Recent data is indicative of some positive post-COVID trends in Australia’s medicinal cannabis sector.

Of course, with any sustained period of enforced confinement one can cue up jokes about potheads taking advantage of the situation to smoke record amounts of weed.

But real data provided this month by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) showed Australia’s regulator approved another 5,564 medicinal cannabis applications in July.

That’s up from 3,378 in April, and follows on from new monthly highs in the Australian market for May (4,133) and June (4,630).

Along with steady growth in the medicinal space, a study on COVID-19 drug use patterns (led by the University of NSW) showed that since restrictions were enforced in March, respondents named cannabis as their second most commonly used drug (behind alcohol).

And as a general drug of choice, 41 per cent named cannabis as their preferred option. That left it with a comfortable lead over the second most popular choice, MDMA, which picked up 13 per cent of the vote.

The survey was carried out among 702 eligible participants between April 29 and June 15 (those surveyed identified as people who took illicit drugs at least once a month).

Turning to the market, and the cohort of 34 cannabis (and cannabis adjacent) ASX small caps posted one of their best fortnights in recent memory over the last two weeks.

For the first time in a long time, the winners tipped the scales in their favour as 19 stocks traded in the green (so to speak), with just 12 in the red while three others traded flat.

Below is a summary of fortnightly and annual price performance for ASX-listed cannabis stocks:

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

Code Name Price ($) 2W Tot Ret 1Y Tot Ret Market Cap
WOA WIDE OPEN AGRICULTURE LTD 1.36 234% 1104% $ 125,490,696
EVE EVE INVESTMENTS LTD 0.011 67% 150% $ 37,262,252
ECS ECS BOTANICS HOLDINGS LTD 0.023 44% -59% $ 14,088,796
CPH CRESO PHARMA LTD 0.041 35% -90% $ 15,388,018
MXC MGC PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.026 18% -48% $ 42,416,840
MDC MEDLAB CLINICAL LTD 0.17 18% -64% $ 46,146,484
RGI ROTO-GRO INTERNATIONAL LTD 0.054 17% -68% $ 8,168,718
AGH ALTHEA GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.375 16% -55% $ 86,324,704
ROO ROOTS SUSTAINABLE AGRICU-CDI 0.023 15% -54% $ 3,713,437
EOF ECOFIBRE LTD 2.79 15% -4% $ 916,973,568
IDT IDT AUSTRALIA LTD 0.18 13% 29% $ 43,076,344
RNO RHINOMED LTD 0.084 12% -72% $ 21,319,968
SUD SUDA PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.048 12% -50% $ 14,680,654
CAU CRONOS AUSTRALIA LTD 0.09 10% N/A $ 11,072,500
SCU STEMCELL UNITED LTD 0.013 8% -19% $ 8,340,909
CAN CANN GROUP LTD 0.49 8% -73% $ 95,645,336
BOT BOTANIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.053 6% -75% $ 52,525,696
AC8 AUSCANN GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.15 3% -59% $ 47,557,104
PAL PALLA PHARMA LTD 0.895 2% -20% $ 112,723,440
YPB YPB GROUP LTD 0.004 0% -20% $ 10,663,291
EXL ELIXINOL GLOBAL LTD 0.165 0% -92% $ 31,818,116
BDA BOD AUSTRALIA LTD 0.28 0% -45% $ 25,126,602
MMJ MMJ GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.095 -2% -61% $ 21,845,628
DTZ DOTZ NANO LTD 0.19 -3% 236% $ 58,298,048
ESE ESENSE-LAB LTD-CDI 0.018 -5% -31% $ 9,180,684
EN1 ENGAGE:BDR LTD 0.007 -6% -77% $ 11,684,874
THC THC GLOBAL GROUP LTD 0.255 -7% -41% $ 44,152,908
IHL INCANNEX HEALTHCARE LTD 0.064 -8% -25% $ 46,876,668
MRG MURRAY RIVER ORGANICS GROUP 0.013 -8% -70% $ 26,468,888
ZLD ZELIRA THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.054 -8% -18% $ 61,683,444
LSH LIFESPOT HEALTH LTD 0.036 -10% -47% $ 3,516,246
APH AUSTRALIAN PRIMARY HEMP LTD 0.14 -13% -36% $ 9,765,719
CP1 CANNPAL ANIMAL THERAPEUTICS 0.115 -18% -32% $ 10,709,375
LGP LITTLE GREEN PHARMA 0.315 -6% -30% $ 25,300,000

 

The strong price action for ASX cannabis stocks was further reflected by the fact 14 companies posted a two-week return of more than 10 per cent.

But those gains were comfortably outshone by WA farming company Wide Open Agriculture (ASX:WOA), which jumped by over 200 per cent and is now up more than 1,000 per cent since March.

The regenerative farming company is on our cannabis list because it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the WA government last year to conduct the state’s largest industrial hemp trial.

However, momentum in recent weeks has been driven by developments around a protein-extract project in conjunction with the CSIRO.

On August 10 the company announced it had secured 200kg of lupin (a type of legume), which will be shipped to the CSIRO in August. The CSIRO will then extract a “food-grade, commercial quantity of lupin protein” that will be used in testing for a range of plant-based food products.

The selection of lupin marks step one of a five-stage project laid about by Wide Open Agriculture on August 12, to create a scalable production solution for the plant-based food market.

Investors sent the stock more than 200 per cent higher over the last two weeks to $1.30 — up from 14c at the start of May.