Weed Week: Has pot *really* gone from Pineapple Express to luxury status symbol?
Last week it was Kim Kardashian’s CBD baby shower, now it’s “luxury cannabis”.
The ‘Hermes of pot’ sells a rose-gold vaporizer and say people want their marijuana and a status symbol.
The North American industry has been at pains to paint itself as for the upper-middle class and the wealthy and not the “reefer rejects” of 90s stoner movies.
But one study from cannabis researcher Brightfield Group says those broke stoners are still the main buyers of legal weed, making up 48 per cent of buyers.
Pot growers Cann Group (ASX:CAN) and Althea (ASX:AGH) are both aiming to have super high tech, automated greenhouses built next year, but will they be able to compete with this?
It’s Israeli of course (Israel is second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to tech startups and leads the world on marijuana research). A startup there wants to build this no-humans-required pot growing shed:
If you’re already weeping into your bong over Australia’s cannabis industry, here’s something else to make you cry. In New Zealand, not only can people who ‘worked’ in the industry while it was still illegal work in it now, but they can legally commercialise the varieties they grew for the illicit market.
In Australia, if you’ve had a whiff of pot about you or a conviction in the past five years, you’re not allowed to work for a licensed company.
And finally, Amsterdam is looking at banning Brits from their coffee shops after Brexit.
To add insult to injury, “the EU is considering placing portable urinals alongside passport queues so that Brits can be drug tested on entry and exit.”
… we kid, that was a bit of April tomfoolery from the Dutch.
Ecofibre (ASX:EOF) is likely to be the first profitable pure pot stock on the ASX, ever.
Of the 31 pot stocks we watch on the ASX, 13 have business arms entirely in cannabis — they’re highlighted in the table below.
Elixinol (ASX:EXL) is still the biggest money maker, but fellow US hemp grower Ecofibre closely follows. It reported $9.3m of receipts for the March quarter, and predicted a small full year profit.
After Elixinol chose to prioritise marketing spending over attaining the profitability milestone, the title is still up for grabs and it could be taken by the ASX’s newest pot stock.
THC Global (ASX:THC) is the third biggest money maker among ASX pure pot stocks. It hasnn’t released a quarterly yet but was bragging yesterday of making just under $1m from their equipment sales business, up 22 per cent on the prior quarter.
The subsidiary Crystal Mountain in Canada is the only revenue arm of THC so far, but it’s proving the theory that selling picks and shovels to the miners is a solid bet.
And where MGC (ASX:MXC) is trying to start selling its hemp CBD products in China, THC is looking to move into Asia via an initial medical cannabis partnership in Malaysia.
Cann has about 10 per cent of its stock coming out of escrow in two and a half weeks, but the boss swears the top dogs will not be selling.
It took a couple of months but we did tie CEO Peter Crock down for a face-to-face on Cann in early April. Basically, it has a plan and outwardly says it doesn’t care what its competitors are doing.
In spite of that hiccup with the Melbourne Airport site, it’s so organised it’s still on track to have a large scale site built next year.
Who said beer+marijuana+Australia doesn’t mix? OK, we did in March, but Elixinol has found a way to make all three work.
They’ve brought ex-Asahi and Fosters exec Greg Ellery onto the board. He’s also had a seat at the table at the Melbourne Racing Club.
Between May last year and March, 511 people were prescribed Althea (ASX:AGH) products. The company took $182,801 in receipts in the March quarter, but didn’t say how many people that was for.
Counting medical cannabis prescriptions in Australia is difficult because separate scripts are, obviously, issued for different products, and people drop off for reasons such as death and the expense.
If there is a pot stock forging its own path, it’s Zelda (ASX:ZLD). It’s leading the pack in Australia in the unregistered-but-clinically-trialled cannabis drug market and is so focused on that road CEO Richard Hopkins even said registering marijuana drugs was a “luxury”.
* Table doesn’t include Cann Global (ASX:CGB), aka Queensland Bauxite, as it’s been suspended since July last year.
** Companies in italics are pure pot stocks.