Over the last trading week (April 16-20) the industry saw the announcement of a new merger taking place, creating a new cannabis player to consider. As a U.S. senator introduces a bill to decriminalize marijuana we take a look at the momentum currently seen in the U.S. cannabis market, then market news complete this Cannabis Weekly Round-Up
In an effort to provide investors with a recap of the major events during the first quarter of 2018, the Investing News Network (INN) published a quarterly update on the first three months of the year. Along with this update INN also collected the data of cannabis stocks in Canadian exchanges, measuring the top gainers of the year so far.
Continuing the consolidation movement in the cannabis market, this past week the management teams from WeedMD (TSXV:WMD) and Hiku Brands (CSE:HIKU) revealed a joint plan to merge the companies. The new entity is expected to trade on the TSX Venture Exchange according to the announcement from the two companies.
As his own way to celebrate 4/20, Sen. Chuck Schumer is set to introduce a bill with the intention to completely decriminalize cannabis. In a video interview with HBO’s Vice News Schumer asked why the U.S. government doesn’t allow people to use it freely and remove its illegal status.
Based on Schumer’s preview of it, NPR wrote the following on the actual bill:
Schumer’s legislation would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under a 1970 law that classifies marijuana as dangerous as heroin for legal and regulatory purposes. It would establish funding for women- and minority-owned marijuana businesses, require more research on the drug’s public health impact, and maintain federal authority to regulate commercial advertising, similar to existing regulations for tobacco and alcohol.
The cannabis industry is on the rise in the U.S., following the announcement that two ex-government officials would be joining a venture as advisors. More importantly, last week Sen. Cory Gardner revealed president Trump himself committed himself to allow the legal industry to continue without any interference from the federal government.
This commitment from the president was viewed by experts as a removal of the uncertainty created by Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he rescinded the legal protection for cannabis businesses. The two developments last week caused a much-needed uproar in the public cannabis market. Several cannabis operators focused on the U.S. market saw significant increases in their share value.
GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) is inching closer towards an accomplishment no other cannabis-related company. The company’s cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution, known as Epidiolex was unanimously recommended by the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new drug application (NDA).
According to FDA procedure obtaining this vote of confidence is a strong indicator of the potential for a drug to be accepted by the agency. In the U.S. cannabis and its compounds are determined to be scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). However, recently the agency has shown a willingness to accept the medical benefits of CBD specifically.
It was revealed the FDA requested comments from the public at large regarding the use of cannabis for a larger World Health Organization (WHO) meeting on the status of cannabis. In a document, the agency acknowledged “CBD-containing products are in human clinical testing in several therapeutic areas.” However, none of these products have marketing approval from the FDA.
CannTrust Holdings (TSX:TRST), the most recent Canadian companies to have joined the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), announced a partnership with Grey Wolf Animal Health to develop novel medical pet healthcare products.
A new subsidiary will be born from this partnership to oversee these new cannabis products. Additionally, CannTrust will “become a substantial shareholder in Grey Wolf.”
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: WeedMD and Hiku Brands are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.