even more cannabis, which can, in turn, become expensive. As such, many patients have shifted from dried cannabis flower to extracts and concentrates because they are much more potent and deliver the effects almost immediately when compared to flower. Despite the shift, there is still a large demand for dried cannabis flower because it is used to create these highly-potent cannabis-based products. Furthermore, the quality of dried cannabis can determine the potency of other products, which is why premium quality is being demanded. For example, "craft cannabis" producers have become increasingly popular because of their high-quality cannabis buds. Additionally, consumers are beginning to opt towards strains from craft producers because large-scale licensed producers sometimes lack sufficient quality. Overall, craft cannabis is similar to craft beer where producers are passionate about their product and typically, craft cannabis producers take extensive measures to ensure top-shelf quality by meticulously monitoring each plant and hand-trimming the buds. Ultimately, craft producers create natural and potent products that are enjoyed by both recreational and medical cannabis users. "The art of cannabis has come a long way from the days of the dime bag, when you had no idea where your cannabis came from, what kind of pesticides or growing methods produced it, or even what strain it was. These days, in the legal cannabis marketplace, you have your choice of the best of the best of 'craft cannabis,'" said Lisa Rough, former Associate Editor at Leafly.

Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CRFT). Just announced breaking news this morning that it, "has acquired the brand "Baked Edibles" ("Baked Edibles"), previously used by Canada's longest-running commercial cannabis bakery. In its previous iteration, Baked Edibles was an iconic pre-legalization brand that served Canadian's for years and will now take its place among leading edible brands in the regulated market.

Under previous ownership, from its base in Victoria, Baked Edibles supplied premium edibles, cannabis oils, capsules, and topicals to the Canadian market beginning in 2015, following the R v. Smith Supreme Court ruling, which declared the legal right to possess cannabis derivatives for medical purposes. In addition to an exceptional line of products, Baked Edibles differentiated itself from other grey market edibles brands by sourcing high quality ingredients, and, in the interest of public health and safety, providing customers with valuable product information and dosing guidelines. It was also the first cannabis bakery in Canada to receive a municipal business licence.

In obtaining the Baked Edibles brand and its associated intellectual property, Pasha will rework the brand's product line-up to better suit Health Canada's forthcoming amendments to the Cannabis Act, while maintaining the Baked Edibles spirit by utilizing existing recipes and using high quality ingredients.

A long-time favorite in the grey market among consumers, the Baked Edibles name formed the basis for an operation that was a pioneer in the areas of dosage control, best-in-class standard operating procedures, and product consistency.

"This is a natural fit for Pasha, and exemplifies our approach to bringing authentic cannabis brands into the legal marketplace" said Jason Longden, CEO of Pasha. "Baked Edibles has been a force in the Canadian cannabis industry and has inarguably set the standard of what high quality edibles should be. With Health Canada regulations for edibles and consumables anticipated in the coming months, we look forward to further developing our product offering."

About Pasha Brands - Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a vertically integrated, prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry, which boasts an international reputation. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella. Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a licence to sell medical cannabis products in Canada. Pasha and BC Craft are also developing a craft cannabis campus, which is dedicated to bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada. BC Craft is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market. Pasha's common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol "CRFT" and on the FSE under the symbol "ZZD". For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com"

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Pasha Brands Ltd. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiuXVssrpos

Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL) proudly crafts pioneering cannabis brands to Heal, Help and PlayTM. Sundial Growers Inc. recently announced that it had received amendments to its Standard Cultivation and Standard Processing licenses from Health Canada for an additional 115,000 sq. ft. of cannabis cultivation at its flagship facility in Olds, Alberta. The newly licensed space includes 34 additional purpose-built modular rooms for the cultivation of premium cannabis, almost doubling the total number of flowering rooms to 74 in Olds. "Our master growers and expert staff have successfully completed more than 150 harvests. We are very excited about the premium quality and industry leading yields our state-of-the-art facility in Olds is producing," said Torsten Kuenzlen, Chief Executive Officer of Sundial. "The additional flowering rooms will further accelerate our production capacity, allowing us to expand into more provinces and provide our high-quality cannabis to a wider consumer base."

Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA) is a leading global cannabis company driven by an unrelenting commitment to our people, the planet, product quality and innovation. Aphria Inc. recently announced that its subsidiary Marigold Projects Jamaica Limited had received a retail Herb House license from Jamaica's Cannabis Licensing Authority to open its first store in Kingston, Jamaica. Marigold Projects, a 49% owned subsidiary of Aphria Inc., holds a Tier 3 license to cultivate more than 5-acres of land with cannabis for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes. Marigold Projects cultivation farm is fully operational, and inventory at the opening will exceed 2,700 kgs. The company maintains an additional 20-acres of vacant land in anticipation of expanding its cultivation operations, as well as a 10-acre farm in St Catherine. "The approval of Marigold's first Herb House signals an exciting time for Aphria. We believe that there is tremendous opportunity in Jamaica from a domestic and international perspective and we look forward to bringing Sensi products to the market," said Interim Chief Executive Officer, Irwin D. Simon. "Receiving this licence is testament to our team's hard work and dedication in growing our Caribbean and LATAM business as we provide high-quality cannabis products in regions. Aphria will continue to execute on our business plan to create long-term value, sales growth, and profitably in Canada and internationally."

HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) is an award-winning consumer packaged goods cannabis company that creates and distributes prize-winning products to serve the global cannabis market. HEXO Corp. and Newstrike Brands Ltd. recently announced that they had entered into a definitive arrangement agreement under which HEXO will acquire, by way of a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario), all of Newstrike's issued and outstanding common shares in an all-share transaction valued at approximately USD 263 Million. The Transaction gives HEXO the capacity to produce approximately 150,000 kg of high-quality cannabis annually. The Transaction also provides HEXO access to four cutting-edge production campuses totalling close to 1.8 million sq. ft. of near-term cultivation space and diversified growing and production techniques. This is in addition to HEXO's 579,000 sq. ft. facility for a manufacturing and product development center of excellence in Belleville, Ontario. Combined, HEXO and Newstrike have established distribution agreements in 8 provinces including Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, allowing broad consumer access to HEXO's products across Canada. Newstrike's licensed indoor facility provide HEXO with access to diversified growing techniques and positions HEXO for flexibility for international exports as global cannabis markets continue to open. "We're thrilled to welcome the Newstrike team into the HEXO family. Jay Wilgar (Chief Executive Officer of Newstrike) and his team have built incredible relationships, including teaming up with The Tragically Hip, and they share HEXO's vision of bringing exceptional branded cannabis experiences to adults everywhere," said Sebastien St-Louis, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of HEXO Corp "With Newstrike, we're adding talented employees and infrastructure to take HEXO to the next level on our journey to become one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. We're extremely proud of our record of execution, and today are committing to achieving over USD 400 Million in net revenue in 2020."

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF) (CSE: GTII), a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer, is dedicated to providing dignified access to cannabis while giving back to the communities in which they serve. Green Thumb Industries Inc. recently announced it has closed on a transaction to acquire New York-based Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, one of only 10 companies approved to operate a medical marijuana company in the state. Assets include a manufacturing and cultivation facility in Schenectady County and a retail store in each of the following locations: Manhattan, Rochester, Halfmoon and Nassau County, three of which are open. "As one of only 10 license holders in a state with a population of approximately 20 million, this acquisition is firmly in line with our strategic goal of entering highly regulated markets to manufacture and distribute cannabis brands at scale," said GTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. "We believe entry into New York is an important milestone as we empower the right to wellness through responsible increased access to cannabis and are privileged to serve the people of New York seeking relief and an enhanced quality of life."

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