- U.S. midterm elections signal growing fortunes for cannabis industries with pro-cannabis voting, ouster of anti-cannabis attorney general
- Phivida among cannabis industry companies that enjoy stock boost in immediate wake of elections
- Phivida enthused by new FDA and DEA acceptance of natural cannabis in pharmaceuticals, which opens prospects for non-FDA administered products as well
- Company announces appointment of new senior vice president of distribution to optimize placement of its products in functional food and beverage markets
A rolling groundswell of progressive developments in the cannabis use seascape, driven by winds of change in North America’s political arenas, is underscoring the optimism of hemp-derived cannabinoid product maker Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) as the company builds its product line with a view on the industry’s horizon.
In the immediate aftermath of November’s midterm elections in the United States, market shares of cannabis-related companies, including Phivida, “traded broadly, and in many cases sharply higher” following activity that had media publications such as Forbes (http://ibn.fm/iEon8) declaring that “Marijuana Won The Midterm Elections” and MarketWatch (http://ibn.fm/iVFQe) predicting the commencement of a “green wave.”
Among the forces driving the exuberance were news that Michigan had become the tenth state (plus Washington, DC) to legalize recreational marijuana use and that medicinal marijuana extract use won over voters in Utah and Missouri, solidly securing more than half of U.S. states in the medical use camp despite ongoing disdain at the federal level.
But even the federal government has been signaling a slow U-turn on its prohibition of cannabis use. Congressional legislators have been preparing to deregulate hemp cultivation in the agricultural industry, and the House of Representatives’ swing toward the Democratic camp in the elections likely assures that it will happen in the near future, if agreements stall this year. Cannabis advocates also celebrated the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, noted for his opposition to cannabis legalization, following the elections.
Phivida also celebrated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of the first pharmaceutical with natural cannabis as an ingredient, which forced the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify cannabidiol (CBD) from its restricted Schedule 1 drug status to the far more legally accessible Schedule 5, albeit on a basis limited only to products approved by the FDA (http://ibn.fm/yLcUA).
“We see this reclassification of CBD in pharmaceuticals as a good sign that will bolster the growing awareness of CBD as a substance that delivers many benefits, and opens the door for other CBD-based treatments, in line with the recent FDA approval of a drug to treat childhood epilepsy,” Phivida President and CEO Jim Bailey stated in a news release. “Phivida is launching its Oki line of functional beverages which provide a spectrum of non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids through infusion with active hemp extract. While our Oki and Vida+ product lines are not subject to FDA approval, as we grow to have product on shelves in all 50 states, we will benefit from the increased acceptance of the efficacy of cannabis and hemp products.”
Phivida launched its Oki brand (www.FeelOki.com) of active hemp-infused functional beverages and supplements on September 12, anticipating consumer availability in up to 2,400 natural specialty stores nationwide, which could include access to major chains such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, Walmart, Publix and Albertsons. The company’s Vida+ brand (www.HempVidaPlus.com) of CBD hemp oil extracts, tinctures and capsules target a broad market, and the company’s August 15 announcement that it will partner with licensed Canadian medical marijuana producer WeedMD Inc. (TSX.V: WMD) (OTCQX: WDDMF) (FSE: 4WE) to establish Cannabis Beverages Inc. (“CanBev”) opens even further possibilities in the Canadian market (http://ibn.fm/AUZbR).
On November 2, Phivida announced the appointment of Greg McCauley as its senior vice president of distribution (http://ibn.fm/fg3kz) to optimize the company’s presence in the high-growth premium functional food and beverage markets.
“He has a solid track record of building distribution networks to launch new brands and realign established brands in the United States and Canada and has consistently beat operational targets,” Bailey noted. “Greg will initially focus on building out the U.S. distribution market for our Oki beverage and health supplement line in conjunction with our partners at Acosta/Natural Specialty Sales.”
McCauley brings with him over 30 years of professional networking and experience in the consumer products industry with major brands such as Jägermeister, Muscle Milk and Red Bull.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Phivida.com