Pot stock Althea says its products — largely comprised of different strains of cannabis oil — have been prescribed to 300 Australian patients via a network of 86 registered healthcare professionals.

It says it’s sold 1,100 Althea (ASX: AGH) products.

Most of that has come within the last three months and Althea expects the trend to continue as it educates doctors on the benefits of its products.

“Importantly, our sales have not come through clinical or observational trials, but by doctors making an informed decision to prescribe Althea’s products to patients paying out of pocket,” CEO Joshua Fegan said.

Althea has also signed on with Cannabis Access Clinics, which has eight locations in Australian and New Zealand and aims to boost awareness of medicinal cannabis benefits.

The centre’s medical director, Dr Sanjay Nijhawan, reckons medicinal cannabis products will be prescribed to more than 10,000 Australian patients in 2019.

As at the end of December, the Therapeutic Goods Administration had approved 2832 applications to use cannabis.

That isn’t the same as the number of people using it, as one person may have multiple applications or a patient may have died before the application was approved.

Shares in Althea were up by more than 5 per cent to 28 cents this morning, after initially rocketing to 60 cents following its initial listing in September.

Getting ready for the R&D

AusCann (ASX:AC8) has closed the acquisition of a new research and development site in Perth.

AusCann dipped into its $40 million cash pile to pay for the facility, spending $5.25 million all-cash for the site in a deal initially flagged in November.

It marks a continuation of AusCann’s recent strategy pivot; previously it wanted to be a pot grower but now its focus has turned to the science of cannabis.

“The facility will focus on Auscann’s cannabinoid pharmaceutical product pipeline, supporting development of both innovative formulations and dose forms,” the company said.

Shares in Auscann were up slightly over 1 per cent at 64.4c in morning trade — a relatively far cry from their 2018 peak of $1.77.

Interim CEO Dr Paul McLeman said the company’s commitment to the development of pharmaceutical marijuana gives it a “key point of difference” to other competitors in the space.

The company is still on the hunt for a new boss after previous CEO, Elaine Darby, left in December.