Some of the latest market analysis from Wall Street’s own Cowen and Co. indicates that legal cannabis sales could reach $50 billion within the next decade, and that is a big deal for marijuana stock. In fact, the investment firm recently sent a letter to those investors with money riding on the multi-billion dollar alcohol industry, advising them to expect to take hits for the next ten years due to legal marijuana.
Marijuana is more popular today than ever before. Even fast-food giant McDonald’s is now dabbling in the toker trend with a new billboard advertising their green chile breakfast burrito, which suggests that “Usually, when you roll something this good, it’s illegal.”
This level of subliminal support for marijuana legalization is happening at an increasingly rapid pace throughout the United States, mostly because public opinion shows that more than 60 percent of the population would like to see cannabis taxed and regulated by the federal government in the same way it does for alcohol and tobacco.
“We believe alcohol could be under pressure for the next decade, based on our data analysis covering 80 years of alcohol and 35 years of cannabis incidence in the US. Since 1980, we have seen 3 distinct substitution cycles between alcohol and cannabis; we are entering another cycle,” wrote Cowen analyst Vivien Azer.
But when it comes to which marijuana stock is most likely to become the first to reach the $1 billion mark, it is the medical marijuana sector that is expected to have the best chance. A recent piece from the Motley Fool suggests that GW Pharmaceuticals, Corbus Pharmaceuticals, Canopy Growth Corp, Aphria, and Aurora Cannabis are all solid bets for the title of first marijuana stock to rake in the first billion.
It should come as no surprise that Motley Fool’s Sean Williams predicts GW Pharmaceuticals will be the first to achieve this. After all, the company is on the verge of securing FDA approval for its cannabis-based drug Epidiolex, which has proven effective as a treatment for epilepsy in a series of clinical trials. Once this medicine comes to market — and it will – parents of children with epilepsy will have a way to control seizure frequency without breaking federal law or spending thousands of dollars every month out of pocket. It is likely that Epidiolex will be covered under most health insurance programs – a situation that could render expensive state cannabis oil programs obsolete.
“If my arm were twisted, I’m going to stick with GW Pharmaceuticals, given the success of Epidiolex in late-stage studies,” wrote Williams. “Just the two rare indications alone, assuming approval and a successful launch, could easily get the company more than halfway to $1 billion in sales within three years after launch.”
GW Pharmaceuticals filed for FDA approval last month after its latest research confirmed that Epidiolex is effective in the treatment of epilepsy.