The vaping crisis has now spread north to Canada – where all vapes are still illegal…
I talk about the vaping crisis often. And for good reason too. More than two dozen people across 21 states in the U.S. have had their lives taken due to this mysterious illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the total number of probable cases is now at about 1,299 people. And those patients that have fallen ill, but fortunately did not face fatality, have been found in 49 total states.
Sure, states have plans to tackle the vaping crisis, but the bottom line is that more people are dying and we still don’t have the ultimate solution.
The Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, decided to ban all vaping devices for at least four months. His decision had an immediate effect on cannabis stock prices – they plummeted.
But public, U.S. vape companies like KushCo (OTC: KSHB) have been making strategic moves during the crisis. In fact, KushCo announced an exclusive Agreement with De La Rue, a company that provides products and services for anti-counterfeiting and authentication solutions.
De La Rue will offer custom branded anti-counterfeit security labels. So when someone goes to buy a vaporizer or cartridge from a dispensary down the road, they will know they are getting an authentic product.
We hear about the crisis often in the U.S. but what about our neighbors up north?
Vaping Illness in Canada
Hilda D. asks: “Hi Greg, has there any incidents of Canadians dying from vapor usage in comparison to the U.S.?”
Hilda, I’m saddened to report that the vaping illness is now in Canada.
Fortunately, it appears that no one has died, but Health Canada reports one confirmed case of the illness and it is investigating another.
The confirmed case was in Quebec, and the other was in Ontario, just a few miles from the U.S. border.
We don’t know yet if the victims consumed THC, nicotine, or flavored vapes or whether the products they used were acquired in the U.S. or Canada. The Ontario victim was said to be trying to quit smoking nicotine cigarettes.
Your question is particularly interesting because there are no legal cannabis vapes in Canada – all cannabis vapes are black market products.
And there is a relatively well-developed market for them; I even talked to one company, which currently claims to be the largest vape brand in Canada and hopes to “come in from the cold” when the country legalizes vapes in December.
But if there is such a large black market for vapes in Canada, why isn’t the mysterious illness more prevalent in the country?
It reinforced my belief that one or a small number of U.S. black market vape makers have introduced a new ingredient, which is causing this sickness.
The First Annual NICI Retreat
Mark S. asks: “How did the NICI Retreat go?”
Mark, the NICI Retreat could not have gone better!
We had a huge group of engaged investors who met with companies – large and small, public and private.
There was a lot of networking, and I particularly enjoyed hearing the personal stories of so many of our fellow members.
For the companies speaking and exhibiting, it was a revelation – they’d never encountered retail investors so well informed and they really enjoyed answering questions, even the tough ones!
NICI is blessed with an outstanding team. The members who worked so hard to put this event together really outdid themselves.
I’ve been going to investor conferences for over 30 years and this was the best-organized conference I’ve ever been to.
Body and Mind – A Company to Own?
Barra asks: “Hi Greg Please advise on Body and Mind (BMMJ). It’s a MSO company and has Australia Capital (Ausaf) invested in it. Australia Capital is linked to Aurora Cannabis (ACB) in Canada. Since ACB is getting into the U.S. market, will BMMJ become a potential company to own?”
You must be a mind-reader, Barra.
Body and Mind is a very interesting company. So far, it is fairly broad, but not very deep. That is, the company has operations in four states, but two of them are Arkansas and Ohio.
Both states have fairly restrictive medical cannabis programs, so the opportunity for current revenue isn’t as good as it is in places like Florida and Arizona, which have more permissive programs. But Body and Mind’s other operations are in the largest and the hottest cannabis markets in the world – California and Las Vegas.
And those two markets are where Body and Mind’s big opportunities lie – in branded products.
The Company has a dispensary in Long Beach and it’s building one in San Diego, but the bigger story here is its Las Vegas brand, which is very well regarded by experts for its quality. The same thing is starting to happen in California, which just recently started shipping products.
I want to see a little more from this company – get a quarter or two of those California manufacturing assets under its belt, for example.
I haven’t had a chance to meet the company’s management, which I always like to do before recommending an investment. But so far I like what I see.
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
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October 12 2019