Weed Week: Oz cannabis revenue expected to double in 2021 as patients soar
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Australia’s medical marijuana industry is showing strong growth, according to an industry-leading biannual report.
The Freshleaf Analytics report, released this morning, says that patient numbers have grown 15-fold over the past two and a half years, and there’s been a significant increase in authorised subscribers after a long period of stagnation. There are now 179 physicians authorised to prescribe medical cannabis, up from under 50 from 2017 through early 2020.
Medicinal cannabis revenue is expected to more than double this year, from around $100 million last year, with year-to-date sales already exceeding 2019’s full-year revenue.
“There’s good news for patients too, with the price of medicine continuing to fall,” says FreshLeaf managing director Cassandra Hunt.
“Price drops can be observed across almost all product formulations,” the report says.
But the illegal market is still more than 10 times larger than the legal market, says Tim Drury, chief executive of Southern Cannabis Holdings.
“We still have a long way to go before we can consider that Australia has the right ecosystem for helping patients.”
Those patient numbers are up significantly, though, from only 3,000 in the third quarter of 2018 to 45,000 at the close of the first quarter 2021. Freshleaf estimates they’ll hit 75,000 by the end of the year.
There are more than 190 different cannabis products that Australian physicians can prescribe, including new chewable tablets.
That’s good news for ASX cannabis companies, which have had a tough fortnight.
Of the 37 companies in the space, just nine had gained ground and 22 had lost it. The other six were flat.
The biggest gainer was IDT Australia (ASX:IDT), which was up 140 per cent to 44.5c in period from March 17 to March 31.
The huge gains have come after the pharmaceutical manufacturer issued a brief announcement on March 19 saying that the Department of Health had asked IDT to assess its ability to make a coronavirus vaccine.
Dotz Nano (ASX:DTZ) was up 30.8 per cent for the fortnight, to 34c, after obtaining CE Mark authorisation for its saliva-based coronavirus test.
Neurotech International (ASX:NTI) had the third-best fortnight, advancing 15.2 per cent to 7.6c.
|Code||Name||Price||2W % Ret||YTD % return||1Y % Ret||Market Cap|
|CGB||Cann Global Limited||0.8||0.0||14.3||14.3||$41,114,042|
|ECS||ECS Botanics Holding||4.9||-7.5||25.6||96.0||$23,058,851|
|LGP||Little Green Pharma||70||2.2||23.9||133.3||$93,267,938|
|MMJ||MMJ Group Hlds||11.5||0.0||-8.0||51.3||$145,885,799|
|MRG||Murray River Grp||26.5||-8.6||-47.0||-55.8||$13,013,967|
|WOA||Wide Open Agricultur||69.5||-12.0||-21.9||456.0||$64,416,320|