Innovation Briefing Vol. 6

What’s new, what’s next, and what it means for our business.

Published monthly, the OBX Innovation Briefing is presented by the OBX team as a way of highlighting the latest developments and innovations within the global cannabinoid industry. Each curated volume features insights and commentary on industry and category trends, regulatory updates, key initiatives, and upcoming events.

by Will Eyman
02.07.2022
Author: Nicole Brown
February 7 – 10 min read


What’s new, what’s next, and what it means for our business.

Published monthly, the OBX Innovation Briefing is presented by the OBX team as a way of highlighting the latest developments and innovations within the global cannabinoid industry. Each curated volume features insights and commentary on industry and category trends, regulatory updates, key initiatives, and upcoming events.

 

BRAND NEWS

Charlotte’s Web Achieves ISO Certification for In-House Lab Testing

  • Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc, has achieved International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025 certification. This certifies that Charlotte’s Web has met the technical and quality benchmarks required by ISO 17025 for analytical chemistry testing methods. The certification applies to its quality control (QC) testing laboratory housed within its state-of-the-art 137,000 square foot production facility, headquartered in Louisville, Colorado.

  • This ISO 17025 certification is in addition to the facility’s National Science Foundation (NSF) cGMP certification, providing consumer confidence that Charlotte’s Web products going consistent, reliable, effective and safe.

Curaleaf Acquires Bloom, Opens New Florida Dispensaries

  • Curaleaf Holdings, Inc., a Florida-based cannabis company operating in 23 states and Europe, acquired Bloom Dispensaries for $211 million. As part of the acquisition, Curaleaf is purchasing Bloom’s four dispensaries in Phoenix, Tucson, Peoria and Sedona. They also acquired Bloom’s cultivation and processing facilities outside of Phoenix.

  • Bloom’s revenue last year was near $66 million, with EBITDA margins above 40%. 

  • Now that they have 121 retail locations across 23 states and over 5,000 employees, Curaleaf is on a path to become one of the largest cannabis companies in the world.

Australia’s Creso Pharma Makes $21 million CBD Acquisition to Enter US Markets

  • Creso Pharma announced that it is buying Sierra Sage Herbs in an all-stock deal worth $21 million.

  • Based in Lyons, Colorado, Sierra Sage Herbs makes a range of wellness products including some with and without CBD. The company owns the Green Goo line of hemp-derived CBD salves and the Southern Butter line of non-CBD sexual wellness products. It has distribution in more than 110,000 outlets nationwide, including Walmart and CVS Pharmacy locations.

  • Creso Pharma also said it will commence “immediate efforts to begin (working) on functional mushroom products” with Green Goo management.

Canopy Growth Stock Sinks Below $10 Per Share For First Time Since 2017

  • Canadian LP Canopy Growth Corporation (NADSDAQ: CGC) shares were trading lower today than they were late 2017.

  • Shares of other big Canadian LPs also swooned: Sundial Growers (NASDAQ: SNDL) are falling 3.5%, Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) is down 4.6%, and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB) is at a 4.9% loss.

  • CGC market share has fallen 6% points to 10% market share in the past 3 months which shows consumers, as well as investors, are switching to these other, more nimble craft players.

Martha Just Launched Her First Line of CBD Skin Care Products

  • Martha’s first-ever line of CBD products officially dropped in September 2020 in collaboration with Canopy Growth. Her wellness line began with gummies, soft gels, and oil drops, but now, Martha has added topicals to her CBD portfolio. 

  • The products, which support daily wellbeing, consist of three creams—one designed for muscle recovery, one for better sleep, and one for stress management.


TREND PIECES AND EDITORIAL

Making Cannabis More Accessible: Lessons Learned From the Alcohol Industry

  • In the same way that alcohol transitioned from the speakeasy to Main Street, cannabis is cultivating its new space in modern culture. The reasons for alcohol’s move to the mainstream are vast and complex. However, when viewed as a proxy of cannabis normalization, there are three key focus areas that the cannabis industry should be aware of that helped propel the alcohol industry into the global juggernaut that it is today: offering greater format variety, encouraging more diverse usage occasions, and setting consumer expectations for a responsible experience.

  • While alcohol can position itself on different occasions, it’s still limited — primarily social and predominately at night, as solo and/or day-drinking aren’t generally socially acceptable. More importantly, all alcohol does the same thing functionally. You drink it, you typically feel one type of effect. However, cannabis extends far beyond the realm of the buzz of recreational consumption.

CBD Proving Grounds: 2022 Ingredient Trends for Food, Drinks, Dietary Supplements, and Natural Products

  • The years to come will be a crucible for manufacturers of hemp-derived CBD and other cannabinoids, separating those who were simply exploiting a trend and those who are dedicated to providing high-quality, safe, and effective products to customers looking to enhance their health.

  • “The coming year, 2022, has the potential to be remembered as the year when minor cannabinoids achieved major status. While it’s true that the cannabis market is generally interested in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating cannabinoid that most marijuana consumers have come to know and love, as well as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabinol (CBN) have started to attract attention on their own,” says Brown. “The future of cannabinoid products is bright due to the countless applications of pure, isolated minor cannabinoids, including cannabigerol (CBG), CBN, cannabichromene (CBC), THCV, and cannabidivarin (CBDV). The new cannabinoid consumer is looking for an exact, consistent experience to reliably target either a particular medical ailment or to bring about a specific, desired effect.”

Can Weed Help You Lose Weight?

  • A review of the studies published in the Journal of Cannabis Research reported that “the uniquely diverse properties of THCV provide neuroprotection, appetite suppression, glycemic control, and reduced side effects, etc.; therefore, making it a potential priority candidate for the development of clinically useful therapies in the future.”

  • In the Journal of Cannabis report, researchers wrote that “in rodent studies, THCV decreases appetite, increases satiety, and up-regulates energy metabolism, making it a clinically useful remedy for weight loss and management of obesity and type 2 diabetic patients.”

  • A study involving humans, published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, found that THCV increased responses in the brain for both rewarding and aversive stimuli. They wrote: “This effect profile suggests therapeutic activity in obesity, perhaps with a lowered risk of depressive side effects.”


REGULATORY

French Highest Court Suspends Government Ban On Flowers

  • The French highest court, the Council of State, temporarily suspended the ban on the sale of raw CBD flowers and leaves.

  • On December 31, a new decree on cannabis cultivation and the sale of CBD in France was published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.

  • The document issued by the Ministry of Health allows the import, export, and industrial and commercial use of Cannabis Sativa L. varieties with THC content not exceeding 0.3%.

  • However, the same decree prohibits the sale to consumers of flowers and leaves in their raw state of these same varieties, even if the THC content of these flowers and leaves is below the threshold of 0.3%.


CATEGORY & RESEARCH TRENDS

NFL Awards $1 Million for Studies on Cannabinoids’ Effects on Pain Management in Players

  • The NFL is awarding $1 million in research funding to two teams of medical researchers to study the effects of cannabinoids on pain management and neuroprotection from concussion in elite football players. The projects will take three years to conduct.

  • Medical teams from the University of California San Diego and the University of Regina in Canada were selected from 106 proposals initiated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association’s Joint Pain Management Committee in June 2021.

    • The study led by Dr. Thomas Marcotte, Dr. Mark Wallace, and researchers at the University of California San Diego will investigate the effects of cannabinoids on pain and recovery from sports-related injuries in elite athletes.

    • The research led by Dr. J. Patrick Neary and researchers at the University of Regina studies naturally produced cannabinoids for pain management and neuroprotection from concussion and participation in contact sports.

FDA Approves Trial To Treat Opioid Addiction With CBD

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an investigational new drug (IND) application for a clinical trial to evaluate CBD as an adjunctive method to treat opioid use disorder.

  • Biotech pharma company Ananda Scientific Inc. announced in January 2022 the FDA’s approval for the clinical trial evaluating Nantheia ATL5, an investigational drug-using CBD as an adjunctive treatment for opioid use disorder. The study will be conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

  • Nantheia ATL5 is an oral product with 100mg of CBD per soft gel capsule utilizing Liquid Structure technology, licensed from the Israeli pharmaceutical company Lyotropic Delivery Systems, which enhances the effectiveness and stability of CBD.

  • According to the company, this innovation may create new potential for CBD therapeutics, as it may have the ability to reduce opioid intake in patients being treated or addicted to opioids.

Active Ingredient in Cannabis Protects Aging Brain Cells

  • Decades of research on medical cannabis has focused on the compounds THC and CBD in clinical applications. But less is known about the therapeutic properties of cannabinol (CBN). Now, a new study by Salk scientists shows how CBN can protect nerve cells from oxidative damage, a major pathway to cell death.

  • The findings, published online in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, suggest CBN has the potential for treating age-related neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

New Study Explores CBD and CBN for Sleep

  • CBD brand CBDistillery in partnership with MoreBetter (dba Releaf App) recently announced the results from a 31-day study it calls the Sleep Pathfinder Mission utilizing CBDistillery’s Regular Strength Sleep Synergy Tincture.

Oregon State researchers: Hemp-based Compounds Can Prevent Coronavirus from Entering Human Cells

  • New research out of Oregon State University has identified that two hemp compounds – CBDa and CBGa – show the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells.

  • Findings of a study that included a chemical screening technique invented by researchers at OSU were published in the Journal of Natural Products.

  • The research showed CBDa and CBGa were “equally effective” against the COVID-19 alpha and beta variants.

Synthetic CBD May Protect Patients from Contracting COVID-19, Canadian Scientists Say

  • More research saying cannabinoids may protect human cells from COVID-19 was released this week from scientists in Ontario working with synthetic CBD.

  • Researchers at the University of Waterloo reported in a pre-peer-reviewed study that the synthetic CBD “appears to prime the innate immune system of cells, potentially offering protection against pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2,” the virus that causes COVID-19 illness.

  • Coupled with an Oregon State University announcement that two hemp cannabinoids may protect human cells from SARS-CoV-2, the University of Waterloo research lends additional firepower to CBD manufacturers who have long had to rely on anecdotal evidence more than academic studies to argue for the plant’s medicinal value.

Sephora Finally Makes The Jump Into Sexual Wellness

  • There are an average of 11.6 million searches for sexual wellness products every month in the US. As with most whitespace endeavors, a key to unlocking the full opportunity requires representation in traditional retail channels. 

  • SEPHORA joins Ulta Beauty in growing their wellness assortment with intimate care offerings, normalizing sexual wellness by allowing pleasure products to sit alongside concealer, face wash, and lipstick, and reminding us that “ultimately accessing pleasure is as important as daily beauty rituals.”


UPCOMING EVENTS & WEBINARS

Got Innovation? If you see an interesting new brand, trend or other innovative idea, please feel free to share directly to [email protected]

Author: Nicole Brown
February 7 – 10 min read


What’s new, what’s next, and what it means for our business.

Published monthly, the OBX Innovation Briefing is presented by the OBX team as a way of highlighting the latest developments and innovations within the global cannabinoid industry. Each curated volume features insights and commentary on industry and category trends, regulatory updates, key initiatives, and upcoming events.

BRAND NEWS

Charlotte’s Web Achieves ISO Certification for In-House Lab Testing

  • Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc, has achieved International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025 certification. This certifies that Charlotte’s Web has met the technical and quality benchmarks required by ISO 17025 for analytical chemistry testing methods. The certification applies to its quality control (QC) testing laboratory housed within its state-of-the-art 137,000 square foot production facility, headquartered in Louisville, Colorado.

  • This ISO 17025 certification is in addition to the facility’s National Science Foundation (NSF) cGMP certification, providing consumer confidence that Charlotte’s Web products going consistent, reliable, effective and safe.

Curaleaf Acquires Bloom, Opens New Florida Dispensaries

  • Curaleaf Holdings, Inc., a Florida-based cannabis company operating in 23 states and Europe, acquired Bloom Dispensaries for $211 million. As part of the acquisition, Curaleaf is purchasing Bloom’s four dispensaries in Phoenix, Tucson, Peoria and Sedona. They also acquired Bloom’s cultivation and processing facilities outside of Phoenix.

  • Bloom’s revenue last year was near $66 million, with EBITDA margins above 40%. 

  • Now that they have 121 retail locations across 23 states and over 5,000 employees, Curaleaf is on a path to become one of the largest cannabis companies in the world.

Australia’s Creso Pharma Makes $21 million CBD Acquisition to Enter US Markets

  • Creso Pharma announced that it is buying Sierra Sage Herbs in an all-stock deal worth $21 million.

  • Based in Lyons, Colorado, Sierra Sage Herbs makes a range of wellness products including some with and without CBD. The company owns the Green Goo line of hemp-derived CBD salves and the Southern Butter line of non-CBD sexual wellness products. It has distribution in more than 110,000 outlets nationwide, including Walmart and CVS Pharmacy locations.

  • Creso Pharma also said it will commence “immediate efforts to begin (working) on functional mushroom products” with Green Goo management.

Canopy Growth Stock Sinks Below $10 Per Share For First Time Since 2017

  • Canadian LP Canopy Growth Corporation (NADSDAQ: CGC) shares were trading lower today than they were late 2017.

  • Shares of other big Canadian LPs also swooned: Sundial Growers (NASDAQ: SNDL) are falling 3.5%, Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) is down 4.6%, and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB) is at a 4.9% loss.

  • CGC market share has fallen 6% points to 10% market share in the past 3 months which shows consumers, as well as investors, are switching to these other, more nimble craft players.

Martha Just Launched Her First Line of CBD Skin Care Products

  • Martha’s first-ever line of CBD products officially dropped in September 2020 in collaboration with Canopy Growth. Her wellness line began with gummies, soft gels, and oil drops, but now, Martha has added topicals to her CBD portfolio. 

  • The products, which support daily wellbeing, consist of three creams—one designed for muscle recovery, one for better sleep, and one for stress management.


TREND PIECES AND EDITORIAL

Making Cannabis More Accessible: Lessons Learned From the Alcohol Industry

  • In the same way that alcohol transitioned from the speakeasy to Main Street, cannabis is cultivating its new space in modern culture. The reasons for alcohol’s move to the mainstream are vast and complex. However, when viewed as a proxy of cannabis normalization, there are three key focus areas that the cannabis industry should be aware of that helped propel the alcohol industry into the global juggernaut that it is today: offering greater format variety, encouraging more diverse usage occasions, and setting consumer expectations for a responsible experience.

  • While alcohol can position itself on different occasions, it’s still limited — primarily social and predominately at night, as solo and/or day-drinking aren’t generally socially acceptable. More importantly, all alcohol does the same thing functionally. You drink it, you typically feel one type of effect. However, cannabis extends far beyond the realm of the buzz of recreational consumption.

CBD Proving Grounds: 2022 Ingredient Trends for Food, Drinks, Dietary Supplements, and Natural Products

  • The years to come will be a crucible for manufacturers of hemp-derived CBD and other cannabinoids, separating those who were simply exploiting a trend and those who are dedicated to providing high-quality, safe, and effective products to customers looking to enhance their health.

  • “The coming year, 2022, has the potential to be remembered as the year when minor cannabinoids achieved major status. While it’s true that the cannabis market is generally interested in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating cannabinoid that most marijuana consumers have come to know and love, as well as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabinol (CBN) have started to attract attention on their own,” says Brown. “The future of cannabinoid products is bright due to the countless applications of pure, isolated minor cannabinoids, including cannabigerol (CBG), CBN, cannabichromene (CBC), THCV, and cannabidivarin (CBDV). The new cannabinoid consumer is looking for an exact, consistent experience to reliably target either a particular medical ailment or to bring about a specific, desired effect.”

Can Weed Help You Lose Weight?

  • A review of the studies published in the Journal of Cannabis Research reported that “the uniquely diverse properties of THCV provide neuroprotection, appetite suppression, glycemic control, and reduced side effects, etc.; therefore, making it a potential priority candidate for the development of clinically useful therapies in the future.”

  • In the Journal of Cannabis report, researchers wrote that “in rodent studies, THCV decreases appetite, increases satiety, and up-regulates energy metabolism, making it a clinically useful remedy for weight loss and management of obesity and type 2 diabetic patients.”

  • A study involving humans, published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, found that THCV increased responses in the brain for both rewarding and aversive stimuli. They wrote: “This effect profile suggests therapeutic activity in obesity, perhaps with a lowered risk of depressive side effects.”


REGULATORY

French Highest Court Suspends Government Ban On Flowers

  • The French highest court, the Council of State, temporarily suspended the ban on the sale of raw CBD flowers and leaves.

  • On December 31, a new decree on cannabis cultivation and the sale of CBD in France was published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.

  • The document issued by the Ministry of Health allows the import, export, and industrial and commercial use of Cannabis Sativa L. varieties with THC content not exceeding 0.3%.

  • However, the same decree prohibits the sale to consumers of flowers and leaves in their raw state of these same varieties, even if the THC content of these flowers and leaves is below the threshold of 0.3%.


CATEGORY & RESEARCH TRENDS

NFL Awards $1 Million for Studies on Cannabinoids’ Effects on Pain Management in Players

  • The NFL is awarding $1 million in research funding to two teams of medical researchers to study the effects of cannabinoids on pain management and neuroprotection from concussion in elite football players. The projects will take three years to conduct.

  • Medical teams from the University of California San Diego and the University of Regina in Canada were selected from 106 proposals initiated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association’s Joint Pain Management Committee in June 2021.

    • The study led by Dr. Thomas Marcotte, Dr. Mark Wallace, and researchers at the University of California San Diego will investigate the effects of cannabinoids on pain and recovery from sports-related injuries in elite athletes.

    • The research led by Dr. J. Patrick Neary and researchers at the University of Regina studies naturally produced cannabinoids for pain management and neuroprotection from concussion and participation in contact sports.

FDA Approves Trial To Treat Opioid Addiction With CBD

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an investigational new drug (IND) application for a clinical trial to evaluate CBD as an adjunctive method to treat opioid use disorder.

  • Biotech pharma company Ananda Scientific Inc. announced in January 2022 the FDA’s approval for the clinical trial evaluating Nantheia ATL5, an investigational drug-using CBD as an adjunctive treatment for opioid use disorder. The study will be conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

  • Nantheia ATL5 is an oral product with 100mg of CBD per soft gel capsule utilizing Liquid Structure technology, licensed from the Israeli pharmaceutical company Lyotropic Delivery Systems, which enhances the effectiveness and stability of CBD.

  • According to the company, this innovation may create new potential for CBD therapeutics, as it may have the ability to reduce opioid intake in patients being treated or addicted to opioids.

Active Ingredient in Cannabis Protects Aging Brain Cells

  • Decades of research on medical cannabis has focused on the compounds THC and CBD in clinical applications. But less is known about the therapeutic properties of cannabinol (CBN). Now, a new study by Salk scientists shows how CBN can protect nerve cells from oxidative damage, a major pathway to cell death.

  • The findings, published online in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, suggest CBN has the potential for treating age-related neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

New Study Explores CBD and CBN for Sleep

  • CBD brand CBDistillery in partnership with MoreBetter (dba Releaf App) recently announced the results from a 31-day study it calls the Sleep Pathfinder Mission utilizing CBDistillery’s Regular Strength Sleep Synergy Tincture.

Oregon State researchers: Hemp-based Compounds Can Prevent Coronavirus from Entering Human Cells

  • New research out of Oregon State University has identified that two hemp compounds – CBDa and CBGa – show the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells.

  • Findings of a study that included a chemical screening technique invented by researchers at OSU were published in the Journal of Natural Products.

  • The research showed CBDa and CBGa were “equally effective” against the COVID-19 alpha and beta variants.

Synthetic CBD May Protect Patients from Contracting COVID-19, Canadian Scientists Say

  • More research saying cannabinoids may protect human cells from COVID-19 was released this week from scientists in Ontario working with synthetic CBD.

  • Researchers at the University of Waterloo reported in a pre-peer-reviewed study that the synthetic CBD “appears to prime the innate immune system of cells, potentially offering protection against pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2,” the virus that causes COVID-19 illness.

  • Coupled with an Oregon State University announcement that two hemp cannabinoids may protect human cells from SARS-CoV-2, the University of Waterloo research lends additional firepower to CBD manufacturers who have long had to rely on anecdotal evidence more than academic studies to argue for the plant’s medicinal value.

Sephora Finally Makes The Jump Into Sexual Wellness

  • There are an average of 11.6 million searches for sexual wellness products every month in the US. As with most whitespace endeavors, a key to unlocking the full opportunity requires representation in traditional retail channels. 

  • SEPHORA joins Ulta Beauty in growing their wellness assortment with intimate care offerings, normalizing sexual wellness by allowing pleasure products to sit alongside concealer, face wash, and lipstick, and reminding us that “ultimately accessing pleasure is as important as daily beauty rituals.”


UPCOMING EVENTS & WEBINARS

Got Innovation? If you see an interesting new brand, trend or other innovative idea, please feel free to share directly to [email protected]

Got Innovation?

Got Innovation? If you see an interesting new brand, trend or other innovative idea, please feel free to share directly with us! All ideas are welcome!

Learn More

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