Several biotech firms are pursuing cannabis-based drugs, and the largest and most well-known of those is GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH). The $3.34 billion U.K.-based biotech standout has several drugs in both Phase ll and Phase lll FDA trials — and so far, there have been positive developments regarding several of them.
And lately, GWPH and other marijuana stocks have gotten a little attention thanks to a number of ballot initiatives in this year’s elections.
The entire investing world has been laser-focused on the post-election stock rally — specifically on sectors such as financials, biotech and defense. But marijuana stocks, including GWPH, shouldn’t be ignored.
Nine states had marijuana referendums on the ballot — some recreational, some medical — and eight of them passed. This was a huge win for marijuana advocates and also bolstered optimism that the industry could start to get busy.
It’s still too early to tell exactly which companies will take the lead and where the profits may be. That said, there are secondary plays that should continue to benefit from the growing change in sentiment on the plant.
Fundamentally, GW Pharmaceuticals is losing money as it pours a lot of cash into research and development (R&D), but this doesn’t particularly concern me as much of its value lies in the trials currently underway. The odds of at least one blockbuster drug emerging from these trials are very high, which could send the stock soaring yet again.
There have also been rumors that GWPH stock is a potential takeover target. While I wouldn’t usually base a recommendation on takeover speculation, this does add a potential near-term catalyst and I would not be surprised to learn of a sale in the coming months.
You often find that where there’s smoke there’s fire.
The fact that Hilary Clinton did not take the White House (and thus, biotech firms can breathe a sigh of relief) combined with burgeoning leniency on marijuana laws bodes well for GWPH stock in the months ahead.
Matthew McCall is founder and president of Penn Financial Group, an investment advisory firm. Matt also is Editor of FUTR Stocks and the ETF Bulletin. Earlier this year, Matt and Hilary Kramer teamed up on Breakout Stocks where Matt serves as the Co-Editor. Most recently, Matt and Hilary joined forces again. This time, they are helping individual investors make money trading ETFs. For more on their latest project, visit www.etfedgesummit.com.