Weed week: The cannabis industry is about to go extraterrestrial
Link copied to
The cannabis sector globally is defined in part by its multi-speed regulatory backdrop.
For example, THC products are legalised at the federal level in Canada, but not the US (or Australia).
US lawmakers did pass the Farm bill last December, which made hemp-derived products legal.
And evidently that legal jurisdiction extends into space, with plans underway to send hemp-based plant cells into orbit early next year.
Vice reports that US ag-tech company Front Range Biosciences has partnered with the University of Colorado to grow 480 plant-cell cultures in an incubator designed for space travel.
The incubator will then shoot into space on board a flight commissioned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which is scheduled for a March 2020 journey to resupply the International Space Station.
The aim of the project is to test the effects of a microgravity environment on hemp and coffee cells, to determine their compatibility in space.
After a month, the cells will be returned to earth where Front Range will assess how the cell cultures responded.
It’s not the first time cannabis-based plants or products have been sent into the stratosphere, but there’s no known record of testing over a month-long stint (unless astronauts are better at smuggling joints than we realise).
Back on land, it was another rough week for the cohort of ASX-listed pot stocks as the global cannabis bear market continues.
Of the 35 cannabis or cannabis-adjacent companies tracked by Stockhead, 22 finished in the red. Just five gained ground for the week while six were unchanged.
Among last week’s laggards, hemp-products company Elixinol Global (ASX:EXL) was in the wars after telling the market last Wednesday that it had become aware of a yet-to-be served class-action lawsuit, alleging that its products may be labelled as dietary supplements which “may constitute misleading conduct”.
Elixinol said it believes its products are accurately labelled and it plans to defend itself in any potential legal action.
Even 2019 success story Ecofibre (ASX:EOF), which listed in March and has gained almost 200 per cent this year, was caught up in the selling to fall to its lowest level since July.
Leading the pack was medicinal cannabis company BOD Australia (ASX:BOD), posting a weekly gain of 17 per cent. The increase was accompanied by the release of an investor presentation, but it wasn’t driven by any market-moving news.
Those gains took the stock back above 30c, but it is still well off its 2019 highs of almost 70c reached in July.
Below is Stockhead’s latest summary of weekly and annual price performance for ASX-listed cannabis stocks.
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.