Weed Week: US looks at ways to help cannabis players get banking access
Taking the cannabis market to the next level, the US is now taking a closer look at the industry’s lack of access to financial services.
Forbes reported on Tuesday that a Republican-controlled Senate committee had scheduled a hearing for next week that would look in more detail at the situation.
The key concern is that if cannabis retailers can only accept cash, it makes them a prime target for robberies and poses a risk to people frequenting the businesses.
Support for legislation to resolve the dilemma is growing.
According to Forbes, a cannabis banking bill that cleared the Financial Services Committee in March now has 206 cosponsors — nearly half the Senate — while companion Senate legislation has 32 out of 100 senators signed on.
And the banks also want action. With 50 state banking associations, the National Association of State Treasurers, the top financial regulators of 25 states, a majority of state attorneys general and bipartisan governors of 20 states all backing the bill.
Meanwhile, for those who find themselves unable to break that marijuana habit, Australian researchers have found that a THC- and CBD-laced mouth spray could be the answer.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia – more frequently used than ecstasy and cocaine.
Over 56 per cent of ASX-listed cannabis companies have made gains of between 1 and 54 per cent in the past week.
Here’s a table of ASX-listed stocks with exposure to cannabis:
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.
Elixinol Global’s (ASX:EXL) wholly owned subsidiary, Nunyara Pharma, has been granted a licence to manufacture medicinal cannabis for extracts and tinctures of cannabis and cannabis resin by the Australian Office of Drug Control.
The company is now just waiting on its Medicinal Cannabis Licence, which will allow it to cultivate and produce cannabis for medicinal purposes.
The Annual US Drugstore State of the Industry Report (2019-2020) revealed that breathing medtech company Rhinomed’s (ASX:RNO) Mute product was the fastest growing product in the nasal strip category in US Drugstores.
Columbia Care has partnered with Rhinomed to adapt the anti-snoring nose stent so it can deliver a slow-release dose of cannabis for, initially, sleep apnoea, pain control and PTSD.
The report said Mute led the category with 56 per cent growth in dollar terms from US based drug stores and 57 per cent growth in unit sales.
Rhinomed also received a CE Mark from the European Authority for its Pronto rechargeable, dual action, vapour release technology.
The company can now sell its Pronto range in Europe.
Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT) reported new data this week that shows a new drug candidate from its cannabidiol (CBD) antimicrobial platform is effective in fighting hypervirulent strains of the bacteria Clostridium difficile.
Clostridium difficile is the most commonly acquired hospital infection worldwide and is responsible for over 30,000 deaths each year in the US alone.
Roto-Gro International (ASX:RGI) has a new CFO – Melanie Leydin, who has over 25 years of accounting experience and over 18 years of experience as a company secretary for ASX-listed companies.
Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) received a price query from the ASX over a nearly 46 per cent jump in its share price last Wednesday. In the past week it has gained 36 per cent and is trading around 7.4c.
The company suggested it could be because of earlier news that it had been given the go-ahead to test medical marijuana as a way to reduce opioid use among people with chronic non-cancer pain.
The trial is being done at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.
Impression Healthcare (ASX:IHL) also received a price query after its shares jumped from 4.2c to 7.3c on Monday this week. In the past week the stock has spiked 54 per cent.
The company couldn’t give a reason for the spike, but pointed to several recent announcements and the fact it has a bunch of listed options on issue that are currently “in the money”, providing a non-dilutionary path to a potential further $10.52m in funding based on Impressions existing capital structure.
Impression noted that other ASX-listed companies with comparable projects in the medicinal cannabis space had also experienced “material share price appreciation” over
the past month.
The company also announced it had expanded its exclusive licensing agreement with Force Impact Technologies for its FiTGuard concussion monitoring system.
The FitGuard is a “smart” mouthguard that measures cranial acceleration, providing a platform for player treatment for concussion potentially with synthetic CBD.
The licence has been expanded to include China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, among others.
CropLogic (ASX:CLI) has finished planting at its 500 acre CBD producing hemp trial farm.
“The first three days and then the first three weeks are critical times in any cropping operations as this is the time that determines whether plants will ‘take’,” CEO James Cooper-Jones said.
“Considering this, it is also encouraging to see the first plantings are ‘taking’ well and showing good growth.”
EVE Investments (ASX:EVE) has raised $750,000 from a placement done at 0.5c. The company plans to use the cash to build out the Meluka Honey product inventory.
BOD Australia (ASX:BDA) is in a trading halt pending news of a “potential material strategic partnership”. It expects to announce the news by Friday this week.
Stemcell United (ASX:SCU) has signed a memorandum of understanding for a research collaboration with the University of Malaya in Malaysia.
“We hope that through this collaboration we will be able to advance SCU’s traditional medicine research in plants such as hemp, dendrobium officinale and Daemonorops Draco Blume, and share the knowledge so as to benefit the wider public,” CEO Philip Gu said.
MGC Pharma (ASX:MXC) reported a substantial increase in sales during the quarter, rapidly advancing commercial activity through a series of distribution agreements as well as ramping up its research and development.
The company banked $763,000 in revenue during the quarter, with pharmaceutical product purchase orders received in the first month of operation totalling $300,000, equivalent to more than 1,000 prescriptions.
It brings the total revenue for the year to just shy of $1.7m. At the end of the March quarter, that figure for nine months was sitting at only $882,000.