Creso Pharma has appointed two former Canopy Growth executives to the senior management team of its wholly-owned Mernova Medical Inc. in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The pair are former employees of Canopy Growth Corp, the world’s largest cannabis company by market capitalization, currently capped at C$6.8 billion, having once hit the heights of C$24 billion.
Mr. Jack Yu has been appointed as managing director and brings expert-level knowledge of cannabis cultivation and production from 25 years of practical experience growing cannabis, including nine years of consulting for licensed Canadian medicinal cannabis growers. Mr. Yu’s experience includes working for Canopy Growth the world’s largest cannabis company by market cap in the position of Production Manager.
He also held the role of Interim Cultivation Manager for Canopy’s Newfoundland, Edmonton, Eastern Canada, and Scarborough facilities, and previously held the position of Master Grower for MedReleaf Corp., which is now owned by Aurora Cannabis Inc.
Furthermore, he consulted for Health Canada license applicants throughout the process to attain licenses for cultivation, production, and sales of medicinal cannabis in Canada.
As Managing Director, Mr. Yu will replace outgoing Managing Director Mr. Bill Fleming, and will be responsible for managing all operations at Mernova and will work closely with the Creso Pharma Board.
Isaac Allen has been appointed Vice President.
Mr. Allen has significant expertise in optimizing business operations from executive positions in industries spanning cannabis, insurance, technology, and entertainment.
He was formerly National Operations Process Improvement Manager at Canopy, where he developed and executed several business strategies and efficiency initiatives.
He is also the founder and former chief executive of a disruptive insurance technology start-up and has held senior executive positions at various companies.
Mernova close to achieving European Union GMP certification Mernova continues to work towards securing European Union Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification.
Once this certification is obtained, Creso Pharma will be able to begin sales of high-quality cannabis flowers and oil into the established and growing consumer markets in countries such as Germany and Switzerland.
Mernova is also continuing to ramp up production and sales in North America, with its latest deal closing last week at a value of approximately C$410,000.
The sale was comprised of varying quantities of four strains of Mernova’s high-quality cannabis flower, and Creso Pharma has received the full purchase amount from the buyer.
For the full year 2019, Mernova’s revenues were AU860,000 (C$761,000), highlighting that the recent sale represented more than 60% of full-year revenues in 2019, making for an excellent start to the year.
The facility is scaling up to full production capacity which Creso Pharma expects it to achieve this year.
Highlighting the diversified experience the new executive appointments bring to Creso Pharma, chief executive Miri Halperin Wernli said, “We are looking forward to Mr. Yu and Mr. Allen joining the leadership team at Mernova.
‘’Both of them bring practical experience from a variety of fields, not only limited to the cannabis industry.
’We believe that they will be invaluable to Mernova and Creso Pharma as we continue to ramp up production and sales.’’
Mernova vice president Isaac Allen said, “Mernova is emerging to be a promising supplier of premium quality flower and oil to customers across the globe, and a compelling opportunity for investors looking to gain exposure to a first-class cannabis production facility. ’I am confident that I will be able to help Mernova further optimize its business operations as it moves closer to obtaining its EU GMP certification.”
Mernova Managing Director Jack Yu also pointed to his relevant attributes in terms of gaining European Union certification in saying, “I am excited to be taking Mernova forward as it looks to scale up its production capacity this year.
“I believe my knowledge of cannabis cultivation and production, as well as my experience in working with Health Canada, will prove a real asset to Mernova as it looks to secure the certification that will allow it to commence sales in Europe.”
Regulated Solutions Group (RSG) and The Restaurant People (TRP) have agreed to postpone CannaFest, scheduled for May 2nd, as well as their CBD Dinner Series scheduled for April 2nd and 3rd, due to coronavirus concerns.
In a joint statement, RSG and TRP stated – “With the uncertainty of how the virus will be impacting the Florida community over the next few months, we have decided to postpone CannaFest to a later date. We take the safety and health of our guests, staff, brand partners and the Florida community very seriously so feel this is the right decision. We look forward to bringing CannaFest to South Florida in the near future and will take our direction from the medical community on the right time to do so.”
CannaFest, hosted at TRP’s venue Township in FT. Lauderdale, brings together CBD and Hemp brands, Cannabis medical treatment centers and over 1,000 consumers for a day of education, interactive experiences, food, cocktails, and live music.
Ken Ramirez, CEO of Alt Thirty Six, a Tempe, Arizona based digital payment and compliance platform designed to help the cannabis industry go cashless has released a formal statement to the cannabis industry regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). “In the wake of the growing public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s now more important than ever to take precautionary steps to limit the spread of contagion and reduce the risks of exposure to ourselves and our communities,” said Ramirez.
Alt Thirty Six announced that effective immediately, the company is temporarily waiving all transaction fees for delivery purchases for new and existing qualifying merchants until April 20, 2020. To better support merchants and customers during this period, Alt Thirty Six has increased internal resources to expedite the underwriting and approval process for merchants to begin accepting digital payments within 24 hours and handle all customer inquiries.
“We understand the financial impact on cannabis operators – like many other industries – will suffer losses in both customer and vendor demand. Alt Thirty Six is committed now more than ever to providing a cashless solution to cannabis merchants and consumers alike while doing our part to help mitigate some of the loss,” said Ramirez.
Pineapple Express, a delivery-focused cannabis dispensary based in Los Angeles, California began accepting Alt Thirty Six payments in November 2019. Since implementing they have increased sales, productivity, and overall customer satisfaction. “Alt Thirty Six has been the most convenient payment processor at very reasonable rates. With zero fees on deliveries during this unprecedented time, Pineapple Express will be able to pass the savings on to our customers and help more patients in need,” said Josh Eisenberg, COO of Pineapple, Inc.
Alt Thirty Six is the leading digital commerce infrastructure for legal cannabis businesses and customers by enabling simple and secure digital purchases. Alt Thirty Six provides proprietary technology, partnership platform, and banking relationships to the legal cannabis industry, helping merchants manage digital payments in-store, online and via delivery services to grow and run their business efficiently and stay compliant. Consumers pay for their products with one click digitally, take advantage of loyalty programs and custom promotions.
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved bipartisan bills that would increase access to state-legal medical cannabis for military veterans and expand research into the potential medical benefits of cannabis for conditions commonly diagnosed in veterans.
The committee approved the Veterans Equal Access Act in a 15-11 vote and approved the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act in a voice vote with no opposition.
The Veterans Equal Access Act (H.R. 1647), sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would allow physicians and other healthcare workers employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical cannabis in compliance with state laws and fill out any forms necessary to certify patients for a state medical cannabis program.
The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act (H.R. 712), sponsored by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct clinical trials researching the health outcomes of using medical cannabis to treat chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A 2017 study by the American Legion found that veterans overwhelmingly support federally legalizing medical cannabis (83%) and support research into medical cannabis (92%). To date, 33 states and Washington, D.C. have effective medical marijuana programs.
“Today’s committee vote is an encouraging step forward for federal cannabis reform. Now that a majority of states have legalized cannabis for medical use, it is indefensible to restrict veterans’ ability to access medical cannabis through their VA providers while members of Congress can use their federally subsidized health insurance to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from their doctors. Federal law should not criminalize veterans for trying to find relief.
“Passing these bills should be the first order of business for a Congress that prides itself on supporting our veterans. Like every American, veterans should be granted the freedom to access cannabis to treat their medical conditions as an alternative to potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals.”, stated Don Murphy, director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project.
Flower One, the largest cannabis cultivator, producer, and full-service brand fulfillment partner in the state of Nevada launched a new corporate video that provides an exclusive view of its production and extraction facility.
Within just over seven months in operation, Flower One now cultivates approximately 150 strains of cannabis while also maintaining a diverse catalog of nearly every cannabis derivative product. The Company can process between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds of biomass and between 100 and 150 liters of distillate per week. Flower One’s bulk distillate processing boasts exceptionally high success rates, with 90 percent of the lots achieving potencies of 90 percent or greater in Delta-9 THC levels. These premium downstream products enable the Company to capture higher margins, while, at the same time, provide brand and white label partners some of the most cutting-edge derivative products available on the market today.
“Flower One is defining the future of cannabis, offering consistent, reliable, and scalable fulfillment to a growing number of industry-leading cannabis brands,” said Thomas Rosengren, Flower One’s Director of Extraction and Production. “By combining more than 20 years of greenhouse excellence with strong cannabis operators and what we believe is the largest production and extraction facility in all of Nevada, we are uniquely positioned to satisfy our customers’ developing needs.”
Value, premium and luxury concentrates are the foundation for the Company’s ability to produce derivative products across all pricing tiers. These derivatives can, in turn, be used by Flower One to develop hundreds of unique stock-keeping units (SKUs) for the Nevada market. At its production facility, for example, Flower One produces cannabinoid-rich oils, high-grade terpene sauces and full-spectrum live resin amongst dozens of other cannabis and botanical derivatives. The Company is also developing a full line of medical-grade products.
“Since fully commissioning our production facility in September 2019, we’ve been able to pivot our focus toward optimization, finding ways to maximize quality and margins, while minimizing costs,” said Kellen O’Keefe, Flower One’s Chief Strategy Officer. “With our production lab live, we leverage our exceptional catalog of genetics to offer a variety of non-competing products in nearly every cannabis derivative and price range, a true differentiator for our company and a key driver behind our consistently growing portfolio of brand and white label partners.”
In response to prolific marketing restrictions imposed upon the state’s fledgling industry, Boston-based JamTown Music Co. offers exclusive partnership opportunities to qualifying cannabis retailers.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 12 months, it is almost impossible not to notice the hype around the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. Now, in the thick of the movement, more and more of these retail locations continue to open doors throughout the state: so why haven’t Bay Staters been bombarded with cannabis-themed radio and TV advertisements?
The answer is simple. Cannabis business owners are forced to follow extremely restrictive guidelines that prohibit the advertisement of their business in almost all mainstream media sources. Along with restrictions on traditional media, marijuana-related businesses are prohibited from advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
“JamTown proudly supports the marijuana movement and the rapid-growing industry. The current marketing guidelines for these businesses, while necessary, definitely put these owners at a disadvantage,” says David McGrath, founder of JamTown Music Co.
The main focus of these restrictions is quite obvious and justifiable: preventing the marketing of marijuana products to minors in the Bay State.
“JamTown’s user-base consists of thousands of Massachusetts residents, ages 21-60, who support the local music scene. It’s a safe bet that a large portion of this demographic is simultaneously supporting the Massachusetts cannabis industry. The mission, through obtaining these partnerships is to help music-loving JamTown users find local dispensaries they might not even know about.”
Partnership packages will include a laundry list of perks, but the primary benefit will be customized pop-up ads displayed to users directly on the “JamTown – Local Live Music Finder” mobile app. In addition to in-app advertising, these businesses will be promoted at live events, through digital content, and more.
On Thursday, June 18th, 2020 at The Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights, OH, the Cleveland School of Cannabis (CSC) will host its third graduation. With over 150 graduates completing the program to date, this celebration is one that highlights the accomplishments of individuals who have elected to pursue a career in the cannabis industry, it also reflects the high quality of talent the Cleveland area produces. This year, CSC will welcome 16-year NBA veteran Al Harrington to deliver the keynote address. After retiring from the NBA, Harrington started the cannabis company, Viola Extracts, named after his grandmother. The company cultivates cannabis in-house and has facilities in several states.
In February 2018 Harrington announced the launch of Harrington Wellness, a company that manufactures non-psychoactive cannabinoid products. Also announced was his investment in a third company Butter Baby, which makes cannabis edibles. All three companies together comprise The Harrington Group.
Harrington is a proponent for the legalization of cannabis. In October 2016, he appeared in an online ad endorsing the passage of California’s Proposition 64. He has also written an essay for The Players’ Tribune titled “9 Reasons to End the War on Marijuana”.
In October 2017, Harrington interviewed former NBA commissioner David Stern regarding cannabis use by players. Stern told Harrington during the interview: “I’m now at the point where personally I think [cannabis] probably should be removed from the banned list. You’ve persuaded me.”
The Cleveland School of Cannabis is the Nation’s second state-approved school of cannabis education and the first east of Colorado. They offer programs online and in traditional formats in all aspects of the cannabis industry including Horticulture, Medical Applications, and Dispensary Operations to name a few.
Grassroots Cannabis will be launching Close The Gap, a campaign to raise awareness and establish the gold standard of inclusivity and equity. Women are underrepresented within the industry, both at the corporate and dispensary levels and as patients and consumers. Grassroots is setting out to change this by addressing the Gender Wage Gap. Women are impacted by income inequity – on average a woman makes $0.79 to a man’s $1.00 and at current rates, the overall gender pay gap is estimated to close by 2224.
As a first step, on March 8th, in honor of International Women’s Day, Grassroots will be offering select Wana products priced at $22.24 (original price: $30.00) to signify the year in which pay parity should be reached for all women. Wana Brands is one of only a handful of marijuana-infused production companies that is Woman-Owned. With each purchase of Wana products, a special gift to include a deck of cards, Grassroots signature socks and stickers will be given away at participating dispensaries in Illinois until supplies last. For each purchase, a percentage of proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW), an organization dedicated to building a world in which all women and girls have the opportunity to thrive in safe, just and healthy communities. CFW invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all.
“At Grassroots, we are dedicated to education and driving social change in the cannabis industry,” says Lisa Hurwitz, CMO. “With Close The Gap, we have the unique opportunity to use our platform to help educate and raise awareness around income inequity for women from all walks of life, which impacts the cannabis industry, our patients and our consumers.”
Through Close The Gap and future planned initiatives, Grassroots is committed to advancing and establishing social equity within cannabis. Grassroots welcomes people from all walks of life and inspires them to Live Deeply.
Grassroots Cannabis is a cannabis company dedicated to serving, advancing and respecting the cannabis movement. Through its unique, vertically integrated business model, Grassroots grows, processes and sells trusted cannabis products that enhance life’s moments for people from all backgrounds.
Over the past year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has embarked on a comprehensive evaluation of cannabidiol (CBD) products, with a focus on educating the public about the risks and unknowns of these products, gathering the science needed to better understand both these safety concerns and potential benefits to inform their regulatory approach, as well as taking steps when necessary to address products that violate the law in ways that raise a variety of public health concerns.
The FDA is providing updates on efforts in this area, including several new steps in areas of education, research and enforcement with the ultimate goal of continuing to protect the public health and working to provide market clarity.
Educating the Public About Potential Risks of Using CBD The FDA is seeing CBD being marketed in several different products, such as oil drops, capsules, syrups, food products, such as chocolate bars and teas, cosmetics and other topical lotions and creams, as well as products marketed for pets and other animals – and they understand consumers are seeking out these novel products for a variety of perceived health-related or other reasons.
But as the agency has stated before, they are concerned that some people wrongly think that the myriad of CBD products on the market have been evaluated by the FDA and determined to be safe, or that using CBD ‘can’t hurt.’ Aside from one prescription drug approved to treat two rare, severe pediatric epilepsy disorders, no other CBD products have been evaluated or approved by the FDA.
They remain focused on educating the public about the number of questions that remain regarding CBD’s safety. There may be risks that need to be considered before using CBD products outside of the monitored setting of a prescription from your health care provider.
In particular, the agency recently updated the public on concerns about potential harm from CBD products, including potential liver injury, interactions with other drugs and male reproductive toxicity, as well as side effects such as drowsiness. Also, there is still much the FDA does not know about other potential risks. For example, other than the approved prescription drug, they know little about the potential effects of sustained and/or cumulative use of CBD, co-administration with other medicines, or the risks to vulnerable populations like children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, unborn children and certain animal populations. This does not mean that they know CBD is unsafe to these populations or under these circumstances, but given the gaps in their current knowledge, and the known risks that have been identified, they also are not at a point where they can conclude that unapproved CBD products are safe for use. The FDA encourages Americans to consult with their health care providers before using CBD products.
The FDA will continue to expand its educational efforts on this front. This includes consumers broadly, specific populations where there are additional, important health considerations, as well as health care professionals who must understand these risks when talking to their patients. They will also continue to update their online resources for consumers, researchers and industry, as well as sustain multiple lines of communication with Congress, industry, researchers and our regulatory partners at the federal, state, local, territorial, tribal and international levels to share and collect needed information and hear a variety of perspectives.
Closing Knowledge Gaps in Both Safety and Potential Benefits The marketplace for CBD-containing products is quickly evolving and they must work together with stakeholders and industry to develop high-quality data to close the knowledge gaps about the science, safety, and quality of many of these products, as well as further evaluate any potential benefits outside of the one FDA-approved drug product to treat two rare, severe pediatric epilepsy disorders.
To address the questions and concerns the FDA already raised, they’re seeking reliable and high-quality data. This includes data on, among other things: the sedative effects of CBD; the impacts of long-term sustained or cumulative exposure to CBD; transdermal penetration and pharmacokinetics of CBD; the effect of different routes of CBD administration (e.g., oral, topical, inhaled) on its safety profile; the safety of CBD for use in pets and food-producing animals; and the processes by which “full-spectrum” and “broad spectrum” hemp extracts are derived, what the content of such extracts is, and how these products may compare to CBD isolate products.
Given the importance of answering these questions, they’re exploring several ways to address the data gaps as quickly as possible. This includes encouraging, facilitating and initiating more research on CBD, providing venues for industry and researchers to share new data with the agency and identifying opportunities to further collaborate with their federal partners at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and National Institute on Drug Abuse on this important issue.
Importantly, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – which, among other things, changed federal law so that cannabis and cannabis derivatives with very low levels of the psychoactive intoxicating component of cannabis, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are no longer controlled substances – has opened significant new opportunities for research, and as that body of research develops and grows, there will be considerably more information available. In particular, there’s been an increased interest in drug development from CBD and other compounds found in cannabis and the FDA are working to support drug development as much as possible.
First, given all the research and activity in this space, they are taking new steps to provide a public and transparent way for stakeholders to provide new and emerging information to them in real-time as it becomes available. To this end, in the coming days, the FDA is reopening the public docket they established for our May 2019 public hearing. The docket provides a valuable conduit for submission of scientific data on CBD to the agency, so they have decided to extend the comment period indefinitely to allow the public to comment and to share relevant data with the agency. As the agency continues to move forward to explore viable pathways for CBD products outside the drug context, this extension will allow stakeholders to continue to provide relevant data as research in this area evolves.
This docket also includes a mechanism for a stakeholder to submit data or information that the stakeholder believes to be confidential. They hope that this will enable responsible industry participants, academic researchers, and other stakeholders to share relevant information with the FDA – including information about specific products, which could help inform appropriate regulatory steps.
They also are working to generate data to help inform their work in this area. For example, the FDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist recently awarded a grant to the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research to conduct a study to better understand the effects of CBD exposure during pregnancy. Additionally, they’ve initiated a research study in partnership with the University of Mississippi to evaluate the levels of CBD and THC in a sample of cosmetic products to assess sensitization of THC and CBD topically, and dermal penetration.
As data become available that are high-quality, reliable and relevant to their evaluation of CBD products that fall under the FDA’s purview, they will be able to refine – and, perhaps in some cases, revise – their thinking and approaches.
Monitoring the Marketplace with a Focus on Greatest Risk to Public Harm As the FDA work to educate the public and close the knowledge gaps to further guide their approach to CBD products, they will continue to monitor the marketplace and take appropriate action against unlawful CBD products that pose a risk of harm to the public.
They have seen many CBD products being marketed with claims of therapeutic benefits, such as treating or curing serious diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, or other drug claims, without having gone through the drug approval process. The proliferation of such products may deter consumers from seeking proven, safe medical therapies for serious illnesses – potentially endangering their health or life.
The FDA also has serious concerns about products that put the public at risk in other ways. For example, they are aware of the risks posed by product contaminants such as heavy metals, THC or other potentially harmful substances. They also have significant concerns about products marketed with false claims or statements such as omitted ingredients, incorrect statements about the amount of CBD, products marketed for use by vulnerable populations like children or infants, and products that otherwise put the public health at risk.
As the FDA moves forward, they are currently evaluating issuance of a risk-based enforcement policy that would provide greater transparency and clarity regarding factors the agency intends to take into account in prioritizing enforcement decisions. Any enforcement policy would need to further the goals of protecting the public and providing more clarity to industry and the public regarding the FDA’s enforcement priorities while they take potential steps to establish a clear regulatory pathway.
Conclusion The FDA’s ongoing efforts related to CBD, including the steps they’re announcing, are in line with their mission to protect the public, foster innovation and promote consumer confidence. They recognize the significant public interest in CBD and they must work together with stakeholders and industry to develop high-quality data to close the substantial knowledge gaps about the science, safety, and quality of many of these products. They are committed to working efficiently to further clarify their regulatory approach to these products – as always, using science as their guide and upholding their rigorous public health standards.
World’s most popular lesbian social app to work with unique cannabis-friendly experience event creator to form one-of-a-kind event programming.
HER, the world’s most popular social app for womxn and queer people, is partnering with FoxTale Events to produce cannabis-consumption friendly events for the queer community. The two organizations will work together to produce events based around food, art, music, and community in a cannabis-consumption friendly environment. The partnership brings together HER’s community of over five million users with FoxTale Events’ exquisite curation to produce truly unique social gatherings.
“HER’s mission is to help lesbian, bisexual and queer people to meet each other. Although our app does this at scale, we care deeply about bringing people together on a local level and in person,” says Kris Chesson, Head of Global Events at HER. “FoxTale’s events hit the spot for anyone who enjoys good food, good music, and good people, and, of course, top-quality cannabis.”
Based in Oakland, FoxTale Events produces supper clubs, brunches and social games in a space where people may consume cannabis. The events regularly feature food from notable chefs, live music performances and cannabis experiences with consumption available in pre-rolled joints, vaporizers, and other forms. With restrictions on cannabis consumption written into state and local laws, FoxTale Events provides a needed safe space for cannabis users to meet and enjoy themselves.
“Cannabis enthusiasts and the LGBTQ community both need to seek out spaces where they are safe and welcome. We’re working with HER to create incredibly chill, enjoyable programs where people can get together, laugh, and be themselves,” says Amber E Senter, co-founder of FoxTale Events.
HER and FoxTale Events share the goal of providing safe, inclusive spaces that bring people together. Their partnership will bring the best of each organization to form a social environment unlike any currently on offer.