NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more states are beginning to implement legislation to regulate cannabis products. As sales of such products are becoming more prevalent, new and important regulations are expected to be implemented. One of the major concerns over cannabis abuse revolves around operating a vehicle while impaired. Generally, law enforcement officers may conduct field tests such as sobriety tests or even sample tests. However, sobriety tests can be inaccurate, while sample tests may not receive results for days or even weeks. As a result, companies within the cannabis marketspace began to develop the necessary technology for law enforcement agencies to use in crackdowns on drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Cannabix Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203462343/composite BLOZF -6.39% /zigman2/quotes/206089806/delayed CA:BLO -6.35% , OrganiGram Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209289540/composite OGI +2.63% , HEXO Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206508254/composite HEXO +0.69% , Cronos Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206842762/composite CRON +4.51% , Aurora Cannabis Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB +2.16%
Presently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for a majority of the market share, as progress is slowly being made in removing the stigmas associated with such products. Overall, the legal cannabis market is permeating throughout the U.S. states and is helping to create a multi-billion-dollar industry. While medical cannabis still dominates that broad cannabis marketplace, the growing awareness and legalization efforts are expected to further propel the overall industry forward. In 2020, legal cannabis sales in the U.S were up 46% from 2019, reaching a new record of USD 17.5 Billion, according to cannabinoid market research firm BDSA.
"it is ramping up subject beta testing in a high-volume clinic in the Northwestern US and will ship an additional THC Breath Analyzer ("THCBA") unit to the site. The collaborating clinic has a robust drug testing operation and is one of the top drug testing providers to employers within its respective state. The Company also reports that it has shipped two THCBA devices to a biomedical clinic in southern Ontario for beta-testing.
The THCBA is a drug screening device for employers and other markets who are seeking a way to quickly (in less than 5 minutes), easily and non-invasively test for recent use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") - the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment. The THCBA consists of a handheld device and protective case which houses a sterilization module, sample preparation stage, device recovery station and integrated battery charging system. Over the course of 2020 to present the Company has been relentlessly focused on building the THCBA from bench prototypes to the current hand-held portable version 3.0 system. Over recent months, this proof-of-concept system has been introduced into small scale beta-testing sites. The focus of the beta-testing has been to gather information on user and administrator experience, identifying cross-reactivity of other substances within a semi-controlled study population and to further collect data and train the device's machine learning database and sensitivity profile. Furthermore, feedback has been provided in areas of handling, connectivity, operating procedures and data management.
While beta-testing the version 3.0, company engineers have begun building a THCBA version 4.0 that incorporates feedback from beta-test sites and strategic design changes. The version 4.0 design changes will be geared towards manufacturability and reproducibility, while improving device performance. Several components such as the device's internal sampling chambers are being optimized for production. The microfluidic sensor and related actuator mechanism design have been simplified to minimize manufacturing variability and reduce cost. Several other components have been upgraded to more robust materials that will reduce assembly constraints and simplify tooling.
Company engineers have been planning these upgrades and changes since Q1 and are well into the design of the version 4.0 device which is targeted for pre-production small batch runs in Q4 (2021) followed by broad field testing and clinical testing to establish V4.0 benchmark standards.
The Company also reports that it has begun preliminary discussions with potential manufacturers in North America for the THCBA."
OrganiGram Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209289540/composite OGI +2.63% announced last month the launch of SHRED'ems, a high-quality and bold flavoured lineup of cannabis-infused gummies. SHRED'ems is an extension of the Company's highly popular, value-priced SHRED product portfolio which includes SHRED milled flower and SHRED Jar of Joints. Since launch in early August, SHRED'ems has already demonstrated great momentum, capturing the leading market share position of the edibles category in Prince Edward Island (PEI) within 2 weeks of launch and the fourth position in New Brunswick. "The launch of SHRED'ems is a significant milestone for Organigram," says Tim Emberg, Chief Revenue Officer, Organigram. "As a company, we remain dedicated to developing industry-leading products that meet consumer needs, and the launch of SHRED'ems is the first of many new innovations we anticipate coming from our strategic acquisition of EIC."
HEXO Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206508254/composite HEXO +0.69% reported back in June the closing of the previously disclosed transaction to purchase its first US production facility through a wholly owned US subsidiary. The ~50,000 sq. ft. facility in Fort Collins, Colorado will provide US CPG companies and consumers access to the Powered by HEXO® technology and products. "The Colorado facility will allow us to successfully execute on our US strategy, which includes supplying high quality Powered by HEXO® technology and leveraging our intellectual property portfolio across the United States," said HEXO Corp CEO and co-founder Sebastien St-Louis. "The facility will also provide us with the necessary infrastructure to continue expanding our joint-venture with Molson Coors to create Truss CBD-infused beverages, while also creating the necessary capacity to support future, non-beverage CPG partnerships."
Cronos Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206842762/composite CRON +4.51% announced last month the achievement of the first target productivity milestone in their partnership to produce eight cultured cannabinoids. Ginkgo, which recently announced a business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. , serves customers across industries seeking to develop new and better products using biology. Using Ginkgo's platform for organism design and development, Cronos Group has successfully achieved the productivity target for cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which will support the Cronos Group's planned CBG product launch this fall. "As leading companies in our respective industries, Cronos Group and Ginkgo are uniquely positioned to elevate the cannabis industry through cannabinoid and product innovation to unlock the next generation of its potential," said Kurt Schmidt, President and CEO of Cronos Group. "Ginkgo's platform enables companies across a multitude of industries to reach their customers with better products. We are proud to use our combined capabilities to make the benefits of cannabinoids more accessible to consumers."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB +2.16% and Ethypharm reported last month that they have successfully delivered their initial shipment of cannabis to the French medical cannabis pilot program, set to begin serving patients in the coming weeks. Aurora and Ethypharm were selected by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) to supply the entire medical cannabis dried flower range (three lots of the tender) to French patients during the pilot program. "The first prescriptions of dried medical cannabis as part of the French pilot program are a significant step toward providing access to patients and will support the destigmatization of medical cannabis in France," says Miguel Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora Cannabis. "This accomplishment is another example of Aurora's leadership in global cannabis, with a proven track record of supporting the advancement of international medical cannabis markets alongside government bodies. By demonstrating a deep commitment to compliance and focus on product quality, we won three of the nine available tenders. If successful, this pilot program could lead to one of the largest regulated medical cannabis markets in Europe."
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