Weed week: Who was in the pot seat this week?
Health & Biotech
Link copied to
Since the last Weed Week, which of course is actually fortnightly, we’ve launched our cannabis series, The Pot Seat.
So far we’ve spoken to the head honchos at THC Global (ASX:THC), Althea Group (ASX:AGH) and Botanix (ASX:BOT) and they’ve provided some thought-provoking ideas on everything from synthetics vs whole plant to how fast you can get an operation up and running in Australia.
Over the next few weeks look out for Haim Cohen at eSense Lab (ASX:ESE), Cann Group’s (ASX:CAN) Peter Crock, Richard Hopkins at Zelda (ASX:ZLD), Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC) boss Sean Hall, and Paul Benhaim from Elixinol Global (ASX:EXL).
If you hadn’t realised yet, millennials are pretty keen on cannabis. Stocks, that is.
In a timely reminder in Australia, we don’t actually fully understand what effect marijuana has on the human brain and body. We have the anecdotal evidence — everyone knows it’ll give you the munchies and make you sleepy — but the science on why is still being baked.
North America is the locus for all things weed, and federal legislation moves may be afoot in the US while extraction is the rising industry in Canada.
An Oregon senator has introduced a bill to federally legalise marijuana in states where it’s already legal. It’s not the first bill of this kind though, and faces an uphill battle.
Health Canada has issued 18 new licenses in the last three months and 13 have been for only extraction. The country is finding that now the growers are (kind of) catching up with demand, they don’t have enough processing facilities to cope with the impending edibles legalisation.
Keeping up with the cannabis companies
In possibly the most surprising local news recently, Queensland Bauxite/Cann Global (ASX:CGB) cancelled the big takeover of Medcan — the one they went into a trading halt and changed their business activity and name for.
They’d decided the financial demands of building their own manufacturing facility were too high so canned the deal, and instead signed an MoU with a Sydney manufacturer to make the Canntab and Pharmocann products.
No word on where they will now access any critical cannabis licences. Last year, Cann Global had been claiming Medcan’s slew of licences as their own; although the two companies still have a partnership, Cann Global can clearly no longer make any claims on those licences.
Cann Global has been contacted for comment.
In IPO-land, Emerald Clinics has finally opened their Sydney clinic and raised $2.5m — backed by Canopy Growth, the same company with a large stake in Cann and the largest pot stock in the world.
Emerald initially promised Stockhead a listing at the end of 2018, once they’d opened some clinics, so perhaps this heralds the start of a march to IPO.
Ecofibre however is definitely listing. Backed by millionaire Barry Lambert, they’re mostly US hemp with a side of Australian medical cannabis. Anyone who has watched Elixinol Global’s stratospheric rise on the ASX over the last year will know hemp = money.
The ASX has two new pot stocks as well, but they weren’t IPOs. Struggling potato farmer Croplogic (ASX:CLI) has committed to a US hemp strategy, while WA ethical farmer Wide Open Agriculture (ASX:WOA) says it’s looking at pot.
Bod Australia (ASX:BDA) picked up two ex-Blackmores execs — a coup for an up and coming skincare company, while Zelda wants experts — real experts, not experienced amateurs — to help out with its clinical trials. Althea has signed up another IPO potential, CannVaLate, through which to access doctors and their patients.
Cann is still making almost $0 from sales, according to their latest half year report, and surviving off government grants and that epic cash pile they raised back in 2017.
And finally, while AusCann (ASX:AC8) continues to look for a CEO, it has signed a a deal to buy cannabis resin from Canadian firm MediPharm Labs — not to be confused with Queensland grower Medifarm.
They didn’t say how much, how long, or indeed at what price the deal is for.