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Legal Barriers Falling for the Cannabis Market’s Rampant Growth

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The cannabis market has begun to garner worldwide attention as more countries move to adopt cannabis legislation. Primarily, most countries are looking to adopt medical cannabis laws. Countries that have adopted medical legislation are leveraging cannabis to treat certain medical applications such as cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Throughout the past year, the cannabis industry has made significant milestones as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its first cannabis-derived drug to treat epilepsy in children. Shortly after, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency removed CBD, or cannabidiol, off the Schedule 1 list. CBD-based products that have less than 0.1% THC concentrate will now be considered a Schedule 5 drug, as long as the medication has been approved by the FDA. Furthermore, the FDA recently scheduled a public hearing to be held in May as the agency looks to legalize CBD in food and drinks. The combination of these events has led to the exponential growth of the overall cannabis market. Moreover, as legalization efforts continue, other countries are expected to be influenced and potentially follow in legalizing cannabis. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 9.3 Billion and is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by the end of 2025. Additionally, the market is projected to register a CAGR of 34.6%. CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U), Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB), Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF) (CSE: CL), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT)

Research and studies conducted within the cannabis industry have helped in adding credibility to the plant. However, the FDA ruled that due to the lack of large-scale and efficient clinical trials, the agency cannot approve cannabis as a registered treatment, yet. Now, researchers and companies involved within the industry are expanding their studies to help expand the cannabis market further. The FDA’s concern over cannabis becoming a legitimate medicine alternative signals the steps the market has taken. Decades ago, cannabis was internationally illegal. Now, countries including AustraliaCanadaColumbiaGermanythe NetherlandsSpain, and the U.S. have all adopted cannabis legislation of some form. Moving forward, as more governments and regulatory agencies focus on the topic of cannabis legalization, the cannabis industry can become the next emerging global market. “It’s critical that we address these unanswered questions about CBD and other cannabis and cannabis-derived products to help inform the FDA’s regulatory oversight of these products — especially as the agency considers whether it could be appropriate to exercise its authority to allow the use of CBD in dietary supplements and other foods,” outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently said in a statement.

CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CLSH.U). Earlier last week, the Company announced that, “since acquiring Oasis Cannabis Dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada, CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) has been working to elevate the entire customer experience behind cannabis. The catchphrase “New Oasis, Same Faces” assures customers that they will still receive the same care and attention they’ve come to expect from Oasis Cannabis, only now in a totally redesigned, modern, and fresh facility. The new space is more accessible, inviting and vibrant, with the same friendly and knowledgeable staff. Over the past few months, walls have been torn down and the color scheme have been modernized from lime green to bright white with blue accents, evoking a vibrant and calming feel. LED lit display cases are purposefully and openly situated, allowing customers ample room to explore products. The large white bud bar hosts the budtender, who is able to curate a better user experience through education and a diverse product selection. At the heart of the renovation is improving customer experience – but the company’s dedication to education, compassionate care, and community enrichment remain the same.

All are welcome to join the Oasis Cannabis Grand Reopening Party, which will take place at the dispensary on Saturday April 6th 2019 from 12:00pm – 10:00pm. The event will feature vendors on-site, live art, live music, food trucks, and special prices. The dispensary is located at 1800 Industrial Rd #180, Las Vegas, NV 89102.

About Oasis Cannabis: Oasis Cannabis has operated a cannabis dispensary in the Las Vegas market since dispensaries first opened in Nevada in 2015 and has been recognized as one of the top marijuana retailers in the state. Its location within walking distance to the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas in combination with its delivery service to residents allows it to efficiently serve both locals and tourists in the Las Vegas area. In February 2019, it was named “Best Dispensary for Pot Pros” by Desert Companion Magazine.

In August 2017, the company commenced wholesale offerings of cannabis in Nevada with the launch of its City Trees brand of cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products. http://oasiscannabis.com

About City Trees: Founded in 2017, City Trees is a Nevada based cannabis cultivation, production and distribution company. Offering a wide variety of products with consistent results, City Trees is one the fastest growing wholesale companies in the industry. Its products are now available at 40 dispensaries. https://citytrees.com

About CLS Holdings USA, Inc: CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB:CLSH) (CSE:CLSH),  is a diversified cannabis company that acts as an integrated cannabis producer and retailer through its Oasis Cannabis subsidiaries in Nevada, and plans to expand to other states. CLS stands for “Cannabis Life Sciences,” in recognition of the Company’s patented proprietary method of extracting various cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and converting them into products with a higher level of quality and consistency. The Company’s business model includes licensing operations, processing operations, processing facilities, sale of products, brand creation and consulting services.”

For our latest “Buzz on the Street” Show featuring CLS Holdings, USA Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to:

 

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-based cannabidiol wellness products. Recently, Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. surpassed 3,000 retail locations across the United States. At the end of 2017, Charlotte’s Web products were sold in approximately 2,000 locations. The Company had recently that it surpassed its 2018 year-end goal of 3,000 locations during the 3rd quarter. With CBD gaining mainstream market momentum, Charlotte’s Web, the industry pioneer and category leader in hemp-based CBD, has expanded its suite of product offerings across a wider variety of retailers, from small specialty health food stores to now including regional pharmacy and grocery chains. “Firstly, I would like to commend our incredible and committed staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone,” stated Charlotte’s Web Chief Executive Officer Hess Moallem. “I would also like to thank our dedicated retail partners for their continued support of our mission and for valuing the trust that is closely associated with our brand name.”

Cresco Labs Inc. (OTCQX: CRLBF) (CSE: CL) and CannaRoyalty Corp. d/b/a Origin House (CSE: OH) (OTCQX: ORHOF) recently announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement, pursuant to which Cresco Labs will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Origin House. Under the terms of the Agreement, holders of common shares of Origin House will receive 0.8428 subordinate voting shares of Cresco Labs for each Origin House Share. Origin House has become a leading distributor and provider of brand support services in California, the world’s largest regulated cannabis market. Origin House’s proven strategy has been to build relationships with established dispensaries, build partnerships with established market-leading brands, develop promising cannabis product companies, and then leverage its full suite of support services to transform those products into strong California consumer brands. Origin House delivers over 50+ cannabis brands to more than 500 dispensaries in California, representing approximately 60% market penetration. “The acquisition of Origin House is another example of our focused and disciplined approach to creating a meaningful presence in key cannabis markets through excellence in brand development and distribution,” said Cresco Labs Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Charlie Bachtell.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) is the leader in pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric disorders. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that it has initiated the Phase 2 BRIGHT (An Open-Label Tolerability and Efficacy Study of ZYN002 Administered as a Transdermal Gel to Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder) trial. The trial will assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of Zygel (previously referred to as ZYN002) for the treatment of child and adolescent patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Company expects to present topline data from this study in the first half of 2020. Clinical and anecdotal data suggest that CBD may modulate the EC system and improve certain core social and behavioral autism-related symptoms, including social avoidance and anxiety. “Autism spectrum disorder can have a devastating impact on a child and their family,” said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba. “The medical need is significant and unmet despite high awareness and advocacy efforts. Though there has been an accelerating rate of diagnosis, to date there are only two FDA approved products indicated for the treatment of ASD symptoms.”

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that it had completed its initial commercial production lots and is now shipping cannabis extracts from its licensed, GPP facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec. “The quality of the extracts in Neptune’s first production runs at our state-of-the-art facility has been terrific, and we are proud to begin deliveries. This marks an important step forward in the execution of our vision to lever our decades of extraction and wellness industry experience towards becoming the world’s leader in the extraction, purification and formulation of value-added, differentiated cannabis products,” said Jim Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.

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Artificial Intelligence

Experienced Industry Veteran Tony Mingo Joins O’Neil Digital Solutions

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Tony Mingo, Managing Director, Professional Services

 

O’Neil Digital Solutions (ODS), a leader in data-driven publishing and plan sponsor/participant communication services, recently announced that long-time financial technology (fintech) veteran Tony Mingo has joined the organization as its Managing Director, Professional Services in the financial vertical.

Mingo’s role is “to assist cutting-edge companies in their data-transformation strategies.”

Before joining ODS, Mingo founded vWise, Inc., a retirement plan participant digital thought-leader, in 2006, with a vision of creating interactive solutions that engage employees with their benefits. His experience as a leader in the financial services industry spans over 28 years, with additional experience in executive management leadership within the technology industry in Silicon Valley.

“With Tony’s experience and relationships in the financial industry, we are excited to have him build and lead our Professional Service in the Financial division at ODS,” said Terry Chan, President and COO of ODS.

Mingo will focus on growing the software and professional services offerings for the firm’s financial and insurance lines of business.

“It’s about delivering a proven digital transformation strategy, from traditional output to Omni-channel conversion, as well as process improvement, change management, and SAAS platforms that serve six different verticals (retirement, banking, brokerage, property/casualty, wealth management and life insurance/annuity),” Mingo said. “It has never been more imperative that organizations provide world-class customer experiences to plan participants to strengthen their reputations and brand loyalty. Meeting these expectations requires a deeper understanding of an individual customer’s needs across the entire customer journey.”

In early 2019, O’Neil launched its Plan Health Dashboard. The Plan Health Dashboard uses a client’s plan analytics to assign a plan health score based on underlying metrics such as participation rates, income replacement ratios, and asset diversification. The metrics can be weighted to define the scoring methodology.

ODS’ Omni-channel solution, called ONEsuite, provides clients with a flexible platform to create, manage and deliver highly-personalized marketing, sales and business documents in any media and format requested by an audience.

 

SOURCE O’Neil Digital Solutions

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Artificial Intelligence

Konnect -Volkswagen Group Innovation Hub TLV, Chose Seebo as the Winner of Its Startups Challenge

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Seebo, a pioneer in process-based Artificial Intelligence, announced today it has won the Konnect- VW Group Innovation hub TLV Startups Challenge. Seebo was chosen following a tough judging process, by a jury of experts from the Volkswagen Group leading car brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Porsche, VW Commercial Vehicles and more.

The goal of the challenge was to find technologies that present clear business potential, cost reduction, and address real challenges.” Says Stephanie Vox, Managing Director, Konnect. “Seebo’s solution is market-ready and can rapidly impact production efficiency and costs. It was chosen based on the Volkswagen Group high standards and commitment to deliver to our customers top quality cars today and in the future.”

Seebo was selected out of dozens of start-ups that participated in the challenge. The prize recognizes Seebo’s ground-breaking technology and ensures a deep collaboration with the VW Group, for which a sum of up to 25K Euros is granted.

We are honored to have been chosen as winners of the Smart Startups Challenge for 2019, by the leading VW Group brands, which are known for quality and innovation.” Says Lior Akavia, Seebo co-founder and CEO. “We look forward to this collaboration and to being part of the VW Group on-going pursuit for improvement in production efficiency and excellence.

Seebo enables automotive manufacturers to reduce processes-driven quality losses and failures in production and assembly processes. Collecting and analyzing data from production lines and automated inspection systems, Seebo leverages predictive analytics and automated root-cause analysis, to ensure production efficiency is kept at its highest level.

 

SOURCE Seebo

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Artificial Intelligence

Innovative Healthcare Startup Kermit Leverages Mendix-built Analytics Platform to Expand Services Nationwide

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Mendix, a Siemens business and the global leader in low-code and no-code application development for the enterprise, today announced that Kermit, the first spend-management platform for hospitals in the area of implantable medical devices, is announcing plans to expand their services nationwide. Kermit’s innovative analytics platform, enabling hospitals to track and manage contracts, billings, and vendor compliance, was built with a single Mendix developer in less than a year. Today’s announcement underscores the fact that low code technology from Mendix is ripe for implementation within the healthcare industry.

As knee, hip, and cardio implants move from package to patient, the Mendix-built platform captures data and provides end-to-end visibility into a supplier category known for its notoriously opaque pricing and batch invoicing. With Kermit, the accurate cost and use of each medical device is captured on handheld devices as the medical item moves from point-of-service in the operating room, accurate patient billing and vendor invoice payment, and finally aggregated for contract negotiations by healthcare executives. The data-driven analytics platform transforms a hospital’s previously siloed, paper- and spreadsheet-based data collection system into a cost-savings tool that flags supplier trends, optimizes workflows and spending, and provides quick dashboard reporting that has been proven to save hospitals millions of dollars.

“We are thrilled to announce our plans to expand the Kermit services nationwide,” says Richard Palarea, CEO and co-founder of Kermit, whose company now manages 40% of the total implant spend transacting in Maryland. “Our goal is not only to provide better data and save money for resource-strapped hospitals. We also want to shine a light on fraud and abuse within the medical device marketing industry and align value and spend management initiatives for the people that dedicate their lives to saving others. Our customers are now seeing significant savings in their medical device spending category. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve all this had it not been for Mendix. We built our platform using Mendix, and I attribute a large portion of our success to the ease of using Mendix’s low-code platform.”

Providing transparency and control

Fraud and abuse often run rampant in the sales and marketing of drugs and medical devices and is difficult to track across the healthcare industry’s siloed or proprietary data warehouse systems. Kermit provides a transparent analytics platform for surgeons, supply chain managers, and healthcare executives that connects medical device data to robust visualization and analysis, empowering the full team to make quality decisions on behalf of the patient. For surgeons, the platform provides an easy and transparent way to review the costs of implantable medical devices while discussing options with patients. Kermit also ensures fair and accurate billing by keeping cases, contracts, and devices updated and organized for supply chain managers. Additionally, Kermit pulls in external business intelligence such as supplier spending trends, contract compliance, and FDA recalls of medical devices. Such items, flagged for healthcare executives and procurement managers, provide knowledge and insight on device-related inefficiencies, equipping hospital to better navigate the ever-changing reimbursement environment.

Saving hospitals millions

Hospitals are working under immense pressure to manage costs and increase savings, with many operating on profit margins of 3 percent or less. Kermit’s founding principle is to return the balance of power back to the hospital by exposing ways to eliminate millions of dollars per year in the category of medical device spending and improving patient care. The University of Maryland Medical System, which has used the Kermit analytics platform over the course of two years, has achieved upwards of $30 million in savings, with greater visibility to vendor activity and collaboration between supply chain and surgeons. Hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region that have adopted Kermit report saving 30% on average of their total implant spend per year.

Built in nine months

Palarea cites Mendix’s flexible approach to rapid application development as a key competitive differentiator. “Without Mendix, it would have taken us nearly twice as long to develop our product and required us to hire five to ten developers instead of one,” he says. “We would have lost the window of being first to market this innovative approach.”

Mendix’s cloud-native capability enables Kermit to bypass hospital firewalls for additional time and efficiency gains. “Hospital IT departments can be bottlenecks,” Palarea admits. “Enterprise solutions can take between one to three years to implement. However, our customers access our Mendix-built platform via web browsers and connectivity. This lets Kermit bypass IT involvement and deploy our solution in less than seven days.”

The healthcare industry’s digital transformation depends on healthy data. “To leverage the inherent promise of big data analytics in the healthcare supply chain of medical devices is only achieved with a deep understanding of what customers and end users truly need and use on a daily basis,” says Jon Scolamiero, Mendix manager, architecture and governance. “Mendix’s application development tools are designed to foster collaboration between business experts and professional developers. Working together, they can build and deploy responsive, mission-critical applications that quickly make an impact.”

Palarea agrees. “Mendix has allowed us to be extremely nimble and flexible,” he says. “We are literally innovating in the midst of our hospital customers who are unaccustomed to seeing value delivered so rapidly and well below the expected budget numbers.”

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