Dr. Kushwah on the Pandora’s Box around cannabis impairment testing that no one is talking about

“Even now there is nothing out there. Any tools that are in development are designed to measure THC. Just because you can measure THC does not mean you are looking at impairment. That is a big pandora’s box that no one is addressing. We are the first one in the space that is tackling impairment.” States Dr. Rahul Kushwah, Co-Founder and COO of Cultivar Holdings Inc. (CSE: CULT), in an interview with InvestorIntel’s Peter Clausi.

Dr. Kushwah went on to say that Cultivar is a cannabis technology company that has developed an artificial intelligence based impairment detection technology for the workplace and law enforcement and it is targeting both cannabis and alcohol. The technology looks at a few hundred parameters on face and voice to identify if a person is impaired or not. The technology is very adaptable and has the potential to be rolled out anywhere on a massive scale. Dr. Kushwah also said that Cultivar is going to launch its impairment detection technology and is expecting to be revenue positive with its technology this year. He added that the company already has two agreements in place with multi-billion dollar companies like Tech Mahindra and Hindalco.

To access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: Cultivar Holdings Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.

Sobriety testing may shift to determining impairment using artificial intelligence

Society is used to using traditional testing measures to test alcohol impairment. While these mostly work well for alcohol, the problem is that conventional testing does not work well for cannabis. This is because THC levels have generally been found to have no correlation with impairment.

Research reports and real cases are showing elevated THC levels don’t necessarily mean impairment

A May 2019 Congressional Research service report titled ‘Marijuana Use and Highway Safety’ states:

Research studies have been unable to consistently correlate levels of marijuana consumption, or THC in a person’s body, and levels of impairment. Thus some researchers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have observed that using a measure of THC as evidence of a driver’s impairment is not supported by scientific evidence to date.

6 year British Columbia study found no increase in crash risk in drivers with THC<5ng/ml

A University of British Columbia 6 year study in the journal Addiction on the likelihood of crash responsibility by drivers who tested positive for intoxicating substances, including THC, concluded:

“In this multi-site observational study of non-fatally injured drivers, we found no increase in crash risk, after adjustment for age, sex, and use of other impairing substances, in drivers with THC<5ng/ml….For drivers with THC>5ng/ml there may be an increased risk of crash responsibility, but this result was statistically non-significant and further study is required. …Our findings … suggest that the impact of cannabis on road safety is relatively small at present time.”

The Michelle Gray case in Nova Scotia

Given the evidence against THC causing impairment, the implications are profound. Police and courts are confused by cases where cannabis testing is positive, yet sobriety testing is negative. Michelle Gray, a medical marijuana user, had her license suspended after a positive saliva test for cannabis, even though she passed a police-administered sobriety test the same night. Subsequently, Canadian police apologized to her for incorrectly suspending her licence for a week.

The State Of Michigan does not use THC levels to determine impairment

Sobriety testing for cannabis comes under question. State of Michigan officials decided not to set a THC level in blood or saliva to constitute impairment when driving. This is in recognition of numerous research studies showing very low or no correlation between THC level and impairment.

Given cannabis is increasingly being legalized, the issue is becoming very important –  how to accurately test drivers to detect impairment?

Artificial Intelligence using voice and facial recognition to detect impairment

To help solve this problem one Canadian company has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to specifically test for impairment – whether it be from alcohol or cannabis or any other substances. These tests are non-invasive and can be done by law enforcement or at work.

Cultivar Holdings Inc.’ (CSE: CULT) subsidiary Predict MEDiX has developed sobriety or impairment testing based on face and voice recognition using AI. Their AI testing works to detect any type of impairment no matter the cause. Predict MEDiX has signed a JV agreement with Tech Mahindra, a multibillion dollar technology player ranked among top 15 IT companies globally, as well as with Hindalco. One of the world’s largest aluminum players, Hindalco is part of the parent corporation Aditya Birla group, which has annual revenues exceeding US$44 billion.

Investors can read more about Cultivator Holdings here

Cannabis 2019 in review, and what to expect in 2020

2019 was a reset year for cannabis investors, especially for those invested in Canadian cannabis stocks; however, 2020 is set to be much better as the US considers decriminalization of cannabis at the federal level.

A review of cannabis in 2019

2019 may be remembered in the cannabis world as the year of reset in cannabis stock valuations. In 2019 several factors conspired to make it a rough year for cannabis stocks. Following cannabis legalization in Canada in October 2018, valuations soared in 2019 which many believed was too high.

Canada’s slow provincial licensing and retail rollout made many companies’ optimistic forecasts impossible to achieve. Ontario, the most populated province in the country, didn’t have retailers up and running until April. Most recently, it conducted a second lottery that allowed the number of retail stores to rise from 25 to 50. By comparison, Alberta, which has a fraction of Ontario’s population, has approved more than 300 retailers.

Government issues aside, the legal cannabis industry is a new baby, with many teething problems. Building a new industry from scratch is hard and will always be confronted with starting problems.

The introduction of more retail outlets in Canada and new products like edibles and beverages should eventually put companies’ sales and margins on a faster path to profitability. But this will take time and it will be way into 2020 before edible products are ready at the retail level to reflect in earnings reports.

Canada’s cannabis industry has been full of problems, and they aren’t all sorted out just yet. While it’s one year in, the Canadian market still has a long way to go. In the U.S. cannabis stocks, there is a lot to be optimistic about in 2020, as the momentum to federally legalize cannabis moves in a positive direction.

There is new legislation in front of Congress to allow U.S. cannabis companies to conduct financial services without fear of penalty. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, would pave the way for financial institutions to do business with cannabis companies. Also, the 2018 US farm bill legalizing hemp growing will be a huge boost to the sector in the coming years.

There is still a lot to be optimistic about in the cannabis sector in the years to come with many experts saying cannabis sales will increase due to fast-tracked government licensing and more US states legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis.

Originally lead by medicinal cannabis there is now a global revolution underway changing attitudes towards cannabis use. The legalization for medicinal use is paving the way for a broader liberalization with history suggesting that when medical cannabis is permitted it is often the prelude to broader recreational access.

US related cannabis stocks should do well in 2020 if cannabis is decriminalized in the US

What’s ahead for cannabis in 2020?

In mid November 2019 the US House Committee approved the new cannabis bill. If passed in 2020 by the US Senate, it would lead to the decriminalization of cannabis use in the USA. Cannabis is already legal for recreational use in 11 US states, and for medical use in 33 states. President Trump was quoted: “I probably will end up supporting that, yes.” Investors can read more on what’s ahead for cannabis here.

Mexico may also legalize cannabis in 2020. Congress must decide by April 30, 2020, so we should know soon enough.

The cannabis industry is rapidly undergoing acceptance both for medicinal and recreational use. In a few short years, cannabis has gone from a criminalized drug to a multibillion-dollar global boom, at least in Canada and certain US states. The US federally and Mexico look set to follow soon. If the US decriminalizes cannabis in 2020, then I would expect 2020 to be a breakout year for US related cannabis stocks.

Two cannabis stocks we like for 2020

Cultivar Holdings Inc. (CSE: CULT) has research in related cannabis fields like Predict MEDiX (AI based solutions) that can detect levels of marijuana consumption and impairment in the body. They are also developing other cannabis consumables including infused tea products and cannabis based cosmetics.

FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI | OTCQB: FNNZF) provides financing to top-tier companies in the licensed medical cannabis industry in exchange for a royalty on revenues. In the rapidly emerging California market, it is FinCanna’s vision to be the capital partner of choice in the licensed cannabis industry. 

Sobriety testing for both alcohol and cannabis at the same time, Cultivar Holdings lists on the CSE

With so much focus this year on the personal use cannabis market it’s easy to forget that there are some really unique cannabis companies entering the market. One such company has an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can be used by law enforcement and companies to detect cannabis (and alcohol) impairment.

Cultivar Holdings Inc.‘s (CSE: CULT) vision is to be a global leader in the cannabis space. Their portfolio ranges from the development of cannabis-derived products that are backed by science to artificial intelligence based solutions to detect cannabis impairment. Cultivar is a holding company for 3 globally focused cannabis companies that each provides a unique investment opportunity in their own right.

1. Predict MEDiX (AI based solutions)

Research studies have been unable to consistently correlate levels of marijuana consumption, or THC in a person’s body, to accurately detect levels of impairment. Using a measure of THC as evidence of a driver’s impairment is not supported by scientific evidence. Predict MEDiX has developed an artificial intelligence powered facial and voice recognition software to identify cannabis and alcohol impairment. THC detection methodology including a breathalyzer cannot work for cannabis impairment, this is where Predict MEDiX AI based facial/voice recognition technology comes into play. A US Congressional report has also indicated that THC has no correlation with impairment and any technology to detect THC in breath or bodily fluids will not identify impairment. Someone can even take pills and edibles that can’t be detected on a breathalyzer. This AI technology goes way beyond driver impairment. Even in global jurisdictions where cannabis is legal, cannabis impairment is a huge concern for workplace safety.

Predict MEDiX has signed a JV agreement with Tech Mahindra (a multibillion dollar technology player ranked among top 15 IT companies globally) to launch the AI technology via their global client base in mining, manufacturing, and the automotive sector.

Cultivar has also signed an agreement with one of the world’s largest aluminum players Hindalco. They are part of the parent corporation Aditya Birla group which has annual revenues exceeding US$44 billion. They want to deploy the AI technology in their mining division and subsequently explore the use of the technology in their other worldwide businesses. Predict MEDiX’s first product for workplace impairment is designed for both cannabis and alcohol, and is to be launched by Q2 of 2020. The AI technology will be backed by a study of over 3,500 participants.

Cultivar Holdings offers exposure to Predict MEDiX AI solutions

2. Dazed Leaf and Vivir Cosmetics (CBD infused products)

Dazed Leaf is a cannabis nutraceutical company which is reinventing health and wellness teas by offering unique health-focused Cannabidiol (CBD) infused products, which have been scientifically formulated and are free of chemicals and preservatives. Identifying a growing demand in CBD infused products coupled with a growing health and wellness trend in North America. Dazed Leaf seeks to create scientifically proven health and wellness teas infused with CBD to be at the forefront of this new industry. Vivir Cosmetics CBD infused cosmetics has many benefits including reduced inflammation, anti-aging, moisturizing and efficacy in treating skin disorders. Currently they have completed the development of 3 product lines including a face mask, serum and moisturizer. These have been developed using herbal extracts which have shown efficacy for skincare along with CBD.

3. Cultivar Jamaica (CBD Cultivation)

Cultivar Jamaica is working towards becoming a grower, supplier and distributor of CBD oils and when laws permit, THC in Jamaica. The mission is to be a manufacturer and wholesaler of consumable cannabis products including cosmetics, natural health products, pharmaceuticals, veterinary health products, vaporizer oil and edibles. Cultivar Jamaica has been granted four pre-licences from the Jamaican government. These include Issuance of License to cultivate, process, transport and for retail from the Cannabis Licensing Authority in Jamaica. They are only the 5th company to receive licenses in the spiritual home of pot smoking and cricket.

Cultivar Holdings Inc. offers investors 3 exciting cannabis related businesses for the price of one. Investors can gain diversification across the cannabis sector and into some niche areas. Predict MEDiX AI based solutions is a very interesting new development in the workplace safety area and is set to go global offering investors a unique opportunity at the early stages of the game.

Cultivar Holdings Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Canada; and is set to list on the CSE today.

What’s next for the cannabis industry?

The legal cannabis industry has come a long way the past 2 years culminating in US Federal legislators considering the decriminalization of cannabis use in the USA. In this article, I take a look at what’s been happening in cannabis as well as the steps ahead for cannabis to become decriminalized at the national level in the USA.

The US House Committee approves a landmark bill legalizing marijuana at the federal level

In mid November 2019 the US House Committee approved the new cannabis bill. If successful, the bill would have the effect of removing cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. This will also mean the states can still enact their own policies, but can now clear criminal records of people with low-level marijuana offenses. This is quite significant as marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drug arrests in the United States. Included in the legislation will be a 5% tax on cannabis products that would provide job training and legal assistance to those hit hardest by the so called war on drugs.

“The criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake,” Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y, has stated in commenting on the House Judiciary Committee bill that legalizes marijuana on the federal level.

Next steps

The bill will still need to pass a vote in the full House before moving to the Senate for further approval. However, the legislation may face a tougher battle in the Republican controlled Senate, where majority leader Mitch McConnell opposes marijuana legalization. Concern has been expressed by some republican members that the bill has gone a bit too far and will unlikely be passed at the senate level.

The bill has more than 50 co-sponsors including presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Even Joe Biden has added his thoughts to the topic in saying that not “enough evidence” exists to prove whether marijuana is a “gateway drug”. And according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research is saying the majority of people who use marijuana do not “go on to use other ‘harder’ substances.”

Legalizing cannabis has become a global movement following Uruguay and Canada’s move

Cannabis is already legal for recreational use in 11 US states, and for medical use in 33 states

So far 11 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use whereas medical cannabis, prescribed by physicians, is legal in 33 states and Washington, D.C. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has called the legislation the “biggest marijuana news of the year.”

The recent bill approval comes a few months after the House passed legislation that protects banks, credit unions and insurance companies in doing business with marijuana sellers serving marijuana businesses in states where the substance is legal. In addition, the act will provide protection from criminal liability to the financial services providers for providing services to cannabis-related businesses, as long as the business is in compliance with state law.

President Trump probably will end up supporting the cannabis bill

President Trump has not given much away and recently stated: “We’re going to see what’s going on. It’s a very big subject and right now we are allowing states to make that decision. A lot of states are making that decision, but we’re allowing states to make that decision.” Another recent report on Trump’s view stated: “President Trump appears to be all in on the bill. Before jetting off to the G-7 summit in Canada, he told reporters,” I support Senator Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

Legalization of cannabis in Canada completes one year now

Canada has just celebrated its first anniversary of legal recreational use of cannabis. By way of a product upgrade, the governing body overseeing and regulating cannabis sales, Health Canada, is now accepting applications from companies seeking to produce cannabis derived goods such as edibles, beverages and vaping products. The edibles/beverages/vape market is projected to be a billion dollar boom for Canada’s burgeoning cannabis businesses.

Fancy some cannabis infused chocolate

US farm bill legalized hemp

Also in the last 12 months US President Trump signed into law the farm bill, which contained a provision legalizing hemp, a species of cannabis that CBD can be extracted from but that isn’t psychoactive. Hemp has typically been used for industrial products like paper and textiles. Again the hemp market can easily grow to be a multi-billion dollar global market.

Other countries that may legalize cannabis next

Apart from the US, the following countries are all likely to legalize cannabis, especially if the US does. Those countries are Jamaica, Czech Republic, Colombia, Peru, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, and France. Another one is Australia where last month the capital city of Canberra legalized cannabis use. Mexico will also likely follow soon where personal use of recreational cannabis in amounts 5 grams or less is decriminalized (not a jailable offense). In fact, most of South America considers smoking cannabis no big deal. Even Russia allows cannabis in amounts up to 6 grams.

All of this good news for the cannabis sector the past 2 years has seen cannabis stocks do very well, despite some ups and downs.

One company we follow at InvestorIntel that can ride the wave of cannabis legalization is FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI | OTCQB: FNNZF). FinCanna provides financing to top-tier companies in the licensed medical cannabis industry in exchange for a royalty on revenues by building its diversified portfolio of royalty investments in scalable, best-in-class projects and companies in U.S. legal states, with a focus on California. If the US cannabis bill gets passed into law it could be a big boost for FinCanna.

Attitudes have been changing towards a drug where users were once thought of as hardcore criminals. There is now more information out there on cannabis than there was when Congress passed the first law effectively criminalizing marijuana in 1937 and then passed another law in 1956 that set mandatory prison sentences for drug-related offenses which included marijuana.

Cannabis has gone from being a criminalized drug to being on the verge of a multibillion-dollar global boom. We will watch with interest to see if the US follows Uruguay and Canada’s lead to legalize marijuana at the Federal level, most likely in 2020. If successful the devil will be in the detail, as decriminalizing and legalizing can mean two different things. If the US does move it is hard to see why the rest of the world would not follow. This would mean a decade long boom ahead for the global cannabis industry.

MI3 Market Alert: Building the largest hydroponic facility for the cannabis sector

Mario Drolet President of MI3 Communications Financières Inc. (MI3) released a technical note at market open today on FSD Pharma Inc. (CSE: HUGE | OTCQB: FSDDD) for exclusive distribution on InvestorIntel. In this note, MI3 highlighted the following points on FSD Pharma Inc.

  • FSD Pharma is focused on the research and development of novel cannabinoid-based treatments for several central nervous system disorders including chronic pain, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome, and on the development of the highest quality indoor grown, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis.
  • FSD’s wholly-owned subsidiary, FV Pharma, is a licensed producer under the Cannabis Act and Regulations, having received its cultivation license on October 13, 2017 and its full Sale for Medical Purposes license on June 21, 2019.
  • Only 7M Outstanding, consolidating after rollback
  • RSI at 33 definitely near OVERSOLD territory
  • recent rebound from $4.40 to $9.20
  • HUGE traded over 2.3 Million shares since rollback on Oct 16
  • Support: S2; $ 6.35    S1; $ 7.50   Resistance:   R1; $7.70   R2; $8.15

About FSD Pharma

FSD Pharma is focused on the research and development of novel cannabinoid-based treatments for several central nervous system disorders including chronic pain, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome, and on the development of the highest quality indoor grown, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. The Company is licensed to cultivate cannabis in approximately 25,000 square feet.

FSD’s wholly-owned subsidiary, FV Pharma, is a licensed producer under the Cannabis Act and Regulations, having received its cultivation license on October 13, 2017 and its full Sale for Medical Purposes license on June 21, 2019. FV Pharma intends to cover all aspects of the cannabis industry, including cultivation, legal, processing, manufacturing, extracts and research and development.


Disclaimer: This MI3 Technical Note produced by MI³ Communications Financières is neither an offer to sell, nor the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities discussed therein. The information contained is prepared by MI3, emanating from sources deemed to be reliable. MI3 Communications Financières makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy, correctness or completeness of such information. MI³ Communications Financières accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from the use of the information contained therein. Please take note that for compliance purposes, all directors, consultants or employees of MI3 Communications Financières are prohibited from trading the securities of the company and MI3 Communications Financières is a shareholder and do not intend to sell any shares during the distribution of this note.

Herchak on how FinCanna offers investors a way to invest in top quality private cannabis companies

“FinCanna is diversified by investing in four companies to date. We have enough money for a fifth investment. We are diversified both geographically in California and across a number of different sectors. We invest in private companies. If you want to invest in top quality private companies the only way to invest in them directly is through us.” States Andriyko Herchak, CEO and Director of FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI | OTCQB: FNNZF), in an interview with InvestorIntel’s Tracy Weslosky.

Andriyko went on to say that FinCanna is focused on the US with a primary focus on California, the largest cannabis market in North America. Andriyko also provided an update on FinCanna’s portfolio companies. He said that FinCanna’s four portfolio companies include QVI, ezGreen Compliance, Refined Resin and CTI. All the companies are startups in different stages of growth. QVI is the last company that FinCanna invested in and is expected to produce royalty this quarter. ezGreen Compliance is a Point-of-Sale software compliance firm that has signed a large client in California.

To access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: FinCanna Capital Corp. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.