Welcome to the CBD Medical Journal’s list of the top five marijuana companies in the world. When comprising this list of marijuana movers and shakers, CBDmj considered overall market capitalization, growth, whether or not the company directly ‘touches the plant,” and the impact/influence a company has on the legal global cannabis trade as a whole.
Recreational marijuana is now legal in eight states within America, with an additional 17 states permitting medical marijuana and products that are rich in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC. Nevada, the most recent state to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use, is seeing such high demand that most retail locations were selling out of marijuana in their first weeks of operation.
Sales of marijuana in the U.S. are estimated to hit $6 billion by the end of 2017 [Marijuana Business Factbook 2017]. Projections are for continued rapid growth, with the marijuana industry reaching $17 billion in retail sales by 2021.
1. GW Pharmaceuticals [NASDAQ: GWPH]
GW Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Epidiolex (a CBD based epilepsy drug), is approaching $3 billion in market capitalization. Epidiolex, has been seeing tremendous results during the Phase III FDA study; results that were recently published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (read more).
GW Pharmaceuticals, a U.K. based company, has been researching cannabis plant based medicines since 1990. Now in its third decade of growth, the company is poised to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Epidiolex – which could send the company’s stock price souring (or plummeting, should there be an unforeseen setback).
2. Canopy Growth [TSX: WEED | NASDAQOTH: TWMJF]
Canopy Growth, one of our favorite companies in the world, is also the largest legal marijuana producer in the world. A Canadian based company, Canopy Growth is estimated to have a market cap. of more than $750 million and growing.
Headquartered in a quaint Canadian town, Canopy Growth occupies the former Hershey chocolate factory in Smith Falls, Ontario. How cool is that? On over 40 acres of land, the old Hershey building has more than a half a million square feet of available space. Inside, you will find over 150,000 sq. ft. of high-tech climate controlled production space, plus offices housing the corporate suits, R&D facilities, oil extraction infrastructure and even an in-house laboratory.
Canopy Growth owns Tweed Inc. a premier brand of marijuana in Canada and a run-away success in a market worth an estimated $869 million in legal sales last year alone. And now with a push for a recreational market, Canada’s marijuana industry will likely sky rocket into the tens-of-billions. Just this past November, Canopy Growth exceeded a $2 billion valuation.
Canopy Growth already exports its marijuana to Brazil and Germany. It recently acquired the German pharmaceutical company MedCann GmbH Pharma and Nutraceuticals (MedCann) – now a big distributor of Tweed-branded marijuana strains to German pharmacies. Germany recently announced that it will be legalizing medical marijuana in 2017. MedCann and Canopy Growth are well positioned to take advantage of this evolving marketplace.
3. Insys Therapeutics [NASDAQ: INSY]
Insys Therapeutics is one of the best performing and fastest growing ‘cannabis’ companies in recent years. Insys is estimated to have a market capitalization in excess of $600 million.
Insys Therapeutics sells “Syndros,” – the first and only FDA approved drug for the treatment of nausea and vomiting that results from chemotherapy or for the treatment of anorexia and weight loss in patients with AIDS. Syndros is synthetic THC, an oral solution of the pharmaceutical cannabinoid dronabinol.
Despite all the hoopla and optimism surrounding Insys Therapeutics, the company and its executives had a rough year in 2016. In 2016, Insys lost half of its market capitalization due to scandal and illegalities surrounding the sale and marketing of its drug – Subsys (a potent synthetic opioid used to mitigate cancer related pain).
With a new CEO at the helm, Insys has rebounded in 2017 – its stock up more than 40%. The hiring of Saeed Motahari, the new CEO of Insys Therapeutics in April 2017, plus other key leadership changes – have reinforced the notion that there is new sheriff in town and the ‘Insys of the today will be a much different animal than the beast of its tumultuous past.
4. Aurora Cannabis [OTCDLY: ACBFF]
Aurora Cannabis Inc. is another powerhouse marijuana cultivator that has been in business for more than a decade. Nestled in the Mountain View County, Aurora Cannabis grows high quality medical cannabis in a 55,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility. It’s fed with water by the Canadian Rockies and manned by a team of dedicated community-minded professionals.
To keep up with growing demand, Aurora Cannabis recently acquired 40,000 sq. ft. of additional grow space from Peloton Pharmaceuticals. But that’s just a drop in the bucket for Aurora, which is planning an 800,000 square foot grow project called Aurora Sky.
The new Aurora Sky facility is on target to be the largest and most technologically advanced cannabis production facility in the world.
– Due to complete, end of 2017.
5. Axim Biotechnologies [OTCQB: AXIM]
With offices in New York City and The Netherlands, Axim Biotechnologies is a cannabis company focused on the research, development and production of marijuana based pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Owned in large part by Medical Marijuana Inc. (45.5%), Axim was first launched in 2010.
Axim holds a patent for chewing gum as a delivery agent for cannabinoids and has created two new product lines to leverage its intellectual property. Canchew gum, is a CBD-only hemp based dietary supplement and MedChew RX hopes to be an EMA (European Medicines Agency – Europe’s FDA) approved gum for the pain and spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis.
And that’s not all. Axim Biotechnologies is also starting trials on a new cannabigerol (CBG) based ointment for the treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Axim is also entering the oral care market with its new CBG based Oramax line of toothpaste and mouthwash.
There they are, the TOP 5 marijuana companies to watch in 2017 and beyond.
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