GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) has held the title of champion of marijuana stocks with a market capitalization of nearly $3 billion for the past three years.
GW Pharma’s success is linked to its cannabinoid (CBD) based drug developments. Specifically, the development of Epidiolex, a CBD-based oral medicine has been crafted for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two rare types of childhood epilepsy. Since marijuana remains illegal throughout the U.S., GW Pharma’s approach to cannabinoid research has kept it ahead of the game, until this week.
Canopy Growth Corp. (TWMJF). took the title on November 8th, with their closing market cap of $2.96 billion versus GW Pharma’s market cap of $2.82 billion.
Canopy Growth is a Canadian-based medical marijuana grower. The company has many factors that have contributed to its success of becoming the largest marijuana stock. Just last month, the company announced that Constellation Brands (STZ) has forked over C$245 million for a 9.9% venture into the company to produce marijuana infused beverages. Canopy Growth is profitable solely from its medical marijuana distribution. It has access to half of the medical marijuana patients in the country due to its acquisition of Mettrum Health earlier this year.
Canada is on track to be the second country in the world to legalize adult recreational marijuana which could double the market. In April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation with the goal of legalizing recreational marijuana by July 2018. Trudeau has warned that the one way to gain consumers in the legal market is to be competitive on price which leads to the proposed tax rate. The proposed rate is lower than alcohol’s tax, allowing legal marijuana to be price competitive with the black market. This would add billions to the Canopy’s annual revenue.
If it isn’t already, Canopy Growth should be added to your watchlist.