Top News

Cannabis Stocks to Watch on the ASX

INN takes a look at some pressing influences on the Australian cannabis space and stocks in the market available for investors.

The Australian legalization of medical cannabis in 2016 launched a flood of companies to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), leading investors to ask just which cannabis stocks to watch on the ASX.

Australia’s marijuana sector is young, but with a growing patient base and the possibility of recreational legalization on the horizon, the investment options in the country could prove to be full of opportunity for investors.

Here the Investing News Network takes a look at some of the most pressing influences on the Australian cannabis space and some stocks in the market available for investors.

Cannabis Stocks to Watch on the ASX: What’s affecting share prices on the ASX?

The global cannabis space has been hit hard over the summer of 2019 and the ASX bore some of the brunt as well.

Though Australia is an attractive industry, some experts have expressed hesitation about just how quickly the medical cannabis market has grown in the country and the next steps for the industry.

In a note to investors shared on November 12, Canaccord Genuity Australian equity analysts Cameron Bell and Matthijs Smith said the Australian cannabis industry is a case of “smoke without fire,” adding that Canaccord’s Australian Cannabis Index dropped about 40 percent over the course of four months.

There have also been some leading cannabis public firms that have decided to alter their operations in Australia.

In October, Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON,TSX:CRON) and Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA) all confirmed significant changes to their Australian operations.

The shift included a 37 million share sell-off of the stake in Althea Group Holdings (ASX:AGH) held by Aphria.

Canopy Growth ended the three-year relationship between itself and Australian marijuana firm AusCann Group Holdings (ASX:AC8) when it announced the sale of its 13.2 percent interest in the company on October 15. Canopy Growth shook off over 42 million shares in the sell-off.

On a more positive note, the recent legalization of cannabis in Australia Capital Territory could usher in a new wave of opportunity for cannabis firms as well as more international investment.

Patient numbers have also been up as of late. In its report from Q3 2019, cannabis research firm FreshLeaf Analytics said the patient approval rate increased exponentially in 2019, with almost 30,000 new patient approvals going forward.

FreshLeaf also noted an increase of products in the market to 76 available from the 54 reported in the first quarter of 2019, upping product competition.

Cannabis Stocks to Watch on the ASX: Stocks worth watching in 2020

Here INN offers a closer look at some of the cannabis stocks to watch on the ASX, per largest market capitalization to date and included in the Canaccord Australian cannabis index.

EcoFibre (ASX:EOF)

Market cap: AU$1.1 billion

We kick off our list with the biggest cannabis stock on the ASX by far, EcoFibre.

The New South Wales-based firm has it hands in industrial hemp, boasting over 300 landraces of cannabis from over 25 countries globally, including hemp cultivation in the US.

EcoFibre works through multiple businesses that cover everything from high-quality hemp extracts for pharmaceutical use to hemp-based textiles to hemp food products, including hemp flour and hemp protein powder.

In October, the firm got a nod from the NASDAQ after the exchange brought EcoFibre into the Nasdaq International Designation program under the symbol “EOFBF.” Though the program is over-the-counter, non-US companies can use it to increase their visibility to American investors.

In terms of its medical research, EcoFibre released the results of a cannabidiol (CBD) pain study conducted through Ananda Health, one of its core businesses. The study found that 53 percent of patients who had originally used opioids to manage pain reduced their opioid usage after adding Ananda Heath’s full spectrum hemp extract to their treatment regimen.

In its financial report for its fiscal 2019 year, EcoFibre reported a 519 percent increase in revenue from 2018 to AU$35.6 million. Its products are currently sold in 3,200 independent pharmacies in the US.

Elixinol Global (ASX:EXL,OTCQX:ELLXF)

Market cap: AU$151.7 million

While the New South Wales-based company is listed on the ASX, it has operations across the world, including its subsidiary Elixinol USA, a manufacturer of industrial hemp products such as hemp-infused skincare and hemp dietary supplements in Colorado.

In Q2 2019, the firm reported 18 percent quarter-over-quarter revenue increases to AU$9.9 million. Elixinol Global also expanded its presence in the US marijuana industry after it was awarded a CBD Processor Authorization by the New York State Department of Agriculture Markets.

Apart from its work in North America, Elixinol Global’s Dutch subsidiary, Elixinol BV, signed a distribution agreement with Harmonia Life Oy, which will sell Elixinol Global branded marijuana products through retail channels in Finland over the next five years.

Elixinol Global’s European expansion doesn’t stop there. The company is using its Dutch operations to partner up with 25th Group and leverage its retail channels in Belgium and Luxembourg, the latter of which is seeking to be the first country in Europe to legalize recreational marijuana. Similarly to the Harmonia Life Oy deal, the two countries will be supplied with Elixinol Global branded medical cannabis products over the next five years. The deal also gives Elixinol Global access to retailers in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Elixinol Global also has its hands in CBD pet care. In August, the firm announced a partnership with Altmed Pets, which trades as Pet Releaf. The deal with the pet CBD company comes with the purchase of US$18 million worth of marijuana products over 18 months. Elixinol also gets a 25 percent equity interest in Pet Releaf.

Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BDA)

Market cap: AU$96.7 million

Clinical stage CBD company Botanix Pharmaceuticals has a particular focus on treating skin diseases, including acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea, with a transdermal delivery system.

However, the Western Australia-based company also has an interest in using CBD. In fact, the firm is preparing the first human trials of a proprietary drug system that delivers synthetic CBD-based medicines to the skin.

Botanix Pharmaceuticals recently partnered up with pharmaceutical-grade CBD provider Purisys in a supply agreement that covers Botanix’s needs for synthetic CBD as it continues its clinical trials.

The company’s research efforts got a boost from an innovation grant it was awarded from the government’s AusIndustry division. The new funding will go toward Botanix’s medical chemistry program, which aims to isolate new synthetic versions of CBD and look into the possible antimicrobial properties of the drug.

Althea Group Holdings (ASX:AGH)

Market cap: AU$94.58 million

Althea has seen massive growth in its patient base. The firm announced it was serving 3,000 patients by the end of October — a big jump from the 127 patients it was servicing in October last year — and it remains optimistic it will hit 4,000 patients by the end of 2019.

Althea has the benefit of having an online hub, Concierge, that serves both medical practitioners and medical marijuana patients.

Healthcare workers can use Concierge to access patient treatment plans, and patients get the chance to record their own thoughts about their personal treatment using the hub.

In November, the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE) and Althea got together for ACRE’s clinical cannabinoid cancer trial in New South Wales. Althea, along with other marijuana suppliers, will offer its products as a part of the trial.

In terms of its work outside of Australia, Althea is focusing its international operations in Germany, a medical marijuana market in Europe that some experts say could be one of the largest in the world. Through a memorandum of understanding with global pharmaceutical wholesaler Nimbus Health, Althea plans to use nimbus health’s pharmacy network to distribute its products across the western European country.

Adding on to its retail moves in Germany, Althea will also be developing a Concierge platform for the German market to “help fill a gap in the German market which, despite being advanced in terms of patient numbers, lacks educational initiatives focused on clinical evidence and patient access to medicinal cannabis,” the company said.

Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC)

Market cap: AU$79.7 million

Medical research and development company Medlab Clinical seeks to use medical marijuana in creating new bio-therapeutics medicines to address chronic ailments such as kidney disease and prediabetes.

Sean Hall, CEO of Medlab, said their work aims to service the global medical marijuana industry and help ease chronic health concerns.

“Global population trends in chronic disease prevalence are reporting increasing numbers of patients diagnosed with various chronic diseases and an acceleration in disease severity,” he said.

To tackle those concerns, Medlab has worked through five core research programs all trying to take advantage of cannabis’ therapeutic benefits.

Recently, Medlab reported a record-breaking month for income generation and medication sales. The firm’s US operations also received its first export order for its proprietary NanoCBD product to Hong Kong.

Speaking of the US, Medlab also plans to take a share of the American marijuana space after signing an agreement with manufacturer ANC that will allow it to distribute its nutraceutical products to the North American country.

Total revenue for its fiscal 2019 year was AU$8.1 million, compared to the AU$5.5 million generated in 2018. Medlab had AU$19.1 million in assets at the end of its fiscal 2019 year.

Cannabis Stocks to Watch on the ASX: Investor takeaway

The marijuana space in Australia is still attempting to find its footing at the global landscape, and investors have their pickings when it comes to which cannabis stocks to watch on the ASX market.

The rise of medical cannabis, however, does pose an interesting opportunity for investors who want to pursue diversifying plays in the at-large cannabis sector.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Featured

Zelira Therapeutics Ltd a global leader in the research and development of clinically validated cannabinoid medicines, is pleased to announce the US launch of the Zelira Dermatology Business’ first product line, RAF FIVE ™ through its dermatology subsidiary Ilera Derm LLC . The five-product RAF FIVE ™ line consists of the Wash Away Gel Cleanser Acne Treatment, Spot On Acne Treatment, Kick Off Hydrating Lotion …

Zelira Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ZLD) (OTCQB: ZLDAF), a global leader in the research and development of clinically validated cannabinoid medicines, is pleased to announce the US launch of the Zelira Dermatology Business’ first product line, RAF FIVE ™ through its dermatology subsidiary Ilera Derm LLC (“Zelira Dermatology”).

read more Show less

Highlights: Peak Processing Solutions subsidiary of Althea Group Holdings has entered into agreements with BBCCC, Inc., The Boston Beer Company and WeedMD Rx Inc., a subsidiary of Entourage Health Corp. Under the product development agreement, Peak will provide research and development services including laboratory support and the testing of various product formulations and recipes, for the new line of BBC products …

Highlights:

  • Peak Processing Solutions (Peak), subsidiary of Althea Group Holdings (ASX: AGH) (Althea) has entered into agreements with BBCCC, Inc., The Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM) (‘BBC’), and WeedMD Rx Inc., a subsidiary of Entourage Health Corp. (‘Entourage’)
  • Under the product development agreement, Peak will provide research and development services including laboratory support and the testing of various product formulations and recipes, for the new line of BBC products
  • BBC will provide Peak with funding of up to USD$2m for capital improvements associated with the development project. In addition, Peak will receive a minimum of USD$285,000 for each year of the Term of the agreement (totalling USD$1.42m )
  • Under the 5 year supply and manufacturing agreement, Peak is the exclusive manufacturer of all cannabis beverages produced or sold in Canada under BBC branding, for the term of the agreement
  • Entourage will be responsible for distribution and sales of the cannabis-infused beverages in Canada

Peak Processing Solutions, a subsidiary of Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX: AGH) (‘Peak’ or ‘the Company’) is a leading developer, manufacturer, and distributor of cannabis infused edible, topical, and concentrate products is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into agreements with WeedMD Rx Inc., a subsidiary of (TSXV: ENTG) (OTCQX: WDDMF) (‘Entourage’) and BBCCC, Inc., a subsidiary of the Boston Beer Company Inc. (NYSE: SAM) (‘BBC’).

read more Show less

Sydney, Australia – Medlab Clinical Ltd an Australian biotech using delivery platforms to enhance medicines is pleased to announce the execution of a Master Services Agreement with WEP Clinical Ltd for the exclusive development and delivery of Named Patient Programmes relating to the unlicensed supply of its proprietary NanaBis and NanoCBD to patients in the UK and Europe. This Master Services Agreement is the first …

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Medlab Clinical Ltd (ASX.MDC), an Australian biotech using delivery platforms to enhance medicines is pleased to announce the execution of a Master Services Agreement (MSA) with WEP Clinical Ltd (WEP) for the exclusive development and delivery of Named Patient Programmes relating to the unlicensed supply of its proprietary NanaBis(TM) and NanoCBD(TM) to patients in the UK and Europe.

This Master Services Agreement is the first partnership for Medlab to supply their cannabinoid medications outside of its current Australian Special Access Scheme.

Dr Sean Hall, CEO of Medlab stated, “This is a major milestone for Medlab to begin supplying NanaBis(TM) and NanoCBD(TM) on prescription for the first time to patients outside Australia.”

read more Show less

5 Top ASX Robotics Stocks

Emerging Technology Investing
robotic arm above a globe showing Australia

Australia is hoping to lead the way in robotics, and these are some of the country's top robotics stocks by market cap.

Robotics is a growing area of engineering and science technology. Although Australia is hoping to lead the way in robotics, the number of pure-play ASX-listed robotics companies isn't all that big.

Robotics is a broad term covering everything from design to the construction and operation of robots. It also includes the use of robots in roles normally played by humans, often to reduce errors or speed up processes.

This list includes a wide range of ASX-listed companies that employ robotics. Data was sourced using TradingView's stock screener on November 24, 2021, and stocks are listed in order of market cap from largest to smallest.


1. WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC)

Market cap: AU$17.19 billion; current share price: AU$52.90

Technology powerhouse WiseTech Global provides software solutions to logistics businesses in 130 countries around the world. Its CargoWise platforms are designed using workflows, automation and robotics. The WiseTech Global Group includes more than 30 businesses.

The company has performed positively on the ASX over the past year, with its share price rising about 70 percent since the start of 2021. The company expects to continue this momentum in during its 2022 fiscal year, with projected EBITDA growth of 26 to 38 percent.

2. Altium (ASX:ALU)

Market cap: AU$5.47 billion; current share price: AU$41.67

Altium is a leading global software company that focuses on 3D-printed circuit board (PCB) design. Although seemingly obscure, the PCB design tool Altium Designer is used by robotics companies like Robotics Kanti. The company also sponsors student robotics design competitions that focus on PCB design.

The 2021 fiscal year was strong for Altium, which reported a revenue increase of 6 percent, to AU$180.2 million, and announced a final dividend of AU$0.21 per share.

3. Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1)

Market cap: AU$249.49 million; current share price: AU$0.25

Vection Technologies is a multinational software company with offices in Western Australia, as well as Subiaco and Casalecchio di Reno in Italy. The company uses robotics technology in addition to 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, industrial internet of things and CAD solutions.

The business is split into two sections: information technology development and outsourced services. The company also collaborates with Autodesk Technology Centres, the Microsoft Mixed Reality Team and Cisco Systems Italy.

4. FBR (ASX:FBR)

Market cap: AU$116.95 million; current share price: AU$0.05

FBR designs, develops and builds robots for the global construction market. The company's dynamically stabilised offerings are made to work outdoors using FBR's Dynamic Stabilisation Technology.

This technology was first used in the Hadrian X, a brick-laying robot that can build structural walls more efficiently than traditional methods and with less waste. The first commercial building to have its structural walls built by Hadrian X in 2020 was completed and tenanted in 2021.

5. Bill Identity (ASX:BID)

Market cap: AU$44.18 million; current share price: AU$0.25

Previously known as BidEnergy, Bill Identity provides a series of bill management solutions leveraged using its Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The RPA system helps clients increase their efficiency and serves customers across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Europe. The company had a strong year, with total operating revenue growth of 55 percent year-on-year to AU$14.6 million in its 2021 fiscal year.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article

Sydney Opera House at night

Robotics is an area of investing that is growing in Australia ― but is it a sector worth investing in?

The global robotics industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent through 2028 according to the Global Industrial Robotics Market Analysis 2020. Robotics is an area of investing that is growing in Australia ― but is it a sector worth investing in?

Broadly speaking, robotics is the design and construction of robots. This can include core automation and production, industrial software, robot technology and integration of robotics. From drones to self-driving cars to toys ― robotics is a growing industry that is beginning to permeate our daily lives.


The distinction between robotics and AI can be a little confusing, but essentially think of robotics like the body and AI like the brain. Both can exist separately, and they are powerful when combined. The goal of a robot is to complete a task faster and more efficiently than a human.

What does the market look like?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen technology sectors such as robotics accelerate as businesses have faced global challenges. Robotics has been able to help keep spaces safer by replacing humans with robots on factory lines, in eCommerce warehouses or on healthcare frontlines taking temperatures or disinfecting spaces.

What is Australia doing to support the robotics sector?

In early 2020, the Robotics Australia Network was formed to accelerate growth of the domestic robotics industry. The network aims to strengthen global competitiveness and cement Australia as a global leader in robotics.

How does the Australian robotics sector stack up?

According to the International Federation of Robotics, in a ranking of the world's most automated countries it's not even in the top 10. Number one is Singapore, followed by South Korea then Japan.

The investment space for pure robotics companies is relatively small, with greater opportunities to invest in more broader technology, AI and automation stocks.

Who are the big players in robotics stocks?

Robotics stocks in Australia are companies with a strong crossover to other technology sectors like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1)
Market Cap AU$77.56 million

Vection is a multinational software company with offices in Western Australia as well as Subiaco and Casalecchio di Reno in Italy. The company uses robotics technology as well as 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, industrial IoT and CAD solutions. The business is split into two sections: IT development and outsourced services. The company also collaborates with Autodesk Technology Centers, the Microsoft Mixed Reality Team and Cisco Systems Italy.

Bill Identity (ASX:BID)

Market Cap AU$52.97 million

Previously known as BidEnergy, Bill Identity is a series of bill management solutions leveraged using robotic process automation, which helps clients increase efficiency. The company serves customers across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Europe. Bill Identity had a strong year, with total operating revenue growth of 55 percent year-on-year to US$14.6M in FY21.

What are the other ways to invest in robotics?

Another way to get into the robotics sector is investing in robotics exchange traded funds (ETFs), a popular choice that offers exposure to the industry of robotics and artificial intelligence rather than a single company. Two major ETFs in the robotics sector are:

  • BetaShares Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (ASX:RBTZ)
  • The ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ARCA:ROBO)

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.