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Vape sales bounce back, No more Illicit Vendors

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As the North American cannabis industry grows at a remarkable pace with more regions continuing to pass legislation, the burden imposed by health officials and lawmakers took a toll on many companies. Several medical cases have emerged related to vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that THC vape products have played a major role in the outbreak. The CDC mentioned that vape products purchased from illicit vendors must be disposed of immediately and urged consumers to purchase their products from legally licensed vendors.

The sales started to decline as many cases of lung injuries due to vaping affected hundreds of people even resulting in 39 deaths. A research firm New Frontier discovered that U.S. vape sales fell by 15%, states such as New MexicoMassachusetts, and Nevada witnessed their sales decline by a third, while California fell by 6%. The consumers are being directed to purchase cannabis products only from legal vendors, who explicitly mention the additives as well as the growing procedures of the product. This led to vape sales being back to business. In light of recent events, consumers and federal officials alike are beginning to demand more stringent research and better-regulated products.

Many consumers still tend to prefer obtaining their products from illicit vendors. For instance, one year after Canada fully legalized cannabis, 60% of Canadians still obtained their products from black market dealers or sources that are not entirely legal. Generally, more consumers prefer to purchase from black market channels because it is significantly cheaper compared to legal marketplaces. According to a study by Statistics Canada, legal cannabis now costs 65% more than black market products, increasing from 50% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

On the other hand, a study conducted by Brightfield Group discovered that 43% of the respondents were willing to pay more for premium, while 34% were reluctant to pay more for certified organic products. However, the percentage has steadily fallen since consumers are more willing to pay for healthier methods of delivery such as concentrates or extracts. And the concentrate and extract market rapidly expanded because consumers were beginning to demand more potent and healthier alternative products.

Scott Gottlieb, Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, said in an interview with CNBC that vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking. He added, “There’s no question if a currently addicted adult smoker migrates to a vaping product, they’re gonna improve their health. There’s no question about that.”

As a result, many companies came forward with healthier alternatives. Citation Growth Corp. annouced that they will use organic products. The President of the company added,’Our goal has been to retain the true essence of the plant and preserve that quality in a truly premium organic line, bringing to market a top-quality flavorful selection sure to compete well against the top contenders in its league.’

The KushCo Holding Inc. proposed to 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 to ensure consumer trust.

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First Pneumonia Related Death Reported in China

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The first case of pneumonia-related death is reported this Saturday in China. It’s a 61 years old man who died with respiratory illness. This illness was caused by a new type of virus that belongs to the same family as that of SARS. Not to forget, SARS is the same virus that took hundreds of life some years ago.

Currently, forty-one people in Wuhan are diagnosed with this new pneumonia-like disease but it is not pneumonia. The experts believe it’s a new viral strain and a statement from the central Chinese city’s health commission on its official website has confirmed it.

After this first death, seven more cases are in critical condition. But two of them are discharged after recovering from the mysterious pneumonia-like disease. The emergence of this new virus has alarmed the health officials and scared the public due to the past SARS outbreak.

In 2002-2003, or Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) topped the headlines with hundreds of people dying with it in China, Hongkong and many other parts of the world. Only in China SARS killed nearly 349 people and some 299 confirmed death cases in Hong Kong. It affected the national economy of these countries at large and completely distorted the tourism industry.

Read more- Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce announces GACC Certified™ testing

Chinese scientists are investigating the root cause of this outbreak and they believe it’s a new strain from coronavirus. Coronavirus is a family of viruses that contain different mild and severe varieties of flu virus including common flu and SARS.

The researchers from Kong’s Department of Health in this death announcement on Saturday shared that genetic sequencing of this virus has been found in only one patient from the Wuhan region and is now available online. By going through its sequencing and comparing it with SARS shows that both of these viruses are 80% similar. However, it is too early to give a conclusion if it is SARS or something more deadly. They have warned the people and healthcare authorities to be vigilant this flu season.

Wong Ka-hin is the director at the department’s Health Protection Centre. He says that;

“We will remain alert as we believe the epidemic will continue to develop,”

Hong Kong authorities are trying to follow the necessary precautions to stop the spread of this new SARS-like virus. This includes disinfectant sprays in public transport i.e. trains and airplanes, checking of passengers and awareness campaigns on the new virus.

The Wuhan health commission further shares that this first person to die from the new viral disease bought eatables from a local seafood market. This seafood market was located in the city which is currently known to be the hub of this new flu outbreak in China and was cloves on January 1st for public safety.

The patient had the chronic liver disease but he died last Thursday due to “respiratory failure”. Ever since new cases are being detected nearly every day which shows that the evidence of this disease is contagious.

World health organization (WHO) said that there are no traveling restrictions necessary specific measures to follow during trade visits to China. It also expressed full confidence in Chinese health authorities to control the viral spread as soon as possible.

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Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce announces GACC Certified™ testing

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The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC) provides policymakers and legislators with the guidance necessary to take the nascent cannabis industry from the gray market into a global provider of medical and adult-use cannabis products.

Recently, the Company announced the launch of a nationwide, voluntary industry certification standard for safety and purity in cannabis product testing. The aim of this program is to provide licensed sellers and consumer confidence that the legal products are safe and they meet the purity standards. By the end of 2020, this program will be available to all state-licensed cannabis operations.

The Executive Director at GACC, Randal John Meyer says that with the current laws it is impossible to make sure that there are uniform standards for purity. Furthermore, GACC President Rezwan Khan added, ”GACC wants to establish a means by which consumers can have confidence in the products they buy and to provide the industry the tools to give this assurance.”

GACC and the member of the companies believe in establishing standards for safety and purity, and in creating a serious and effective testing program. Nominations for membership on the Standards Committee (terms are two years) will be open to the public beginning on Thursday, December 5, 2019, and closing on January 30, 2020.

The Board of GACC will determine the initial composition. Future members will include public nominations and will be determined by the GACCAST Standards Committee and reviewed by the GACC Board of Directors. It is expected that the GACCAST Standards Committee will take approximately nine months to establish the initial standards and protocols so that implementation can begin in 2020.

Brands such as Raw Garden, DNA Genetics, Crockett Family Farms, Urbn Leaf, La Familia, and Team Elite Genetics, and all derivative cannabis products from DNA Genetics’ and Crockett Family Farms’ genetic have pledged to support the development of the standards setting protocol and to adopt and implement it as well when it is effective.

To accommodate the entire legal cannabis industry’s access to this program, GACC will be creating a membership class, the Standard Membership, which involves minimal costs for participation, and that will provide access to the GACC Certified™ Program. GACC is also planning to arrange for testing discounts for members who use the GACC network of laboratories. The GACC President Rezwan Khan added, “Our goal is to ensure this program isn’t cost-prohibitive for any cannabis companies of any size.”

Solo sciences will be offering GACC members a substantial discount on anti-counterfeiting, instant product recall solo*CODE™ technology as they have previously partnered with GACC to ensure that medical patients and adult consumers do not unwittingly purchase counterfeit or illicit vape products.

On this account, the Executive Director of GACC added, “The combination of the voluntary GACC Certified™ consumer safety standard, particularly when combined with members’ access to substantially discounted solo*CODE™ anticounterfeiting technology, allows GACC members to provide their consumers with the confidence they need that anywhere in the United States they legally purchase a participating cannabis product, our blue leaf means it’s safe and genuine.”

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Pasha Brand’s Board Restructuring, announces resignations

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Pasha Brands Ltd. is one of North America’s largest network and aggregator of craft cannabis. Recently, the Company announced the following resignations: Scott WaltersRosy Mondin and Hugo Alves as directors of the Company. Pasha Brand thanked them for their contributions, time, and efforts.

The Executive Chairman, Patrick Brauckmann stated, ”I’m grateful Scott, Rosy and Hugo shared my vision and were able to contribute to our unique offering. Their resignations will not diminish our resolve to see this project completed, as thousands of cannabis professionals wait in line to re-enter the industry they created.”
However, the resignations are effective immediately.

The Company is now working on establishing a new working board. The idea behind a new board is to solely include people who invested in the brand and its future. The Company’s vision includes giving opportunities for small farmers, legacy brands, the brands excluded by the government, and the founders of Canada’s original cannabis industry. This will help the companies to enter the business world through Pasha’s craft aggregation platform.

Pasha Brand as a Company has proven its capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail. This makes the Company uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers. Given the opportunity, the brand also plans on refreshing the ranks and reposition the key personnel to reflect the Company’s goal of having Grizzlers™ and Roll Model™ pre-rolls in the market in early 2020.

The Company has many accomplishments under its brand name. Pasha Brand has acquired 8 pre-legalization brands. It established BC Craft Supply Co, which is a solution provider to the micro cultivation community is Canada. It acquired Medcann Health Products Ltd. The Medcann Health Company is a  Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor operating out of a 10,000 square foot facility on Vancouver Island. Another one of the acquired brands is Royal Green Acres Ltd., which is a late stage licensed producer applicant under the ACMPR. The Company established a proprietory platform bringing quality assurance to the craft industry by the name of Craft Labs™.

The Pasha Brand’s common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol “CRFT” and on the FSE under the symbol “ZZD”. Commenting on these changed, the Executive Chairman, Patrick Brauckmann mentioned that he wants a Company that works on the principle of quality and meaning. The Company recruited a strong group of cannabis professionals, brokers and operators, many of who played a part in creating Canada’s original cannabis industry to continue living up to its standards.

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