Cannabis business, investment news you may have missed last week

A quick look at some of the news in the cannabis industry last week:

Canopy Growth Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire the global cannabinoid-based medical researcher Beckley Canopy Therapeutics (“Beckley Canopy”). A release notes the acquisition “brings together Canopy’s wholly owned research program with the Beckley Canopy research platform which is partly owned by Canopy Growth in order to combine the best teams, programs and clinical work all under a single strategic plan.” The company notes the research arm “in turn directly supports the commercial efforts of Spectrum Therapeutics around the world.” As part of the acquisition, Canopy Growth also acquires the outstanding shares in Spectrum Biomedical UK, the commercial arm of the company in the United Kingdom, as that markets begins to develop into a commercially viable opportunity. “With the acquisition of C3, and Canopy Growth’s expanding research and development plans worldwide, the Company is solidifying its status as a truly global leader in cannabinoid research,” notes the release. “Spectrum Therapeutics will leverage Beckley Canopy’s intellectual property, accelerate its comprehensive research programs, build evidence around the Company’s products and formulations and ultimately improve patient access to cannabinoid-based medicines globally.”

Strainprint™ Technologies has launched the next stage of the “much-anticipated clinical trial” with Israeli based research group Gynica to develop a product formulation to treat endometriosis and its symptoms. “This phase will include asking endometriosis sufferers in Canada and Israel to complete an anonymous, comprehensive custom questionnaire about how they use cannabis to treat their symptoms,” a release notes. Strainprint, a leader in cannabis data and analytics, partnered with Israeli researchers at Gynica, a leader in cannabis-based solutions for women’s health, in late 2018 to conduct the world’s first international clinical study on the use of cannabis to treat endometriosis. “The study will leverage Strainprint’s database of patient reported outcomes among those who use cannabis to treat endometriosis, which, along with the results of this questionnaire, will inform the formulation of a cannabis-based product which will be clinically validated and then available for purchase,” the release states. Endometriosis affects approximately 1 in 10 women (and people assigned female at birth) and it is a condition with limited understanding and treatment options.

PharmaCielo Ltd., the Canadian parent of Colombia’s premier cultivator and producer of medicinal-grade cannabis oil, PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings S.A.S., today announced it has joined the TruTrace Technologies and Shoppers Drug Mart initiated medical cannabis pilot verification program. PharmaCielo is the first international medical cannabis producer to join this seed-to-sale tracking initiative. TruTrace Technologies CEO Robert Galarza the company is “pleased to have a recognized international medical cannabis producer joining and supporting our technology and the Canadian Pilot Program. As a new and burgeoning industry that impacts people’s health and wellbeing, it is imperative to build accountability into the supply chain and product offerings. I am thrilled to have partners like PharmaCielo joining the platform with Shoppers, sharing the same vision that we have and representing the global industry perspective to push it forward.” The Pilot Program uses TruTrace’s StrainSecure™ blockchain technology as a “central hub for the data collection, registration and tracing of medicinal cannabis products from the plant’s DNA and strains through to the final product batch, ensuring its authentication and quality assurance throughout the production and distribution chain.”

Avicanna Inc. – a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of plant-derived cannabinoid-based products – has announced it has entered into an agreement with Sigma Analytical Services Inc. to establish a joint venture for the testing of cannabis and cannabis-based products in Colombia. “The joint venture will leverage Sigma Analytical’s expertise, methodology, and intellectual property in cannabis and derived product testing to establish a laboratory to test cannabis genetics and products,” a release notes. “Independent analytical services will be managed and operated by an operating company with complete adherence to techniques and procedures developed and implemented by Sigma Analytical. The laboratory is expected to be located within the SMGH facilities and testing services will be provided to Santa Marta Golden Hemp S.A.S. and Sativa Nativa S.A.S., two subsidiaries of Avicanna, and are expected to also be offered to a variety of large licensed producers to small scale partner farmers.” The parties anticipate that the laboratory will be the first cannabinoids-only, analytical laboratory and independent testing service in South America to meet Health Canada, European Pharmacopeia, US Pharmacopeia, and compliant to EU GMP standards. With technical transfer currently underway, the completion and launch of the laboratory services is expected to occur early in the fourth quarter of 2019.  The laboratory will provide a “comprehensive suite of cannabis specific testing, which will include pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, aflatoxins, microbial, genotyping, and cannabinoid and terpene profiling.” Avicanna CEO Aras Azadian said “this level of world class quality testing is a necessity for Avicanna’s pharmaceutical development and clinical development programs, but will also be established as a minimum requirement for all of our product categories as we aim to establish a global standard for cannabinoid-based solutions.”

Dixie Brands Inc., a leading cannabis CPG company, and AriZona, maker of the “number one selling iced tea in America,” signed a binding letter of intent Aug. 2 to partner for the production, distribution and sale of cannabis-infused products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Under the agreement, Herbal Enterprises will direct brand and product conceptual design; while Dixie Brands will develop, formulate, manufacture and distribute the new portfolio of AriZona branded THC infused consumer packaged goods. “AriZona has always led the way in product innovation,” said Don Vultaggio, Chairman, AriZona Beverages. “The cannabis market is an important emerging category, and we’ve maintained our independence as a private business to be positioned to lead and seize generation-defining opportunities exactly like this one. The Cannabis category is an ideal space to bring the flavor and fun of AriZona into new and exciting products, and we selected Dixie Brands as our partner to bring these products to market after touring their best in class manufacturing facilities, and spending considerable time building a strong relationship with their management. Both companies share a heritage of quality, excellence in manufacturing, and doing things the right way, and we look forward to all this partnership has in store.” CEO of Dixie Brands Chuck Smith said “AriZona is a power brand and the most iconic and recognized CPG brand to extend into the cannabis market, providing the evolving cannabis consumer with a fun and flavorful experience alongside an iconic brand they know and love. For nearly a decade Dixie Brands has crafted award-winning cannabis-infused products creating some of the most recognized and trusted brands in the industry, and we are thrilled to have found a partner that shares our values. This partnership marks a watershed moment for the popularization and expansion of the cannabis sector overall, and is another large step forward for Dixie Brands’ strategy to build a house of famous cannabis CPG brands.”

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