Technological Advances Help Better Regulate the Growing Cannabis Market

NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The cannabis industry has had some major accomplishments in recent years. Currently, sixteen states have now fully legalized the use of cannabis products for both medical and recreational use. The recent election, in November, has further cemented the continuous expansion of cannabis legalization as New Jersey, a major potential market for the industry, voted in favor of legalization as well. Nonetheless, the concern over cannabis abuse is still a major drawback. For instance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse highlighted that the long-term effects of constant cannabis use can alter brain development and cause memory impairment and affect learning functions. Consequently, this can affect a user's ability to perform daily functions. In fact, one of the major concerns over cannabis abuse revolves around operating a vehicle while impaired. The National Institute on Drug Abuse highlighted that marijuana was the most common illicit drug found within the bloodstream of drivers who were involved in vehicle accidents, including fatal ones. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) (TSX: APHA), Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTC: HRVSF), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO), Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTC: PLNHF)

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 necessary technology for law enforcement agencies to use to crackdown on drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. "In legal states, you'll see road signs that say "Drive High, Get a DUI,' but there has not been a reliable and practical way to enforce that," says Alexander Star, PhD, Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. "There are debates in the legal community about what levels of THC would amount to a DUI, but creating such a device is an important first step toward making sure people don't partake and drive."

Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) just announced breaking news that, "the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted patent No. 14/689434 entitled, "Cannabis Drug Detection Device" to the Company. The Company and its patent attorneys have been pursuing this patent application since its filing in 2014.  Cannabix Technologies is on the forefront in research and development to create point-of-care breath testing technologies for the detection of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") - the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment.

"The intellectual property protection this THC detection patent covers, gives Cannabix a broad foundation to build upon in view of the formidable insights and technical advancements made in the field of molecular gas analysis at atmospheric pressure that we have developed since this patent was initially filed in 2014. Considering the field of breath detection of drugs is in its infancy, this patent is a useful step in our IP protection strategy" said Dr. Raj Attariwala.

In light of the granting of U.S. patent 14/689434, the Company undertaken a strategic review of its existing patent applications and will re-align its portfolio by canceling its second licence agreement with the University of Florida (UF) in relation to patent application 16/082,220. The Company will continue with its original licence agreement with UF in relation to patent 8,237,118.

As a requirement under the licence agreement between the Company and Cannabix Breathalyzer Inc. (a separate entity) entered into on June 5th, 2014, Company will issue 5 million common shares to Cannabix Breathalyzer Inc. as a final milestone payment, triggered by the grant of patent 14/689434 by the USPTO.

About Cannabix Technologies Inc. - Cannabix Technologies Inc. is a leader in marijuana breathalyzer development for law enforcement and the workplace. Cannabix has established breath testing technologies in the pursuit of bringing accurate, durable, portable tools to market to enable detection of marijuana-impaired driving offences on roads at a time when marijuana is becoming legal in many global jurisdictions. Cannabix is working to develop drug-testing devices that will detect THC- the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes intoxication- using breath samples. In particular, Cannabix is focused on developing breath testing devices for detection of recent use of THC, in contrast to urine testing for THC metabolite that requires an invasive collection and reflects usage, days or even weeks earlier. The devices will also be useful for other practical applications such as testing employees in the workplace where impairment by THC can be hazardous.

Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) (TSX: APHA) announced earlier last year its financial results for the first quarter ended August 31, 2020. All amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted and except for per gram, kilogram, kilogram equivalents, and per share amounts. "Our strong first quarter results reflect the continued robust growth and development of Aphria's adult-use cannabis brands in Canada," said Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are consistently taking a diversified approach to our innovation, strategic partnerships, global expansion and corporate citizenship to fuel sustainable, long-term growth. We believe that the strength of our balance sheet and cash position, combined with our consistent focus on our highest-return priorities, will generate sustainable long-term value for all stakeholders." The Company reported Record gross revenue for adult-use cannabis of $69.6 million in the first quarter, an increase of 23% from prior quarter and the sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF) provided comments back in November on the successful ballot initiative to allow recreational cannabis consumption in Arizona. "The recreational initiative in Arizona represents a well-rounded approach to allow the expansion of access to cannabis in Arizona," said Chief Executive Officer Steve White. "We fully expect the implementation of Prop 207 will positively impact tax revenue and social justice in Arizona, while strengthening employer protections and enhancing public safety. As the largest operator of medical dispensaries in the state, we look forward to serving recreational customers under this new program." The adult use initiative legalizes the sale, possession and consumption of one ounce of cannabis for adults at least 21 years old. The Arizona Department of Health Services oversees the testing, inspection, and sale of cannabis products. Existing medical market operators in good standing can submit applications for adult use sales as soon as January 19th, 2021 with department review required within 60 days of submittal. It is expected that the total Arizona cannabis market will reach USD 2 Billion at maturity.

HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) announce earlier last year that Trent MacDonald's security clearance request under the Cannabis Act has been granted by Health Canada. As previously announced, Mr. MacDonald had been appointed to the Company's executive leadership team in the acting role of Chief Financial Officer, with his permanent role as Chief Financial Officer to commence upon the successful completion of Health Canada's security clearance process for key personnel. With his security clearance having been granted, Mr. MacDonald now moves into a permanent role as Chief Financial Officer. "HEXO is now in a very strong financial position, having already taken the impairments and write-downs that continue to plague the cannabis industry, while also having plenty of working capital and cash," said Trent MacDonald. "I am excited to join the Company as we move towards positive EBITDA, positive operational cash flow and clear a path for sustained profitability on a per share basis. I am thrilled to be contributing to HEXO's strategic and operational initiatives as the Company is relentlessly pursuing a top market position in Canada, while I believe we are extremely well positioned to take advantage of an ever-evolving U.S. market, especially through Truss Beverages, our joint venture with Molson Coors."

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTC: PLNHF) reported back in November that it generated the Company's third consecutive month of revenue in excess of USD 7.5 Million. In October, combined revenue from the SuperStore and Nevada wholesale were USD 7.6 Million at gross margins above 50%. "Planet 13 continues to generate strong revenue with three consecutive months over USD 7.5 Million. The SuperStore, our delivery, and our wholesale are all performing at top levels," said Bob Groesbeck. "With the strong performance from our current operations, Medizin set to open in the next couple of weeks, continued progress towards opening Santa Ana, and approximately USD 70 Million in cash as of November 9th for expansion in new states Planet 13 has never been in a stronger position."

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