If it seems like marijuana companies Cannabis Science Inc. (PINK:CBIS), Medical Marijuana Inc. (PINK:MJNA), Growlife Inc. (OTC:PHOT), and uncreatively-monikered Marijuana Inc. (PINK:HEMP) have been getting an unusual amount of attention - and an unusual amount of traction - lately, you're not crazy. They've been part of a fresh media frenzy, and for good reason.
The concept of using marijuana for medicinal purposes isn't new. However, it's not an idea that has gotten a lot of support for the obvious reason... if it's readily available for medicinal purposes, it's easily available for purely-recreational purposes. Over time, however, the functionality of marijuana as a medical therapeutic has been increasingly embraced. Simultaneously, industrial applications of hemp have also started to become mainstream ideas, if not actual products. Lo and behold, though still budding (no pun intended), the marijuana industry is just that - an industry, complete with companies like Growlife Inc., Marijuana Inc., Medical Marijuana Inc., and Cannabis Science Inc., each of which has their own specialty, and in most cases, each of which has a strong presence in a certain geographical market.
It's not a mere coincidence that these names are hot buttons right now, however. Though the election that is just a tad over two weeks away has superficially been about picking a president, for many states, marijuana is on the ballot. In seven states, the public is going to vote on whether or not to permit medical usage of marijuana. In four states, industrial hemp is on the ballot. In three states, marijuana is going to be voted on as a permitted-use recreational product. In the same way political parties wait to make a last-minute push to win over voters at the point in time it matters most (near election Tuesday), marijuana companies are starting to make their last-minute pushes too.
Nay-sayers are critics may not want to scoff too quickly at any and all forms of marijuana, used for a variety of reasons. It's already (legal or not) a massive industry that could generate much-needed tax revenue for states, not to mention create jobs if/when legitimized. And for investors mulling new (or bigger) positions in the likes of picks like Growlife, Cannabis Science, Medical Marijuana, and Marijuana Inc., even just a partial victory at the polls on November 6th could mean a serious bump in business, as cannabis becomes legal (for certain uses) in more states.
If the name Medical Marijuana Inc. rings a bell, it may be because it was one of the companies featured in last night's (Sunday's) edition of '60 Minutes'. The news program explored Denver's growing medical marijuana business; Colorado is now home to more than 500 legal dispensaries of the company's product. Colorado is also one of the states where medical marijuana is on the ballot, so a 'yes' vote on the matter in that state could mean a boon for the company.
Growlife is on a different path, though still a direct beneficiary of the cannabis industry's growth. PHOT supplies growing tools like hydroponic technology and high-power lighting. It also operates an informational website for marijuana growers.
Marijuana Inc. has put a new spin on an old idea, turning cannabis into chewing gum for patients suffering from muscular spasticity, cancer, arthritis, and other conditions. The product is in trial stages, and should end sometime in the second half of November. No word yet on when HEMP might release it on a fully-commercial basis.
Though watching all the voting on election Tuesday, Cannabis Science is just as interested in an appeal being made by the Americans for Safe Access (to marijuana) - or ASA - in the nation's Federal Court system. A prior court case ruled that cannabinoids had not been adequately studied to serve as the biological or chemical foundation for use in pharmaceuticals. In simplest terms, a recent circuit ruling had deemed marijuana a schedule 1 'dangerous' drug; now that ruling is being appealed. It matters too. CBIS is working with several drugmakers in an effort to develop phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals, which have in preclinical trials so far been shown to be very effective treatments for a variety of indications.
Bottom line? Though it's done so quietly, hemp has become a little more mainstream than it was five years ago, and given that it's on the November ballot for one reason or another in fourteen states, there's little denying that it's getting traction now. Five years from now, it could be legalized in many more states. It all bodes well for these companies. In the meantime, traders may be able to squeeze a bullish ride out of what happens between now and November 6th, as these companies are bound to keep pounding the same drum that got buyers revved up last week. And if cannabis is actually approved in a couple of states after the upcoming voting, that could spur another round of buying for HEMP, PHOT, CBIS, and MJNA. This rally looks like the real - even if surprising - deal.