Best Marijuana Stocks on the Nasdaq
If anything can take investor interest away from cryptocurrencies this year, it is weed. In fact, thanks to marijuana legalization in many U.S. states and with Canada all set to embrace marijuana, I’d go one step further and say that marijuana has already started to draw the focus away from cryptocurrencies.
There are dozens of U.S.-based cannabis companies that trade over-the-counter (OTC) and many foreign American Depository Receipts (ADRs) that also play on the OTC markets, but there are a select few that are traded on the Nasdaq. In this review, we’ll discuss some of the best marijuana stocks on the Nasdaq.
But first, I’ll digress a bit. The Nasdaq’s initial reluctance to take on marijuana stocks saw most companies taking their business to other exchanges like the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
But when its long-term rival, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), accepted the initial public offering (IPO) of a cannabis real estate investment trust (REIT), the Nasdaq quickly changed its tune.
Marijuana Stocks That Trade on the Nasdaq
Currently, there are a handful of cannabis-related companies listed on the Nasdaq. Pot stocks on the Nasdaq fall into two categories. In the first category, we have medical marijuana companies doing research in pursuit of products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The second category includes companies that became involved in the cannabis space long after listing. We’ll cover both categories as we briefly touch upon the best marijuana stocks listed on the Nasdaq.
1. Cara Therapeutics Inc
Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CARA) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on bringing relief to patients suffering from pain and pruritis (itching). The aim of the company is to develop and commercialize proprietary compounds to treat pain, inflammation, and pruritus without inducing many of the side effects associated with current therapies.
While a majority of its clinical-stage products target opioid receptors, Cara Therapeutics is also looking to diversify into other therapeutic streams. They are currently conducting preclinical research on cannabinoids for the treatment of neuropathic pain.
2. GW Pharmaceuticals PLC
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ:GWPH) is one of the global leaders in developing a portfolio of cannabinoid-based medicines. Its lead product is “Epidiolex,” an in-development cannabidiol, aimed to treat rare and catastrophic forms of childhood-onset epilepsy. This product has the potential to offer relief to patients with conditions that previously had few treatment options.
In January 2018, the medical publication, The Lancet, published results from a Phase 3 study of Epidiolex in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a form of severe, early-onset epilepsy that does not have any existing viable treatment options. (Source: “Cannabidiol in patients with seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (GWPCARE4): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial,” The Lancet, January 24, 2018.)
The company is also developing “Sativex,” a cannabinoid-based medicine for the treatment of cancer pain and spasticity related to multiple sclerosis. Sativex is commercialized in 16 countries outside the U.S. and has received regulatory approval in 12 more countries.
GW Pharmaceuticals is also developing cannabinoid products for the treatment of gliomas, Autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia.
3. Cronos Group Inc
Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON) is a Toronto-based medical marijuana company that just became the first Canadian weed stock to trade on a U.S. exchange. The stock started trading in the last week of February 2018, at $8.24 before closing the day at $7.62.
Prior to this, the stock was trading as an ADR on the OTC markets. At that time, its ticker symbol was PRMCF.
Cronos Group makes up 9.18% of the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, which is the first Marijuana exchange-traded fund (ETF) to trade on a U.S. exchange.
Cronos has a 100% stake in Peace Naturals, which boasts 95 acres of agricultural land in Ontario, and Original BC, which has 31 acres of land capable of weed cultivation in British Columbia. Cronos Group also holds a 21.5% stake in Whistler Medical Marijuana Company.
A joint venture agreement with Kibbutz Gan Shmuel in Israel is proving to be timely and strategic for the group. The partnership will help Cronos leverage the operations of the long-established kibbutz.
Gan Shmuel’s skilled labor force and sophisticated manufacturing infrastructure will help Cronos Israel produce a high-quality strain of medical cannabis at a very low price ($0.40 to $0.50 per gram). The Nasdaq listing will be seen as a new and exciting development for many investors.
4. Insys Therapeutics Inc
Insys Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:INSY) is a pharmaceutical company known for developing and marketing new drug delivery systems and innovative drugs. The company’s vision is to build a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on cannabinoids and novel drug delivery systems to address unmet patient care, thereby improving the quality of care.
Widely known for “SUBSYS,” its fentanyl sublingual spray, the company has received FDA approval for a dronabinol oral solution for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea. Currently, the company is developing cannabinoid-based treatments for epileptic disorders, Prader-Willi syndrome, and amphetamine addiction.
5. Intec Pharma Ltd
Intec Pharma Ltd (NASDAQ:NTEC) develops drugs based on its proprietary “Accordion Pill” platform technology. The Accordion Pill platform technology uses an efficient gastric retention and specific release mechanism that is designed to improve the safety and efficacy of existing drugs and drugs in development.
The company is currently testing (in clinical trials) four product candidates with the two primary cannabinoids contained in Cannabis sativa: cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol. Once past the clinical trials, these products will bring relief to people suffering from low back neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.
6. Marrone Bio Innovations Inc
Though not directly a weed-based company, Marrone Bio Innovations Inc
(NASDAQ:MBII) is recently closely linked with marijuana cultivation.
The bio-pesticides produced by this innovative bio-based company are approved and used for virtually every cultivated crop, from fruits and vegetables to cereal grains, nuts, turf-grass flowers, alfalfa, and even cotton. These bio-pesticides are an effective pest-control solution in conventional, transitional, or certified organic production systems.
The company is focused on developing environmentally responsible bio-based pest management that can augment plant health care. In 2017, Marrone Bio Innovations announced that three of its active ingredients have been legally approved for use on cannabis crops cultivated in California.
7. Therapix Biosciences Ltd
Therapix Biosciences Ltd (NASDAQ:TRPX) is a specialty clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of cannabinoid-based drugs for the management and treatment of disorders of the central nervous system.
The company has recently initiated two internal drug development programs based on repurposing an FDA-approved synthetic cannabinoid (dronabinol).
The first of these developments is targeted to the treatment of Tourette syndrome and the second development is aimed at bringing relief to the high-value—yet under-served—market of mild cognitive impairments.
8. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ZYNE) is focused on developing unique synthetic cannabinoid treatments that can be delivered through the skin (transdermal delivery).
The company believes that its transdermal-delivered drugs can help effectively treat patients with epilepsy, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathic pain, and Fragile X syndrome.
The company’s product pipeline currently includes two drugs: “ZYN001” and “ZYN002.”
The former is a THC Pro-Drug Patch that can provide transdermal THC delivery to treat fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathic pain. The latter is a synthetic CBD gel that is designed to provide non-psychoactive CBD delivery for epilepsy, osteoarthritis, and Fragile X syndrome via the skin.
The following table will give you a quick look at the above mentioned Nasdaq-listed pot companies and their current stock value.
Should You Consider Marijuana Stocks Now?
With the attorney general taking a tough stance on marijuana, the stock price of even the top marijuana stocks in 2018 has gone southwards. But this is a temporary dip. With Canada opening its doors in a couple of months, and with the Trump administration beset with other pressing matters, the floodgate for weed companies is about to open.
So, rather than asking if you should consider marijuana stocks now, you should be asking yourself “Which marijuana stocks should I buy?” While five of the above eight stocks trade under $10.00 and might look inviting, please look at these top marijuana companies before making your final decision.