Medical Marijuana, Inc. and our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries had an enormous year in 2016. We began exporting our products to a number of new countries, created a market-first completely THC-free hemp-derived product, and started clinical trials on disruptive new cannabinoid-based drugs.
It was a year of intense growth in our industry, and as a Company of Firsts™, we proudly led the way through our innovation. Medical Marijuana, Inc. was the first company to be traded publicly, the first to deliver CBD hemp oil products nationally and internationally, and the first to establish a rigorous Triple Lab Tested™ standard. As the year comes to a close, we would like to look back on the events of the past year and reflect on the successes we’ve had.
Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s retail and wholesale company, HempMeds® continued their expansion in the CBD oil space to retain their position as the industry leader in CBD supplements.
To help accomplish this, HempMeds® was able to launch a new website and user experience for their customers, offering an enhanced shopping experience, expanded educational information, and smoother user interface. This new website was designed to work in conjunction with the team of knowledgeable HempMeds® specialists to fulfill the company’s goal of being Your Trusted CBD Source™.
HempMeds® also introduced its new RSHO-X™, the first zero-THC CBD hemp oil product available, to their store this year. Initially created to meet the strict guidelines for cannabinoid based products accepted in Mexico, RSHO–X™ was launched to all HempMeds® customers this year. Immediately, RSHO–X™ became popular with our customers looking to avoid even trace levels of THC in their CBD supplements. This created a new market of CBD oil customers, including active and retired members of the military, first responders, like police, firefighters, and EMTs, or anyone subject to a drug test.
As part of HempMeds®’ push this year to further establish itself as a leader in the CBD hemp oil industry, the company exhibited at nearly a dozen trade shows this past year, with Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus speaking at several events as well to share his knowledge and expertise on a range of industry specific topics.
This past year, HempMeds® has increased its wholesale business by 50 percent, in large part because of the company’s involvement at national and international events. These events include several cannabis industry conferences, like the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Business Expo, the Southern California Cannabis Conference and Expo, and the New West Summit. The company was also on hand at Supplyside West, a premier wholesale and business to business expo. Finally, the company attended two American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine World Congresses, in Mexico City and Las Vegas.
HempMeds® also continued to work hand-in-hand with CBD advocates like Hope4Harper, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of and fund research into difficult to treat neurological diseases, founded by the Howard family. The family’s daughter, Harper, was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood epilepsy at a very young age.
Sadly, Harper passed away earlier this year to complications not directly tied to her condition. Her parents acted quickly and donated samples of Harper’s tissue, cells, and organs to medical research into neurological diseases like Harper’s at the UCSD Muotri Lab. There, Dr. Muotri is using Harper’s donations to research possible treatments for diseases like Harper’s.
For years now, HempMeds® has maintained a relationship with the Hope4Harper organization, sponsoring their events and donating to their causes, and the company proudly continues to support their mission to fight these tough to treat conditions.
HempMeds® has also doubled the size of its team to help the company move forward in its mission to bring access CBD hemp oil products to the world. This new team included additions in sales, accounting, and marketing to help us become the most trusted brand in the CBD space.
The company has also seen further expansion internationally. After entry into Brazil in 2014, HempMeds® continued their effort increase access to CBD by expanding availability of of their products into Mexico, Paraguay, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. This push to open new markets falls under our goal of access for all to cannabinoids like CBD.
AXIM® Biotechnologies has had an incredible year of growth, being named one of Fox Business’s Top 5 Biotech Stocks of 2016, as a result of its stock increased 2000 percent over the previous year. The company received the necessary funding this year to begin a series of clinical trials on their cannabinoid-based drugs. The company intends to carry this momentum into 2017 with a range of clinical trials scheduled.
AXIM® Biotechnologies is undertaking human dermatological clinical trials based on the company’s proprietary, patent-pending topical ointment formulation AX-1602, which includes the “stem cell cannabinoid” cannabigerol (CBG) and other cannabinoids. The topical application of CBG is being tested for efficacy for the skin conditions psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (eczema). The results of the AX-1602 study will determine whether the company pursues further clinical trials and a new drug application or moves to make the product available over-the-counter.
MedChew® Rx, a cannabinoid-infused chewing gum aimed at treating the pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS), will soon undergo clinical trials in Europe. AXIM® Biotechnologies will conduct their clinical trial on MedChew® Rx at the Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The anticipated duration of the clinical trials prior to FDA/ EMA registration is approximately twelve months. AXIM® Biotechnologies is looking to secure MedChew® Rx as a novel, patented delivery method for cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity for patients with multiple sclerosis. The potential economic impact for MedChew® Rx is estimated at $4.8 billion USD for the symptoms of MS.
The company is also preparing to begin clinical trials for IBS patients. The company has gained the approval necessary to start next phase clinical trials for its CanChew® Plus cannabinoid-infused chewing gum. In December of 2016, they received approval from the Medical Ethical Committee (METC) of Wageningen University, located in The Netherlands, to begin a study on patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) featuring its CanChew® Plus CBD gum.
Most recently, AXIM® Biotechnologies has filed an intellectual property (IP) application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) covering its proprietary method to extract and refine high-purity THC from cannabis plant material.
The company’s recently-filed IP application would provide protection to the invention of a method of extracting THCa from cannabis flower. Because the process allows the company to recover more THCa, a precursor of THC, AXIM®’s proprietary extraction method helps the company to achieve THC extracts with a greater purity than conventional extractions being used in the market today. Standardizing this stage in its process is critical to the company’s development of cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals, and the IP application protects its innovation, placing AXIM® in a competitive position to dominate the market.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. owns 22,143,650 common shares or about 40% of AXIM® Biotechnologies. AXIM®’s soaring stock value has helped strategically place the Medical Marijuana, Inc. portfolio of investments to capitalize on the rise of cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals.
Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s premier lifestyle marketing company, Kannaway relaunched its brand this year with a fresh new look, exciting new products, and a streamlined online experience.
The first step in this relaunch was the announcement its new executive team in March. Bradley J. Tayles took on the role of Vice President, and Blake Schroeder joined the company as CEO. Their combined experience in the natural supplement and peer-to-peer marketing spaces allows for new insight into the company’s role in the CBD hemp oil industry.
Kannaway has also hosted a number of successful events in 2016. These “Red Carpet” events offer Kannaway attendees the opportunity to learn, network, and grow their businesses. Following two successful Red Carpet events in San Diego, Kannaway hosted events in Arizona and Colorado. All these events were a lead up to Kannaway’s Genesis event in November.
At the Genesis event, Kannaway launched a new brand ambassador experience, including a crisp new website and revamped product packaging and branding materials. Kannaway also revealed new head-start training for new and existing brand ambassadors to help them kickstart their success from the very beginning.
This new training, combined with the company’s announcement of the addition of a stock incentive program to its brand ambassador compensation plan, creates attractive opportunities for growth among Kannaway business owners.
The company also expanded into bilingual marketing and branding materials, as well as brand ambassador support, allowing the company to bring the benefits of its hemp oil supplements to a new segment of the market.
Finally, Kannaway introduced a pair of new product lines this year. Kannaway Premium Hemp Oil brings pure hemp oil to the Kannaway brand for the first time. This single ingredient hemp oil is extracted from the hemp plant and packaged with no additives to retain the makeup of the hemp plant itself, providing concentrated levels of CBD in each serving.
The company also announced the addition of its new Kannaway Pure CBD products, previously Rev!ve Pro-X, to their online store. This innovative new THC-free product line has already become popular with Kannaway customers looking to avoid even trace levels of THC in their CBD hemp oil supplements. The rest of the Rev!ve line received new formulation as well this year, to bring it into line with Kannaway’s suggested 50 mg of CBD per day.
Kannaway’s efforts to renew its brand this year resulted in a growth in revenue of 400% this year over 2015. This success is passed down to the company’s brand ambassadors, who are looking forward to even greater growth in the coming year.
Kannalife™ Sciences, a Medical Marijuana, Inc. investment company, is working to create cannabinoid-based treatments for a pair of neurological diseases.
A late-stage biotechnology company, Kannalife™ Sciences is capitalizing on their licensing agreement with the U.S. government to use their patent 6,630,507 titled Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
Kannalife™ Sciences has created a synthetic CBD-like cannabinoid in their effort to create a cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals. This synthetic cannabinoid, KLS-13019, is both 50 times stronger and 400 times safer than naturally occurring CBD.
Kannalife™ Sciences was also given the first ever DEA permit awarded to a U.S. based company to import pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol, allowing them to labor to create the next generation of pharmaceutical treatments using cannabis. The company is currently focusing on developing medications for hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) results when the liver cannot function properly, allowing toxins to reach the brain and damaging functionality. HE typically occurs in those with chronic liver disease. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is the result of repeated blows to the head. Linked to concussions, CTE is estimated to affect over 90% of NFL players, but may be found in anyone with head injuries. Featured in Sports Illustrated and Forbes this year for their work on CTE and the positive effects cannabinoids like CBD could have for players in the NFL.
Although Kannalife™ Sciences is focusing on these two conditions in their research now, the company’s work can open up treatments for a number of other neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
This year HempMeds® Brasil took steps that will help reinforce its position as the proven industry leader for CBD products in Brazil, including the introduction of new products and the introduction of new management.
Since first approving RSHO™ products for a little girl suffering from epilepsy, ANVISA, the regulating authority in Brazil, has gone on to approve HempMeds® Brasil products for import for Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain. Just this past year, ANVISA approved RSHO™ for import for patients with cancer. The company continues to work to educate health officials, doctors, and patients about the effects of CBD to help expand the number of indications for which RSHO™ is approved by ANVISA for import.
To make sure that the right hemp oil products make it into the hands of our customers in Brazil, HempMeds® Brasil made them available to their customers. These new products include RSHO™ Green Label pure hemp oil from the oral applicator and MCT liquid. Both of these products contain oil that is high in CBDa.
HempMeds® Brasil also added RSHO–X™, HempMeds®’ completely THC-free CBD oil product. Already popular with HempMeds® customers looking to avoid even trace levels of CBD, RSHO–X™ is now available to all qualified patients in Brazil.
In the coming year, HempMeds® Brasil will be hosting a series of educational events across Brazil to help connect patients and doctors with the material they need to make informed decisions regarding CBD as a treatment option.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. created HempMeds® Mexico after the company’s flagship THC-free product RSHO-X™ became the first cannabis product to be allowed for import into the country by COFEPRIS. The Health Department of Mexico, COFEPRIS issued the country’s first-ever government permits in February to import RSHO-X™ to Maria Paula, 5, and Alina Maldonado Montes de Oca, 11.
Since then, HempMeds® Mexico has labored to ease access to CBD in Mexico through educational and lobbying efforts. Part of this effort included the creation of an official partnership with the Por Grace Foundation.
Raul Elizalde started the Por Grace Foundation to further access to CBD for his daughter Grace and others like her. The premier cannabidiol advocacy group in Mexico, the Por Grace Foundation works closely with HempMeds® Mexico to help interested patients navigate the process to access CBD.
Raul was invited to join President Peña Nieto on stage in April to give an impassioned speech about the effects of cannabinoids on his daughter before the Mexican President announced that country would be pursuing a more compassionate stance on the medical use of marijuana in the country.
HempMeds® Mexico also made several key hires in their efforts to expand further into Mexico. The company appointed Dion Markgraaff, a 25 year veteran in the cannabis industry, as President of company. HempMeds® Mexico has also hired Carlos Gonzalez to join their team as Head of Operations. Gonzalez is an experienced lawyer and importation law expert in Mexico, giving him a unique knowledge of the administrative hurdles the company and its customers will need to navigate.
HempMeds® Mexico has also been active in creating or attending crucial cannabis events throughout Mexico.These events have given HempMeds® Mexico the chance to reach out to a large number of doctors and patients at once, sparking a national conversation around the use of cannabidiol that was covered nationally in media outlets like El Universal and Reforma.
Dion Markgraaff spoke at the ExpoWeed Conference, which took place at the International Exhibitions and Conference World Trade Center in Mexico City. Markgraff was joined by Raul Elizalde to help educate the public in Mexico about the benefits of CBD.
HempMeds® Mexico also hosted their first National Symposium on the benefits of CBD titled Cannabidiol, Medical and Therapeutic Uses. Renowned Mexican physician Dr. Saul Garza Morales spoke at the event on the benefits of CBD. Cannabidiol, Medical and Therapeutic Uses presented a unique educational opportunity for the doctors of Mexico to learn about cannabidiol and how to prescribe RSHO-X™ to their patients for certain intractable conditions.
HempMeds® Mexico was also present at the Senate of Mexico’s historic exhibition “Hemp for All,” held in October on the second floor terrace of the Senate building. The exhibition was held in an open space where medicinal cannabis advocates were be able to share information on the many therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana to both Mexican lawmakers and the media.
HempMeds® RSHO-X™ THC-free CBD oil was also at the center of a recent study on the effects of CBD and epilepsy. Renowned Mexican physician Dr. Carlos G. Aguirre Velazquez recently announced the results of a new survey conducted on children with refractory epilepsy. Participation in the study was voluntary, and study criteria required a diagnosis of refractory epilepsy such as Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet, Doose or other similar conditions, and the current use of medicinal cannabis (usually a pure CBD extract).
The survey, submitted to parents of the Por Grace Foundation Facebook Group, found that out of 53 cases of children who were treated with cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil, 60 percent showed a reduction in seizures.
The study, conducted by Dr. Velazquez, Professor of Pediatric Neurology at the Monterrey Institute of Technology’s School of Medicine, also reported that in seizure crises treated with CBD hemp oil, 16 percent were completely controlled and 51 percent improved in either a “moderately to an important way”. Results from the study were presented to other doctors across Mexico as part of an ongoing effort inside the country to inform health professionals on the therapeutic uses of cannabis.
HempMeds® Mexico also worked to open several new Latin American markets this past year, expanding efforts into Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay. As the tide of opinion regarding medical marijuana continues to change in Latin America, HempMeds® Mexico and Medical Marijuana, Inc. will work alongside activists and patients in efforts to bring access to those who need it most.
Lawmakers in Mexico voted in December of 2016 to pass significant medical marijuana reform in the country. The new medical marijuana law would open access to multiple types of cannabis products, including those containing THC for the first time, by making several classification changes for cannabis in the country’s controlled substances list. The reform initiative has passed in the Senate of the Republic and is now on its way to the Chamber of Deputies for a vote there. If it passes there, the reform bill will become law, relaxing restrictions on the medical use of cannabis.
This change in medical marijuana laws may soon create a unique opportunity for HempMeds® Mexico to begin to export its entire product line to Mexico, as well as continue to ship its THC-free RSHO-X™, creating a promising climate in the coming year.
Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. also had a big year, dominating the discussion surrounding the CBD. The company, a proven leader in the CBD hemp oil industry, was featured in a number of major media outlets.
Early in 2016, Reuters covered AXIM® Biotechnologies’ patent on delayed-release cannabinoid gum. When Mexico awarded the first import authorizations, Fox News was on hand. Fox News also covered Harper Howard’s stem cell donation to medical research at UCSD. During the 3rd Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo, Medical Marijuana, Inc. was featured on NBC, ABC, and Fox News out of New York City. Both Sports Illustrated and Forbes ran stories this year about the NFL and CTE, centering their stories around Kannalife™ Sciences. Most recently, Forbes focused on the role of Medical Marijuana, Inc. in the CBD industry in a story about DEA policy.
Our CEO, Dr. Stuart Titus spoke at events around the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Titus delivered the historic keynote address on CBD at the VII Mexico City World Anti-Aging Congress on February 13th. Then in June, Dr. Titus spoke at the 3rd Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo about the nutritional and therapeutic potential of hemp and CBD. He also presented a speech titled “The Exploding Marketplace of Cannabidiol CBD” at the Southern California Cannabis Conference and Expo in October.
Dr. Titus was also interviewed for several investor focused radio shows, including the Union-Tribune Community Radio, Fox News Business Radio, the Stock Day Radio Show, and SmallCapVoice Investor Radio. These appearances are great opportunities for investors to stay updated on our latest accomplishments.
Also this year, Medical Marijuana, Inc. actively supported research into cannabis-based medications through donations to nonprofit organizations like Hope4Harper and the innovation of investment companies like AXIM® Biotechnologies and Kannalife™ Sciences.
In a 24 page report, StoneBridge Partners analyzed Medical Marijuana, Inc’s market value. The report called out the strength of the company’s CBD oil supply chain, examined its portfolio of investments, and praised its potential going forward.
The hard work Medical Marijuana, Inc. put into this past year was reflected in our stock price, which achieved three times year over year growth and a spike of 600 percent early in November. With the shifting momentum gathering behind the cannabis industry, the coming year promises to even more success than the last.
Looking Forward to 2017
Medical Marijuana, Inc. is excited for the possibilities to grow in 2017. Our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries are well positioned to capitalize on the rapidly expanding cannabis industry. We are actively building our product line, investing in new companies, and making the breakthroughs that will keep us excelling as the industry leader in the coming year.
We will be looking toward 2017 and outlining changes coming to the cannabis industry in the coming weeks. Keep up to date with the Medical Marijuana, Inc. family of companies by following our news feed.
This article may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties.