420 with CNW – What to Expect When Entering an Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensary

The first medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio opened on Wednesday, January 17 and many patients who were entering a dispensary for the first time didn’t know what to expect. Several operators of dispensaries shared their thoughts on how Ohio patients can make their visit to a dispensary seamless. This article discusses some of their suggestions.

Patients and Caregivers Only

The first thing that people who want to buy medical cannabis should know is that only patients and their caregivers will be allowed into a dispensary. Families are therefore advised to refrain from accompanying a patient to the dispensary since they will not be allowed to access the premises if they aren’t cardholders or caregivers.

Prepare In Advance

Patients and their caregivers are also advised to prepare adequately before heading out to a medical cannabis dispensary. This preparation includes confirming that one completed the registration process as well as setting aside cash for their purchase since dispensaries will not be accepting credit cards or health insurance. It is also prudent to carry the same photo ID that you used when enrolling for the program.

Don’t Touch

Medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio will have a room in which patients and their caregivers can view the different products available. However, no one will be allowed to touch any product on display unless a dispensary employee permits them to. You can only see or smell the products.

No Onsite Consumption

Once a patient or their caregiver has selected what they will purchase, the products will be cleared at the check-out counter and you can leave the dispensary. No one is allowed to consume medical marijuana within the dispensary premises or anywhere in public. Ohio law stipulates that medical marijuana can only be consumed in the privacy of one’s home.

Check Dispensary Locations

So far, there are 56 medical marijuana dispensaries licensed by Ohio State. However, not all of them will be in position to open immediately, so patients are advised to check online and confirm that the dispensary they wish to buy products from will be open on the day one needs to visit the facility. For example, just 4 out of the 56 licensed dispensaries opened on Wednesday.

The medical marijuana dispensaries have indicated that they will give each patient as much time and information as possible in order to help them to select the best products for their needs. This promise is a welcome gesture because not many patients will be certain about what to buy for their conditions. Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) congratulate Ohio upon kick starting their medical cannabis program.

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420 with CNW – Three Medical Marijuana Issues That Iowa May Need to Revisit

Iowa legalized medical cannabis in 2014, but the rate at which the state has adapted to the changing realities of the industry is so slow that many have been left frustrated by how oblivious the state legislature is to the things that laypeople see every day. Of specific concern are the three issues below.

The Number of Licensed Dispensaries

The entire state of Iowa has only five medical cannabis dispensaries from which patients can legally acquire what they need for their health challenges. For example, Cedar Rapids doesn’t have any licensed dispensary within its borders and yet this is the second largest city in the state. How is it possible that no dispensary is located there and yet there is no local bylaw banning cannabis businesses from operating there?

This just goes to show that the authorities didn’t consider the demand for medical cannabis when passing the law that restricted the number of licensed dispensaries to just five. What they may not know is that such a limit can unwittingly encourage the black market to thrive in the state since the illicit supply can easily reach every corner of the state.

The Cap on THC Levels

The regulations in place limit how much THC medical cannabis can contain to 3 percent. THC is the cannabinoid that makes people “high”. The board overseeing the medical cannabis program voted unanimously to retain the 3 percent limit on THC for another year or two before revisiting the matter.

While it may be reasonable to set a limit on how much THC people consume when they buy medical cannabis, such a limit should not be so low that patients will be compelled to consume a larger quantity of cannabis in order to get the desired effects.

It would be better for the authorities to provide a rationale for that 3 percent THC limit and get feedback from experts and the public on the same before enacting it into law. As things stand, patients may be compelled to spend more money buying a larger quantity of cannabis since there is no cap on the quantity they can buy.

The Qualifying Conditions

Iowa is operating as though it is the first state to legalize medical cannabis and yet there are several precedents to learn from. California is reputed to have some of the strictest regulatory controls not just for medical cannabis but for everything else. However, California created a list of dozens of conditions for which medical cannabis could be bought long before recreational cannabis was legalized.

Iowa started by allowing medical cannabis for only epilepsy, then eased up a bit in 2017 to include a few more conditions. What is baffling is that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ADHD and bi-polar weren’t added to the list and yet nearly all other states include them among the qualifying conditions.

All in all, the board in charge of the medical marijuana program needs to be more foresighted and stop being reactive in its approach. Otherwise, the program will not attain its intended objectives. No one, including Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), would want this beneficial program to fail.

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420 with CNW – Research Shows that Fewer Teens Consumed Cannabis in Washington after Legalization

Many opponents of cannabis legalization often argue that teens will use the substance once it is legalized. However, a recent study done in Washington State has found that such fears are unfounded.

The researchers carefully analyzed the data collected during the Washington Healthy Youth Surveys conducted in 2010-2012 and the data gathered during the 2014-2016 survey. The data clearly shows that the number of teens who reported that they use cannabis had declined.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in the state in 2012, so the researchers had a keen interest in comparing consumption rates before and after legalization.

The study found that marijuana use among eighth-graders dropped by nearly 3 percent from approximately 10 percent in the years just before legalization to approximately 7 percent in the data captured following legalization.

There was a drop of 2 percent among 10th graders since the rate stood at 20 percent in the data captured in the 2010-2012 surveys while the rate was 18 percent when those teens were surveyed in 2014-2016. There was no change in the percentage of 12th graders who consume cannabis.

However, the researchers were quick to point out that their findings do not in any way suggest that the drop in cannabis use among teens is entirely the result of legalization. They also added that their findings may not be an accurate indicator of what trend marijuana consumption among teens will take in the long-term.

The researchers suggested that more research needs to be done about the how the availability of cannabis in given neighborhoods affects the marijuana-use patterns of teens. Such research is necessary since what happens in the state capital may have little influence on what happens in particular neighborhoods.

The impact of advertising, packaging and the proximity of retail outlets should also be investigated to reveal how those factors influence the drug-use behavior of minors.

In the meantime, another study that was published shortly before the one on teenage cannabis use shows that the number of cannabis users in Washington State is almost twice what it was thought to be. This study makes the findings showing a lower prevalence of marijuana use among teens even more significant since it becomes clearer that legalization didn’t trigger a spike in the number of teens who can access and consume cannabis.

Cannabis industry participants like Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) are glad that verifiable scientific studies are disproving those who want to discredit cannabis at every opportunity.

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420 with CNW – UN Committee Delays Release of Cannabis Scheduling Recommendations

The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) of the World Health Organization (WHO) met in November to discuss whether the scheduling of marijuana should be revised from its current status as a Schedule 1 substance to another less restrictive category. In a surprise move, the expected release of their findings has been postponed to January instead of this month as had earlier been indicated.

The ECDD called for, and received input from various stakeholders regarding various aspects of cannabis, such as its medicinal value as well as evidence of abuse or overdose incidents. The response to this call was massive, as was the situation when the FDA asked for input on the same matter in October.

The WHO committee subsequently released a pre-review report which had some positive findings about cannabis, such as the observation that no evidence had been presented that any fatality had ever occurred due to a cannabis overdose. The pre-review also indicated that there was evidence to show that some ingredients in cannabis can improve sleep and reduce pain.

The findings in the pre-review prompted the agency to take their examination a notch higher with a critical review done on the findings gathered. The findings of that in-depth critical review would then be used by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs to decide whether to revise the scheduling of cannabis or leave it in the category where it is currently listed.

It is the release of the recommendations made after the in-depth critical review that have been delayed until January next year.

The Expert Committee said more time was needed “for clearance reasons” before the recommendations are made public. This announcement poured cold water on the marijuana advocates’ spirits since they had expected a favorable recommendation on the basis of the findings stated in the pre-review.

Speculation is rife that the delay was motivated by political factors since a recommendation to reschedule cannabis would have imposed a lot of pressure on various authorities to adjust their stance on cannabis. Remember, the UN sets the agenda for many international policies and member states are expected to follow the suggestions made by the world body.

Whatever the true reason for the delay, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs will meet in March 2019 and vote on the scheduling of cannabis. So, a decision will still be made one way or the other, and it may be hard for the Commission to keep cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance yet pure CBD (cannabidiol) was removed from international scheduling so that access by patients isn’t restricted. CBD can be extracted from cannabis.

Industry players like Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) and Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) eagerly await the decision made by the UN since such a decision will have a global impact on how the cannabis industry evolves.

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420 with CNW – Why Cannabis Capsules are Gaining Popularity

This year saw three Canadian cannabis companies introduce marijuana capsules on the market following the lead taken by Tilray last year. This year also saw UC San Diego get permission from the DEA to import marijuana capsules for a clinical trial. So, what’s the deal with capsules? Why are they suddenly becoming popular?

The first reason why capsules are a hit in the market is because physicians and consumers find them convenient when one doesn’t want to make mistakes when measuring the quantity to consume, especially patients taking marijuana as a way to alleviating their medical conditions. The medical cannabis dispensary can simply advise the patient to take two capsules a day, or whatever number may be deemed necessary for a specific patient. Those instructions will be easier to follow, consistently, since the process of deciding how much cannabis to take is easy.

Secondly, it is easy to transport the cannabis capsules in case one needs a supply close by. For example, you can simply count out the number of capsules you will need for the days when you are going to be away from home. This is different from having to carry an entire bottle of cannabis oil, for example, thereby exposing it to the risk of total loss in case it spills or degrades due to the unfavorable conditions in which you are carrying the product.

Additionally, cannabis capsules are useful for those people who find themselves in environments where it isn’t possible for them to consume cannabis in the most common ways, such as by smoking or vaping it. Such a person can just pop a capsule (or two or three) and get on with whatever he or she was doing, and none nearby will be the wiser.

Let’s face it, marijuana is still a divisive substance, regardless of what the law says in various jurisdictions. Consequently, consumers often face varying levels of stigmatization as they exercise the freedom granted by law to consume cannabis either for medical or recreational reasons. Once again, capsules can come to the rescue of the individuals who want to be discreet regarding their use of marijuana.

However, it isn’t all rosy for cannabis capsules just yet.

One shortcoming of cannabis capsules is that they cannot be standardized as yet since every individual requires a different quantity of marijuana in order to get the desired effects, whether it is feeling high or getting relief from the symptoms of a medical condition. It may therefore be expensive to ask for the contents of capsules to be customized for your needs, or you will have to make do with the estimated contents from mass-produced capsules.

The other question is: do you prepare the capsules yourself, or buy them from a manufacturer/retailer like MedReleaf Corp.? The source of the capsules is important because it will determine whether you are getting a consistent quality and quantity of cannabis that can trigger the desired effects. For now, buying from a licensed producer or dispensary seems a better route than going the DIY way.

As you can see from the discussion above, marijuana capsules look set to rise to higher levels over the years because of the many advantages that they bring. Industry insiders like Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) and Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) welcome every innovation, such as capsules, which makes it easier for people to access the cannabis they need for different purposes.

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420 with CNW – Israeli Researchers Look into Treating Endometriosis Using Cannabis

Gynica, a startup in Israel, has announced that it will conduct research in order to find a new cannabis-based treatment for endometriosis. The startup will use the newly licensed Lumir Lab found within Hebrew University in Jerusalem for this research.

Gynica specializes in providing marijuana-based solutions to the problems affecting the health of women. The lab will focus on medical cannabis research and product development.

Lumir Lab is headed by Lumir Odrej Hanus, one of the leading researchers on cannabinoids in the world. He is an analytical chemist.

Lumir Lab will collaborate with Gynica in this quest for a treatment for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a health condition in which tissues from the lining of the uterus migrate to other parts of the body. The condition causes a lot of pain among its estimated 180 million sufferers across the world.

Current research shows that the reproductive system of females is the second to the brain in terms of having the biggest number of endocannabinoid receptors within the body.

This reality creates an opportunity for cannabis to be used to influence the reproductive system so that uterine lining tissues reduce or stop moving from the uterus to the other internal organs of affected females.

The planned research by Gynica and Lumir Lab is intended to understand how cannabis works to alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis, or even stop the tissues from migrating. The research will also try to find the specific cannabinoids that give the greatest effects in preventing tissue migration or curbing disease recurrence in a way that leaves the ovulation cycle intact.

In the long run, the lab plans to set the standard by which cannabis research and product development is done around the world. Such research will help to address the concerns and reservations within the scientific community regarding cannabis as a treatment for various health conditions.

Currently, many of the cannabis treatments available are largely based on evidence that may not stand up to strict scientific scrutiny. Lumir Lab wants to end all this by bringing clinical analysis, validation and product development to the medical cannabis field. Terpene and cannabinoid profiling will also be done at the lab.

It is this type of research that will make cannabis treatments mainstream since no one will be able to claim that they don’t have any scientific backing behind them. Cannabis industry companies like Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and NUGL Inc. (OTC: NUGL) welcome every attempt to gather evidence in support of the different uses of cannabis, including the new efforts launched in Israel by Lumir Lab and Gynica.

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420 with CNW – Why US Cannabis Companies Are Listing in Canada

Over the coming months and years, more and more U.S. cannabis companies are likely to move north in order to list on stock exchanges in Canada. Many short term and long-term interests are driving this move.

First, Canada recently legalized recreational cannabis years after medical cannabis was permitted in that country. This means that the uniform laws in Canada make that country more attractive (for now) than the U.S. where marijuana companies operating in legal states must constantly look over their shoulders in fear because the federal authorities can take action against them for violating federal laws.

Legitimate cannabis companies in the U.S. constantly feel hunted and moving to Canada can provide some reprieve from the legal issues back home.

The legal issues in the U.S. also make it nearly impossible for cannabis companies to access banking services. Companies conduct all their transactions using cash, and it is hard to find where to keep all that money.

The Canadian environment allows marijuana companies to access some measure of banking services although the bigger banks that have an international presence still keep cannabis businesses at arm’s length due to fears about possible complications in the U.S. and other countries where marijuana is illegal.

Another reason that is driving U.S. marijuana companies across the border to the north is the friendlier listing requirements in Canada when compared to the conditions in the U.S.

For example, only companies that are valued at more than $100 million in publicly held securities can apply to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). NASDAQ accepts companies whose pre-tax income has been at least $11 million for three years in a row.

Those strict conditions make it hard for marijuana companies to list as soon as they would want in order to access financing to grow and consolidate their positions in the market.

In contrast, the TSX exchange requires a company to have books of accounts that show that the company had at least $300,000 as their pre-tax income the year before they apply to list. Of course there are other conditions, but the income/company valuation differences show how friendlier the stock exchanges in Canada are.

Furthermore, the stock exchanges in the U.S., such as the NYSE, don’t have many purely cannabis businesses listed (partly because of federal laws). Biopharmaceutical companies like GW Pharmaceuticals are the ones one is likely to find on those exchanges. This limits the opportunities for serious market activity for the industry.

Canada has numerous cannabis businesses traded publicly. This provides a vibrant market for companies which want to benefit from the capital that can be got when companies are listed.

As you can see from the factors above, the exodus of U.S. cannabis companies into Canada is likely to continue until conditions back home improve and open that potentially bigger market. Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), NUGL Inc. (OTC: NUGL) and other companies with interests in the marijuana sector can only hope that the U.S. market opens up sooner.

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CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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Payment Solutions Among Innovations in the Fast-Growing Cannabis Industry

CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: The legal cannabis industry, which anticipates massive growth over the next few years, is seeing constant innovation as companies move to provide essential services needed for that growth.

  • The global cannabis industry, which was worth $7.7 billion in 2016, is expected to reach $65 billion by 2023.
  • The industry’s upward trajectory is happening despite legal restrictions that have forced cannabis businesses to seek alternative payment solutions.
  • These solutions are among many innovations in the sector, which has a strong strand of research and design.

Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) (NETE Profile) recently launched a compliant, secure payment processing solution focused on serving the legal cannabis industry. Medical cannabis company Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) is supplying materials for a range of research projects around the world that are studying cannabis’ potential in medicine. Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) has received massive investment from a beverage company and is likely to be one of the first companies selling cannabis-infused drinks. And the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cannabis-based drug has just gone on sale from GW Pharmaceuticals Plc (NASDAQ: GWPH). Meanwhile, new uses for the plant are being found, as exemplified by Cronos Group, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) research on…

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CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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420 with CNW – Will Utah’s Compromise Deal on Cannabis Work?

Patients, religious leaders, politicians and representatives from some medical cannabis advocacy groups in Utah recently came together to announce that a compromise had been reached to draft a law which would legalize medical cannabis whether the ballot measure (Proposition 2) succeeded during the midterm elections or not.

This compromise deal seems to have been arrived at after Prop 2 polarized the conservative community and threatened to alienate major sections of the community, such as the Mormon Church.

The compromise deal seeks to allow only six “medical cannabis pharmacies”  to operate out of which one would be run by the state while the other five would be privately operated. Prop 2 suggested that there would be a medical cannabis dispensary for every 150,000 residents of the state. This would result in more dispensaries than the compromise deal is allowing.

Secondly, the compromise deal wants to prevent people from growing their own cannabis. Prop 2 had indicated that patients could grow their own cannabis and use it in case they couldn’t access medical cannabis at legal dispensaries.

The compromise deal seems to have attained some degree of success in bringing different parties to a middle point on cannabis. For example, the governor of the state expressed his support for the compromise although he was vehemently opposed to Proposition 2.

However, that compromise deal still has critics from both sides of the cannabis divide. For example, opponents of legalization feel the compromise doesn’t go far enough to quell concerns about the possible dangers that may result when medical use cannabis is legalized.

Similarly, advocates of legalization feel that the compromise deal bears the signature of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church which seems to have approved the legalization but ensured that there are so many restrictions that access will be limited heavily.

Critics of the church say it played the same tactics over LGBTQ issues when it appeared to consent that they deserved to be treated equally, but at the same time created a loophole which allowed members of the church to refuse to preside over LGBTQ marriages due to religious conflict issues. In other words, the Mormon Church said it recognized the LGBTQ members of the community but it would not wed them. What kind of recognition is that?

The compromise deal will be sent to the elected representatives of the people for debate and modification before it is passed into law. In the meantime, both sides are still campaigning heavily either for or against Prop 2. That ballot measure carries huge implications since the outcome of the poll would influence the final provisions of the law enacted to legalize medical cannabis.

Cannabis industry participants like Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and NUGL Inc. (OTC: NUGL) can only pray that any decision made puts patients first instead of addressing the interests of different groups that may contradict the interests of the intended beneficiaries of the medical cannabis law.

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CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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420 with CNW – Ohio Still Unsure How Medical Cannabis Cash Will Be Safeguarded

A lot of cash is expected to flow when Ohio legalizes medical marijuana towards the end of 2018 or early next year. However, all that expected cash is causing serious concerns since financial institutions like banks and credit unions are reluctant to offer banking services to cannabis businesses.

The reluctance of the banking sector stems from the fact that the federal government still regards marijuana as an illegal substance. Consequently, money laundering and other federal charges could be imposed on any financial institution that does business with a cannabis enterprise (dispensary) that is legal at state level.

Ohio expects the medical marijuana sales to peak at about $300 million within the first year of legalization. Financial institutions are opting to forego all those deposits and other transactions just to be safe from the wrath of federal prosecutors.

This means that medical marijuana dispensaries will have to accept only cash from patients and then keep that cash to pay salaries, taxes and any other costs associated with the business. In the meantime, the cash will be lying around in safes, vaults, trash bags or any other container into which dispensary operators will decide to stash their revenues.

Such large amounts of cash will certainly pose a public safety and security hazard since cannabis businesses will become attractive targets for criminals who will be tempted to lay their hands on that money.

The dispensaries may have to install security cameras, steel doors and security guards to protect the premises from break-ins. However, the reality in other states where banking services aren’t available to cannabis businesses shows that those security measures aren’t always effective in deterring crime.

The state regulators are aware of the risks that cannabis dispensaries will face and numerous measures will have to be implemented by the businesses in order to ensure that employees and customers are safe.

For example, all dispensaries must install alarm systems which have to be activated once business hours end and the facility is closed. Round the clock camera surveillance is also mandatory, among other stringent security measures.

The signals coming from Washington aren’t making matters any easier. First, Attorney General Sessions cancelled a memo which had been written by the Treasury Department clarifying that financial institutions wouldn’t be prosecuted for offering banking services to cannabis businesses in states where legalization had taken place.

This difference between state and federal laws is certainly keeping companies like Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and TransCanna on tenterhooks since each set of laws comes with its own list of complications.

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CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

To receive instant SMS alerts, text CANNABIS to 21000

For more information please visit https://www.CannabisNewsWire.com

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the CannabisNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by CNW, wherever published or re-published: http://CNW.fm/Disclaimer

CannabisNewsWire (CNW)
Denver, Colorado
www.CannabisNewsWire.com
303.498.7722 Office
Editor@CannabisNewsWire.com