The North American Marijuana Index ended last week on a down note, closing out the week at 106.16 points, before making a quick turnaround on Monday morning, jumping up to a midday high of 108.68. The US and Canadian Marijuana Indices followed suit, leveling off at 48.49 and 224.90 points, respectively. All-in-all it was a down week for cannabis stocks, despite significant headlines across the industry at large.
In perhaps the biggest news of last week, GW Pharmaceuticals and Greenwich Biosciences Inc. put out a joint statement announcing the Food and Drug Administration’s expanded approval for their CBD-based drug Epidiolex. Initially allowed for two childhood forms of epilepsy, the pharmaceutical giant has now received the right to brand the drug to manage seizures related to tuberous sclerosis complex.
“The FDA continues to believe the drug approval process represents the best way to make new medicines, including any drugs derived from cannabis, available to patients in need of appropriate medical therapy such as the treatment of seizures associated with these rare conditions. This paradigm ensures new therapies are safe, effective, and manufactured to a high quality that provides uniform and reliable dosing for patients,” Douglas Throckmorton, deputy center director for regulatory programs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement recently.
The news comes on the heels of GW Pharmaceuticals learning in April that the FDA had removed its formulation from the Controlled Substances list, meaning they can now operate with impunity and without the scrutiny of federal officials.
“This notification from DEA fully establishes that EPIDIOLEX, the only CBD medicine approved by FDA, is no longer a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act,” GW Pharmaceuticals CEO Justin Gover said in a statement at the time. “We would like to thank DEA for confirming the non-controlled status of this medicine.”
Winners and losers of the week
Trulieve Cannabis Corp (TCNNF) shot up 2.29 points to $21.12 per share for a gain of 12.16 percent. Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC) jumped 1.5378 points to $18.168 per share for a gain of 9.25 percent. cbdMD Inc. (YCBD) gained 0.33 points to $4.00 per share for an increase of 8.99 percent.
4Front Ventures Corp (FFNTF) fell 0.03325 points to $0.5793 per share, a drop of 5.43 percent. Meanwhile, Sundial Growers Inc. (SNDL) fell 0.028 points to $0.522 per share, a decline of 5.09 percent. Finally, Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (FIRE:CA) fell 0.01 points to $0.215 per share, a drop of 4.44 percent.
Cannabis terpenes might treat COVID-19, study shows
According to reports, the cannabis terpene formulation - NT-VRL, which is used to treat inflammation, may have some success treating the cytokine storm syndrome associated with COVID-19. An Israeli study showed that using the formulation is twice as effective as using CBD alone as a treatment. The study is a joint effort by Eybna and Cannasoul, who discovered that inhalation is the best form of delivery for the treatment.
"This type of delivery method is a game-changer enabling us to achieve therapeutic qualities from these unique phytochemicals like never before," Eybna's CEO Nadav Eya said in a statement.
In other news this week
Long-time Green Bay Packer and NFL Hall-of-Famer Brett Farve joined a long list of athletes in the CBD industry. HE will be a brand ambassador for a new player in the game, Green Eagle CBD.
The American Heart Association is out with a new report stating that cannabis use is harmful to the heart. According to the report, they make little distinction between smoking cannabis and using such products as edibles.
After last year’s “hemp rush,” US hemp farmers are fleeing the market. According to some reports, acreage is down 30 percent since 2019, and greenhouse space down as much as 64 percent.