Weed week: here’s all the news driving the cannabis market (including hemp gin)
It’s not yet clear if Australia’s young cannabis industry will be able to compete internationally as a grower or whether it should try to differentiate itself as an innovative cannabis drugs developer.
Global experts gathered at the recent Cannatech conference in Sydney last week reckon we could be a successful exporter of manufactured drugs.
Either way, cannabis companies regard Australian investors as a good source of money.
CannVaLate and Emerald Clinics are the latest cannabis debutantes to have publicly announced an entré onto the ASX.
Local professional investors are hungering for a piece of the pot pie and their desperation for green equity is attracting cash-hungry companies from Canada, the US, and — we have it on good authority — Africa.
The fact that cannabis is now catnip to investors is even peeving off people in the resources sector who don’t like playing second fiddle for investment dollars.
While it may be unclear how Aussie pot stocks will make it big, unlisted The Cannabis Company is on the right track: they’re making hemp gin and are promising to deliver for Christmas.
They’re also the first company in Australia that we’ve heard of tapping into a potential billion-dollar cannabis cocktail market.
Meanwhile Aussie regulators at the Office of Drug Control reckon they’re finally getting their house in order after Cabinet approved more money to deal with a swarm of would-be marijuana start-ups.
And the Therapeutic Goods Administration also says they’re getting on top of things by approving 1563 medical cannabis applications by October 12.
However, this number doesn’t reflect the number of people actually using medical cannabis products. If you have a story about trying, failing, or succeeding in having scripts approved, and importantly re-approved, let us know.
In overseas news, Thailand may legalise medical cannabis as soon as Friday, the UK did it on November 1, and Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri and Utah are all voting on moving closer to some kind of legalisation — only 19 of the 50 states have total bans on cannabis now.
This comes as Japan and South Korea threaten to throw the full force of the law against their citizens if they use cannabis in Canada — or anywhere else that it’s legal.
And finally, major Canadian cannabis companies and the federal regulator are denying allegations about ties to the Mafia.
The corporate playground
Aussie pot stocks banked $2.9m last quarter. If you include Elixinol (ASX:EXL), they made $12.7m.
Aurora’s chief commercial officer Cam Battley let the cat out of the bag on Cann’s (ASX:CAN) new airport facility — he told Stockhead they’re going with Aurora’s controversial glass-roofed model.
THC Global (ASX:THC) has sold its first product to its first patient in Australia and Stemcell United (ASX:SCU) is unapologetic about its negative cash flows, because they’ve just spent $760,000 on a Chinese hemp company — yes, industrial hemp is legal there.
Interestingly, THC’s chairman has ties to Yunnan hemp but as yet these have come to nothing after the company’s traumatic shift in strategy last summer.
Althea (ASX:AGH) became the latest company to receive a licence, receiving a nod for manufacturing, while Elixinol’s chief Paul Benhaim owns 13 per cent less of the company he founded after feeding institutional investors’ cannabis cravings.
Zelda (ASX:ZLD) directors are faithfully promising not to sell shares coming out of escrow for a year — unless they find a big investor who wants them. Is there someone they’re already flirting with, we wonder?
They aren’t offering to put those shares into voluntary escrow, which is about the greatest commitment a director can make.
Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC) has a happy sophisticated in its ranks after Farjoy lifted its stake a percentage point to 11.53 per cent.
Farjoy is a private investor with fingers in 18 different small-to-large cap companies including earbuds maker Nuheara (ASX:NUH), Battery Minerals (ASX:BAT) and oil company Far (ASX:FAR).