Weed Week: Will Australia fear to tread where NZ steps with cannabis legalisation?
The New Zealand government has drawn the outline of the kind of recreational marijuana use it wants to see, including an age limit of 20 and regulation on how potent legal cannabis products will be allowed to be.
Interestingly, it includes a focus on making cannabis a health issue by noting that an increase in investment in health and social services will be required from any tax placed on pot products.
In Australia, constitutionally, adult use or recreational cannabis is a state — not a federal — prerogative, so it could be a state that moves first on this issue.
If the rest of the world follows Denver’s lead, magic mushrooms might follow where cannabis has pioneered — medically (and possibly recreationally) decriminalised. Australia is even running a clinical trial on the medical effects of the active ingredient psilocybin.
An enterprising West Australian has reportedly found a way around Australia’s cannabis prescription laws: go to Thailand, where medical cannabis became legal in December. The rules in Australia state that if you have an overseas prescription you’re allowed to bring your medication — so he’s doing just that to treat his chronic pain.
New Cannabis Ventures says reverse takeovers (RTOs) and the legion of existing shareholders/new shares (that aren’t escrowed for two years) are part of the reason why cannabis listings in North America have fumbled in the early days.
It reckons it takes about a year for the pre-RTO investors to be flushed out, and points to GrowGeneration (OTC:GRWG) as an example.
“Many of the multi-state operators in the US are going public with very tight floats, which can lead to spikes in prices initially due to the demand overwhelming the supply of shares,” the consultancy said.
“Additionally, we think that there is an opportunity for investors who are able to sense when a new issue has reached an equilibrium, with the current price reflecting the potential for all who would like to sell a stock to be able to do so.
“Sometimes this means waiting for a lock-up to expire or for a secondary offering, while at other times it just means tracking the trading volumes to see if they reflect that the float has normalised.”
Still in the US, the hemp genie which was let out of the bag in December is creating headaches for the regulator, the FDA, which is struggling to police the hundreds of cannabidiol (CBD) products and businesses that have popped up.
Attorneys-general from 33 US states are calling for pot banking reform in order to bring the $US8.3bn industry into the regulated financial sector. Currently because marijuana is federally illegal, banks tend to give companies a big fat no when they ask for accounts.
And finally, the funny of the fortnight comes from a Californian man who called in a weed smoker to the police, only to become very irate when told that as of last year, this is totally legal.
Late last night Cann Global (ASX:CGB), aka Queensland Bauxite, dropped the news that the ASX is letting it back in.
The company has been suspended since July last year, and said last night the ASX has given it in-principle relisting approval.
It’s also rejigged its board to include three new independent directors, a detail that was at the heart of a shareholder push — one that wasn’t acted on in the end — last year to issue a board spill notice.
Cann Global has polarised investors like few other pot stocks, partly because of its history as a failed bauxite explorer and partly because it has made big promises and hasn’t delivered — notably for backing out of the deal to buy Medcan, the one it went into a trading halt and changed its business activity and name for.
AusCann (ASX:AC8) chairman Mal Washer fronted up and clarified some of the details investors have been confused over.
It will get $1m from the Chilean venture by the start of next year, no it’s not pursuing a growing strategy in Australia anymore, and part of the hold up has been sourcing decent product to turn into pills.
THC Global (ASX:THC) got a hefty response from investors early on Wednesday morning after it said it got an export licence, wanted to beef up its NSW growing site, and had tentative approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) that it could do both cannabis and non-cannabis products from its big manufacturing plant.
That melted away during the day, as unfortunately it’s still waiting on the most critical licence: manufacturing. It says it’s coming soon.
It’s also still “committed” to its offtake deal with Eve Investments (ASX:EVE). THC wants to make cannabis honey as well as non-cannabis tee tree oil at that manufacturing plant for them.
Cann Group (ASX:CAN) has delivered its first marijuana resin to the Victorian state government to be used by children with severe epilepsy.
And Elixinol (ASX:EXL) has a kind of hemp quality approval from New York state which it says is “coveted”.
The first of MGC Pharmaceuticals’ (ASX:MXC) products have landed in the UK, where it has access through two distribution partners to 5500 pharmacies.
Impression Healthcare (ASX:IHL) has been suspended for failing to issue cleansing notices for a number of past stock trades, until it has those trades cleared by the federal court.
Cann Global is yet to relist, after being suspended in July last year, although it assured Stockhead it “shouldn’t be much longer now”.
Nano-marker maker Dotz Nano (ASX:DTZ) is the ASX’s newest stock to dabble in cannabis. In lab conditions it’s embedded ‘BioDotz’ security markers into plants with a close biological structure to cannabis, which it says doesn’t affect the basic properties or appearance of the plant.
And LeafCann is a potential IPO to watch, with boss Elisabetta Faenza saying if they do pull that trigger, it’ll be in 2020 when it has its ducks in a row.