Presently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for a majority of the market share, as progress is slowly being made in removing the stigmas associated with such products. The more welcoming perception towards cannabis legalization can be attributed to, in large part, the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the production of industrial hemp, transforming it into a mainstream agricultural product. Soon after, numerous categories of CBD products started to appear. While medical cannabis still dominates the broad cannabis marketplace, the growing awareness and legalization efforts are expected to further propel the overall industry forward. Overall, the cannabis market value was estimated at USD 22.9 Billion in 2020. The market is projected to witness a CAGR of 18.1% during the forecast period (2021-2026), according to data published by Mordor Intelligence. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), Verano Holdings Corp. (OTC: VRNOF), SNDL Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL), Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTC: GTBIF), The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG)
As sales of such products are becoming more popular, so are some of the unwelcome consequences, such as driving while under the influence of cannabis. As such, the need for a marijuana breathalyzer was understood. “The first commercial units of the Hound Marijuana Breathalyzer will be in the hands of customers this spring,” Dr. Mike Lynn, an emergency room physician who is CEO and co-founder of Hound Labs, told High Times. “Production will ramp up throughout the rest of 2021.”
Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) announced yesterday breaking news that it, “will be participating in a mid-October study date to test a supplemental version of its FAIMS technology for detection of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and related analytes in human breath in a comprehensive multi-analysis study of subjects under the influence of marijuana in the southern United States. Cannabix has participated in two testing day events held in two different US cities in June and July. The October event will be held in a new location. In the Southern US study, Cannabix is working alongside toxicologists and law enforcement officers who are testing subjects under the influence of marijuana. The Company’s technology (proprietary breath capture and marijuana detection equipment, described below) is being used side by side with several conventional drug screening methods including blood and oral fluid collection. Furthermore, a closed course driving test is planned for the mid-October study date to gauge impairment. Details of the study will be available in due course when disclosure approvals are granted to the Company.
Data from previous studies demonstrate a very consistent correlation of levels of THC in a direct comparison between breath samples collected and analyzed with Cannabix hardware and the current standard of whole blood. The Company’s handheld Breath Collection Unit (“BCU”, Fig. 1) and newly developed laboratory “MS Breath Sampler” (Fig. 2) are being used together to provide a new ground-breaking method for drug detection that complements gold-standard mass spectrometry (MS) and significantly simplifies laboratory analysis methods, reduces sample turnaround times (thus minimizing operating costs), while maintaining sensitive, precise results.
The Company has developed a unique breath capture system, capable of collecting low volatility analytes, such as THC, from a sample size of only approximately 5 breaths. In addition, the Cannabix device captures analytes efficiently such that the sample preparation steps needed in traditional methods are completely eliminated. The system has detected and confirmed THC in breath up to 4 hours after smoking with breath samples being stored and analyzed up to two days after sample collection.
THC in Breath & Blood Data – Cannabix has been actively participating in breath-blood studies over the course of the year -completing experiments in Ontario (see the press release from May 9th, 2022) and alongside law enforcement in the southern US in June and July (see press releases from July 12th and August 25th, 2022). The study results show that breath levels of THC over time are consistent between subjects, and data demonstrate a consistent correlation of levels of THC between breath and whole blood in early time points after smoking.
Study Importance – With its participation in these blood-breath correlation studies, the Company is building an important body of real-world breath data of various cannabis users, taken using cutting-edge hardware developed by Cannabix. These data significantly increase the accuracy of recency of use by metabolism measurements. Blood is currently the standard of measurement for drug determination by law enforcement and toxicologists, and is used as objective evidence of possible impairment in courts of law…”
Verano Holdings Corp. (OTCQX: VRNOF) announced on September 7th, the closing of its transaction to acquire all of the equity interests of WSCC, Inc., d/b/a Sierra Well (“Sierra Well“), adding two operational dispensaries and an active cultivation and production facility in Nevada, along with two real estate properties in Carson City and Reno. The acquisition, which was previously announced on July 26, 2021, increases Verano’s vertically-integrated Nevada operations to five active dispensaries and two cultivation and production facilities that are geographically spread across the state’s key population and tourist regions. “Today signifies a huge step forward for our business in Nevada, a state that we have long considered a core growth market and a key piece of our operational footprint,” said George Archos, Verano Founder, and Chief Executive Officer. “Gaining a presence in Reno and Carson City provides Verano with comprehensive retail and distribution opportunities in Northern Nevada that complement our current operations in the Las Vegas area. With a growing population, booming tourism, and an abundance of natural beauty, we look forward to a bright future in the great state of Nevada.”
SNDL Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL) and IM Cannabis Corp. announced on September 15th, that SNDL has completed its initial international export of approximately 167 kilograms of premium dried flower from Canada to Israel as part of its total commitment with IMC. SNDL and IMC have agreed to the aggregate export of 1,000 kilograms of high-quality dried flower products for processing and distribution in the Israeli medical cannabis market. The expansion marks a significant milestone for SNDL as it enters the global market. “We are pleased with our partnership with IMC, one of Europe’s most established and trusted medical cannabis companies,” said Andrew Stordeur, President and Chief Operating Officer of SNDL. “SNDL plans to opportunistically expand the Company’s premium inhalable footprint to international cannabis markets, and this initial endeavor strengthens our pursuits in both established medical markets and emerging global recreational markets.”
Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF) announced on February 7th, it will open two new retail locations in Virginia: Rise Lynchburg on February 8; and Rise Christiansburg on February 10. Profits from the first day of sales will be donated to local organizations for each store opening: Rise Lynchburg will donate to Shawn Moss Wellness and Growth Foundation (SWAG Foundation) and Rise Christiansburg will donate to Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program (MAP). “We are thrilled to expand our footprint to 75 stores across the nation while increasing our retail presence in Virginia,” said Green Thumb Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. “Since entering the state last summer, we have had the opportunity to meet many patients and community members, and we are ready to introduce the Rise experience to more of our neighbors in these two cities. We are also proud to support the Shawn Moss Wellness and Growth Foundation, an organization that is making a huge impact in communities affected by gun violence, and the MCEAP, which supports many residents and their path to restored self-sufficiency by providing access to food and clothing.”
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG) announced on January 4th, it has acquired Luxx Lighting in a transaction that significantly strengthens The Hawthorne Gardening Company’s industry-leading lighting portfolio. The Company also said it has acquired True Liberty Bags, the industry’s leading provider of liners and storage solutions to dry and cure plant products. “These strategic acquisitions reinforce our commitment to provide commercial cannabis cultivators in state-authorized markets with a complete set of solutions driven by insight and innovation,” said Chris Hagedorn, division president of Hawthorne. “While the cannabis market continues to see near-term challenges from an over-production in recent months, we see the current reality as an opportunity to further distance ourselves from the competition and strengthen our business for long-term success.