SAN DIEGO, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTC Pink: MJNA) is pleased to inform shareholders that Italy and the Czech Republic have recently legalized marijuana for medicinal use. MJNA will be stepping up its presence and launching its portfolio of products and services, including its revolutionary Cannabidol (CBD) Over-The-Counter (OTC) health and wellness products in Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean Island Nations.
MJNA expects to soon launch its full portfolio of products and services into these new as well as existing markets. The recent licensing of PhytoSPHERE Systems brand and the outsourcing of its manufacturing to CannaVest Corp will serve to lower the overall cost of goods sold, while continuing to allow for significant research advances in genetics, seed and the overall cultivation of specialty high concentration CBD industrial hemp cultivars. With this synergistic relationship new products as well as raw ingredients will be available, particularly as MJNA expects to invest into local manufacturers, distributors and adds CBD to existing brands. We are aggressively developing additional Over-The-Counter (OTC) products in the United States and will bring these products to the newly emerging markets.
Countries such as Denmark have been looking at legalization of cannabis and the possibility of importing product from Colorado and Washington States. A meeting is set for this Friday with US Officials in this matter. This presents another potential opportunity for MJNA's seed-to-sale tracking system, cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and packaging. Our services have recently been enhanced with our investment in KannaLife Sciences, who has among other things developed a proprietary packaging system, known as KannaPak. In conjunction with PhytoSPHERE Systems technology for the production of consistent cannabis, high CBD cultivar development, and production of cannabis based cannabinoid oils, the KannaPak standardized testing, labeling and packaging systems provide for a true industry leading advantage. The services the company can now provide to government agencies, labs, universities, agricultural groups and producers of cannabis based products is truly second to none. More on KannaLife Sciences and PhytoSPHERE Systems
In the Czech Republic, Medical Marijuana Inc. has previously had a significant presence with facilities and sites to grow and process industrial hemp. Many of these expansion opportunities can now be more fully developed as demand for these CBD-based products has escalated and the company looks to license and expand its industrial hemp and medical marijuana products and services.
Under a bill signed into law last month by President Vaclav Klaus, the Czech Republic initially will initially import medical cannabis from Israel and the Netherlands as it sets up a licensing system to eventually grow medicinal cannabis inside the country. Patients will need a doctor's prescription to buy cannabis, which will be sold at pharmacies (but likely not covered by health insurance plans).
The country is working on developing additional rules governing the sale of medicinal cannabis; however MJNA's Cannabidiol (CBD) based products are currently legal for marketing and sales. We have a network of pharmacies which sell Over-The-Counter (OTC) nonprescription products as well as traditional pharmaceutical medications. Once the final guidelines are approved for medical cannabis manufacturing and distribution of THC based products, we expects an easy transition from our non-THC hemp-based products, to currently formulated THC medicinal cannabis lines such as Dixie Elixirs. Dixie Elixirs is the world's most recognizable and trusted cannabis based brand, consisting of nearly 75 products. More on the Dixie Brand
Medical Marijuana Inc., having been involved in the Czech Republic and having operational centers there for manufacturing and distribution, the company is now just making this information about its operations and distribution capabilities available to the public after years' in development.
Italy, with 60.8 million inhabitants is the fifth most populous country in Europe, a member of the G8, G20 and NATO. Italy is a founding member of the European Union (EU). In legalizing cannabis for medical purposes, the government has taken into consideration the following points:
(1). THC and Dronabinol are classified as medicines while cannabis had been classified as a dangerous and addictive drug
(2). Notes from the Italian Superior Institute of Health, the Italian Superior Council of Health and the Antidrug Policy Department were issued in support of the decision to legalize medicinal cannabis usage within the country.
The Italian government legally allows the medicinal usage of cannabis in all its forms while remaining in compliance with the UN Convention on Drugs. Ranked in the world's top ten in terms of quality-of-life, Italy enjoys a very high standard of living and a high GDP per capita. Article: http://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/news-flash-italy-legalises-medicinal-cannabis/
Given the various trade agreements that exist within the EU, Medical Marijuana Inc. and its European counterparts expect to soon have products available in the Italian retail marketplace and will open online sales in April. This would be a natural extension of the Czech Republic operation, targeting pharmacies and direct to consumers sales.
MMJ Business Daily Weighs In
As noted by MMJ Business Daily: "legalization will create at least some opportunities for US companies such as those that have developed support products, services and technology for operations that handle medical marijuana as well as consultants and individual experts who can advise on cultivation methods, security, inventory tracking, etc."
According to MMJ Business Daily: "One US company began preparing for this development last year. California-based Medical Marijuana Inc, a publicly traded firm that offers a variety of MMJ and cannabidiol-based edibles through its subsidiaries, recently formed a European based holding company to distribute its products throughout the European Union. While some of its offerings can be sold Over-The-Counterbecause they are derived from hemp and don't have psychotropic effects, the company also hopes to sell its marijuana-infused products in European countries that legalize MMJ." The Company plans to sell these products via licensing agreements to established sources of European product distribution.
Further from MMJ Business Daily: "Legalization of medical cannabis in the Czech Republic 'is a very positive development for the addressable market overseas just as it is here in the US; hence we formed the company last year in preparation for the legalization of MMJ within the EU," said Tripp Keber, head of Dixie Elixirs and Edibles, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana Inc.
Aside from the business implications of legalization in Italy and the Czech Republic, the development is significant enough in itself, signaling that views of marijuana in general are changing around the globe. The more countries that adopt medical cannabis laws, the stronger pro-MMJ arguments become in the US and the more significant are the opportunities for companies that have specialized products or services to offer.
In the Canadian market, MJNA plans to bring in its full line of branded products and corporate identification to this previously untapped market. Raw ingredients, particularly the PhytoSPHERE high concentration CBD oil will be available to Canadian businesses to infuse into health and wellness products. The new line of various CBD infused wellness products will be brought to Canada via marketing and licensing agreements that are in process.
In Canada, patients classified as Category 1 covers any symptoms treated within the context of providing compassionate end-of-life care or the symptoms associated with the following medical conditions listed below:
Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis, from a spinal cord injury or from a spinal cord disease
Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss and/or severe nausea from cancer or HIV/AIDS infection
Severe pain from severe forms of arthritis
Seizures from epilepsy
Category 2 is for applicants who have debilitating symptom(s) of medical condition(s), other than those described in Category 1. The application of eligible patients must be supported by a medical practitioner. Health Canada permits marijuana for approved patients who can demonstrate a medical need for compassionate end-of-life care or debilitating symptoms.
Dispensaries, also called "compassion clubs," currently provide cannabis-based medicines, education and other supports to between 25,000 and 50,000 patients in Canada, a significant number of them in B.C. However the Liberal party, currently in power, estimates there are three million regular cannabis users in Canada. The Liberal party voted overwhelmingly to make cannabis legalization a part of its official platform at its biennial convention last year. If legalized, the Party estimates that it would require 2,700 retail outlets to service this demand, all of which will need our company's products and full portfolio of services.
Medical Marijuana Inc.'s recent investment in KannaLife Sciences where the US Government patent on the therapeutic usage of cannabinoids has been secured, will allow the Company to further its presence into the rapidly expanding cannabinoid arena. MJNA can easily plug THC into its new line of products, thus making a CBD, CBD-THC combination or pure THC product available to these developing federally legal markets.
Even in the Netherlands portion of St Maarten Island, marijuana is technically not legal. Although there are not coffee shops, one can easily access cannabis here and on other Dutch islands in the Caribbean. Police generally "look the other way" when cannabis is being used recreationally but will interfere in any "trafficking" activities. No island would want to be put in the US Department of State's list of drug havens.
Certain Caribbean nations have reached out to Medical Marijuana Inc. in order to better understand our products, and the services we would be able to provide in terms of standardization of products, tracking from seed to sale, testing, distribution and product efficacy. Their goal is to provide for a medical cannabis regulatory environment that complies with all United Nations Treaties on Cannabis and are looking to implement a medical cannabis program similar to Colorado's. This presents MJNA with additional opportunities to sell over-the-counter CBD and non-THC based products. These Departments of Health, Departments of Agriculture and Departments of Commerce have contacted MJNA. We are in the process of education one another of the potential benefits of implementing such a program.
A New World of Opportunities
Medical Marijuana Inc, the industry leader in terms of products and services, is not standing still and admiring their accomplishments. Rather the company is out exploring opportunities to develop markets and relationships around the globe. Through investment or acquisition, the company seeks new products, new markets and news ways to educate and inform a worldwide audience on the health and wellness benefits of phyto-cannabinoid based health and wellness products.
This press release 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 and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Medical Marijuana, Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein.
About Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Our mission is to be the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value. For more information, please visit the company's website at: www.MedicalMarijuanaInc.com
About KannaLife Sciences
KannaLife Sciences ("KannaLife"), is a late stage bio-pharmaceutical and phyto-medical technology company. We were created to develop natural, phyto-medical products to be used in health and wellness regimens. We are also involved in the research and development of novel new therapeutic agents to be used as transport carriers for other compounds seeking to break the blood/brain barrier as well as our own compounds to be used for the treatment and prevention of oxidative and neuro-toxic stresses born from a variety of ailments and illnesses. For more information, please visit the company's website at: www.Kannalife.com
About PhytoSPHERE Systems
PhytoSPHERE Systems is the world's leading cannabinoid based biotechnology company that develops and builds technology specifically for the cannabis industry. This includes the research, development and production of specialty cannabis cultivars. The company acquires, develops and manages traditional cannabis agricultural facilities, as well as produces cannabinoid based high value oil, extracts and products for the wholesale and retail markets.
About Dixie Botanicals
Dixie Botanicals offers innovative hemp oil products for health conscious consumers. Our formulation experts include scientists, clinical herbalists and nutritionists, who work to integrate our hemp oil into a variety of beneficial and uniquely effective over-the-counter (OTC) products both dietary supplements and a topical balm. For more information, please visit the company's website: http://dixiebotanicals.com
For additional information and media coverage of Dixie Elixirs and Botanicals click on any of the links below:
Fast Company "Innovation Agents"
60 Minutes "Rocky Mountain High Segment"
60 Minutes "Overtime" segment
Newsweek October 22 Cover Story, "The New Pot Barons"
Newsweek Cover Story Photo Gallery
PBS / WBUR
Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Toll Free: 888-OTC-MJNA (888-682-6562)
Investor Relations Contact:
Stuart T. Smith
SOURCE Medical Marijuana Inc.