TruTrace Technologies Inc. (CSE:TTT; OTCQB:TTTSF) (“TruTrace” or the “Company”), creator of the first fully-integrated blockchain platform that registers and tracks intellectual property for the cannabis industry, today announced the successful completion of Phase 1 of the blockchain-secured pilot program (the “Pilot Program”) with Shoppers Drug Mart (“Shoppers”). The Pilot Program is specifically designed to increase transparency, interoperability and product identification within the medical cannabis industry. Shoppers has also engaged TruTrace and Deloitte Canada LLP (“Deloitte”)  to execute Phase 2 of the Pilot Program, with full production and implementation of TruTrace’s StrainSecure platform targeted for late November 2019.

Phase 2 of the Pilot Program, using Deloitte’s project management and advisory capacity and TruTrace’s StrainSecure™ system, will be focused on developing a unified approach to medical cannabis standards, onboarding licenced producers and other partners to track and trace all product history—from genome to distribution.  The program is expected to help researchers and clinicians to match therapeutic outcomes to specific genetic and chemical profiles, and provide physicians, pharmacists, and patients with greater confidence in the products they prescribe or consume.


Under their StrainSecure™ system, the TruTrace team collects plant testing data and performs genomic verification in plant batches which are then registered in a blockchain-enabled database for intellectual property protection and strain validation. All information gathered from the plants, including their molecular and chemical makeup, can be tracked via the technology.

“We have been encouraged by the response to this traceability initiative. There is a clear consensus within the cannabis industry that the source and quality of medical cannabis must be transparent and identifiable in order to meet the expectations of patients and health care practitioners,” said Ken Weisbrod, Vice President of Business Development, Shoppers Drug Mart. “It is more important than ever to be able to assure all stakeholders, from regulators to health care practitioners, that the medical cannabis industry is taking the necessary steps to establish the infrastructure required to deliver standardized, consistent medication to our patients.  Shoppers has turned to two trusted leaders, TruTrace and Deloitte Canada LLP, to assist us in the second phase of the project.”

“As the cannabis sector continues to rapidly evolve in Canada, the industry needs to increase transparency to all stakeholders by demonstrating adherence to rigorous procedures to maintain the overall integrity of the supply chain,” said David Stewart, Partner within Deloitte’s Forensics practice. “Strengthening traceability and verification of cannabis products will bring benefits to the industry as a whole, and most importantly, build confidence and accountability into the cannabis medical value chain. We are proud to be part of such an important initiative given Deloitte Canada’sleadership in the cannabis space.”

First announced in early June at the second annual World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick, the Pilot Program is being developed and implemented by TruTrace utilizing their proprietary StrainSecure™ platform. StrainSecure serves as the central hub for identity management, asset tracking, validation and product authentication, as well as a master registry for standardized testing, product verification, and quality assurance.

About TruTrace Technologies:

TruTrace Technologies has developed the first integrated blockchain platform to register and track intellectual property in the cannabis industry. TruTrace’s technology allows cannabis growers and breeders to identify and secure rights to their intellectual property. It also streamlines the administrative process and reduces the costs of genetic and mandatory quality-control testing for legal cannabis. TruTrace’s technology is proprietary, immutable and cryptographically secure, thereby establishing an accurate and permanent account for cannabis strains from ownership to market.

About Shoppers Drug Mart:

Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With almost 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec), and provides cosmetic dermatology services at two standalone locations, the Beauty Clinic. As well, the company owns and operates 43 corporate Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart stores and an ecommerce site Wellwise.ca, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information

This news release includes forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation, concerning the business of TruTrace, including statements regarding: the Pilot Program, including its intended scope, characteristics, and perceived benefits; the ability of TruTrace Technologies’ platform to increase transparency, interoperability and product identification within the medical cannabis industry; that the initiative should allow researchers and clinicians to match therapeutic outcomes to specific genetic and chemical profiles, and provide physicians, pharmacists, and patients with greater confidence in the products they prescribe or consume; and that Phase 2 of the Pilot Program is expected to be completed by November 2019, followed by full production and implementation. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information because the Company can give no assurance that it will prove to be correct and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Forward-looking information necessarily involves known and unknown risks, including, without limitation, risks associated with: general economic conditions; adverse industry events; loss of markets; future legislative and regulatory developments in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere; inability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favourable terms; and other risks beyond the Company’s control. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information contained in this news release. Forward-looking information contained in this news release is provided as of the date of this news release. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

Click here to connect with TruTrace Technologies Inc. (TSXV:TTT, OTC:BKKSF) for an Investor Presentation.

Source: www.newswire.ca

Cannabis Market Update: Q3 2020 in Review

Click here to read the previous cannabis market update.

During the first few months of investment time in 2021, cannabis faced some volatility alongside optimism about federal changes in the most important market for the drug.

The cannabis business found its stride during Q1 thanks to policy change signals and consolidation.

To find out more, the Investing News Network (INN) asked experts about progress in the market during the first major period of the new year, and which developments investors should watch out for.

 

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Cannabis market update: New York and US potential boost operations

New York state’s legalization of recreational cannabis was a huge Q1 announcement that added pressure to the US federal government when it comes to cannabis policy, said George Mancheril, co-founder and CEO of Bespoke Financial, a debt financing business with a particular focus on servicing cannabis businesses.

“It’s going to add to the chorus of voices in the federal scene to basically move sooner rather than later,” he explained to INN.

Following the US election in 2020, the momentum for cannabis businesses went on the upswing, as did company valuations, with the idea of expansion at the heart of it all, according to Mancheril.

Before starting Bespoke Financial, Mancheril learned from traditional investment banks, working in the lending, fixed income and debt markets with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Guggenheim Partners.

Nawan Butt, portfolio manager with Purpose Investments, agrees with Mancheril. The financial expert told INN the ongoing legalization process seen in the US market is leading to expansion.

“It’s becoming more of a national move, then small pockets of proliferation. That’s very exciting about cannabis right now,” said Butt, who co-manages the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund (NEO:MJJ).

This proliferation effect is causing a change in valuations and enthusiasm for US-based operations. Mancheril told INN that by the end of Q1, multi-state operators (MSOs) had raised approximately US$3.3 billion.

The cannabis lender said he sees the industry as having grown from the woes of 2019; it is now undergoing a return to form as excitement about the US opening up increases.

The expert explained that there is likely to be a windfall of capital in the wake of major federal changes in US cannabis policy, although the timeline for these changes is becoming increasingly hard to predict.

Leading up to that capital influx, Mancheril said he wants to see operators really drill down on the value of desired assets and whether they make sense.

“What I’d hope is that we continue to see bullish sentiment, but with some measure of responsibility, and let’s not just get over ahead of ourselves,” Mancheril told INN. “The idea is let’s minimize the volatility and continue growing responsibly.”

 

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As far as struggles go, Butt explained that the cannabis industry has cemented itself as a growth-type sector, and as such there are macro pressures affecting the way these assets operate.

“We’ve seen this preference for cash flows at growth in the current or in the near future, rather than in the far future, and that’s what we’re seeing as far as valuations go in the broad market,” Butt said.

Cannabis market update: Volatility continues to rule as industry foundations build

Despite the industry’s potential and the growing pains it has gone through as a whole in both the US and Canada, volatility remains a key factor in the cannabis investment scene.

Butt explained that the current shareholder base, which is dominated by hedge funds and retail investors, still lacks enough institutional support to avoid the day-to-day volatility cannabis has come to be known for.

These two investor groups, Butt said, can be easily spooked and excited by the news of the day when it comes to their investments.

“A lot of these institutions’ strategies are not about short-term profits, but they’re about long-term sustainability of the businesses themselves,” Butt said.

“That’s why you see a lot of volatility in the space, and that’s essentially what we’ve seen over the past, I’d say, three to two months as well,” he added.

That means investors shouldn’t expect an end to volatility anytime soon.

“It’s not about whether we continue to expect volatility, because we do,” Butt said. “We really think that the volatility will be taken out when the shareholder base becomes more institutional, but it’s really about understanding why there is volatility in the first place.”

Cannabis market update: Canadians talk up US business, but questions remain

A surge of mergers and acquisitions has taken over the Canadian cannabis sector recently as more producers see potential in America.

One of the biggest announcements in this regard came when Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) secured a C$221 million investment deal from British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI,LSE:BATS).

Using the funds, the two will work in tandem to develop new branded products designed for the international stage, including in the US. Organigram CEO Greg Engel previously told INN that the US represents a critical opportunity for Canadian companies, but the entry point isn’t as clean as it could be.

 

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While the long-term potential may be exciting for investors, Butt told INN he’s still unsure how the approach will work for Canadian companies.

The Purpose Investments expert said there will be plenty of space for the biggest Canadian names to pursue US market entries, beyond the initial hemp-derived CBD moves some operators have mde, since the US represents the biggest market in the world.

“But there’s just way too many unknowns right now to say exactly what that participation is going to look like, or when that participation will happen,” he said.

“What we do know is that currently the US MSOs are in a wonderful sort of position to expand on their market leadership that they have. And it will be tough for Canadians to come in and compete with them,” Butt said.

Canadian players still retain the upper hand at times in terms of valuation, which is confusing for both Butt and Dan Ahrens, chief operating officer and portfolio manager at AdvisorShares.

“The performance in quarterly earnings of US companies has been rather spectacular. They’ve knocked it out of the park in most instances,” Ahrens told INN.

Butt praised the recent performance reports from MSOs across the board, pointing to year-over-year growth lines and projections for continued positive performance. In his view, share prices still don’t reflect company value. “Those are really being discounted at this point,” Butt told INN.

“We’ve seen the Canadian licensed producers be really hot stock performance-wise, outpacing the US (MSOs), and I’ll say it’s rather nonsensical to me,” said Ahrens, who oversees the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (ARCA:YOLO) and the recently launched AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (ARCA:MSOS).

Cannabis market update: Investor takeaway

The cannabis investment proposition finds itself at an interesting moment in time, as the entire sector eagerly awaits confirmation in the US at the federal level.

While for the Canadian companies waiting on the sidelines, this development may feel like a major necessity to address current financial struggles, for US-based operators, the heat around the corner could represent future positivity for already thriving operations.

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All interested parties can join the conference call by dialing 1-888-231-8191 or 1-647-427-7450, conference ID: 4880609. Please dial in 15 minutes prior to the call to secure a line. The conference call will be archived for replay until May 20, 2021 . To access the archived conference call, please dial 1-855-859-2056 and enter the encore code 4880609.

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 Lobe Sciences Ltd. (CSE: LOBE) (OTC Pink: GTSIF) (“Lobe” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Kelmendi, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, to its Scientific Advisory Board.

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Ayurcann Holdings Corp. ( CSE: AYUR ) (the “ Company ” or ” Ayurcann “), a Canadian extraction company specializing in the processing of cannabis and hemp for the production of oils and various derivative products, is pleased to unveil further details of its Phase 2 expansion plans.

Ayurcann has commenced trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (” CSE “) on April 8, 2021 and subsequently announced a private placement of up to $500,000 (” Financing “), as per the Company’s press release dated April 12, 2021. The proceeds of the Financing are intended to be used to further pursue Phase 2 of the expansion of the production capacity of the Company’s Pickering facility.

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