Imagine your favorite shopping mall with its very own boutique marijuana store.
It could become a reality in the not too distant future, according to at least one industry expert.
Plandai Biotechnology’s (OTCQB: PLPL) branding partner, former Microsoft executive turned marijuana entrepreneur, Jamen Shively, created quite a stir this week when he predicted there would be several hundred retail marijuana stores operating within the next five years.
"It's difficult to predict, especially considering that the industry will evolve, eventually away from cannabis-only retail stores to packaged cannabis products sold in a variety of retailers, much as the alcohol industry evolved during the 1930s and 40s,” Shively said, in a written statement on Feb. 4, 2014.
“Having said that, the next five years, at least, will see several hundred marijuana specialty retail stores opening throughout the U.S.,” he added
After years of helping steer Microsoft product releases, Plandai said it has a partner to learn from in Shively, who the company contends truly understands the importance of branding and knowing his audience, and in the end, it is Plandai investors who should benefit.
Stock Volume Soaring
Meanwhile, Plandai Biotechnology stock volume continued to soar as one of the most active penny stocks on Feb.6, with 1,599,258 changing hands, nearly double its three-month average volume of 868,567 shares.
The sudden flurry of activity appears to be triggered in part by the Seattle and Australian-based company, which produces proprietary botanical extracts, recent entry into the legal marijuana business. In fact, on Jan. 30, Plandai announced that it had entered into an agreement with Diego Pellicer and Diego Pellicer Worldwide to brand its Phytofare(TM) Cannabis extracts.
The release when on to tout Diego Pellicer, saying that it has been the leading name in cannabis products for more than 100 years.
"Being able to sell the Plandai cannabinoid extracts under the Diego Pellicer name brings immediate name recognition and branding into the medicinal cannabis industry," Plandai CEO Roger Baylis-Duffield said, in a written statement
Much Good PR
The media showed up in large numbers at a Seattle press conference where marijuana entrepreneur and Diego Pellicer co-founder Shively announced he would be creating the first retail brand of marijuana in the United States.
Shively, a former Microsoft executive, was flanked by the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox as he presented his plans to capture 40 percent of the worldwide marijuana market and answered a host of questions from the media.
Whether all the hype will translate into solid revenue remains to be seen. But one thing is for certain, investors appear to like what they hear.
On Feb 6, shares of PLPL closed at $1.35, down 27 cents from $1.62, the previous day’s close.
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Successful Track record
Another marijuana stock that is capturing a lot of attention is AVT Inc. (OTCPINK: AVTC).
The Corona, Calif.-based high-tech vending machine maker with 1,000 machines already in the marketplace recently announced it plans to pursue the vending of legal marijuana.
Because AVT is already a seasoned vending machine company with a track record and a thorough understanding of all the legalities in labeling products, it believes it has a leg up on many newcomers that want to exploit the new legal marijuana vending sector.
"We can bring machines into compliance with the new regulations," said AVT’s CEO James Winsor, in a Jan.9 release. "Or we can custom create a new solution for any operator, that includes our patented wireless connectivity, cashless payment systems, and a high definition interactive display that not only provides the consumer with nutritional information, but also entertains, engages, and upsells," he added. "Our solutions are completely unique, dynamic and captivating,” he added.
Got Some Good PR
On Feb. 4, 2014 AVT announced that it had been featured in multiple stories in Vending Times Magazine, the industry's leading trade publication.
The magazine reported on AVT's licensing agreement with Marley Coffee Automated Stores, Inc. "Under the terms of the deal, AVT will receive a monthly fee for use of its management technology on each Marley Coffee machine,” the publication reported.
The magazine also reported on the new fund designed to raise $4.9 million to purchase Marley Coffee machines for placements in the best locations left vacant by the departure of Outerwall's Rubi Coffee from the market.
Vending Times also ran a front page story on AVT's new outdoor micro store for Active Ride, the popular California chain of surf and skate shops. The high-profile machine is located at The Block at Orange, an upscale mall owned by Simon Property Group Inc.
On Feb. 6, AVTC’s share price closed at $3.79, up 4 cents from its closing price of $3.75 the previous day.
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Providing Practical Products for the Cannabis industry
Colorado Springs, Colo-based Advanced Cannabis Solutions (OTCQB: CANN) has two strong practical points going for it: It’s headquartered in the middle of one of the first, vibrant legal-marijuana marketplaces in the country and it’s just been approved for a major line of credit.
These two elements are essential for the company to be able to build and equip the facilities it wants to rent to cannabis growers, which by the way, certainly fits the criteria of being a practical and promising product or service.
In Colorado alone, the medical marijuana market is estimated to be $350 million in size while the legalization of recreational marijuana could expand that figure to over $500 million in 2014 by some accounts. These figures are significantly larger throughout the United States. where some analysts estimate the total market at between $10 billion and $120 billion per year in size, depending on the success of various legalization efforts and the components included in the estimates.
Just Got New 30-Million Credit Line
On Jan. 21, Advanced Cannabis Solutions announced that it had established a $30-million credit line.
According to a release, Advanced Cannabis Solutions signed a definitive agreement with Full Circle Capital Corp., a closed-end investment company. The agreement provides that the investment fund will initially provide $7.5 million to the Company in the form of Senior Secured Convertible Notes, subject to certain conditions. An additional $22.5 million can be borrowed by Company with the mutual agreement of the Company and the investment company.
At least 95% of the loan proceeds will be used to acquire properties, which the company consistent with its business plan, will lease to licensed cannabis growers.
“The six-year loan will be secured by real estate acquired with the loan proceeds, and will require interest-only payments at a rate of 12% per year,” the release explained, outlining the agreement.
On Feb 6, CANN's share price closed at $12.50, down 62 cents from its closing price of $13.12 the previous day.
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New Hemp Legalization Provision Ignites Volume
Cannabis Science Inc. (NASDAQ OTC: CBIS) stock volume reached Stratospheric heights on Feb 6, with 67,707,024 shares changing hands, nearly three time more than its three-month average of 24,320,653 shares.
Its share volume is being pushed in part by the passage by Congress of the new farm bill this week, which includes a provision legalizing the cultivation and researching of hemp on a limited basis.
Cannabis Science has been lobbying hard for the decriminalization of cannabis research, which is definitely makes it a player that is serious about developing products in a timely and safe fashion.
Lobbying Hard to Make Cannabis Research Possible
The company's government relations team lead, Rick Blake, is working with the U.S. House of Representatives' Cannabis Caucus to ensure that President Obama signs an Executive Order to decriminalize cannabis research. This is one of the bipartisan initiatives of the members of the Cannabis Caucus being facilitated by Cannabis Science. In contrast to many other countries Cannabis Science believes the regulatory landscape of the United States creates unreasonable restrictions on the ability of scientists and physicians to explore promising patient-driven research involving cannabis and cannabinoids.
“Thousands of patients are awaiting the President's action to set cannabis research free,” said Director and CEO of Cannabis Science Dorothy Bray, in a Jan. 29 written statement.
The Colorado company that is developing cannabis-based medicines announced on Jan. 16 that it is spearheading an observational clinical research study in 2014 focusing on the use of cannabis and cannabis-based products to treat a variety of medical conditions.
“We will work with full authorization of the regulatory authorities and, most importantly, with the approval from patients,” said Cannabis Science President Robert Melamede.
Selling Equipment in Canada and Abroad
On Feb 3, Cannabis Science also announced it would be partnering with MDS, a subsidiary of Medbox, Inc. to sell and distribute equipment to be used in the medical-marijuana industry. Under the terms of the agreement Cannabis Science has a 50/50 gross profit exclusive on any and all MDS equipment sales in Canada and other select markets, according to the release Both Cannabis Science and MDS have multiple opportunities in Canada based on recent developments with medical cannabis in that market. Other countries will follow pursuant to the agreement as Cannabis Science moves forward aggressively in Europe and South America.
CBIS share price closed at 24 cents on Feb. 6, down 5 cents from its closing price of 29 cents the previous day.
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