GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH) shares were trading near $80 per share back in September 2016 prior to election in the U.S. They were plodding along like other pharma companies until they decided it was better to have the multiple of the Cannabis Industry rather than a typical pharma. The timing could not have been better, as shares rallied to $130 per share by the time the election was complete.
GWPH blazed the path for many other companies who were looking to attach this multiple to their current valuation, but in hindsight they were the first to move.
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR(NASDAQ:GWPH) is primarily a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics, but the bump in prices came after they started touting the proprietary cannabinoid product platform. This has been a nice run for the company as shares have traded above the $100 range since the shift and are solidly above the $110 level.
They continue to remain in the press and on the newswires with news about the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) with recent press release announcing positive results from a second Phase 3 study of Epidiolex® (cannabidiol or CBD) in children and adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). The data will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Boston, MA.
In the GWPCARE3 study, adding Epidiolex to patients’ current treatment significantly reduced the frequency of drop seizures at both the 10 mg/kg/day and 20mg/kg/day doses. During the 14-week treatment period, patients taking both doses of Epidiolex saw a significantly greater median reduction in monthly drop seizures (37 percent and 42 percent, respectively) compared with a 17 percent reduction for placebo.
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“Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is one of the most challenging types of epilepsy to treat. Results from this large, placebo-controlled study demonstrate that Epidiolex provides clinically meaningful reductions in seizure frequency together with an acceptable safety and tolerability profile,” said study investigator Anup Patel, M.D., of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “I believe Epidiolex has the potential to change the treatment of LGS and I am excited at the future prospect of prescribing an appropriately standardized and tested pharmaceutical formulation of cannabidiol.”
In the world of cannabis adoption many market watchers see a future where large pharma eyes (for future acquisition) many of the small medical cannabis companies, in a buy versus build scenario, and large tobacco will look to acquire (similarly) many of the cannabis companies who build their businesses around vape, growers and accessories. This has yet to attach the multiples to every stock in the sector, but the pharma side of the business is running ahead of the tobacco side.
This is due to the current administration jawboning negatively about federal legalization and how Jeff Sessions views the industry. The fact is the horses are out of the barn for this industry and we expect this to be a $25 billion dollar industry by 2020 and a $50 billion dollar industry by 2025, we think this is the largest opportunity in sector price appreciation since the internet stocks of the 1990’s, and it is creeping along because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level – creating this massive delay in investment.
GW Pharmaceuticals (NasdaqMKTS:GWPH) is the largest company in the sector and is the beneficiary of anyone wanting to make an investment in the growing field. I believe the price appreciation in shares is the baby boomer generation wanting to make an investment, but having fear of investing in small cap stocks because they don’t understand them. Although, this is probably the wrong move for those investors, as the growth will be concentrated in these small stocks under $100 million dollar market-cap.
Companies like GW Pharma have already moved, and the shares have the cannabis multiple priced into it already. The real opportunity exists in the small companies who will eventually be acquired by big pharma and big tobacco, we will be writing about them here because they are what the small investors are reading about. Cannabis stocks drive more traffic than any other sector, and have for more than a year, as the public learns about what they do and how they do it.
But from an investment standpoint you should think about stocks that will be acquisition targets in this upcoming buy versus build scenario. The smaller companies are building and the larger companies, like GW Pharma, will be the buyers. This is an exciting time for the cannabis sector, and only those who are really paying attention to the division in these companies will ring the register. For continuing coverage on shares of $GWPH stock, as well as our other hot stock picks, sign up for our free newsletter today and get our next hot stock pick!