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Growing Concern Over Chronic Pain Prods Cannabis Market's Growth Ahead News Commentary

NEW YORK, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Chronic pain is among one of the most common medical conditions globally. More than 1.5 billion people suffer from the effects of chronic pain and it is the number one cause of long-term disability in the U.S, according to TheGoodBody. Additionally, the severe effects of chronic pain have been linked to other problems such as depression and trouble sleeping. Traditionally, people could simply take non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory pills like ibuprofens to moderately suppress the pain. However, more severe cases can require stronger drugs like anti-anxiety pills or muscle relaxants. The issue revolving around these drugs is largely centered around the side effects they pose. Research has shown that some of these drugs can have detrimental and deteriorating effects on one's body. The concern over the constant use of traditional chronic pain treatments has led to the emergence of medical cannabis. Now, many advocates are looking to have cannabis as a potential registered medical treatment. Some countries have already done so, such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Australia. And, as research and development continue within the medical cannabis industry, more countries are expected to explore opportunities within the market. According to data compiled by Credence Research, the global medical marijuana market was valued at approximately USD 13.91 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 57.58 Billion by 2026. Furthermore, the market is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 17.1% from 2018 to 2026. MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTC: MLCPF) (TSX-V: LABS), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA), Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF), CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST), KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB) 

In the past decade, researchers have conducted clinical trials to further understand the effects of cannabis as a treatment. Specifically, researchers have screened tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), but have also investigated other compounds such as cannabigerol and cannabidivarin. Within these compounds, the CB1 and CB2 receptors are stimulated to treat medical applications such as chronic pain. Continued research has also linked cannabis to treat other medical conditions like cancer, arthritis, migraine, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune inflammatory diseases. As medical cannabis legalization continues to spread, more and more consumers are transitioning towards cannabis as a medical treatment. "There's just a few medications on the market that work, and even these can be inadequate. They end up getting stuck on eight, 10, 12 different medications, and after taking so many, suddenly they're like zombies," said Suzanne Sisley, MD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ensuring Tomorrow Productions, "I was really stunned and more and more patients were coming out of the shadows and disclosing to me that they were having some useful experiences with the marijuana plant," Sisley said.

MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQB: MLCPF) (TSX-V: LABS) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: LABS). Yesterday, the Company announced that, "it will present at the 31st Annual ROTH Conference in Orange County, California.

MediPharm Labs executive management is scheduled to present at the conference on Tuesday, March 19, at approximately 8:00 a.m. PDT at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dana Point.

The annual ROTH Conference, hosted by ROTH Capital Partners March 17-19, gathers more than 500 companies and approximately 1,000 investors, featuring presentations from public and private companies in a variety of sectors including healthcare.

About MediPharm Labs Corp.: Founded in 2015, MediPharm Labs has the distinction of being the first company in Canada to become a licensed producer for cannabis oil production under the ACMPR without first receiving a cannabis cultivation license. This expert focus on cannabis concentrates from our cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) and ISO standard clean rooms and critical environments laboratory, allows MediPharm Labs to produce purified, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oil and concentrates for advanced derivative products. MediPharm Labs has invested in an expert, research-driven team, state-of-the-art technology, downstream extraction methodologies and purpose-built facilities to deliver pure, safe and precisely-dosed cannabis products to patients and consumers. MediPharm Labs' private label program is a high margin business for the Company, whereby it opportunistically procures dry cannabis flower and trim from its numerous product supply partners, to produce proprietary cannabis oil concentrate products for resale globally on a private label basis. MediPharm Labs was recently named START-UP OF THE YEAR at the Canadian Cannabis Awards.

Through its subsidiary, MediPharm Labs Australia Pty. Ltd., MediPharm has also completed its application process with the federal Office of Drug Control to extract and import medical cannabis products in Australia."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring MediPharm Labs Corp. recent corporate news, please head over to:

Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA) is a leading global cannabis company driven by an unrelenting commitment to our people, product quality and innovation. Aphria Inc. recently announced that Health Canada has granted the Company its license amendment, permitting Aphria to commence production in an additional 800,000 sq. ft. of facilities at its Aphria One location, as part of the Company's completed Part IV and Part V expansions. "This is a major milestone for Aphria on its path to becoming a leading global cannabis producer, as well as a positive development greatly anticipated by the Canadian cannabis industry," said Irwin D. Simon, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Aphria. "Aphria's progress expanding production and automation is essential to our strategy of securing scale and long-term advantages that enable the evolution of the cannabis industry through product and brand innovation. With Aphria One, we now have the ability to expand our production capacity by over three times."

Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF) is one of the largest and longest-operating vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America and the only publicly traded greenhouse produce company in Canada. Village Farms International, Inc. recently announced that its 50%-owned joint venture for large-scale, low-cost, high-quality cannabis production, Pure Sunfarms, received from Health Canada the seventh amendment to the cultivation license for its 1.1 million sq. ft. greenhouse in Delta, BC. This amendment permits Pure Sunfarms to expand its cannabis production area by approximately 206,000 sq. ft. to a total of approximately 1.03 million sq. ft. (16 grow rooms). With this amendment, the entire growing area at Pure Sunfarms' greenhouse is now licensed for cultivation. The newly licensed area is expected to be planted by the end of March 2019. "It is a monumental achievement for Pure Sunfarms to complete its cultivation licensing of more than 1 million sq. ft. and, very shortly, be in full commercial production – just over a year from receiving initial approval from Health Canada to begin growing," said Michael DeGiglio, Chief Executive Officer, Village Farms. "Pure Sunfarms has rapidly become one of the largest cannabis operations in Canada and is establishing itself as a reliable, large-scale supplier of quality, safe cannabis products to the Canadian market which continues to be challenged by a shortage of supply. With thousands of kilograms harvested, the Pure Sunfarms facility continues to perform well, with yield and quality of the product continuing to meet or exceed our expectations, and the team continues to execute on plan."

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST) is a federally regulated licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis in Canada. CannTrust Holdings Inc. recently announced that it had obtained the necessary permitting from the Town of Pelham to proceed with its Phase III expansion with the construction process set to commence immediately. The revised Phase III expansion is permitted for a footprint of up to 390,000 sq. ft., compared to the 600,000 sq. ft. in the Company's initial application. However, with enhancements to the Phase III facility above and beyond the specifications initially contemplated, CannTrust maintains its total production capacity forecast of 100,000 kg per year after completion of the Phase III construction. "We are pleased with the outcome of the discussions with the Town of Pelham," said Peter Aceto, Chief Executive Officer of CannTrust. "We believe this decision reflects our view that we are a trusted member of the community and that we are intent on listening to our stakeholders. The demand for our medical and recreational products continues to be well in excess of supply and we are keen to move ahead with the Phase III expansion and meet our capacity targets. We also continue to evaluate several strategic alternatives to meet and increase our initial production capacity goals. We are actively pursuing strategic acquisitions of land and facilities, both inside and outside Ontario and hope to update shareholders with these initiatives in due course. Our active patient count continues to increase, and the recreational market is currently undersupplied. We intend to make every effort to serve these markets with our award-winning products."

KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: KSHB) is the premier producer of ancillary products and services to the cannabis and hemp industries. KushCo Holdings, Inc., in line with its previously announced sustainability initiatives, recently announced it has signed a long-term development and distribution agreement with IEKO Corporation, for the production of compostable and biodegradable packaging products for use in the cannabis and CBD industries. Pursuant to the agreement, IEKO will work with KushCo to develop formulations and products designed for the unique demands of the cannabis and CBD industries, while ensuring that all new products are environmentally friendly by featuring proprietary, biodegradable materials from renewable resources. All packaging solutions produced under the agreement will be tested using ASTM and BPI standards to guarantee proper certification. Additionally, IEKO will provide dedicated research and development, quality control and account management personnel. KushCo Holdings' Chief Executive Officer, Nick Kovacevich commented, "It's our responsibility to reimagine our products today to ensure the viability of our planet tomorrow. Customers are demanding an environmentally conscious solution for their everyday packaging needs. Partnering with Bob Meers and IEKO is a huge win for us. It's inspiring to see the former CEO of Reebok and Lululemon so impassioned about the environment and I'm honored to be a part of the eco-sustainability movement our customers are yearning for. With a demonstrated ability to design and produce ground-breaking products, we are confident in the capabilities of the IEKO team and look forward partnering with one of California's top packaging engineers."

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Last Updated: 13-Mar-2019