While Canada is on the brink of legalizing Cannabis country-wide in 2017, the U.S is still engulfed in skepticism and legal ruffle about the substance. The election of Donald Trump wasn’t good news for the marijuana industry. As with most issues, Trump isn’t clear about his stance on pot. But in the past, he had supported giving Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 status to marijuana. Schedule 1 status substances are considered federally illegal and perceived to have no medical benefits, whereas Schedule 2 substances are considered to have some medical benefits, but with addictive ingredients. Experts think that even if Marijuana gets Schedule 2 status, things won’t be too easy for companies dealing in it, as they would come under the control of the FDA, which would control the THC content (the psychoactive component of marijuana) in their batches, along with putting in other restrictions.
Donald Trump’s nomination of Senator Jefferson Sessions for the post of attorney general has made the future of marijuana legalization in the country even more blurry, because the Senator has a history of loathing pot. During a floor speech in 2016, Sessions criticized Barack Obama’s frank mentions of pot in public, and said that states in which Marijuana is legal are already facing a “disturbance”. The Senator also thinks that “good people” don’t smoke marijuana.
Winds of Change
But Donald Trump and his not-so-pot-tolerant team cannot stop the change that is swiftly coming. On November 8, California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine voted in favor of recreational marijuana, while Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas and Montana, voted in favor of medical marijuana. In 2016, the U.S marijuana industry enjoyed over $6.7 billion in legal sales. As of 2015, 22 million Americans use marijuana on a monthly basis, while about 37 million Americans use marijuana at least once a year. A total of 28 states have legalized medical marijuana use, and over 21% of the U.S. population lives in states where smoking pot is legal. On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions admitted during the confirmation hearing in Capitol Hill that disrupting the legal marijuana markets by enforcing federal marijuana laws could result in unnecessary burden and strain on federal resources. Experts think that Donald Trump’s flexible stance on Marijuana will preside over Jeffery Sessions’ stubbornness. Donald Trump will leave the issue of Marijuana to states, as he said during an interview with The Washington Post.
Regardless of the uncertainties, medical science has enough proof of the usefulness of medical marijuana, and sooner or later the pot companies will have a friendly environment to do business in the U.S. If you are looking to invest in the marijuana industry, here are some of the best stocks that may be worth consideration.
Related Read: 12 Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana According to Publicly Traded Weed Companies.
GW Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:GWPH)
GW Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:GWPH) is a UK-based biomedical company which uses marijuana for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In 2016, the company posted positive results from a phase 3 study for its cannabis-based drug, Epidolex. If the company gets approval for Epidolex, analysts think it could achieve annual sales of $3 billion. Last year, the company also announced positive results from its late-stage drug for Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. The stock has gained over 98% in value over the past 12 months. GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) is also working with big names like Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) and Bayer AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:BAYRY) to market another Cannabis-based drug, called Sativex.
Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CARA)
Shares of Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CARA) have gained about 115% over the past six months. The company is working on a marijuana-based treatment for pain, inflammation, and itching. Unlike common opioid drugs, which affect the nervous system by attaching themselves to opioid receptors, Cara’s CR845 will attach itself to the source of the pain in sensory nerves in the periphery of the body, which will result in no side effects and instant pain relief.
On the next page, we’ll talk about some of the other weed stocks which are ripe for investment.