Legal Cannabis Market is Gaining Attention
California is home to about 12 percent of Americans, and full legalization of cannabis in the state has been a major milestone for this young, still devolving industry. California will start issuing licenses in 2018, as a result analysts and researches have started to look into the potential of the market in the near future. Vivien Azer, a cannabis analyst with Cowen, has estimated that consumer spending in the legal cannabis market will grow to $50 billion by 2026. Canadian Zeolite Corp. (OTC: CNZCF) (TSX-V: CNZ.V), Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA), GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH), Insys Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: INSY), Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF)
According to the company’s research, formalizing the informal marijuana market by itself is estimated to be a $25 billion opportunity. The Cowen report indicates that part of that growth will be generated from the black-market transitioning into the legal market, some from new customers who previously were uncomfortable seeking prescriptions for the drug or have never used it at all. After Californiavoted in favor Proposition 64, the state’s medical marijuana market was already two decades old, therefore a transition into the legal recreational use would be probably be seamless.
There are many small companies focusing on this emerging growth sector. Canadian Zeolite Corp. (OTCQB: CNZCF) (TSX-V: CNZ.V) is an environmentally friendly Green Tech business with a focus om Zeolite, which is a naturally occurring mineral found in volcanic ash, and is notable in its crystalline structure perforated by microscopic pores. These pores allow zeolites to act as natural filters. As a result, Zeolites (microporous) are used across several industries for a variety of purposes, including agriculture and water purification. Recently the company announced and stated that it will begin shipping its natural zeolite to several medical marijuana growers in Canada and the United States.
Canadian Zeolite Corp. announced, “it has reached an agreement with Isodiol, a Southern California-based hemp Cannabidiol “CBD” innovator. Canadian Zeolite will now be working with Isodiol to research and develop CBD and Zeolite infused products and supplements intended for human and animal consumption.
In Isodiol’s state of the art facilities in Southern California, the zeolite will be micronized maintaining its optimal cell structure to be combined with hemp derived CBD and other adaptogenic herbs. This will then be infused into a complete line of products designed towards human consumption, including a full line of anti-aging skin care products as well as products designed for animal consumption.
Isodiol’s Chief Operating Officer, Troy Nihart, stated, “Isodiol is looking forward to introducing these new products to the marketplace. Zeolite as an additive, has tremendous potential especially with its detoxification properties. We feel there is an undiscovered zeolite market which we can develop and are very excited to begin a partnership with Canadian Zeolite.”
Ray Paquette, Chief Executive Officer for Canadian Zeolite stated, “We are looking forward to working with Isodiol who is at the forefront of developing and marketing consumer based CBD products. We are excited to implement our natural zeolite into Isodiol’s already successful product lines which will bring immediate value to our shareholders.”
Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) is pleased to have completed enrollment as planned for Part A of the Phase 2/3 trial in pruritus associated with chronic kidney disease, as these eight-week data will determine the optimal dosing to carry forward into planned registration trials. As stated in its previous Phase 2 trial, I.V. CR845 significantly reduced itch and improved the quality of life for dialysis patients with this condition over a two-week treatment period, commented Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc. President and Chief Executive Officer of Cara Therapeutics. “We look forward to reporting top-line data from Part A of this trial in the first quarter of 2017 and, based on the results, initiating the planned registration phase later in the year.”
GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) announced positive Phase 3 study of its cannabidiol drugs that are used to fight multiple sclerosis and a variety of rare epileptic diseases. Currently, the company only has one commercialized product which is Sativex that treats spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. GW also announced new Epidiolex positive phase 3 data in Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. “This is the pivotal evidence that the FDA will need in order to approve the drug. It is a potential breakthrough in these types of epilepsy that are the hardest to treat,” said Chief Executive Officer Justin Glover.
Specialty pharmaceutical company, Insys Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: INSY) develops and commercializes supportive care products. The company markets Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray for breakthrough cancer pain in opioid-tolerant cancer patients in the United States. Its lead product candidate is Syndros, an orally administered liquid formulation of dronabinol. The company is also developing Cannabidiol Oral Solution, a synthetic cannabidiol for childhood catastrophic epilepsy syndromes; and other product candidates, including other dronabinol line extensions and sublingual spray product candidates.
Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF) is a diversified cannabis company with two core brands, Tweed and Bedrocan. Tweed is a Canadian company with operations in Smiths Falls, Ontario, recognized to supply an unmatched selection of premium marijuana. Tweed offers strains such as Indica, Sativa and Hybrid. Bedrocan BV pioneered medical cannabis in Holland through decades of selection and refinement, leading to standardized, whole bud cannabis strains that patients can rely on. Bedrocan Canada supplies the same standardized strains to the Canadian market through exclusive licensing rights in the United States.