Marijuana News Today
The marijuana news today is heavy with good news. The first bit of positive news is that a young girl suffering from epilepsy is now “pharma-free” after switching to medical marijuana treatments.
One of the most promising applications for medical marijuana is in the treatment of epilepsy. In fact, you could argue that epilepsy is serving as the “gateway illness.” By that, I mean that medical cannabis is proving so effective at treating the affliction that more lawmakers and naysayers are switching stances on medical marijuana. (Source: “Epileptic girl, 8, taking medical marijuana is now ‘pharma free’,” The Times, August 27, 2018.)
Opening up the pharmaceutical industry to more research into what cannabis can and can’t effectively treat is the next big step for the medical marijuana sector. Right now, medical marijuana research is still heavily regulated in many countries.
But as good results continue to roll in, it’s harder to make the case that fruitful medical research should be denied because the substance from which that medicine is derived can get a person high.
The marijuana news today reinforces the need for medical marijuana research to be expanded further because cannabis is proving very effective in treating a variety of ailments.
What This Means for Marijuana Stocks Long-Term
The medical marijuana space is already a multi-billion-dollar industry and is only going to continue to grow.
It’s worth considering that in the vast majority of cases, medical marijuana legalization precedes recreational marijuana legalization because it is an easier political sell.
So, while the expansion of the legal recreational marijuana market could be years away—perhaps even decades away (though I doubt it)—medical marijuana is on a significantly speedier timeline.
As such, medical cannabis may be the subsector of the cannabis industry that sees the most growth in a shorter span of time, especially as it continues to mature into a pharmaceutical-esque market.
What I mean is that the medical marijuana sector is heavily focused on research and breakthrough medications, often yielding extremely high returns when a medicine eventually hits the market—especially if that medicine tackles a dire medical need.
Furthermore, medical cannabis is a great frontline fighter in the war for marijuana acceptance.
As people see the drug being used to treat small children battling epilepsy, it gets significantly more difficult to disparage the drug.
It’s a key salvo in the goodwill offensive. Changing people’s minds is never easy, but selling marijuana as a medicine that can help treat or cure a child’s disease is a pretty good way to appeal to a great number of people.
Seeing these drugs prove to be effective not only helps push the agenda of the medical marijuana industry, but the marijuana sector on the whole.
Since the marijuana news today focuses on medical cannabis and its treatment of epilepsy, let’s look at the company that has arguably made the most progress in that realm, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ:GWPH).
The creator of “Epidiolex,” GW Pharmaceuticals made headlines when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for prescription use in America, making it the first cannabis-derived drug permitted in the country on a prescription basis.
While GWPH stock has had an up-and-down year so far, the approval helped spur growth in its share price before the price ultimately fell again. The stock is up about 10% over the past five days, but the success of the company’s flagship drug should kick-start future growth as Epidiolex spreads to different countries.
More importantly, Epidiolex’s approval has forced the United States. to finally reconcile with its outdated classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug. A Schedule I drug is a narcotic that has no medical applications and faces the toughest regulations. It includes substances like heroin.
Marijuana, as you can imagine, does not belong on that list, and Epidiolex is forcing the federal government to reclassify it.
While I believe there are far better growth opportunities than GWPH stock in the marijuana industry, the stock does have a good deal of potential as the first mover in the new industry of marijuana-pharma hybrids.
Back to more traditional marijuana stocks, Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) continues to keep the good times rolling. The stock was up about two percent in early-morning trading today after having marked another week of huge gains, up about 24% over the past five days.
The run is, of course, the result of the massive investment from Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) two weeks ago.
The multi-billion-dollar capital injection not only sent CGC stock on a wild ride shooting skyward, but has propelled pretty much the entire legal marijuana industry to double-digit gains over the past few weeks.
I don’t see that trend slowing down in the near future. As always, I’m very bullish about the potential of Canopy Growth stock.
The marijuana stock market has a very clear winner today, and that is Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON). CRON stock jumped by almost 20% in early-morning trading and is up a whopping 64% over the past week.
The company is benefiting from having signed multiple supply agreements in Canada as marijuana legalization approaches. It has also been posting very solid financials.
I believe the real reason that CRON stock is flying as high as it is, though, is that it is the largest pure-play marijuana stock available on the Nasdaq.
And after the Constellation investments, everyone wants a piece of the marijuana industry.
As I’ve said in the past, many investors are reluctant to invest in Canadian stock markets due to their unfamiliarity with the exchanges. It’s one of the largest barriers right now to more capital entering the Canadian marijuana market.
But after seeing the massive spike in value that the Constellation deal generated, investors wanted in and used the only marijuana company on the Nasdaq as their entry point.
The result is the massive jump in value we have been seeing for CRON stock. And it’s a process that will repeat several times over until more marijuana stocks land on the Nasdaq.
GWPH, CGC, & CRON Stock Performances
Check out the chart below of the recent performances of GW Pharmaceuticals stock (black line), Canopy Growth Corp stock (blue line) and Cronos Group Inc stock (red line).
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com
The marijuana news today is going to be hard to top in terms of pure success.
On the one hand, you have medical marijuana helping a young child battle epilepsy and be so successful at it that other medications are being made obsolete.
On the other hand, you have a marijuana stock market that is exploding, with 50% value gains among a number of key stocks over the past few weeks.
We’ve waited a long while for 2018 to deliver gains like the ones we’re seeing now. As usual, the marijuana industry ends up delivering.
It’s a great time to be a marijuana bull, is what I’m saying.