Athlete Endorsements Help Drive the CBD Industry to New Heights – PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The stress that many professional athletes endure can often become enormously strenuous and ultimately lead to their retirement. Many athletes across various professional sports have retired early due to complications with aging or detrimental injuries. Notably, former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski retired early due to a string of injuries. Specifically, Gronkowski suffered from injuries that impacted his back, ankles, and legs. Throughout his career, Gronkowski underwent several surgeries, but unfortunately, he retired after nine seasons in the league. After his retirement, Gronkowski partnered with a CBD retailer, CBDMedic, to create a line of topical pain treatments using the cannabis-derived compound. He decided to partner with CBDMedic after his father recommended the topical cream for a toe injury. In an interview with CNBC Make It, Gronkowski said he was surprised that the topical worked well and suppressed the pain. He also said he wishes he was able to use CBD products while he was in the NFL. in Gronkowski’s mind, CBD would have made a huge difference in his pain management and he now maintains that it could help other athletes deal with similar issues. However, at the time Gronkowksi suffered a number of injuries, CBD was still a controlled substance. Then, in 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided to remove CBD’s designation as a prohibited substance for athletes after extensive research proved that the compound has therapeutic effects. Following the legal approval of CBD, a number of athletes began to use CBD to help them relax before a competition or relieve muscle aches after. As such, many athletes also began to praise the therapeutic effects of CBD, leading to droves of curious consumers. And with the number of growing athletes endorsing CBD as well as the increasing consumer base, the CBD marketplace is positioned to flourish in mainstream retail. According to data compiled by QY Research, the global cannabidiol market is expected to increase from USD 303 Million in 2018 to USD 2.28 Billion by 2025 while registering a CAGR of 33.5%. Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTC: KSHB), Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTC: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY)

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) allows athletes to use CBD, whether it’s oils, extracts or other products. However, the agency warns athletes to be cautious because it is difficult to obtain products that are pure CBD. Furthermore, the USADA notes that there is still very limited data on the effects of CBD. Nonetheless, the agency highlights initial studies that have proven that CBD does not cause any dependence or abuse. Additionally, a study published in the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information indicates that CBD can be promising for chronic pain management. Floyd Landis, a former professional cyclist, underwent a hip replacement surgery in 2006. For years after, Landis relied on WADA-approved opioid-based painkillers, which began his addiction. He began to rely on opioids, not only for pain relief but also to escape from his depression. Eventually, Landis turned towards CBD to curb his opioid addiction and also to use a more natural remedy. While CBD is primarily praised for its pain management benefits, researchers have also highlighted that CBD can reduce inflammation, nausea, muscle spasms and also stimulate appetite. CBD offers a multi-functional solution for athletes, which can allow them to reduce the number of medications they use. Despite the positive effects of CBD, many athletes still do not use it. However, as research continues to undermine stereotypes and solidifies previous studies, CBD is expected to become a mainstream remedial treatment for athletes and even regular consumers. “Legalization is picking up steam on a global level and I feel like now is the time to spread information about the curing capabilities of this plant,” said Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback Joe Montana.

Newleaf Brands Inc. (OTC: NLBIF) (CSE: NLB) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: NLB). Yesterday, the Company announced breaking news that, “it has successfully passed an extensive testing of its CBD oil for pesticides, microbial and heavy metals completed by Botanacor Laboratories (“Botanacor”), a nationally recognized third party testing facility. Botanacor is the leading national industrial hemp and CBD testing laboratory which provides accurate, repeatable, and defensible testing data. The test results state that the following microbial were not detected in Kured’s CBD oil: aerobic plate count, coliforms, yeast and molds, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and salmonella. There was also zero detection of any pesticides or heavy metals.

Benjamin Martch CEO of Kured and CMO of NewLeaf Brands commented, ‘As vaping oil has been a hot topic in the news lately, we wanted to the extra mile to make sure that our oil was safe for our consumers. The overall quality of our oil is very important to us. Passing these tests shows that our formulation team is doing a great job.’

About NewLeaf Brands: NewLeaf Brands, Inc. is an innovative Cannabidiol (“CBD”) lifestyle Company. Through the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries We are Kured, LLC, Drink Fresh Water, LLC, ReLyfe Brand, LLC and TeaLief Brand, LLC the Company’s main business activities encompass the development, marketing, and distribution of CBD products (including vaporizer pens/cartridges, hot/cold tea, softgel capsules and beverages) throughout North America, South America, and Europe. In addition, NewLeaf Brands, Inc. has extensive retail and cultivation land investments in Oregon, USA.

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Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents. Cronos Group Inc. recently announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire an 84,000 sq. ft. GMP compliant fermentation and manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Canada from Apotex Fermentation Inc. (“AFI”). The state-of-the-art facility, which will operate as “Cronos Fermentation”, includes fully equipped laboratories covering microbiology, organic and analytical chemistry, quality control and method development as well as two large scale microbial fermentation production areas with combined production capacity of 102,000L, three downstream processing plants, and bulk product and packaging capabilities. As previously announced, Cronos Group has entered into a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. to produce cultured cannabinoids. Research and development under this partnership is progressing, and as associated milestones are hit, this new facility is expected to provide Cronos Group with the ability to produce cultured cannabinoids at commercial scale with high-quality and high-purity. “This acquisition will provide the fermentation and manufacturing capabilities we need to capitalize on the work underway with Ginkgo once the milestones under that partnership are achieved,” said Mike Gorenstein, Chief Executive Officer of Cronos Group. “Together with Ginkgo, we are bringing innovation and the power of biological manufacturing to the cannabis industry, aiming to allow for cannabinoid production at large scale and with greater efficiency than is currently possible with traditional cultivation and extraction. We continue to be very excited about the opportunities ahead.” 

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 entered into an agreement to provide extraction services to a large U.S.-based farming services operation. Under the contract terms, Neptune will receive hemp biomass to be processed and transformed into crude oil extracts. The 2-year agreement could reach a total value in excess of USD 20 Million. The first shipment of biomass is expected to arrive at Neptune’s North Carolina facility in the coming weeks. “This large contract will support our capacity expansion at our North Carolina facility and better position us to serve the growing United States market. Our expansion in North Carolina is on time and on budget with extraction capacity expected to reach an annual run-rate of 1,500,000 kg of biomass by December 2019. Demand for extraction and formulation services in the U.S. is currently strong with the ongoing harvest season and our tolling and formulation pipeline to deliver high quality full and broad spectrum extracts remains robust. This announcement represents a further step towards our customer and geographic diversification strategy,” said Michael Cammarata, Neptune’s Chief Executive Officer.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: KSHB) is the premier producer of ancillary products and services to the cannabis and hemp industries. KushCo Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it had entered an exclusive distribution agreement with De La Rue, a global leader in anti-counterfeiting and authentication solutions. In accordance with the agreement, KushCo will offer the growing cannabis industry standard and custom branded anti-counterfeit security labels. The solution will also provide unique IDs to support product serialization and a digital verification system to enable authentication throughout the regulated cannabis supply chain. The regulated cannabis industry is being actively targeted by counterfeiters aiming to benefit from the industry’s explosive growth. The KushCo proposition will provide companies with enhanced packaging, with the most secure visual authentication technology using 3D photopolymer images, unique serialization, e-verification, label tracking, and data capturing capabilities. “It is our responsibility as a leader in the space to build consumer trust in addition to empowering governments and brands. Counterfeit products undermine the legitimate cannabis industry by hurting sales, cheating governments out of tax revenue, and eroding consumer confidence while putting their health at risk. KushCo wants to provide the tools for our clients to have greater transparency and accountability,” said Nick Kovacevich, KushCo’s Chief Executive Officer.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTCQX: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY) is an international cannabis company dedicated to bringing innovative, effective, and high-quality cannabis products to the medical, wellness and adult-use markets. Auxly Cannabis Group Inc., together with its strategic partner, Atlantic Cultivation, recently announced that it had entered into a comprehensive supply, development and retail agreement with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The agreement marks a significant milestone in the establishment of Auxly’s presence in Atlantic Canada. Under the terms of the agreement, Atlantic will be eligible to apply to operate five new retail locations in the province. Site scouting is currently underway and Atlantic plans to open its first retail store by Q1 2020. Additionally, Auxly will supply to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador up to 50 kg of dried flower (or equivalent derived products) in 2019, up to an additional 1,000 kg in 2020 and an option for up to another 1,000 kg in 2021. Hugo Alves, Chief Executive Officer of Auxly, added: “We are excited to continue to build on our partnership with Atlantic and reinforce our commitment to Atlantic Canada, where we are building meaningful cannabis businesses that have a positive impact on the region. We look forward to delivering high quality cannabis products and ultimately exceptional in-store experiences to the Newfoundland and Labrador community.”

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