In Australia, medical cannabis is regulated by the Australian Government through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Office of Drug Control. The Therapeutic Goods Administration is developing guidelines for medicinal cannabis compounds and medical conditions to inform medical practitioners.
Medical cannabis, which is also known as medicinal marijuana, is used in at least 20 countries either to improve the disease symptoms or for the treatment of medical conditions. The dried flower bud extract of the plant has certain medicinal properties. In Victoria, the Australian Government's national licensing program regulates the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.
Hemp plant has two main cannabinoids; delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) which could be a good treatment option for many medical conditions including blood pressure, memory, pain, muscular problems, seizures, sensory stimulus and more. Medicinal marijuana products cover various approved and quality assured medicines intended for human therapeutic use such as oils, tinctures, tablets and other extracts.
Cultivation and production of cannabis is defined by the Office of Drug Control (ODC) and an individual or business interested in cultivating medicinal hemp in Victoria needs to obtain licence as well as a permit from the Commonwealth Office of Drug Control to involve in the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis and/or cannabis for research purposes. The licence and permit are- ODC licence and ODC permit.
In this article, we would be discussing what is recent with two ASX listed cannabis stocks- MXC & EXL
MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC)
A European based biopharma company MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC) is a leader in supplying medicines derived from GMP Phytocannabinoid for the patients worldwide. The company is working with the goal of manufacturing and supply high-quality cannabinoid-based drugs for the emerging markets in North America, Australasia and Europe.
MGC Pharma has collaboration and partnership with universities, academia and companies across the globe for conducting an extensive research and to develop highest quality of pharmaceutical products for the patients. The company has a strong product offering targeting three widespread diseases- epilepsy, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and dementia; further MGC pharma has products in the under-development phase.
Approval for Distribution and Prescription of CannEpil® in Ireland-
On 3 December 2019, MGC Pharmaceuticals announced that the company had received formal approval for the sale of CannEpil®, which is one of MGC Pharma’s Investigational Medicinal Product’s for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy, in Ireland after the recommendation by the Health Products Regulatory Authority. The key highlights of this approval are-
- This approval for the sale of CannEpil® enables the prescription of CannEpil® in Ireland, manufactured at EU-GMP certified production facility of MGC Pharma in Slovenia.
- CannEpil® is the one of the first European Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) pharmaceutical-grade cannabis which is approved in Ireland for prescription under the Medical Cannabis Access Programme.
- The doctors in Ireland are already in touch with the distributors of MGC pharma for prescription of cannabis-based medicine to the very first patients.
- MGC pharma anticipates that this approval would accelerate the approval process in the other European member states through mutual recognition.
- After the approval of CannEpil® in Ireland, MGC Pharma anticipates on leveraging the procedure for mutual recognition within the European and key Member States where the authorisation of a pharmaceutical product in one Member States is recognised by another state.
Growth in Prescriptions issued continues-
The company announced that it has seen various prescribed standardised, reasonable cannabinoid drugs pass the 1.4k mark in the UK, Australia, and recently Brazil regions via its distributor ONIX Empreendimentos. This denoted a growth of 40% in the prescription and a 28% increase in patient numbers since the end of October 2019.
On 4 December 2019, MXC stock was trading flat at $0.034 (at AEST 1:18 PM). The stock has delivered a negative return of 17.07% on the year to date basis and a negative return of 37.04% in the last six months. The company has outstanding shares of ~1.37 billion, with a market capitalisation of $46.47 million. The MXC’s stock has a 52 weeks low price of $0.032- and 52-week high price of $0.067.
Elixinol Global Limited (ASX: EXL)
An ASX listed company Elixinol Global Limited (ASX: EXL) is a global leader in the cannabis space through its subsidiary businesses. The company is engaged in selling cannabis derived food, dietary supplements and other wellness products, and also involved in the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis. The three key businesses of Elixinol include-
- Elixinol LLC (Elixinol)- It is a producer and distributor (at a global level) of industrial cannabis-based skin care products and dietary supplement and has operations based out of Colorado, United States.
- Hemp Foods Australia Pty Ltd- It is a leader in manufacturing, retailing, wholesaling and in export of cannabis food and skincare products.
- Nunyara Pharma Pty Ltd- Nunyara Pharma (founded in 2014) contributes in the emerging medicinal cannabis market in Australia. For cultivation and manufacturing of medical cannabis, the company had submitted license applications in early 2018 to the Office of Drug Control and was granted a licence for this in July 2019. The license application for cultivation is pending for approval.
Elixinol Japan Update-
The company announced that after its review as notified to the market on 23 October 2019, it wishes to provide an update regarding Elixinol Japan.
Post considering many options for commercialisation for its Japanese business, Elixinol global has agreed to sell its 50.5 per cent interest in Elixinol Japan to Mr Sakurada, one of the other shareholders of its business in Japan.
The key terms of the sale are-
- The consideration for the sale comprises of cash payment of approximately $13,500 on a converted basis (JPY1 million) on completion and a deferred cash payment of nearly $362,715 multiplied by the ratio of the closing price of Elixinol Global shares on 8 January 2020 divided by $1.09 which is payable by no later than 31 March 2020.
- An obligation on Elixinol Global and Elixinol Japan to engage in good faith negotiations to enter into a licence agreement incorporating the following key terms before 31 March 2020 -
- non-exclusive licence in Elixinol Global’s trademarks and know-how to allow Elixinol Japan to continue to operate its business in Japan;
- Elixinol Japan pays royalties equal to 3% of Elixinol Japan’s gross sales.
- an indefinite term, subject to a mutual right to terminate for convenience on 60 days’ notice and an ability for either party to terminate with immediate effect upon a material breach by the other party.
On 4 December 2019, EXL’s stock was trading at $0.990, down by 2.463% (at AEST 1:33 PM). The stock has delivered a negative return of 62.27 per cent on the year to date basis and a negative return of 76.23 per cent in last six months. The company has outstanding shares of 137.89 million, with a market capitalisation of $139.96 million. The MXC’s stock has a 52 weeks low price of $0.965- and 52-week high price of $5.930.
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There is no one left untouched by the charm of the multibillion-dollar global boom in cannabis. Its glorious journey from a criminalized drug to being used in over 20 countries for treating medical conditions.
No wonder the cannabis stocks are on the edge of a green rush. Don’t miss out on the happenings in the cannabis sector and take advantage of the growth phase of this sector by subscribing to our report on Marijuana stocks in Australia.
Find out the drivers for the rise in cannabis stock rates Even though the cannabis sector is in its growing phase, Australian cannabis stocks have already started to rise actively due to a hastily increasing patient base, and a legislative landscape that is gradually beginning to liberalise.
Outreach and future of cannabis stocks As countries liberalise regulation for medical and recreational use of cannabis, it is predicted that the industry would grow sharply in upcoming years The global cannabis market stands currently at around $8 billion and it is expected that the hemp derived CBD market to hit approximately $22 billion by 2022.
Key Players in the sector Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX: AGH) and Cann Group Limited (ASX: CAN) are amongst the top players. Other Australia cannabis market players are- MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC), Elixinol Global Limited (ASX: EXL), THC Global Group Limited (ASX: THC), AusCann Group Holdings Limited (ASX: AC8)