With just two weeks remaining in 2023, the NCV Global Cannabis Stock Index shows a drop of -18% for the year, compared to the +24% gain in the benchmark stock index (the S&P 500).


Source: New Cannabis Ventures


Despite the seemingly sluggish performance, cannabis stocks have actually done much better in 2023 compared to the horrible 2022 when the index fell more than -70%.

Experts now believe that the case for investing in cannabis stocks is the strongest it’s ever been.

The next catalyst on investors’ radar is the potential reclassification of marijuana in the US in 2024.

Hopes are high following a request made in August by the US Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) to the  Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to consider easing restrictions on marijuana to a Schedule III drug.

Read more here: Growing excitement for cannabis stocks after marijuana rescheduling hopes in the US

If the DEA accepts HHS’s rescheduling recommendation, it could ease marijuana access and spur an industry hemmed in by US federal regulations, even as restrictions have begun to ease at state level.

A former FDA official, Howard Sklamberg, predicts the DEA would follow through with the request, reasoning that the DEA has to rely on the HHS for scientific and medical information, which strongly influences scheduling.

“I would be really shocked if it took the DEA longer than the second quarter of next year to come up with its final rule,” Sklamberg said.

“Even when I was at the FDA, we knew that important regulations that you wanted to get done in an election year, you want to get done by the summer before.”

From a valuation perspective however, some experts believe the valuation of cannabis stocks has now largely diverged away from fundamentals.

“The fundamentals don’t matter much at all, unfortunately,” Dan Ahrens of Advisorshares Investments told Bloomberg.

“They will again, but right now these companies and their stock prices are extremely tied to federal reform.”


Australia produces ever more weed

Meanwhile, according to new data published by the  Office of Drug Control (ODC), Australian medicinal cannabis companies produced 24,900kg of cannabis in 2022, up from 16,700kg in 2021.

Of the 24,900kg produced, 1,510kg were shipped out of Australia last year, with 935kg ending up in Germany.

The United Kingdom was our second biggest export market with 407kg sold, followed by New Zealand (167kg) and France (1kg).

This is the first time ever that the ODC is publishing such data to the public, and data for 2023 will not be available until the third quarter of 2024.



To ASX Weed Stocks ….

Here’s how the ASX weed stocks have performed, sorted by winners over the past month.

Code Company Price % Week % Month % 6-Month % Year Market Cap
IDT IDT Australia 0.105 10.53 23.53 66.67 26.51 $36,905,344
ALA Arovella Therapeutic 0.11 15.79 19.57 111.54 340.00 $99,994,426
EXL Elixinol Wellness 0.013 0.00 8.33 0.00 -44.68 $8,227,331
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.059 3.51 7.27 55.26 -15.71 $48,747,022
LGP Little Green Pharma 0.135 0.00 3.85 -18.18 -20.59 $39,012,121
DTZ Dotz Nano 0.145 0.00 3.57 -39.58 -44.23 $69,374,459
ME1 Melodiol Glb Health 0.002 0.00 0.00 -71.43 -90.00 $4,728,824
AC8 Auscann Grp Hlgs 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $17,621,884
MDC Medlab Clinical 6.6 0.00 0.00 0.00 -4.35 $15,071,113
EVE EVE Health Group 0.001 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $5,274,483
CGB Cann Global 0.021 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $5,614,845
BOT Botanix Pharma 0.1575 12.50 -1.56 43.18 181.25 $247,543,143
WOA Wide Open Agricultur 0.16 -5.88 -3.03 -50.77 -27.27 $28,067,747
HGV Hygrovest 0.05 -1.96 -3.85 -1.96 -28.57 $10,515,530
EPN Epsilon Healthcare 0.024 -11.11 -4.00 20.00 -4.00 $7,208,496
ECS ECS Botanics Holding 0.022 0.00 -4.35 10.00 10.00 $24,348,075
CAN Cann Group 0.105 0.00 -4.55 -16.00 -49.60 $43,298,510
AGH Althea Group 0.038 5.56 -5.00 -13.64 -39.68 $15,445,714
LV1 Live Verdure 0.345 9.52 -6.76 228.57 50.00 $38,707,812
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics 0.9 -3.23 -8.16 -40.79 -16.67 $10,439,383
AVE Avecho Biotech 0.0035 16.67 -12.50 -30.00 -65.00 $12,677,188
BOD BOD Science 0.024 0.00 -14.29 -50.00 -84.00 $4,256,124
VIT Vitura Health 0.265 -2.75 -15.87 -32.05 -55.83 $152,606,554
EOF Ecofibre 0.12 14.29 -22.58 -42.86 -52.94 $45,384,868
WFL Wellfully 0.003 -25.00 -25.00 -50.00 -80.00 $1,478,832
BP8 Bph Global 0.0015 -25.00 -25.00 -25.00 -88.61 $2,753,345
IRX Inhalerx 0.029 -3.33 -25.64 -35.56 -50.00 $5,503,242
EMD Emyria 0.052 -7.14 -27.78 -58.09 -70.90 $19,064,729
WNX Wellnex Life 0.026 -35.07 -35.07 -35.07 -44.50 $24,364,116
RNO Rhinomed 0.019 -36.67 -36.67 -72.86 -82.73 $5,714,394
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 0.45 -11.76 -52.38 -92.50 -95.91 $17,880,899
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IDT Australia (ASX:IDT)

IDT says it has had a strong start to FY24, with the fifth consecutive rise in unaudited revenue in Q1 FY24.

Quarterly unaudited revenue jumped ~300% on pcp to $3m in the September quarter. All of its three business segments posted growth in the period vs pcp.

That momentum has now accelerated into Q2, as the company won three new contracts in October and November alone worth $6.9m.

IDT says the company has an opportunity to capture a slice of the huge market in the medicinal cannabis and psychedelics.

The total global addressable market (TAM) for these products is forecast to hit US$64b by 2026, it says.


Neurotech (ASX:NTI)

Neurotech  has completed recruitment for its Phase 2/3 NTIASD2 clinical trial with a total of 56 patients enrolled, all with level 2 (requiring substantial support) or level 3 (requiring very substantial support) autism.

NTI says all patients were enrolled at the Paediatric Neurology Unit at Monash Medical Centre through the trial’s principal investigator Professor Michael Fahey, who is head of the unit and director of neurogenetics.

The trial covers treatment of NTI’s proprietary lead drug formulation NTI164, derived from a unique cannabis strain with low THC and a novel combination of cannabinoids, including CBDA, CBC, CBDP, CBDB and CBN.


Little Green Pharma (ASX:LGP)

Little Green Pharma (ASX:LGP) believes it is poised to significantly capitalise on a major amendment to the French health security bill.

The bill relates to new laws governing a two-stage post-French Pilot medicinal cannabis supply in France, as the country moves to integrate medicinal cannabis into its healthcare system.

The first stage will be a nine-month transitional period covered by a €10m budget, during which LGP and two other suppliers have an exclusive right to supply medicinal cannabis oil.

The second stage is a bespoke, subsidised public access regime for medicinal cannabis products meeting certain product registration requirements.

LGP says this legislation could pave the way for a substantial transformation in how medicinal cannabis is integrated into the French healthcare system.

France is one of the largest potential medicinal cannabis markets in Europe, with a Total Addressable Market of €5.6 billion.