The cannabis sector got more good news today with Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration finalising its interim decision to let consumers obtain low-dose cannabinoid (CBD) oils and pills from pharmacists.

Currently CBD oils and pills are classified schedule 4 drug, meaning they require a doctor’s prescription.

But as of February, they will designated as class 3 substances, meaning they can obtained from pharmacists without a prescription – as long as they have less than one per cent THC.

Further icing on the cake was the TGA increasing the dose to 150mg per day (up from 60mg/day in the interim decision) and the TGA bringing forward implementation to February 2021.

However, products may take longer to formally hit the shelves and companies have to proactively apply to be included.

‘Great opportunity’ to develop products

Cannabis analytics firm Freshleaf welcomed the TGA ruling, particularly regulatory specialist Tony Whittaker who said he was excited.

“This gives a great opportunity for industry to develop products that consumers can access directly after consultation with their pharmacist,” he said.

However, Whittaker warned would-be pot providers not to get too complacent.

“[The] TGA has exacting standards, which will present a significant challenge to this young industry,” he said.

Freshleaf managing director Cassandra Hunt predicted there would be a race to get products to market.

“History suggests that the first movers among product companies will be the winners, with the first movers in the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia still dominating the industry today,” she said.

“The race is now on to get products in the market as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, assuming companies are able to overcome the challenge of proving efficacy.”

ASX pot stocks

However, ASX cannabis stocks actually retreated yesterday, unlike in September when the TGA made its interim ruling. Nevertheless, the average sector gain is still high – at 47 per cent.

Code Company Price % %Yr MktCap
MRG Murray River Grp 0.011 10 -51 $22.1M
EN1 Engage:Bdr Limited 0.055 10 -75 $11.9M
WOA Wide Open Agricultur 0.965 3 566 $85.5M
AGH Althea Group 0.5 2 39 $117.6M
IHL Incannex Healthcare 0.17 0 162 $173.8M
EOF Ecofibre Limited 2.08 0 -26 $306.7M
YPB YPB Group Ltd 0.0025 0 -55 $10.6M
MDC Medlab Clinical Ltd 0.26 0 -20 $72.7M
ESE Esense-Lab Ltd 0.017 0 80 $9.2M
DTZ Dotz Nano Ltd 0.24 0 344 $90.3M
BOT Botanix Pharma Ltd 0.13 0 37 $126.5M
SUD Suda Pharmaceuticals 0.04 0 -26 $12.3M
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 0.032 0 3 $55.6M
CGB Cann Global Limited 0.009 0 -40 $38.9M
IDT IDT Australia Ltd 0.2 -2 54 $48.9M
LGP Little Green Pharma 0.6 -2 0 $48.5M
BDA Bod Australia 0.56 -3 70 $52.5M
RNO Rhinomed Ltd 0.18 -3 -10 $47.0M
CP1 Cannpal Animal 0.175 -3 67 $16.8M
ROO Roots Sustainable 0.024 -4 -11 $8.9M
SCU Stemcell United Ltd 0.022 -4 57 $15.4M
PAL Palla Pharma Ltd 0.76 -4 -23 $100.1M
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics 0.1 -5 82 $124.5M
THC THC Global Grp Ltd 0.27 -5 -29 $50.9M
MMJ MMJ Group Hlds Ltd 0.165 -6 6 $40.2M
CPH Creso Pharma Ltd 0.235 -6 104 $172.1M
LSH Lifespot Health Ltd 0.07 -7 106 $10.1M
RGI Roto-Gro Intl Ltd 0.071 -8 -47 $16.8M
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.052 -9 247 $29.1M
EVE EVE Investments Ltd 0.01 -9 100 $42.3M
ECS ECS Botanics Holding 0.048 -9 -4 $19.0M
AC8 Auscann Grp Hlgs Ltd 0.19 -10 3 $66.6M
EXL Elixinol Global 0.215 -10 -63 $57.9M
CAN Cann Group Ltd 0.565 -11 41 $171.4M
CAU Cronos Australia 0.13 -16 -35 $7.5M
APH AP Hemp Ltd 0.31 -18 72 $21.3M
LV1 Live Verdure Ltd 0.18 -22 0 $9.2M
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One of the few to rise yesterday was Althea Group (ASX:AGH) which announced another capital raising.

It told shareholders yesterday pending the TGA down-scheduling it would be prioritising Australian CBD products that could meet the TGA’s requirements.

Also commenting was THC Global (ASX:THC), whose shares fell five per cent yesterday.

“With one of the world’s largest cannabis extraction facilities, THC Global is well-positioned to take advantage of this move towards over-the-counter CBD medicines sales with the capacity to commence high volume production in the near term,” it said.

THC also said that the decision to increase the maximum recommended daily dosage would result in better potential patient outcomes.