Using medical cannabis results in improved quality of life, reduced opiod use, and cost savings from reduced prescription drug purchases, according to a new study of patients enrolled in New York’s medical cannabis program.
“Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain”, begins the study’s abstract. “With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater.”
With this in mind, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and GPI Clinical Research conducted a “retrospective, mirror-image study that investigated MC’s effectiveness in patients suffering from chronic pain associated with qualifying conditions for MC in New York State.” The primary outcome “was to compare European Quality of Life 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS) scores at baseline and 3 months post-therapy.” The secondary outcomes “included comparisons of monthly analgesic prescription costs and opioid consumption pre- and post-therapy.” Tolerability was assessed by side effect incidence.
According to new research, cannabis use is associated with decreased rates of mortality from obesity, diabetes mellitus, taumatic brain injury, use of alcohol and prescription drugs, driving fatalities, and opioid overdose deaths.
According to the study, published by Indiana University South Bend, there would be “an estimated 23,500 to 47,500 deaths prevented annually if medical marijuana were legal nationwide”, and cannabis prohibition “is revealed as a major cause of premature death in the U.S.”
According to the study’s abstract; “Adverse effects of moderate Cannabis use on physical health are subtle and rarely fatal, while Cannabis use is associated with decreased rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus, mortality from traumatic brain injury, use of alcohol and prescription drugs, driving fatalities, and opioid overdose deaths.” These data “suggest that Cannabis use may decrease premature deaths.”
The legal-marijuana industry is growing like a weed, and marijuana-stock investors simply can’t help taking notice.
Last year, according to cannabis research firm ArcView, North American legal-pot sales grew by 34% to $6.9 billion. This, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. You see, ArcView also estimated that $46.4 billion in North American weed sales last year was conducted on the black market, meaning there’s a very large multi-year opportunity for these consumers to be brought into legal channels. This opportunity, along with organic growth from ongoing state- and country-level expansion, has fueled investors’ interest in marijuana stocks.
A recent screening of the 13 largest pot stocks found that just one was lower over the trailing-12-month period. Conversely, two-thirds of those that were higher had risen by a minimum of 100%. In fact, the average pot stock has increased in value by better than 300% over the trailing year.
Say hello to a pot stock that’s up 2,500% in a year
Of course, one company has been critical to skewing those results: Axim Biotechnologies(NASDAQOTH:AXIM). Axim is a clinical-stage drug developer that has absolutely been on fire since receiving an investment from Medical Marijuana, Inc.(NASDAQOTH:MJNA) in October 2016. Shares of the drugmaker are up (drum roll)… 2,500%. That’s not a typo. At one point its stock had risen more than 5,700% before profit-taking took hold.
Why such bullishness? Aside from the inherent optimism surrounding cannabis sales, Axim presents a very diverse and large pipeline to investors. The company has 15 proposed drug/indication trials listed on its website, a small handful of which have moved into early-stage studies.
In particular, there’s a lot of optimism surrounding Axim’s delivery mechanism: cannabinoid-based chewing gum. Allowing the user to absorb cannabidiol, or another cannabinoid, through the chewing-gum process can allow for a controlled release. Doing so could result in lower doses needed to effect positive biologic change.
However, in spite of Axim’s truly phenomenal returns, it has two major red flags that should have investors very concerned.
Axim is a “going concern”
First, let’s take a gander at its latest quarterly report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On page 19 of the SEC report you’ll find the dreaded “going concern” note, which reads as such:
As shown in the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements, the company has negative working capital of $2,130,130, has an accumulated deficit of $18,593,796, has cash used in operating activities of continuing operations $580,922, and presently does not have the resources to accomplish its objectives during the next twelve months. These conditions raise substantial doubt about the ability of the company to continue as a going concern.
The first thing that stands out is the company’s cash on hand: $580,922. This isn’t in millions, folks. Axim is planning to run 15 clinical studies, plus run its nutraceutical business studies, too, and it has less than $581,000 in its coffers. That may not even be enough to successfully get a single clinical trial through phase 1, let alone 15.
At the same time, because the company is so dependent on its clinical pipeline, it has virtually no revenue. Sales in the latest quarter tallied just $18,620. The company spent more than twice as much on the costs to sell its products ($38,930) and also spent more servicing the interest on its debt ($24,560). Thus, it’s worked up an accumulated deficit (an aggregate of its net losses since inception) of nearly $18.6 million, and it currently has negative working capital. The only reasonable way Axim can raise money is either to dilute shareholders with a stock offering or to take on more debt, and neither method is particularly appealing from the perspective of its shareholders.
This going concern note and financial data should be more than enough to scare investors away from Axim – but there’s more.
Axim paid a company to promote its stock
In mid-May, investment firm SeeThruEquity initiated coverage on Axim at seemingly the perfect time. Shares of the company had fallen to nearly $8 from its 52-week high of nearly $20, but they zoomed quickly higher after the firm initiated Axim with a price target of $17. SeeThruEquity pointed to the opportunity for CanChew and MedChewRx in a variety of broad indications as its reasoning behind the optimistic price target.
However, this Fool dug a bit deeper and uncovered something very important in SeeThruEquity’s coverage disclosure:
The company featured in this report paid SeeThruEquity its standard fee described below for distributing a press release on this report. Such compensation is received on the basis of a fixed fee and made without regard to the opinions and conclusions in its research reports.
In other words, Axim can’t control what SeeThruEquity says about its company, but it nevertheless paid SeeThruEquity to promote its findings. To be crystal clear, paid stock promotion is a legal practice as long as it’s disclosed, which SeeThruEquity did do. However, paid stock promotion is also something the Wall Street community tends to frown upon, since there’s the perception of little objectivity on the part of the investment firm.
The bottom line
Essentially, investors have a company valued at $441 million with negative working capital, very little cash on hand, and virtually no clinical evidence that its studies will be a success. There are also no guarantees that it has a means to get the funding needed to run its studies.
At the same time, Axim could wind up being a boon or bust for Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s shareholders. Medical Marijuana currently holds almost 22.7 million shares of Axim, which it’s up significantly on. If the company were to sell its shares, it could potentially help fund Axim’s research with its profits, but it could also crater Axim’s stock. After all, we’re talking about 43% of Axim’s outstanding shares.
My suspicion is the two are tied at the hip, which makes Medical Marijuana just as a much of a stock to avoid as Axim Biotechnologies at the moment.
Two House committee in Hawaii have unanimously passed a bill to change the way the state refers to “medical marijuana”.
[Update: According to Senator Mike Gabbard the measure has now been passed unanimously by the full House of Representatives.]
Senate Bill 786 has been passed by both the House Health Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, both unanimously. The measure, filed by Senator Mike Gabbard (D), has already been passed by the Senate with a 25 to 0 vote. It will soon be up for a vote in the full House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 786 would amend “Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Administrative Rules to substitute references to “medical marijuana” and like terms with “medical cannabis” and like terms”, and “Requires the department of health to make all conforming revisions to documents, letterhead, websites, and other necessary items by December 31, 2019.”
The Higuera family knows all too well the horrible situation so many patients face – that moment when there are no other options to treat what ails you, and you’re forced to seek alternative options.
It happened to baby Sadie, but with the help and support of her unrelenting parents – she recently attended her first day at preschool.
Sadie was born with Schinzel-Giedion syndrome, a rare genetic disease that causes severe developmental delay, organ and bone abnormalities, and seizures. The prognosis was a very short life for the baby girl, and the medications administered by the doctors and hospitals weren’t working. Her parents were given the legal option of ending her life.
Instead, the Higuera family chose life, they chose to try cannabis oil.
The RSHO, not to be confused with Rick Simpson oil, is Real Scientific Hemp Oil with very low quantities of THC. The non-psychoactive medicine worked on baby Sadie almost immediately.
She went from having up to 300 seizures per day, to only a very few.
Sadie is three years old now and attends a special needs preschool. Brian acknowledged that; “All the people rooting for Sadie and helping us along the way; RSHO™, and HempMeds® have been a huge part in getting her here today.”
The family’s battle has inspired them to reach out to the Make a Wish foundation.
Their request is to meet President-elect Trump to ask to take cannabis off the list of Schedule I drugs. It’s what they believe Sadie would want; to give back by asking the president-elect to allow the plant to be researched.
“It is our wish to meet him to demonstrate Sadie’s fighting spirit and make this a movement of awareness; understanding and legitimizing CBDs as an organic, healthy treatment; one which has helped so many people beat the odds and live a life they could not have had otherwise.”
“Our daughter Sadie is an American champion Donald Trump would be proud of,” Sadie’s parents said.
The U.S. Department of Justice cannot spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants comply with state guidelines that permit the drug’s sale for medical purposes, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, comes as voters in nine more states will consider allowing the recreational use of marijuana this November.
Twenty-five U.S. states currently allow for medical marijuana. While the sale of the drug is still illegal under federal law, Congress in 2014 passed a budget rule which prohibits the DOJ from using federal funds to interfere in the implementation of state marijuana regulations.
One-hundred percent (100%) of people with migraine headache, fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome who use medical marijuana for a minimum of 30 days report a reduction in pain and discomfort, a 6-month study conducted by Care By Design found.
People included in the survey suffer from a range of different conditions, and some suffer from multiple conditions, including:
52% of the people living north of Mexico have access to legal medical marijuana.
Population tallies from the 24 US states with medical marijuana programs, one federal District and the country of Canada, which has a national program, show that the majority of those citizens are living in harmonious comfort with regulated medical marijuana production, distribution and use.
In a hugely important decision, a federal court in California has ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) interpretation of a federal medical cannabis provision which was included in last year’s national spending bill “defies language and logic”. The court stated that the DEA’s recent raids on dispensaries in California “tortures the plain meaning of the statute” and is “at odds with fundamental notions of the rule of law.”
Last year a federal spending bill – which was passed into law – included a Rohrabacher-Farr amendment that prohibits the Justice Department from using federal funds to “prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
Chronic pain patients who use herbal cannabis daily for one-year report reduced discomfort and increased quality of life compared to controls, and do not experience an increased risk of serious side effects, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pain.
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal assessed the long-term health of 216 medicinal cannabis users with chronic non-cancer pain who consumed a daily standardized dose (12.5 percent THC) of herbal cannabis compared to 215 controls (chronic pain suffers who did not use cannabis). Subjects in study were approved by Health Canada to legally use medicinal cannabis and consumed, on average, 2.5 grams of herb per day, typically via inhalation or vaporization.