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4 ways cannabis is good for your brain — and may save your life

Current investigations are showing that marijuana extracts help to protect and benefit the human brain. Here are some ways scientists are revealing that marijuana actually helps to keep your brain safe from sickness, dementia and in some cases death

#4 – Cannabis promotes new brain cell growth

Government scare campaigns more times then not claim that cannabis kills brain cells, but now we are discovering the truth. Those studies in the ’70s were not given credit, by the use of strapping a gas mask on the mouth of a monkey and delivering hundreds of joints worth of marijuana smoke. The monkeys experienced lack of oxygen, and that was the cause of why their brain cells died.

Modern investigations are now showing the opposite. The main compounds in cannabis spur the development of new brain cells! Back in 2005, Dr. Xia Zhang at the University of Saskatchewan presented that cannabinoids cause “neurogenesis” – which is defined as they aid new braincell growth

“Most ‘drugs of abuse’ suppress neurogenesis,” stated Dr. Zhang. “Only marijuana promotes neurogenesis.”

Scientists in Brazil found more on this research, showing examples, in 2013 that CBD, another compound in cannabis, also causes new braincells to grow, Researchers in Italy then had the same conclusion with CBC, another “cannabinoid” found in marijuana resin.

Now there is no question that cannabinoids cause new brain cells to sprout up in the hippocampus. This helps explain prior investigations displaying that cannabinoids effectively help mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress – they are all in connection to a lack of adult neurogenesis.

#3 – Cannabis prevents Alzheimer’s

Close to 5 millions Americans are diagnosed  with Alzheimer’s. There could be light at the end of the tunnel. Modern analysis reveals that utilizing marijuana helps prevent the cause of Alzheimer’s and dementia by cleaning away beta-amyloid “brain plaque.” A  study conducted about cannabis and Alzheimer’s was headed by Dr. Chuanhai Cao, PhD, a neuroscientist at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute. “THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties,” said Cao, explaining that THC “directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitochondrial function.”

This proved earlier research, for example research from 2008 which discovered that THC “simultaneously treated both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.” This study relate was, “compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, THC is considerably superior.”

These investigations used very low levels of THC to find these answers – the levels you might find in a marijuana user that doesn’t smoke often. So where are the headlines displaying “Smoking Cannabis Prevents Alzheimer’s”?

#2 – Cannabis prevents brain damage after strokes and trauma

Multiple recent investigations have discovered that cannabinoids defend the brain from permanent damage after severe medical conditions. Research found in 2012 and 2013 showed that a low dose of THC give protection to mice’s brains from suffering by carbon monoxide and head injuries. Researchers show that THC “protected brain cells and preserved cognitive function over time” and influenced the idea that it could be used preventively, for ongoing defense.

Research in 2014 found that people with low amounts of THC in their body were near 80% less likely to die from major head trauma than those without. This last study is really quite phenomenal and should have been headline in the news. Scientist analyzed blood samples from hundreds of people who had suffered head trauma, and discovered that people with small amounts of cannabinoids in their system were 80% less likely to be killed from head injuries.

This means that in a group of occasional marijuana users and a group of abstainers who have similar brain injuries, the marijuana users will have only 2 deaths for every 10 suffered by the whodo not use marijuana. There are 52,000 fatalities every year from traumatic head injury in America. This investigation showed that if every adult American had a pull of marijuana once a week, 20% of those deaths would not occur  – that’s close to 41,600 people that could be saved, every year.  Still this hasn’t made front page news?

#1 – Cannabis extracts treat brain cancer

One interesting use of cannabinoids is in the aid of cancer treatment. Repeated laboratory and animal research have discovered that cannabinoids eliminate cancer cells and shrink the size of tumors, while aiding to defend normal cells. New information involves a 2012 study displaying that CBD blocked metastasis in aggressive forms of cancer,  a 2013 investigation showing that a mix of six cannabinoids eliminated leukemia cell, and a 2014 study revealing that THC and CBD could be mixed with traditional chemotherapy to produce “dramatic reductions” in brain tumour size.

Using marijuana extracts for brain cancer is nothing that hasn’t been known to the medical world. Research in 1998, found that THC “induces apoptosis [cell death] in C6 glioma cells” – an aggressive type of brain cancer. A 2009 study dave details stating that THC acted “to kill cancer cells, while it does not affect normal cells” in the brain. The medical advantages of cannabis and cannabinoids are infinite, and we are in a day and age where everyone is allowed full access to this wonderful healing plant. You never know? One day maybe we will even get to use outdoor-grown cannabis to develop vast quantities of pure, cost efficient cannabinoids for the millions of people across the nation who need them.

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CEN Biotech’s efforts  to open the world’s biggest  medical cannabis compound in Canada is being denied by the federal government.

Amid serious questions about the company’s behavior, involving assumptions of misrepresentation and false claims by the CEO, Health Canada told CEN Biotech in a statement late Friday that the government intends to deny its application for a license.

“Based on a thorough assessment in line with the extensive requirements built into the Medical Marijuana Program, Health Canada has advised CEN Biotech of its intent to reject its application,” Health Canada spokesman Stéphane Shank announced in a statement to The Globe and Mail. The transition comes after a Globe and Mail investigation outlined a series of misrepresentations by the company to investors and regulators. These involve claims to shareholders that the company had been licensed, or was on the brink of becoming licensed, by Health Canada, when it was not. Those claims helped overwhelmingly to drive up the stock price of CEN’s parent company, Creative Edge Nutrition Inc. However, the CEO was silently selling large quantities of shares at a substantial profitable gain. Other errors have come to surface in recent weeks, including confirmed allegations  that the company invented an employee named Isak Weber to act as a spokesman to dispute the discovery of The Globe’s investigation. After it was made clear that Mr. Weber did not exist, the company’s CEO Bill Chaaban anounced the name was a “nom de plume” for an employee named Roger Glasel.

Mr. Chaaban did not release why Mr. Glasel wouldn’t use his real name in a press release delivered to the financial markets, and compared the matter to companies using mascots, such as Ronald McDonald and Mr. Clean.

The company then attracted attention in Ottawa when it surfaced that CEN executives were convinced  Mr. Glasel had connection to Health Minister Rona Ambrose. That forced Ms. Ambrose’s office to take the peculiar step of delivering a statement that said she did not know Mr. Glasel and “is disturbed by the allegation he is using her name without her permission or knowledge.” However, the emergence of documents filed with regulators that show various different signatures contributed to Mr. Chaaban raised further questions about the company. in reply, Mr. Chaaban stated it did not matter how he signed his name and that he could sign  his name with his feet if he wanted. But amid these mounting issues, Health Canada decided on Jan. 30 to have the RCMP review the company’s licence application.

“Health Canada has in place a rigorous screening process,” Mr. Shank’s statement said. “This helps ensure that the operations of Licenced Producers do not pose a safety or security risk to Canadians and to the local communities in which they are set up.”

CEN Biotech has 20 days to reply to Health Canada’s rejection letter. Once 20 days has passed, the rejection becomes final “unless the company successfully provides a response that causes Health Canada to change its intent,” Mr. Shank stated.Mr. Chaaban sent an e-mail on Friday night he was not aware of any contact from Health Canada. Yet, Mr. Shank anounced the company “was informed in writing” on Friday.Given the issues accruing with CEN Biotech in recent months, the rejection letter seems to deliver a message to the nascent industry that Health Canada wont license applicants that do not behave themselves in a professional manner. The privatized medical cannabis sector was opened April 1, and is being structured under orders from the Supreme Court of Canada.

CEN Biotech sent and application to cultivate 600,000 kilograms of medical marijuana, making it the biggest applicant under the federal program. Thus far, the government has licensed 15 businesses. More than 1,200 have filled out and set applictions, and more than 500 have been rejected.

“The screening process has been designed with stringent criteria. It will continue to be scrupulously applied to all applicants,” Mr. Shank stated.

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New Mexico Ban the Box Bill To Help People With Felony Drug History Find Work

For residents who live in New Mexico with a drug felony on tainting there record soon may not be needed to divulge this info to future employers. A piece of bi-partisan legislation was granted earlier this week by the Senate Public Affairs Committee that would eliminate the section on a job application that ask the applicant if they have ever been convicted of a crime.

The latest venture to “ban the box” in the Land of magic is Senate Bill 120, also known as the “Criminal Offender Employment Act,” which works to make it illegal for a private business to inquire into an person’s past felony convictions on the job application. This standard, which is backed by Senator Bill O’Neill and State Representative Alonzo Baldonado, would expand the growth of the current ban the box law pertaining to public employers over to the private sector.

Human rights activists commend the efforts behind the bill because they say applicants with a felony drug conviction are often approached with disregard early in the job selection process, which, we know, hinders their ability to secure proper employment – non the less if they are a more suitable fit than others lobbying for the same angle.

“Finding a job is one of the biggest barriers for people with criminal convictions even if they are qualified for the positions they are applying for,” Emily Kaltenbach, director of the New Mexico chapter of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “This bill is smart economic policy by helping boost our state’s economy and reducing unemployment.”

Details show that 1 in every 4 American adults has a criminal backround, with a 70% of people with out a job after they are released from prison. Sadly, this puts the majority of these citizens back into a world of felonious indiscretion – a diamond of a flawed structure that has a helping hand to a cycle of criminal downtrodden rather than a life of forward momentum.

“This bill is also smart on crime by focusing our resources to help reduce recidivism, rather than feeding into a cycle of incarceration,” said Kaltenbach. “We know that people with steady employment are less likely to commit crimes. And finally, this bill is about supporting our New Mexico families.  An economically stable family is a healthy family.”

If the bill turns law, New Mexico will partner with six other states, including Hawaii, Kansas, and New York, which have effectively granted measures to ban the criminal conviction box in the private sector. It is a change that would increasingly benefit individuals who were convicted of a felony in their time of youth, and go on to be haunted by the toll of its reverberations.

Ban the Box campaigns such as this look to cancel out the stereotypes forced upon people with a criminal background, even more towards offenders of cannabis-related offenses, by forcing employers to hire workers based on their skill set and overall qualifications rather than focus on their previous drawbacks. And while the bill would not stop employers from proceeding with background checks or inquiring about criminal history during the interview, it at least gives those with a dented past to get a foot in the door rather than an application over looked with a predetermined answer.

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Tear Down This Wall

In 30 days Cannabis is either going to get an enormous boost or an illogical kick in the nuts by a California Judge named Kimberly Mueller. Judge Mueller will be the 1st judge in US history to make a ruling on whether or not Cannabis has been improperly scheduled as class 1. The classification of Marijuana currently puts it in the same category of Crystal Meth, Crack, Heroin, LSD and a bunch of other drugs that make your teeth fall out and have you turning tricks for a quick buzz. I just want to say for the record that I have never had the urge to to steal or give someone a half & half for a bag of weed, but I digress.

 

The classification system now is bullsh*t when you look at the cast of characters (drugs) that are supposedly on the same level. To put it in perspective if Heroin was a Machine Gun and Crystal Meth was a grenade then Marijuana would be a spitball shooter. What really grinds my gears as Peter Griffin says is that if you make Marijuana Schedule 1, then why don’t you make alcohol schedule 1? Last I checked Alcohol literally kills thousands of people every day either from illness associated with it, violent crime or drunk driving. Last I checked Marijuana killed no one ever. It is said that a person would have to smoke 40,000 grams of weed (89 pounds) to die from cannabis. You know how much 89 lbs of marijuana is even at wholesale? It’s $222,500! Which is pretty expensive if I wanted to off myself when I could just as easily spend $50 and buy a bottle of Grey Goose.

 

I apologize for that diatribe, but this is a subject that is both important to the people struggling with various ailments as well as the marijuana financial market. Should schedule 1 be overturned because of what this ruling sets in motion we will see a new golden age in Marijuana Stocks. Not for everyone, but for the companies that have been the most transparent and the ones demonstrating execution of their business model. We will see patients get the medicine they need, we will see meaningful studies of cannabis taking place at universities everywhere, we will see an eventual end to prohibition.

 

So as Ronald Reagan once said to Gorbachev I say this to Judge Mueller using his words ironically (He started the War on drugs) “if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Judge Mueller, open this gate! Tear down this wall!!!!

 

The Wolf

 

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Virginia House Unanimously Approves Cannabis Oil Bill

Virginia parents with kids suffering from epilepsy potentially could be permitted to have a non-intoxicating strain of cannabis extract that has shown to be effectiveness in controlling seizures. On Tuesday of this week, the Republican-controlled House of Delegates collectively approved a measure, 98 to 0, that would grant parents of epileptic children to keep in their possession an excess amour of cannabidiol, or CBD oil, without having the risk of prosecution.

While the advancement in Senate Bill 1235 is an obvious win for parents of kids with epilepsy, the move also shows a change in behavior surrounding pot laws in Virginia. State lawmakers, including Delegate Dave Albo, are suffice with the results of the vote, as it is the initial piece of effective medical cannabis legislation in the state to earn such a high volume of support.

Medical marijuana for the treatment of cancer and glaucoma has been legal in Virginia for years, but there is no statewide program in place, and prescriptions are only available through a licensed doctor. Of course, this has tainted the potential of having marijuana treatment because no licensed physician is willing to risk federal trouble to write a prescription. Yet, the current plan offers to remedy this problem to some level by taking away the need for a prescription – the new law would only ask to show certification to legally possess cannabis oil.

In addition to permitting the possession of CBD, the bill was initially written to change the current medical marijuana law, requiring only a cannabis certification for cancer and glaucoma patients. Yet, this concept scared some lawmakers who stated their concerns over the changes leading to a substantial amount of medical cannabis making it to the black market.

This legislation now goes before the Senate, who just last week passed a similar measure in a vote of 37 to 1. If it gains approval there, which is expected, it will be sent to Governor Terry McAuliffe office for either a signature, making it law, or a veto, which could send lawmakers back to twquare one. Yet, a spokesperson for the governor has shown every indication that the bills will be signed.

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It’s been a long and rough road for a push toward…

universal legalization of marijuana in the US.  Since the early beginnings in California many decades ago with medical marijuana to the latest trail being blazed from states like Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, this has certainly become a growth driven marketplace full of opportunity.  It seems like those entering the space are facing the “kid in a candy store” mentality as so many industry assets can be applied to this new sector.  From consulting services to biotech, there is a myriad of options for companies to focus on during these early stages.  But the question remains, “Are ‘pot’ stocks really delivering for investors?” So, which stocks should you be in right now?

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After facing heavy consolidation in the market during the late summer months, I believe the investment community started to educate themselves on the dangers of investing on hype and though there are still day traders out there that continue to “chase on speculation”, the average investor is not so average anymore, especially after a chunk of those would be marijuana companies saw their stocks get halted last year.  During January and now into February, the buzz is starting to grow yet again and it’s been the cannabis-focused companies who’ve once again captured the public’s attention.

 

Oxis International (OXIS)

Oxis International, Inc. operates through its subsidiary Oxis Biotech, Inc. The company has recently come into the cannabis biotech space and may represent the greatest potential reward of all the companies on this list considering where the company’s valuation stands today, an approximate market cap of just $15million.

 

Over the last 45 days, Oxis shares have seen highs of $0.039 and over recent weeks, the company has made several key announcements that put this on the list of top potential cannabis investments in 2015. Not only has Oxis executed definitive agreements licensing certain assets for the treatment
of multiple myeloma but the company has also brought on some of the foremost authorities in research, especially those focused on cannabinoid research. Starting with Dr. Sean Xie (Dr. Xiangqun Xie), his research work is beyond the proof-of-principle stage and has already shown to successfully identify several CB2 ligands with “nanomolar receptor binding affinity” (US patents). Currently, he has established collaboration with MD experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for in vivo animal evaluation.

 

Furthermore, the Company also announced that Dr. James J. Mulé, Ph.D and Dr. Lisa A. Haile have joined the Scientific Advisory Board.  Dr. Mulé is a Special Government Employee of the NCI and the FDA. There is literally no better person to have on your team as a biotech company than someone who works for the FDA that can oversee and manage the different trial phases for FDA drug approval.

 

Among many of his accomplishments, Dr. Mulé is recognized for his translational research studies in cancer immunotherapy. Mulé previously worked with Oxis CEO Tony Cataldo at Mr. Cataldo’s last biotech company, Genesis Biopharma (previous GNBP), which later became Lion Biotechnologies (LBIO). Under the helm of Mr. Cataldo, Genesis grew from a penny stock with a mere $2million market cap to a $250million market cap now trading around $8 a share. Needless to say, early investors were beyond thrilled.

 

I like to invest in management with a proven track record. People that have been through the gauntlet and came out on top because they are more likely to do it again than a newbie is to make it big for the first time. In addition, CEO Tony Cataldo has been quoted stating that he believes their patents and data are comparable to cannabis biotech juggernauts GW Pharma and Insys Therapeutics, two companies also on this Top 5 list who both sport market caps around $1.5Billion. But moving on.

 

Dr. Haile, Ph.D. currently serves as Co-Chair, Global Life Sciences Sector at DLA Piper and has substantial experience when it comes to FDA counseling and licensing strategy.  She is also noted as being one of the nation’s best lawyers when it comes to successfully bringing innovation to market and making sure it remains proprietary to the company.  According to her biography, Dr. Haile has extensive experience with US and International patent preparation and prosecution relating to novel genetically altered organisms, including plants, antisense molecules, peptides, proteins, DNA, antibodies, vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as patentability, infringement and validity determinations, licensing and strategic counseling.  This should add another layer of professional advisory to the Oxis Scientific Board especially with the current path the company has begun to head down in consideration of the multiple myeloma licensing.

 

As far as paid in capital is concerned, Oxis shows something more similar to a large cap company and reports slightly over $82M in additional paid in capital. Therefore, it could be very possible that the CEO who took Genesis from a micro-cap stock to where it sits today as Lion Biotech, may be gearing up to do it all over again. A strong team to conduct R&D is crucial to future success. Additional paid in capital is very important when it comes to making investment decisions in many biotechs generally because most of these are pre-revenue through the multiple stages of R&D and through the different phases of FDA approval. This valuation method has been used because when you’re not selling product, how can success be determined? By utilizing “additional paid-in-capital” and various patent valuations along with other financial reporting documentation.

 

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH)

 

Market leader GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) started to come back from a sell-off period in late December.  Anticipator buying prior to GW’s Sativex results saw the stock rise from $67 to highs of $80.68.  Unfortunately for the company and the stock as of recent weeks, results were dismal.  According to coverage from 24/7 Wall St., “There was little difference in the adverse event pattern between Sativex and a placebo. There were 38, or 19%, withdrawals due to adverse events on Sativex, compared to 29, or 15%, on the placebo.”

 

GW’s stock price has suffered due to this event and has seen a decline by as much as 10% from early January highs.  There may still be opportunity here as GW has stated that it is confident in the ability for Sativex to relieve cancer.  Justin Gover, GW’s CEO, explained, “We have two additional pivotal Phase 3 trials ongoing which, if positive, would still allow us to submit a New Drug Application with the US FDA. We look forward to results from these two further studies later this year.”

 

Furthermore, something may have also been overlooked on the day that GW released its Sativex results and that is the update on its other drug and patent filing progress.  GW announced an update on its development program for Epidiolex(R) focusing on Phase2/3 trials commencing during the first quarter of the year with high expectations for these trials.  This is where the opportunity lies with GW Pharma. A sell-off from bad results for one drug has investors blind to the great news behind another. Additionally, and what may be of added interest as the cannabis space leans more toward a biotech focus, is the company’s patent filing which protects the use of CBD in the treatment of partial seizures.

 

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Application Serial Number 13/380,305.  This is usually one of the last steps before a patent is actually issued as a Notice of Allowance is issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent can be granted from an application. To the benefit of GW, an issued patent from this application will provide an exclusivity period until June 2030.  This is important from the fact that many companies are pushing for therapies dealing with epilepsy among other things and if/when GWPH’s patent is approved, they will have a large corner within that market in the near term.

 

Stevia Corporation (STEV)

 

Also looking to benefit from patent filing is Stevia Corporation (STEV).  The company, which recently switched focus from sugar alternatives to cannabis, has released a series of press relating to the filing of provisional patents for its CBD based pain medication, which is actually a mix of cannabidiol and ibuprofen. In a January 29th release, George Blankenbaker, President of Stevia Corp stated, “We believe that there will be significant advantages of using these four very effective drugs in combination with cannabidiol as opposed to using these drugs alone. Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Aspirin generate billions of dollars in sales each year. Our four provisional patent applications include 63 claims in total and we look forward to filing the utility patents over the next 12 months. We strongly believe that our intellectual property strategy, if successfully implemented, will provide us a competitive advantage over other healthcare companies using cannabinoids for human healthcare.”

 

The obvious advantages should these patents be approved are similar to that of GW: offering a larger advantage to being the “first to market” organization and to further limit other companies from throwing a hat into the ring.  Risks abound however especially with the current state of Stevia’s market.  The most recently filings show that that company obtains most of its money from farming activities.  Even though the quarterly shows a cost of revenue of nearly $2m, its additional paid in capital amounts to $16.3million.  Should this patent process not pan out, there is still an entirely established and revenue producing side of Stevia that won’t depend on cannabis.  On a market side, Stevia’s stock has begun to recover since hitting lows earlier in January of $0.064.  As of this past week, STEV has seen a rebound of roughly 30% since releasing announcements on this latest patent filing.

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Insys Therapeutics (INSY)

Insys Therapeurtics (INSY) is a company who’s stock could have been invested in early last year and then completely forgotten about.  Unlike many of the marijuana stocks back in early 2014, INSY didn’t have any type of short-term parabolic move but has remained on a consistent uptrend over the last year.  With $205M in additional paid in capital, $47M in cash & equivalents, as well as net revs of nearly $200M for 9months ended Sept 30 2014, Insys is one of the better performers when it comes to a company dealing in the cannabis marketplace.  As noted in the last financial report, the company’s drug, Subsys, accounted for almost 100% of its 2014 year-to-date revenue with its gross margin reporting in at approximately 91%.  These results should be favorable to investors and a reason to consider INSY.

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Over recent weeks, the stock price has continued to rise. In fact, since the initial report on Cannabis companies was released, Insys shares have already jumped in price by as much as 13% as the stock approaches highs it hasn’t seen since early 2014.  On January 26, 2015 the company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted orphan drug designation (ODD) to its Liposomal Encapsulated Paclitaxel (LEP) candidate for the treatment of ovarian cancer.  Similar to Oxis International, Insys focuses on synthetic versions of CBD as compared to other cannabis biotech plays that look at the organic versions of the drug.  The main difference is how the “medicine” is derived and converted into an effective therapy.  Some companies find that the synthetic approach offers a more consistent product as compared to organic methods, which may be a reason that Insys has been able to bring its products to market so easily.

Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (CARA)

On a clinical stage, Cara Therapeutics has been gaining ground since the third quarter of 2014.  The company focuses pain therapies and utilizes kappa opioid receptors to accomplish this.  Unlike Insys who uses a sublingual spray, Cara employs the use of intravenous (IV) means.  Its CR845 candidate has demonstrated significant pain relief as well as a favorable safety and tolerability profile in three Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with acute postoperative pain. According the Cara, top-line results from an initial Human Abuse Liability trial indicate that I.V. CR845 met the trial’s primary endpoint by demonstrating “highly statistically significant lower “drug liking” scores as measured by visual analog scale (VAS) Emax (p <0.0001) when compared to I.V. pentazocine, a Schedule IV opioid receptor agonist.”

 

Aside from clinical trials in the US, Cara’s product is already licensed to Maruishi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in Japan and Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corporation in South Korea. However, these agreements have not generated significant revenues and are where the risk resides with this company (outside of the universal market risk all stocks hold).  After looking deeper into the filings, it would appear that Cara’s only clinical stage drug is its CR845 and should this fail, so may the company.

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Despite these factors, the company still shows cash and cash equivalents of nearly $60M and an additional paid in capital of over $130M. With roughly $11m use in operating activities, Cara should be able to sustain operations for the near term and that’s even assuming the company does nothing else to generate other revenues from licensing.  Furthermore, since mid-October of 2014, the stock price has been on a consistent uptrend and has moved up by as much as 49.5% from lows of $7.53 to highs of $11.26 earlier this year.  This also marks the first time since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana that Cara shares have seen any kind of consistent uptrend in stock price for any sustained period of time longer than a few weeks.

 

Important Stats After Legalization of Marijuana Turns 1

  1. Colorado’s annual demand for marijuana is 130.3 metric tons, which is equal to 36.8 million “eighths” of cannabis flower.

 

  1. 23% of Colorado’s user population consumes cannabis almost every day.

 

  1. 90% of recreational pot sales are attributed to out-of-state tourists at shops in mountain resort communities.
  2. Seven percent of Colorado’s annual pot demand is purchased by out-of-state tourists.
  3. Recreational marijuana sales, as counted from January to October topped out at $246,810,599.03
  1. Colorado reported total medical marijuana sales from January to October of $326,716,273.59.
  1. Colorado has brought in $60.1 million via taxes, licenses and fees on recreational and medical marijuana, from January to October.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Last year was definitely a learning year for many.  From January to May, there was a lot of money that could have been made and lost but despite these shortcomings as this new industry emerged, investors have become more educated through the trials that this market has demonstrated.  There are so many options for investment from consulting services to biotech and for investors, the navigation of this niche may seem a bit unclear.  I, for one, will continue to lean on management and financials to support my own investment decisions and these are just a few which have passed the initial test for potential top performers this year.

 

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Have you heard the story that just came out this weekend about Snoop Dog trying to raise $25,000,000 for investment Marijuana? Well it’s true, but what does it mean and is it a good idea? I guess all of that depends on perspective as well as having clearly defined roles mapped out once those funds are ready to go.

 

$25,000,000 is a lot of money, no matter who you are and just because Snoop-A-Loop is jumping into the space (or trying) doesn’t guarantee success. If we were discussing a raise of $25m to create a new record label, I’d feel better with it in the hands of Snoop, but this is Marijuana; and loving Weed doesn’t mean you can make money on it.

 

This is where we need to understand clearly defined roles for this raise. I like Snoop, but unless he is a conduit for awareness & bringing money in he’s just pissing in the wind. Snoop as “the” or one of a few pitch persons is ok by me. I’d like to see some well known money managers/venture capitalists doing this in conjunction with him. I’m all about the team, as they say “you don’t bet on the horse, you bet on the jockey.” I want the strongest team possible when it comes to my investment, especially if i’m cutting a 7 figure check. I sharks playing with my money, not the people that talked Snoop into making “Soul Plane.”

 

So Snoop or Jenn T. over at Paradigm give us a call, because we would like to talk to you about facilitating something in this space. You are going to need much more than a $25,000,000 fund to get started and we already have the attention of the Marijuana Investment community. Cheers, I mean “Fo Shizzle”-

 

Da Wolf


http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/06/of-course-he-does/

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Colorado May Have To Refund As Much As $30 Million In Pot Taxes

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s cannabis experiment was created to gain revenue for the state and its schools, but a state law may put some of the tax money directly into residents’ pockets, making a bit of a mess for lawmakers. The state constitution restricts how much tax money the state can take in before it has to give some back. That means residents Colorado may each get their own piece of the $50 million in recreational marijuana taxes received in the first year of legal pot. It’s a situation so out of the box that it’s gotten Republicans and Democrats, for once, to agree on a tax issue.Even some marijuana shoppers are shocked Colorado may not keep the taxes that were promised to go toward building and fixing schools when voters legalized back in 2012.

“I have no problem paying taxes if they’re going to schools,” stated by Maddy Beaumier, 25, who was stoping by a dispensary near the Capitol.

But David Huff, a 50-year-old carpenter from Aurora, states taxes that add 30 percent or more to the value of marijuana, depending on the jurisdiction, are too high.

“I don’t care if they write me a check, or refund it in my taxes, or just give me a free joint next time I come in. The taxes are too high, and they should give it back,” Huff mentioned.

Legal marijuana has clashed with the tax limitation movement because a 1992 voter-passed a constitutional amendment called the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights requires all new taxes to go before voters.

The modification also include Colorado to pay back taxpayers when the state receives more than what’s granted by a formula based on inflation and population expansion. Over the years, Colorado has given refunds six times, making and end result of more than $3.3 billion.

Republicans and Democrats say there’s no solid excuse to put marijuana taxes back into people’s hands, and state officials are trying to figure out how to go around distributing out the money. It may have to be established by asking Colorado voters, for a third time, to make a ballot on the issue and clear marijuana taxes from the refund condition.

Republicans accept that cannabis is throwing them off their usual point of wanting tax money returned to taxpayers. But they also go to say that pot should  for itself — that general taxes shouldn’t pay for things like increased drug knowledge and improve training for cops and law officials to identify drivers under the influence if marijuana.

“I think it’s appropriate that we keep the money for marijuana that the voters said that we should,” states Republican Senate President Bill Cadman. His  group is against keeping other refunds based on the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights but defends a special ballot question on marijuana taxes.

“This is a little bit of a different animal. There’s a struggle on this one,” said Sen. Kevin Grantham, one of the Republican budget writers.

After legalizing pot in 2012, Colorado voters came back to the polls the following year and authorized a 15 percent surcharge tax on marijuana for the schools and an additional 10 percent sales tax for lawmakers to use.

Voters were made aware that these taxes would make about $70 million in the first four quarters. The state now is convinced it will generate about $50 million.

But because the economy is doing well  and other tax companies are expanding rapidly, Colorado is compelled to give back a good amount of what it has received. Final numbers aren’t established, but the governor’s budget writers assume the marijuana refunds could see up to $30.5 million, or about $7.63 per adult in Colorado.

“It’s just absurd,” stated Democratic state Sen. Pat Steadman, one of the Legislature’s budget writers.

The head-scratching reaches to Colorado’s cannabis industry. Different industry groups strongly campaigned for the marijuana taxes but are not taking a stand point on whether to refund them.

Mike Elliott of the Denver-based Marijuana Industry Group states it is not asking for lower taxes, but that’s an option lawmakers don’t seem to be thinking about. State law does not stop lawmakers from cutting taxes without a vote.

Legislators have a little time to figure out how to go forward. They’ll contemplate marijuana refunds and a independent refund to taxpayers of about $137 million after receiving final tax assessments that are due in March.

When they converse about marijuana refunds, they’ll have to investigate if the capital would go to all taxpayers, or just those who bought cannabis. Prior refunds have basically been paid through income tax returns, but Colorado also has helped bring down motor vehicle fees or even cut back sales taxes on trucks.

Lawmakers seem content that the refund system won’t matter because voters would allow marijuana taxes a third time if the question was brought up.

“This is what the voters want, and if we’re going to have (pot), and the constitution says it’s legal, we damn well better tax it,” Steadman said.

Clarification: A Huffington Post headline has been amended to reflect that overall tax revenues, rather than a surfeit of marijuana-specific tax revenues, would trigger the refund under current law.

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      Marijuana Stocks

      By Juliette Fairley

      Biotech was one of the top performing sectors of marijuana stocks in 2014, according to Viridian Capital & Research, returning 339% compared to 665% for the cannabis consulting sector and 135% for infused products.

      Among the biotech stocks to watch in 2015 is GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH), which manufactures Sativex, a drug containing THC and CBD that treats spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. “Successful completion of phase 3 trials will likely lead the way to FDA approval,” said Matt Karnes, managing partner with GreenWave Advisors in New York.

      Trading on the NASDAQ exchange, the stock was priced at $40 a share a year ago and reached a high of $103 in July 2014 and closed today at $77.

      “What makes GW Pharmaceuticals special is its valuation and liquidity as well as the fact that it appears to be the farthest along in the development of drugs based on cannabis,” said Leslie Bocskor, investment banker and entrepreneur with Electrum Partners.

      The overall concern in the medical marijuana industry about biotech companies is the creation of medicinal formations of different strains that will not be of pharmaceutical grade.

      “The biggest hot button issue in pot biotech is when and if these pharmaceutical like pot products will emerge and what standards and guidelines we might see the FDA require,” said Scott Greiper, founder with Viridian Capital & Research in New York.

      Unlike GW Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics (INSY) is creating pharmaceuticals from synthetic CBD and THC. The growth of Insys Therapeutics has been 70% year over year and analysts are projecting a price of $57 share, according to Electrum Partners.

      “Many pharmaceuticals are synthetically manufactured,” said Joseph Friedman, a pharmacist and chief operations officer with PDI Medical.  “Based on FDA studies and approvals, it is reasonable to assume synthetically made drugs can be beneficial however due to the lack of clinical studies and experience with cannabis, the jury is out on how well or not synthetic versions of the compound will work.”

      Used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, Marinol by AbbVie is a synthetic based THC pharmaceutical already on the market.

      “Synthetic compounds are faster from a testing standpoint but there’s lots of things that can go wrong in biotechnology,” said Douglas Sorocco, a biochemist and cannabis intellectual property lawyer in Oklahoma.

      Insys Therapeutics obtained five Orphan Drug Designations (ODD) for cannabinoid products. Under the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) of January 1983, an orphan drug is one that is developed to specifically treat rare medical conditions.

      Headed by CEO Anthony J. Cataldo, Oxis International is a penny stock that performed well in the past year. OXIS increased from $0.004 in January 2014 to a recent high of $0.035.

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