Innovation Briefing Volume 12

by Nicole Brown

Brand News

Marlboro-Maker Altria Tinkers With Cannabis Flavors

Tobacco giant Altria continues to carve out its place in the cannabis industry.

While the company has for years filed patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) related to vaporizer technology, including several that mention cannabis as well as tobacco, three related applications published on August 4 focus explicitly on the cannabis plant. More specifically, on its “flavor and aroma characteristics.”

Curaleaf Launches Plant Precision, New Product Line Targeting Specific Health and Wellness Categories

Plant Precision fills consumer demand for low dose THC formats that are geared towards everyday wellness as 75% of Americans would consider using cannabis for health and wellness purposes*

According to a Curaleaf / Harris Poll survey, 69% of Americans say they would be more likely to use cannabis as a health solution if it came in small, controlled doses*. Curaleaf recognized this need and created an approachable line for the newer wellness-oriented consumer featuring gummy edibles offering low, customizable doses of THC and high doses of non-psychoactive therapeutic minor cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, CBN and THCV, and a quickly absorbent THC topical gel.

NuLeaf Naturals Reduces Prices To Increase Accessibility to High-Quality CBD

Many supplement brands are increasing their prices with rising inflation rates, but NuLeaf Naturals – the nation’s leading CBD and wellness company – is reducing prices by an average of 38%. The move is to increase access to top-quality CBD, providing the highest quality products at the best possible prices.

“Price shouldn’t stand in the way of wellness. NuLeaf Naturals has been a leader in the CBD space for almost a decade now, and with this comes a great responsibility,” said NuLeaf Naturals’ CEO Ian Kelly. “As our category continues to grow and more companies and brands join the fold, we welcome the competition, but more importantly, we want CBD buyers to be aware of what they could inadvertently be consuming. Several of these brands are trying to lure consumers with low prices attached to low-quality products.”

Southern Glazer’s becomes exclusive distribution partner for Tilray

A prominent American alcohol distributor with a long history dating back to the early 1900s will now be assisting a cannabis conglomerate with its CBD beverage distribution endeavours.

On Wednesday, Tilray Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: TLRY; TSX: TLRY) announced that its Fresh Hemp Foods, Ltd. division had signed a distribution contract with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

Tilray states that the new agreement will provide the company with direct access to Southern Glazer’s distribution network capable of reaching a broad range of consumers.

NBA Players Union to Partner with CBD Line

The National Basketball Association Players Association (NBPA) recently announced they’ve taken a step beyond simply endorsing the use of CBD for health and wellness. The organization has partnered with Re+Play, a company owned by former NBA player Al Harrington, to promote his CBD products.

This new partnership will result in Re+Play products, which include hemp-derived creams, oils, and capsules, becoming available online from Amazon and Walmart.

SpectrumLeaf and Voon Create Cannabis Pouches that Are Up to Snuff

Adding a cheeky new twist to CBD products, SpectrumLeaf has teamed up with Voon Innovation to create new hemp-infused “snus” pouches for oral consumption of cannabiniods.

Snus are a Swedish variant on dry snuff, traditionally a tobacco product consumed by placement between the upper lip and gum. Swedish snus emerged in the early 18th century and today’s nicotine-infused snus are banned in most European Union countries, but are legal in Sweden, Hungary, the United States and Canada.

The partners are branding the new product as Voon Hemp Snus Pouches. They are a natural, vegan and smokeless cannabis alternative, according to Spectrum Leaf, which also sells Cannadips, a fast-acting, pouch-in-mouth CBD product that preserves important terpene and flavonoid compounds in its delivery system.

Trend Pieces & Editorial

The Goop-ification Of Wellness Is On The Way Out (You Can Thank Gen Z)
  • The Goop-ification that marked the last decade of consumerism (as exemplified by Gwyneth Paltrow’s feel-good nostrums) shows increasing signs of decay as shoppers, especially Gen Z, exhibit a more critical eye.

  • “What’s aspirational has changed,” says Beth McGroarty, research director at the nonprofit Global Wellness Institute. “Pressures to be perfectly happy, beautiful, and “healthy” are being replaced with a more realistic, relaxed, and less consumerist culture.”

  • COVID-19 inspired many Americans to evaluate their personal wellness and their health knowledge. Evidence-based medicine became more attractive — and necessary. (On the flip side, the pandemic also pushed some groups to become more suspicious of the medical establishment.) Call it scrutiny or common sense, but more consumers nowadays check under the hood.

What Do Zoomers Like? Pot or Shrooms, Not Booze
  • Of people aged 18 to 24, 69% prefer marijuana to alcohol, according to a recent survey by New Frontier Data, a cannabis research firm. Consumers up to age 44 have a similar stance. But the youngest cohort is of particular interest, because many of Gen Z’s members still don’t have paychecks and purchasing power. Its oldest members, up to age 24, may thus be a leading indicator, given that they already have around $360 billion in disposable income, are just of legal age to spend it on alcohol or marijuana, and will doubtlessly influence their younger peers.

  • Investors see the promise, too; Cowen Inc., a financial-services firm that follows the cannabis sector, said shifting risk perceptions among 18-to-25-year-olds  gives it a bullish position on U.S. multistate operators. It cited data that showed that from 2002 to 2008, that age group thought smoking cannabis once or twice a week was riskier than having five drinks once or twice a week. Then, from 2008 to 2019, that perception flipped and cannabis was viewed as less and less risky.

  • The top reasons for cannabis use were relaxation, sleep, emotional release and fun, according to Brightfield. Many are also specifically turning a cheek to alcohol, with “I want to be healthier” as the top rationale to decrease drinking.

Updates About Industry


CBD ‘safe’ for mainstream retail, Health Canada advisory panel says

CBD is “safe and tolerable” in healthy adults and should be available without a prescription, a panel of scientists recommended to Canada’s top health regulator Thursday.

The endorsement comes three years after Health Canada first appointed a team of experts to consider whether CBD should be sold by mainstream retailers and not limited to adult-use cannabis stores or by doctor’s recommendation.

FDA Officials Wrestle with CBD in Day-Long Meeting on Science “Challenges”

Is cannabidiol (CBD) best suited for food? Or as a dietary supplement? Or gummies? Or more closely aligned with alcohol or tobacco?  And how should a federal regulatory body consider the science, which is lagging, to guide regulations for products containing CBD, which are already sold from coast to coast? 

This “pickle” was one of many “challenges” that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Science Board and other officials wrestled with during a day-long meeting on “challenges in evaluating the safety of dietary supplement and food ingredients with predicted pharmacological activity, utilizing cannabinoids as a case study.” (Cannabinoids are compounds derived from the cannabis plant, like THC and CBD.)

The Latest

Category & Research Trends

Top Federal Health Agency Wants Input On Marijuana Research Barriers, Including Schedule I And Limited Strain Access

The top federal health agency says that, after thousands of years of documented marijuana use for medicinal purposes, it wants to get to work identifying barriers to cannabis research to help “strengthen the scientific evidence” of the plant’s therapeutic potential.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted a request for information (RFI) on Wednesday titled, “Investigators’ interests in and barriers to research studies on the health effects of cannabis and its constituents.”

Building a Better Painkiller

In recent years, cannabidiol, a compound derived from cannabis plants, has begun popping up more and more in everyday life. Now legal in most U.S. states, the cannabinoid commonly known as CBD can be found in supermarkets and drugstores, where it is often sold as a gummy, an oil, or a cream, and is praised by some for its pain-suppressing properties.

But does CBD actually relieve pain? If so, how precisely does it do so? And what would it take to harness the beneficial properties of CBD into a safe and effective pain medicine?

CBD Curbed Symptoms of Chronic Anxiety in Young People in Study

Taking cannabidiol – the non-intoxicating component of cannabis better known as CBD – may curb the severity of chronic anxiety symptoms in young people, a new study found.

Teens and young adults with treatment-resistant anxiety who were given a single daily CBD pill for 12 weeks reported their symptoms fell by an average of 43%, the Australian youth mental health organization Orygen found in a pilot study. The results among the 31 patients were remarkable, said Paul Amminger, a research fellow at Orygen and professor of youth mental health at the University of Melbourne, who led the study.





23 – 25


Cannabis Conference

Las Vegas, NV



6 – 8


ICDP – International Cannabinoid-Derived Pharmaceuticals Summit

Boston, MA



13 – 14


Benziga Cannabis Capital Conference

Chicago, IL



28 – 30


MJ Unpacked

Las Vegas, NV


Sept – Oct

28 – 01


Natural Products Expo East

Philadelphia, PA

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