Recent Decriminalization Allows Consumers to Turn to Legal CBD-Derived Products

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, January 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

The cannabis industry has been rapidly expanding on a global scale during the recent years due to widespread legalization movements. While there are still many limitations on cannabis, one component of the plant has been delisted from regulatory restrictions. The recently passed U.S. Farm Bill makes CBD legal and no longer associated under drug laws, according to Forbes. However, other components of cannabis such as THC still remain heavily restricted, hindering the overall industry's growth. According to data compiled by Brightfield Group, the U.S. CBD market is expected to reach USD 22 Billion by 2022, outpacing the rest of the cannabis market. The CBD market is being accelerated by both the medical and recreational segments. CBD, which is being used in oils, tinctures and even beverages, is increasingly becoming adopted among medical patients suffering from conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, and seizures. Aside from the medical applications, consumers are also using CBD as a relaxation stimulant. American Premium Water Corporation (OTC: HIPH), Cronos Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), Level Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LEVB), Koios Beverage Corp. (OTC: KBEVF), Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTC: OGRMF)

"I have never seen anything like the explosion that we're seeing right now in CBD, even with the bizarre legal gray area where CBD now operates. A few years ago almost no one knew what hemp-derived CBD was, it was sold by mostly small brands of tinctures sold online and through head shops. All of a sudden, CBD is everywhere - it is both a trendy new ingredient in drinks, face creams and pet treats and an answer to the prayers of so many people suffering from medical conditions ranging from epilepsy to anxiety and chronic pain. It rides the waves of so many global food and health trends, as a substitute for opioids, towards more natural health alternatives and functional ingredients," said Bethany Gomez, Managing Director at Brightfield Group.

American Premium Water Corporation (OTC: HIPH) earlier today announced breaking news that, "it has entered into a financing agreement with an institutional investor at a $0.40 valuation, ten times the current market valuation. As part of the agreement, a substantial portion of the Company's convertible debt will be retired. The retirement will be reflected in the Company's 1st quarter 2019 financials. Per terms of the agreement, the investor shall remain anonymous.

American Premium CEO Ryan Fishoff, commented, 'I am thrilled to announce that the Company has entered into this agreement at a 10x valuation! This is an affirmation of the Company's business plan and the initiatives it has implemented over the past year. It's a vote of confidence to the direction of the Company and we will continue to work hard to execute on the business plan to achieve the goals and benchmarks that I laid out for 2019. There is still a tremendous of work to do, but we (the Company) is certainly emboldened by this financing agreement, which will give the Company the capital to implement its 2019 plan. This agreement also meets the Company's goal to reduce convertible debt and strengthen the balance sheet. This is a win for the Company and our shareholders.'"

Cronos Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) is a globally diversified and vertically integrated cannabis company with a presence across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that it has entered into a sponsored research agreement with the Technion Research and Development Foundation of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology to explore the use of cannabinoids and their role in regulating skin health and skin disorders. The preclinical studies will be conducted by Technion over a three-year period and will focus on three skin conditions: acne, psoriasis and skin repair. "We believe that the potential applications of cannabinoids to regulate skin health and treat skin disorders are vast, and we are excited to begin exploring these applications through our partnership with Technion," said Mike Gorenstein, Chief Executive Officer of Cronos Group. "Using rigorous data to develop efficacious topical and transdermal formulations will be key to creating differentiated products that provide quality treatments to our consumers and strengthen our brand portfolio."

Level Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LEVB) is an innovative brand management and licensing company that provides bold, unconventional, and socially responsible branding for leading businesses. Level Brands, Inc. recently announced that it has closed its acquisition of Cure Based Development, LLC, the owner of the nationally recognized consumer brand cbdMD in an all-stock transaction. cbdMD is a consumer products brand offering a large selection of cbdMD branded CBD products primarily through its e-commerce website, http://www.cbdMD.com, as well as through 700 current third-party retail locations. cbdMD manufactures its premium line of products at its Charlotte, NC facility using 100%, all-natural CBD extracted from organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free industrial hemp grown in the USA. "With the acquisition of cbdMD, I believe Level Brands now becomes one of the leading CBD consumer companies in America. The cbdMD brand has shown consistent month-over-month double-digit growth rates and, with the capital we have available, we believe we can significantly accelerate the revenue growth and execute on an aggressive expansion and brand positioning plan which should yield continued significant growth rates. Now that the Farm Bill has been approved, and CBD will no longer be listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, we believe the CBD market should drastically expand. CBD products will now have access to retailers nationwide, as well as through online channels. In addition, the passage of this legislation should help CBD gain mainstream consumer acceptance. We believe cbdMD will significantly gain market share in this growing industry," said Martin Sumichrast, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Level Brands.

Koios Beverage Corp. (OTC: KBEVF) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: KBEV). Late last year the company reported, "a corporate overview of the Company's activities in its first six months of operations, since retail sales began in May, 2018. Koios Founder and CEO Chris Miller says the Company has enjoyed a rapid pace of growth since launching its first line of functional nootropic beverages early this year.

"Our focus in this first year has been to develop and refine our line of functional beverages, but also to build out our distribution network as quickly as possible," Miller said. "I think we have met or exceeded the benchmarks we set for the Company on both those goals, and in addition we have zeroed in on building out our e-commerce, direct to consumer and distribution platforms as efficiently and quickly as possible."

On the production side, Koios signed a critical agreement expanding its production capacity by partnering with Rocky Mountain Soda, a well known producer of high-end organic beverages. The partnership has allowed Koios to test small runs of new products while at the same time lowering costs for increased production.

In a similar manner, Koios signed a cooperation agreement with cannabis beverage producer Keef Brands, which accelerated development of cannabis beverages under its wholly owned subsidiary Cannavated Beverage Co.

"As a result of this flexibility Koios has been able to accelerate product development," said Miller. "Through our wholly owned subsidiary Cannavated, we formulated the first nootropic beverage infused with CBD (cannabidiol), and we are preparing to launch beverages containing a mix of CBD and THC for the rapidly growing cannabis beverage market.

Koios is best known for the benefits of its proprietary nootropic stack of mind enhancing ingredients that improve mental acuity, memory and alertness. Miller says the agreements with like-minded companies has allowed Koios to produce other product lines quickly. These include nootropic powders that provide a higher dosage of ingredients.

The Company also announced in early September that Koios Beverage Corp. will begin production of a new line of functional beverages under the brand Fit Soda, beginning in the first quarter of 2019. The Fit Soda line of beverages are as much about taste as they are about the benefits of health supplements. "The idea was to create a beverage that gives you all the taste you expect from a quality soda product, but with none of the guilt," Miller says. "It's a 'soda with benefits'."

One of the company's main goals over the first two quarters of operations was to increase distribution. On this front Koios has developed relationships with several major retailers and distribution networks representing thousands of outlets, including Europa Sports, Sportlife Distribution, KeHe, Wishing-UWell, Alfalfa's Market, Western Functional Beverages, and FC Food Co-Op.

"Increasing distribution is key to any company's success, and we continue to push hard to get our products on more shelves," said Miller. "Even now, we are working to sign up more major distributors to carry our brand across the US and Canada."

Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: OGRMF) is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. Organigram Holdings Inc. recently announced that is has closed the previously-announced private placement investment in Eviana Health Corporation. Organigram along with an institutional strategic investor each participated 50% in a USD 10 Million debenture offering by Eviana. "In Organigram we have a strategic ally that will join us as we continue to capitalize on the international CBD market into the future. We have also strengthened our balance sheet as we scale up our production operation and fund our ambitious future growth plans in the international CBD market," stated Avram Adizes, Chief Executive Officer of the Eviana.

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