Pot Stocks, ETFs And Top News From The Cannabis Industry This Week

Despite a strong performance Friday, U.S. cannabis stocks had a bad week, with the United States Marijuana Index, which tracks 15 of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., losing roughly 4 percent of its value. The North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, shed approximately 3 percent of its value.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF HMLSF slipped 0.7 percent over the week, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ gained 1.5 percent.

“After a very challenging February, the sector bounced back a bit at the end of this week. The Global Cannabis Stock Index had declined every single day from February 13 until bottoming on Feruary 27,” 420 Investor Alan Brochstein told Benzinga.

Here are some of the top marijuana stocks in U.S. exchanges and how the performed this week:

  • 22nd Century Group Inc XXII: down 4.5 percent
  • Aphria Inc APHQF: down 4 percent
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc ACBFF: down 1.3 percent
  • Cannabis Sativa Inc CBDS: down 9.3 percent
  • CannTrust Holdings Inc CNTTF: down 2.3 percent
  • Canopy Growth Corp TWMJF: up 4 percent
  • Cronos Group Inc. CRON: up 16.3 percent.
  • GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR GWPH: down 2.5 percent
  • India Globalization Capital, Inc. IGC: up 4 percent
  • MedReleaf CorpMEDFF: up 3.7 percent
  • Scotts Miracle-Gro Co SMG: down 1 percent
  • THC Biomed Intl Ltd THCBF: down 1.4 percent
  • Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc ZYNE: down 2.9 percent

In The News

Cronos Group Inc started trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday, becoming the first cannabis stock to debut in the tech-heavy exchange.

"This marks a key inflection point for the industry and for Cronos as we continue to focus on transforming the perception of cannabis on an international scale. Canada is currently leading the way with plans to become the first G7 country to implement a federally legal recreational program later this year. Cronos already has operations on four continents, and we are looking forward to expanding into new jurisdictions as the regulatory environment evolves," Cronos Group’s Head of Marketing Eric Klein told Benzinga.

“[This] move likely will lead to more Canadian LPs listing on that exchange and that will raise visibility for the sector,” Brochstein added.

Related Link: Investing In Marijuana: Cannabis Industry Gets $1.2B In January, Matching Deals For All Of 2016

Hiku Brands Company Ltd DJACF announced it entered into a letter of intent to launch a strategic alliance with the first licensed medical marijuana producer and dispensary operator in Jamaica, Kaya Inc.

“Under the LOI, Hiku intends to make a strategic investment in Kaya to acquire up to 10% ownership on a fully diluted basis, enter into mutual licensing agreements to leverage Hiku’s brands in Jamaica and Kaya’s brand in Canada, work together to explore import and export opportunities for cannabis genetics, and develop co-branded retail stores and cannabis lounges in the Caribbean,” a press release said.

Medical cannabis industry investment and management firm 4Front Holdings announced the promotion of Leise Rosman to chief operating officer. Rosman’s promotion shows that the marijuana industry continues to allow women to thrive – with roughly 40 percent of executive positions now in their hands. Check out some of the top leaders in the space in our Wonder Women of Weed series.

FRIDAY NIGHT INC TGIFF announced the completion of its purchase of Canadian security, intelligence, and compliance firm Spire Secure Logistics. The transaction was completed 100 percent in stock, and valued at $5 million.

Anantlife's Dr. Rahul Kushwah and Cannalogix Foundation's Chief Research Officer, J.B. Creel announced that their joint-collaboration has resulted in the creation of the world's first genetic kit measuring a Clinical Endo-Cannabinoid Deficiency (CECD).

CECD is a condition that is responsible for migraine, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease and other related conditions that effectively and collectively impact over 20 percent of the U.S. population. The genetic test looks into patients’ predisposition to side-effects and can help determine if a cannabis-based treatment is a right course to pursue based on decoded DNA analysis.

An article published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine revealed the findings of a study conducted among thousands of cancer patients at Tikun Olam clinics in Israel. As per the peer-reviewed paper, “cannabis can be a safe and effective palliative treatment in patients suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer.” While cannabis advocates and patients have known this for decades, this is the first major scientific study to confirm it.

Cannabis testing company GreenSpace Labs announced a partnership with four-time NBA champion and actor turned cannabis reform advocate John Salley. The baller and the marijuana company have combined their efforts to drive interest in the newly-launched mobile pesticide screening device, the GreenLite Screener.

“Mr. Salley is invested in the company, both because he believes in our vision, and because he wants to generate awareness around the need to strengthen testing standards and ensure safe consumption,” CEO Bill Albro told Benzinga.

Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled to dismiss a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which challenged the constitutionality of marijuana’s federally illegal status under the Controlled Substances Act. Jose Belen, a combat veteran and co-plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, said the plaintiffs and their lawyers vow to continue the fight, appealing the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

“Judge Hellerstein’s decision to dismiss our case was heartbreaking. This case is about the patients, those who are suffering on a daily basis and dying as a result of the prohibition of cannabis. It’s why we vow to continue the fight, taking the matter to the Supreme Court, if necessary,” Belen told Benzinga.

Women-focused cannabis lifestyle brand Jane West has oversubscribed its crowdfunding campaign, having raised more than $72,000 from 173 retail investors. With 49 days left to go, the amount raised so far is almost triple the $25,000 minimum goal they had established.

“Anyone can invest as little as $25,” West told Benzinga. “The most important point is that this is really making the industry accessible to everyone! I hope I am successful so more companies can build their brands and followings using crowdfunding and not limited to finding accredited investors.”

Learn more about these news and others from MedReleaf, Namaste Technologies Inc NXTTF, GW Pharmaceuticals, MPX Bioceutical Corp MPXEF and EVIO Inc EVIOwith our partners at GreenMarketReport:

Interesting Data

A recent survey conducted by The Florida House Experience revealed how people across the U.S. think of drug dealers. The study showed that, while 72 percent of illegal drug dealers are Caucasian, people who don’t use drugs imagine them as something different. See the difference between the average weed dealer and the average conception of a weed dealer (based on the opinions of 1,000 non-users) in the chart below. While actual dealers tend to be Caucasian, non-users expect (on average) “a person with a darker complexion, possible tattoos on the face, and an unshaven appearance.”

Source: The Florida House Experience

A recent study from Seedo revealed that, among 120 cities around the world, New York has the highest cannabis consumption rate, with 77.44 metric tons per year. Far behind are Karachi, Pakistan and New Dehli, India, with less than 42 metric tons per year each. In the U.S. the top three is completed by Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois, which boast an annual consumption of 36.06 metric tons and 24.54 metric tons, respectively.

The report also showed that “if taxed at the average US marijuana tax rate,” New York could make more than $156 million a year in cannabis taxes if weed was fully legal. L.A. could make about $55 million, and Chicago, more than $52 million. If cannabis was taxed as cigarettes, New York could reach $354 million in taxes every year.

Eaze’s “2017 State of Cannabis Data Report” showed a marked increase in cannabis spending across all age groups in California. As highlighted in a recent New Frontier Data chart, the Generation Z saw the largest surge, up 44 percent in 2017, when compared to 2016.

ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics issued a new report arguing that worldwide spending on legal cannabis is set to reach a massive $57 billion dollars over the next decade. As per the study, adult-use cannabis spending will total $38.3 billion by 2027, while medical spending will reach $19.1 billion.

Looking into the data, you’ll notice that North America will continue to drive global spending, with sales surging from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion in 2027 – at a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent.

South America’s legal spending is expected to rise substantially, from $125 million in 2018 to $776 million in 2027, led by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru. In Europe, Germany will lead the bunch, with the entire continent consuming $1.2 billion in legal cannabis by 2027.

Australia is expected to become the fifth largest market in the work, with sales of $1.2 billion by 2027 – up from $52 million in 2017.

Over 2017, average wholesale cannabis prices declined 6 percent, adding to the 20 percent drop of 2016, a new report from New Leaf Data Services’ Cannabis Benchmarks revealed. A pound of weed at the end of 2017 was worth $1,436. While prices were lower, wholesale of cannabis flower grew 22 percent to 3.7 million pounds.

Events Calendar

  • March 12–13: The Cannabis Partnerships Congress arrives to the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront.
  • March 29: New Jersey will get its second NJ Cannabis Symposium. Early bird registration is open.

Picture by Javier Hasse.

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