This past trading week (Dec. 18-22) saw the formal intention of Mexico to legalize the sale of cannabis-based products. An update on the licenses given by Health Canada to producers and company news complete this week’s Cannabis Weekly Round-Up.

Mexico to legalize cannabis-based products

Arturo Tornel, spokesman for Mexican health regulator Cofepris said the country will allow cannabis-based products into the public market, a report from Reuters indicated. While this new regulation doesn’t apply to sell of marijuana alone, companies will be allowed to import cannabis-based products, “with some companies eventually producing items Mexico using marijuana grown abroad,” the report said.
In May, the Lower House of Congress in Mexico voted in favor of a bill approving the use of cannabis for medical and scientific uses. The bill became law later in June. At the time Aaron Salz, an advisor for Canadian companies in the cannabis sector with Stoic Advisory, told INN the potential for partnerships across Canada and Mexico.
“You will definitely see interest in companies right away in exporting to the Mexican market and to aiding those companies there in getting things set up,” Salz said of the Mexican approval earlier this year.

Canadian market update

With the recreational market right around the corner in 2018, it has been expected that a shortage of cannabis is set to take place in Canada, as the demand from new users could become far greater than the supply from Licensed Producers (LPs). As such Health Canada has worked to increase the number of official producers in the market by streamlining the arduous process in May. Since then, The Canadian Press reported, the Canadian regulator had doubled the number of regulated producers to 80.
“A wave of pending applications has the potential to nearly triple the number of producers operating in a legal recreational market,” the report indicated. Health Canada spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau said there were some applicants in the late stages of their approval process in early December.
During the week headlines were plentiful from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments on the intended legalization date of cannabis. “The date will not be July 1, I can assure you of that,” Trudeau said when asked of the date. “I don’t know where that date came from.” The clarification wasn’t a delay as the government hadn’t specified the July 1, 2018, date. Instead, Trudeau offered “next summer” as the proposed timeline for the Cannabis Act to be enacted.
“I think, more likely than not, we’re going to see this happen in July of 2018 and I don’t think anybody at this point has a date on what that’s going to be,” Deepak Anand, vice president of government relations at Cannabis Compliance, a consulting firm for cannabis companies, told INN.

Company news

MedReleaf (TSX:LEAF) has officially joined some of its fellow competitors in partnering with a pharmacy. The LP signed a deal with Shoppers Drug Mart, the same pharmacy Aphria (TSX: APH; OTC:APHQF) united with, to become a medical cannabis supplier. This deal, like Aphria’s one, lives on the condition that the law changes at one point and the major pharmacy is allowed to sell cannabis products. MedReleaf said it only expects to see its products available on the Shoppers online site.
It was unclear if MedReleaf will offer its products exclusively to Shoppers Drug Mart if the law is changed in the future.
This past week Friday Night Inc. (CSE: TGIF; OTCQB:TGIFF) acquired Body and Mind (CSE:BAMM; OTC:BMMJ), a cannabis producer and an early license applicant for the state of Nevada. This acquisition now gives Friday Night nearly 130,000 extra square feet of production facility. The transaction will be completed next year.
“The transaction is expected to be structured by way of an amalgamation between BAM and a wholly owned Nevada subsidiary of TGIF, in which the shareholders of BAM will receive common shares in the capital of TGIF in exchange for their shares of BAM. TGIF will issue 115,000,000 TGIF Shares for all of the BAM shares. The final structure of the transaction will be subject to advice from BAM and TGIF tax, financial and legal advisors,” Friday Night said.
Robert Hasman, president of Body and Mind said this deal was a win for its shareholders and was “only the beginning” of a larger consolidation trend.

The deals from Cannabis Wheaton Income (TSXV:CBW) continue, this past week the company announced it was funding a new production facility from its streaming partner CannTx Life Sciences in Ontario. CannTx Life Sciences is an LP hopeful, missing a “confirmation of readiness” for an inspection of its facility. The first stage of the construction will cost Cannabis Wheaton $5 million, while the phase two expansion will be $7 million.
The Canadian marijuana ETF saw growth in its value this past trading week. Over the five-day trading period, the Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) saw a 3.36 percent increase. As of 1:40 p.m. EST on Friday, the ETF traded at $15.69. Since its inception earlier this year, the index has gone up 53.07 percent.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience and @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Friday Night Inc. is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

** This article is updated each week. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information**

Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: WHO Report Says There’s No Health Risks with CBD

Dec. 15 – By Bryan Mc Govern
This past trading week (Dec. 11-15) it was reported the World Health Organization, through a preliminary report, had combated the idea that cannabis could be a danger to the human body. An end of year update from the Investing News Network (INN) and market news complete this week’s cannabis weekly round-up. 
As part of our overall year-end review, INN has been publishing Outlook articles on each one of our sectors. Be sure to check out our trends of 2017 and our outlook for 2018 in the world of cannabis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) took a big step in announcing cannabidiol (CBD) a compound of cannabis is in fact not harmful to the human body. “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential,” WHO said. Researchers have advocated in the past to the potential benefits of cannabis in terms of medical use. Moving forward, with the legalization trend sweeping countries across the world, it seems regulations will allow more in-depth research into the treatment potential from CBD.
In a preliminary report WHO  explained the non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis doesn’t cause dependency and would not be associated with abuse potential, according to a Forbes report. Advocates of the drug have championed its non-dependency as a way to combat the opioid epidemic in North America.
A report by the Financial Post indicated Aphria (TSX:APH; OTC: APHQF)  would “purify” its balance sheet and cut down their interests in the US market. This past year the company has faced a critical challenge from the TMX Group, warning of the illegality of cannabis on a federal level in the States, and how the company could even be delisted if it continued to hold assets there. Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria has repeatedly defended his company’s position in the US and updated shareholders saying the company was in constant discussion with the TMX Group.
Things appear to be changing for the Canadian producer. “We are trying to endeavor as best as possible, as expeditiously as possible, to divest from Aphria any direct involvement in any medical cannabis that we have in the U.S.,” Neufeld told the Financial Post.

Market news

On Wednesday, (Dec. 13) Lexaria Bioscience (CSE:LXX; OTCQB:LXRP) announced it had obtained a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the use of DehydraTECH technology as a delivery platform for a wide variety of active pharmaceutical ingredients, according to the company including all cannabinoids, THC, fat-soluble vitamins; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications and nicotine.
“This ground-breaking, patented IP builds a foundation for new business opportunities in 2018 including what could be the world’s first nicotine edibles for the smokeless tobacco industry, or improved new products for NSAID-derived pain management, as well as in the rapidly growing cannabis market,” Chris Bunka, CEO of the company said in their statement.

ICC Labs (TSXV:ICC), formerly known as the ICC International Cannabis Corporation officially changed its name in order to reflect their transformation into a producer of cannabinoid products for medical use in South America.
Although the first medicinal product that ICC will release to the market is branded CBD oil, ‘BIDIOL’, our business plan includes a wide range of high-value pharmaceutical and medicinal products from tablets, soft capsules, ointments, creams, drops, syrups to patches,” Alejandro Antalich CEO of ICC said further emphasizing their medical products offering.
The Canadian marijuana ETF saw growth in its value this past trading week. Over the five-day trading period, the Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) saw a 3.32 percent increase. As of 1:30 p.m. EST on Friday, the ETF traded at $15.24. Since its inception earlier this year, the index has gone up 48.68 percent.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience and @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Lexaria Bioscience is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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