Canadians rolled some big… notes last year after handing over $C1 billion ($1.5 billion) or $C24 a person for legal cannabis.

Ontario topped the lot, shelling out $C217m on recreational cannabis in the year to September 2019.

Regulators in the province are keen to keep on adding to their coffers, announcing they’ll make it easier to buy weed in more retail stores.

Last year Canada became the second nation to legalise the sale of non-medical marijuana.

Uruguay beat Canada to the punch five years ago, making buying recreational weed legal in 2014 after the high-profile arrest of elderly author Alicia Castilla in 2011 prompted reform.

Though the first sales of legal weed in Uruguay took a few years to organise, starting in 2017.

 

Opiates still popular with PAL

Cannabis licence holder Palla Pharma (ASK:PAL) led small cap cannabis stock gains on the ASX after signalling it’ll say see-ya later to a partner in a move that’ll put $3m bucks back in its pocket for opiate production.

The $130m poppy-to-pill opiates specialist will stop manufacturing certain drugs for contract organisation Karo Pharma in Norway in February 2020, exiting the unprofitable deal four months early.

Cannabis project holder Palla said nuh-uh on a cannabis operation earlier this year and is opting to focus on money-spinning legal opiates.

Now it can get to work making more opiates which have better margins than the old meds, using a no-longer-needed $3m stash from the June half-year budget.

Palla chief executive officer Jarrod Ritchie said the latest change was consistent with the company’s longer term strategy.

Shareholders were happy, rewarding the old TPI Enterprises with a 23 per cent weekly gain last week that closed its share price at $1.06. It ended Wednesday at $1.03.

Palla’s not totally breaking up with its pal though. It’ll keep making codeine phosphate (COP) tabs for Karo while it fills a big order for a Euro mate — a 10-tonne COP order due by December 2020.

 

Small cap spotlight

Nine other cannabis players added to ticket values last week, including bigger shufflers Elixinol Global (ASX:EXL) and Impression Healthcare (ASX:IHL). Nine more held onto values while 15 others fell down a little or a lot.

Hemp-derived CBD dietary supplements seller Elixinol flexed its muscles for a 21 per cent power-up to 73c last week, but powered down to close at 70c on Wednesday after chief innovative officer Paul Benham quit his executive role following a $2.2m profit hit.

The company co-founder left immediately but he’ll stay on the board, promising not to sell off too many shares.

Impression Healthcare gained a smaller 10 per cent to 6.3c following a patent filing for a sleep apnoea drug earlier this month that might help snorers enjoy blissful sleep without pesky face masks.

Here’s Stockhead’s latest summary of weekly and annual price performance for ASX-listed cannabis stocks:

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort:

Code Name Price Dec 18 1-Year % Return 1-Week % Return Market Cap
PAL PALLA PHARMA 1.06 -6 23 $129.7M
EXL ELIXINOL GLOBAL 0.73 -67 21 $96.5M
IHL IMPRESSION HEALTHCARE 0.063 247 10 $46.7M
APH AUSTRALIAN PRIMARY HEMP 0.185 3 9 $12.5M
CAN CANN GROUP 0.41 -79 8 $59.6M
AGH ALTHEA GROUP HOLDINGS 0.36 92 7 $80.5M
DTZ DOTZ NANO 0.054 -25 6 $15.3M
MDC MEDLAB CLINICAL 0.33 -18 3 $70.0M
ECS ECS BOTANICS HOLDINGS 0.046 -54 2 $25.4M
BOT BOTANIX PHARMACEUTICALS 0.091 28 2 $87.5M
IDT IDT AUSTRALIA 0.13 -7 0 $30.8M
AC8 AUSCANN GROUP HOLDINGS 0.19 -70 0 $55.5M
ZLD ZELIRA THERAPEUTICS 0.057 50 0 $41.7M
CLI CROPLOGIC 0.031 121 0 $12.9M
CP1 CANNPAL ANIMAL THERAPEUTICS 0.11 -15 0 $9.8M
EN1 ENGAGE:BDR 0.023 -27 0 $14.1M
CAU CRONOS AUSTRALIA 0.2 0 $26.4M
LSH LIFESPOT HEALTH 0.035 -48 0 $2.7M
MRG MURRAY RIVER ORGANICS GROUP 0.05 -38 0 $21.7M
SUD SUDA PHARMACEUTICALS 0.064 -55 -2 $9.1M
RNO RHINOMED 0.19 -7 -3 $32.1M
THC THC GLOBAL GROUP 0.385 -10 -3 $51.5M
BDA BOD AUSTRALIA 0.34 -27 -3 $30.1M
RGI ROTO-GRO INTERNATIONAL 0.14 -60 -4 $17.5M
EOF ECOFIBRE 2.57 157 -5 $809.4M
MXC MGC PHARMACEUTICALS 0.032 -21 -6 $42.4M
MMJ MMJ GROUP HOLDINGS 0.15 -41 -6 $33.7M
WOA WIDE OPEN AGRICULTURE 0.135 17 -7 $10.2M
ROO ROOTS SUSTAINABLE AGRICU-CDI 0.029 -73 -7 $3.3M
CPH CRESO PHARMA 0.115 -68 -8 $20.0M
EVE EVE INVESTMENTS 0.005 -17 -9 $15.2M
ESE ESENSE-LAB 0.01 -67 -9 $1.9M
SCU STEMCELL UNITED 0.012 -43 -14 $9.0M
YPB YPB GROUP 0.005 -69 -20 $8.5M