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21-Mar-2019

Financial Institutions Enticed to Enter the Developing Cannabis Market

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, March 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The cannabis industry has grown at a tremendous pace in the recent years due to the continuing legalization efforts seen around the world. The rapid growth of the industry has now caught the attention of Wall Street's financial institutions as well, who have begun to cover the marketplace. Investment banks such as Piper Jaffray, RBC Capitals, and Cowen have backed the industry by covering public companies that are dabbling with cannabis. For example, RBC Capitals analyst Nik Modi believes that cannabis is the next up and coming global industry. Modi expects the legal U.S. cannabis market to grow at a projected CAGR of 17% and reach as much as USD 47 Billion within the next decade. Currently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for a majority of the overall market share, however, Modi suggests that the industry will continue to be driven by the rising growth in the recreational sector. So far, only Canada and Uruguay have decided to legalize cannabis entirely, yet, the U.S. is still the biggest market driver. Even though the U.S. only has 10 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized cannabis entirely, states such as California, Colorado, and Nevada deliver over a billion dollars in annual revenue off of cannabis sales. Overall, as more states and countries move to legalize cannabis, cannabis is expected to flourish and become the next disruptive global market. CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U), Pyxus International Inc. (NYSE: PYX), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO), Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) 

Modi also believes that the recreational cannabis sector will drive the overall industry because of the growing prevalence of cannabis concentrates and edibles. The two segments are seeing large investments pour in from various public sectors and major players within those industries have invested in cannabis companies in order to accelerate their growth by expanding their portfolios. The investors see the potential for the cannabis industry despite the market being in a very grey area, legally. In particular, the tobacco and alcohol industries are investing heavily into cannabis as their respective industries are seeing declining sales. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently that 14% of adults smoke cigarettes, which is an all-time low since the CDC began collecting data in 1965. Furthermore, data compiled by The Wall Street Journal showed that alcohol volumes dropped by 0.8% in 2018 due to consumer trend shifts. "Driving the growth is recreational use of the product, particularly concentrates and edibles. Estimates already suggest that the US category alone is USD 50 Billion, which compares to spirits USD 58 Billion, wine USD 65 Billion, and beer USD 117 Billion," said Modi, "We think this is exactly the type of move that more companies should be making (not in cannabis necessarily, but having the foresight to invest in future revenue streams, especially at a time when the core business is performing)," Modi said.

CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CLSH.U). Earlier last week, the Company announced that, "it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire an 80% ownership interest in CannAssist, LLC. This agreement, along with the previously announced option agreement to acquire In Good Health, marks a continuation towards CLS's goal to become a significant entity in the rapidly growing Massachusetts market.

CannAssist has entered into a contract with the City of Leicester and has applied for a state cultivation grow license. The planned Leicester 86,000 square foot facility is expected to produce its first harvest in Q1 of 2020. This facility is expected to produce 28000 pounds of flower along with 240,000 grams of extract.  Once fully operational, total revenues from the facility are anticipated to exceed $100 million. CLS anticipates generating substantial positive cash flow from the grow facility.

Massachusetts has a population of 6.9 million people as compared to 5.6 million people in Colorado. Massachusetts is also centrally located to the dense population of New England with a less than 100-mile drive from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. The city of Denver currently has approximately 364 dispensaries compared with the entire State of Massachusetts, which currently has less than 50.

Jeff Binder, Chief Executive Officer of CLS Holdings USA, commented, 'We are extremely excited to enter into this agreement. The market dynamics in Massachusetts are compelling for large scale cultivation. The current cultivation in Mass is approximately 800k square feet, while demand is expected to exceed 8,000,000 square feet. This opportunity fits into our stated objective of entering markets that are on the cusp of implementing a robust adult use market'.

About CannAssist: CannAssist has entered into a contract with the city of Leicester and has applied for a state cultivation grow license.  It plans to build a facility that upon completion will have 86000 square feet of cultivation space making it one of the top 3 facilities in the state. The company expects to begin operations and realize its first harvest in Q1 of 2020.

About Oasis Cannabis: Oasis Cannabis has operated a cannabis dispensary in the Las Vegas market since dispensaries first opened in Nevada in 2015 and has been recognized as one of the top marijuana retailers in the state. Its location within walking distance to the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas in combination with its delivery service to residents allows it to efficiently serve both locals and tourists in the Las Vegas area. In February 2019, it was named "Best Dispensary for Pot Pros" by Desert Companion Magazine.

In August 2017, the company commenced wholesale offerings of cannabis in Nevada with the launch of its City Trees brand of cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products. http://oasiscannabis.com

About CLS Holdings USA, Inc:CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (CLSH) is a diversified cannabis company that acts as an integrated cannabis producer and retailer through its Oasis Cannabis subsidiaries in Nevada, and plans to expand to other states. CLS stands for "Cannabis Life Sciences," in recognition of the Company's patented proprietary method of extracting various cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and converting them into products with a higher level of quality and consistency. The Company's business model includes licensing operations, processing operations, processing facilities, sale of products, brand creation and consulting services."

Pyxus International Inc. (NYSE: PYX) is a global agricultural company with 145 years' experience delivering value-added products and services to businesses and customers. Pyxus International, Inc. recently announced the opening of its affiliate, Criticality, LLC's, industrial hemp extraction and purification facility located in Wilson, North Carolina. The 55,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility was unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening event on March 12. The facility is designed to follow good manufacturing practices and operate in compliance with dietary supplement standards. The hemp processed at the facility will be used to expertly craft and responsibly produce "Korent," Criticality's line of cannabidiol oil (CBD) products, as well as develop new products in its innovation pipeline. "Through our investment in Criticality—a North Carolina-based hemp processor—our goal is to become a leader in the production of CBD and related consumer products," said Pyxus President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Pieter Sikkel. "The opening of the facility is a critical step in achieving that goal and is a glimpse of what's to come in the future."

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. ("Newstrike") (TSX-V: HIP) recently announced that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement (the "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"). 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 centre 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."

Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-based cannabidiol ("CBD") wellness products. Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. recently reported its 2018 harvested hemp results. The Company reported more than a 10 times growth in harvested hemp compared to its 2017 grow season. The high-quality 100% U.S.-grown hemp will be processed through proprietary extraction methods to create whole plant hemp extract that will be used in Charlotte's Web products for sale in 2019 and 2020. "Charlotte's Web is one of only a few hemp CBD producers capable of supplying large volumes of high-quality hemp extract from its own supply chain that can meet significantly increasing market demand," said Hess Moallem, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charlotte's Web. "As the category and brand leader, our goal is to increase our market share and with this bountiful harvest we are able to satisfy our customer demands for 2019 and beyond. This incredible harvest ensures we can continue to produce our high-quality human nutrition products without being subject to constantly fluctuating market prices as is common with third-party sourced raw material. This allows us to have better control and predictability over our cost of goods sold and thereby our gross margins. In addition, these harvest levels will allow us to explore opportunities to supply future partners with our proprietary hemp extracts."

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) is a publicly traded, premium global organic cannabis company, with operations focused on medical cannabis markets in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as the Canadian adult-use market. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. recently announced that it has entered into a multi-year extraction services contract with Valens GroWorks Corp. (CSE: VGW) (OTC: VGWCF) ("Valens"). Under the terms of the initial 2-year agreement, Valens will process, extract and purify TGOD's cannabis and hemp biomass under conditions specified by TGOD as demanded by final product manufacturing and formulation requirements. TGOD will supply Valens with significant quantities of cannabis and hemp and Valens will provide extraction purification services processing the cannabis and hemp into premium quality resins and distillates. TGOD intends to use the concentrated cannabinoid resins and distillates to produce oils, sprays and capsules as well as oils for vaporization and future edible, beverage and topical products. "The ability to partner with skilled and specialized extraction operators such as Valens will add significant bench strength to TGOD's already robust extraction capabilities in Canada, Poland and Jamaica. We believe the importance of high-quality cannabis oils will continue to greatly increase as patients and consumers look for safer and healthier delivery methods." said the The Green Organic Dutchman in a press release.

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Last Updated: 21-Mar-2019