Auburn pharmacy research team receives NIH grant to study prenatal effects of THC – Opelika Observer

Special to the Opelika Observer

Auburn University researchers have received a $1.7 million grant to study the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy. Funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Drug Abuse, the project will look at the prenatal effects of THC while also investigating treatment options.

The study is led by Miranda Reed and Vishnu Suppiramaniam, both of the Department of Drug Discovery and Development. Titled “Elucidation of molecular mechanisms of prenatal cannabinoid exposure: Identification of targets and therapies,” it is funded for five years with $352,843 in the first year for a total of more than $1.7 million.

With increased legalization of marijuana in recent years, a rising trend has been its use by expectant mothers as a way to ward off nausea and morning sickness. While many recognize the dangers of smoking, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is still found in other forms like vaping, gummies and brownies and can have an effect on neuronal communication.

“Marijuana has shown to have some potential medicinal properties, which can alleviate nausea in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and help with appetite in patients with AIDS-associated wasting syndrome,” Suppiramaniam said. “These effects have led to the popular belief that marijuana can also help with nausea and reduced appetite associated with morning sickness during pregnancy.

“With more and more states legalizing the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, its use during pregnancy is also rising. Nonmedical personnel at marijuana dispensaries are also currently recommending marijuana to pregnant women for nausea in some states, while medical experts strongly warn against it.”

As part of the study, the duo plans to look at how prenatal cannabis/marijuana exposure affects adolescent offspring. In particular, they are studying the communication among neurons, synaptic functioning and the resulting consequences in cognition, learning and memory.

“The effect of THC on neurons is complex and is shown to have both excitatory and inhibitory effects on neurons,” Suppiramaniam said. “It can lead to impaired learning and memory and also affect mood and emotions.”

Use during pregnancy can impact almost all the major neurotransmitters in the brain, including glutamate, adrenalin, serotonin and dopamine. This can lead to a variety of behavioral and memory issues, as well as future drug use, anxiety and depression.

“Marijuana use during pregnancy is associated with elevated risk for miscarriages, birth defects, developmental delays and learning disabilities, including lasting harm to intelligence, attention, executive functioning skills and memory,” Reed said.

The second part of the study is identifying therapeutic targets for the treatment of cognitive deficits associated with prenatal marijuana exposure. Reed and Suppiramaniam have already identified one target, the polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule, or PSA-NCAM, which plays a critical role in learning and memory.

“For the current studies, we are examining alterations in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, brain regions that mediate executive functioning skills and memory,” Reed said. “We are focusing initially on alterations in the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system as it plays a critical role in these processes and the endocannabinoid system is a critical master regulator of glutamatergic signaling.”

The information will be used to test whether increasing PSA-NCAM with a novel drug can stabilize neuronal communication and improve the cognitive deficits observed after prenatal cannabis/marijuana exposure.

“Currently, we are exploring postnatal therapeutic options,” Suppiramaniam said. “We are exploring novel drugs and molecules that can be delivered to the offspring during the early adolescence period to stabilize the synaptic transmission and improve learning and memory.”

Reed and Suppiramaniam work out of the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s state-of-the-art Pharmacy Research Building and are co-directors of the Auburn University Center for Neuroscience Initiative, or CNSi.

“The Pharmacy Research Building has allowed for easy integration of our collaborative work and personnel,” said Reed. “The in-house vivarium has allowed for a reduction in time spent traveling to off-site buildings, thereby increasing productivity.”

Additionally, bringing investigators together under the umbrella of the CNSi has fostered collaboration and innovation in pursuing and receiving grants, such as this R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

“We are very grateful that the CNSi has partially provided support to enhance the existing infrastructure and to recruit expertise needed to carry out this project,” Suppiramaniam said. “It certainly provides a conducive and collaborative environment for exchange of ideas between faculty, staff and student scientists and is a catalyst for cutting-edge research.”

View from Bogotá: ‚The hemp opportunity goes way beyond CBD’ – HempToday

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INTERVIEW: Manuel Baselga is a public affairs executive and social entrepreneur with 15+ years’ operational experience in over 25 emerging countries, mainly across Latin America and Africa. After co-founding UK-based Lignum Resources, a carbon efficiency project development firm invested in interests from solar power generation to sustainable forestry, Baselga joined Savanna, a cannabis investment fund. Although Savanna’s most visible asset is 613 Partners, a global cannabis services firm, industrial hemp remains a top priority for the company. Based in Colombia, the company is involved in R&D projects in genetics, technology and decarbonization.

HempToday: How would you describe the fundamental legal and regulatory landscape in Colombia vis a vis industrial hemp? Can we describe the market as totally open in this respect?

Manuel Baselga: Colombian legislation is attractive at first glance, but like most nascent jurisdictions, it is still ironing out regulation to provide an efficient ecosystem for businesses. Initially, legislation was shaped to prioritize pharma-grade cannabinoid derivatives production, and industrial hemp was included under that framework, which isn’t a natural fit. That said, getting licensed to farm hemp is fairly simple in Colombia. An upcoming regulatory update is expected to create a dedicated space for hemp regulation, which should make it even easier to get started with industrial hemp farming.

HT: What is the level of government support? And how is that expressed in practice or financial terms?

MB: The government’s role so far has been limited to processing license applications and overseeing compliance. Although their attitude is amicable, execution has been hindered by lack of resources and leadership, in part due to overwhelming demand. There aren’t any particular initiatives to support business growth, or public financing initiatives that I’m aware of but they did step in to help companies bank through the Agricultural Bank, a public banking institution aimed at supporting farmers.

Although the incoming conservative administration has sent out ambiguous signals regarding their stance on the industry, I don’t see any path other than further deregulation and support for the industry in Colombia or the world.

HT: As a global adviser in compliance, what’s the full range of compliance issues that stakeholders need to be aware of?

MB: Regulatory oversight for industrial hemp in Colombia is relatively loose and conducive to business. There is no limit on cultivation area and reporting on cultivation activities is done only twice a year. Also, the threshold for THC content is higher (<1,0%) than in most other jurisdictions (typically 0.3%), significantly reducing the “hot crop” paranoia. As long as you’re growing certified cultivars and all your paperwork is in due form, you’re good to go. That said, most companies underestimate the importance of having a dedicated compliance practice, jeopardizing their operation. Some non-compliant companies have had their licenses revoked in the past months.

HT: You’re also investment advisers. What are you telling investors now? Particularly in light of the rush to CBD that caused the market to crash.

MB: The hemp opportunity goes way beyond CBD, and we’re confident it will find its space in Latin American agriculture. Also, the continent’s main competitive advantages are cost and year-round crops, so local producers should always maintain an edge over North American and European hemp farmers. The CBD boom and bust dynamic of the past couple of years is a valuable lesson for investors. Over 75% of the one hundred or so business plans we’ve reviewed in the past two years were speculative plays banking on unrealistic CBD price projections and hyped up stock market valuations.

Investors behind these projects have essentially lost two years of valuable time and traction, not to mention capital. A question we get often is if it’s too late to join the industry. If your plan is to put together an attractive pitch deck, take the company public and get a $50 million valuation, yes, you’re late. If you’re committed to finding your space in the industry through real value creation, I’d say the opportunities are endless and the timing is perfect. The industry is still in its infancy.

HT: How do you assess the development of the whole-plant concept, and using hemp for all its potential? Do you note any trends toward fiber, for example? Food? Are investors open to talk about those more long-term opportunities?

MB: Most cannabis investors gravitate towards models promising short term returns. The main challenge with industrial applications for hemp is the lack of infrastructure to process raw material into factory inputs. Building that value chain begins by educating industrial textile and paper interests about the opportunity. We’re investing time and energy in creating that demand through awareness initiatives in both the public and private sectors.

In parallel, we’re researching genetics to develop the right strains for this latitude, exploring efficient technologies to transform stalk into pulp or fabrics and building international networks with like-minded entrepreneurs. This approach attracts different types of investors, like impact capital and institutional partners, the type of travel buddies we’re comfortable with.

HT: You place a lot of emphasis on the mitigation of climate change. How do you talk to companies and investors in this context? What do you say to them and how do they react? How do you frame the value proposition?

MB: Part of our leadership comes from environmental and energy efficiency consulting. And hemp has a lot to say in this space. We’re working with carbon certification agencies to certify hemp operations to produce tradable carbon credits. Soil remediation is also a proven application for hemp, and Colombia has a long history of irresponsible mining. We’re investing heavily in R&D in environmental applications and our funders are aligned with the vision and happy with our progress. Our investors understand the importance of aligning environmental and social benefits with the bottom line. I’d say it’s the only way to build a sustainable business model these days.

HT: As you work across many countries, tell us about some interesting things you’ve seen in the industrial hemp space. What can you say about how different governments are responding to the opportunity hemp represents?

MB: North America is obsessed with producing CBD oil, and that didn’t end up well for many in 2019. Europe is stuck in a no man’s land, and despite the European Industrial Hemp Association’s advocacy, lawmakers don’t seem to grasp the opportunity. I have great hopes for Latin America. There are several groups across the continent that are taking the opportunity seriously and will be making headlines soon.

We’re launching the Latin American Industrial Hemp Association sometime this summer and some of its members are making good progress. Paraguay stands out in terms of government support and a company we work with is lining up to become a global player in the hemp protein business. We’re hoping Brazil becomes a regional leader soon. We’ve built a great network in the past couple of years and trust investors will increasingly look at projects here for sustained growth.

HT: You’re working with hemp in tropical latitudes. What are the particular challenges to that? What have the trials shown so far?

MB: Traditional industrial hemp strains don’t work in equatorial latitudes with 12/12 daylight cycles year round, so that is certainly a challenge. We’re breeding European and North American strains with local landraces and have promising results, but there’s no cutting corners when it comes to breeding and adapting foreign strains to this climate.

Varieties from South East Asia are easier to work with but present other challenges. And auto-flowering strains with low THC work fine for flower farming and cannabinoid extraction, but not for fiber. So we take it as an opportunity to fill a gap in the market through research and innovation which is exactly the type of business proposition we like. The reward for stabilizing the first truly tropical industrial hemp strain, one that can be farmed safely in Indonesia, Ghana or Colombia is worth waiting for.

HT: Talk about hemp and its potential fit in the energy sector.

MB: Hemp has a good net energy yield and similar fuel properties as wood fuels, and significant advantages over other energy crops, such as low pesticide requirements and higher energy content. Hemp was used as an energy source for millennia prior to prohibition, and some countries are picking it up where they left it decades ago. Most of the hemp grown in Sweden is packed into energy-rich pellets used for domestic heating.

Cellulosic bioethanol is another obvious use for hemp. And energy companies are at the forefront of carbon efficiency and decontamination, so those two angles certainly overlap. As with other industrial applications, using hemp for energy requires intense capital expenditures and technological innovation, so again, we’re talking about mid- to long-term commitments.

HT: What interesting projects do you have on the horizon?

MB: 613 Partners’ growth is exceeding expectations, validating our founding premise: the demand for c-level advisory services in the cannabis industry is severely underserved. So managing that growth internationally while ensuring we deliver on our brand promise demands resources we would otherwise focus on our project pipeline. That said, we’ll be soon spinning off our genetics division into a stand-alone seed bank to export government-certified cultivars internationally. And we’ll soon be launching an online shop to retail hemp flower across Europe.

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“Cannabis Treats COVID-19” Rallied Weed Stocks. Cannabis Could Aid Pandemic—If Someone Pays To Find Out. – Forbes

Already down when the coronavirus pandemic kicked all markets, a few cannabis stocks enjoyed rallies Friday — gains connected, it would seem, to the coronavirus pandemic.


WRAY, CO. – An employee of the Stanley Brothers, originators of high CBD strain Charlotte’s Web, at … [+] work in Colorado. Stock in the parent company of Charlotte’s Web spiked Friday, after publication of a news item touting CBD’s potential in treating COVID-19. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado’s CBD giant Charlotte’s Web, named for pediatric cannabis patient Charlotte Figi, who died last month of complications from the coronavirus, was up 24 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange. But the big gain was on NASDAQ, where shares in Canadian firm Sundial spiked 50 percent—a jump, to $0.83 a share, that’s nothing close to wiping out last year’s losses, but nonetheless a very big rally in context.

And a rally “vaguely” timed, as MarketWatch reporter Max Cherney observed, with the New York Post’s publication Thursday of its take on the big story that had gone viral on Facebook earlier that month, and was later flagged as fake news: the claim, first made in a preclinical paper published in April, by Canadian scientists that certain high CBD strains of “cannabis could prevent and treat coronavirus.”

Cannabis and COVID together strikes a nerve, already: since the beginning of the pandemic, unscrupulous cannabis companies have been claiming, without any data, that their products might manage COVID symptoms or even act as a preventative. But this wasn’t that, as researchers at the University of Lethbridge explained in interviews with the Calgary Herald and CTV, recycled by the Post.

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 26: Medical workers walk outside a special coronavirus area at Maimonides Medical … [+] Center on May 26, 2020 in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. A Canadian researcher claims his strain of cannabis could help treat COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Getty Images

In experiments with 3D human cell cultures mimicking various diseases, certain high CBD cannabis strains—developed by the researchers labs, in no relation to the cannabis available in legal and recreational markets in Canada or the US—demonstrated abilities to shut down coronavirus’s favorite “pathway: a receptor called ACE2.

Rife in lung cells but also present in the mouth and gut, ACE2 regulates the virus’s ability to enter cells and replicate. One of the Lethbridge CBD strains downregulated the ACE2 receptor in certain 3D cells by as much as 73 percent, according to Lethbridge biological scientist and study lead author Igor Kovalchuk. This is a reason why the ACE2 receptor, and turning it off, is the target of pharmaceutical interventions like experimental novel coronavirus vaccines—and this is why a consumer product that contains one of the Lethbridge-grown cannabis strains might be a useful supplemental therapy for COVID-19 patients. Perhaps in a mouthwash, the preclinical paper suggested.

None of this means cannabis is a COVID-19 cure, or a COVID-19 prevention—just, maybe, a COVID-19 treatment. That didn’t stop certain media outlets, including one weed publication called out by name by The Poynter Institute’s Politifact in a May 18 item, from running items “overstating” the Lethbridge scientists’ findings, as Kovalcuk himself admitted. But the Post got it right.

„It reduces the possibility to get infected. I never said it would prevent or block it entirely,” he said in a telephone interview over the weekend.

“It is a possible treatment,” he added. ‘A treatment is not a cure. When [news reports] say it treats COVID, or can potentially treat COVID, they are absolutely right.”

For Kovalchuk’s research team, the coronavirus pandemic struck at an auspicious time. Kovalchuk runs a company called Pathway Rx. Pathway is a Sundial subsidiary—a fact not mentioned in the Post—and earlier this year, after the company’s fortunes had plummeted from summertime trading of $12 a share to this winter’s sub-$1 nadir, his team’s research was close to getting shut down for lack of money.

When COVID appeared, “I thought, well, it’s a virus, it’s inflammation, there must be something cannabis does,” Kovalchuk recalled. So his team dived back into the models. And since COVID-19 attacks the ACE2 receptor, a receptor his strains seem to block, “the rest is history.”

As for the temporary market gains, “I don’t really care,” Kovalchuk insisted. “I want this to be brought to people. And that can only be done once a clinical trial is done.”

The trick now is to convince an investor—be it a cannabis company or anyone else—to pay for study that involves humans. This will require even more money.

For around $700,000 US, Kovalchuk believes he could enroll several hundred human volunteers — COVID-19 patients willing to supplement their doctor-prescribed regimen with a Pathway Rx cannabis product, to see if their recoveries were quicker or their symptoms less severe than a control group’s. If hospitalization stays, length of illness, and other indicators among the experimental group dropped by 20 percent compared to control, more study and a larger cohort would be required. If it were 50 percent—then maybe we’d have an accepted additional therapy.

For now, the main takeaway is that “cannabis,” meaning the stash in your jar, or the stash available at the dispensary, or the CBD oil flogged online, isn’t going to do anything. Pressed for details about terpene notes or full cannabinoind spectrum information about his special strains, Kovalchuk stayed mum. But he did emphasize that it’s very likely the full spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids, not just the high-CBD/low-THC ratio, that’s finding success inhibiting the ACE2 receptor favored by the coronavirus.

„It’s very important that it’s not just generic CBD,” he added. “You just can’t go anywhere and get CBD [that will work on COVID-19]. That’s why we’re afraid of people just rushing out to start buying it.”

Which, apparently, people have done—and not just CBD, but CBD stocks, too.

Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Market Size, Development, Key Opportunity, Application and Forecast to 2025 – AlgosOnline

Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Market Size, Development, Key Opportunity, Application and Forecast to 2025

Global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Market Report available at gives an overview of the Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) industry which covers product scope, market revenue, opportunities, growth rate, sales volumes and figures. The report also explores the worldwide players of the market and is segmented by region, type and application with forecast to 2024.

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Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Market Segmentation:

  • Americas (United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil)
  • APAC (China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, Australia)
  • Europe (Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia, Spain)
  • Middle East & Africa (Egypt, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, GCC Countries)

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An overview of the Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) market in terms of product and application landscape:

Product landscape:

Product types:

  • Hemp-derived Type
  • Marijuana-derived Type
  • In 2018
  • hemp-derived type accounted for a share of 67% in the global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) market

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  • Pharmaceuticals Industry
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  • Other
  • The pharmaceuticals industry holds an important share in terms of applications
  • and accounts for 80% of the market share

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Major industry players:

  • Kazmira
  • CW Hemp/CW Botanicals
  • Green Road
  • Medical Marijuana
  • Freedom Leaf
  • Cannavest
  • Folium Biosciences
  • Pharmahemp
  • HempLife Today
  • Aphria
  • Whistler
  • Emblem Cannabis Oils
  • CBD American Shaman
  • K.I.N.D. Concentrates
  • Select Oil
  • Absolute Terps
  • Canopy Growth Corporation
  • NuLeaf Naturals
  • The Lab

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Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Regional Market Analysis

  • Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Production by Regions
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Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Segment Market Analysis (by Type)

  • Global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Production by Type
  • Global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Revenue by Type
  • Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Price by Type

Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Segment Market Analysis (by Application)

  • Global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Consumption by Application
  • Global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Consumption Market Share by Application (2014-2019)

Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Major Manufacturers Analysis

  • Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) Production Sites and Area Served
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Global Liquid Vaporizer Market Forecast by Type and by Application (2021-2026) with Detailed Development History | MR NewsPaper – Market Research Newspaper

The global Liquid Vaporizer market is valued at US$ xx million in 2020 is expected to reach US$ xx million by the end of 2026, growing at a CAGR of xx% during 2021-2026.

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The research report has incorporated the analysis of different factors that augment the market’s growth. It constitutes trends, restraints, and drivers that transform the market in either a positive or negative manner. This section also provides the scope of different segments and applications that can potentially influence the market in the future. The detailed information is based on current trends and historic milestones. This section also provides an analysis of the volume of production about the global market and also about each type from 2015 to 2026. This section mentions the volume of production by region from 2015 to 2026. Pricing analysis is included in the report according to each type from the year 2015 to 2026, manufacturer from 2015 to 2020, region from 2015 to 2020, and global price from 2015 to 2026.

A thorough evaluation of the restrains included in the report portrays the contrast to drivers and gives room for strategic planning. Factors that overshadow the market growth are pivotal as they can be understood to devise different bends for getting hold of the lucrative opportunities that are present in the ever-growing market. Additionally, insights into market expert’s opinions have been taken to understand the market better.

The major players in the market include Enesis Group, Jyothi Laboratories, Coghlans Ltd., Quantum Health, PIC Corporation, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, SC JOHNSON & SON, INC., Spectrum Brand Holdings Inc., Dabur International, etc.

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The report offers in-depth assessment of the growth and other aspects of the Liquid Vaporizer market in important regions, including the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, U.K., Italy, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Brazil, etc. Key regions covered in the report are North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

The report has been curated after observing and studying various factors that determine regional growth such as economic, environmental, social, technological, and political status of the particular region. Analysts have studied the data of revenue, production, and manufacturers of each region. This section analyses region-wise revenue and volume for the forecast period of 2015 to 2026. These analyses will help the reader to understand the potential worth of investment in a particular region.

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Doctor registrations for cannabis program begins Thursday – WV MetroNews – West Virginia MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Office of Medical Cannabis will begin accepting physician registrations on Thursday.

Doctors must complete a registration application and complete a four-hour education course online.

“Physician registration and training are essential steps to make medical cannabis available to West Virginians with serious medical conditions,” office director Jason Frame said Tuesday.

“The Office of Medical Cannabis continues to work during the COVID-19 pandemic with the goal of providing eligible state residents with the ability to procure quality-tested medical cannabis as soon as possible. We have been able to maintain previously established timelines by utilizing alternative work platforms in keeping with the Governor’s social distancing directive.”

Patients will not be able to immediately obtain cannabis products.

The application and course can be accessed at

The registration period will be indefinitely open.

Vertically Integrated Hemp/CBD Player Sweet Earth Holdings Debuts on CSE – Streetwise Reports

Peter Epstein With CBD showing some promise against Covid-19 and cannabis stocks rising, Peter Epstein of Epstein Research discusses the market with Sweet Earth Holdings executives.

One could hardly time a better entrance to the CBD/hemp/cannabis and related space than Sweet Earth Holdings Corp.’s (SE:CSE) trading debut on May 26. Late last week, researchers from Canada’s University of Lethbridge found that CBD appears to help prevent contracting COVID-19, and can treat its symptoms. Early indications suggest that CBD could be used in mouthwashes, throat gargle products and inhalers.

Make no mistake, these findings are far from definitive. Considerably more study (time + money) will be required. Yet, share price reactions were indicative of the potential upside for CBD/hemp stocks in coming months. For example, CBD industry giant Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc.’s (CWEB:CSE; CWBHF:OTCQX) stock rose 24% on a single day from this announcement, and is up 62% from its low of May.

Other CBD/hemp stocks are up even more this month. CV Sciences Inc. (CVSI:OTCQB) is up +154%, Isodiol (ISOL:CSE) +122%, cbdMD (YCBD:OTC) +106%, Medical Marijuana (MJNA:OTC) +90%. While many readers have heard of CWEB, some are wondering about the others. Never heard of them? You’re not alone.

Surprisingly, only about 1 in 10 of the 303 hemp/CBD/cannabis and related names I track are primarily hemp or CBD-focused. The dozens of Canadian LPs & U.S. multi-state operators (MSOs) are all cannabis-focused. This suggests to me that well managed, vertically integrated hemp/CBD companies could meaningfully outperform cannabis-focused peers.

Think about it: just 10% of the stocks are hemp/CBD, yet well more than 10% of the market opportunity in the overall hemp/CBD/cannabis and related sector is from companies like Charlotte’s Web & Sweet Earth [see corporate presentation].

In the following interview, I asked founders Sam Nastat, Farinaz Wadia and CEO Peter Espig for an overview of Sweet Earth Holdings.

During the past several years, Sam Nastat has been actively involved in the funding and operations of cannabis-related businesses. During this time, Sam has created valuable relationships with growers, processors and distributors throughout the U.S. and Europe. His detailed agricultural knowledge, plus keen capital market background, gives Sam a truly unique perspective on this sector.

Farinaz Wadia is a cofounder of Forcefield, based in Oregon. Forcefield is a leader in the design/build of technologically advanced greenhouses and acts as exclusive agent for Danish based DACS A/S and the MagFan line of exhaust fans. Farinaz has the managerial skills needed to handle expansion plans for Sweet Earth, and the creativity to help Sweet Earth thrive.

Peter Espig has structured over US$2.0 billion in private equity and pre-IPO [initial public offering] investment transactions. The former Goldman Sachs and Olympus Capital executive is a pioneer in special acquisition companies (SPACs) and is a highly experienced turnaround expert in multiple sectors, on an international scale. He received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Epstein Research: Sam, your corporate presentation says, „Sweet Earth has been years in the making.” Please describe your corporate history.

Cofounder Sam Nastat: Our company started out in the famous Applegate Valley of Oregon as a stand-alone, all-encompassing hemp operation. We are not an industrial hemp grower/processor. Our intention from the beginning was, and still is, to be a large producer, but with the feel and care of a small, niche-market farm stand.

ER: Please tell readers about being awarded „Best CBD Products” at the 2019 Global MJBiz Conference. How significant an honor is it?

Cofounder Farinaz Wadia: To be chosen from among 1,312 exhibitors at the world’s largest cannabis show is a huge honor. It validated our corporate identity and product lines. To win „best CBD products” out of 111 hemp/CBD exhibitors in our first year of attendance is a noteworthy milestone. The products, our story, team and booth, all assisted in getting our message across to the thousands of people that visited with us at the conference.

ER: The CBD space is very competitive. How can readers be sure that Sweet Earth is pursuing the right products, brands and jurisdictions?

CEO Peter Espig: Correct, it is competitive. But I ask you, is there any rapid-growth, strong-margin, globally significant industry that is not highly competitive? Regarding the right products and brands, we recognize that some products will be hits and others not. This is the consequence of being cutting-edge creative. It’s more important to understand the benefits of strong partners within targeted jurisdictions than to try to go it alone.

Sweet Earth has the mentality to succeed globally. We need to think and be „globally local,” which is achieved through our local relationships that provide local insight in every global market we enter. The company has various affiliations, but our brand, Sweet Earth, and the concept of ethical, organic, high-quality merchandise, resonates globally.

ER: How can a company of your modest size afford to be in so many places, doing so many things, all at once?

Peter Espig: Good question. This can only be accomplished with trusted relationships. Our key legal advisor is based in Europe, we have a board member based in South America, we have a team in the U.S. that understands that market. The U.S. is still, by far, the largest hemp and cannabis market in the world.

Sam Nastat: In Spain we have made an investment in getting a farm up and going this year. Until we have a reliable supply of the materials that we will harvest from this farm, Sweet Earth will export its line from the U.S. to Spain and into Europe. Sweet Earth has a distributor in place to assist with the marketing and distribution so that we will have shelf space and brand awareness until our harvest.

In Panama we have a major retailer that will distribute our products, products we will export from the U.S. Once laws have been ratified in Panama for the growing and processing hemp/CBD, we will then enter into a lease for farmland that we have identified.

ER: Sweet Earth hand and body sanitizers kill the COVID-19 virus. Does management expect meaningful sales of these sanitizers?

Farinaz Wadia: Yes, we have just begun offering a high-end sanitizer that contains moisturizing qualities. These sanitizers are beginning to get noticed by chain retailers, some of which we have begun to supply.

ER: Is Sweet Earth a cultivator? An extractor? A brand developer? A distributor?

Peter Espig: Sweet Earth is, in fact, doing all four. We are a cultivator in all aspects of our growing, seed breeding, sowing and harvesting. We do not outsource those tasks. Sweet Earth has developed its own unique harvester to be able to substantially reduce harvesting labor costs. We have a building being constructed that will house the extraction equipment we purchased and the personnel to operate it.

Once construction and permitting is completed we will begin that phase for Sweet Earth and for other growers. A testament to our brand development was the award given to us at the MJ Biz Show for best CBD product line. We are on several retail platforms that have garnered us retail clients that we directly distribute to.

As a cultivator, we assure quality control and the ability to obtain scarce ingredients. Internal extraction lowers the cost of production, provides quality control and a potential revenue stream. We are not a distributor, other than for our own brands, and white label for others.

White labeling gives us experience in new products (especially when white labeling for larger entities). We recognize that on certain consumer products we lack expertise; white labeling provides us the opportunity to gain expertise and enter new markets/jurisdictions.

ER: Sweet Earth points to having 2,500 hemp plants/acre, compared to peers at 1,500/acre, and up to 15% more yield per plant. How is this accomplished?

Sam Nastat: Our strain was developed by our in-house genetics team. Our process of feeding, along with soil amendments and a unique strain, give us advantages that other recently converted commercial farms don’t have.

ER: Your CBD cultivation activities are fairly significant, but not that large. For outdoor crops, aren’t economies of scale very important?

Peter Espig: Sweet Earth is not an industrial grower of hemp/CBD. Still, our corporate reach gives us a large enough footprint for the activities that we are pursuing. For our operations, economies of scale are not necessarily advantageous. In fact, large scale creates a different platform.

Cannabis growers learned that the hard way. Growing operations of excessive size created significant quality control issues. Millions of dollars of hemp crops across North America had to be destroyed due to elevated THC levels.

Larger hemp operations typically focus on the production of biomass, not flower. We have modern machinery for harvesting; getting too large would force us to focus on the lower-end, highly competitive biomass segment, which does benefit from economies of scale.

ER: Many companies are starting to talk about CBG and CBN. Where is Sweet Earth on this front?

Sam Nastat: Sweet Earth has begun to explore that avenue, and some of the acreage in our 2020 growing cycle will include those strains that have shown promising CBG/CBN yields. While many companies are talking about CBG and CBN, not all have the experience and a dedicated genetics team like we do.

ER: To what extent is purchasing CBD products a luxury item versus a necessity?

Peter Espig: We are witnessing a paradigm shift in consumer consumption. There’s a big difference between „luxury item” and „superior quality item.” Our products are high quality, but also within the price range of most consumers. Online sales of products have performed very well. We need to emphasize traffic to our site and a user-friendly online shopping experience.

Typically, during hard economic times, high-price fashion brands suffer the most. However, consumers still like to shop and enjoy the experience of receiving an exclusive product at an affordable price. We need to instill this into the consumer.

ER: COVID-19 has already had a tremendous impact on business activity. Given this uncertainty, how is Sweet Earth planning for the rest of 2020?

Peter Espig: Yes, it has impacted us. The reality is that sales of biomass and flower have been negatively impacted. On a positive note, new supply is, and will be, greatly diminished. Sales of sanitizer products have performed well, but other products have suffered.

ER: Thank you, Sam, Farinaz and Peter, for your time and thoughtful responses to my questions. I wish you the best of luck and will circle back in June.

Epstein Research Disclosures: The content of this article is for information only. Readers fully understand and agree that nothing contained herein, written by Peter Epstein of Epstein Research [ER], (together, [ER]) about Sweet Earth Holdings, including but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts, calculations, etc. is not to be considered implicit or explicit investment advice. Nothing contained herein is a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security. [ER] is not responsible under any circumstances for investment actions taken by the reader. [ER] has never been, and is not currently, a registered or licensed financial advisor or broker/dealer, investment advisor, stockbroker, trader, money manager, compliance or legal officer, and does not perform market making activities. [ER] is not directly employed by any company, group, organization, party or person. The shares of Sweet Earth Holdings are highly speculative, not suitable for all investors. Readers understand and agree that investments in small cap stocks can result in a 100% loss of invested funds. It is assumed and agreed upon by readers that they will consult with their own licensed or registered financial advisors before making any investment decisions.

At the time this article was posted, Sweet Earth Holdings was an advertiser on [ER] and Peter Epstein owned shares in the company.

Readers understand and agree that they must conduct their own due diligence above and beyond reading this article. While the author believes he’s diligent in screening out companies that, for any reasons whatsoever, are unattractive investment opportunities, he cannot guarantee that his efforts will (or have been) successful. [ER] is not responsible for any perceived, or actual, errors including, but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts & financial calculations, or for the completeness of this article or future content. [ER] is not expected or required to subsequently follow or cover events & news, or write about any particular company or topic. [ER] is not an expert in any company, industry sector or investment topic.

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Suit Over ‚Illegal’ CBD Products Paused To Await FDA Rules – Law360

Law360 (May 26, 2020, 5:16 PM EDT) — A California federal court has paused a proposed class action accusing a CBD company of hawking products that aren’t compliant with U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, saying the case should wait until the agency unveils new cannabinoid regulations.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips on Friday became the second judge to call timeout in a wave of lawsuits prompted by FDA warnings that cannabinoid products are being sold illegally, finding the case against CBD maker CV Sciences Inc. would benefit from regulatory clarity.

„The fact remains that the FDA has not formally established its position,” Judge Phillips said, noting that…

Today in Gear: CBD Made With Cutting-Edge Technology, Gifts for Graduates & More – Gear Patrol

Today in Gear is our daily roundup of all the latest product announcements, drops and deals. Comments or concerns? We’d love to hear from you at

There are virtually countless ways to consume CBD. The market is full to the brim with oils, gummies, salves, balms, capsules, ice creams, coffees — you name it, they make it. But for those with an eye for the cutting edge technology, the CBD market has been slow to advance. That’s where Omura comes in. The California-based company has developed a vaporizer-style device for consuming full-spectrum, whole-flower hemp CBD. It works by heating the flower — without burning it — to a temperature that extracts the cannabinoids and terpenes, so you can taste the flower with each inhale without any char or burning flavors. Each Omura stick is fully compostable and pre-dosed, simply insert a stick into the device and turn it on. The Omura will vibrate when it’s turned on, when the session is ready to begin and then again when the session is finished and the device turns off. Plus right now, you can get an additional pack of CBD for free through the end of May by using the code GearPatrol.

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Leading this pack is the awesome Adidas SL20, boasting just enough cushion to be comfy without slowing you down on your way to new PRs.

from water bottles and hiking boots to excellent sleeping pads like this one.

from the internet’s treasure trove of sale sections, like this trucker jacket from Knickerbocker.

The Marshall Mid ANC are some of the best noise-canceling headphones under $300. They have strong noise-cancellation abilities and a good 30-hour battery life (with ANC turned on).