SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - December 28, 2016) - Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC PINK: MJNA), the first-ever publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, today announced the release of a 2016 business year in review posted to their website HERE. As you can view HERE, Medical Marijuana, Inc. has long been "A Company of Firsts." 2016 continued to show the company's progress with many firsts including; receiving the first-ever import permit from the Mexican federal government, receiving the world's first patented cannabinoid controlled-release chewing gum and becoming the first-ever DEA permit granted to a US-based company to import pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol. Additionally, they participated in first-ever events like the Doctors Symposium in Mexico, ExpoMede Weed in Medellin, Colombia and Genesis in San Diego.
This recap highlights various exciting business activities and developments within Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s diverse investments and portfolio companies throughout the year and shares the enthusiasm for the future of the Company. The Company began the year with the momentum started in 2015 with legislative reform in the sector and a growing need for access to hemp products throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s subsidiary and predominate consumer brand, HempMeds® saw a year of massive expansion and continued growth of its line of cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil products. After receiving the first-ever import permit from Brazil for Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ (RSHO™) in 2014, HempMeds® accomplished the first-ever import permits for its RSHO™ and RSHO-X™ products from the federal governments of Mexico and Paraguay in 2016.
Operating highlights for 2016 included:
- HempMeds® welcomed THC-free product RSHO-X™ to its product offering and launched a world-class website redesign featuring unparalleled user connectivity, and launched a first-of-its-kind affiliate program.
Media exposure expanded significantly in 2016. Media coverage included:
- Forbes, "The Cannabis Market That Could Grow 700% By 2020"
- Forbes Mexico, "Dr. Titus, el estadunidense que le viene a vender marihuana a los mexicanos"
- Reuters, "AXIM bags pot discount for gum to treat multiple sclerosis"
- Bloomberg, "Weeks From Selling Pot, Uruguay Producer Sees Future in Hemp"
- Fox Business, "Is Marijuana Chewing Gum The Next Big Thing?"
- Fox News Channel: "Harper's legacy: Family donates 5-year-old's brain to science after death from rare condition"
- NBC News, "NBC 7 Football Night in San Diego"
- ABCNews.com, "Live From the Floor of the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo"
- Fox 5 News New York, "Fox 5 NY Interviews Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus at New York Cannabis Expo"
Trade shows and expos featuring products from HempMeds included:
- January 9-13: A4M -- Mexico City
- December 14-16: A4M -- Las Vegas
Continuing the Company's community outreach efforts, the Company donated to its preferred charitable partner in Mexico, the Por Grace Foundation, and efforts to create awareness of CBD hemp oil and education expanded throughout Mexico and Latin America in 2016. In addition, HempMeds® supported Hope4Harper's nonprofit efforts to raise funds for research and awareness of CDKL5.
With a focus on International expansion, Medical Marijuana, Inc. established its subsidiary HempMeds® Mexico after its flagship THC-free product RSHO-X™ became the first cannabis product to be allowed for import into the country by COFEPRIS. The historic first-ever import permits were awarded to two Mexico girls: Alina Maldonado Montes de Oca and Maria Paula Acevedo Cardos on February 1, 2016.
Since the first import permit was granted, COFEPRIS has allowed for the importation of RSHO-X™ for treatment of multiple medical indications, including chronic pain and diabetic neuropathy -- and HempMeds® Mexico's operation have expanded to accommodate more than 150 patients in Mexico. Dr. Carlos Aguirre, a Mexican physician, conducted and released a study of patients using RSHO-X™ and other CBD products that rendered extremely positive results, including an average seizure reduction of 67% within his patient population with zero negative side effects.
In October, HempMeds® Mexico hosted the country's first-ever Doctors Symposium entitled, "Cannabidiol, usos medicos y terapeuticos, 1er congreso nacional" in Mexico City aimed at educating medical professionals on the benefits of CBD and the proper way to prescribe it. Renowned Mexican physician Dr. Saul Garza Morales spoke at the event on the benefits of CBD. After partnering with nonprofit CBD advocacy group Por Grace, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto credited Raul Elizalde, the organization's founder, and his daughter Grace and families like them for "changing his mind and the course of the country's cannabis policies based on science and human rights." The Senate voted 98-7 a few weeks later on a bill to allow space to medical cannabis in their country. HempMeds® Mexico's RSHO-X™ remains the only cannabinoid product COFEPRIS has approved for importation into the country. In addition to serving Mexico, HempMeds® Mexico expanded its distribution into other Latin American countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Colombia where it attended the first-ever ExpoMede Weed in Medellin, Colombia. Additionally, the company began importing its product RSHO-X™ into Paraguay which was covered by media giant Associated Press and many national TV outlets.
Since the historic, first-ever approval for a US-based cannabis product to be imported into Mexico, that development has been covered by literally hundreds of media outlets globally. Find a full list of them HERE.
Kannaway, the Company's premier lifestyle marketing brand and subsidiary company, spent the year refreshing and relaunching its world-renowned brand that all began with a March 29 announcement of its new executive team with Bradley J. Tayles being named President and newly appointed CEO, Blake Schroeder. The two new additions brought years of experience and a fresh outlook on the industry. Throughout the year, Kannaway introduced multiple new products, including Kannaway Premium Hemp Oil and Kannaway Pure CBD, which have taken the CBD market by storm.
With the new management at the helm, the company added a stock incentive program for its brand ambassadors' as well as launched new trainings aimed at helping affiliates find success with the company. With the goal of reaching the masses, Kannaway became bilingual in its marketing offerings and hosted three regional events across the country, as well as its first-ever national event in San Diego in November called "Genesis." The event attracted hundreds of participants and featured announcements including: updates to the compensation plan, new packaging and brand materials, release of a new corporate video, and a complete website redesign. Finally, the company experienced a more than 400% growth in monthly revenue at year-end compared to April of this year and forecasts are looking even more positive for 2017.
Continuing its international expansion efforts, Medical Marijuana, Inc. subsidiary HempMeds Brasil™ continued to offer its world-renowned CBD product RSHO™ as the first-ever cannabis product approved by ANVISA for importation into the country. The company, under new management this year, was able to offer two new products to Brazilian citizens, RSHO-X™ and a liquid version of its famed RSHO™ product line, all while decreasing importation time to only three days from order to arrival.
The company also continued to be instrumental in creating access to medical cannabis in Brazil, where they work with thousands of families in need of help gaining legal access to RSHO™ to help with many conditions including; Epilepsy, Parkinson's, Chronic Pain and Cancer.
Since the historic 2014 court case, the company has repeatedly attracted national media attention after the government approved CBD for import for multiple medical indications and also started subsidizing the payments under the government health care system. You can find a full report of the many media success stories throughout the year HERE.
Meanwhile in 2016, the court cases of consumers in Brazil fighting for access to RSHO™, and an open letter that Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO, Dr. Stuart Titus, wrote to Brazilians in August, continued to make headlines in 2016.
Major Investment company AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTC: AXIM) in which The Company owns 22,143,650 common shares or about 40%, had the most exciting year in the company's history beginning with the announcement of dermatological clinical research on cannabigerol (CBG) for treatment of psoriasis and eczema that was covered by Forbes.
Soon after that groundbreaking announcement, AXIM® announced that they had received the necessary funding to continue its clinical research program on its proprietary method of chewing gum as a delivery mechanism for CBD and other cannabinoids, which was recently covered by Fox Business. Included in their program pipeline is breakthrough invention MedChew Rx™, the world's first patented cannabinoid controlled-release chewing gum, which is on pace to be fully registered by the EMA and FDA by the end of 2018. Featured by Reuters global news agency, MedChew Rx™ will change the way that medicine is delivered to patients worldwide. Directly compared to a sublingually delivered cannabis-based product currently on the market for multiple sclerosis (MS) in the Reuters article, the potential economic impact for MedChew Rx™ is estimated at $4.8 billion USD -- for spasticity and pain associated with MS.
Shortly thereafter the company announced that it had entered the gum into a PK/PD study and received medical ethical committee approval from the University of Wageningen to begin human clinical trials using its product CanChew® Plus for treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
As a part of their intellectual property portfolio, the company announced that it has received an extension of its patent from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and USPTO to include the delivery mechanism of all cannabinoids through chewing gum. In addition to that extension, the company was assigned the patent on its proprietary method of THC extraction that rendered the purest form of THC known in the field. Additionally, the company significantly expanded its IP and TM portfolio and formulated numerous potentially blockbuster preparations, which will be investigated in the coming months and years. Finally, AXIM® added multiple world-class specialists to its advisory board and delighted investors and shareholders by releasing its product pipeline through 2020. AXIM was voted one of 5 top-performing biotech stocks for 2016 by Fox Business News.
Portfolio company Kannalife Sciences is a late-stage biotechnology company involved with the pharmaceutical development of new therapeutic compounds based on cannabinoids. KannaLife has garnered a licensing agreement with the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) for two indications: (1) Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) and secondly for traumatic head injury, known as (2) Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Hepatic encephalopathy is the occurrence of confusion, altered level of consciousness, and/or coma as a result of liver failure. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have had a severe blow or repeated blows to the head.
Conducting their research under this US government license, Kannalife continued to make headlines with the announcement of a patent on a new CBD-like compound, named KLS-13019. The interest of this was to advance a therapeutic candidate for serious neurological disorders. While CBD is effective for these disorders there are limitations that where modified and designed for greater "drug likeness." KLS-13019 was found to be 50-fold more potent and greater than 400-fold safer than CBD and exhibited a profile consistent with improved oral bioavailability. This discovery of the body of science behind KLS-13019 was published by the American Chemical Society.
Kannalife also made headlines in March after receiving the first-ever DEA permit granted to a US-based company to import pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol to continue their feasibility studies to help treat HE and CTE. The company's NIH license to research a treatment for CTE was also featured in a major article by Sports Illustrated.
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 details on Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s portfolio and investment companies, visit www.medicalmarijuanainc.com.
To see Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s video statement, click here. Shareholders are also encouraged to visit the Medical Marijuana, Inc. Shop for discounted 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.
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) DISCLOSURE
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA). These companies do grow, sell, and distribute hemp-based products and are involved with the federally legal distribution of medical marijuana-based products within certain international markets. Cannabidiol is a natural constituent of hemp oil.