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HEXO Moves to Grab Budget Cannabis Customers

In a move at allaying concerns that legalized marijuana is too expensive for many consumers — a situation that allows the black market to thrive — cannabis company HEXO has rolled out a line of relatively low-priced marijuana flower products.

HEXO, a well-known marijuana stock based in Canada, is calling this “value brand” Original Stash. A 1-ounce bag of the flower will retail for 125.70 Canadian dollars ($95.18) including sales tax in HEXO’s home province of Quebec, the company said in a press release trumpeting the new products. This price equates to CA$4.49 ($3.40) per gram.

The Original Stash line’s first product is called OS.210. It is a hybrid of sativa strains that collectively contain 12% to 18% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance that gets users high. It was to be made available for purchase on Thursday, and the company is promising that a wider launch throughout Canada will occur “soon after.”

In the press release, HEXO emphasized the black-market-busting potential of a fully legal, budget-flower offering.

“Our aim with Original Stash is to disrupt the illicit market, educate consumers about the value of a regulated and tested product, and drive them to purchase their cannabis legally,” the company said. “We’re now competing directly with the illicit market and providing consumers with an affordable, controlled, quality product.”

HEXO cited statistics from government researcher Statistics Canada showing that around 40% of the country’s cannabis consumers buy product on the black market. The research indicates that price is a key factor in such decisions, the company said.

HEXO added that off-market product can be difficult to distinguish from aboveboard offerings. “Illegal cannabis websites are well built, allow consumers to purchase online, and products are delivered to their doors,” HEXO wrote in the press release. “But we know that illegal cannabis products can — and often — contain heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants.”

In announcing the Original Stash rollout, HEXO made no mention of the U.S. market, which in certain places shares a similar dynamic to Canada. In U.S. states that have legalized recreational marijuana, many consumers complain that excise and other taxes make cannabis products expensive, which in turn encourages black-market purchasing. 


NEWS: HempFusion Launches Innovative Full Spectrum CBD Twist Products

HempFusion, (“the Company”), a leading Hemp/CBD company in the United States with distribution of its family of brands to over 3,400 retailers across 47 states, is pleased to announce the launch of its innovative & delicious Twist product line featuring the Company’s proprietary Whole Food Hemp Complex™. Consumers can now enjoy HempFusion’s premium Twist products in two different sizes and three delicious flavors that include; Mango Peach, Citrus Ginger and Key Lime.

The 8-ounce Twist product line retails for US$39.99 and is available both online and in retail locations across the United States and select international jurisdictions.

Included in the Twist product formulations is the Company’s proprietary Whole Food Hemp Complex of Hemp Extract, Clove Oil Extract, and Black Pepper Extract with powerful endocannabinoid system supporting compounds such as CBD and even potentially more interesting, ß-Caryophyllene, in addition to the following:

  • Delicious Natural Flavors
  • Mango Peach & Key Lime Contain 2,850mg of Fish Oil Concentrate Per Serving that delivers 1000mg of Omega 3 in each serving
  • Citrus Ginger has No Fish Oil but still delivers important DHA Omega 3 from a Vegan source and includes Powerful Turmeric Extract and Organic Ginger
  • Depending on the formula they also include other Important Omega Fatty Acids such 3, 6, 9 & even 5 & 7
  • They all include 5mg of CBD & 5 mg ß-Caryophyllene + Other Terpenes Per Serving
  • 15 IU Vitamin E

“A product with CBD, in our opinion, has never tasted so good! Our team works incredibly hard to develop innovative products that provide consumers with full spectrum hemp-derived extracts including CBD and other minor cannabinoids in delicious, safe and consistent ways,” stated Jason Mitchell N.D, co-founder and President of HempFusion. “While CBD gets the headlines, evidence suggests that CBD is complemented by the presence of other cannabinoids, terpenes and omegas.”[1] We are proud that our products are being embraced in the natural foods industry. “We feel that there is nothing like this on the market and early feedback from our customers has been tremendous; our Twist products can easily be added to smoothies and a variety of foods and beverages, making it a great choice for an active lifestyle,” continued Mitchell.

The Twist product line is also offered in a convenient 2-ounce travel size that retails for US$9.99 that is perfect for the on-the-go consumer.

The name HempFusion means that the Company takes Hemp, the ultimate SuperFood, and infuses it together with other botanicals and important nutrients to optimize formulations. The Twist’s Mango Peach and Key Lime formulations are infused with Omega 3 Fish Oil Concentrate and other important fatty acids with a wide spectrum of key Omega fatty acids such as Omega 3-6-9.

“Our Citrus Ginger Twist is one of my favorite products. I blend it in my smoothies every morning and add it to my water bottle during the day. The fact that it includes vegan omega 3, 6 and 9 and also contains turmeric makes it such a wonderful product for my daily active lifestyle.” stated Ian deQueiroz, CEO of HempFusion.

HempFusion’s leading CBD based products aim to illustrate that Hemp is the ultimate Superfood that contains dozens of amazing & powerful constituents including cannabinoids, terpenes like ß-Caryophillene as well as Omegas 3, 6 & 9’s. Rather than isolated or spiked CBD, HempFusion® uses hemp extracted with a unique CO2 Extraction method we call the HO-PETM (Hemp One-Pass ExtractionTM) process to protect these constituents during extraction. HempFusion’s Whole Food Hemp ComplexTM contains CBD and other cannabinoids along with additional plant-based terpenes and omegas formulated in a way we believe will optimize the ensemble of beneficial compounds.

HempFusion’s complete product offering, additional information and store locator can be accessed here.

Full release

Nevada Expansion Latest in String of Big Moves by Plus Products

CFN Media Group (“CFN Media”), the leading agency and financial media network dedicated to the North American cannabis industry, announces the publication of an article covering Plus Products recent partnership and expansion into a new market.

As cannabis companies become more established, many choose to become multi-state operators, with assets and operations in a number of US legal markets.

Most companies have achieved this through acquisitions and strategic partnerships with companies having existing assets and licenses, allowing companies to gain control over cultivation and processing facilities, licensing, and often retail operations and distribution chains, rapidly increasing capacity and augmenting or achieving vertical integration, key benefits of multi-state operations.

As new markets emerge, multi-state operators can build on the lessons learned elsewhere and more easily transition into them.

Up until now, Plus Products (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) has operated with a laser focus on California, the world’s single largest adult-use cannabis market = becoming one of the state’s premier edibles brand. PLUS is the state’s top-ranked gummies brand, boasting both the #1 and #2 best-selling cannabis products across all categories.

Click here to see the company investor presentation

Following closely on the heels of the nationwide launch of its 100% hemp-derived CBD line in partnership with Casper Sleep and American superstar-philanthropist John Legend, this week the company announced that its best-selling THC-infused gummies are now available in Nevada’s recreational adult use market.

Nevada a Natural Fit

Nevada is a key market for building an internationally-recognized brand and advancing the company’s transition into a multi-state operator.

Nevada legalized cannabis for adult recreational use on January 1, 2017 and, buoyed by a flourishing tourism industry, which attracts over 45 million visitors a year, retail sales quickly exceeded expectations, and are now predicted to surpass $1.2 billion by 2022 according to a report by Arcview Market Research & BDS Analytics. Like California, Nevada’s edible products continue to grow in popularity, growing from 14.5% of recreational sales in Q3 2017 to 18% today according to BDS Analytics.

Taproot Partnership Advances Expansion

The plan for an expansion into Nevada was realized through a partnership with Taproot Holdings Inc, a vertically-integrated cannabis company, which has provided PLUS with space in its licensed facility to produce PLUS’s signature infused gummies.

Click here to see the company investor presentation

This model is ideal as it allowed PLUS to quickly and easily deploy its machinery, ingredients and people to ensure its products maintain the consistently high quality standards consumers have come to expect, with commercialization coming just four months after PLUS and Taproot entered into a definitive agreement.

Jake Heimark, co-founder and CEO of Plus said, “Operating in Nevada only four months after signing a definitive agreement with TapRoot is a testament to our commitment to execution in building a national footprint. We have created and commercialized the best-selling gummies brand in California. Now with this expansion, we aim to replicate this successful strategy in Nevada and ensure high-quality cannabis products reach more consumers in the U.S.”


Global economy faces ‘awfully high’ risk of recession in the next 12-18 months

There’s an “uncomfortably high” chance that a recession could hit the global economy in the near future, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. Policymakers may not be able to reverse that course, he said.

“I think risks are awfully high that if something doesn’t stick to script then we do have a recession,” Zandi told CNBC. “I’ll say this also: Even if we don’t have a recession over the next 12-18 months, I think it’s pretty clear that we’re going to have a much weaker economy.”

The economist said there are many factors which could help avoid a slowdown in economic activity; these include US President Donald Trump not escalating the trade war with China, the UK finding a resolution to Brexit, and central banks continuing their monetary stimulus.

When asked about the chances of a global economic recession, he said: “I think high, uncomfortably high.”

Zandi’s warnings come as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) makes a downward revision of global growth.

In its World Economic Outlook report, the IMF said the global economy was growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis. The fund projected global GDP growth of 3% this year, down from its July forecast of 3.2% and a sharp slowdown from just two years ago.

The IMF blamed the slowdown on trade conflicts, Brexit uncertainty, and other geopolitical crises. It has said there’s an “urgent” need for leaders to de-escalate tensions, adding: “Monetary policy cannot be the only game in town and should be coupled with fiscal support where fiscal space is available and where policy is not already too expansionary.”

Zandi agreed that governments should increase spending to support the economy, noting, however, that many major economies would not go down that route.


IMF says trade war will cut global growth to lowest since financial crisis a decade ago

  • The U.S.-China trade war will cut 2019 global growth to its slowest pace since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund warned.
  • The organization added the outlook could darken considerably if trade tensions remain unresolved.
  • The World Economic Outlook report spells out in sharp detail the economic difficulties caused by the U.S.-China tariffs, including direct costs, market turmoil, reduced investment and lower productivity due to supply chain disruptions.

The U.S.-China trade war will cut 2019 global growth to its slowest pace since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday, adding that the outlook could darken considerably if trade tensions remain unresolved.

The IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook projections show 2019 GDP growth at 3.0%, down from 3.2% in a July forecast, largely due to increasing fallout from global trade friction.

The forecasts set a gloomy backdrop for the IMF and World Bank annual meetings this week in Washington, where the Fund’s new managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, is inheriting a range of problems, from stagnating trade to political backlash in some emerging market countries struggling with IMF-mandated austerity programs.

The World Economic Outlook report spells out in sharp detail the economic difficulties caused by the U.S.-China tariffs, including direct costs, market turmoil, reduced investment and lower productivity due to supply chain disruptions.

The global crisis lender said that by 2020, announced tariffs would reduce global economic output by 0.8%. Georgieva said last week that this translates to a loss of $700 billion, or the equivalent of making Switzerland’s economy disappear.

“The weakness in growth is driven by a sharp deterioration in manufacturing activity and global trade, with higher tariffs and prolonged trade policy uncertainty damaging investment and demand for capital goods,” IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said in a statement.

Services were still strong across much of the world, but there were some signs of softening in services in the United States and Europe, Gopinath said.

For 2020, the Fund said global growth was set to pick up to 3.4% due to expectations of better performances in Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. But this forecast was a tenth of a point lower than in July and was vulnerable to downside risks, including worse trade tensions, Brexit-related disruptions and an abrupt aversion to risk in financial markets.

Investment, trade stall

The IMF said foreign direct investment abroad by advanced economies came to “a virtual standstill” in 2018 after increasing in earlier years to average more than 3% of global gross domestic product annually – or more than $1.8 trillion.

The institution said the decline of some $1.5 trillion between 2017 and 2018 reflected purely financial operations by large multinational corporations, including in response to changes in U.S. tax law.

Global vehicle purchases fell by 3% in 2018, reflecting a drop in demand in China after expiration of tax incentives and production adjustments after adoption of new emissions standards in Germany and other eurozone countries.

Global trade growth reached just 1% in the first half of 2019, the weakest level since 2012, weighed down by higher tariffs and prolonged uncertainty about trade policies, as well as a slump in the automobile industry.

After expanding by 3.6% in 2018, the IMF now projects global trade volume will increase just 1.1% in 2019, 1.4 percentage points less than it forecast in July and 2.3 percentage points less than forecast in April.

Trade growth was expected to rebound to 3.2% in 2020, however risks remained “skewed to the downside,” the IMF said, with a significant drag on both the U.S. and Chinese economies.

Tariff, reshoring losses

New IMF projections show China’s GDP output falling 2 percent in the near term under the current tariff scenario and 1 percent in the long term, while U.S. output would decline 0.6 percent over both time spans.

“To rejuvenate growth policymakers must undo the trade barriers put in place with durable agreements, rein in geopolitical tensions and reduce domestic policy uncertainty,” Gopinath said.

But she was cautious about President Donald Trump’s announcement on Friday of a “Phase 1” U.S. trade deal with China, saying that more details were needed about the “tentative” deal.

The IMF also modeled what would happen if multinational firms in the United States, euro area and Japan reshored enough production to reduce nominal imports by 10%. The lender found that it would drive up consumer prices and reduce domestic demand, while throttling the spread of technology to emerging economies.

“At 3% growth, there is no room for policy mistakes and an urgent need for policymakers to cooperatively deescalate trade and geopolitical tensions,” it said. “Further escalation of trade tensions and associated increases in policy uncertainty could weaken growth relative to the baseline projection.”