Consumer Spending on Legal Cannabis is set to Continue its Growth Worldwide

NEW YORK, December 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As cannabis legalization becomes more prominent around the globe, worldwide consumer spending is projected to increase. According to data compiled by Arcview Market Research, in partnership with BDS Analytics, the global legal cannabis consumer spending is projected to reach USD 57 Billion by 2027. Data also shows that the majority of sales, by 2027, will be contributed by adult-use cannabis, making up approximately USD 38.3 Billion of the total spending. The North American region is forecast to represent the largest spending volume, driving in nearly USD 47.3 Billion by 2027. Despite the size of North America, the largest growth is projected to occur within the Rest of the World (RoW) markets. RoW markets are projected to grow from USD 52 Million to USD 2.5 Billion by 2027 as well as grow at a CAGR of 47% during the forecast period. Sproutly Canada, Inc. (OTC: SRUTF), HEXO Corp. (OTC: HYYDF), Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT), Level Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LEVB)

Unlike North America, the international consumer spending is projected to be driven predominantly by medical sales. North America will see a mixture of sales from both the recreational and the medical markets, specifically within the focus is the cannabis-edible market, which is poised for strong growth as regulations ease and legalization begins to take effect. Arcview and BDS Analytics project that by 2018, consumer spending on cannabis-based food and drinks is projected to reach USD 1.5 Billion within the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, it is currently on track to eclipse USD 4.1 Billion in sales by 2022. In 2017 alone, consumers spent around USD 1 Billion on cannabis-infused edibles, accounting for approximately 11.4% of the total USD 9.1 Billion cannabis market. "Consumers in front-running adult-use markets within the United States have significantly shifted their spending over recent years to other categories of cannabis consumables, especially into concentrates and edibles," said Tom Adams, Editor-in-Chief at Arcview Market Research and Principal Analyst at BDS Analytics. "The edibles markets' growth provides an early opportunity for investment in a cannabis sub-sector that is quickly growing, brand-focused, and full of opportunity for new and innovative products."

Sproutly Canada, Inc. (OTCQB: SRUTF) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: SPR). Earlier today, the Company announced the, "hiring of Bryan Semkuley to the senior leadership team as President of Sproutly to accelerate the Company's strategic objectives of becoming a leading cannabis formulations company focused on beverages.

'We are pleased that Mr. Semkuley has chosen to join the leadership team of Sproutly as President,' said Keith Dolo, CEO and Chairman of Sproutly. 'Bryan brings significant experience in branding, marketing, sales, and most importantly global product innovation and expertise from recognized multinational consumer packaged goods and beverage companies. Our ability to continue executing on our business objectives, defining our competitive advantages, and attracting top talent to our management team and board of directors further validates our commitment to becoming a leading cannabis company with a clear focus on the beverage category,' he concluded.

Bryan Semkuley is a seasoned executive with over 30+ years leading global innovation and marketing teams for Fortune 200 companies including Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB), Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD), and Labatt. Mr. Semkuley will focus on the execution of the Company's strategic objectives, development of its operational plan, and will work diligently to tie in the different vertical divisions of sales, marketing, product innovation, operations, and branding to deliver top-line growth.

Mr. Semkuley has extensive experience and a proven established track record of building new and existing brands and businesses through new product development, channel relationships and commercial innovation. Prior to joining Sproutly, Mr. Semkuley was Vice President, Global Innovation/Industrial Sector at Kimberly-Clark, a US$19B NYSE-listed American multinational consumer packaged goods company focused on personal care products. Before joining Kimberly-Clark, Mr. Semkuley spent over 25 years at Anheuser-Busch InBev, a US$130B NYSE-listed beverage company, and Labatt as Vice President Global Innovation, Vice President Global Brand Marketing, and Vice President Marketing, amongst other roles.

'Bryan's experience leading R&D, marketing and product innovation teams of more than 70 plus key staff, specifically focused on new product development, new global revenue streams, and creating brands that win, will provide value through Sproutly's continual advancement to become a leader in cannabis beverages and formulations,' said Keith Dolo.

Mr. Semkuley commented, 'I look forward to joining the Sproutly team and building the business during a very exciting time for the industry. Building new brands and businesses has been a passion of mine. I look forward to future success of Sproutly, especially with our exciting technologies.'

The appointment is subject to customary approvals of the Canadian Securities Exchange."

HEXO Corp. (OTC: HYYDF) Hexo creates and distributes innovative, easy-to-use and easy-to-understand products to serve the Canadian cannabis market. One of the country's lowest-cost producers, Hexo is rapidly increasing its production capacity in the lead up to the adult-use cannabis market. The company currently operates with over 310,000 square feet of production capacity with construction on another one-million-square-foot expansion set to be complete by year-end. The Hydropothecary Corporation, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization. "HEXO continues to lead the way for smoke-free cannabis innovation in Canada. We are excited about this partnership with Molson Coors Canada, an iconic leader in adult beverages, as we embark on the journey of building a brand new market. With this new company, we are bringing together Quebec's oldest, most established company with one of its newest success stories in a truly innovative partnership," said HEXO's Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Sebastien St-Louis. "As two leading companies who share a track record of excellent practices, as well as respect for law and regulations, HEXO and Molson Coors Canada have established a relationship built on trust, and together we will develop responsible, high-quality cannabis-infused beverages for the consumable cannabis market in Canada."

Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-based cannabidiol ("CBD") wellness products. Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it had surpassed 3000 retail locations across the United States. At the end of 2017, Charlotte's Web products were sold in approximately 2,000 locations. The Company disclosed today that it surpassed its 2018 year-end goal of 3,000 locations during the 3rd quarter. With CBD gaining mainstream market momentum, Charlotte's Web, the industry pioneer and category leader in hemp-based CBD, has expanded its suite of product offerings across a wider variety of retailers, from small specialty health food stores to now including regional pharmacy and grocery chains. The Company recently added more than 40 Bartell drug stores in the North West. "Firstly, I would like to commend our incredible and committed staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone," stated Charlotte's Web Chief Executive Officer Hess Moallem. "I would also like to thank our dedicated retail partners for their continued support of our mission and for valuing the trust that is closely associated with our brand name."

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) is a health and wellness products company, with more than 50 years of combined experience in extraction, purification and formulation of value-added differentiated science-based products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced its financial and operating results for the 3-month period ended September 30th, 2018. Revenues increased at CAD 7.1 Million for the three-month period ended September 30th, 2018, versus adjusted revenues of CAD 6.0 Million for the three-month period ended September 30th, 2017. Quarterly revenues for 2017 were adjusted to take into account the sale of the krill manufacturing business on August 7th, 2017. "We are progressing through the cannabis licensing process with Health Canada, having submitted our Evidence Package. We are at the final stages of this process, and our Sherbrooke facility will begin operations shortly following the receipt of our Producers Licence pursuant to Cannabis Regulation (CR)," stated Jim Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our Phase II capacity expansion is moving ahead on time and is expected to be completed by March 2019, significantly raising our production capability to 200,000 kg of dried cannabis using advanced extraction techniques."

Level Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LEVB) is an innovative marketing and licensing company that provides bold, unconventional, and socially responsible branding for leading businesses. Level Brands, Inc. recently announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Cure Based Development, LLC the owner, operator and manufacturer of nationally recognized consumer cannabidiol (CBD) brand cbdMD, in a two-step merger for merger consideration of 15,525,000 shares of Level Brand's common stock, with an earnout potential of up to an additional 15,525,000 shares if net revenue targets aggregating USD 300 Million are met within 60 months of the closing date. The closing of the merger is subject to a number of customary conditions precedent as well as both the passage of the Agricultural and Nutrition Act of 2018, which is commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill, or such other titled Federal legislation, which, when approved by the President of the United States, contains a permanent declassification of cannabidiol (CBD) as a controlled substance under Federal law. "With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD will no longer be listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance which we believe will open the access to national retailers for CBD consumer products. We believe that the next three to five years will produce a few leading CBD brands, and our goal is to be the leader in the space," said Martin A. Sumichrast, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Level Brands.

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