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From Medical CBD To Cannavore Edibles: 6 Cannabis Companies Make Investment Pitches

Dave Royse

Cannabis executives delivered their elevator pitches this week at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago.

Zynerba: Big 2020 Expected For Zygel

The first half of 2020 will be crucial for Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ZYNE).

The company is set to announce results from two trials of its so-far promising Zygel synthetic CBD transdermal gel, which it’s hoping will be used to treat childhood seizures and socio-psychological disorders in children.

The company has already reported some positive topline results from a Phase 2 clinical trial of Zygel for children with rare developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, or DEE, disorders. The company said in September the CBD-based treatment significantly reduced seizures, with frequency reduced by a median of more than 44% after two months.

Now the company is testing of its cannabis-based treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders in what's called the Bright Trial, with topline results expected early next year.

Another trial of Zygel, Inspire, is testing the treatment on behavioral and emotional symptoms of 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.

“So it's stacking up to be a really interesting first half of the year,” said Zynerba vice president Will Roberts.

DNA Genetics: Selling Experience

As the cannabis industry has worked hard to gain respectability, DNA Genetics doesn’t want to forget about what made cannabis popular for years before:

“Mind-blowing experience,” said CEO Charles Phillips. "That’s what we want to give people."

It's a variation on the way the experience has been enjoyed for hundreds of years, he said. 

The company, which began as a seed store and has grown into one of the top strain providers in the business, does genetic selection, breeding and cultivation. 

DNA Genetics is focused on the plant, Phillips said.  

“The highest-selling category in California is not vapes, not edibles, it’s flower,” the CEO said. “And that’s what we do.”

HempFusion's Go-Public Plan 

HempFusion is on track for a Canadian IPO, potentially in the first quarter, said Jason Mitchell, president and co-founder of the Boulder, Colorado-based hemp products company.

Mitchell, a naturopath, said its products stand out because of its organic hemp and its focus on the value of the whole plant, rather than just specific molecules.

“We look at it from a whole food perspective,” he said. 

The company plans to expand distribution to the United Kingdom before the end of the year and also is considering selling in Ireland, the company president said. 

Calyx Peak: Coming To Your Door?

The cannabis retail industry will soon follow broader trends in consumer product sales, said Ed Schmults, CEO of Calyx Peak Companies.

“Home delivery is coming,” Schmults said. “So is e-commerce, but e-commerce will take a while," he said, though the company doesn't have any specific announcements about either space. 

Calyx Peak, a multistate operator focused mostly in California, Massachusetts and Ohio, will likely be profitable sometime in the first half of next year, the CEO said. 

Give Vapen Some Likes — And Some Love In The Comments

Vapen MJ Ventures executives want their friends to use their product cannabis products. And if they’re famous, they want them to put something on Instagram about it.

Vapen has gotten a lot of traction from the low-cost use of celebrity influencers to boost awareness of its products, said company president and CEO Bob Brilon.

“We’re not talking about paying these guys $1 million to post for us. It happens because of friends of friends,” he said.

The biggest hit in the social media space came when the company took some of its swag to a Cardi B music video shoot and she did a video for Vapen wearing the company’s merchandise. A social media post got over 100 million views, Brilon said. “Those are things you just can’t pay for. They have millions of followers.”

Stem Holdings Introducing New Products in Nevada

Stem Holdings Inc. (OTC: STMH) is introducing its Travis x James cannabis flower brand and its Cannavore edibles brand to Nevada, said CEO Adam Berk.

Stem already has a cultivation facility in the Las Vegas area.

The company is in expansion mode, Berk said, with a focus on building out another new cultivation facility in Oregon and expansion into more new states and "potentially international markets" on the horizon. 

"We'll exceed $40 million in revenue during the next 12 months," he said. 

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Photo courtesy of Stem Holdings. 

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