Curio Wellness Launches Investment Fund To Combat Diversity And Inclusion Challenges Within Cannabis Industry

$30 Million in Capital will Provide 50 Diverse Entrepreneurs with Up to Ninety-Three Percent of the Capital Needed to Open a Curio Franchise in any one of eight states.

MARYLAND: Curio Wellness today announced a new funding program that will provide start-up capital for minority business owners to open their own Curio Wellness franchise location. Created for women, minorities and disabled veterans, Curio Wellness’s investment fund (the Fund) will allow the medical cannabis and wellness company to further its goal of serving patients with safe, effective and reliable cannabis-based medicine in multiple states through its unique Wellness Center retail business concept. A legally separate but affiliated entity from Curio Wellness, the Fund will connect diverse investors with up to 50 aspiring women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs, providing $30 million in capital funding.

“In looking at the systemic barriers that women, minorities and disabled veterans face in accessing capital, we decided to develop a solution that directly addresses this massive economic disparity,” said Michael Bronfein, CEO. “The Fund provides qualifying entrepreneurs with the investment capital they need to become a Curio Wellness Center franchisee, while ensuring their success through our best in class business operations.”

Banks and other traditional financing sources generally do not provide equity, capital or loans for cannabis start-ups. While this hurts all potential cannabis business owners, it disproportionately impacts women, minorities and disabled veterans. Through the support of committed and diverse investors, the Fund will eliminate the most significant barrier preventing diverse participation in this burgeoning, rapidly growing industry: a lack of capital in concert with a proven business model and brand.

The Fund will invest in up to 50 women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs seeking to open a Curio Wellness franchise location in states with thriving medical cannabis programs. The $30 million Private Equity Fund will expand diversity and enable economic empowerment by providing up to ninety-three percent of the start-up capital needed to launch a branded dispensary. Eligible entrepreneurs, through partnership with the Fund, will be enabled to launch a franchise as the majority owner from day one and enjoy a clear pathway to full ownership as a franchisee.

“The Fund will expand diversity and enable economic empowerment for entrepreneurs who otherwise would be locked out of the rapidly growing field,” said Jerel Registre, Director of Business Development at Curio Wellness and Managing Director of the Fund. “Our diverse set of entrepreneurs will repay the startup loans with their portion of the dispensary earnings, resulting in 100% ownership as a franchisee over time.”

The application process to become a Curio franchisee is expected to open in early 2021 as Curio is approved to establish franchises. The Fund will soon announce its first closing and is expecting to have a final closing before year end.

Acreage Announces Sale Of Maryland Dispensary

NEW YORK: Acreage Holdings, Inc., a vertically integrated, multi-state operator of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with an undisclosed buyer, pursuant to which the Buyer, when permitted by state law, will purchase all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of Maryland Medicinal Research & Caring, LLC. MMRC is licensed to operate a medical cannabis dispensary in Baltimore, Maryland.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Due to regulatory restrictions regarding license transfers, the Buyer, upon approval by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, will enter into a managed services agreement with MMRC until the requisite time has elapsed before Acreage and the Buyer can close the transaction under the definitive agreement.  Closing of the transaction is contingent upon regulatory approvals.

“The sale of our Maryland dispensary is another step forward in our refocused strategy to accelerate our pathway to profitability,” said Bill Van Faasen, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Acreage. “It follows our divestiture in North Dakota, plus other cost-cutting measures completed earlier this year.  We are moving forward with our refocused plan as quickly as possible and we will continue to update shareholders on our progress as new events transpire.”

Cannabis & CBD Retail Market To Reach $33 Billion In 2024

MARYLAND:  U.S. retail sales of cannabis and CBD products reached $14 billion in 2019, and are on pace to increase 18% per year to $33 billion in 2024, according to data published in Cannabis and CBD: U.S. Retail Market Trends and Opportunities, the latest report by leading market research firm Packaged Facts.

Cannabis products can be segmented by delivery format—i.e., the method by which the product’s desired compounds are ingested:

  • The most common delivery format, flower—smoked in the form of buds or pre-rolled cigarettes—accounts for nearly 40% of retail sales.
  • Another smokable product, vaporizer cartridges with concentrated THC or CBD compounds, comprises the second largest share. However, this share is falling as concerns about vaping-related lung illnesses rise and as states increasingly restrict sales of both nicotine- and cannabis-infused vaping products.

The fastest annual gains are projected for those delivery formats—namely edibles and topicals—that stand to benefit the most from federal legalization of hemp-based CBD. Major retailers—including foodservice establishments in certain states—are increasingly offering CBD-infused food, beverages, cosmetics, and toiletries that appeal to consumers because these products have the therapeutic benefits of CBD without the psychological effects of THC.

Other major delivery formats include tinctures, pills and capsules, and ingestible oils, which are used for both marijuana- and hemp-based products. Ingestible oils made from hemp seed oil (which does not include CBD or THC) have been available for decades and are used by health-conscious consumers for their purported nutritional benefits.

For more information on this emerging market purchase the report from our website.

NIH: Teen Marijuana Use Not Increasing Despite Legalization

MARYLAND: Self-reported marijuana use by adolescents has failed to increase in recent years despite the majority of states legalizing it for either medical or adult use, according to the latest data compiled by the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, which is commissioned by the US National Institutes on Drug Abuse. NIDA is a part of the US National Institutes of Health.

Summarizing the findings in a press release, the agency acknowledged: “Rates of marijuana use by teens have been of great interest to researchers over the past decade, given major social and legislative shifts around the drug; it is now legal for adult recreational use in 10 states plus the District of Columbia, and it is available medicinally in many more. Fortunately, even as teens’ attitudes toward marijuana’s harms continue to relax, they are not showing corresponding increases in marijuana use.”

Marijuana use prevalence by young people did not change significantly between 2017 and 2018, the survey reported. Between the years 2012 and 2018, both rates of lifetime marijuana use and rates of annual marijuana use by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders have declined. Ten states have enacted laws regulating adult marijuana use during this same period of time, and several others have legalized medical cannabis access.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Further data is available from NORML’s fact-sheet, “Marijuana Regulation and Teen Use Rates.”

 

Maryland Medical Cannabis Forum Is Thursday, November 8, 2018

Presents an In-Depth Discussion of MMJ Research and Practice

MARYLAND – Maryland doctors can enhance their knowledge about medical cannabis treatment at the inaugural Maryland Medical Cannabis Forum (MMCF), on Thursday, November 8th in Baltimore.  The MMCF was created to provide to the Maryland medical community current and credible information on the state of medical cannabis research and practices–and how it affects the 35,000-and-growing Maryland MMJ patients. Discussion topics for the evening include:

  • The endocannabinoid system and its relation to treating diseases
  • Cancer case studies utilizing cannabis for symptom relief and pain management
  • Cannabis treatment for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and autism
  • Cannabis and reduction in opioid dependency and other prescription medications
  • Proper dosing and understanding common side effects

The evening kicks off at 5:00 p.m. with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with featured speakers Dr. Jokūbas Žiburkus (Canntelligence) and Dr. Dustin Sulak (Healer.com), followed by a panel discussion hosted by CNBC’s Tim Seymour and including Sid Taubenfeld of Tikun Olam’s TO Pharma and Joy Strand, Executive Director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, among others.

The MMCF is proud to have the support of MedChi (the Maryland State Medical Society), and sponsors including global medical cannabis brand Tikun Olam, MariMed Advisors and Kind Therapeutics to establish this event as a comprehensive and trustworthy forum for up-to-date information on medical cannabis for Maryland doctors to provide their patients. The registration fee for MMCF is $75, $50 for MedChi members; visit www.medicalcannabisforum.org.

Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive Results for Pilot Study on Treatment of Cancer Anorexia-Cachexia Syndrome (CACS)

Preliminary findings showed +80% of patients had increase in appetite and 60% +10% weight increase

ISRAEL & MARYLAND: Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, a leader in personalized cannabinoid medicine focused on cancer and its side effects, announced the results of its pilot study to test the efficacy of Cannabics capsules for the treatment of cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS) in advanced cancer patients.

Cannabics PharmaceuticalsHeld at Rambam Hospital in Israel, the study is aimed at evaluating the effect of dosage-controlled cannabis capsules on CACS, and more specifically, on weight variations in advanced cancer patients.

Preliminary findings showed that all patients who were involved in the study for the first four and a half months reported an increase in appetite, as well as 83 percent of all those that completed the study. Results also demonstrated a weight increase of over 10 percent for 60 percent of the patients who completed the study. The remaining patients had a stable weight. 50 percent of the patients who completed the study reported pain reduction and sleep improvement.

“Our first clinical trial, led by Dr. Gil Bar-Sela, gave us valuable data on the capsules as a possible oral administration method for palliative care and for our future proprietary cannabinoid compounds,” said Dr. Eyal Ballan, co-founder and chief technology officer of Cannabics Pharmaceuticals. “As we continue to progress in the development of personalized cannabinoid treatments and collect data on compounds, ratios and dosages, we will use the information to incorporate into the design of our next clinical study on cancer patients.”

 

IGC To Enter California Market With Hyalolex

MARYLAND: India Globalization Capital (IGC) has designated California as a priority market for Hyalolex, its lead cannabis-based supplement for treating and managing Alzheimer’s patients.

“The cannabis market is showing explosive growth and we are aggressively moving forward with our vision of owning and marketing the leading brands for large medical indications such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, PTSD, pain, veterinary medicine and cancer. With 8 patents filed, IGC has made significant strides towards achieving these goals and building value for our shareholders as a NYSE American listed company,” stated Ram Mukunda, CEO of IGC.

“California is considered to be the largest addressable U.S. market for cannabis with an environment that strongly embraces its acceptance. This represents a significant opportunity for Hyalolex and our brands, as such we are currently coordinating the necessary steps to efficiently and rapidly introduce our product to high-density regions in the state. It should be noted that according to U.S. Census data, California has an estimated population of 39.54 million and that total is larger than all of Canada,” continued Mukunda.

IGC’s management team has been actively meeting with California-based manufacturers and distributers to assemble the requisite combination of partners to efficiently bring Hyalolex to dispensaries, patients and caregivers in California. Our “Drops of Clarity” marketing program will highlight the potential benefits of Hyalolex as a supplement to cannabis physicians as well as to caregivers and patients via both a digital format and through grassroots outreach.

Maryland Hemp Distribution Bill Signed Into Law

MARYLAND:  Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has signed legislation into law expanding the state’s hemp production program.

House Bill 698 expands the state’s existing pilot program to explicitly permit for the distribution, marketing, and sale of hemp – both in state and out of state. Lawmakers had overwhelmingly passed the bill by a vote of 182 to 1.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

Cannabis Policy Reform Advocates Release Report Card Grading Candidates for Governor in Maryland

MARYLAND: The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) released a voter guide Monday that grades Maryland gubernatorial candidates strictly on their positions and statements about cannabis policy. The report contains letter grades for each person running in Maryland’s Democratic Primary for governor in June and is based on answers to a questionnaire MPP sent to candidates, bill sponsorship, and their public statements regarding cannabis. The full report can be viewed here.

“There are real differences among the Democratic candidates when it comes to marijuana policy, from making a plan for legalizing marijuana a significant part of their campaign platform to declining to declare support for legalization at all,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “In gubernatorial and other races across the nation, candidates are increasingly realizing that regulating marijuana is a winning issue. We hope that this guide will help inform the voters as they make their choice here in the June 26 democratic primary or in the general election.”

Sixty-four percent of likely Maryland voters support making cannabis legal for adults, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland Poll conducted in September 2016.

In February, state lawmakers introduced bills to regulate cannabis for adults. If approved by 60% of both chambers of the Maryland Legislature, the bill would place a constitutional amendment on the November 2018 ballot that would make possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis legal for adults 21 years of age and older and require the state to establish regulations and taxation for a legal cannabis market, as well as to ensure diversity in the cannabis industry. The bill to refer the issue to the voters could not be vetoed by the governor.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have made cannabis possession legal for adults, and eight of those states regulate and tax cannabis similarly to alcohol. Bills to make cannabis legal have been introduced in 20 states this year, including Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Michigan voters will likely be able to support a similar initiative on the November 2018 ballot.

 

Mary’s Medicinals Coming To Maryland Medical Cannabis Patients

COLORADO: MM Technology Holdings has announced  a partnership with Green Thumb Industries (GTI) to produce and distribute its line of Mary’s Medicinals cannabis products for patients across Maryland.

“Mary’s has developed a line of unique products with unparalleled quality, accuracy and an exceptional reputation for effectiveness,” said Ben Kovler, Founder and Chairman, GTI. “Patients deserve the choice of alternative forms of medical cannabis and we’re excited to bring this trusted, revolutionary, and highly-targeted suite of medical cannabis delivery options to the patients of Maryland. The patients in Illinois have had tremendous success with Mary’s and we look forward to providing the same access, options, and relief to thousands more.”

Mary’s Medicinals has established itself as one of the most trusted and innovative producers of canna-based products in Colorado, and has since expanded into additional states from coast to coast. Mary’s was first to offer THCa and CBN products, discovered harvesting techniques for the isolation of CBC, and continues to develop cutting edge approaches for isolating, manufacturing and delivering medicinal cannabis.

“The potential of cannabinoid therapies as a treatment for many conditions is enormous. However, the traditional cannabis products on the market today don’t appeal to all patients,” said Lynn Honderd, CEO of Mary’s Medicinals. “With Mary’s unique delivery and accurate dosing mechanisms, patients are finding relief that is more effective, more reliable and more targeted than anything else available. We’re pleased to expand our relationship with the highly-regarded and qualified team at GTI to help bring relief to the patients of Maryland.”