Competition Heats Up in the Cannabis Market as Regulations Ease
Since Canada fully legalized cannabis, over 200 businesses have obtained licensing approvals to operate cannabis-related activities. And while the number of Canadian-based businesses is rather minuscule compared to the 28,000 businesses in the U.S., Canada's legal market is continuing to accelerate and could witness a sizeable emergence of cannabis-based companies. Canada legalized cannabis completely in late 2018, but prior to then, recreational use was decriminalized. Medical cannabis had also been prominent in Canada since the early 2000s, but at the time, health officials only allowed the use of medical cannabis for specific conditions. However, due to the passage of cannabis legislation, Canadian consumers can now use cannabis freely for both medical and recreational purposes. Additionally, in an effort to accelerate its market growth, some Canadian provinces have decided to issue out more licenses to companies to meet the demands of consumers. For instance, Ontario's provincial government decided to issue 50 more licenses to cannabis stores starting in October this year. Moreover, in May 2019, Alberta pledged to issue out over 115 new licenses over a 6-month period. Now, with the acceleration of licensing approvals, Canada's market is primed to become a major global market driver. Furthermore, the overall North American region has already established itself as a leader within the cannabis market, outpacing every other global market. And according to data compiled by Imarc Group, the North American legal cannabis market is expected to reach USD 35 Billion by 2023 from USD 8 Billion in 2017. Additionally, the market is expected to register a healthy CAGR of 28% throughout the forecast period. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL)
Policymakers Begin to Change Course on Cannabis Regulation
The support for cannabis legalization is growing every year as more countries continue to explore opportunities within the cannabis industry. In particular, the North American region is witnessing an immense swelling of support for legalization. For instance, last year Canada's federal government decided to legalize adult-use cannabis, making it the second nation to ever do so. Now, the U.S. and Mexico are also experiencing strong advocacy for the legalization of cannabis and although citizens from both nations are actively supporting legalization, the federal government has not implemented a program yet. However, the U.S. government has granted the power to legalize the plant to each individual state. As a result, more than half the U.S. has legalized cannabis for medical use, while just over a fifth has permitted its legal, recreational use. To better illustrate the shift, in the early 2000s, approximately 31% of Americans supported the legalization of marijuana. By 2018, six in every ten Americans, or more precisely, 62% said that marijuana should be legalized, according to Pew Research Center's survey. Specifically, most millennials are in favor of legalizing marijuana compared to other generations, as approximately 74% of millennials advocated for legalization, while 63% of Gen Xers and 54% of Baby Boomers supported the movement. Furthermore, politicians have also begun to change their stance on cannabis legalization because of the positive data flowing in from clinical trials. The survey also highlighted that 69% of Democrats said marijuana should be legal while the Republican party remains split with 45% in favor and 51% opposed. Nevertheless, support among Republicans has risen from just 39% in 2015. Meanwhile, Canada's legalization marked a historic milestone in the cannabis industry, creating a global powerhouse. Moreover, if the U.S. and Mexico were to also legalize cannabis, it could potentially influence other nations to explore the industry as well. And, as more countries decide to legalize cannabis for medical use and potentially recreational use, the overall industry is positioned to experience exponential growth. According to data compiled by Mordor Intelligence, the global cannabis industry was valued at USD 14.5 Billion in 2018. By 2024, the market is expected to reach USD 89.1 Billion while registering a CAGR of 37% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2024. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD), MariMed Inc. (OTC: MRMD)
Established Industries Look to the Cannabis Market for New Revenue Streams
As investments continue to fuel the cannabis market expansion, the social stigma revolving around the plant is beginning to subside. Similar to most emerging industries, institutions invest because they see potential value for future growth. And with the growing popularity of the cannabis marketplace, companies across various industries have become interested. Notably, healthcare companies are interested in ramping up cannabis research because the plant could become a viable treatment option for patients living with a variety of ailments. On the other hand, alcohol, tobacco, and healthcare companies have stepped into the cannabis industry because of declining sales in their primary units. For instance, large corporations such as Altria, owner of Marlboro, and Constellation Brands, producer of Corona and Modelo, have invested billions of dollars into the cannabis industry. Specifically, the two have invested in various cannabis companies to stimulate their overall business portfolios, as tobacco and alcohol consumption rates are declining. Now, the Arizona Beverage Company has even entered into the industry with its own venture to manufacture vape pens and infused gummies and drinks. Arizona Beverage is well known for its USD 1 drinks found throughout thousands of convenience stores and supermarkets internationally. And Arizona Tea's entry marks yet another large corporation diving into the cannabis marketplace. The investments are not only propelling the cannabis industry but are also allowing it to become a mainstream market among consumers. Now, as more large companies take their place within the cannabis market, the industry is positioned to become a disruptive global entity. And according to data compiled by Verified Market Research, the global marijuana market was valued at USD 42.20 Billion in 2016. Furthermore, by 2025, the market is expected to reach USD 466.81 Billion while registering a CAGR of 35.3% from 2018 to 2025. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO).
Cronos Group Establishes New Growth Opportunity in the United States with Acquisition of Hemp-Based Products Platform
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) ("Cronos Group" or the "Company") today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire four of Redwood Holding Group, LLC's operating subsidiaries (collectively, "Redwood").
Additional Regions Prepare to Enter Into the Legalized Cannabis Industry
Earlier this week, New York state decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana. Instead of jail time, offenders will now be punished with a fine. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been pushing to legalize marijuana for quite some time now but has fallen short each time. Despite the numerous attempts, Cuomo is still actively pushing to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. If New York were to legalize cannabis, it would become the 12th U.S. state to pass legislation for recreational use, following Illinois' recent legalization. While cannabis is only legal for medicinal purposes in the state of New York, many companies have established operations in anticipation of recreational legalization. In New York City, there are already over a dozen legal medical dispensaries. Notably, several of these dispensaries even operate recreational channels in legal markets. Moreover, there are also several hemp farms operating in upstate New York. And despite New York's legalization, the state already has cannabis companies fluidly operating to serve thousands of consumers. Several other states are witnessing similar patterns to New York. For instance, states such as Arizona, Florida, and New Jersey were reporting over tens of millions of dollars in annual sales in 2018 despite having only legalized medical cannabis. Notably, these states were among the most likely candidates to legalize recreational use in the shortcoming years, according to industry experts. Overall, the legal cannabis market is permeating throughout the U.S. states and is creating a multi-billion dollar industry. Additionally, ongoing legalization efforts in the U.S. are beginning to further influence other nations as they explore opportunities within the legal market. And while medical cannabis still dominates that broad cannabis marketplace, increasing awareness and legalization efforts are expected to further propel the industry. 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), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX-V: OGI), Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF) (CSE: CL)
Political Backing, Investor Interest Fuel Kentucky Hemp Boom
The surging hemp industry means exciting benefits for Kentucky.
Beverage Companies Look to Capitalize on CBD's Benefits and Accessibility
For centuries, hemp has been used for a vast array of applications. In particular, hemp was predominantly used to manufacture textiles, paper, and construction materials because of its durability. However, now hemp has become even more popular because of its CBD compound. Hemp is derived from the cannabis plant and is one of the two main families found within the plant, the other being marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp's main active component is CBD or cannabidiol, which does not cause psychoactive effects for its consumer. Generally, the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC levels, which is an insignificant amount. However, because hemp is derived from the cannabis plant, federal regulators deemed hemp to be unsafe, and as a result, hemp and its CBD compound were listed as a controlled substance. Yet, researchers and scientists have begun new studies to better understand the biological makeup of hemp and compiled compelling results that went against the previously established understanding of the plant and its effects. As a result of these studies and the non-psychoactive nature of hemp, regulators lowered the scheduling of hemp and its CBD compound on the controlled substance list. Moreover, the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill paved the way for the broader CBD industry, further accelerating its presence in legal channels. Previously, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other state departments only allowed pilot programs to study hemp, which allowed for small-scale cultivation. To note, the Farm Bill legalized the commercialization hemp and CBD, which caused a spur of retailers to add the product to their shelves. For instance, local stores and even e-commerce giants have CBD-based products being publicly sold for every-day consumers. Notably, the bill does not put any restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp-derived products, meaning that CBD is federally legal as long as it is consistent with the law. Now, the CBD market is one of the fastest-growing market segments within the cannabis industry, due in large part to its lenient guidelines. And as a result, more companies are looking to enter into or expand within the CBD marketplace because of the vast potential that has opened up for the market. According to data compiled by Hemp Business Journal, a division of New Frontier Data, sales for the U.S. hemp industry totaled USD 820 Million in 2017. The research suggests that the industry is expected to grow to USD 1.9 Billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 14.4% during the 5-year period. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTC: PBIO), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (APHA.TO), Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (TSX: CWEB), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC: ITHUF) (CSE: IAN).
Cannabis Regulations Continue to Thaw Throughout the World
In recent years, the cannabis industry has witnessed immense support from countries across the world. Numerous national governments have their own unique perspective regarding the plant, however, most still have not moved to legalize cannabis because of the stigma surrounding its psychoactive nature. Nonetheless, cannabis has already tapped into several of the largest global markets. For instance, Canada became the first and only G-7 nation to legalize cannabis entirely in late 2018. Meanwhile, among the other G-7 nations, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the U.S. have all adopted partial or full medical cannabis legislation. The only G-7 nation to not have adopted any form of cannabis legislation is currently Japan. Overall, many Asian countries enforce stricter regulations, which result in severe consequences if violated. As such, cannabis companies have not had much luck tapping into the Asian markets. However, South Korea and Thailand are two Asian nations that decided to take steps forward and dive into the cannabis industry. South Korea's medical cannabis program launched in early March and paved the way for select THC and CBD-based medication imports. In particular, Canopy Growth Corporation is among the several Canadian multinational firms looking to enter the South Korean market. Similarly, Thailand has moved to legalize medical cannabis, with many expecting the legislation to be implemented next year after Thailand's military-appointed National Legislative Assembly voted 166 to 0 in favor of legalizing medical cannabis. The profound movement stirring throughout Asia further highlights the impact that cannabis is making on a global scale. Moreover, ongoing international legalization efforts are expected to accelerate and further bolster the market in the near future. According to data compiled by MarketsandMarkets research, the cannabis market was valued at USD 10.3 Billion in 2018. By 2023, the market is expected to reach USD 39.4 Billion while registering a CAGR of 30.7% during the forecast period. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (APHA.TO), HEXO Corp. (NYSE-A: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO)
Data Points to Cannabis Emergence as a Viable Part of Cancer Treatment
The burden of symptoms associated with medical conditions has 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 may take other medicines in order to subdue these side effects, and in particular, cancer patients suffering from chronic pain may be prescribed opioids from their physician. The major downside of these treatments is that opioids have life-threatening consequences. Overall, cancer patients suffer from side effects associated with cancer therapies as well as the treatments used to control their side effects. As a result, more medical institutions are beginning to recommend cannabis as an alternative to treat the adverse associated with cancer. The American Cancer Society has 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 eliminate cancer cells, ultimately reducing the spread of certain forms of cancer. Other studies have suggested that cannabinoids can be safe for humans in treating cancer, which has led to the wide spread of medical cannabis around the world. As more global government agencies collect positive data from clinical trials, more countries will move towards legalizing medical cannabis because of its 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), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO).