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Delta, Kelowna, BC –September 30 , 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) www.Investorideas.com, a global news source covering leading sectors including marijuana and hemp stocks and its potcast site, www.potcasts.ca release today’s edition of Investorideas.com potcastsCM - cannabis news and stocks to watch plus insight from thought leaders and experts.
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Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of Investorideas.com "Potcast" featuring cannabis news, stocks to watch as well as insights from thought leaders and experts
In today’s podcast we look at a few early announcements.
But first, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) released its submission to Health Canada's consultation on Potential Market for Cannabis Health Products (CHPs) that Would not Require Practitioner Oversight. Current cannabis regulations in Canada prohibit the sale of CBD outside of provincially regulated recreational cannabis retailers, or without a physician's note.
"While CHFA is pleased to see Health Canada initiate the conversation on addressing this major gap in the cannabis regulatory regime, we are disappointed in, and disagree with, a significant proportion of the key parameters outlined within Health Canada's consultation document," said Helen Long, President of CHFA.
"Health Canada has proposed a pathway that would maintain the status quo, keeping the production and sale of all "cannabis health products" under the Cannabis Act and its Regulations. As a naturally occurring substance, CBD should be regulated as a natural health product. We doubt that the proposed framework will allow businesses to fulfill the large consumer demand for CBD health products, nor will it displace the growing illicit market for CBD health products."
CHFA suggests a different path forward. This pathway would require targeted amendments to the Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR), the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR) and the Prescription Drug List (PDL) to permit ingredients from industrial hemp to be extracted, produced and sold outside of the scope of the Cannabis Regulations. These ingredients would then be permitted for use in natural health products (NHPs) under the NHPR. "Rather than duplicate Canada's existing, world class NHP regulatory system, it would be better for Canadian consumers and Canadian industry to permit hemp-derived CBD in NHPs," explained Long.
"Canadians are already using CBD for a variety of health-related purposes: whether it's pain relief, helping them to sleep, or calming their stress," added Long. "The problem is access to legal CBD health products is limited. It doesn't make sense for Canadians to access CBD for their health through recreational channels, and they should be able to go to their local natural health product retailer to purchase an NHP that contains CBD."
The proposed alternative by CHFA will also support rapid innovation and growth within Canada's natural health product and agricultural hemp industries by removing barriers to production, processing and marketing of CBD derived from hemp. "The hemp sector is projecting significant growth by 2023 – that is upwards of $1 billion in economic benefits," added Long. "However, a proportion of this economic growth is contingent upon an improved pathway to bring CBD health products to market – something that CHFA's solution accounts for."
In addition to the Health Canada consultation submission, CHFA recently launched a national campaign called "CBD is Natural" that calls upon industry participants and Canadian consumers to engage with their local candidates on this important issue.
"We launched CBD is Natural to mobilize Canadians to speak-up during the election and call on all parties to update Canada's regulations to permit the sale of CBD in NHPs – and clearly, our message was heard," said Long. "We applaud Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada for becoming the first party to formally recognize the importance of this issue and commit to solving the problem in their official platform by permitting hemp-derived CBD in NHPs. We now look to the other parties to do the same."
Avicanna Inc. (TSX: AVCN), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of organic and sustainable plant-derived cannabinoid-based products, announced plans to build a new industrial scale 11,000 sq. ft (>1,000 square meter) cannabinoid extraction and final product manufacturing facility in a Colombian free trade zone near Santa Marta. This new facility is expected to provide for significant tax advantages and represents the third phase of the Company's extraction strategy, building on its existing subsidiaries' extraction and manufacturing operations in Colombia with current aggregate annual capacity of dried flower – post extraction and isolation – of approximately 100,000 kilograms.
The operation of the new facility will be conducted under a proposed new subsidiary, which will be 60% owned by the Company and 40% owned by Inmobiliaria Bondue S.A.S. The Company expects operations at the facility to commence in the second half of 2020.
The Company and Bondue have entered into a commercial lease agreement for space to house the facility, for an initial term of five years, located in one of Colombia's free trade zones, which provides for significant tax advantages for activities that are conducted on the property.
Contributing to expanding Avicanna's vertical integration strategy, the new facility will use cannabis sourced from Avicanna's other majority owned Colombian based subsidiaries, Sativa Nativa S.A.S and Santa Marta Golden Hemp S.A.S., which are situated in Santa Marta. The extracts (active pharmaceutical ingredients) and final products produced at the facility are expected to be distributed internationally with additional tax savings.
Aras Azadian, Avicanna's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We near the final phase of our initial cultivation and extraction footprint and are analyzing and preparing for our future scale up with focus on efficiencies across all aspects of operations including CAPEX, OPEX, regulations and tax. This new facility's proposed contribution to our API business, which benefits from its location in a free trade zone, makes it a fine example of Avicanna's focus on efficiencies across all of its business units and our aim to ensure each unit, including the ones that are focused on cannabinoids as API's, are both efficient profit centers and are competitive in a commodifying global landscape."
Sativa Nativa and SMGH have licenses to cultivate, manufacture, extract and sell medicinal cannabis in Colombia. Sativa Nativa's cultivation facilities include 50,000 square feet of low tech green house (shade house) and 20,000 square feet of customized high tech greenhouse space. SMGH has applied for Good Agricultural and Collection Practices and organic certifications and operates cultivation facilities that include 200,000 square feet of low tech green house (shade house) space and 20,000 square feet of customized high tech greenhouse space. SMGH is currently expanding its green house operation by approximately 70,000 square feet, and Sativa Nativa is expanding its green house operation by approximately 50,000 square feet. The Company expects these expansion activities to be completed by the end of 2019.
In addition, through a joint venture with Sigma Analytical Services Inc., Avicanna is currently building a first cannabinoids-only, analytical laboratory and independent testing service in South America to meet Health Canada, European Pharmacopeia, US Pharmacopeia, and compliant to EU Good Manufacturing Practices ("GMP") standards. This laboratory will provide a variety of large licensed producers to small scale partner farmers with a comprehensive suite of cannabis specific testing, which will include pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, aflatoxins, microbial, genotyping, and cannabinoid and terpene profiling. With technical transfer currently underway, the completion and launch of the laboratory services is expected to occur early in the first quarter of 2020.
Digipath, Inc. (OTCQB: DIGP), announced that it has entered into a binding letter of intent for the acquisition of VSSL Enterprises Ltd., a British Columbia based cannabis genomics, plant sciences and consulting firm. The acquisition is expected to provide Digipath with a wealth of cannabis data, technology and intellectual property, including in excess of a thousand hemp and cannabis genotypes. The letter of intent provides for the acquisition of 100% of VSSL’s outstanding shares of capital stock for consideration consisting of six million shares of Digipath common stock and a cash payment of $200,000, and is subject to the execution of definitive agreements.
VSSL builds predictive tools for the cannabis industry. Whether it’s for a breeder, cultivator or processor, understanding the genetic basis of key traits such as yield, expression of secondary metabolites or disease resistance can provide a competitive advantage to its clients by allowing rapid decision making and process optimization. VSSL uses molecular and bioinformatics tools to deliver unique solutions suited to its customers’ diverse germplasm and business models.
Effective upon signing the letter of intent, VSSL Chief Executive Officer, Kyle Remenda was appointed to serve as Digipath’s Chief Executive officer. Todd Denkin, the former CEO, has resigned his positions with Digipath to pursue other opportunities. Under Mr. Denkin’s leadership, Digipath has become the leading cannabis testing laboratory in Las Vegas, a leader in data analysis and a recognized brand around the country. He will continue to consult with the Company through the end of 2019.
Mr. Remenda is a passionate advocate within the medical marijuana industry. Under Kyle’s leadership, VSSL has become a trusted source of technology and genotype technology and consulting. Before starting VSSL, Mr. Remenda worked in the medical marijuana industry with established legal grow operations in North America. He and the VSSL team bring a wealth of expertise in plant breeding, genetics and production craft.
“Kyle is the right person to lead the next phase in the evolution of Digipath, building on our outstanding pedigree in cannabis technology, vision and experience. With Kyle on board and combining with VSSL, Digipath can move into larger revenue opportunities,” stated Todd Denkin.
Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. (CSE: HARV) (OTCQX: HRVSF), a vertically integrated cannabis company with one of the largest and deepest footprints in the U.S., today announced the opening of Harvest of Venice, expanding their footprint in the California market. Harvest's best-in-class product offerings and exceptional store experience will now be available to the community of Venice, CA.
"Harvest has continued to grow our presence in the world's largest cannabis market, California, by creating retail destinations that bring high-quality products, local events and resources to the communities we join," said Harvest CEO Steve White. "Venice is a community with a rich and vibrant cannabis history and we are excited to bring our store experience to consumers in the market, introducing them to our best-in-class products and knowledgeable staff."
Harvest of Venice is located at 712 Lincoln Blvd and is open from 7am to 10pm seven days a week and features photography from Southern California photographers. Harvest is quickly expanding its presence in California with the recent openings of Harvest's Napa and Grover Beach locations, and upcoming opening of Harvest of Palm Springs. Harvest has also secured the right to retail licenses in a number of other California cities. Harvest of Venice will announce an upcoming community event slated for later this fall.
1933 Industries Inc. (CSE: TGIF) (OTCQX: TGIFF), a vertically integrated cannabis consumer packaged goods company, announced that it has commenced the flowering cycle of its cannabis plants in its new, purpose-built, indoor cultivation facility located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Following the transfer of cannabis plants to the new facility in late August, the plants completed a vegetative stage for four weeks. Three rooms will begin the flowering cycle this week, lasting approximately eight weeks. The first harvest from the initial three rooms is expected in early December, with continued harvests thereafter every two weeks, all while new grow rooms are added in the facility for a total of 15 bloom rooms. The initial 26 strain varieties currently at the facility will be augmented with an additional 12 Cannabis Cup award-winning strains to sustain the Company's flower and concentrate production of branded AMA products and third party brands.
Mr. Tim Spencer, Director of Cultivation, said, "Our plants are performing very well in our state-of-the-art indoor facility and we are continuously learning and improving our processes. The facility is specifically built with integrated technology with high controls and automation to cultivate high-quality craft cannabis at scale with assured consistency and efficiency." He added, "The increased output will provide sufficient supply for the production of our AMA branded products as well as for our licensing partners such as Blonde™ Cannabis, OG DNA Genetics, Jack Herer, and PLUGplay."
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