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Industry applauds 2018 Farm Bill compromise paving the way for U.S. federal legalization of hemp. Big tobacco enters market with $1.8b investment in Canadian Cronos Group. Volatility continues in cannabis stocks despite recent upward movement. Positive legalization momentum across multiple jurisdictions.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. has been selected by the Luxembourg Health Ministry for the supply of medical cannabis to that country and an initial purchase order for approximately 20 kilograms has been received. Cannabis for medical use was made legal in Luxembourg in June after the government unanimously passed a draft law to decriminalise the use of the cannabis for patients suffering from diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or neurodegenerative diseases..
The Australian Department of Health’s Office of Drug Control has published a list of approved manufacturers and suppliers of medical cannabis products in Australia. The publication of the list is intended for the use of medical profession and pharmacies. The list comprises nine approved manufacturers and 17 approved importers. To view the list click here.
After months of impasse, U.S. lawmakers released the much-anticipated draft of the 2018 Farm Bill which calls for the end to five decades of hemp prohibition. The legislation which still must pass both houses of Congress which legislators hope to accomplish prior to the end of the year would allow for hemp production in all 50 states for any use, including flower production and CBD or other cannabinoid extraction. Amongst other obvious benefits, the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill would open-up the market for banks and investment companies to come into the market providing much needed financial liquidity and underpin the expected explosive growth of the industry. .
The New Zealand government has passed its medicinal cannabis bill, which will establish a regulated scheme within a year. The legislation will also allow terminally ill patients to begin smoking cannabis immediately without facing the possibility of prosecution. The law opens the door for New Zealand companies to manufacture medicinal cannabis products for both the domestic and international markets. These legislative measures come ahead of a planned referendum on recreational cannabis use, which the government has pledged to hold within two years..
There has been a recent resurgence of moves within the Israeli parliament to push through a law to allow exports of medical cannabis. The chairman of the parliament’s internal affairs and environment committee, submitted a revised bill last week which he hopes will be passed by the end of the year. The Israeli finance and health ministries estimate exports could bring in about $1 billion a year. There are currently eight cultivating companies in Israel, many of whom have resorted to opening farms abroad to get into the international market. The government says there have been many requests form business owners awaiting authorisation. Read full story here.
Cigarette giant Altria Group takes 45 percent stake in Cronos Group for $1.8 billion. The announcement published on December 7 sparked a soar in Cronos’ share price which has eased back only slightly over the last few days. The acquisition marks the much-anticipated entry of major tobacco players into the cannabis market. The move provides Cronos with a formidable partner with deep pockets with a considerable global distribution network.
Wayland Group has purchased 819 hectares of existing developed agriculture land in San Juan Province in Argentina for $8.5m. According the company, the San Juan Province is ideal for cannabis cultivation due to the province’s climate and altitude. The purchase is part of the company’s long-term growth strategy based on centres of efficiency from international operations which will result in greater long-term profitability. Wayland continues to see the rapid global expansion of the regulated market for cannabis, replacing unregulated “black” markets. Read the full press release here.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. has entered into a Letter of Intent to acquire Mexican licensed THC importer, Farmacias Magistrales S.A. (“Farmacias”). The deal is subject to customary due diligence provisions, the completion of definitive agreements, and regulatory and government approval. Farmacias recently became Mexico's first and only federally licensed importer to date of raw materials containing THC, gaining the necessary licenses, facilities, and permissions to import raw THC material, and manufacture, store, and distribute medical cannabis products containing over 1% THC. Read full press release here
Canopy Rivers Inc. has increased its ownership stake in CanapaR Corp., the Canadian parent corporation of CanapaR SrL, an Italy-based organic hemp production and processing platform. The investment of $25m via a non-brokered private placement increases the Company’s ownership position from 35% to 49.9%. The investment builds upon Canopy Rivers’ international expansion strategy and positions the Company to capitalize on the expected growth in demand for cannabis and CBD derivative products in the rapidly growing European cannabis market. Read full press release here