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Cannabis Stock Report: Marijuana Stocks Mixed As Epidiolex Renews Questions Over GW Pharmaceuticals Corporate Practices

The North American Marijuana Index closed mixed on Friday, despite renewed bullishness in the pot stock sector over FDA committee approvals for GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) cannabidiol drug Epidiolex. Share prices for cannabis own “Big Pharma” company rose ten percent week, though favorable headlines failed to stir shareholders into an industry-wide rally. To the contrary, widespread attention should lead to renewed questions about the drug’s possible cataclysmic effect on the sector as well as GW’s less than savory business practices.

Last year Leafly reported that GW Pharmaceuticals and its American subsidiary Greenwich BioSciences attempted to secretly push proprietary CBD bills through the state legislatures of South Dakota and Nebraska. Lobbyists pushed the bills in hopes of making Epidiolex the exclusive CBD drug available in those states.

“SB 95 will block all current and readily-available CBD options for South Dakota’s children,” Melissa Mentele, the chairperson of New Approach South Dakota, the state’s main cannabis reform group told Leafly at the time. “It will make Epidiolex the only option. As we know, one medicine does not work for all patients. We can’t take away options for these catastrophically ill children and their families.”

Moreover, as Project CBD reiterated in a statement on the subject last fall, should CBD become a prescription-only drug it would be to the detriment to thousands of Americans who would no longer be able to afford it outright.

The Index remained relatively flat heading into the end of last week, gaining an insignificant 0.11 points, or 0.04 percent, to close out the week at 256.43. U.S. and Canadian fortunes split with the former’s index jumping 1.70 percent to close out the week at 91.53 and the latter’s falling 0.39 percent to end the week at 649.91.

Meanwhile on Wall Street earnings season happens this week with major corporations set to reports on quarterly earnings throughout the week. The Bureau of Economic Analysis plans to report on economic growth for the first quarter of 2018, and the news looks less than stellar for the recently enacted Republican tax cuts, as the economy continues to grow at a rate of about two percent —not the four percent promised by candidate Trump in 2016.

“The tax cuts were never likely to result in an instant surge in household spending,” noted economists at Capital Economics. “But the apparent lack of any boost whatsoever is still hard to explain, particularly with employment growth picking up and consumer confidence near a decade high.”

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 53 points around 9 P.M., S&P 500 futures rose five points, and Nasdaq Composite futures jumped 15 points.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO) fell CAD$0.06 per share, or 0.36 percent, to close out last week at CAD$16.73 per share, while the Evolve Marijuana ETF (SEED.TO) gained CAD$0.16 per share, or 0.92 percent, to close out the week at CAD$17.46 per share.

Legal Cannabis Market to Grow to $25 Billion by 2025

New Frontier Data has a new report coming out forecasting the legal cannabis market to grow to $25 billion by 2025. The U.S. Cannabis Report: 2018 Industry Outlook predicts a compound annual growth rate of 14.7 percent for the industry. Current estimates show the 2017 legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $8.3 billion, according to a statement released on Friday.

“Across the globe, we have seen massive expansion as more than 50 countries are legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, New Frontier Data CEO and Founder, in a statement. “However, the United States continues to lead the way in cannabis consumption in legal medical and adult use markets. With a number of states expected to advance cannabis legalization measures in the next 24 months, more Americans will be able to access legal cannabis in the years to come, making this a watershed 4/20.”

Quick Hits

Maricann Group Inc. (CSE:MARI) (OTCQB:MRRCF) received approval from Health Canada to begin cultivation in their new grow facility in Langton, Ontario… PharmaCielo Ltd. acquired Colombia's sole provider of TeleMed services  - Ubiquo Telemedicina… General Cannabis Corp. (OTCQB:CANN) completed the closing of a private placement transaction.

Canopy Growth Goes To College

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) and Niagara College announced a deal to create new experience-based learning opportunities for college students and graduates interested in the cannabis industry. See the introduction video below to learn more:

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