Good news for pot stocks as US okays its first legal weed import
Health & Biotech
US officials have granted permission for a Canadian cannabis producer to bring medical marijuana into the country for a clinical trial at the University of California San Diego.
The drugs, imported in capsule form via Canadian cannabis producer Tilray, are designed to treat essential tremor (ET), a neurological disorder that causes involuntary and uncontrollable shaking that can make it difficult for patients to perform every day tasks like eating, drinking, or writing. It’s expected to begin in early 2019.
The move could be good news for Australia’s ASX-listed cannabis companies — many of which are building cannabis growing and production facilities and hope to distribute products around the world.
The ASX has more than 25 cannabis-related stocks which are now collectively valued at about $1.8 billion.
Tilray’s director of clinical research Catherine Jacobson said in a press release she was “proud to support this crucial research.
“If this study can identify cannabinoids as a potential treatment for patients suffering from essential tremor, we can conduct further research and potentially provide alternative effective methods of relief for the high numbers of patients with ET.”
ET is now treated with drugs originally developed to treat high blood pressure, seizures, and even Botox. Tilray is also involved in four other trials to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a form of epilepsy, brain cancer, and side-effects of chemotherapy.
Tilray’s stock price has soared more than 680 per cent – with Tuesday’s gains – since its initial public offering in July.
While Wall Street analysts remain optimistic for the company’s outlook, the rally could be unsustainable.
Analysts give the company an average price target of $US49 – less than half of Monday’s $US120 closing price.
“Tilray has flowered into a global leader and GMP-certified cannabis researcher, cultivator, processor and distributor,” Mike Grondahl, an analyst at NorthLand Securities in Minneapolis, said in a note to clients last month.
“We believe Tilray has positioned itself well to capture Canada’s upcoming adult-use market share by leveraging its high-grade, high-potency pharmaceutical reputation.”