With EasyEquities’ new Cannabis Basket, you can watch your investment portfolio going up, literally… in smoke.

Who’d have thought we’d see the day when companies in the marijuana industry would be listed on the stock exchange? The legalisation of marijuana in South Africa is still a very recent phenomenon, but in the US it’s been a legal substance for quite some time (within limits, of course) – enough time for several large pharmaceutical, biotech and research companies to go public.

Our friends at EasyEquities have put together a basket of US marijuana-related stocks to watch. We may not be sure how or where to buy our weed here in SA, but investing in the industry is just a few mouse-clicks away.

“Big and small companies, as well as those that provide support services into the cannabis industry, have seen huge growth spurts in the past few years, and piqued the interest of budding investors,” says EasyEquities’ Waylon Smit.

Check out some of these stats in this Investopedia article on the Top Marijuana Stocks to Watch.

“We have picked five stocks and an ETF from the US cannabis industry and put them together in the EasyEquities Cannabis Basket for our investors to buy. Simply log in to your EasyEquities account, select

“Baskets are groups of shares/ETFs that take the hassle out of decision-making for our investors. They are available in our rand- and US dollar-based offerings, as well as our tax-free savings option. EasyEquities account holders have access to all of these accounts through one subscription – with no monthly fees, no platform fees, no data fees and very VERY low investment costs.”

Have a look at what you get in your Cannabis Basket…

Alternative Harvest ETF
This ETF Provides you with access to all the listed cannabis companies out there. What a great product. This ETF has $664,482,308.05 under management and has returned 14.46% Since inception (12/03/2015) Here is the fact sheet.

Canopy Growth
This company was the first cannabis company in North America to be publicly traded. One of its subsidiaries, Tweed, was the first to introduce the now standard concept of compassionate pricing to make medical cannabis affordable for patients. The company remains proud to campaign in support of a patient’s right to grow at home (and thus sustainably self-medicate) by selling a wide variety of seeds in the legal Canadian sector.

Cara Therapeutics
CARA is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercialising new chemical entities designed to fundamentally change the way acute pain, chronic pain and pruritus are managed and treated. Cara is developing a novel and proprietary class of product candidates that target the body’s peripheral nervous system. These products have demonstrated initial efficacy in patients with moderate-to-severe pain and pruritus (itch), without inducing many of the undesirable side effects typically associated with currently available pain and itch therapeutics.

Cronos Group
The group comprises three subsidiaries: Peace Naturals, OGBC and WMMC. Peace Naturals has been growing quickly to meet the needs of patients across Canada and abroad. Their latest expansion includes one of the largest indoor, purpose-built facilities in the industry, as well as a custom-built extraction lab that will enable them to increase their supply without ever compromising their product quality. They believe in a Whole Health approach to wellness, which emphasises a patient’s diet and lifestyle, in addition to the use of medicinal cannabis as an adjunct therapy.

GW Pharmaceuticals
Originally a UK company, GW Pharmaceuticals is the first company to obtain FDA approval of cannabidiol, and successfully developed the world’s first prescription medicine derived from the cannabis plant. This chemical is now approved in numerous countries outside the United States, in the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. They also develop a liquid formula of purified cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of seizures in rare and severe early-onset drug resistant epilepsy syndromes.

Tilray
Tilray is a global leader in medical cannabis research, cultivation, processing and distribution. They inspire to lead, legitimise, and define the future of the industry by building the worlds most trusted cannabis company. A proud pioneer, they were the first GMP-Certified medical cannabis producer to supply cannabis flower and extract products to tens of thousands of patients, physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, governments and research facilities on five continents.

Some dope facts about marijuana

Countries that allow the medical use of whole-plant cannabis include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. In the United States, 31 states as well as the District of Columbia have legalised cannabis for medical purposes.

The broad range of medical applications include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Alzheimer’s disease applications
  • Parkinson’s disease moderation
  • Varied cancer applications
  • Control of epilepsy
  • Lung capacity issues
  • Improvement of appetite
  • Muscle spasms
  • Glaucoma treatment
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Arthritis relief

Probably the best known and widely researched effects of cannabis is around cancer treatment. Several studies by the American Cancer Society (2015) found that smoking marijuana can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. Some animal studies (Veterinarni Medicina (2016)) also suggest that certain cannabinoids may slow the growth, and reduce the spread of some forms of cancer.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumour and one of the deadliest types of solid cancer overall. The National Centre for Biotechnology Information in the United States published a piece where the Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience (2018) states “Accumulating evidence indicates that cannabinoids have potent anti-tumour functions and might be used successfully in the treatment of GBM”

The International Journal of Oncology published a study last year indicating that cannabinoids successfully kill cancer cells, with benefits of use increasing when combined with chemotherapy.

Read more about the active ingredients in marijuana by clicking here and here.

Now go and buy some pot stocks!! (Log in, click on the EasyEquities USD tab, click on Baskets, scroll down, click on Cannabis Basket. Remember, you will need to fund your USD account first.)