Xanthic Biopharma Inc. doing business as Green Growth Brands Ltd. (“Green Growth”) (CSE:GGB) announced today that it currently intends to make an offer (the “Offer”) to purchase all of the issued and outstanding common shares (the “Aphria Shares”) of Aphria Inc. (“Aphria” or the “Company”) (TSX: APHA and NYSE: APHA) which it does not already own.

The Offer will provide Aphria shareholders with 1.5714 common shares of Green Growth (the “Green Growth Shares”) for each Aphria Share and represents premiums of 45.5% over Aphria’s closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) on December 24, 2018 and 46.0% over Aphria’s volume weighted average price on the TSX for the last 10 trading days ended December 24, 2018.  The Offer values Aphria at approximately C$2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion) based on a valuation of C$7.00 per share for Green Growth Shares.


“We believe our offer will create value for both Aphria and Green Growth shareholders.  We are confident that the significant premium we are offering and the opportunity to participate in the growth of a stronger, combined company are so compelling that we are taking our offer directly to Aphria’s shareholders.  Together, we can unleash synergies between our teams, assets and geographies, forming a combined enterprise that will accelerate our collective growth strategies in Canada, the U. S. and overseas,” said Peter Horvath, CEO of Green Growth.

Green Growth expects to complete a concurrent brokered financing of C$300 million, at a price per share of C$7.00, to both illustrate confidence in the value of the consideration under the Offer and to fund the business growth of the combined entity. Green Growth expects that certain of its existing shareholders will commit to backstop the C$300 million financing concurrently with the execution of a business combination agreement with Aphria or the take up of shares under the anticipated Offer.

Prior to announcing its intention to take the Offer directly to shareholders, Green Growth engaged Aphria’s board to attempt to negotiate a friendly business combination that included, among other things, a very short exclusivity period to allow both parties to seriously consider the combination; a full go-shop provision in favor of Aphria; and the preservation of Aphria’s management and commitment to board representation at the combined company.  Aphria’s shareholders should be aware that Green Growth offered that upon a friendly business combination with support from Aphria’s board, Green Growth would invest C$50 million in equity at an Aphria per share value of C$11.00.

Why a Combined Green Growth and Aphria is Better for Shareholders

Combining Aphria with Green Growth is the fastest way to create significant value for shareholders of both companies. The combined entity:

Creates an Unparalleled North American Player with Canadian and U.S. Operations. Aphria has a large footprint in Canada and supply agreements with all provinces and the Yukon Territory and strong strategic partnerships establishing wholesale supply agreements.  Green Growth operates vertically integrated cannabis operations including cultivation, manufacturing and retail assets in Nevada, including recently being awarded seven retail cannabis dispensary licenses.  Together, the pro forma company will have a strong foundation, extensive retail relationships and infrastructure to capture significant future growth as international markets evolve.

Increases Scale, Footprint, and Creates the Preeminent U.S. Consolidator. The combined company will be the largest U.S. operator by market capitalization and the only North American cannabis operator.

Combines Aphria’s Cultivation and Production Capacity with Green Growth’s Retail Strength.  The combined company will marry Aphria’s low-cost cultivation and near-term production capacity with Green Growth’s vast retail know-how to capture market share while maintaining lean margins.  Aphria’s current cash cost per gram is C$1.30 and is expected to further decrease to C$0.95 per gram with projected annual capacity of over 250,000 kg by early 2019 (Aphria  Q1 2019 Investor Presentation dated October 11, 2018). Green Growth’s strong management team has a proven track record of delivering at the retail level and is already operating a best-in-class dispensary in Las Vegas.

Poised to Benefit from Transformational Cannabis-Related Regulatory Changes in the World’s Largest Cannabis Market. Green Growth will soon be rolling out a consumer-focused line of CBD products, initially focused on topicals and balms, and is well-positioned to benefit from further pro-cannabis U.S. regulation in the near-to-medium term.

Unites Best-in-Class Management Teams: Aphria’s Pharmaceutical and Greenhouse Operational Experience and Green Growth’s Proven Retail Expertise. Aphria’s team is comprised of veterans in the greenhouse industry and proven operators of large pharmaceutical companies.  Green Growth’s CEO held senior positions at a number of well-known retailers including Designer Shoe Warehouse Inc. and L Brands Inc. (Victoria’s Secret).  Additionally, Green Growth’s largest shareholder, the Schottenstein family, has deep relationships in the retail sector.

Benefits to Aphria Shareholders

While Aphria shareholders may be discouraged by recent events and having seen their investment significantly impacted, they should be aware of the immediate benefits of the Offer and reasons to tender:

  • Significant and immediate 45.5% premium to market price.
  • Meaningful ownership position in a combined entity that is poised for further growth.
  • Potential for further downward share price impact if the Offer is not accepted.

Green Growth believes it already has support for the Offer from Aphria shareholders holding approximately 10% of the outstanding Aphria Shares.  Green Growth has additionally acquired a meaningful toehold position in Aphria.

It is expected that following the Offering Green Growth will continue to be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol GGB.

Questions? Need more help? Aphria shareholders should contact Kingsdale Advisors, the information agent and depositary for the Offer, at 1-866-851-3214 (North American Toll-Free Number) or +1-416-867-2272 (Outside North America) or via email at contactus@kingsdaleadvisors.com.

Intention to Make an Offer

Full details of the Offer are expected to be set out in the formal Offer and take-over bid circular which is expected to be mailed to Aphria shareholders, a copy of which is expected to be available at www.sedar.com under Aphria’s profile.  Green Growth expects to formally commence the Offer and mail the Offer and take-over bid circular to Aphria shareholders over the coming weeks.

Readers are cautioned that Green Growth may determine not to make the Offer if (i) Aphria implements or attempts to implement defensive tactics in relation to the Offer, (ii) Green Growth uncovers or its contemplated funding sources uncover or otherwise identify information suggesting that the business, affairs, prospects or assets of Aphria have been impaired or uncovers or otherwise identifies other undisclosed material adverse information concerning Aphria or (iii) Aphria determines to engage with Green Growth to negotiate the terms of a combination transaction and Aphria and Green Growth determine to undertake that transaction utilizing a structure other than a take-over bid such as a plan of arrangement.  Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the Offer will be made or that the final terms of the Offer will be as set out in this news release. In addition, the contemplated consummation of a concurrent brokered financing of C$300 million, at a price per share of C$7.00, and the contemplated backstop commitment in that regard, are subject to a variety of contingencies and conditions, including satisfactory completion of customary due diligence as to both Aphria and Green Growth, agreement on mutually agreeable definitive documentation, and other customary undertakings and conditions. No binding commitment of any kind has yet been made in this regard, and readers should not assume any such commitment will be made unless and until reflected in a binding instrument agreed by the contemplated funding sources, which cannot and should not be assumed or assured.

The Offer will be undertaken in accordance with National Instrument 62-104 – Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids and will be subject to a number of customary conditions, including: (i) there being deposited under the Offer, and not withdrawn, at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding Aphria Shares (calculated on a fully diluted basis), excluding Aphria Shares held by Green Growth; (ii) receipt of all governmental, regulatory, stock exchange and third party approvals that Green Growth considers necessary or desirable in connection with the Offer; (iii) there being no legal prohibition against Green Growth making the Offer or taking up and paying for the Aphria Shares; (iv) Aphria not having adopted or implemented a shareholder rights plan, disposed of any assets, incurred any material debts, implemented any changes in its capital structure or otherwise implemented or attempted to implement a defensive tactic; (v) no material adverse change having occurred in the business, affairs, prospects or assets of Aphria; (v) Green Growth not becoming aware of Aphria having made any untrue statement of a material fact or omitting to state a material fact that is required to be made to any securities regulatory authority; (vi) approval by the shareholders of Green Growth in accordance with the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange; and (vii) the statutory minimum condition that 50% of the Aphria Shares having been tendered to the Offer, excluding Aphria Shares held by or over which control is exercised by Green Growth (which cannot be waived).  If the Offer proceeds, Green Growth expects to call during the first quarter of 2019 a meeting of its shareholders to consider a resolution to approve the issuance of the Green Growth Shares in connection with the Offer. Green Growth expects the Offer, when made, will remain open for an acceptance period of at least 105 days from the date of mailing its take-over bid circular.  It is within the power of the Board of Directors of Aphria to significantly shorten this minimum bid period, allowing shareholders to receive the benefits of Green Growth’s offer in only 35 days.  Shareholders of the Company are encouraged to contact Aphria and to urge management and the Board to allow Green Growth’s takeover bid to proceed in the minimum time frame allowed.

Advisors

Green Growth Brands has retained Canaccord Genuity as its financial advisor, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP as its legal advisor, and Kingsdale Advisors as its strategic shareholder and communications advisor and depositary.

About Green Growth Brands
Green Growth brands expects to dominate the cannabis and CBD market with a portfolio of emotion-driven brands that people love.  Led by renowned retailer Peter Horvath, the GGB team is full of retail renegades with decades of experience building successful brands.  Join the movement at GreenGrowthBrands.com.

Media Contact:
Ian Robertson
Executive Vice President, Communication Strategy
Kingsdale Advisors
Direct: 416-867-2333
Cell: 647-621-2646
Email: irobertson@kingsdaleadvisors.com

Cautionary Statement in Forward-Looking Information [NTD: Subject to ongoing review]

This press release contains certain statements and information which constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws.  Wherever possible, forward-looking information can be identified by the expressions “seeks”, “expects”, “believes”, “estimates”, “will”, “plans”, “may”, “believes”, “anticipates,” “target” and similar expressions (or the negative of such expressions).  The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but reflect the current expectations of Green Growth regarding future results or events and are based on information currently available to it.  The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release include, but are not limited to, (i) the Offer, the terms of the Offer and the anticipated timing of commencement of the Offer, (ii) the benefit of the Offer to both Green Growth and the Company, including the creation of wealth and value and the synergies that may be created by the Offer, (iii) the C$300 financing, its timing and terms, (iv) expectations regarding the ownership, management, operation and size of Green Growth following completion of the Offer, (v) the future strategy and plans of Green Growth, including following the Offering, and (vi) the cannabis industry and regulatory environment.  Certain material factors and assumptions were applied in providing this forward-looking information.  All material assumptions used in making forward-looking statements are based on Green Growth’s knowledge of its business and the business of Aphria, and, in some cases, information supplied by third parties, including the public disclosure made by the Company. Certain material factors or assumptions include, but are not limited to, (i) the current business conditions and expectations of future business conditions and trends affecting Green Growth and Aphria, including the US and Canadian economy, the cannabis industry in Canada, the US and elsewhere, and capital markets, and (ii) that there have been no material changes in the business, affairs, capital, prospects or assets of the Company, except as publicly disclosed by the Company before the date hereof. All forward-looking statements in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements.  Green Growth believes that the expectations reflected in forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions; however, Green Growth can give no assurance that the actual results or developments will be realized by certain specified dates or at all.  These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to vary materially from current expectations.  In addition to risks noted elsewhere in this news release, material risks include, but are not limited to, (i) the risk that the Offer will not be commenced or that the conditions to the Offer will not be met, or met on a timely basis, or that the transaction will not be consummated for any other reason, (ii) changes in general economic conditions in Canada, the United States and elsewhere, (iii) changes in operating conditions (including changes in the regulatory environment) affecting the cannabis industry, (iv) fluctuations in currency and interest rates, availability materials and personnel, and (v) Green Growth’s ability to successfully integrate the operations of Green Growth and Aphria following completion of the Offer, including ability to retain key Aphria personnel and renegotiate certain contracts to obtain economies of scale or other synergies.  Readers, therefore, should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking information.  Further,  forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made.  Green Growth undertakes no obligation to publicly update any such statement or to reflect new information or the occurrence of future events or circumstances except as required by securities laws.  These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release. Cautionary Statement Respecting the Proposed Offer

GREEN GROWTH HAS NOT YET COMMENCED THE OFFER NOTED ABOVE.  UPON COMMENCEMENT OF THE OFFER, GREEN GROWTH WILL DELIVER THE TAKE-OVER BID CIRCULAR TO HOLDERS OF THE SHARES IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE CANADIAN SECURITIES LAWS AND WILL FILE A TAKE-OVER BID CIRCULAR WITH THE SECURITIES COMMISSIONS IN EACH OF THE PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES OF CANADA.  THE TAKE-OVER BID CIRCULAR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFER AND SHOULD BE READ IN ITS ENTIRETY BY APHRIA’S SHAREHOLDERS.  AFTER THE OFFER IS COMMENCED, APHRIA’S SHAREHOLDERS WILL BE ABLE TO OBTAIN, AT NO CHARGE, A COPY OF THE TAKE-OVER BID CIRCULAR AND VARIOUS ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS UNDER APHRIA’S PROFILE ON THE SYSTEM FOR ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT ANALYSIS AND RETRIEVAL (SEDAR) AT WWW.SEDAR.COM.  THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR FORM PART OF ANY OFFER TO BUY OR INVITATION TO SELL, OTHERWISE ACQUIRE, OR SUBSCRIBE FOR ANY SECURITY.  THE OFFER WILL ONLY BE MADE PURSUANT TO A FORMAL OFFER AND TAKE-OVER BID CIRCULAR.  THE OFFER WILL NOT BE MADE IN, NOR WILL DEPOSITS OF SECURITIES BE ACCEPTED FROM A PERSON IN, ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE MAKING OR ACCEPTANCE THEREOF WOULD NOT BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAWS OF SUCH JURISDICTION.  HOWEVER, GREEN GROWTH MAY, IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION, TAKE SUCH ACTION AS IT DEEMS NECESSARY TO EXTEND THE OFFER IN ANY SUCH JURISDICTION.

United States:

Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  Securities will not be offered, nor will deposits of securities be accepted from a person, in any State of the United States in which the offering of securities, or acceptance thereof, would not be in compliance with the laws of such jurisdiction.

Neither the SEC nor any securities commission of any State of the United States has (a) approved or disapproved of the Offer, (b) passed upon the merits or fairness of the Offer, or (c) passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of the disclosure in this document. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense in the United States.

Click here to connect with Green Growth Brands (CSE:GGB) for an Investor Presentation.

Source: globenewswire.com

Progressive Planet Solutions Inc. (TSXV: PLAN) (“PLAN” or “Progressive Planet”), announces that, further to its news releases dated December 22, 2020 and January 7, 2021 the Company has closed its non-brokered private placement financing comprising of 7,500,000 units, at $0.10 per unit, for total gross proceeds of $750,000 .

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/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES /

 Revive Therapeutics Ltd. (” Revive ” or the ” Company “) (CSE: RVV) ( USA : RVVTF), a specialty life sciences company focused on the research and development of therapeutics for medical needs and rare disorders, is pleased to announce that is has entered into an agreement with Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Leede Jones Gable Inc. as the co-lead underwriters (collectively, the ” Underwriters “), pursuant to which the Underwriters have agreed to purchase, on a bought-deal basis, 20,000,000 units (the ” Equity Units “) at a price of $0.50 per Equity Unit for gross proceeds to the Company of $10,000,000 (the ” Offering “).

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The Australian cannabis market has been maturing since medical marijuana was federally legalised in 2016.

The next year, Food Standards Australia New Zealand legalised low-THC hemp food for human consumption in Australia. The country went on to legalise medical marijuana exports in 2018, allowing medicinal marijuana products developed in Australia to be exported to licenced recipients in countries where the drug is legal.

Recreational cannabis remains federally illegal in the country, but recent legislation shows the door may be opening. In 2019, the Australian Capital Territory passed a bill allowing for the possession and growth of small amounts of cannabis for personal use. The law went into effect on January 31, 2020.

More recently, in late 2020, the Therapeutic Goods Administration greenlit the sale of low-dose cannabidiol (CBD) through over-the-counter methods without a prescription. The ruling from the Australian regulatory agency is expected to officially come into effect in February 2021.

With these and other changes in the works, Australia’s cannabis industry is projected to have long-term potential. The legal cannabis market in Oceania is expected to be worth US$1.55 billion by 2024, with Australia accounting for 79 percent of the region’s market, Prohibition Partners forecasts.

According to a study from FreshLeaf Analytics, the value of the medical market in Australia reached AU$95 million in 2020, and the firm expects revenue to jump again to over AU$150 million in 2021. In short, Australia’s role in the global cannabis industry will certainly continue to grow.

Here the Investing News Network profiles 10 ASX cannabis stocks with market caps between AU$30 million and AU$225 million. All ASX cannabis stocks below are listed in order of market capitalization from largest to smallest, with data compiled using TradingView’s stock screener on January 12, 2021.

1. Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH)

Market cap: AU$209.83 million

Creso Pharma was the first company to import medical cannabis into Australia and the first to launch these products in Switzerland for people, as well as animals. The cannabis company’s anibidiol product was the first hemp CBD complementary feed in animal health thanks to a partnership with Virbac Switzerland. Creso Pharma has also launched cannaQIX in Switzerland; it was the first CBD nutraceutical in human health.

The company’s medicinal cannabis product lines cover therapeutics, nutraceuticals, animal health, lifestyle and topicals.

2. Cann Group (ASX:CAN)

Market cap: AU$176.84 million

Cann Group provides a range of medicinal cannabis products for patients in Australia and globally. In 2017, the company was granted Australia’s first cannabis research licence, as well as the first medicinal marijuana cultivation licence. Cann Group partners with leading medical scientists in Australia to research and harness the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, terpenes and other bioactive constituents of cannabis.

The company has secured supply agreements in global cannabis markets, including the UK, Germany and other European segments.

3. Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL)

Market cap: AU$166.42 million

Incannex Healthcare is a clinical-stage cannabinoid medicine company with global export capacity. It has four clinical programs underway for the development of a variety of cannabis medicinal products aimed at major unmet medical needs, including obstructive sleep apnea, traumatic brain injury/concussion, sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome and temporomandibular joint disorder.

In 2020, the company worked to advance its clinical trials. By the second half of the year, cannabinoid products accounted for Incannex’s entire revenue stream.

4. Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT)

Market cap: AU$131.37 million

Botanix Pharmaceuticals has a product pipeline that includes three advanced clinical programs using synthetic cannabidiol for the topical treatment of serious skin diseases and for antimicrobial applications. The company also has an exclusive licence to use a proprietary drug-delivery system called Permetrex for direct skin delivery of pharmaceuticals.

Botanix Pharmaceuticals’ programs are focused on treating acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis and microbial infection. The company secured a clear development path for its BTX 1801 synthetic cannabidiol antimicrobial product after the successful completion of a pre-investigational new drug meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration.

5. Althea Group Holdings (ASX:AGH)

Market cap: AU$114.2 million

Althea Group Holdings takes the concept of medical cannabis a step further with its work as a pharmaceutical-grade cannabis supplier. In addition to offering relief through accessible medical cannabis, the company is implementing components of the plant in its research on advanced drugs.

Althea has successfully expanded into the global cannabis market with a wholesale supply agreement to import a range of Althea-branded finished products for sale and distribution in South Africa beginning in Q2 2021. This agreement came on the heels of the news that the company is slated to become the first commercial supplier of Australian medicinal cannabis extract products to the German market, with all necessary licences for sale and distribution granted by the German government.

6. Zelira Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD)

Market cap: AU$113.79 million

Zelira Therapeutics’ efforts are on unmet clinical needs and on using medicinal cannabis to treat a range of diseases and disorders. Its most common target areas include pain, anxiety and sleep.

Zelira is largely focused on developing treatment options using plant-based medicinal marijuana, and currently has three clinical-stage programs with a focus on insomnia, autism and opioid reduction. The company is also conducting a pre-clinical research program to test cannabinoids in breast, brain and pancreatic cancer.

7. Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC)

Market cap: AU$75.51 million

Medlab Clinical is a medical research and development company focused on novel biotherapeutics such as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. The company is also developing pharmaceutical cannabis products.

In early 2020, Medlab Clinical launched the NanaBis Observation Study in Australia. NanaBis is a cannabis-based pain treatment drug that may prove useful as an alternative to opioid medication. It is also being used to investigate cancer pain management.

8. BOD Australia (ASX:BDA)

Market cap: AU$49.25 million

BOD Australia is focused on cannabis and hemp-related products. It develops, distributes and markets health and skincare products created using plant-based extracts in Australia. The company secured a foothold in the European cannabis market in 2020 with a AU$200,000 purchase order for four Swiss-branded hemp seed oil products to be sold in France, the Netherlands and the UK.

BOD Australia’s reach in Australia ranges from selling prescription and over-the-counter products to more than 1,000 outlets, such as pharmacies, retail stores and healthcare chains. It also has distribution agreements with two pharmacy wholesalers in Australia.

9. IDT Australia (ASX:IDT)

Market cap: AU$42.47 million

One of Australia’s oldest listed life science companies, IDT Australia is a pharmaceutical manufacturing company with extensive experience in the development and production of pharmaceutical products. Through its GMP-compliant facilities, the company provides full-scale services for new drug development, plus scale-up and commercial active drug manufacturing for local and international clients.

IDT Australia’s clients include Cann Group; IDT Australia is the manufacturer of the medical cannabis products that are a part of two of Cann Group’s export supply agreements with European and UK partners.

10. MMJ Group Holdings (ASX:MMJ)

Market cap: AU$31.04 million

MMJ Group Holdings has a wide range of cannabis investments, including healthcare products, technology, infrastructure, logistics, processing, cultivation, equipment, retail and research and development.

Among other companies, it has invested in Harvest One Cannabis (TSXV:HVT,OTCQB:HRVOF), which develops health and wellness products; Fire & Flower Holdings (TSXV:FAF,OTCQX:FFLWF), a recreational cannabis retailer that’s developed a variety of cannabis products and accessories; and MediPharm Labs (TSXV:LABS,OTQQX:MEDIF), a cannabis extraction company that received its cannabis oil production licence from Health Canada in 2018. MediPharm Labs has launched cannabis extraction services in Australia.

Investor takeaway

The presence of these ASX-listed cannabis companies shows that the cannabis industry in Australia is undoubtedly growing, as are investment opportunities in Australia’s cannabis industry. While recreational marijuana remains illegal in the land down under, the medical cannabis industry is thriving, making that side of the sector worth considering.

So far, Australia has no timeline attached to the legality of recreational use of marijuana, but it will be a story to watch over the coming years for those interested in the space.

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Legal cannabis is spreading. According to a new report by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach US$73.6 billion by 2027 with a compound annual growth rate of 18.1 percent.

A survey of over 1,000 US consumers found that the modern cannabis user is largely representative of the general population. Moreover, cannabis consumption today blurs the lines between strictly recreational or medical. In fact, more than 50 percent of consumers report using cannabis for both purposes. As THC and CBD products make their way into an even wider array of product categories, our frame of reference for the modern cannabis user will continue to evolve.

In 2019, the medical cannabis market took home a leading revenue share of 71 percent, driven by the widespread adoption of cannabis as a pharmaceutical alternative for a wide range of conditions, including cancer, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and more. A growing need for effective pain management therapies is expected to boost product demand even further.

This INNspired Article is brought to you by:

Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (TSXV:KHRN) is a vertically-integrated medical cannabis company fully licensed to conduct its core operations in Colombia.Send me an Investor Kit

Major telehealth platforms in the medical cannabis industry

Telehealth represents the intersection between innovative technology and the forefront of medical science. While remote medical practice saw its beginnings more than half a century ago, recent technological advancements have connected more patients to physicians than ever before.

In the US, platforms like NuggMD and IndicaMD provide patients with an online medical cannabis card that enables remote purchase of the drug. Patients can meet with physicians over secure video chat and can be approved to access cannabis within minutes. Physicians typically follow-up with patients by email, recommending the types of cannabis that would best alleviate their ailments and ensuring that they don’t purchase the wrong products. Other platforms exist to oversee the rapid delivery of cannabis and hemp products to patients across participating states.

Other parts of the world are undergoing the same transition. It has been more than eight years since Colombia — a country that represents more than a quarter of the world’s total export quotas — decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the drug, and roughly four years since the country legalized medical cannabis. In 2019, Colombia’s Constitutional Court overruled a ban on the public consumption of cannabis, which many considered a stepping stone toward full legalization. Recently, Colombia became one of the first countries in the world to extend national health insurance for patients requiring medical cannabis as a first-line therapy.

Khiron Life Sciences (TSXV:KHRN) was the first firm in Colombia authorized to sell both high and low THC formulations of medical cannabis. The company owns a telehealth platform that has accounted for over 5,600 medical cannabis prescriptions issued to date. Additionally, in June 2020 the company’s Doctor Zerenia telehealth platform was responsible for 14 percent of Khiron’s total medical consultations.

Since becoming the first company to fill medical cannabis prescriptions in Colombia, Khiron reports that 92 percent of its patients have experienced a marked improvement in their primary condition after four months of treatment. In light of these results, the Government of Colombia issued a directive that Khiron’s medical cannabis products and clinic services be covered by the country’s major health insurance providers. While countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic have taken similar legislative actions, a key difference in Colombia is that cannabis is considered a first line therapy with a vast array of applicable medical conditions. With more than 94 percent of Colombia’s population carrying health insurance policies, Colombia is quickly becoming one of the most favourable jurisdictions in the world for patient access; moreover, it has been shown that patient uptake is significantly increased by insurance coverage.

The next step forward for telehealth platforms includes opportunities such as virtual patient education and the fast, reliable delivery of essential drugs such as medical marijuana. Virtual care is also expected to expand across different types of patients, including those requiring intensive care. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many long-term care facilities have already adapted remote patient monitoring to maintain the safety of staff and patients.

The focus: Accessibility and improving patient outcomes

Medical marijuana has the power to improve patient outcomes across demographics. In the wake of groundbreaking research, patients, physicians and retailers are working together to increase the drug’s accessibility for patients who require relief from a range of health conditions. Telehealth platforms have been instrumental in not only increasing accessibility to medical marijuana, but also in improving quality of life across diverse populations of people.

A recent study completed by Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED) in November 2020 found the absence of long-term toxicity despite long-term usage of CBD in a preclinical model, supporting the advancement of recent initiatives aimed at discovering CBD’s full range of therapeutic benefits. While CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) offer many of the same benefits, high levels of THC are responsible for most of cannabis’s psychoactive effects.

While the chronic pain segment dominated the medical cannabis market in 2019, application toward mental illness is expected to witness the fastest growth over the seven-year forecast period. Worldwide, a growing number of people suffer from depression, anxiety and other debilitating mental conditions with few low-risk pharmaceutical alternatives.

Medical cannabis is also becoming more popular among older adults. A recent study highlighted that cannabis use among individuals aged 65 and older has been steadily increasing, a trend that is consistent with reports from physicians who recommend cannabis in their daily practices. In the face of growing public acceptance and reduced stigma, we are beginning to see an increasing number of older adults rely on cannabis for relief against chronic pain, insomnia, neuropathy, anxiety and other conditions that traditionally call upon pharmaceuticals.

Much of the momentum in the medical cannabis market can be owed to the rise of telehealth platforms and health digitization efforts, increasing ease of access and promoting transparency. Over the next decade, legalization, increased awareness and the rise of remote medicine are expected to facilitate growth, creating lucrative opportunities for market stakeholders.

Takeaway

Telehealth platforms represent one of the easiest ways for patients, providers and retailers to collaborate remotely and fulfill needs faster. As more physicians and policymakers begin to recognize digital health tools as an advantage for maximizing efficiency and safety in health care, existing medical cannabis platforms are well-positioned to take advantage of a large-scale digital transition.

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 BioHarvest Sciences Inc. (CSE: BHSC) (the “Company” or “BioHarvest”) invites its shareholders and the general public to join a Live Video Conference (“Webinar”) on Thursday, January 21st, 2021 at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time). Ilan Sobel, CEO of BHSC, will host the event and discuss progress on Bioharvest’s Growth Plan, which will include highlights of the 2020 milestones achieved, key business capabilities built, and will provide an important overview of 2021 Priorities.

The presentation will be approximately 35 minutes, followed by a live question and answer session.

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