The cannabis industry blossomed during the pandemic, some say unexpectedly. The question now is: will it continue to grow or has it already reached its highest point (pun intended)?
Several things point to further industry development, the most important of which are ongoing legalization trends both across the U.S. and globally. So far, 18 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis sales, while more than 30 states now permit some form of medical cannabis.
Just last week, the House of Representatives approved the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, H.R. 3617, sending it to Senate. The MORE Act removes cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to legalize cannabis, its production, and sale, free from federal interference.
And even though many industry experts doubt the Senate will approve this federal marijuana reform in the next session, it is important to note that both Democratic and GOP lawmakers have each introduced marijuana legalization proposals, indicating that federal reform just might be around the corner.
When it comes to Europe, just last year, Luxembourg was the first European country to legalize growing weed for personal use, while Malta became the first on the continent to officially legalize cannabis. Many industry experts believe that Germany might be next in line to go fully recreational.
In addition to the ongoing global marijuana legalization trend is the overall shift in many people’s approach to general health. Now more than ever people seem to be interested in healthy food, nature, finding time for themselves and minimizing stress by improving sleep patterns and paying attention to physical and mental health.
Making room for the cannabis plant to enter. Either in its CBD or THC form. It doesn’t matter.
Studies on cannabis as a treatment for various disorders and illnesses, including rare types of epilepsy and some forms of cancer seem to provide more hope as well. Keeping all this in mind, it comes as no surprise that cannabis data experts ad BDSA Analytics predict global marijuana sales will hit $35 billion this year, up by 22% from 2021.
That being the case, which cannabis stocks should investors be putting in their portfolios?
Stock News revealed the five cannabis stocks Wall Street analysts expect to see “deliver significant upside in the coming month.” Here they are:
1. Greenlane Holdings, Inc. GNLN
- This is a Florida-based company that distributes over 140 brands of vaporizers and smoking accessories across the world through dispensaries, smoke shops, as well as through its e-commerce platforms.
- Its most recent earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2021 revealed a total revenue increase of 54.4% year-over-year to $56 million.
- All three Wall Street analysts that covered Greenlane stock rated it Buy.
- Year-to-date the stock went down 56.43%.
2. Cara Therapeutics, Inc. CARA
- Clinical-stage biotechnology company, Cara Therapeutics, is involved in the research and design of various chemical entities to help treat pain and itching, with most of them created to address opioid receptors. In previous years the company was examining the potential of CR-701, a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist for treating neuropathic pain and its ability to minimize hyperalgesia and allodynia.
- For the full year ended December 31, 2021, Cara reported total revenue of $23.0 million, compared to $135.1 million for the full year ended December 31, 2020.
- Four Wall Street analysts that covered Cara stock rated it Buy.
- Year-to-date the stock is up 4.23%.
3. Flora Growth Corp. FLGC
- Toronto, Ontario-based Flora Growth is an all—outdoor grower and producer of cannabis-derived products and brands. It relies on natural and cost-effective growing activities to produce cannabis derivatives for its hemp textiles, food and beverage, and cosmetics operations.
- The company has an international focus with developed distribution in several countries across North America, South America and Europe. To meet the demands of the global cannabis market, Flora is building EU-GMP compliant facilities and is prioritizing sustainability across its operations.
- Recently, the company announced its JustCBD brand signed a deal with airport distribution juggernaut OTG Management to sell their CBD products in airports.
- The four Wall Street analysts that covered the stock rated it Buy.
- Year-to-date Flora Growth’s shares dropped 11.79%.
4. Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. CRBP
- Corbus Pharmaceuticals is a Phase 3 clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of new drugs to help treat inflammatory and fibrotic illnesses by targeting the endocannabinoid system. Its principal drug candidate is called Lenabasum, an oral cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist formed to help reduce chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes. The drug is also being tested for its potential in treating cystic fibrosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other illnesses. Furthermore, the company is working on creating a pipeline of drug candidates that address the endocannabinoid system.
- The company reported quarterly losses of $(0.08) per share in March, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $(0.11) by 27.27%. This is a 20% increase over losses of $(0.10) per share from the same period last year.
- Of the two Wall Street analysts that rated the stock, one rated it Buy, and one rated it Hold.
- Year-to-date, Corbus Pharmaceuticals stock lost 39.46%.
5. Verano Holdings Corp. VRNOF
- Verano, a vertically integrated, U.S. multi-state operator, provides regulated cannabis products via brands that include Verano, Avexia, Encore and MÜV. The company’s portfolio encompasses 15 U.S. states, with active operations in 13, including 12 production facilities comprising over 1,000,000 square feet of cultivation capacity. Verano designs, builds and operates dispensaries under retail brands including Zen Leaf and MÜV, covering both medical and adult-use markets
- In March, the company brought in an additional $100 million under its existing credit agreement pursuant to the fourth amendment to such credit agreement, at a non-dilutive interest rate of 8.50%.
- In February, Verano and Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc. GDNSF entered into a definitive arrangement agreement pursuant to which Verano will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Goodness in an all-share transaction valued at approximately $413 million on a fully-diluted basis. The acquisition of Goodness is expected to expand Verano’s operational footprint with the addition of the New York, Minnesota and New Mexico markets, strategically increasing the company’s presence in the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest, while adding a suite of established cannabis brands to the company’s portfolio.
- The five Wall Street analysts that covered the stock rated it Buy.
- Year-to-date Verano stock fell 28.48%.
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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