It’s cannabis-induced euphoria as ASX pot stocks double in a month
Health & Biotech
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ASX-listed pot stocks have increased in value by an average of 92 per cent over the past month.
That’s according to an index of 20 cannabis-related ASX stocks tracked by Stockhead (see table below).
Nine pot stocks have more than doubled over the past month. Two — Queensland Bauxite and Stemcell United (which this week got an ASX “speeding ticket”) — have tripled.
One, The Hydroponics company (ASX:THC), has more than quadrupled.
Over the period only one pot stock — Algae.Tec (ASX:AEB) — has gone backwards.
This week alone, 15 of the 20 stocks have made gains averaging 25 per cent.
Cannabis stocks have fire-hosed the market with “newsflow” this week, ranging from EVE’s hemp seed honey to Botanix Pharma’s cannabidiol treatment for severe eczema. (Read our catch-up below).
But the mini pot boom is more to do with the Canada effect, Adam Miller of medical cannabis accelerator BuddingTech told Stockhead this week.
ASX-listed cannabis stocks are surging based on strong sentiment in Canada which will next year become the second country after Uruguay to legalise marijuana for recreational use, Mr Miller says.
The Canada Marijuana Index — which tracks 18 leading Canadian cannabis stocks — is up 44 per cent since last month, when US alcohol giant Constellation Brands bought 10 per cent of Canada’s biggest medical marijuana supplier Canopy Growth for $C245 million ($253 million).
Meanwhile back in Australia, hemp seed food investors such as Queensland Bauxite are pumping out announcements following the legalisation of hemp seed food here earlier this month.
Among the investors, Eve Investments (ASX:EVE) rocketed 83 per cent to 1.1c after it said it was getting into hemp honey. EVE is buying 50 per cent of honey producer Meluka.
Following law changes this month allowing hemp food for humans, Meluka says it’s made Australia’s first 100 per cent organic Hemp Seed Honey.
Speaking of hemp, Queensland Bauxite (which surely will need to change its name soon), rose 86 per cent this week (ASX:QBL) after announcing a “momentous deal” by its investment Medical Cannabis Ltd.
Medical Cannabis, which has licences to commercially grow the stuff, bought a controlling stake in a hamp factory, Hemp Hulling Co, “to create the highest quality all Australian fully integrated hemp food group … from the seed to the plate”.
Among the other cannabis investors, Atlas Pearls (ASX:ATP) and Chapmans (ASX:CHP) had no news this week.
AusCann (ASX:AC8) shot up 24 per cent after announcing its Chilean joint venture had won a second cultivation licence, before cooling back to still-heady heights.
Cann Group (ASX:CAN) had its AGM this week, where chairman Allan McCallum told shareholders Australia was “ideally positioned to build a first-class medicinal cannabis industry supplying safe, high quality products to Australian patients and – in due course – to overseas markets”.
MMJ Phytotech (ASX:MMJ) jumped 29 per cent this week on the back of two fairly minor items of news: first, its 59 per cent owned Canadian investment Harvest one had signed a letter of intent to buy a property to “accelerate and expand production capacity”. Then the same entity said it had lifted the amount of convertible debt it was raising to $17.5 million.
Embattled biofuel-turned cannabis grower Algae.Tec (ASX:AEB) says it’s bought 25 per cent of Auburna, a Uruguayan producer, as part of the commercialisation stage of a deal with Jardin de Invierno. Investors remained unconvinced on that one, however.
Cannabis crop equipment seller Roto-Gro International (ASX:RGI) has been quiet of late.
Medicinal cannabis makers
The medicinal cannabis makers are where many investor eyes are focused — and they didn’t disappoint this week.
Botanix Pharma (ASX:BOT) began enrolling its first patients into a dermatitis study, testing a new synthetic cannabidiol treatment for severe eczema via its own drug delivery platform.
MedLab Clinical’s (ASX:MDC) cannabis pain medication is coming to the severely ill oncology patients in Australia in February, while Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) also says its pain medication will be here by early 2018 as well.
MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC) not only signed a deal with distributor HL Pharma to introduce its epilepsy product, CannEpil, to the Australian market. It also signed off on $1 million sales of cannabidiol extract to European distributor Mabsut Life. They were rewarded with a 35 per cent bounce thsi week.
The Hydroponics Company was also busting out the press releases. It has brought in a new chief commercial officer, Debbie Ormsby, and done a deal with Israeli BOL Pharma to supply it with medicinal cannabis products for Australia, while it develops in-house medicinal cannabis strains in Australia.
Cannpal (ASX:CP1) finally got that import licence so it can start curing your pets with cannabis.
Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) had a mad week, shooting up 40 per cent in two days to a 51-week high and staying there. A speeding ticket ensued at it coyly said maybe the reason was because of discussions around clinical trials, or a report calling it a screaming buy.
Lifespot Health (ASX:LSH) had no news to share. Indeed, it’s apparently entered the cannabis market — in May – – but thsu far doesn’t have much to show for it.
Little was happening among the neutraceuticals players this week. eSense Lab (ASX:ESE) and BOD Australia (ASX:BDA) both had news earlier this month (the former with cannabis-like chocolates and the latter with cannabis cosmetics).
But where BOD has surged almost 50 per cent on no news, eSense’s chocolate high fell away.
Stemcell United (ASX:SCU) — another company that promised months ago it was getting into cannabis and hasn’t mentioned it since — received a speeding ticket for its 130 per cent rise this week, and said it had no news.