Last week, the hemp industry was abuzz with the news that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would move Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug derived from cannabis, from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule V substance. The scheduling does not explicitly pertain to CBD, but it does affect drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which contain CBD.
Although the scheduling is limited in scope, there is confusion about what it means for hemp specifically, and cannabis in general. Many have taken the news as a positive signal for the hemp market, and investors are already lining up to get a piece of the emerging market. In this summary, the Hemp Business Journal looks at some leading public hemp companies to provide a rundown about their latest happenings.
CW Hemp Inc.
Based in Colorado and produced by the Stanley Brothers, CW Hemp Inc. (CNSX: CWEB) is among the best-known public hemp companies in the United States. The company, originally known as Stanley Brothers Inc., first gained national attention in 2013 after developing a high CBD strain of cannabis known as Charlotte’s Web (which helped treat epileptic seizures for a young girl named Charlotte Figi). Since then, the company has positioned itself as a manufacturer and supplier of hemp-derived CBD oil, and has rebranded itself as CW Hemp. Most recently, the company found itself in the spotlight again after it quietly raised $100 million in one of the largest initial public offerings in hemp history. CW Hemp’s stock is currently trading at around CAD15.01 (USD11.74) per share.
Isodiol International Inc.
Isodiol International Inc. (CNSX: ISOL) is one of the few public hemp companies having a global presence with operations in the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and China. Isodiol specializes in CBD-based pharmaceuticals and wellness products. In addition to adding former NFL player Marvin Washington to its board of directors, one of the company’s subsidiaries has recently gained approval from the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the use of CBD as an active pharmaceutical Ingredient in finished pharmaceutical products. Isodiol is currently trading at around CAD3.70 (USD2.89) per share, and has a market cap of approximately CAD146.82 million (USD114.79 million).
Like Isodiol, CV Sciences (OTCMKTS: CVSI) is a manufacturer of CBD-based pharmaceuticals and wellness products. The company currently has one pharmaceutical drug in development, CVSI-007, a chewing gum containing synthetic CBD and nicotine aimed at helping cigarette smokers break their tobacco addiction. Recently, CV Sciences attracted some unwanted attention after a noted short seller at Citron Research, Andrew Left, tweeted an accusation that the company was committing securities fraud. Though little came of the allegation, CV Sciences’ stock tanked, falling from USD9.20 to USD2.76 in seven days. Nevertheless, CV Sciences earlier this month earned the distinction of being the first hemp company to receive Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in accordance with FDA safety guidelines. CV Sciences stock has recovered somewhat, and is currently trading at around USD4.83 per share, with a market cap of $445.36 million.
Aurora Cannabis Inc.
Though technically not a hemp company, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCMKTS: ACBFF) has been making some significant moves in the hemp CBD market. First, Aurora announced that it acquired Europe’s largest producer of certified organic hemp and hemp products, Agropro UAB (Agropro), and its sister company Borela UAB. Less than a week later, Aurora was reportedly in talks with the Coca-Cola company to develop a line of CBD-infused beverages. For most outside observers this was no coincidence, and if the negotiations with Coca-Cola prove fruitful, Aurora could very quickly become one of the hemp industry’s leading companies. Still riding high off of the Coca-Cola news, Aurora’s stock is trading at around USD9.60.
Didn’t see your favorite hemp company? Let us know in the comments below which hemp company you would like to see summarized.