CFN Media Group ("CannabisFN"), a creative agency and media network dedicated to legal cannabis, published an article covering Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. and why it’s well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for cannabis-infused products, which has become an area of increasing interest for food and beverage companies.

Cannabis Infused Products

Canada’s cannabis industry is projected to reach $22.6 billion in size over the coming years, according to Deloitte, driven by the legalization of recreational marijuana. While dried marijuana has been the primary area of focus, cannabis oils and extracts are the fastest growing subset of the burgeoning industry. The legalization of these products has expanded the market to non-smoking consumers and further legislation surrounding edibles could do much more.

The interest in cannabis-infused edibles is underscored by Constellation Brands Inc.’s recent acquisition of a minority stake in Canopy Growth Corp., a licensed producer of medical cannabis under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Constellation Brands is an international producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits with operations around the world.

Cowen & Co. has found evidence that the craft beer markets in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State have been impacted by the legalization of recreational marijuana. The volume of craft beer sold in these states fell 2% in 2016 despite a 0.5% increase throughout the rest of the United States. In Denver, these volumes were down over 5% in 2016. The cannabis industry has also eclipsed the craft beer industry in size, making it an appealing diversification.

Pivot Pharma Enters the Space

Pivot Pharma recently announced that it has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire ERS Holdings LLC, a privately-held California company that has developed a patented Ready to Infuse Cannabis technology (“RTIC”) that enables the transformation of cannabis oil into powder and designed to be infused into a variety of food and beverages. In particular, the technology converts cannabis oil into tasteless powders that can be infused into products like K-Cups, stick packs, baked mixes, shots, shakes, topicals and bottled beverages.

“Pivot believes that the anticipated changes in cannabis regulations in Canada and California will provide an opportunity to launch multiple products into the healthcare and recreational markets in 2018,” said Pivot Pharma CEO Dr. Patrick Frankham. “We are delighted that Ross Franklin and Pat Rolfes from ERS have chosen Pivot to help transform their patents and processes into therapeutic customer goods.”

Pivot previously acquired three other technologies that address the problems inherent in the delivery of cannabinoids. These include an oral solution (Solmic Solubilisation), a transdermal approach (BiPhasix™ Transdermal Drug Delivery Platform), and nanotechnology for topical applications (Thrudermic). The newly acquired powder technology extends the company’s capacities while also complementing its existing assets, as the powder could potentially be integrated into Pivot’s other delivery mechanisms.

Pivot Pharma is already engaged in discussions with several Canadian licensed producers and licensed dealers to accelerate the commercialization of its large pipeline of technology-driven products. If it doesn’t find a joint venture, management plans to seek a Licensed Dealer designation from Health Canada and begin building its own production facility. A Licensed Dealer can house, research, test, develop and sell products associated with cannabis and other drugs in ways that companies holding Licensed Producer permits cannot.

Looking Ahead

The global food and beverage market is worth nearly $100 billion, according to Statista, and continues to experience tremendous growth. The cannabis industry could have an outsized impact on certain segments of the adult beverage market, such as the adult recreational and functional foods sectors, given the similarity in demographics. This has led some companies to acquire ownership stakes in cannabis companies, but others could pursue joint ventures or licensing agreements with cannabis firms.

Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. is positioned to capitalize on these dynamics following its letter of intent to acquire ERS Holdings LLC. In combination with its plans to partner with or acquire a Licensed Dealer, the company will be capable of producing a variety of cannabis-infused products targeting the massive food and beverage industry. This could create opportunities for joint ventures or other favorable events down the road.