• The cost of medicinal cannabis in Australia is expensive but is gradually falling
  • Domestic cultivation has increased recently, and there is a race to become the world’s supplier of medicinal cannabis
  • We take a look at the best and worst ASX weed stock performers over the past week

 

Medicinal cannabis is becoming more affordable in Australia, despite it not being subsidised by the Commonwealth Government through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

According to a study from Levin Health, patients currently pay anywhere between $50 and $100 per week for cannabis medication, depending on the patient’s condition.

This entire cost has to come from the patient’s pocket, but the good news is that prices could soon fall as Australian companies begin to ramp up local weed cultivation and production.

Levin says Australia is in the midst of a year-on-year growth in locally cultivated and manufactured medicinal cannabis products.

There are currently 66 cultivation licences and 57 manufacturing licences awarded in the country, employing around 1300 people.

Despite being the world’s second largest medical cannabis market, we have so far largely imported cannabis products (around 90%) from overseas.

But with domestic cultivation on the rise, we are now slowly stealing market share away from countries like Canada.

Overseas imports are expected to gradually be pushed to the side, making way for a 50/50 split between imported and locally-grown products.

The cost savings from producing our own cannabis are already being passed onto Australian patients.

According to Levin, the average price per mg dropped 12% between March and September 2022, with the downward price trend expected to continue.

 

World’s supplier of weed

The competition to become the world’s supplier of medicinal cannabis is indeed hotting up.

Last week, Sydney-based stock trader Rob Keldoulis paid $3 million for a 44ha turnkey marijuana farm south of Launceston, Tasmania.

The farm was purchased from ASX-listed hemp company, ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS), as a fully operational cannabis production enterprise.

The marijuana farm is certified organic, and is licensed to produce 2.5 tonnes of medicinal cannabis a year.

ASX-listed Cann Group (ASX:CAN) is another company that has grand plans to scale up local production.

The company has just secured $8.18 million from shareholders in its latest capital raise, with plans to expand its GMP manufacturing at Mildura.

Cann’s sprawling Mildura facility was refurbished from a fruit juice factory, and is said to be the first of its kind in Australia.

The facility has the capacity to grow up to 70,000kg of dried cannabis flowers which will be used to produce capsules and oils.

 

ASX weed stocks

Code Company Price % Year % Six Month % Month % Week Market Cap
LV1 Live Verdure Ltd 25.00 -41.86 19.05 66.67 31.58 $15,099,415
IRX Inhalerx Limited 6.60 -26.67 -12.00 11.86 22.22 $12,359,619
WFL Wellfully Limited 1.70 -78.75 -69.09 -22.73 21.43 $6,494,974
AVE Avecho Biotech Ltd 0.80 -46.67 -52.94 -20.00 14.29 $14,702,955
CPH Creso Pharma Ltd 2.05 -77.22 -59.80 -26.79 13.89 $38,555,205
LGP Little Green Pharma 18.50 -69.92 -43.08 -9.76 5.71 $46,965,739
CAU Cronos Australia 64.50 214.63 134.55 -25.00 4.03 $366,191,662
ALA Arovella Therapeutic 2.60 -27.78 -21.21 0.00 4.00 $18,160,315
AGH Althea Group 6.60 -72.50 -37.14 0.00 0.76 $22,990,901
BOD BOD Australia 15.00 -33.90 38.20 57.89 0.00 $26,030,654
AC8 Auscann Grp Hlgs Ltd 4.00 -50.62 -16.67 0.00 0.00 $17,621,884
CGB Cann Global Limited 2.10 -58.00 -10.64 0.00 0.00 $5,436,345
CTV Colortv Limited 0.80 -84.00 -11.11 0.00 0.00 $1,236,985
EVE EVE Health Group Ltd 0.10 -70.00 -33.33 0.00 0.00 $5,274,483
HGV Hygrovest Limited 7.00 7.69 9.38 0.00 0.00 $16,096,779
MRG Murray River Grp 24.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $10,808,210
RGI Roto-Gro Intl Ltd 22.00 -47.62 0.00 0.00 0.00 $4,333,920
SCU Stemcell United Ltd 1.32 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $14,995,837
TSN The Sust Nutri Grp 14.00 -37.78 0.00 0.00 0.00 $16,884,894
DTZ Dotz Nano Ltd 26.00 -35.00 -20.00 -7.14 0.00 $117,107,727
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics 100.00 -84.12 -13.79 -12.28 0.00 $9,194,031
ECS ECS Botanics Holding 2.00 -37.50 5.26 -13.04 0.00 $23,241,344
ROO Roots Sustainable 0.20 -75.00 -50.00 -33.33 0.00 $2,056,265
BOT Botanix Pharma Ltd 6.00 11.11 -17.81 -4.76 -1.64 $70,794,319
EMD Emyria Limited 19.00 -47.95 -26.92 -2.56 -2.56 $53,804,623
IDT IDT Australia Ltd 8.70 -82.42 -37.86 -13.00 -3.33 $20,968,896
EPN Epsilon Healthcare 2.50 -75.00 -26.47 -24.24 -3.85 $7,508,850
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 1.20 -70.00 -42.86 -7.69 -4.00 $31,524,321
RNO Rhinomed Ltd 11.00 -61.81 -35.29 -8.33 -4.35 $31,429,166
NTI Neurotech Intl 8.20 51.85 26.15 -7.87 -4.65 $63,741,713
CAN Cann Group Ltd 22.00 -22.81 -32.31 -8.33 -6.38 $82,138,422
MDC Medlab Clinical Ltd 720.00 -66.90 -36.00 -28.71 -9.43 $16,441,214
IHL Incannex Healthcare 21.00 -57.58 -43.24 -14.29 -10.64 $304,719,144
WOA Wide Open Agricultur 27.00 -63.76 -60.29 -3.57 -14.29 $34,771,079
EOF Ecofibre Limited 25.50 -58.54 -23.88 15.91 -15.00 $99,526,147
EXL Elixinol Wellness 2.80 -65.85 -26.32 0.00 -17.65 $8,855,436
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Here are the ones with notable news:

Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH)

Creso Pharma has welcomed news of the passing of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act in the US.

The act establishes a new registration process for conducting research on marijuana and for manufacturing marijuana products for research purposes and drug development.

With this new legislation, Creso says it’s ready to leverage its recently acquired US-based business Sierra Sage Herbs LLC and existing recreational cannabis brands at Mernova Medicinal Inc to advance US-focused opportunities.

 

Little Green Pharma (ASX:LGP)

Little Green Pharma secured a Human Research Ethics Approval for its Phase III SleepWell Study.

The results of this clinical trial will support LGP’s proposed Australian Schedule 3 CBD product registration for stress reduction and improved quality of sleep.

Schedule 3 (Pharmacist Only) products can be sold to Australian consumers over-the-counter without prescription.

There are currently no OTC CBD products available in the Australian market.

LGP also announced the expansion of its flower portfolio following the arrival of over 6,500 units of three new LGP-branded high-THC medicinal cannabis flower products into Australia from its Danish facility.

LGP acquired the Danish plant in July 2021, and this shipment represents the first commercialisation of that facility.

Cronos Australia (ASX:CAU)

Cronos says the one millionth unit of its medicinal cannabis to be sold through the company’s CanView marketplace platform has been shipped.

The CanView platform was launched in June 2020 and, in less than two and a half years, has sold increasing numbers of units representing quarterly compound growth of more than 40%.

The company now stocks almost 200 product lines on the CanView platform from nearly 30 leading suppliers.

These products represent the majority of the medicinal cannabis products currently available in Australia.

Emyria (ASX:EMD)

Emyria has been accepted into the NIH HEAL Initiative, a program focused on improving prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction.

The PSPP program, part of the NIH HEAL Initiative, evaluates non-opioid drugs in established preclinical models.

The PSPP program accepts small molecules, biologics, devices, or natural products for evaluation, from researchers in academia and industry worldwide.